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MSM as an attack dog of anti-Trump color revolution

Media's Trump coverage has radicalized me. That's why this set of pages about color revolution against Trump was created despite the fact that I am a programmer, not a reporter.  Looking at WaPo and NYT I can only say Wow! That proves the CIA were not joking when their spokesman said: "We shall know we have done our job when everything the public believes is false." It's like the editorial desk of every major MSM has a talking points written personally by Brennan.

News NeoMcCartyism Recommended Links US and British media are servants of security apparatus Purple revolution against Trump Wolff revelations and slander MadCow desease of neoliberal MSM Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Anti Trump Hysteria
Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book Mistressgate: Stormy Daniels and Karen McDougal affairs Demonization of Trump and "Trump is insane" meme Woodward insinuations Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ? Strzok-gate Steele dossie DNC and Podesta emails leak: blaming Vladimir Putin
The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Corporatist Corruption  Media-Military-Industrial Complex Doublespeak The Deep State National Security State Nation under attack meme
Deception as an art form The Iron Law of Oligarchy Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoliberalism History of American False Flag Operations FBI Mayberry Machiavellians Skeptic Quotations Humor Etc
   

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

"Every president gets pounded by the press," Kurtz wrote. "But no president has ever been subjected to the kind of relentless ridicule, caustic commentary and insulting invective that has been heaped on Trump. I have a name for this half-crazed compulsion to furiously attack one man. It's called Trump Trauma

Howard Kurtz Media's Trump coverage has 'radicalized me'

One more comment here about Michael Wolff and his claim that everybody in the White House thinks that Trump’s a child, that he’s a moron, he doesn’t like to read, he’s mentally unbalanced, all this. This is really irresponsibly absurd. And for this claim to be 100% of the people around Trump, and Wolff is the guy saying that he can’t guarantee everything in his book is right, and he’s also admitting that he did anything to get his story, including not tell people they were on the record when he was talking to ’em.

Nuking the Wolff Book The Rush Limbaugh Show

In East Germany, Stasi leader Markus Wolfe took things a step further with the “zersetzung” tactic. The idea was to *induce* a “personal crisis” through clandestine harassment, including at the hands of acquaintances secretly recruited by the Stasi. In other words, ... trying to cause *real* mental illness by relentlessly gaslighting selected individual dissidents until they cracked.

John Grudlos, January 26, 2018 at 9:49 am

 

The “Resistance” – the loose affiliation of neoliberals and neo-conservatives opposing Donald Trump – is not a grass-roots movement. They don’t speak for the everyman or the poor, or the oppressed. They are stooges of intelligence agencies and financial oligarchy. The latter are closely interconnected; remember that Allen Dulles was a Wall Street lawyer before becoming the top spy; and  ;-). The Resistance is the voice of the Deep State – Pro-war, pro-globalisation, pro-Imperialism. It just try to hide its true face behind a mask of “progressive values”.

President Trump accuses his neocon and neoliberal critics and MSM of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust Belt without jobs and without perspectives.  But witch hunt is not the whole story. It is just a part of a color Revolution against Trump.

President Trump accuses critics, the media of with hunt. And he is right. It is witch hunt of neoliberal MSM against the President  who have the courage (at least during his election campaign) to call things with their proper names and to question neoliberal globalization and redistribution of wealth up, leaving Rust belt without jobs and without perspectives.

The Deep State – i.e. the constellation of national security agencies and private actors who have directed and maintained our globalist foreign policy since the end of World War II – would have targeted Trump in any case, due to his hostility to their interventionist foreign policy, Neoliberal presstitutes just follow the orders.

They tell us, in clear voices, who they are and that's why many voters refuse to listen them.  There is, of course, certain percentage of totally brainwashed progressives who  will side with anyone hitting anti-Trump talking points, spouting the right buzzwords, hashtags, etc. But most people understand that neoliberal MSM play a very dirty game.

Completely crazy, 24/7 promotion of mediocre Wolff book  in January 2018 was a typical example of unrelenting campaign to discredit Trump and force him to abandon his  position. And look at all those "kid gloves" interviews with Wolff in neoliberal MSM. And there were other similar books in pipeline. Most flopped (only Woodward book generated some buzz)

Media's treatment of Trump is a classic, textbook case of demonization of the elected leader of country, an essential part of preparation by intelligence agencies of a color revolution against him. Paradoxically this American Don_Quixote Trump fought back and managed to shred the neoliberal MSM credibility, especially CNN and MSNBC.

A Suffolk University poll last month showed Fox News viewers have an unfavorable view of the media by a margin off 64-24. Another survey showed 76 percent of Republicans think the media makes up stories about Trump. And a Quinnipiac poll in November showed 91 percent of Republicans disapproved of how the media covered Trump and just 10 percent trusted the media more than Trump.

This new Trump book could do even more damage than Michael Wolff’s. Here’s why., WaPo, Jan 22, 2018

The bottom line is that the intelligence services of the United States, and top officials of the FBI, have indeed launched a regime change operation comparable to the dozens carried out by these very same spooks over the years from Latin America to the Middle East. One telling sign of a color revolution is when the media use too many anonymous sources when detailing what happens behind the scenes at the White House:

Unnamed sources are way overused, especially by major news outlets. People are allowed to take cheap shots without their names attached. They are empowered to engage in political sniping from behind a curtain of anonymity. And top news executives know this.

This abuse of anonymous sources and comaigh of "leaks" from White House hiding under the curtain of anonymity and weak slander laws. Slander law in the USA  requires public figure to prove malicious intent to win in court. As this is difficult to do slander using anonymous source became the trademark feature of witch hung against Trump.

The media and Hollywood are fully behind this “Resistance to Trump” smear campaign. This would be rather hilarious, if it was not for all gravitas with which the neoliberal MSM are trying to reverse the last election results (in close cooperation with the intelligence agencies).

Actually the USA media coverage of Trump after elections reminds us once again, that key MSM in the USA used to be controlled by CIA. At the highest level, top FBI and CIA officials deploy the assets available, including MSM to harass, undermine, and betray a sitting President. All for deviation from classic neoliberal party line, especially in the area of neoliberal globalization.

So theoretically we can guess who is behind  the curtain  and who is paying for all this dirty show. As well as who is organizing this stream of leaks and salacious detail (Steele dossier via FBI contractor Fusion GPS, Mistressgate, attack of Trump business empire, books like Wolff's book (BTW Wolff was Iraq war reporter:   look at his interview  to Bill Maher Jan 18, 2018 )  or more recent Woodward book. As somebody said about Christopher Steele, the author of Steele dossier "former MI6 agents are never ex." And they are using th full bag of tricks they learned at the agencies.

This "war with the reality" of neoliberal MSM, which are ready to defend neoliberalism and globalization against nationalism and isolationalism to the last American,  will continue tot he last day of Trump presidency.  At the same time this #neverTrump campaign revealed several ugly truths about neoliberal MSM, neoliberal establishment, and its fifth column in intelligence agencies, as well as about neoliberal aversion to the truth.

It is important to understand that neoliberal MSM does not act independently, they are just puppets. So all those leaks and revelation are done under supervision or at least in close cooperation with (and individual journalist often with funding by) intelligence agencies. This is very true about any color revolution, including Russiagate revolution against Trump:

SethPoor -> BennyBoy Jan 22, 2018 9:47 AM Permalink

For example, now it is known that FBI contractor Fusion GPS paid some  journalists to blackmail Trump  (redstate.com, Jan 07, 2018):

Why is Fusion GPS fighting so hard to resist the subpoena? Because the redacted records already released showed Fusion GPS paying money to journalists and to media organizations.

We don’t know if these payments were for pushing the totally irrelevant Trump dossier but we can be very sure that we will soon know the names of the journalists and organizations involved.

Being Trotskyism for the rich, neoliberalism not only reuses all Soviet propaganda tricks on a new technological level, it also inevitably creates a new nomenklatura, part of which can be called "national security parasites". Along with  fincancial "masters of the universe" or top 0.1%) they controls a leion share of national wealth (redistribution of wealth up is the goal of neoliberalism).  so huge military expences feed greedy "national security elite" which in the level of greed does not differ much from the financial elite.  This formation of a cast of "national security parasites" is part of parcel of the more general process of the gradual corruption and degeneration of the political elite.  Or how it is now called the "Washington swamp." or simple the swamp. 

This new role of "national security parasites" -- a deeply entrenched in Washington caste of bureaucrats with exorbitant (for government) salaries who are essentially "enjoying their life" in Washington, DC, while understaffed and underfunded field personnel during all the heavy lifting is a completly new phenomenon.  the level of infestation of intelligence againces is such they they now are capable to influence elections.  Worries of this caste were increased by Trump promises to cut Washington bureaucracy and send some of those Washington "fat cats" to field positions. This perspective might be yet another trigger points of the color revolution against him.

In this sense it looks  like the US political situation after Trump victory is starting to mirror the Eastern European situation under Communism with the security agencies representing  independent and formidable political force.

This is poorly understood but this political change with the intelligence agencies assuming a political role is the key to understanding of the current witch hunt against Trump. It is this development that made launching a color revolution against Trump possible.

And while public stopped trusting neoliberal MSM like CNN and MSNBC, the atmosphere was successfully poisoned.

In this sense that only reliable source of new remain foright sites on Internet (including some maligned by neoliberal MSM) and small web sites, as well as YouTube broadcasts.

They are now a new Samizdat. And this trend clearly worries the establishment (see comments to Are the Clintons Israeli Agents - The Unz Review). 

There is clear analogy between behavior of British neoliberal press as for Brexit
 and USA neoliberal MSM as for Trump elections

  On another level, this regime-change operation is being waged in the media – or, rather, by the media, since 95% of the “mainstream” news outlets have been turned into anti-Trump propaganda outfits, emitting straight polemics 24/7. It’s no different from what they did in Chile, in 1973, when the CIA overthrew Salvador Allende, using clandestine contacts with the media to target the government with black propaganda, false flag incidents, and a general atmosphere of instability and crisis.

Justin Raimondo, Antiwar.com, September 13, 2018

In both cases it is clear that the majority of the MSM is controlled by intelligence  agencies. See US and British media are servants of security apparatus

There are clear analogies here between Trump victory and Brexit and most US voters understand that they need to fight “big banks and hell-bent on neoliberal globalization financial elite” like UK voters did:

...the British politician, who was invited by Mississippi governor Phil Bryant, will draw parallels between what he sees as the inspirational story of Brexit and Trump’s campaign. Farage will describe the Republican’s campaign as a similar crusade by grassroots activists against “big banks and global political insiders” and how those who feel disaffected and disenfranchised can become involved in populist, rightwing politics. With Trump lagging in the polls, just as Brexit did prior to the vote on the referendum, Farage will also hearten supporters by insisting that they can prove pundits and oddsmakers wrong as well.

This message resonates with the Trump campaign’s efforts to reach out to blue collar voters who have become disillusioned with American politics, while also adding a unique flair to Trump’s never staid campaign rallies.

... ... ...

“I am going to say to people in this country that the circumstances, the similarities, the parallels between the people who voted Brexit and the people who could beat Clinton in a few weeks time here in America are uncanny,” Farage told Super Talk Mississippi. “If they want things to change they have get up out of their chairs and go out and fight for it. It can happen. We’ve just proved it.”

“I am being careful,” he added when asked if he supported the controversial Republican nominee. “It’s not for me as a foreign politician to say who you should vote for ... All I will say is that if you vote for Hillary Clinton, then nothing will change. She represents the very politics that we’ve just broken through the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom.”

What they do not understand is that intelligence agencies also have  their own elite and it is no less dangerous then the financial elite. They also tent to control MSM competing and allying in this task with the financial elite (CIA was actually created by a Wall Street lawyers, such as Allen Dulles) .  A more general question that arise in this context is: "Can any country with powerful intelligence agencies be  a republic or a democracy?"

And another related question is "Can MSM in a country with powerful intelligence agencies exist outside of their control?".


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[Apr 22, 2019] C>urrent Neo-McCarthyism hysteria as a smoke screen of the UK and the USA intent to dominate European geopolitics and weaken Russia and Germany

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine. ..."
"... But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad ..."
Jul 24, 2018 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , July 24, 2018 12:23 am

@run75441 July 23, 2018 2:02 pm

Best bet is for Russia to want to trade with the US and Europe. The gas pipeline will not be enough leverage on Germany as it provides 9% of their needs.

Yes. And that's against the USA interests (or more correctly the US-led neoliberal empire interests). North Stream is a problem as the goal is to economically weaken Russia, tie the EU to the USA via energy supplies and support our new client state -- Ukraine.

As you know, nothing was proven yet in Russiagate (and DNC hacks looks more and more like a false flag operation, especially this Guccifer 2.0 personality ), but sanctions were already imposed. And when the US government speaks "Russia" in most cases they mean "China+Russia" ;-). Russia is just a weaker link in this alliance and, as such, it is attacked first. Russiagate is just yet another pretext after MH17, Magnitsky and such.

To me the current Anti-Russian hysteria is mainly a smokescreen to hide attempt to cement cracks in the façade of the USA neoliberal society that Trump election revealed (including apparent legitimization of ruling neoliberal elite represented by Hillary).

And a desperate attempt to unite the society using (false) war propaganda which requires demonization of the "enemy of the people" and neo-McCarthyism.

But this is also related to attempts to prevent/weaken the alliance of Russia and China. As geopolitical consequences of this alliance for the USA-led neoliberal empire are very bad (for example, military alliance means the end of the USA global military domination; energy alliance means that is now impossible to impose a blockade on China energy supplies from Middle East even if Iran is occupied)

In this sense the recent descent into a prolonged fit of vintage Cold War jingoistic paranoia is quite understandable. While, at the same time, totally abhorrent. My feeling is that unless Russia folds, which is unlikely, the side effects/externalities of this posture can be very bad for the USA. In any case, the alliance of Russia and China which Obama administration policies forged spells troubles to the global neoliberal empire dominated by the USA.

Trump rejection of existing forms of neoliberal globalization is one sign that this process already started and some politicians already are trying to catch the wind and adapt to a "new brave world" by using preemptive adjustments.

Which is why all this Trump-Putin summit hysteria is about.

Neither hard, nor soft neoliberals want any adjustments. They are ready to fight for the US-led neoliberal empire till the last American (excluding, of course, themselves and their families)

[Apr 21, 2019] the current situation is "USSR reversed", in that the US now feels the need to "mute" Russia but Russia does not feel the need to "mute" the US.

Apr 21, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
JamesT , 21 April 2019 at 11:14 AM
The most intelligent discussion of Russiagate that I have seen is Chris Hedges interviewing Aaron Mate on RT:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=odEnNBlOJdk

The fact that one has to go to RT for such professional journalism is telling. A pundit on Vesti is arguing that the current situation is "USSR reversed", in that the US now feels the need to "mute" Russia but Russia does not feel the need to "mute" the US. Because Russia is the country whose leadership is being more truthful, this results in Russia being more open to foreign media and dissident opinion. He says "openness is beneficial for us", "openness makes us the winning side", and "there is nothing they can tell us about us that we don't already know". I have been thinking along the same lines. From the 3:00 mark onwards here:
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6JkAKYLklYI

[Apr 21, 2019] NYT The Tables Have Turned -- Time To Investigate The FBI, Steele And The Rest Of The Witch Hunters

The country was divided before Mueller Report. Now it is even more divided.
Notable quotes:
"... We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign. ..."
"... We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony. ..."
"... Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT ..."
"... The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier. ..."
"... And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros . ..."
"... Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit. ..."
"... after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it. ..."
"... As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed? ..."
"... the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT ..."
"... There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve. ..."
"... Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance. ..."
"... Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion. ..."
"... So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?! ..."
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

As we now shift from the "witch hunt" against Trump to 'investigating the investigators' who spied on him - remember this; Donald Trump was supposed to lose the 2016 election by almost all accounts. And had Hillary won, as expected, none of this would have seen the light of day .

We wouldn't know that a hyper-partisan FBI had spied on the Trump campaign , as Attorney General William Barr put it during his April 10 Congressional testimony .

We wouldn't know that a Clinton-linked operative, Joseph Mifsud, seeded Trump campaign aide George Papadopoulos with the rumor that Russia had 'Dirt' on Hillary Clinton - which would later be coaxed out of Papadopoulos by a Clinton-linked Australian ambassador, Alexander Downer, and that this apparent 'setup' would be the genesis of the FBI's " operation crossfire hurricane " operation against the Trump campaign.

We wouldn't know about the role of Fusion GPS - the opposition research firm hired by Hillary Clinton's campaign to commission the Steele dossier. Fusion is also linked to the infamous Trump Tower meeting , and hired Nellie Ohr - the CIA-linked wife of the DOJ's then-#4 employee, Bruce Ohr. Nellie fed her husband Bruce intelligence she had gathered against Trump while working for Fusion , according to transcripts of her closed-door Congressional testimony.

And if not for reporting by the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross and others, we wouldn't know that the FBI sent a longtime spook, Stefan Halper, to infiltrate and spy on the Trump campaign - after the Obama DOJ paid him over $400,000 right before the 2016 US election (out of more than $1 million he received while Obama was president).

According to the New York Times , the tables are turning, starting with the Steele Dossier.

[T]he release on Thursday of the report by the special counsel , Robert S. Mueller III, underscored what had grown clearer for months -- that while many Trump aides had welcomed contacts with the Russians, some of the most sensational claims in the dossier appeared to be false, and others were impossible to prove . Mr. Mueller's report contained over a dozen passing references to the document's claims but no overall assessment of why so much did not check out.

Now the dossier -- financed by Hillary Clinton's campaign and the Democratic National Committee , and compiled by the former British intelligence agent Christopher Steele -- is likely to face new, possibly harsh scrutiny from multiple inquiries . - NYT

While Congressional Republicans have vowed to investigate, the DOJ's Inspector General is considering whether the FBI improperly relied on the dossier when they used it to apply for a surveillance warrant on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. The IG also wants to know about Steele's sources and whether the FBI disclosed any doubts as to the veracity of the dossier .

Attorney General Barr, meanwhile, said he will review the FBI's conduct in the Russia investigation after saying the agency spied on the Trump campaign .

Doubts over the dossier

The FBI's scramble to vet the dossier's claims are well known. According to an April, 2017 NYT report , the FBI agreed to pay Steele $50,000 for "solid corroboration" of his claims . Steele was apparently unable to produce satisfactory evidence - and was ultimately not paid for his efforts:

Mr. Steele met his F.B.I. contact in Rome in early October, bringing a stack of new intelligence reports. One, dated Sept. 14, said that Mr. Putin was facing "fallout" over his apparent involvement in the D.N.C. hack and was receiving "conflicting advice" on what to do.

The agent said that if Mr. Steele could get solid corroboration of his reports, the F.B.I. would pay him $50,000 for his efforts, according to two people familiar with the offer. Ultimately, he was not paid . - NYT

Still, the FBI used the dossier to obtain the FISA warrant on Page - while the document itself was heavily shopped around to various media outlets . The late Sen. John McCain provided a copy to Former FBI Director James Comey, who already had a version, and briefed President Trump on the salacious document. Comey's briefing to Trump was then used by CNN and BuzzFeed to justify reporting on and publishing the dossier following the election.

Let's not forget that in October, 2016, both Hillary Clinton and her campaign chairman John Podesta promoted the conspiracy theory that a secret Russian server was communicating with Trump Tower.

The report was debunked after internet sleuths traced the IP address to a marketing server located outside Philadelphia, leading Alfa Bank executives to file a lawsuit against Fusion GPS in October 2017, claiming their reputations were harmed by the Steele Dossier.

And who placed the Trump-Alfa theory with various media outlets? None other than former FBI counterintelligence officer and Dianne Feinstein aide Dan Jones - who is currently working with Fusion GPS and Steele to continue their Trump-Russia investigation funded in part by George Soros .

Dan Jones, George Soros, Glenn Simpson

Russian tricks? The Times notes that Steele "has not ruled out" that he may have been fed Russian disinformation while assembling his dossier.

That would mean that in addition to carrying out an effective attack on the Clinton campaign, Russian spymasters hedged their bets and placed a few land mines under Mr. Trump's presidency as well.

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

In short, Steele is being given an 'out' with this admission.

A lawyer for Fusion GPS, Joshua Levy, says that the Mueller report substantiated the "core reporting" in the Steele memos - namely that "Trump campaign figures were secretly meeting Kremlin figures," and that Russia's president, Vladimir V. Putin, had directed "a covert operation to elect Donald J. Trump."

Of course, when one stops painting with broad brush strokes, it's clear that the dossier was fabricated bullshit.

The dossier tantalized Mr. Trump's opponents with a worst-case account of the president's conduct. And for those trying to make sense of the Trump-Russia saga, the dossier infused the quest for understanding with urgency.

In blunt prose, it suggested that a foreign power had fully compromised the man who would become the next president of the United States.

The Russians, it asserted, had tried winning over Mr. Trump with real estate deals in Moscow -- which he had not taken up -- and set him up with prostitutes in a Moscow hotel in 2013, filming the proceedings for future exploitation. A handful of aides were described as conspiring with the Russians at every turn.

Mr. Trump, it said, had moles inside the D.N.C. The memos claimed that he and the Kremlin had been exchanging intelligence for eight years and were using Romanian hackers against the Democrats , and that Russian pensioners in the United States were running a covert communications network . - NYT

And after a nearly two-year investigation by special counsel Robert Mueller and roughly 40 FBI agents and other specialists, no evidence was found to support the dossier's wild claims of "DNC moles, Romanian hackers, Russian pensioners, or years of Trump-Putin intelligence trading ," as the Times puts it.

Now that the shoe is on the other foot, and key Democrats backing away from talks of impeachment, let's see if lady justice will follow the rest of us down the rabbit hole.


Yippie21 , 2 minutes ago link

This is why the whole FISA court is a joke. What is their remedy if their power is abused? What happens. Well,... the FISA courts was lied to and found out about it in the early 2000's. Mueller was FBI chief. So they got a strongly worded dressing-down, a mark in their permanent record from high school, and NO ONE was fired... no one was sanctioned, no agent was transferred to Alaska.

Fast forward 10 or 12 years and the FBI is doing this **** again. Lying to the court... you know the court where there are no Democrat judges or Republican judges.. they are all super awesome.... and what is the remedy when the FISA court is told they've been lied to by the FBI and used in a intel operation with MI6, inserting assets, into a freaking domestic Presidential campaign!!! and then they WON. Good god.

And what do we hear from our court? Nadda. Do we hear of some Federal Judges hauling FBI and DOJ folks in front of them and throwing them in jail? Nope. It appears from here... that our Federal Justices are corrupt and have no problem letting illegal police-state actions go on with ZERO accountability or recourse. They could care less evidently. It's all secret you know... trust us they say.. Why aren't these judges publicly making loud noises about how the judiciary is complicit , with the press, in wholesale spying and leaking for political reasons AND a coup attempt when the wrong guy won.???

Where is awesome Justice Roberts? Why isn't he throwing down some truth on just how compromised the rule of law in his courts clearly are in the last 10 years? The FISA court is his baby. It does no good for them to assure us they are concerned too, and they've taken action and sent strongly worded letters. Pisses me off. ? Right? heck of rant...

San Pedro , 2 minutes ago link

When did Russians interfere in our elections?? 2016. Who was president when Russians interfered with elections?? oobama. Who was head of the CIA?? Brennan. Who was National Intelligence director?? Clapper. Who was head of the FBI when the Russians interfered in our elections?? Comey. The pattern is obvious. When Trump was a private citizen the oobama and all his cabinet appointees and Intel Managers had their hands on all the levers and instruments of Government..and did nothing . Your oobama is guilty of treason and failing his Oath Of Office...everybody knows this.

Scipio Africanuz , 4 minutes ago link

This article is still a roundabout gambit to blame Russia.

Fair enough, where's Bill Browder? In England. Browder's allegations were utilized to try and damage Russia, even though Russia (not the USSR), is about the most reliable friend America has.

Russia helped Lincoln, and were it not for that crucial help, there'd be no America to sanction Russia today. The Tsar paid for that help with his dynasty, when Nicholas II was murdered, and dethroned.

Americans are truly ungrateful brutes..

Now, sanctions, opprobrium, and hatred are heaped on Russia, most cogently by chauvinistic racists, who look down their noses at Rus (Russ) and yet, cannot sacrifice 25 millions of their own people, for the sake of others.

Russians are considered subhuman, and yet, the divine spark of humanity resides solely in their breasts. The zionists claim a false figure of 6 million for a faux holocaust, and yet, nobody pays attention to the true holocaust of 25 millions, or the many millions before that disastrous instigated war.

That the Russians are childlike, believing others to be like them, loyal, self sacrificing, and generous, has now brought the world to the brink of armageddon, and still, they bear the burden of proof, though their accusers, who ought provide the evidence, are bereft of any..

Thomas Jefferson it was, who observing whatever he observed, exclaimed in cogent agitation, that "I fear for my countrymen, when I remember that God is Just, and His Justice does not repose forever".

Investigate Jared and Ivanka Kushner, along with Charles Kushner, and much ought be clear, no cheers...

King of Ruperts Land , 5 minutes ago link

I don't buy that "Few bad apples at the top", "Good rank and file" Argument. I have never seen one. We should assume everyone from the top to the bottom of FBI, DOJ, and State, just to get started, probably every other three better agency is bad. At least incompotent, at worst treasonous.

Sanity Bear , 15 minutes ago link

As there was spying, there must necessarily also have been channels to get the information thus gathered back to its original buyer - the Clinton campaign. Who passed the information back to Clinton, and what got passed?

besnook , 20 minutes ago link

the NYTt prints all the news a scumbag would. remember Judith Miller, the Zionazi reporter the NYT used to push the Iraq war with all sorts of ********? after the war was determined to be started under a false premise and became common knowledge there were no wmds in iraq the nyt came forward and reported the war was ******** as if they were reporting breaking news.

they have done the same thing here. they pushed the russiagate story with both barrels even though the informed populace knew it was ******** before trump was sworn in as potus. now that the all the holes in the story are readily apparent the nyt comes forward with breaking revelation that something is wrong with the story.

ClickNLook , 23 minutes ago link

Now we will have another 2 years of investigation and another expensive and meaningless report. WWE Soup Opera continues. Plot sickens.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

I Am Jack's Macroaggression , 30 minutes ago link

There was no 'hack.' That is the big, anti-Russia, pro-MIC lie which all the other lies serve.

His name is Seth Rich.

DaBard51 , 24 minutes ago link

The Seth Rich investigation; where is it now? Murder of a campaign staffer; tampering with or influencing an election, is it not? Hmmm... When nine hundred years old you become, look this good you will not.

ClickNLook , 19 minutes ago link

Once upon a time there was a Bernie supporter. And his name was Seth Rich. Then there was a "botched robbery", which evidence that was concluded on, I have no idea. Do you? Anyhow, The End.

Amy G. Dala , 22 minutes ago link

Seth Rich had the means and the motive. So did Imran Awan, but it would make no sense for Awan to turn anything over to wikileaks . . .he would have kept them as insurance.

Why wouldn't Assange name the source for the DNC emails? Is this a future bargaining chip? And what if he did name Seth Rich? He would have to prove it. Could he?

ComeAndTakeIt , 10 minutes ago link

They've got Assange now...Maybe they should ask him if it was Seth Rich who gave him the emails?

Maybe even do it under oath and on national television. I don't think it's still considered "burning a source" if your source has already been murdered....

Bricker , 32 minutes ago link

Until the real criminals are processed and the media can be restored you don't have a United States. This corruption is beyond comprehension. You had the (((media)) providing kickbacks to the FBI for leaked information. These bribes are how CNN was on site during Roger Stones invasion.

Treason and Sedition is rampant in America and all SPY roads lead to Clapper, Brennan and Obama...This needs attention.

The media is abusive and narrating attacks on a dully elected president

Mike Rotsch , 35 minutes ago link

Oleg D. Kalugin, a former K.G.B. general who now lives outside Washington, saw that as plausible. "Russia has huge experience in spreading false information," he said. - NYT

You have got to be ******* kidding me. So now the narrative is, "We were wrong about Russian collusion, and that's Russia's fault"?!

[Apr 21, 2019] John Brennan's Police State USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers. ..."
"... Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer. ..."
"... The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway. ..."
"... No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way ..."
"... " ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people." ..."
"... All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests. ..."
"... A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops. ..."
"... The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter. ..."
"... "The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result " ..."
"... But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world. ..."
"... I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter! ..."
"... Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them. ..."
"... The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself. ..."
"... Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so. ..."
"... Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. ..."
"... That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era. ..."
"... The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it. ..."
"... [The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank. ..."
"... Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran. ..."
"... Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington. ..."
"... Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say. ..."
"... Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse. ..."
"... Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.) ..."
"... Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress? ..."
"... Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies. ..."
Oct 22, 2017 | www.unz.com

Fran Macadam , October 20, 2017 at 3:08 pm GMT

A credible reading of the diverse facts, Mike.
Kirk Elarbee , October 20, 2017 at 8:27 pm GMT
Sadly, Brennan's propaganda coup only works on what the Bell Curve crowd up there would call the dumbest and most technologically helpless 1.2σ. Here is how people with half a brain interpret the latest CIA whoppers.

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/10/everyone-hacked-everyone-hacked-everyone-spy-spin-fuels-anti-kaspersky-campaign.html

utu , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:18 am GMT
Again Mike Whitney does not get it. Though in the first part of the article I thought he would. He was almost getting there. The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Convincing Americans in Russia's influence or Russia collusion with Trump was only a tool that would create pressure on Trump that together with the fear of paralysis of his administration and impeachment would push Trump into the corner from which the only thing he could do was to worsen relations with Russia. What American people believe or not is really secondary. With firing of Gen. Flynn Trump acted exactly as they wanted him to act. This was the beginning of downward slope.

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration. Trump can concentrate on Iran in which he will be supported by all sides and factions including the media. Even Larry David will approve not only the zionist harpies like Pam Geller, Rita Katz and Ilana Mercer.

Pamela Geller: Thank You, Larry David

http://www.breitbart.com/big-hollywood/2017/10/19/pamela-geller-thank-larry-david/

anon , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:54 am GMT
OK.

The only part that is absurd is that Russia posed a bona fide threat to the US. I'm fine with the idea that he ruined Brennen's plans in Syria. But thats just ego we shouldn't have been there anyway.

No one really cares about Ukraine. And the European/Russian trade zone? No one cares. The Eurozone has its hands full with Greece and the rest of the old EU. I have a feeling they have already gone way too far and are more likely to shrink than expand in any meaningful way

The one thing I am not positive about. If the elite really believe that Russia is a threat, then Americans have done psych ops on themselves.

The US was only interested in Ukraine because it was there. Next in line on a map. The rather shocking disinterest in investing money -- on both sides -- is inexplicable if it was really important. Most of it would be a waste -- but still. The US stupidly spent $5 billion on something -- getting duped by politicians and got theoretical regime change, but it was hell to pry even $1 billion for real economic aid.

ThereisaGod , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:37 am GMT
" ..factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people."

All the more powerfully put because of its recognisably comical. understatement. Thank you Mr Whitney. Brilliant article that would be all over the mainstream media were the US MSM an instrument of American rather than globalist interests.

jilles dykstra , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT
I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA, 1492 to the Present. A sad story, how the USA always was a police state, where the two percent rich manipulated the 98% poor, to stay rich. When there were insurrections federal troops restored order. Also FDR put down strikes with troops.
Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 11:16 am GMT
@jilles dykstra

You should be aware that Zinn's book is not, IMO, an honest attempt at writing history. It is conscious propaganda intended to make Americans believe exactly what you are taking from it.

DESERT FOX , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT
The elephant in the room is Israel and the neocons , this is the force that controls America and Americas foreign policy , Brennan and the 17 intel agencies are puppets of the mossad and Israel, that is the brutal fact of the matter.

Until that fact changes Americans will continue to fight and die for Israel.

TG , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:03 pm GMT
"The absence of evidence suggests that Russia hacking narrative is a sloppy and unprofessional disinformation campaign that was hastily slapped together by over confident Intelligence officials who believed that saturating the public airwaves with one absurd story after another would achieve the desired result "

But it DID achieve the desired result! Trump folded under the pressure, and went full out neoliberal. Starting with his missile attack on Syria, he is now OK with spending trillions fighting pointless endless foreign wars on the other side of the world.

I think maybe half the US population does believe the Russian hacking thing, but that's not really the issue. I think that the pre-Syrian attack media blitz was more a statement of brute power to Trump: WE are in charge here, and WE can take you down and impeach you, and facts don't matter!

Sometimes propaganda is about persuading people. And sometimes, I think, it is about intimidating them.

Anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT
Whitney is another author who declares the "Russians did it" narrative a psyop. He then devotes entire columns to the psyop, "naww Russia didn't do it". There could be plenty to write about – recent laws that do undercut liberty, but no, the Washington Post needs fake opposition to its fake news so you have guys like Whitney in the less-mainstream fake news media.

So Brennan wanted revenge? Well that's simple enough to understand, without being too stupid. But Whitney's whopper of a lie is what you're supposed to unquestionably believe. The US has "rival political parties". Did you miss it?

Jake , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 2:32 pm GMT
The US is doing nothing more than acting as the British Empire 2.0. WASP culture was born of a Judaizing heresy: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. That meant that the WASP Elites of every are pro-Jewish, especially in order to wage war, physical and/or cultural, against the vast majority of white Christians they rule.

By the early 19th century, The Brit Empire's Elites also had a strong, and growing, dose of pro-Arabic/pro-Islamic philoSemitism. Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

So, by the time of Victoria's high reign, the Brit WASP Elites were a strange brew of hardcoree pro-Jewish and hardcore pro-Arabic/islamic. The US foreign policy of today is an attempt to put those two together and force it on everyone and make it work.

The Brit secret service, in effect, created and trained not merely the CIA but also the Mossad and Saudi Arabia's General Intelligence Presidency. All four are defined by endless lies, endless acts of utterly amoral savagery. All 4 are at least as bad as the KGB ever was, and that means as bad as Hell itself.

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:04 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

Fair enough. I didn't know that about the foreword. If accurate, that's a reasonable approach for a book.

Here's the problem.

Back when O. Cromwell was the dictator of England, he retained an artist to paint him. The custom of the time was for artists to "clean up" their subjects, in a primitive form of photoshopping.

OC being a religious fanatic, he informed the artist he wished to be portrayed as God had made him, "warts and all." (Ollie had a bunch of unattractive facial warts.) Or the artist wouldn't be paid.

https://www.theguardian.com/artanddesign/2013/nov/08/cromwell-portraitist-samuel-cooper-exhibition

Traditional triumphalist American narrative history, as taught in schools up through the 60s or so, portrayed America as "wart-free." Since then, with Zinn's book playing a major role, it has increasingly been portrayed as "warts-only," which is of course at least equally flawed. I would say more so.

All I am asking is that American (and other) history be written "warts and all." The triumphalist version is true, largely, and so is the Zinn version. Gone With the Wind and Roots both portray certain aspects of the pre-war south fairly accurately..

America has been, and is, both evil and good. As is/was true of every human institution and government in history. Personally, I believe America, net/net, has been one of the greatest forces for human good ever. But nobody will realize that if only the negative side of American history is taught.

Wally , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:16 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

Hasbarist 'Kenny', you said:

"There must be something really dirty in Russigate that hasn't yet come out to generate this level of panic."

You continue to claim what you cannot prove.

But then you are a Jews First Zionist.

Russia-Gate Jumps the Shark
Russia-gate has jumped the shark with laughable new claims about a tiny number of "Russia-linked" social media ads, but the US mainstream media is determined to keep a straight face

https://www.lewrockwell.com/2017/10/robert-parry/jumping-the-shark/

Yet Another Major Russia Story Falls Apart. Is Skepticism Permissible Yet?

https://theintercept.com/2017/09/28/yet-another-major-russia-story-falls-apart-is-skepticism-permissible-yet/

+ review of other frauds

Logan , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT
@Jake

Most of that group became ardently pro-Sunni, and most of the pro-Sunni ones eventually coalescing around promotion of the House of Saud, which means being pro-Wahhabi and permanently desirous of killing or enslaving virtually all Shiite Mohammedans.

Thanks for the laugh. During the 19th century, the Sauds were toothless, dirt-poor hicks from the deep desert of zero importance on the world stage.

The Brits were not Saudi proponents, in fact promoting the Husseins of Hejaz, the guys Lawrence of Arabia worked with. The Husseins, the Sharifs of Mecca and rulers of Hejaz, were the hereditary enemies of the Sauds of Nejd.

After WWI, the Brits installed Husseins as rulers of both Transjordan and Iraq, which with the Hejaz meant the Sauds were pretty much surrounded. The Sauds conquered the Hejaz in 1924, despite lukewarm British support for the Hejaz.

Nobody in the world cared much about the Saudis one way or another until massive oil fields were discovered, by Americans not Brits, starting in 1938. There was no reason they should. Prior to that Saudi prominence in world affairs was about equal to that of Chad today, and for much the same reason. Chad (and Saudi Arabia) had nothing anybody else wanted.

Grandpa Charlie , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT
@Michael Kenny

'Putin stopped talking about the "Lisbon to Vladivostok" free trade area long ago" -- Michael Kenney

Putin was simply trying to sell Russia's application for EU membership with the catch-phrase "Lisbon to Vladivostok". He continued that until the issue was triply mooted (1) by implosion of EU growth and boosterism, (2) by NATO's aggressive stance, in effect taken by NATO in Ukraine events and in the Baltics, and, (3) Russia's alliance with China.

It is surely still true that Russians think of themselves, categorically, as Europeans. OTOH, we can easily imagine that Russians in Vladivostok look at things differently than do Russians in St. Petersburg. Then again, Vladivostok only goes back about a century and a half.

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:39 pm GMT
@utu

Anyway, the mission was accomplished and the relations with Russia are worse now than during Obama administration.

I generally agree with your comment, but that part strikes me as a bit of an exaggeration. While relations with Russia certainly haven't improved, how have they really worsened? The second round of sanctions that Trump reluctantly approved have yet to be implemented by Europe, which was the goal. And apart from that, what of substance has changed?

Seamus Padraig , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:45 pm GMT
@Grandpa Charlie

That pre-9/11 "cooperation" nearly destroyed Russia. Nobody in Russia (except, perhaps, for Pussy Riot) wants a return to the Yeltsin era.

Ludwig Watzal , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT
It's not surprising that 57 percent of the American people believe in Russian meddling. Didn't two-thirds of the same crowd believe that Saddam was behind 9/11, too? The American public is being brainwashed 24 hours a day all year long.

The CIA is the world largest criminal and terrorist organization. With Brennan the worst has come to the worst. The whole Russian meddling affair was initiated by the Obama/Clinton gang in cooperation with 95 percent of the media. Nothing will come out of it.

This disinformation campaign might be the prelude to an upcoming war.
Right now, the US is run by jerks and idiots. Watch the video.

anonymous , Disclaimer Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 3:50 pm GMT
Only dumb people does not know that TRUMP IS NETANYAHU'S PUPPET.

The fifth column zionist jews are running the albino stooge and foreign policy in the Middle East to expand Israel's interest against American interest that is TREASON. One of these FIFTH COLUMNISTS is Jared Kushner. He should be arrested.

https://www.globalresearch.ca/donald-trumps-likudist-campaign-against-iran/5614264

[The key figures who had primary influence on both Trump's and Bush's Iran policies held views close to those of Israel's right-wing Likud Party. The main conduit for the Likudist line in the Trump White House is Jared Kushner, the president's son-in-law, primary foreign policy advisor, and longtime friend and supporter of Netanyahu. Kushner's parents are also long-time supporters of Israeli settlements on the occupied West Bank.

Another figure to whom the Trump White House has turned is John Bolton, undersecretary of state and a key policymaker on Iran in the Bush administration. Although Bolton was not appointed Trump's secretary of state, as he'd hoped, he suddenly reemerged as a player on Iran policy thanks to his relationship with Kushner. Politico reports that Bolton met with Kushner a few days before the final policy statement was released and urged a complete withdrawal from the deal in favor of his own plan for containing Iran.

Bolton spoke with Trump by phone on Thursday about the paragraph in the deal that vowed it would be "terminated" if there was any renegotiation, according to Politico. He was calling Trump from Las Vegas, where he'd been meeting with casino magnate Sheldon Adelson, the third major figure behind Trump's shift towards Israeli issues. Adelson is a Likud supporter who has long been a close friend of Netanyahu's and has used his Israeli tabloid newspaper Israel Hayomto support Netanyahu's campaigns. He was Trump's main campaign contributor in 2016, donating $100 million. Adelson's real interest has been in supporting Israel's interests in Washington -- especially with regard to Iran.]

Miro23 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 4:56 pm GMT
A great article with some excellent points:

Putin's dream of Greater Europe is the death knell for the unipolar world order. It means the economic center of the world will shift to Central Asia where abundant resources and cheap labor of the east will be linked to the technological advances and the Capital the of the west eliminating the need to trade in dollars or recycle profits into US debt. The US economy will slip into irreversible decline, and the global hegemon will steadily lose its grip on power. That's why it is imperative for the US prevail in Ukraine– a critical land bridge connecting the two continents– and to topple Assad in Syria in order to control vital resources and pipeline corridors. Washington must be in a position where it can continue to force its trading partners to denominate their resources in dollars and recycle the proceeds into US Treasuries if it is to maintain its global primacy. The main problem is that Russia is blocking Uncle Sam's path to success which is roiling the political establishment in Washington.

American dominance is very much tied to the dollar's role as the world's reserve currency, and the rest of the world no longer want to fund this bankrupt, warlike state – particularly the Chinese.

First, it confirms that the US did not want to see the jihadist extremists defeated by Russia. These mainly-Sunni militias served as Washington's proxy-army conducting an ambitious regime change operation which coincided with US strategic ambitions.

The CIA run US/Israeli/ISIS alliance.

Second, Zakharova confirms that the western media is not an independent news gathering organization, but a propaganda organ for the foreign policy establishment who dictates what they can and can't say.

They are given the political line and they broadcast it.

The loosening of rules governing the dissemination of domestic propaganda coupled with the extraordinary advances in surveillance technology, create the perfect conditions for the full implementation of an American police state. But what is more concerning, is that the primary levers of state power are no longer controlled by elected officials but by factions within the state whose interests do not coincide with those of the American people. That can only lead to trouble.

At some point Americans are going to get a "War on Domestic Terror" cheered along by the media. More or less the arrest and incarceration of any opposition following the Soviet Bolshevik model.

CanSpeccy , Website Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT
@utu

On the plus side, everyone now knows that the Anglo-US media from the NY Times to the Economist, from WaPo to the Gruniard, and from the BBC to CNN, the CBC and Weinstein's Hollywood are a worthless bunch of depraved lying bastards.

Thales the Milesian , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:53 pm GMT
Brennan did this, CIA did that .

So what are you going to do about all this?

Continue to whine?

Continue to keep your head stuck in your ass?

So then continue with your blah, blah, blah, and eat sh*t.

You, disgusting self-elected democratic people/institutions!!!

AB_Anonymous , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 5:59 pm GMT
Such a truthful portrait of reality ! The ruling elite is indeed massively corrupt, compromised, and controlled by dark forces. And the police state is already here. For most people, so far, in the form of massive collection of personal data and increasing number of mandatory regulations. But just one or two big false-flags away from progressing into something much worse.

The thing is, no matter how thick the mental cages are, and how carefully they are maintained by the daily massive injections of "certified" truth (via MSM), along with neutralizing or compromising of "troublemakers", the presence of multiple alternative sources in the age of Internet makes people to slip out of these cages one by one, and as the last events show – with acceleration.

It means that there's a fast approaching tipping point after which it'd be impossible for those in power both to keep a nice "civilized" face and to control the "cage-free" population. So, no matter how the next war will be called, it will be the war against the free Internet and free people. That's probably why N. Korean leader has no fear to start one.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 6:18 pm GMT
An aside:

All government secrecy is a curse on mankind. Trump is releasing the JFK murder files to the public. Kudos! Let us hope he will follow up with a full 9/11 investigation.

Think Peace -- Art

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:07 pm GMT
@utu

The objective was to push new administration into the corner from which it could not improve relations with Russia as Trump indicated that he wanted to during the campaign.

Good point. That was probably one of the objectives (and from the point of view of the deep-state, perhaps the most important objective) of the "Russia hacked our democracy" narrative, in addition to the general deligitimization of the Trump administration.

Art , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:11 pm GMT
And, keep in mind, Washington's Sunni proxies were not a division of the Pentagon; they were entirely a CIA confection: CIA recruited, CIA-armed, CIA-funded and CIA-trained.

Clearly the CIA was making war on Syria. Is secret coercive covert action against sovereign nations Ok? Is it legal? When was the CIA designated a war making entity – what part of the constitution OK's that? Isn't the congress obliged by constitutional law to declare war? (These are NOT six month actions – they go on and on.)

Are committees of six congressman and six senators, who meet in secret, just avoiding the grave constitutional questions of war? We the People cannot even interrogate these politicians. (These politicians make big money in the secrecy swamp when they leave office.)

Syria is only one of many nations that the CIA is attacking – how many countries are we attacking with drones? Where is congress?

Spying is one thing – covert action is another – covert is wrong – it goes against world order. Every year after 9/11 they say things are worse – give them more money more power and they will make things safe. That is BS!

9/11 has opened the flood gates to the US government attacking at will, the various peoples of this Earth. That is NOT our prerogative.

We are being exceptionally arrogant.

Close the CIA – give the spying to the 16 other agencies.

Think Peace -- Art

Rurik , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:12 pm GMT
@Ben10

right at 1:47

when he says 'we can't move on as a country'

his butt hurt is so ruefully obvious, that I couldn't help notice a wry smile on my face

that bitch spent millions on the war sow, and now all that mullah won't even wipe his butt hurt

when I see ((guys)) like this raging their inner crybaby angst, I feel really, really good about President Trump

MAGA bitches!

Mr. Anon , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT
@jilles dykstra

I am reading Howard Zinn, A Peoples History of the USA

A Peoples History of the USA? Which Peoples?

Tradecraft46 , Next New Comment October 21, 2017 at 8:04 pm GMT
I am SAIS 70 so know the drill and the article is on point.

Here is the dealio. Most reporters are dim and have no experience, and it is real easy to lead them by the nose with promises of better in the future.

[Apr 21, 2019] Whenever someone inconveniences the neoliberal oligarchy, the entire neoliberal MSM mafia tells us 24 x7 how evil and disgusting that person is. It's true of the leader of every nation which rejects neoliberal globalization as well as for WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange

Highly recommended!
Apr 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Have you ever noticed how whenever someone inconveniences the dominant western power structure, the entire political/media class rapidly becomes very, very interested in letting us know how evil and disgusting that person is? It's true of the leader of every nation which refuses to allow itself to be absorbed into the blob of the US-centralized power alliance, it's true of anti-establishment political candidates, and it's true of WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange.

Corrupt and unaccountable power uses its political and media influence to smear Assange because, as far as the interests of corrupt and unaccountable power are concerned, killing his reputation is as good as killing him. If everyone can be paced into viewing him with hatred and revulsion, they'll be far less likely to take WikiLeaks publications seriously, and they'll be far more likely to consent to Assange's imprisonment, thereby establishing a precedent for the future prosecution of leak-publishing journalists around the world. Someone can be speaking 100 percent truth to you, but if you're suspicious of him you won't believe anything he's saying. If they can manufacture that suspicion with total or near-total credence, then as far as our rulers are concerned it's as good as putting a bullet in his head.

Those of us who value truth and light need to fight this smear campaign in order to keep our fellow man from signing off on a major leap in the direction of Orwellian dystopia, and a big part of that means being able to argue against those smears and disinformation wherever they appear. Unfortunately I haven't been able to find any kind of centralized source of information which comprehensively debunks all the smears in a thorough and engaging way, so with the help of hundreds of tips from my readers and social media followers I'm going to attempt to make one here. What follows is my attempt at creating a tool kit people can use to fight against Assange smears wherever they encounter them, by refuting the disinformation with truth and solid argumentation.

This article is an ongoing project which will be updated regularly where it appears on Medium and caitlinjohnstone.com as new information comes in and new smears spring up in need of refutation.

[Apr 21, 2019] The Internet Research Agency only spent, according to the report itself, only spent $100,000, actually, on their activity in terms of buying advertising in Facebook and Twitter

Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

GREG WILPERT: Yeah. I mean, I think it's also important to note that the Internet Research Agency only spent, according to the report itself, only spent $100,000, actually, on their activity in terms of buying advertising in Facebook and Twitter.

And that's really absolutely nothing compared to what the campaigns more generally spend in those areas in terms of advertising.

And so the idea that they somehow influence the election just based on social media seems mind boggling to believe...

[Apr 21, 2019] The remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism: What is true is that what is useful in our lives

Notable quotes:
"... Alex Carey explains is his excellent book "Taking the Risk out of Democracy" that the remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. Famous scholars like William James and John Dewey said things like: "What is true is that what is useful in our lives" and "Believing something helps to make that thing become true". So you want to believe because you think it serves your purposes. ..."
"... This whole Russiagate is a sort of orgy of pragmatism. This could not happen in any other country, I'm sure. The only bright lining is that apparently large parts of the US population do not care one whit about Russiagate. The thing only has traction among the educated classes. But still! Amazing to see how so many evidently smart people mislead themselves into believing this shoddy story or at least taking it way too serious. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

Paul Janssen 11 hours ago ,

My God you Americans are so strange! (I'm from the Netherlands)

Alex Carey explains is his excellent book "Taking the Risk out of Democracy" that the remarkable susceptibility of the American people to propaganda has to do with the philosophical tradition of pragmatism. Famous scholars like William James and John Dewey said things like: "What is true is that what is useful in our lives" and "Believing something helps to make that thing become true". So you want to believe because you think it serves your purposes.

Betrand Russell considered this attitude to represent a kind of madness. Truth is the objective correspondence to the facts, was his position.

This whole Russiagate is a sort of orgy of pragmatism. This could not happen in any other country, I'm sure. The only bright lining is that apparently large parts of the US population do not care one whit about Russiagate. The thing only has traction among the educated classes. But still! Amazing to see how so many evidently smart people mislead themselves into believing this shoddy story or at least taking it way too serious.

As to the title you gave these two items: "Will the Mueller Report Help Defeat Trump in 2020?" Of course not ! TO THE CONTRARY!

Sad that the Real News also has gone under in this intellectual morass. You really should have kept on Aaron Maté.

[Apr 20, 2019] Sure, blame those guys over there for Hillary fiasco and hire Mueller to get the goods . That s the ultimate the dog ate my homework excuse.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... It is quite distressing that in may so called “progessive” or “left liberal” – self designated of course – circles in the USA and the UK such a statement will lead to your being labelled a Russian Troll or the suggestion you are being on Putin’s payrol ..."
"... “…In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons -- Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they’re real -- that can elude any missile defense. .. ..."
"... Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, ‘It’s time to negotiate an end to this new arms race,’ and he’s 100 percent right. ..."
"... So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced… ..."
"... When I see the right-of-center DNC supporters saying, “Our democracy has been attacked,” I an reminded of the interview Hermann Goering gave while he was waiting to be executed. ..."
"... Perhaps the assumption of Russia meddling in our election is a simple case of projection. As has been documented, the USA has frequently meddled in other countries’ elections or election outcomes (Iran, Russia, Chile, Central America). ..."
"... To paraphrase the late Leona Helmsley, “Democracy is for little people”, not for the meddling-in-foreign-democracies policymakers of the Boston-Washington corridor. ..."
"... We live in a multi-polar world and if Washington can’t get used to it, we are the ones who may pay for their willful stubborn blindness, their inability to come to terms with a perfectly obvious developing reality. ..."
"... The neocons have not had a new idea in 30 years. I continue to be baffled by their obsession with Iran. Iran is a fact; the enmity goes back to our support for the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 and only made worse by our support of the Shah as our-guy-in-Tehran. ..."
"... The USA is in disarray internally and in its approach to the rest of the world. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

flora , , April 19, 2019 at 10:38 am

The DNC had the biggest influence on the 2016 outcome; they insisted on running a disliked candidate who was a terrible campaigner so disliked the DNC cleared the field for her ahead of time (got Biden and others to not declare in 2016) and had to club dissenters in their own party to make sure she got the nomination. imo. But sure, blame "those guys over there". That's the ultimate "the dog ate my homework" excuse. meh.

Susan the other` , April 19, 2019 at 10:43 am

Good analysis. This even makes the insanity of “Russiagate” seem strategic. (But as overwrought as saying ‘give us liberty or give us death’. The solution to everything is somewhere in the middle.) We know that such dedicated souls as the very fatuous Mr. Brennan cooked it all up and pretended it was because Trump was “treasonous”.

Brennan in his dotage might actually be thinking that.

I’ve always thought that Putin, like Yeltsin, was pro West. Possibly an atlanticist. Tho’ being as chauvinistic as an atlanticist today is a little offensive to the rest of the world. Cohen’s statement that Putin is pro Russian-anti communism might be a simplification. Russia is certainly positioning itself to be safe from our aggression. I think there are remnants of good social management that the commies learned over the years that Russia/Putin still employs.

It’s too simplistic to say Putin is anti-communist. He’s just a realist. And he’s a nationalist. Being a nationalist-protectionist is the worst sin against neoliberal advancement. That’s another propaganda bullet point – you never hear a rational discussion of nationalism – it’s all trash, “Marine LePen is a fascist” exaggeration.

Peter , April 19, 2019 at 11:04 am

It is quite distressing to see the Mueller report take up as if it were settled fact the idea that Russia influenced the 2016 Presidential election, particularly since his investigation didn’t provide any information that supported this theory.

It is quite distressing that in may so called “progessive” or “left liberal” – self designated of course – circles in the USA and the UK such a statement will lead to your being labelled a Russian Troll or the suggestion you are being on Putin’s payroll. That is the level of rational discussion in many those circles today when it comes to the discussion about the west's relationship to Russia.

This of course led in Russia to the conclusion that to engage with the west at present in an attempt to ease the tensions is futile and rather counterproductive.

juliania , April 19, 2019 at 11:15 am

I think Professor Cohen has a real point in the following statements:

“…In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons -- Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they’re real -- that can elude any missile defense. ..

Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, ‘It’s time to negotiate an end to this new arms race,’ and he’s 100 percent right.

So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced…

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia…”

Then, when he goes on to elaborate on China’s weaponry and posit including them in the next round of draw-down negotiations, as far off as that may look – that to me is what Trump can use for his re-election. I do believe his attitude towards Russia won him his first term.

Those Russia-gate kooks need to focus on the American people, not on Trump. Well, maybe they did, and still do. It’s really about us, not him.

Procopius , April 19, 2019 at 7:56 pm

When I see the right-of-center DNC supporters saying, “Our democracy has been attacked,” I an reminded of the interview Hermann Goering gave while he was waiting to be executed.

Göring: Oh, that is all well and good, but, 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 pacifists for lack of patriotism and exposing the country to danger. It works the same way in any country.

John Wright , April 19, 2019 at 11:20 am

Perhaps the assumption of Russia meddling in our election is a simple case of projection. As has been documented, the USA has frequently meddled in other countries’ elections or election outcomes (Iran, Russia, Chile, Central America).

One recent Democratic presidential candidate was taped asserting “we should not have held the election unless we could determine the outcome” in another foreign country.

If Russia did not meddle significantly in the US election, the political class may have had to ponder that possibly the Russians believed that the decline of the US in the world stage did not merit the effort.

To paraphrase the late Leona Helmsley, “Democracy is for little people”, not for the meddling-in-foreign-democracies policymakers of the Boston-Washington corridor.

John , April 19, 2019 at 11:45 am

The thrust of Cohen’s position is correct. Quibble all you wish with the details. We live in a multi-polar world and if Washington can’t get used to it, we are the ones who may pay for their willful stubborn blindness, their inability to come to terms with a perfectly obvious developing reality.

The neocons have not had a new idea in 30 years. I continue to be baffled by their obsession with Iran. Iran is a fact; the enmity goes back to our support for the overthrow of Mossadegh in 1953 and only made worse by our support of the Shah as our-guy-in-Tehran.

The Russians really do have a new generation of weapons. The Chinese are re-assuming a leading position in the world that has been theirs most of the time for two thousand years.

Europe is not a rising power.

The USA is in disarray internally and in its approach to the rest of the world. I do not consider these to be opinions but objective statements. I am not prepared to suffer for illusions and vanity among the “elite.”

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Trump for Detente or Militarism - RAI with Stephen Cohen (2-5)

Notable quotes:
"... Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come. ..."
"... That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire. ..."
"... After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; ..."
"... The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace. ..."
"... Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia. ..."
"... Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome back to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. I'm Paul Jay.

And we're continuing our series of discussions with Stephen Cohen. And his biography is down below the video player, and you really should watch the first few segments anyway and you'll get where we are. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thank you.

PAUL JAY: So I've watched several of your interviews. You've done Larry King and others, and you've been positive about Trump's attitude towards sort of a detente, lowering tensions with Russia. And in terms of my personal view, I think you're right. I think anything that lowers tensions between two nuclear powers is a good thing, and I think this self-righteous American attitude towards Putin and Russia– when you look at the scale of crimes committed by countries internationally, there is nothing that Russia has done that compares to the Iraq war, and go on and on with the United States has done, and to have some self-righteous attitude Two, it's clear it's so hypocritical to worry about political rights in Russia, because it's clear in terms of U.S. foreign policy if you can ally with Saudi Arabia, the Israeli occupation, and you name it how many dictators the United States has supported over the years, it's not about democracy.

So whatever Trump's intent is, I think I agree that this is a good thing. I actually think Trump framed it quite well himself, where he said, "Russia is not our adversary, they're our competitor, the way other big capitalist countries are our competitors." I think all that makes sense. Where I push back is I think you need to add that one of the prime reasons Trump wants to diminish tensions with Russia–assuming he really does, because some of the people that work for him, Nikki Haley in the UN and others, have said as outrageous stuff about Russia as any Democrat has said.

All that being said, I think the Trump presidency is one of the most dangerous presidencies ever, and he is planning and his whole foreign policy agenda has been regime change in Iran. And I think that if they don't accomplish that through economic warfare against Iran, with John Bolton there, the possibility of some kind of at least bombing attack on Iran before 2020 is very possible. One of the reasons I think he wants to lower tensions with Russia is so he can go after China. His acting defense secretary justified this new military expenditure, the new budget, the 765 billion dollar budget, with three words, "China, China, China." Their strategic vision–and you can see this in Steve Bannon's interviews and language–is diminish the tensions with Russia, go after Iran and go after China. And I think one needs to say this, otherwise it kind of looks like Trump is some kind of peacenik. And far from it, I think they're militarists.

STEPHEN COHEN: Not sure what the question is, though. Is it about–

PAUL JAY: Well, my question is, I think when you are saying positive things about Trump diminishing tensions with Russia, which I think is correct, but I think you need to add this guy does not have peaceful intentions, he's very dangerous.

STEPHEN COHEN: I live in a social realm–to the extent that I have any social life at all anymore– where people get very angry if I say, or anybody says, anything positive about Donald Trump. When Trump was campaigning in 2016, he said, "I think it would be great to cooperate with Russia." All of my adult life, my advocacy in American foreign policy–I've known presidents, the first George Bush invited me to Camp David to consult with him before he went to the Malta Summit. I've known presidential candidates, Senators and the rest, and I've always said the same thing. American national security runs through Moscow, period. Nothing's changed.

In the era of weapons of mass destruction, not only nuclear, but primarily nuclear, ever more sophisticated, the Russians now have a new generation of nuclear weapons–Putin announced them on March 1, they were dismissed here, but they're real–that can elude any missile defense. We spent trillions on missile defense to acquire a first strike capability against Russia. We said it was against or Iran, but nobody believed it. Russia has now thwarted us; they now have missile defense-evading nuclear weapons from submarines, to aircraft, to missiles. And Putin has said, "It's time to negotiate an end to this new arms race," and he's 100 percent right. So when I heard Trump say, in 2016, we have to cooperate with Russia, I had already become convinced–and I spell this out in my new book, War with Russia?–that we were in a new cold war, but a new cold war more dangerous than the preceding one for reasons I gave in the book, one of them being these new nuclear weapons.

So I began to speak positively about Trump at that moment–that would have been probably around the summer of 2016–just on this one point, because none of the other candidates were advocating cooperation with Russia. And as I told you before, Paul, all my life I've been a detente guy. Detente means cooperate with Russia. I saw in Trump the one candidate who said this is necessary, in his own funny language. Mrs. Clinton, on the other hand, was very much a hawk. When she said publicly that Vladimir Putin has no soul, you could not commit or utter a more supreme statement of anti-diplomacy, and particularly addressing the Russians, who put a lot of stock in soul. To say somebody has no soul and then go on to equate him with Hitler, I found that so irresponsible. I didn't vote for Trump, but I did begin to write and broadcast that this was of vital importance that we have this discussion, that we needed a new detente because of the new and more dangerous Cold War.

Since he's been president, I think he's been ineffective in regard to pursuing detente with Russia for a couple of reasons. I think that the people who invented Russiagate were the enemies of detente, and they piled on. So they've now demonized Russia, they've crippled Trump. Anything he does diplomatically with Putin is called collusion. No matter what Mueller says, it's collusion. This is anti-democracy, and detente is pursued through democracy. So whatever he really wants to do–it's hard to say–he's been thwarted. I think it's also one of the reasons why he put anti-detente people around him.

PAUL JAY: Why didn't he pull out of the arms treaty?

STEPHEN COHEN: So this is a separate issue now, and a complicated one. We have been in violation–let's be clear for folks which treaty we're talking about. We're talking about the so-called Intermediate-Range Treaty. This band of deployment of missiles that could fly roughly from 500, I think, to 3000 miles, they were exceedingly dangerous. The American ones have been based in Europe. They were very dangerous because they tested high-alert systems. They flew low, fast, they could elude radar. They were dangerous. Reagan and Gorbachev abolished them in 1987, correct? Now, stop and think for a minute, Paul. What Reagan and Gorbachev did in 1987 was the first ever, ever in history, act of nuclear abolitionism. They abolished an entire category of nuclear weapons. That was a sacred act. It needed to be cherished and preserved forever, no matter what difficulties emerged.

But then comes the history, and we need to remember the history. In 2002, the second President Bush withdrew the United States unilaterally from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, correct? Now, this treaty was related, because it forbid the deployment of so-called missile defense in a way that either side, American or Russian, could think that it had such great missile defense, it had a first strike capability. And everybody agreed nobody should think that. Mutually assured destruction had kept us safe in the nuclear age. But if Russia or the United States gets a first strike capability, then you don't have assured mutual destruction, and some crazy person might be tempted to risk it. So how did the Russians react to that? They began to develop–as I said before, when we began to deploy missile defense–a new generation of weapons. In other words, you're getting this classic action, reaction, action, reaction that drove the previous nuclear arms race, and now it's happening again.

So that brings us to Trump's decision. We don't know yet where it's going to lead, because Trump has said we're withdrawing. He said the Russians have been in violation. But in fact, we've been in violation since we deployed the missile defense systems. Just for the record, by the way–and professor Theodore Postol at MIT has been very good about this–these missile defense installations that we've installed around Russia, land, air, and sea, can actually fire cruise missiles. They are in violation of that Intermediate-Range Treaty, so we've been in systematic violation. Pushes come to shove, we withdrew, the Russians have now withdrawn. But Trump has said two things that are interesting and maybe correct, that technically the treaty was out of date because of the new weaponry. And secondly, who has the most cruise missiles? China. 30 years ago in 1987, it was only the United States and Russia, the Soviet Union. But now China, because of its vast regional presence, has all these intermediate range missiles.

So Trump says offhandedly, maybe in a Tweet, "Have you ever looked at the military budget of Russia, China, and the United States? It's obscene. We should cut it." What does that mean? What does that mean? It's a good idea, right? Then he said, "We can't have such a treaty without China." The Russians know this too, so let us hope that what they're stumbling toward is a new, modernized intermediate-range ban that would include China. China, however, will never sign it. But if they begin the negotiations and China doesn't deploy any more during the negotiations, and the negotiations go on indefinitely, we are safer than we now are. Now, do I think that Trump is cunning and thought this up? I'm not sure, but he's got China on the mind, and I don't quite agree with you that–he's got a kind of dualistic attitude toward China. It's a threat, but every time he makes a new trade deal with China, he brags on it that it's great for us.

You would agree with that, right? He's always talking about, "We're going to have this wonderful trade agreement with China, it's going to be so good for us." So in his mind, Trump's mind, China is kind of potentially–in his businessman mind–this big economic plus that he alone is going to get right. Let him try.

PAUL JAY: I don't know how much of this policy at all is Trump or not Trump. I think the brains behind a lot of this policy now is Bolton and some of the other neocon crazies around him.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Trump has been saying the same thing about cooperating with Russia long before he took on Bolton. There's two ways to look at this.

PAUL JAY: But his attitude towards China–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, just stay for one minute on Russia, because the China thing is worth talking about too. But he says, almost alone, for the first time–how long has it been since we had a president really pursue detente? It's been a very long time. Obama called it a reset, but it was fraudulent. It was basically saying to the Russians, "Give us everything, and we aren't going to give you anything." It was doomed from the beginning. Plus, they wagered that Putin wouldn't return to the presidency. Do you know, by the way, speaking of meddling, that Biden went to Moscow and told Putin not to return to the presidency in 2012?

PAUL JAY: No.

STEPHEN COHEN: Wrap your head around that a minute. The vice president of the United States goes to Moscow and tells Putin, who's now prime minister because he termed out, but he could return, "We don't think you should return to the presidency." So you know what I'm wondering, I'm wondering whether Biden's calling up Putin today and asking Putin whether Biden should get into the presidential race here. I mean, what the hell? What the hell? And we talk about meddling? So the point about Trump, to finish this, is for the first time in many, many years, a presidential candidate, one that I didn't vote for and didn't care for, had said it's necessary to cooperate with Russia.

PAUL JAY: OK, but I've got to contextualize it. Because it's not enough–because first of all, Trump's a big liar, and everyone, from beginning to end, for real.

STEPHEN COHEN: Politicians lie, Paul. Welcome to the world,

PAUL JAY: No, but I think he lied on Russia.

STEPHEN COHEN: About what?

PAUL JAY: Well, on two things. I think number one–I think two things drove his Russia–

STEPHEN COHEN: Let me get my word in. Then I'll give it to you, I promise I'll pass it right to you, because this is going to set you up beautifully. When he said, Trump, 2016, "It's necessary to cooperate with Russia," there are two ways to interpret that. He was wise and smart, or the Kremlin had something on him.

PAUL JAY: No, I don't think either of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: And then we go straight to Russia.

PAUL JAY: Neither of those are true.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, I'm not saying you say that, but that's the way it was taken.

PAUL JAY: No, I think there's two things drove the Russia thing. Number one, they wanted sanctions lifted because Tillerson and the American oil companies, especially Exxon, wanted a big energy play in Russia, and they needed to lift the sanctions to do it, and Tillerson was all positioned for it. And if it hadn't been for this whole Russiagate stuff, they would have sailed along, had a detente, lifted the sanctions, and had a whole realm of new energy.

STEPHEN COHEN: You mean under Trump.

PAUL JAY: Under Trump. And I think that would have been a good thing. I'm not critiquing that in the sense that anything that reduces tensions between the United States and Russia is a good, thing normalizing, even if it's exploitive and ripping off the Russian people in their oil, I don't care. The nuclear threat is so paramount, anything that reduces those tensions are good. But these are not peacenik intentions.

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do we disagree? You've lost me.

PAUL JAY: I'm not saying we necessarily disagree on this. The second part of it is–and this is where I think is the dangerous part. Because I think sometimes when Trump and Putin get together and talk quietly, part of that conversation could well be about Iran. Because when they had the first big round of sanctions on Iran, Russia supported them, Russia came in on it. And if your foreign policy objective–and clearly it is, between whether it was Flynn, or whether it was Mattis, or whether it was Bolton, all of them are "regime change in Iran is the prime objective." And if you want to do that, wouldn't you want Russia to at the very least step back a little bit?

STEPHEN COHEN: I got you now, I see where you're going.

PAUL JAY: Number one. And number two, the big strategic guns are focused on China. So if you want to focus on China, wouldn't it be nice to have a strategic normalization with Russia, try to split Russia from China? Because in their minds, the real enemy is not Russia, the real enemy is a superpower economy–

STEPHEN COHEN: In whose mind?

PAUL JAY: Much of the American foreign policy establishment, both Democrat and Republican.

STEPHEN COHEN: The real enemy is ?

PAUL JAY: China. Because that's the global economy, that's going to be the competing superpower.

STEPHEN COHEN: Let's say you're right.

PAUL JAY: And that doesn't in any way say it's still, in the final analysis, a good thing if Trump can diminish these tensions. But let's give it the whole context.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, but it doesn't–I'm not sure what the whole context is. It seems to me you just said to me that Trump or these people were playing for Russia's support against Iran in China.

PAUL JAY: As one piece of this, yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, if so, it's a fool's folly. Russia is leaving the West. I mean, it can't leave the West geopolitically, because Russia is so big, it's half in the West and a half in the un-West geographically. But American foreign policy, NATO expansion, the unwise policies made in Brussels and Washington, are driving Russia from the West.

PAUL JAY: No doubt.

STEPHEN COHEN: And when you leave the West, where do you end up, Paul?

PAUL JAY: They are pushing exactly the kind of a line–

STEPHEN COHEN: Where do you go?

PAUL JAY: Well, with China, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: And not only China, where else? All major powers that are not members of NATO, including Iran. So when Putin came to power, he was very much in the tradition of Gorbachev and Yeltsin. He wanted a strategic alliance with the United States. Who was the first person to call up Bush after 9/11? Putin. And he said, "George, anything." And if you go back and look at what the Russians did to help the American ground war in Afghanistan against the Taliban, whether you think it was a good idea or not, that ground war, Russia did more to save American lives–Russian soldiers fighting in Afghanistan–than any NATO country did.

PAUL JAY: No, Iran did more than any NATO country to help America.

STEPHEN COHEN: But Russia had assets, unbelievable assets, and corridors for transportation, and even an army, the Northern Alliance, that it kept in Afghanistan. It gave it all to the United States. Putin wanted a strategic alliance with the United States, and what did he get in return? He got from Bush, the second Bush, more NATO expansion right to Russia's borders, and as I mentioned before, American withdrawal from the Antiballistic Missile Treaty, which had been the bedrock of Russian nuclear security for 30 or 40 years. He got betrayed, and they use that word, "We were betrayed by Washington." This is serious stuff.

The pivot away from the West begins there and continues with these crazy policies that Washington has pursued toward Russia. It doesn't mean that Russia is gone forever from the West, but if you look at the billions of dollars of investment, you look at which way the pipelines flow, you look at Russia–Putin meets like six times a year, maybe more, with the leader of China. They've each called each other their best friend in politics. Trump meets with Putin and we think, "Oh my god, how can he meet with him." I mean, it's normal.

PAUL JAY: Netanyahu just met with Putin; nobody said a word.

STEPHEN COHEN: But the point here is that Russia has been torn between East and the West forever. Its best policy, in its own best interest, is to straddle East and West, not to be of the East or the West, but it's impossible in this world today. And U.S.-led Western policy since the end of the Soviet Union, and particularly since Putin came to power in 2000, has persuaded the Russian ruling elite that Russia can not count any longer, economically, politically, militarily, on being part of the West. It has to go elsewhere. So all this talk about wanting to win Russia to an American position that's anti-Iranian and anti-Chinese is conceived in disaster and will end in disaster. They should think of some other foreign policy.

PAUL JAY: I agree, but I think that's what Trump's–the people around Trump that wanted the detente–

STEPHEN COHEN: We should get new people.

PAUL JAY: Well

STEPHEN COHEN: I'll tell you truthfully, if Trump really wants to cooperate with Russia for the sake of American national security, if we forget all this Russiagate stuff and we say, "The guy is a little dim, but his ideas are right, you've got to cooperate with Russia," he has to get some new advisors. Because the people around him don't have a clue how to do it.

PAUL JAY: I don't think that is the intent, the intent is make money. I don't think there's any other intent. Make money for arms manufacturers, fossil fuel–

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, hope dies with us. I just don't see that constant bashing of Trump demeaning him, though it's so easy to do, helps us think clearly about American national interests.

PAUL JAY: I don't think bashing Trump by dredging up the demons of the Cold War is anything but war mongering. On the other hand, I don't think we should create any illusions about who Trump is.

STEPHEN COHEN: So let me give you the part with a paradox. We shouldn't have any illusions about who Trump is, that seems like–

PAUL JAY: Or who the system is, really.

STEPHEN COHEN: OK. So let's say–I mean, that seems a sensible point of view. But let me ask you a question. Why was it that American presidents since Eisenhower could do detente with Soviet communist leaders, and they weren't demonized after Stalin, but we're not permitted–and certainly Trump is not permitted–to do detente with a Russian Kremlin anti-communist leader, which Putin is? Did we like the communists better than the anti-communists in the Kremlin?

PAUL JAY: No. I'll give you what I think, it's just a layman's opinion. I think the foreign policy establishment, the elite, they were absolutely furious that after all these decades of trying to overthrow the Soviet Union, and they finally accomplish–although I think it was mostly an internal phenomenon, but still–and then they get Yeltsin and they have open Wild West, grabbing all these resources. I think they were really pissed that a state emerged, led by Putin, that said, "Hold on, it may be oligarchs, but they're going to be Russian, and you Americans aren't going to have a free-for–all, taking up the resources and owning the finance. We're not going to be a third world country to your empire."

STEPHEN COHEN: That's correct.

PAUL JAY: And they're pissed off at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: They, meaning ?

PAUL JAY: The Americans.

STEPHEN COHEN: Our people.

PAUL JAY: Our people. Well, I don't want to even take ownership for it.

STEPHEN COHEN: Don't run away. I don't know your age–

PAUL JAY: I'm 67.

STEPHEN COHEN: So we've established that I'm older than you.

PAUL JAY: No doubt. But you look younger, and I'm pissed at that.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, that's a separate subject.

PAUL JAY: You've got more hair.

STEPHEN COHEN: I've got more hair. You've distracted me. What we share, despite the age difference, is that we grew up at a time when we were told–whether you or I believed it or not, but our generations, two generations, were told we are against Russia because it's communist. We were told that for decade after decade after decade. Now, Russia, the Kremlin, is not communist, it's anti-communist, and we're still against Russia. How do Russian intellectuals and policy-makers interpret that turnabout, that it was never about communism, it was about Russia? There's a saying in Russia formulated by a philosopher, his name was Zinoviev, he passed on but he was very influential, they were shooting–meaning the West–they were shooting at communism, but they were aiming at Russia.

And the view, very widespread among the Russian policy intellectual class today, is that Washington, in particular, will never accept Russia as an equal great power in world affairs, regardless of whether Russia is communist or anti-communist. And if that is so, Russia has to entirely reconceive its place in the world and its thinking about the West. And that point of view is ascending in Russia today due to Western policy. But just remember the view that all during the previous Cold War, they claim they were shooting at communism, but it was really Russia. And they still are today.

PAUL JAY: Yeah, I agree with that. I just–

STEPHEN COHEN: But we don't–you and I may agree, but we don't want Russians to think that way.

PAUL JAY: But I think the view coming out of World War II about being the global hegemon, the superpower, what that also means is you can't have any adversarial regional powers. And whether it's Russia or Iran, if you're not in the smaller American sphere of influence, the umbrella, you can't be there.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's funny you say that. I mean, I'm not a Putin apologist or a Trump apologist, but I do like intellectual puzzles. If you're saying that we have to give up our thinking about a multipolar world, so to speak, that there'll be other regional superpowers or great powers, then isn't Trump the first American president who seems to be OK with that? I don't see in Trump much a demand that we be number one.

PAUL JAY: Oh, I think Make America Great Again?

STEPHEN COHEN: But he didn't say Make American Number One Again. Maybe that's what he means, but you don't have Trump–

PAUL JAY: I don't think it kind of matters what the hell Trump thinks or says. And I think–

STEPHEN COHEN: Have you heard Trump say this thing that Obama and Madeleine Albright ran around saying for years, that American is "the indispensable nation?" Do you know how aggravated that made other states in the world? I mean, stop and think about it. Who runs around saying "we're indispensable?" I haven't heard Trump say that, maybe he has.

PAUL JAY: I just don't think we should put too much weight into whatever Trump says. I think he's a vehicle, he's a vessel.

STEPHEN COHEN: You take what you can get these days.

PAUL JAY: He's a vessel, first and foremost, for the arms manufacturers, for the fossil fuel industry. He's a vessel for right-wing evangelical politics. He's not a philosopher king. He's not a peacenik.

STEPHEN COHEN: You have to have priorities.

PAUL JAY: I think he's rather banal.

STEPHEN COHEN: Yeah, probably, but you have to have priorities. My priority in international affairs is to avoid a military conflict with Russia. In my book, my new book, War with Russia?, when I start writing that book in 2013, I never intended to give it that title. But as I worked and watched events unfold since 2013 to 2019, for the first time in my long career, I thought war with Russia was possible. I didn't even think there was going to be a war–as I remember it, I don't remember it vividly–during the Cuban Missile Crisis. Today, I assure you, the new Cold War is fraught with multiple Cuban Missile Crises. Take your pick; in the Baltic area where NATO is building up, in Ukraine where we've got ourselves involved in a proxy war, in Georgia where NATO is trespassing again as we talk, in Syria where American and Russian forces are flying and fighting on the ground in close proximity. By the way, Trump was absolutely right in withdrawing those–what were they–3000 Americans in Syria because whatever, Russia had killed just one of them.

With Trump in the White House, the trip wires, a war between nuclear Russia and nuclear America, are far greater and more multiple than they have ever been. That's the danger. Therefore, at this moment, if Trump says it's necessary to cooperate with Russia, on that one issue we must support him. It's existential at this moment. And believe me, and believe me, people love to hate on Putin in this country; "Putin's evil, Putin's bad." It's nonsense. Putin is a recognizable leader in Russia's tradition. Putin, as you said I think before, came to power wanting an alliance with the United States. He's spoken of his own illusions publicly. Leaders very rarely admit they ever had an illusion, rights, it's not something they do. He is reproached in Russia, reproached in Russia, for still having illusions about the West. You know what they say about him in high places in Russia? "He's not proactive, he just reacts, he waits for the West to do something abysmal to Russia, and then he acts. Why doesn't he first see what's coming?" What do they cite? They cite Ukraine.

PAUL JAY: Well, that's the next segment, because my question to you is going to be, "Did Putin make a mistake in Crimea?" So please join us for the continuation of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen on Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network.


Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

In a country where the media runs the lives of gullible citizens, it is easy to believe that all the moves are being made for the peace and well being of all. Behind the curtains, a narcissistic and egotistic machine is hard at work trying to sell war for peace. This business only benefits a few and causes great suffering on others ... but who am I kidding, no one cares, as long money is being made ... no one really cares!

0040 Pax et Bonum 2 days ago ,

The US Constitution and other supporting documents have long stymied attempts at direct democracy in the US. Beware of anyone claiming to be a strict Constitutionalist ! They hate democracy and embrace slavery in all its disguises.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Great points, Mr. Cohen....this protracted attack on Russia via the phoney "Russiagate" investigation has set back relations with Russia for years to come....of course, even here in Bezerkeley, there were signs posted everywhere before the 2016 election: "Hillary=WWIII (just sayin')".....even the libs around here knew the Clinton cabal wanted a war with Russia ASAP

Michael Holloway 18 hours ago ,

That Trump represents a thinking that the post Soviet reality is not of a uni-superpower world, but one of a multi-polar world dominated by US economic empire.

I think that's true.

After reading "Rebuilding America's Defenses: Strategy, Forces and Resources for a New Century" in 2005, I came to the idea that the most dangerous section of the American elite were those that posited this uni-superpower world order idea; an impossibility in this age of technology (one in which even small economies like Canada could lead the world in nuclear physics understandings and implementation, and one where our collective wealth of scientific understanding and method, plus systems management, can 'leap' a large agrarian/industrial economy (China) to a 2nd generation industrial world power in 50 years, proves that understanding).

gchakko 20 hours ago ,

I haven't read the first part. But what the second part reveals is not that unravelling. American power is despotic. No principles. Money gain only. Russia turned democratic after enlightened brains like Yuri Andropov (Jewish-born ex-KGB Chief), old fox Andrei Gromyko, Gorbachev plus- plus, decided to change the system. In other words, Russia was willing for openness. But American oligarchs wanted to usurp Russian wealth with a hand stroke after Soviet State implosion.

Second, why did Rothschild-Rockefeller Banker vassals like Henry Kissinger, Schultz under Edward Teller influence, sabotage the Reagan-Gorbachev understanding to eliminate nuclear weapons entirely in Reykjavik, insisting unilateral Star Wars capability for the U.S. to remain as sole Superpower.

The problem is the incorrigible Big C (Capital) that wanted to eat away Russian minerals that Putin stopped in national interest. Any subsequent cooperation from the Russian side was probably was only for strategic cooperation with the U.S. to have world peace.

Steve belongs to that lone group of handful, distinguished U.S. intellectuals who see problems as they are in eventual meaningfulness for objective U.S. politics. I admire his talent and courage and support him.

George Chakko, former U.N. correspondent, now retiree in Vienna, Austria.
Vienna, 20/04/2019 06:05 am CET

Fat 18 hours ago ,

Not a word in Cohen's appraisal about US criminality. Jay was pushing in that direction. I hope they get around to the criminality of the Deep State Mafia.

That is the narrative that will get the most results. Trump is greedy and the neocons have already attacked him on two fronts: Russiagate and his need for money. He will likely do what the New World Order folks want him to do. Russiagate will turn out to be a benefit as long as he sticks with the program that the Neocons want. Who has pushed the US hard to get into war with Russia? Hilary, Obama, Cheney, now Bolton --all New World Order soldiers who will commit any crime to rule the world. This is what we are facing.

Jack Lomax a day ago ,

Trump like every POTUS since JFK does the bidding of the Zionist masters. Every POTUS except Nixon and Carter that is, and they were demonised and side tracked respectively. Nixon for his feral decision to recognise China and Jimmy Carter for being a dangerous liberal. But Trump is a normal run of the mill POTUS minus the PR masking tape. Perhaps the system has decided that the nice respectable masking tape is now an unnecessary add-on and every future president (if there are any or many) will do the will of Wall St and Tel Aviv as openly as does Trump and the msm will assure us that this is good and necessary. Good fo the economy and necessary to protect the poor suffering Jewish nation from the anti Semitic hatred of the deluded Palestinian lovers

nina sakun a day ago ,

and finally i think Putin is for Russian greatness, trump is for money for himself and his family, but also for a white America if that can fit in with his money making schemes.

mikjall • a day ago ,

I'm sorry, but Paul Jay, whom I sincerely admire, though with some reservations, sounds in this--very important--interview as if he were suffering from attention deficit syndrome. You see it most of all in the transcript. Stephen Cohen attempted to keep the discussion coherent and focused, and Paul injected irrelevancies. Paul, please keep your eye on the ball. Stephen Cohen is presenting an important message. It's OK to disagree with it, if you have coherent reasons, but it's important even if it's wrong.

michael nola a day ago ,

I think it's a mistake to take Trump at his word on anything that doesn't directly benefit himself. He is two things; an economic animal and a con man, and his motives are no more complicated than those of a cat. Unlike HRC, Bolton, Cheney Bush etc. he's no ideologue for war, however, I don't think he has any deep seated dislike of it either, so taking him at his word, either for or against any military action is foolish; basically, he's running a con and seeing where it goes, especially if there's any money in it for him or his family, a very obvious characteristic of his relationship with the Saudis and his continuing support of their genocidal war in Yemen, a gift he inherited from our Nobel Peace Prize president.

In the long run, there will be no stopping an alliance between the PRC and Russia, especially given our political elites' inability to see we are living in a world they can no longer dominate through an institution, the military, that few have ever been in, and those of Vietnam war draft eligibility, avoided at all costs, and they will continue that losing effort until the combined economic might of those nations and their geographic location on the world's most important land mass, Eurasia, and its proximity to resource rich Africa, eventually bring about the downfall of the American Empire.

antiparasites 2 days ago ,

1) Trump personally doesn"t want wars, never mind a war with Russia, though he's no philosopher or angel.

2) the neolibs, who almost had Russia in the bag before Putin came to power, have been pissed off at Putin and want regime change in Russia.

3) the same neolibs also want to pit russia, iran, and china against each other, in order to complete and maintain their New World Order.

4) the same neolibs panicked at Trump's election victory but has reined him in since with Russiagate. so whatever Trump wants matters not at the moment.

5) the same neolibs have miserably failed in their pursuit of 2) and 3) because of the alliance of the three, russia, china, and iran. now the entire arab world has declared independence from the US of Israel, because they now see an alternative bloc of russia, china, and iran to work with.

all the above are true. more and more people see the truth and reject the neolibs that the DNC leadership represents.

Trump will be reelected in 2020, if he fires bolton / pompeo / mnuchin / abrams etc. so far, he's been all bark but no bite, which is a good sign.

Yo 2 days ago ,

Ever noticed how contradictory people you know can be? Ever noticed how contradictory in yourself, in your own attitudes and deeds you can be? So why be surprised that Trump can be Stephen Cohen's Trump as much as Paul Jay's Trump? No problem really :-)

Luther Blissett • 2 days ago ,

There is no contraction between Cohen's observation that Trump is a voice of sanity on Russia (it just shows how bad US discourse on Russia is) and Jay's concern that detente with Russia is part of larger plan for war (economic, kinetic or hybrid) against Iran and China.

Real or fake, Trump's isolationism has produced no more peace than Obama's tepid liberalism did and Trump's veto of a bipartisan resolution to forced an end to American military involvement in Yemen has shown any arguments for an 'anti-war' Trump were pure self-delusion.

Despite all the chaos and the moral panics that keep rocking the White House, Trump's three National Security Advisors - Flynn, McMaster, Bolton - had one core commonality: they want war with Iran. Watching the sinister neo-con Jim Woolsey betray the frothing neo-con Flynn to Joe Biden was a comedy of neo-con infighting. A major part of Russiagate was the older 'Atlanticist' neo-cons boxing in the boorish 'Trumpist' neo-cons. Whether Atlantic Council or US-homegrown both flavors of neo-conservatism want war with Iran.

0040 2 days ago ,

Wonderful article with Mr Jay playing the role of village idiot ? Mr Cohen speaks with extreme clarity on Russia, which is totally unacceptable in for profit America by all sides, where arms sales are us. In regards to Crimea , I'd ask Mr Jay, did Bush 1 make a mistake in Panama where we killed 4 thousand civilians in keeping China from acquiring an interest in the Panama canal?

Doug Latimer 2 days ago ,

There are so many contradictions under the tent of Killer Clown's circus that it really isn't possible to make clear sense of them, is there?

I'll just say that he absolutely pimps "Amerika über alles", as it's the putrid patriotic red white and blue meat he throws his base.

Does he buy his own sales pitch? He does whatever his tiny but tricky little mind tells him is to his benefit. He'd be perfectly happy as a Russian oligarch or Saudi prince (as long as Putin or MBS let him bloviate to his heart's content).

His only allegiance is to the state of his ego and bank account.

[Apr 20, 2019] Is Russian 'Meddling' an Attack on America - RAI with Stephen Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed. ..."
"... Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe. ..."
"... Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide. ..."
"... The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders. ..."
"... It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back. ..."
Apr 20, 2019 | therealnews.com

PAUL JAY: Welcome to Reality Asserts Itself on The Real News Network. And I'm Paul Jay.

People that follow this show know I particularly like to interview people that stick their neck out and stick to their guns for what they believe in, what they're fighting for. And our next guest is someone who's done both of those things under a lot of pressure. So this is the story, to begin with, of Stephen Cohen. Stephen is emeritus professor of politics at Princeton University, professor emeritus of Russian studies and history at New York University, and his most recent book: War with Russia? From Putin and Ukraine to Trump and Russia. Thanks for joining us again.

STEPHEN COHEN: Thanks, Paul.

PAUL JAY: So a lot of people were rather happy with Barr's summary of the Mueller report. And as we sit here talking today we haven't seen the Mueller report, it hasn't been given to Congress yet, and it may even happen tomorrow. We don't know. And it may change what we think of what I'm about to ask, but I don't think it's going to change too much about what I'm going to ask.

Obviously President Trump's pretty happy so far with the no collusion argument. And that was pretty clear from what Mueller said; what Barr says Mueller said. There's a quote from Mueller in Barr's summary. But I thought some people who've been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections. And he takes it very seriously. And the more important part of Russiagate narrative, I don't think, was ever the collusion part. In fact, we all knew Mueller was not heading down any big collusion road anyway, because as you pointed out in one of your interviews, I don't know if it was Larry King, you know, you could see from how other people were being charged, Manafort and others, there was no breadcrumb leading you to a collusion argument with Trump. The real problem is the underlying idea is that this is an existential threat to American democracy, and Mueller more or less confirms that.

And I thought people shouldn't be so happy about that part of it, because the substantial argument -- and I'll quote you again -- is that whatever they did it was low-level stuff. It happens all the time between these countries. They all interfere in each other's elections. And then it gets raised to the existential level. That's the problem. And Mueller more or less confirms that.

STEPHEN COHEN: You are absolutely right, only not right enough. This expression, which has become a truth in the media and for too many politicians that "Russia attacked America during the 2016 presidential election" is both exceedingly dangerous and a complete falsehood. Why is it dangerous? Because if a great power is attacked, that great power has to eventually attack back, counterattack. This is a ticking time bomb in relations with Russia. No attack on America occurred in 2016. I was awake, present, and observant. I saw no missiles descending on our country. No Russian paratroopers. No Russian submarines. No Russian combat planes. Nothing. It's a complete fiction.

It's a form, I guess, of hyperbole. Did the Russians meddle? Some Russians? I don't know. I'm not even sure the Kremlin knew anything about it. But the Russiagate story is that Putin decided he wanted Trump to be in the White House. So he attacked American elections and rigged it. So Trump is now in the White House. I don't know how many people actually believe this. But too many continue to say it, including the New York Times, the Washington Post, CNN, MSNBC. Too many influential news outlets are putting out an exceedingly dangerous fiction which is a form of warmongering. It didn't happen, but they won't let go of it.

So I agree with you. There was no attack on America. But they're keeping this up. Was there meddling? As you say, sure. So let's do the -- briefly -- the history of Russian-American meddling in each other's politics. Where would you like to begin? Should we begin with the American intervention in the Russian Civil War in 1918? I mean, Wilson sent about 8,000 American troops to try to help overthrow the new red Communist government. Was that meddling? Really, is it meddling? You tell me. Sounds like meddling to me.

PAUL JAY: It's armed intervention.

STEPHEN COHEN: It's armed intervention. All right. What about, to leap forward, 1996? I was in Moscow, I observed it. Then-president of post-Soviet Russia Boris Yeltsin stood no chance of being reelected. No chance whatsoever. He was like 3 percent in the polls. But the Clinton administration desperately needed to keep him in power. So they meddled, big time. They sent electoral experts -- not unlike, by the way, Paul Manafort. Guys who make a living advising other countries about how to rig elections. We've got lots of them who do this for big money. So they set up in the presidential hotel. You could see them. Clinton arranged, I think, it was $10 billion, I may be wrong there, IMF loan to Yeltsin so Yeltsin could pay pensions and salaries he hadn't paid for five years. I mean, we did the whole -- I mean this was a massive intervention into Russia's election. And basically we kept Russia, Yeltsin, in the presidency. Is that meddling? Is that meddling?

PAUL JAY: Yeah, of course.

STEPHEN COHEN: What happened with Russian meddling in 2016, compared to the kind of meddling both sides have done, was jaywalking. The only reason it became one of the worst scandals, and I think most damaging in American history, because of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn't accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there's this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we'll blame it on the Russians. However, it's exceedingly unpatriotic. It's warmongering. It's damaging our institutions of the presidency.

I mean, if it's true -- for example, let's say it's true that the Kremlin can put Trump in the White House. Then evidently our electoral system in this country is not reliable. And why not a governor, or a senator, or a member of the Congress that Putin likes? And what about the next one? I think it's going to erode confidence in our electoral system on the part of American voters. And what about the presidency itself? I mean, people actually say that a Kremlin puppet sits in the presidency. Do they think that the damage done to the institution of the presidency is going to end when Trump leaves? And do they think Republicans aren't going to do something similar to the next Democratic president?

And the media's scandalous coverage of this, abandoning their own standards. I mean, you don't get your virginity back quite that easily. I mean, they've got a lot to atone for, but at the moment they're not even prepared to say they did anything wrong. Just the other day the heads of these -- CNN, the executive editor of the New York Times and the Washington Post -- all said they thought their coverage of Russiagate had been great. I mean, really? Really? I mean, that's like a brain surgeon missing cancer, and then saying he thought he did a good job. I mean, it's preposterous.

So we have a major problem here. And the myth -- there was no Russian attack. The Russians meddled. Mainly what made the meddling different from the kind of meddling that went on, for example, when there were Russian-backed American communist parties, for example, in this country, is social media. It was a social media thing.

And a final point. Let's say that the Russians -- they didn't -- launched a major social media attack to distort the thinking of American voters, and were successful. Because that's one of the premises, right? People are saying that, right?

PAUL JAY: Yeah.

STEPHEN COHEN: What does that say for American voters? What contempt people have for American voters. So-called American Democrats have contempt for American voters. And now what are they doing? They're out busy censoring social media so that we won't get any information that might disorient an American voter. You can't -- if you don't believe that the electorate will reach a rational decision in voting by whatever interests individual voters have, you're not a democrat. I don't mean a member of the Democratic Party. You're not a democratic person. If you don't believe in voters you can't be a democratic person. Then you're an authoritarian.

PAUL JAY: The story that got completely lost as they focused on low-level meddling that was mostly -- that I think anyone can determine rather ineffective -- was the Cambridge Analytica story, and Bannon, and the use of troll farms, American-controlled troll farms, to do this targeted social media manipulation. And that's out there, including an arm of Cambridge Analytica which helped shape the Brexit vote in the United Kingdom. And the role of Robert Mercer, who funded Bannon and Kellyanne Conway and originally backed Cruz, and then helped create Trump as president, I mean, that's the real story of the Trump presidency. Not this low-level meddling. And they've never really told that story in mainstream media. We did a whole documentary on it on The Real News. This whole thing's been lost about the real kind of sinister dark side to the 2016 elections.

STEPHEN COHEN: What worries me more, though, is the way Russiagate, Russiagaters, the zealots of Russiagate, have criminalized contacts with Russia. I think that this Clinton organization -- what's it called, Center for American Progress, or something, CAP, which has a website called Thought Progress or something -- has some posted 150 Trump-related contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had most of those contacts with Russia. I mean, I've had contacts with Russian intelligence agents. One was a good friend of mine. Five or six of them I worked with in a historical archive, and we did smoking breaks and lunch breaks together, and we talked. I mean, I've had all sorts of contacts in my nearly 50 years of dealing with Russia. There was a time when contacts were supposed to be good because it was a way of understanding and avoiding conflict. Part of detente. Part of diplomacy. But Russiagate, the allegations -- and I don't believe any of them, by the way -- the allegations have criminalized contacts.

Incidentally, as we talk, this young Russian woman, Marina Butina -- sometimes pronounced here BuTIna, but it's BUtina, B-U-T-I-N-A -- has been sitting in an American prison for more than six months, most of it in solitary, for doing nothing other than what many Americans do in Russia, and that is go around talking about how good the American political system is to Russia, Russians. She went around bragging on Putin and the Russian political system here. For that she's been kept in prison, and was, as Russians say, finally broken. Literally. That's how Russians break people. They lock you away to you confess. We call confession a plea. So she -- and she's still in prison, even though she pled.

What did she plead guilty to? Coming here and advocating Russian perspectives without registering as a foreign agent. This is a Soviet practice, Paul. One of the things that worries me is that Russiagate has generated too many Soviet-style practices by American authorities. The use of informers. People who were sent to inform on members of Trump's team, like Papadopoulos, for example. Holding people's families hostage. I mean, Mueller held General Flynn's son hostage, essentially, until Flynn pled. And Flynn never should have pled guilty. Never. In fact, he said the other day he regretted it.

Let's talk about Flynn, for example, to see how bogus this is. Flynn was taped, as he knew he would be, making contact after Trump was elected, before Trump came President, with the Russian ambassador, correct? That was how the story began.

PAUL JAY: And they had to know they were being listened to.

STEPHEN COHEN: Of course they [inaudible].

PAUL JAY: Or he should have.

STEPHEN COHEN: Well, so you would say if he knew he was being listened to, why would he go forward and have this meeting, or discussions, with the Russian ambassador? Because Trump had told him to do it. And the reason is very simple to anyone who knows even a little history. At least since Nixon -- maybe since Eisenhower and Kennedy -- but at least since Nixon, every American president-elect has made a so-called back channel connection with the Russians, with the Kremlin, before taking office. End of story. And we know -- I mean, Kissinger did it for Nixon.

PAUL JAY: But Nixon did it with the North Vietnamese, and Johnson called it treason.

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't care. The point of it is it's become traditional standard practice for the president-elect to reach out to the Russians to say basically chill out, we're going to discuss everything. I mean, you got to remember what happened. I mean, this was dangerous. Obama, to his eternal disgrace, threatened the Russians with a cyberattack. He threatened them. He said we've implanted in your infrastructure some kind of cyber thing.

PAUL JAY: And passed sanctions.

STEPHEN COHEN: But forget the sanctions. Forget the sanctions. He threatened them with a secret attack on their infrastructure. Did it mean their medical system? Did it mean their banking system? Did it mean their nuclear control system? And then the nitwit Vice President -- Obama's -- goes out and tells jokes about it on late night TV. Yeah, hey, we got him. What kind of behavior is this?

So I think Trump did absolutely the right thing. He told General Flynn, after Obama had made this reckless statement, but after Trump was elected, but not yet president, told Flynn, go tell the Russians not to overreact to what Obama said. Don't do anything crazy. We'll sort this out when I take office. I personally am grateful he did that, because there were people in Moscow arguing to Putin that they had to wage some kind of counterattack first. I mean, this was a very dangerous moment that Obama created, unnoticed in this country. Unreported on.

But not only was it the tradition that the president-elect made contact with the Russians. Backdoor. Everyone had done it. But in this case it was essential, because the crazies in Moscow were urging Putin to do something based on what Obama had said. By the way, who's vanished. On the question of Russiagate, Obama has disappeared himself. I mean Russiagate began on Obama's watch as president. You'd think he'd have something to say. He hadn't said a word.

PAUL JAY: But let me counter. I mean, I think the sanctions Obama put on Russia for Russia's meddling in the U.S. elections was uncalled for; aggressive, and so on. And a continuation of a bunch of aggressive policy. But their argument is Obama was the president, and the sanctions had been implemented. And Trump was saying to Putin, don't worry, we're going to get rid of them.

STEPHEN COHEN: No there's no record. This is-

PAUL JAY: I thought that was Flynn's conversation.

STEPHEN COHEN: No. No. What Flynn told Kislyak, so far as we know, I haven't heard the tape, was do not overreact to this statement by Obama that your infrastructure is going to be attacked, and we will discuss everything, maybe he said including sanctions, when Trump takes the White House.

Now, let's back up a minute. Why shouldn't we discuss sanctions? The logic -- I don't believe in sanctions. They're road rage. I mean, as we talk, a few nitwit senators are up on the Hill trying to think up some new sanctions. And if you ask them what they're sanctioning Russia for today, they couldn't tell you. Everything. In fact, they do tell you. It's called for Putin's malign behavior in the world. It's not about Crimea anymore. It's not about voter interference. It's just basically he's a malign character, and you can't have too many sanctions.

Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have a real policy, you do sanctions. But what's the logic of the sanctions? The sanction is we put this punishment on you. But when you change your behavior we will remove the punishment. Isn't that what we say with sanctions? Therefore sanctions have to be discussed if you're going to have diplomacy. So I would expect an American president to say to the Kremlin we need to have a lot of discussions, including the discussion of sanctions. The ones we've imposed.

Actually, by now, depending on what comes next, I don't think the Kremlin cares very much. They've coped very nicely with the sanctions. Though it's hurting their ability to roll over their loans with Western banks, it's true. But generally speaking, they've managed. And Europe wants the sanctions ended, because it's hurt European manufacturers, I think there's 9,000 German firms that were or are making a profit in Russia. It's hurt European -- we have almost no trade with Russia, the United States. Sanctions is -- hurting Europe.

PAUL JAY: Well, let's get back to Flynn. How could he not know that's being listened to? And I guess they assume that this was not abnormal for an incoming president to have a conversation like this.

STEPHEN COHEN: Flynn was a professional intelligence officer. Let's repeat that. A professional intelligence officer. He knew everybody was listened to. It didn't bother him. The president had told him to have conversations with the Russian ambassador. There was a tradition of doing this. He had nothing to hide.

PAUL JAY: OK. There's a part of this that I don't think we're going to agree on, and we're going to talk about that in the next-

STEPHEN COHEN: I don't even know you were disagreeing with me. Those are just facts I gave you.

PAUL JAY: I didn't disagree up until this point. We might agree on something and then disagree in the next segment. So please join us for the next segment of our series of interviews with Stephen Cohen.


Infarction 4 days ago ,

Stephen Cohen: "... [B]ecause of the loathing for Trump and because the Clinton people couldn’t accept that she was defeated fair and square. So they made up a story. You know, there’s this book Shattered which tells about how they sat around and said we’ll blame it on the Russians."

The psychopaths in the Clinton campaign had no concern that the Russiagate meme would cause enormous consequences in the US relationships with important governments around the globe. Hillary Clinton attempted to damage Trump, the candidate that she wished for the Republicans to nominate, by alleging he was "Putin's puppet." More importantly, Clinton wanted to change the subject from her corruption that was evidenced in her leaked emails (likely by the murdered Seth Rich to Assange). The emails, among other things, proved that she and her toady Debbie Wasserman Schultz et al schemed to steal the nomination from Bernie Sanders.

0040 Infarction 3 days ago ,

In fact Billary won the "election" by 3 million votes. But since we are not a democracy it did not matter. Trump was appointed by America's elites, claiming otherwise just serves the status quo. I'm sure Mr Cohen knows that?

Putin Apologist 4 days ago ,

It's about Russian interference alright, but not in the election, rather with Washington's hegemonic ambitions in Eastern Europe (Ukraine), then in the Middle East (Syria) and now in South America (Venezuela). Charles Krauthammer's "unipolar moment" is over, the Bear is back.

antiparasites 4 days ago ,

right on point, Mr. cohen, right on the money. looking forward to the next installment.

RandyM 4 days ago ,

Just a question Paul. Who is "too happy" that no collusion was found? Can you name names? Russiagate debunkers like Glenn Greenwald and Aaron Mate may feel vindicated, but I don't see happiness in the fact that the whole episode probably helps Trump.

antiparasites RandyM 4 days ago ,

truth should set good people free and thus make them very happy. you're not too happy? well then you know what you are.

Marko 4 days ago ,

"But I thought some people who’ve been critical of Russiagate were a little bit too happy about this, because the more important, I thought, substance of what Mueller says is that, in fact, Russia did interfere in the elections..."

If there was interference , it was , as Cohen says , on the level of jaywalking in its seriousness. What would really constitute "an existential threat to American democracy" is if this whole affair began and continued as a fabricated-from-whole-cloth stitch-up of a candidate and then sitting President , orchestrated and implemented at the highest levels of the CIA , FBI , Justice and State Depts. , etc., and possibly all the way up to ex-Pres. Obama. If the origin of this whole mess is ever investigated properly , as it should be , I hope TRNN will cover it and the ramifications of its findings at least as thoroughly as it has the hoax itself , and will invite Stephen Cohen back to contribute to that analysis. You certainly won't hear from him on the MSM , where such honesty and clarity of thought are effectively banned.

EarthView 4 days ago ,

Where is part 2? What is it that Paul Jay disagrees with Cohen? Sanctions are utterly stupid. ALL sanctions against all countries should be removed, including those on Russia, Iran, Venezuela, China and even North Korea. No self-respecting counties will submit to the ridiculous demands of the terrorist empire because of sanctions.

0040 EarthView 3 days ago ,

Sanctions, embargoes, and tariffs, are a forms of taxation that harm the masses in the state that applies them, while their rulers blame others for the resulting shortages and higher prices.

antiparasites EarthView 4 days ago ,

fewer and fewer parties are concerning themselves about the US sanctions. not "even" north korea, according to their latest communique. maybe that's why cohen says "forget the sanctions."

Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

Okay, Mr. Cohen spends a lot of time trashing the Clintons but is almost an apologist for the Trump administration. He states correctly that the U.S. has meddled in Russian politics in the past, notably in the 1920s and 1990s, which we probably shouldn't have done but that does not make it okay for the Russians to do the same to us. His position seems to be, tit-for-tat, eye-for-an-eye, so what, forget it. He dismisses, with contempt, the idea that Russia meddled at all, but no one knows how much they meddled or what the effects were because no one has looked into it.

Mr. Cohen states that Russia did not attack the U.S. by which he means militarily with troops and missles. Obviously, that is true but so what. Is cyberassault not something the U.S. should worry about? Also Mr. Cohen seems to imply that Vladimir Putin is not that bad as leaders go, despite the poisonings, the assassinations, the imprisonment of critics and banning of political opponents, and most egregious, the invasion of the Ukraine and occupation of Crimea. He seems to think invading other countries is okay and that the Europeans don't care because sanctions against Russia cause them economic hardship. I suspect that many Europeans care very much about European countries invading each other. He criticizes President Obama for placing sanctions on Russia and states that Obama did so because the U.S. doesn't have a strategy regarding Russia. How does he think the U.S. should respond? What does he think U.S. policy should be towards Russia?

Mr. Cohen defends Michael Flynn stating all new administrations contact Russia to reassure them. Maybe so but that doesn't explain why Mr. Flynn failed to register as a lobbyist for Turkey. Mr. Mueller would not have been able to hold Mr. Flynn's son "hostage" if neither Flynn or his son had not done something illegal. Cohen also defends Ms. Butina even though she was in contact with the National Rifle Association.

Altogether I don't find Mr. Cohen persuasive because of his dismissive arrogance of everything supporting the Russiagate scandal. At this point no on is in a position to accurately critique Russiagate until the report by Mr. Mueller is released.

It would have helped his case if he had expressed as much contempt for the Trump Administration as he did of the Clinton and the Democrats such as some acknowledgement that Trump is a dispicable, cruel, vicious and pathological narcissist. It also did not help that Mr. Jay seemed embarrassed to question or critique Mr. Cohen's assertions. Unfortunately in making his points Mr. Cohen takes too much information out of context and leaves out far too many details of the Russiagate scandal.

Paul McArthur Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I think if you listen more to professor Cohen (try Stephen Cohen John Batchelor show) , you find acknowledgement of all of Trumps faults as well that you accurately described and realize his "dismissive arrogance" relates to his informed knowledge of the Russiagate scandal.

Oracle Mark Swanson 3 days ago ,

I couldn’t have put it any more coherently. I don’t find Mr. Cohen persuasive at all, particularly after watching the Russian intelligence and counter intelligence cohort at the House Intelligence Committee hearing. (They were extremely knowledgeable.) After hearing them, this guy seems unbelievable to me. But! Paul got his anti-Mueller report guy. At this point, this country is like a boulder ready to roll down a cliff and finish democracy for good. Two of the issues I found ironic was that Mr. Cohen 1) feels that Democrats must not think voters are very smart if they are swayed by the Social Networks (ha!) and 2) he really believes (straight face) that our voting system and elections in this country are solid and uncorrupted. Where has he been? Thank you, Mark Swanson, for your eloquent analysis.

Marilynne L. Mellander 19 hours ago ,

Finally - an interview with someone who doesn't suffer from Trump Derangement Syndrome - great stuff!!

TomG 3 days ago ,

So simple yet so true, "Sanctions are road rage. When you don't have effective policy, you implement sanctions."

Maricata • 4 days ago ,

The NYT or WAPO, both, are CIA outlets that ALWAYS lied to the world

miomyo 4 days ago ,

I say, now is the time to invest in tinfoil.

0040 4 days ago ,

An historically factual and informative article once again based based on a false premise. Trump was not elected. Billary won the election by 3 million votes. Trump was appointed POTUS by the Electoral College, as Bush2 was appointed by the SCOTUS and then employed a government official in Ohio to stuff electronic ballot boxes to secure himself a second term, and the US media forced fed to desperate but credulous Americans the empty suit Obomber turned out to be to. The US is not and has never been a Democracy, more a police state run by Plutocrats . Mr Cohen simply trumpets the corporate approved narrative offering incrementalism for obedience. Kissinger and friends, investment advisers to most of the worlds tyrants, continues to facilitate Putin's end run around US sanctions helping him invest his enormous fortune.

antiparasites 0040 4 days ago ,

you don't like the rules? then change the rules first. Trump won the election fair and square, following the rules. if the rules had been different, voters and candidates would have behaved totally differently as well in terms of campaign strategies and voting. Trump could have won the popular vote by a landslide. ever thought about that? no.

0040 antiparasites 3 days ago ,

The rules are , there are no longer any rules just the cloying greed of our rulers, whose minions will promote/support any lie in their service.

[Apr 20, 2019] Trump has certainly made the world safer

Highly recommended!
Apr 20, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

False Solace , April 19, 2019 at 12:36 pm

Yet another delusional remark at odds with reality. Haven’t these people learned anything from the implosion of their pathetic Russiagate hysteria? The Russophobes won’t be happy until we’re at war with a nuclear power and the nukes are about to land.

Here are things Trump has actually done, as opposed to red-limned fantasies drawn from the fever-dreams of Putin haters:

  1. Unilaterally abandoned 1987 Intermediate-range Nuclear Forces treaty
  2. Expelled 60 diplomats and closed 3 Russian diplomatic annexes
  3. Bombed Syria, a Russian ally, with Russian troops in country
  4. Sold arms to Ukraine, which is actively at war with Russia
  5. Threatened Germany to cancel a new Russian pipeline through the Baltic (effort failed)
  6. Even more sanctions against Russia and Russian nationals
  7. Stationed missile defense systems on the Russian border in violation of arms treaties
  8. Massive military exercises in Europe on the Russian border
  9. Stationed troops in Poland
  10. Negotiating with Poland to build a permanent US military base in Poland

All this has certainly made the world safer. /s

[Apr 20, 2019] Here is an interesting interpretation of Trumps selection of cabinet and advisor positions

Notable quotes:
"... Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments. ..."
"... I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. ..."
"... A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies). ..."
Nov 20, 2016 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 8:41 am

Here is an interesting interpretation of Trump's selection of cabinet and advisor positions:

https://sputniknews.com/politics/201611191047623363-trump-administration-analysis/

It is not about politics, but Trump's peculiar management style, Timofey Bordachev, Director of the Center for Comprehensive European and International Studies of the Faculty of World Economy and International Affairs at Russia's High School of Economics, told RIA Novosti.

"Those who have been studying the business biography of the newly elected president have noted that he has always played off his high-ranking employees against each other. While doing so he remained above the fight," he said.

And

Gevorg Mirzayan, an assistant professor of the Political Science department at the Financial University in Moscow pointed out two purposes for the nominations.

"Trump needs to consolidate the Republican Party, hence he should nominate representatives of different party groups to key positions in his administration to win the support of the whole party," he told RIA Novosti. Surveillance © Photo: Pixabay Trump National Security Team Reportedly Wants to Dismantle Top US Spy Agency The second purpose is to form an administration that doesn't look too "dovish" or too "hawkish" to be able to avoid further accusations of excessive loyalty towards Moscow, he suggested. Thus without an image of a 'dove" who neglects the national interests, he will be able to normalize Russian-American relations, the expert said.

The above brings rationality to the diverse selections made by Trump.

However, the black swan event will be an economic collapse (fast or protracted over several years). That will be the defining event in the Trump presidency. I have no inkling how he or those who may replace him would respond.

Jen , November 19, 2016 at 12:18 pm
I had guessed myself that Trump was going to run the government as a business corporation. Surrounding himself with people of competing viewpoints, and hiring on the basis of experience and skills (and not on the basis of loyalty, as Hillary Clinton might have done) would be two ways Trump can change the government and its culture. Trump's main problem in this respect is that the diversity of viewpoints within the military, the NSA or other government agencies might already be too narrow and he needs a Republican version of Stephen Cohen who has always advocated for engagement with Russia, along with other people from outside Washington DC but with experience in state legislatures for the various departments.

If running the US government as a large mock business enterprise brings a change in its culture so it becomes more open and accountable to the public, less directed by ideology and identity politics, and gets rid of people engaged in building up their own little empires within the different departments, then Trump might just be the President the US needs at this moment in time.

Interesting that Russian academics have noted the outlines of Trump's likely cabinet and what they suggest he plans to do, and no-one else has. Does this imply that Americans and others in the West have lost sight of how large business corporations could be run, or should be run, and everyone is fixated on fake "entrepreneurship" or "self-entrepreneur" (whatever that means) models of running a business where it's every man, woman, child and dog for itself?

Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm Patient Observer , November 19, 2016 at 5:21 pm
I agree and I suspect Trump regards Putin as a fellow CEO and perhaps the best one on the planet. Trump may have noted how Putin did an incredible turnaround of Russia and it all started with three objectives: restore the integrity of the borders, rebuild the industrial base and run off the globalists/liberals/kreakles. I am certainly not the first one to say this and I think that there is a lot of basis for that analysis. However, Trump will have a far more difficult challenge and frankly I don't think he has enough allies or smarts to pull it off.

A more fundamental problem is that the US has not yet reached rock bottom. So, its delusions remain strong. Trump, as said before, may be a false dawn unless the bottom is closer than suspected and he has new allies (perhaps foreign allies).

[Apr 20, 2019] The Guccifer 2.0 Gaps in Mueller s Full Report undermine the validity of findings

Apr 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Originally from: The 'Guccifer 2.0' Gaps in Mueller's Full Report April 18, 2019 • 12 Commentsave

Like Team Mueller's indictment last July of Russian agents, the full report reveals questions about Wikileaks' role that much of the media has been ignoring, writes Daniel Lazare.

By Daniel Lazare
Special to Consortium News

<img src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/Daniel-Lazare-150x150.jpg" alt="" width="100" height="100" /> A s official Washington pores over the Gospel According to Saint Robert, an all-important fact about the Mueller report has gotten lost in the shuffle. Just as the Christian gospels were filled with holes , the latest version is too – particularly with regard to WikiLeaks and Julian Assange.

The five pages that the special prosecutor's report devotes to WikiLeaks are essentially lifted from Mueller's indictment last July of 12 members of the Russian military intelligence agency known as the GRU. It charges that after hacking the Democratic National Committee, the GRU used a specially-created online persona known as Guccifer 2.0 to transfer a gigabyte's worth of stolen emails to WikiLeaks just as the 2016 Democratic National Convention was approaching. Four days after opening the encrypted file, the indictment says, "Organization 1 [i.e. WikiLeaks] released over 20,000 emails and other documents stolen from the DNC network by the Conspirators [i.e. the GRU]."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35305" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png" alt="Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)" width="1248" height="612" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM.png 848w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-400x196.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-768x377.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-700x343.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-5.00.53-PM-160x78.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1248px) 100vw, 1248px" />

Attorney General William Barr holding press conference on full Mueller report, April 18, 2019. (YouTube)

Mueller's report says the same thing, but with the added twist that Assange then tried to cover up the GRU's role by suggesting that murdered Democratic National Committee staffer Seth Rich may have been the source and by telling a congressman that the DNC email heist was an "inside job" and that he had "physical proof" that the material was not from Russian.

All of which is manna from heaven for corporate news outlets eager to pile on Assange, now behind bars in London. An April 11, 2019, New York Times news analysis , for instance, declared that "[c]ourt documents have revealed that it was Russian intelligence – using the Guccifer persona – that provided Mr. Assange thousands of emails hacked from the Democratic National Committee," while another Times article published shortly after his arrest accuses the WikiLeaks founder of "promoting a false cover story about the source of the leaks."

But there's a problem: it ain't necessarily so. The official story that the GRU is the source doesn't hold water, as a timeline from mid-2016 shows. Here are the key events based on the GRU indictment and the Mueller report:

June 12: Assange tells Britain's ITV that another round of Democratic Party disclosures is on the way: "We have upcoming leaks in relation to Hillary Clinton, which is great. WikiLeaks is having a very big year." June 14: The Democratic National Committee accuses Russia of hacking its computers. June 15: Guccifer 2.0 claims credit for the hack. "The main part of the papers, thousands of files and mails, I gave to WikiLeaks ," he brags . "They will publish them soon." June 22: WikiLeaks tells Guccifer via email: "Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing." July 6: WikiLeaks sends Guccifer another email: "if you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [ sic ] days prefable [ sic ] because the DNC [Democratic National Convention] is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after."Replies Guccifer: "ok . . . i " July 14: Guccifer sends WikiLeaks an encrypted file titled "wk dnc link1.txt.gpg." July 18: WikiLeaks confirms it has opened "the 1Gb or so archive" and will release documents "this week." July 22: WikiLeaks releases more than 20,000 DNC emails and 8,000 other attachments.

According to Mueller and obsequious news outlets like the Times , the sequence is clear: Guccifer sends archive, WikiLeaks receives archive, WikiLeaks accesses archive, WikiLeaks publishes archive. Donald Trump may not have colluded with Russia, but Julian Assange plainly did. [Attorney General Will Barr, significantly calling WikiLeaks a publisher, said at his Thursday press conference: " Under applicable law, publication of these types of materials would not be criminal unless the publisher also participated in the underlying hacking conspiracy."]

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35300" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png" alt="Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 a grand jury indictment of 12 Russian intelligence officers for hacking offenses related to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. (Wikimedia Commons) " width="1236" height="611" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM.png 973w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-400x198.png 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-768x380.png 768w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-700x346.png 700w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/Screen-Shot-2019-04-18-at-4.24.13-PM-160x79.png 160w" sizes="(max-width: 1236px) 100vw, 1236px" />

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein announcing in 2018 the grand jury indictment of 12 GRU agents. (Wikimedia Commons)

Avoiding Questions

The narrative raises questions that the press studiously avoids. Why, for instance, would Assange announce on June 12 that a big disclosure is on the way before hearing from the supposed source? Was there a prior communication that Mueller has not disclosed? What about the reference to "new material" on June 22 – does that mean Assange already had other material in hand? After opening the Guccifer file on July 18, why would he publish it just four days later? Would that give WikiLeaks enough time to review some 28,000 documents to insure they're genuine?

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"If a single one of those emails had been shown to be maliciously altered," blogger Mark F. McCarty observes , "Wikileaks' reputation would have been in tatters." There's also the question that an investigator known as Adam Carter poses in Disobedient Media : why would Guccifer brag about giving WikiLeaks "thousands of files" that he wouldn't send for another month?

The narrative doesn't make sense – a fact that is crucially important now that Assange is fighting for his freedom in the U.K. New Yorker staff writer Raffi Khatchadourian sounded a rare note of caution last summer when he warned that little about Guccifer 2.0 adds up. While claiming to be the source for some of WikiLeaks ' most explosive emails, the material he released on his own had proved mostly worthless – 20 documents that he "said were from the DNC but which were almost surely not," as Khatchadourian puts it, a purported Hillary Clinton dossier that "was nothing of the sort," screenshots of emails so blurry as to be "unreadable," and so forth.

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35303" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg" alt="John Podesta at the spin room of the second presidential debate of 2016. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)" width="500" height="341" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image.jpg 650w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-400x273.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/John_Podesta_at_2nd_debate_full_image-160x109.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 500px) 100vw, 500px" />

John Podesta: Target of a phishing expedition. (Voice of America via Wikimedia Commons)

While insisting that "our source is not the Russian government and it is not a state party, Assange told Khatchadourian that the source was not Guccifer either. "We received quite a lot of submissions of material that was already published in the rest of the press, and people seemingly submitted the Guccifer archives," he said somewhat cryptically. "We didn't publish them. They were already published." When Khatchadourian asked why he didn't put the material out regardless, he replied that "the material from Guccifer 2.0 – or on WordPress – we didn't have the resources to independently verify."

No Time for Vetting

So four days was indeed too short a time to subject the Guccifer file to proper vetting. Of course, Mueller no doubt regards this as more "dissembling," as his report describes it. Yet WikiLeaks has never been caught in a lie for the simple reason that honesty and credibility are all-important for a group that promises to protect anonymous leakers who supply it with official secrets. (See "Inside WikiLeaks : Working with the Publisher that Changed the World," Consortium News , July 19, 2018.) Mueller, by contrast, has a rich history of mendacity going back to his days as FBI director when he sought to cover up the Saudi role in 9/11 and assured Congress on the eve of the 2003 invasion that Iraqi weapons of mass destruction pose "a clear threat to our national security."

<img aria-describedby="caption-attachment-35301" src="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg" alt="Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)" width="501" height="373" srcset="https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage.jpg 600w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-400x298.jpg 400w, https://consortiumnews.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/04/MuellerBushImage-160x119.jpg 160w" sizes="(max-width: 501px) 100vw, 501px" />

Mueller with President George W. Bush on July 5, 2001, as he is being appointed FBI director. (White House)

So if the Mueller narrative doesn't hold up, the charge of dissembling doesn't either. Indeed , as ex-federal prosecutor Andrew C. McCarthy observes in The National Review , the fact that the feds have charged Assange with unauthorized access to a government computer rather than conspiring with the Kremlin could be a sign that Team Mueller is less than confident it can prove collusion beyond a reasonable doubt. As he puts it, the GRU indictment "was more like a press release than a charging instrument" because the special prosecutor knew that the chances were zero that Russian intelligence agents would surrender to a U.S. court.

Indeed, when Mueller charged 13 employees and three companies owned by Russian businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin with interfering in the 2016 election, he clearly didn't expect them to surrender either. Thus , his team seemed taken aback when one of the alleged " troll farms " showed up in Washington asking to be heard. The prosecution's initial response, as McCarthy put it , was to seek a delay "on the astonishing ground that the defendant has not been properly served – notwithstanding that the defendant has shown up in court and asked to be arraigned." When that didn't work, prosecutors tried to limit Concord's access to some 3.2 million pieces of evidence on the grounds that the documents are too " sensitive " for Russian eyes to see. If they are again unsuccessful, they may have no choice but to drop the charges entirely, resulting in yet another " public relations disaster " for the Russia-gate investigation.

None of which bodes well for Mueller or the news organizations that worship at his shrine. After blowing the Russia-gate story all these years, why does the Times continue to slander the one news organization that tells the truth?

Daniel Lazare is the author of "The Frozen Republic: How the Constitution Is Paralyzing Democracy" (Harcourt Brace, 1996) and other books about American politics. He has written for a wide variety of publications from The Nation to Le Monde Diplomatique and blogs about the Constitution and related matters at D aniellazare.com .

[Apr 19, 2019] Why Russiagate Will Never Go Away by Rob Urie

With 240,000 people employed by DHS to find terrorists, terrorists will be found
Apr 19, 2019 | www.counterpunch.org

Given that Russia's economy today is smaller than Italy's and its military budget wouldn't buy a toilet seat or hammer in the U.S. military procurement system, the question of why Russia would seem a great mystery outside of history. And left unstated is that the U.S. defense industry needs enemies to survive. 'Radical Islam,' an invention of oil and gas industry flacks that turned out to be serviceable for marketing Tomahawk missiles and stealth fighter jets as well, lost some of its luster when ISIS and Al Qaeda came over to 'our side.' And humanitarian intervention ain't what it used to be with Libya reduced to rubble and open-air slave markets now dotting the landscape.

From 1948 through the early 1990s Russia was Pennywise the evil clown, helping to sell bananas, nuclear weapons and cut-rate underwear around the globe wherever American empire alighted. Costumed 'communists,' locals paid a day-rate to dress up and shout whatever slogans conveyed evil most effectively, were a staple of CIA interventions from Iran to Guatemala to the streets of New York, Boston and Los Angeles. Never mind that the slayer of monsters is more monstrous than an army of evil clowns, as the Koreans, Vietnamese, Laotians, Cambodians, Nicaraguans, El Salvadorans, Chileans, Iraqis, Afghanis, Yemenis and on and on, were to learn.

The big why (?) here would suggest an eternal mystery were it not for the arithmetic we learned as tykes. The U.S. has an annual military budget that is larger than the next seven evil empires combined. Killing people and blowing shit up is what America does. Stated reverse-wise, what is the point of being able to end all human life on earth more than once? Yet the U.S. can do it 3X -- 5X or 30X -- 50X, depending on which analysis is chosen. And while it would be anti-historical to remove mal-intent as motive, an alternative explanation of the militarization of the police is 'overstock,' that there is nothing else to do with the stuff that the Pentagon produces.

This would seem a tremendous waste of resources under any reasonable theory of their efficient use (e.g. capitalism). The explanation of 'national defense' reads as legitimate until history is brought back in. For a few thousand years, the argument against maintaining a standing army was that standing armies tend to get used. Preparations for armed conflict facilitate armed conflict. The mobilizations for WWI and WWII were mobilizations, not drawdowns from existing military inventory. There is something to be said for wars requiring large expenditures of time, effort and resources from everyone for whom they are undertaken. Otherwise, they are likely to be started lightly.

The U.S. has long been the most militaristic nation in the world. This probably doesn't read right to most Americans. 'We' are a peace-loving nation that only sends in the military as a last resort, goes the myth. And 'we' changed the name from the Department of War to the Department of Defense. It was early in the twentieth century that U.S. General Smedley Butler proclaimed that 'war is a racket' (racket = organized crime) as he described his military career as a ' gangster for capitalism .' The business of war in support of capitalism had long been a business in its own right, just ask Wall Street.

When the George W. Bush administration created the Department of Homeland Security following 9/11, the obvious question from people who thought about such things was: what are these people going to do all day? With daily briefings presented to Mr. Bush entitled ' Bin Laden determined to strike in U.S. 'before 9/11, the only intelligence failure, if that is what it was, occurred in the White House. Mr. Bush's entourage had been rumbling about going back to Iraq to 'finish the job' since the end of his father's war. How much of a leap was it then to assume that Mr. Bush's WMD scam was a pretext for re-invading Iraq?

But the question isn't rhetorical. With 240,000 people employed by DHS to find terrorists, terrorists will be found. The basic insight is that justifying one's employment is crucial to keeping it. In this light, the FBI counter-terrorism unit spent its time since 2001 enticing poor and desperate people to claim each other as terrorists. The first person to point out that there are no terrorists would be the first to receive a pink slip. And the same is true of government contracting. Brave entrepreneurs who feed at the trough of military largesse need to justify their existences. If they don't, some other proud patriot will step forward and do so. A logic of necessity becomes a legitimating belief system More broadly, one could argue that manufacturing terrorists has been the strategic goal of U.S. military operations for much of the last century. If you bomb enough villages and wedding parties, people will fight back. Wasn't this the implied storyline of anti-communist agitprop like Red Dawn and anti-Muslim agitprop like Zero Dark Thirty -- if you invade 'our' country and / or bomb 'our' villages and wedding parties, we will fight back. As a business proposition, the more people that are killed, the more legitimate the operation is made to appear. Make the weapons, then employ hundreds of thousands of people to explain why 'we' need to bomb villages. Then make more weapons. page1image256

Graphic: Time Magazine was the voice of post-War liberalism in the 1970s -- it reflected the opinions emanating from American officialdom through a faux-critical lens. This cover featuring Muammar Gaddafi presaged the Obama administration's destruction of Libya by 35 years. The main difference then was relative honesty about U.S. motives -- 'Oil' was the lede in 1973, where 'humanitarian' concerns drove the American propaganda effort in 2011. Note: 'Arab' was replaced by 'Muslim extremist' following the Iranian Revolution in 1979. Source: Time, Inc.

Propaganda theory is relevant here because of the ease with which the Russiagate story was sold -- all evidence, no matter how contradictory, was claimed to point in only one direction. Contrariwise, Russia isn't the Soviet Union. America's political leaders have long supported strongmen and dictators. The biggest threat to free and fair elections in the U.S. is American oligarchs followed by Israel. The Democrat running in the 2016 presidential election openly manipulated the 1996 Russian presidential election. Russia today is a neoliberal petrostate. Vladimir Putin is admired in Russia because he booted out corrupt American 'advisors' who were looting the country. In other words, Russia today isn't Russia!

With the dissolution of the Soviet Union and ostensible end of the first Cold War, a ' peace dividend ' of reduced military spending was expected to fund increased domestic spending, the classic 'guns versus butter' formulation shifted in favor of butter. A drop to pre-WWII levels of military spending would have meant 95%+ of the military-industrial complex went away. Following a very brief drop in the rate of growth of military spending in the early 1990s, a recession caused by the looting of Savings & Loans and its aftermath led to the argument that 'the economy' couldn't withstand a reduced military. September 11 th , 2001 was the best day ever for U.S. military contractors. America was back in the business of industrial-scale slaughter.

Early on, the American defense industry tried a few new enemies on for size. The George W. Bush administration's WMD scam targeted an audience that had been primed by several decades of anti-Muslim propaganda (see Time cover above) tied to oil geopolitics. The only WMDs found in Iraq had come from the Reagan administration in its effort to keep Iraq warring with Iran in the Iran-Iraq war. Current American amnesia over the genesis of Islamophobia is quaint. The New York Times has been demonizing Muslims since the 1970s . It was hardly incidental that 'reporting' on the Iraq war contained breathless descriptions of newly created instruments of mass slaughter.

However, there were two tacks that propelled the Iraq War forward. Humanitarian intervention had been the liberal formulation for selling the carpet bombing of civilian populations as in the interest of those being bombed. The term was used for the aerial bombardment of civilian populations in Bosnia-Herzegovina in the mid-1990s. And it was the back-up explanation for the American war against Iraq -- to remove an evil dictator in order to liberate the people of Iraq. It was also used to justify the U.S. / NATO bombing of Libya in 2011. To the certain dismay of the defense industry, none of those interventions retained the patina of good intentions once it became known that the target nations had been functionally destroyed.

Russiagate has been a godsend for those who profit from destruction. As the story goes, the wily Russian bear, led by an evil dictator and newly trained in the technologies of modernity, set loose a witch's brew of inter-continental ballistic internet messages to sow dissent amongst the brothers and sisters of die Vaterland united by their common bond of loving America. For younger readers, the claim that foreign 'agitation' motivated the Civil Rights and anti-War movements, and more broadly, the American Left, has been a mainstay of CIA and FBI propaganda since these agencies were created. Old playbooks are good playbooks?

Those with a sense of humor, if humor includes installing a drunken buffoon to head a nuclear armed foreign power, might offer that 'Trump' is the English translation of 'Yeltsin.' In 1996 the American President colluded with people inside the Russian government to overturn the democratic will of the Russian people to install Boris Yeltsin as President of Russia. Yuk, yuk -- an unstable jackass was installed to head a foreign government. The 'payback' narrative no-doubt motivated true belief amongst some American officials after 2016. But alas, as with bombed villages and wedding parties, unless you just will not stop fucking with other people, they generally have other things to do than plot revenge.

None of the propagators of the phony WMD stories suffered from passing off state propaganda as news. The New York Times and Washington Post found themselves on the winning side of the 'fake news' scam to shut down the opposition press. Even Judith Miller, brief heroine of the free press for being 'stove-piped' by Dick Cheney, went on to a well-paid gig at Fox News, wrote an autobiography that more than just her immediate family read and now lives as a 'celebrity.' Heroes of the #Resistance like David Corn, Rachel Maddow and Michael Isikoff have the proceeds from book sales and television appearances to sustain them until their services are needed to sell the next scam-with-a-purpose.

The economic role of American defense spending will lead to endless iterations of WMD and Russiagate scams until the Pentagon is shut down. And that's the good part. The wars that these scams support are the bane of humanity. Their true costs, in terms of lives destroyed, appear to be meaningless to people living in twenty-room houses who want to live in thirty room houses. Winding down the warfare state would be less politically fraught if people had non-murderous ways of paying their bills. But how was this not understood as the warfare state was being built?

Finally, apologists for Russiagate claim that it has been nowhere near as dangerous as WMD lies. Let's see: a cadre of national security officials spent two-and-one-half years claiming that it has secret evidence that the President of the U.S. colluded with the leader of a foreign government to assume power and then use his office for the benefit of that foreign leader. Following, the domestic press claimed that the U.S. 'was under attack' and 'was at war' with this foreign power. Meanwhile, the U.S. went about arming anti-Russian militias on Russia's border while unilaterally abrogating a short-and-intermediate range nuclear weapons treaty after publicly announcing that it was 'modernizing' its stockpile of short-and-intermediate-range nuclear weapons.

Respectfully, this has all been a tad less than constructive.

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Rob Urie is an artist and political economist. His book Zen Economics is published by CounterPunch Books. More articles by: Rob Urie

[Apr 19, 2019] RussiaGate Is Dead! Long Live Russiagate!

Apr 19, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Gerald Sussman via Counterpunch.org,

Now that Mueller's $40 million Humpty Trumpty investigation is over and found wanting of its original purpose (to retire Trump), perhaps the ruling class can return without interruption to the business of destroying the world with ordnance, greenhouse gases, and regime changes. A few more CIA-organized blackouts in Venezuela (it's a simple trick if one follows the Agency's " Freedom Fighter's Manual "), and the US will come to the rescue, Grenada style, and set up yet another neoliberal regime. There is a small solace that with Trump, Pompeo, and Bolton, there is at least a semblance of transparency in their reckless interventions. The assessed value of Guaido and Salman, they forthrightly admit, is in their countries' oil reserves. And Russians better respect the Monroe Doctrine and manifest destiny if they know what's good for them. Crude as they may be, Trump's men tell it like it is. And when Bolton speaks of "the Western Hemisphere's shared goals of democracy, security, and the rule of law," he is of course referring to US-backed coups, military juntas, debt bondage, invasions, embargoes, assassinations, and other forms of gunboat diplomacy.

That the US is not already formally at war with Russia (even with NATO forces all along its borders) has only to do with the latter's nuclear arsenal deterrent. Since World War II, a period some describe as a " a period of unprecedented peace, " the US war machine has wiped out some 20 million people, including more than 1 million in Iraq since 2003, engaged in regime change of at least 36 governments, intervened in at least 82 foreign elections, including Russia (1996), planned more than 50 assassinations of foreign leaders, and bombed over 30 countries. This is documented here and here .

Despite unending US and US-supported assaults on Africa and western and central Asia, the authors who see postwar unprecedented peace argue that it's Russia and China, not the US, that represent the real threats to peace and deserve to be treated as "outcasts." That NATO has warships plying the Black Sea and making port calls at the ethnically Russian Ukraine city of Odessa and is conducting war games from Latvia to Bulgaria and Ukraine represents unprecedented peace? While NATO, which together has 20 times the military spending of Russia and includes member states along virtually the entire perimeter of Russia, in Western propaganda Russia is the aggressor.

Although the US corporate media may have missed the news, the rest of the world gets the fact that the greatest threat to peace on the planet is Uncle Sam. In 2013, a WIN/Gallup International poll of 66,000 people in 65 countries found that the US was considered by far the most dangerous state on earth (24% of respondents), while Russia didn't even register statistically on that poll. In 2017, a Pew poll found the same perception of US power and that such a view had increased to 38% and had grown in 21 of 30 countries compared to 2013. Even America's neighbors, Canada and Mexico, see the US as a major threat to their countries, worse than either China or Russia. The mainstream media (MSM) stenographers' myopia in failing to cover this story is not an oversight. Carl Bernstein, of Watergate exposé fame, documented in 1977 the fact that from the early 1950s to the late 1970s, the MSM ( New York Times , Washington Post , NBC, ABC, CBS, and the rest) had regularly served as overseas informers for the CIA. It would be hard to believe that those ties are not still intact given the level of collaboration among the CIA, the MSM, and the Democratic Party in the Russiagate conspiracy drama.

Context is everything.

In blaming others for the instability of the Middle East, it is important to bear in mind that for 36 years since Reagan launched air attacks on Beirut and parts of Syria, the US, and its ally Israel, has been using the greater Middle East region as a testing ground for its weapons systems. This has meant repeated bombing and droning of Afghanistan, Iraq, Pakistan, Libya, Somalia, Iran, Yemen, Kuwait, and Sudan, and increased weapons sales to the region to assure continuous instability and profits. The US has "special forces" operating in two-thirds of the world's countries and non-special forces stationed in three-quarters of them, altogether over 800 military bases and installations in as many as 130 countries (the Pentagon refuses to give the exact number). By comparison, apart from several bases in some of the former Soviet republics, Russia has a naval resupply facility in Vietnam and small temporary leased naval and airport stations in Syria. China opened a combined naval and army base in Djibouti in 2017 and an "unofficial military presence" in Tajikistan. There is nothing remotely close to equivalence.

We can expect a continuing outcasting of Russia, either under a second Trump presidency or, if the long dark shadow of the Clintons prevails, a Joe Biden White House. Biden claims without the benefit of evidence that currently " the Russian government is brazenly assaulting the foundations of Western democracy around the world ," as if the huge imbalance of military forces and the long history of US interventions against liberal democracies and socialist states were unknown or irrelevant. In his (and the establishment's) heavy-handed uses of propaganda, Biden has learned well the tactics of Goebbels – repeat the lies often enough to make the imperial state appear as the victim.

With regard to a brazen assault on democracy, Biden might take a cue from Clinton, who knew how to capitalize on her power position by signing off on huge arms sales to the Saudis (e.g., a $29 billion sale of fighter jets to that country to be used against Yemen) and other Gulf States while securing tens of millions of dollars in donations from the sheikhs ($25 million from Saudi Arabia alone) to her private foundation, run by her husband. This is all the more contemptuous given that she acknowledged in 2013: "The Saudis and others are shipping large amounts of weapons clandestine financial and logistic support to ISIL and other radical Sunni groups in the region and pretty indiscriminately – not at all targeted toward the people that we think would be the more moderate, least likely, to cause problems in the future."

In other words, she knew the Saudis and other Gulf dictators were arming ISIS (ISIL) and other caliphate actors but continued to keep them as allies and patrons. She also took $800 thousand for her 2016 campaign (almost double what Trump received) and some $3 million for her private foundation from oil and gas companies after approving lucrative gas pipeline in the Canadian tar sands. Part of the foundation staff's business was to arrange meetings of top donors meetings with the then secretary of state. Following Clinton and Obama's lead and without a second thought, Trump has authorized US energy companies to sell the Saudi monarchy nuclear power technology and assistance.

In foreign policy, indeed, it's hard to see any meaningful difference between Republican and Democratic administrations. Obama and John Kerry sent Undersecretary of State for Europe and Eurasia Victoria Nuland to Kiev's Maidan to cheer on the 2014 coup, hand out sandwiches to protesters, and give marching orders to her ambassador there to arrange for Yatsenyuk to be prime minister and to "fuck the EU." Poroshenko, a regular informer at the US embassy, as WikiLeaks revealed, was already in the bag for president. Biden was brought in to "midwife" and "help glue this thing" by pressuring the still-ruling Yanukovych to step down in favor of the US-designated coup leaders. Along the same lines, Trump's then ambassador to the UN, Nikki Haley, joined Venezuelan protesters outside UN headquarters in New York, using a megaphone to publicly call for a coup against Maduro. "I will tell you," she told the group, "the U.S. voice is going to be loud."

Both the Ukraine and Venezuela interventions are in part a grand strategy to isolate Russia. However, the orchestration of a new Cold War against Russia and to implicate Trump as a Kremlin puppet has failed, and the problem for Russiagate propagandists is how to keep the conspiracy theory alive now that Mueller's unsuccessful hunt for 5thcolumnists is in the dustbin . The leading Russia scholar, Stephen Cohen , who has been professionally marginalized because of his skepticism toward the CIA narrative, sees the impact of a larger scandal – the corruption of the Democratic Party and its minions in the media that formed an alliance with the spooks. He asks: "what about the legions of high-ranking intelligence officials, politicians, editorial writers, television producers, and other opinion-makers, and their eager media outlets that perpetuated, inflated, and prolonged this unprecedented political scandal in American history ?"

Another question is, how would the mainstream media financially survive an ending of Russiagate, if indeed the media moguls allow it to end? This spectacular failure of the "fourth estate" in covering the Clinton and Democrats' defeat in 2016 greatly weakened their trust status, which has been in quite steady decline since the 1970s, especially among Republicans. Democrats tend to look more favorably on the largely partisan liberal MSM for obvious reasons. However, as of December 2018, according to an IPSOS/Reuters poll , only 44% of Americans has much (16%) or some (28%) confidence in the MSM, compared to hardly any (48%). On whether MSM news organizations are more interested in making money than telling the truth, 59% agreed with the former assessment. No known organization has published findings on MSM trust since the completion of the Mueller debacle.

What is to be made politically of the Russia obsession? Russiagate, which Matt Taibbi calls "this generation's WMD," can be seen as serving three broad major purposes.

It has given the Democratic Party leadership and its partners in the CIA and MSM a cause célèbre inorder to salvage the status and image of the party and distract from its disastrous electoral defeats from 2008 to 2016. It thereby serves as an alternative reality to the widespread recognition that the ruling forces in the party have no genuine popular agenda and represent corporate, banking, neoliberal, and neoconservative militarist projects designed under Bill Clinton's New Democrat agenda.

On foreign policy, Russiagate puts the Democrats to the right of the Republicans, similar to the way that John Kennedy in the 1960 campaign accused the Eisenhower (and VP Nixon) administration of weakening America's defenses, which presently enables the energy and defense industries and their lobbyists to unduly influence the perception of international threats and flashpoints. Democrats in the House and Senate voted overwhelmingly for the 2019 $716 billion defense budget, over and above what even Trump requested. In 2018, five military contractors – Northrup Grumman, Boeing, Lockheed Martin, General Dynamics, and Raytheon – provided key political leaders in both parties with $14.4 million in addition to $94 million spent on lobbying efforts that year. Oil & gas spent $89 million on the election campaign and $125 million on lobbying.

And, third, it serves to stifle the political left in and outside the party and the demands for progressive legislative changes activated by Bernie Sanders in 2016 and by newer members like Ilhan Omar, Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, Rashida Tlaib, and Tulsi Gabbard.

Where is the center of public political confidence these days? Certainly not with the mainstream media, which is even lower than that for Trump. Even in terms of its vaunted claims of press freedom, the US fares quite badly. Reporters Without Borders ranked the US number 45th worldwide (of 180 countries cited) in press freedom in its 2018 report. Tory-led Britain slid from 33rd in 2014 to 40th– only Italy and Greece were behind the UK among western European countries. And although Trump hasn't helped with his attacks on the media (and more than reciprocated by the media's extraordinarily hostile coverage of the president), the situation wasn't much better under Obama, who threatened whistle blowers in the press with enforcing the 1917 Espionage Act. This is law that may be pressed against the journalist Julian Assange. There still exists no "shield law" guaranteeing journalists the right to protect their sources' identities. Journalism students should be concerned for another reason as well:Newspaper employment between 2001 and 2016 has been cut by more than half, from 412,000 to 174,000, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

William Arkin, who quit NBC News as a political commentator last January, accused the station of peddling "ho-hum reporting" that "essentially condones" an endless US war presence in the Middle East and Africa. He also took the network to task for not reporting "the failures of the generals and national security leaders," and essentially becoming "a defender of the government against Trump" and a "cheerleader for open and subtle threat mongering."

In his parting comments, he wrote: "I'm alarmed at how quick NBC is to mechanically be in favor of policies that just spell more conflict and more war. Even on Russia, though we should be concerned about the brittleness of our democracy that it is so vulnerable to manipulation, do we really yearn for the Cold War?"

It may be whistling in the wind, but there are more important things to worry about than whether "the Russians" exposed the DNC's perfidious behavior in 2016. It would be more worthwhile for Democrats to demand programs that eliminate child poverty, which is at 20% in the US, compared to an OECD average of 13%. It might also be useful to concentrate a bit more on the white working class and working poor that went to Trump in 2016, whose kids make up 31% of the child poverty bracket (black children are 24%, and Latino children are 36%).

And while they're at it, they might try to change the fact that the US ranks 25thout of 29 industrialized countries in investments in early childhood education or the fact that the disgraceful American infant mortality rate at 5.8 deaths per 1,000 live births is 50% higher than the OECD average (3.9%) . Many of the parents of these less privileged children are serving long sentences in prison for non-violent crimes, the discarded citizens who form the highest incarceration rate in the world. Overall, the Stanford Center on Inequality and Poverty ranked the US 18th out of 21 wealthy countries on measures of labor markets, poverty rates, safety nets, wealth inequality, and economic mobility. On the other hand, the US has more than 25% of the world's 2,208 billionaires. This is American exceptionalism at its worst.

The corporate-run market system and the calamities it is bringing to the world depends on such distractions. As the New York Times journalist and defender of US global supremacy, Thomas Friedman, has noted, "The hidden hand of the market will never work without a hidden fist. McDonald's cannot flourish without McDonnell Douglas, the designer of the U.S. Air Force F-15. And the hidden fist that keeps the world safe for Silicon Valley's technologies to flourish is called the U.S. Army, Air Force, Navy and Marine Corps." In his view, the system needs protecting, for which his "journalism" and most of the MSM are certainly doing their part.

Unless the rather soft left within the Democratic Party can somehow capture the public imagination, the Democrats' political agenda, the MSM and their cohorts in the deep state will likely continue to report fake Russian conspiracies around the world.

Russiagate is a propaganda industry that keeps on giving. In the longue durée of American elections, the question is what discourse will dominate the next campaign – social justice and a rational foreign policy or more aggressive polemics about Russia aimed at a steady pathway to nuclear war?

J S Bach , 12 minutes ago link

In truth, "Russiagate" is "Obfusgate".

There is so much obvious obfuscation and deflection taking place by the (((MSM))) as to real issues and guilty parties in world and domestic affairs.

People... PLEASE... use the internet... with all of its remaining free and accessible qualities to glean truth. Yes... you will come across countless contradictions, but if you have half a brain to use in the processing of data, you won't find it hard to ascertain what is really going on. It is up to YOU to figure it out... not Tucker Carlson, not Laura Ingraham, not Rachel Maddow. No. YOU.

Do it. Be confident in your conclusions. Pass along to those you know and love those conclusions. If you do this, the tentacles of truth will spread within this body of jewish lies and serve as our leukocytes.

[Apr 18, 2019] Were FBI honchos on drugs when they went to such an extent to entrap Trump and smear him as Putin's bitch?

Apr 18, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

He's turned out to be a ziocon and Bibi's bitch instead. He's surrounded himself with neocons. And he's also Wall St's bitch as his primary concern is stock prices. He wants the Fed to lower already low rates and grow its multi-trillion dollar "emergency" balance sheet even more. The federal government will add a trillion dollars to the national debt each year of his term. Isn't this exactly what the establishment of both parties want?

In any case, the hammer needs to come down hard on the putschists, so that law enforcement & the intelligence agencies don't become an extra-constitutional 4th branch of government accountable only to themselves. We'll see how far the Trump administration will go in holding these seditionists to account?

[Apr 18, 2019] This Deep State stooge Mueller now looks like a compete idiot

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

somebody , Apr 18, 2019 1:18:58 PM | link

Barr says that the Mueller report insists that Russia attempted to interfere in U.S. elections:
First, the report details efforts by the Internet Research Agency, a Russian company with close ties to the Russian government, to sow social discord among American voters through disinformation and social media operations.

How exactly was it established that the IRA intended to "sow social discord". Is there any IRA witness that said so? Any documents? No. It is a made up reasoning. The IRA activities were driven by commercial interests. To get as many page-views as possible IRA personnel posted memes on both sides of the political spectrum simply because that is where the viewership is. Just ask Foxnews or CNN. There was no political intent in the IRA's activity. To claim that it intended to "sow social discord" is baseless nonsense.

The claims by social networks that "Russians" did this or that are dubious. Twitter for example recently revised its count of "Russian trolls":

On Feb. 8, Twitter removed 228 accounts from the Russian IRA dataset because the social-media company now believes these accounts were operated by a different trolling network located in Venezuela. "We initially misidentified 228 accounts as connected to Russia," Yoel Roth, Twitter's head of site integrity, wrote in an online post. "As our investigations into their activity continued, we uncovered additional information allowing us to more confidently associate them with Venezuela."
...
Twitter's change to its data undercuts all of these analyses of the troll farm's 2017 activity , Clemson researchers said. There was no surge in IRA Twitter activity in mid-2017, and the high-volume accounts that churned out links to ReportSecret were, in fact, being operated by a different, unknown group operating out of Venezuela, according to the updated data.

Twitter is reluctant to discuss how it connects accounts to trolling networks.

Twitter "is reluctant" because the company has simply no way to find that some real person driven account is a "troll". It is a completely subjective judgement.

How exactly was it established that the IRA intended to "sow social discord". Is there any IRA witness that said so? Any documents? No. It is a made up reasoning. The IRA activities were driven by commercial interests. To get as many page-views as possible IRA personnel posted memes on both sides of the political spectrum simply because that is where the viewership is. Just ask Foxnews or CNN. There was no political intent in the IRA's activity. To claim that it intended to "sow social discord" is baseless nonsense

That does not answer who paid for the clicks, and what was the information the clicks led to. Basically a foreign power is not supposed to run election adverts.

Memes on both sides of the political spectrum could very well have been anti-Hillary ads for Republicans, DNC leaks for Democrats, and pro Hillary/anti Sanders stuff for Sanders supporters, the idea being to motivate Republicans to vote and disgust Democrats to keep them from voting.

Facebook is THE tool you would use to create confusion and cause a break up of social relations, simply by its psychological user profiles and the ability to spread news to some groups but not to others unchecked from the outside.

Any professional in psychological warfare would have a go just for testing.
Cambridge Analytics was a British psychological warfare company - and they cooperated with Russia .

Either business is global or it is not, and if you privatise secret service it is global business :-))


james , Apr 18, 2019 1:21:25 PM | link

thanks b... i look forward to your comments after reading the full report...

"the IRA intended to "sow social discord""... it could be argued social networks - facebook, twitter, instagram and etc. etc. "sow social discord"... is that russias fault too?

obviously there is way too much subjectivity in all of this.. the fact they cia/fbi are unwilling, or unable to define how the clinton e mails came out is another way to add to the subjectivity here.. nothing concrete - just specualation.. russia released them and etc. etc. speculation... where is the proof as b asks? there is none, but there is plenty of subjective speculation and innuendo - all abusing a foreign country... how ethnocentric and convenient that is!

here is a subjective thought.. this is just what the usa deep state wants and just what the western msm is happy to fulfill..

Tobin Paz , Apr 18, 2019 1:31:51 PM | link
@1 Anunnaki

Judge rejects Mueller's request for delay in Russian troll farm case

A federal judge has rejected special counsel Robert Mueller's request to delay the first court hearing in a criminal case charging three Russian companies and 13 Russian citizens with using social media and other means to foment strife among Americans in advance of the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

WHAT A DISGRACE! Special Counsel Mueller Charged Russian Company Not in Existence at Time of Charge!

What was not yet available until last night was the transcript of the hearing. The reason the Concord Management attorneys called the case a 'proverbial ham sandwich' was because one of the entities indicted by the Mueller team, Concord Catering, was not in existence at the time the crimes were alleged to have taken place.
chet380 , Apr 18, 2019 2:14:44 PM | link
One of the Russian companies charged by Mueller, Concord Management and Consulting LLC, hired American lawyers to defend it an American court -- the US prosecutors are fighting tooth and nail to to prevent the obtaining o pre-trial discovery of documents ... 3 million documents have been declared by the prosecutors as being "sensitive" and non-discoverable ... the battle continues.

[Apr 18, 2019] It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga

British propaganda is clearly as close to neofascist propaganda as one can get... British neocons are even closer to neofascists then the US neocons. And British security services are closer to the Third Reich security services then any other.
Skripals is a such a grandiose false flag operation that Gellen (of operation Gladio fame) probably would be amazed and humbled.
Notable quotes:
"... The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story.... ..."
"... If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously. ..."
"... Oh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved... https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984 ..."
Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 2:19:31 PM | link

It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.

Undaunted, Kit Klarenberg provides further Skripal update in an extensively detailed article that moves him to conclude:

"The official narrative of the Salisbury incident is ever-fluctuating. Seemingly each and every article, news segment, official statement or documentary about any element of the case contains new information, requiring the established account to be at least partially rewritten and/or contradicting established elements of the story....

"If nothing else, that Haynes was willing to transmit an apparently obvious fiction speaks volumes about the willingness of mainstream journalists to parrot each and every fresh claim in the Skripal case, even if it wildly conflicts with what they themselves have written previously."

Klarenberg's tweet response to Haynes is devastating:

"Difficult to verify your version of events given it involves nameless officials. Knowing you're often used by security services to peddle propaganda seemed a reasonable assumption they'd urged you to backtrack your earlier advocacy as story detonates official #Skripal narrative."

It seems highly reasonable to conclude the NY Times item has blown away any remaining truthfulness to the Skripal Saga and the entire Saga--like Russiagate--can be concluded to be a very serious hoax, and that there's no reason whatsoever to trust anything said by UK's Tory government.

S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 3:34:15 PM | link

Oh dear oh dear.. It appears the UK may be denying there were any poor ducks involved...https://twitter.com/haynesdeborah/status/1118409471754153984

[Apr 18, 2019] A bill 'Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,' has been introduced in the Senate which will ' require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 18, 2019 3:29:11 PM | link

Regarding the likely continuance of anti-Russian rhetoric, this Philip Giraldi item informs us of the following:

"A current bill originally entitled the 'Defending American Security from Kremlin Aggression Act (DASKA) of 2019,' is numbered S-1189 [linked to within item]. It has been introduced in the Senate which will ' require the Secretary of State to determine whether the Russian Federation should be designated as a state sponsor of terrorism and whether Russian-sponsored armed entities in Ukraine should be designated as foreign terrorist organizations.' The bill is sponsored by Republican Senator Cory Gardner of Colorado and is co-sponsored by Democrat Robert Menendez of New Jersey.

"The current version of the bill was introduced on April 11th and it is by no means clear what kind of support it might actually have, but the fact that it actually has surfaced at all should be disturbing to anyone who believes it is in the world's best interest to avoid direct military confrontation between the United States and Russia."

Giraldi generally concludes the sponsoring Senators are insane--"The Senatorial commentary is, of course, greatly exaggerated and sometimes completely false regarding what is going on in the world, but it is revealing of how ignorant American legislators can be and often are"--but we just finished a witch hunt fueled by such insanity. Some anti-Projection medication is drastically needed for all too many people wielding power in The Swamp.

[Apr 18, 2019] Halper, Dearlove, and Haspel propbaly run a join operation to initiate a new McCarthyism compaign. With the cornerstone step of Brannan-sponsored US IC "findings" (17 intelligence agencies agree!! Except not - that was a lie)

Apr 18, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Jackrabbit , Apr 18, 2019 12:59:03 PM | link

This is important and speaks to the real manipulation of the 2016 Presidential election: How Has Former MI6 Spymaster Richard Dearlove Dodged Scrutiny Despite Links To Russiagate?

One wonders if Halper, Dearlove, and Haspel ran the 'op' to initiate a new McCarthyism. Reinforced by US IC "findings" (17 intelligence agencies agree!! Except not - that was a lie) pushed by Brennan and Clapper.

Then consider what appears to be a cover-up by Mueller, Comey, and Barr (Note: Mueller is Comey's mentor and Barr is close friends with Mueller) as outlined here: New VIPS Memo :

So, if it wasn't the Russians, [then] who left the "Russian" bread-crumb "fingerprints?" We do not know for sure; on this question we cannot draw a conclusion based on the principles of science -- at least not yet. We suspect, however, that cyber warriors closer to home were responsible for inserting the "tell-tale signs" necessary to attribute "hacks" to Russia....

Binney, a plain-spoken, widely respected scientist, began by telling Pompeo that his (CIA) people were lying to him about Russian hacking and that he (Binney) could prove it. Pompeo reacted with disbelief, but then talked of following up with the FBI and NSA. We have no sign, though, that he followed through.... [Furthermore[ we told Attorney General Barr five weeks ago, [that] we consider Mueller's findings fundamentally flawed on the forensics side and ipso facto incomplete. We also criticized Mueller for failing to interview willing witnesses with direct knowledge, like WikiLeaks' Julian Assange.

If, as we strongly suspect, Mueller is relying for forensics solely on CrowdStrike, the discredited firm hired by the DNC in the spring of 2016, he is acting more in the mold of Inspector Clouseau than the crackerjack investigator he is reputed to be....

You [addressing Pres. Trump] may be unaware that in March 2017 lawyers for Assange and the Justice Department (acting on behalf of the CIA) reportedly were very close to an agreement under which Assange would agree to discuss "technical evidence ruling out certain parties" in the leak of the DNC emails" and agree to redact some classified CIA information, in exchange for limited immunity. According to the investigative reporter John Solomon of The Hill, Sen. Mark Warner, D,VA, Vice Chair of the Senate Intelligence Committee, learned of the incipient deal and told then-FBI Director Comey, who ordered an abrupt "stand down"and an end to the discussions with Assange.

Lastly, given the above, isn't it curious that Trump himself happened to further Russiagate suspicions and the Wikileaks sting by: hiring Manafort, appealing to Wikileaks and Russia to release emails, frequently praising Putin?

<> <> <> <> <> <> <> <> <>

IMO the Deep State had two main objectives in the 2016 Presidential election: elect a nationalist President and initiate a new McCarthism. Discrediting Wikileaks ran a close third. And settling scores with Flynn was also important to them (Flynn had told the world that the Obama Administration made a "willful decision" to support ISIS).

[Apr 18, 2019] NYT reported on children and ducks not merely as a quote of CIA director, but as a straight fact.

Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Piotr Berman , Apr 17, 2019 1:53:14 PM | link

I am not sure if it is clear for folks on the far side of NYT paywall that NYT reported on "children and ducks" not merely as a quote of CIA director, but as a straight fact. This is the caption of one of the photos illustrating the article: "A former Russian intelligence officer, Sergei Skripal, and his daughter were poisoned last year in Britain in a slipshod attack that also sickened children, killed ducks and required careful cleanup.CreditWill Oliver/EPA, via Shutterstock"

Zachary Smith , Apr 17, 2019 1:59:53 PM | link

@ Grieved #74

I'm willing to believe a lot of things about the Brits and Haspel, but "stupid" isn't one of them. That they tried the Skripal stunt demonstrates they had great confidence in their control of the UK and US press, and I'll concede that confidence was justified.

karlof1 , Apr 17, 2019 5:44:31 PM | link

KC @107--

Note Haspel hasn't denied any aspect of the news item.

Why perpetrate a hoax like the Skripal Saga, which was all too real for the one confirmed dead.

Taregt: Russia

Why? Previous sanctions not performing as anticipated--indeed, they are actually backfiring.

But if that policy line's already a proven failure, why double-down?
When faced with failure, Neocons always double-down.

Meanwhile, sanctions employed for almost 4 years when Skripal Act 1 begins clearly aren't working, which brings up the question of how Russia is actually perceived by the genuine International Community--did the provocations and sanctions diminish Russia's standing in the world prior to March 2018?

Given ever growing attendance to Russian sponsored and located symposiums, Russia's reputation seems to be growing at the expense of the smearing nations.

Motive for Skripal Hoax: To do what sanctions couldn't.

Outcome of Skripal Hoax: Russian reputation higher than ever. Indeed, the two hoaxes have had the opposite affect on Russia's international standing and the entire sanctions regime helped to make Russia stronger than it otherwise would be without their imposition.

[Apr 17, 2019] The media's interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West's interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status

Highly recommended!
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Apr 16, 2019 7:26:23 PM | link

Ah yes, Prescient observation regarding Venezuela:

"The media's interest in the well-being of a foreign population is directly proportional to the West's interest in toppling its government, while editorial standards are inversely proportional to its enemy status."--John McEvoy

So, lets employ this maxim to Russiagate and the Skripal Saga and the respective national media. In the first case, the Russian public's completely ignored unless it's a member of the so-called opposition while Putin and Russia get slandered constantly. The same treatment goes for the UK media and a case could be made that the two act in tandem, implying innerconnectivity between their spy agencies as suspected.

[Apr 17, 2019] You d watched Skripal s saga you might have noticed something: The UK s propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany.

Notable quotes:
"... The Steele dossier is british, Orbis intelligence = british, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = british, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = british, the list goes on and on. ..."
"... The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. ..."
Apr 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S.O. , Apr 17, 2019 9:48:02 AM | link

@75

The Steele dossier is british, Orbis intelligence = british, Institute for statecraft / Integrity Initiative = british, Skripal defection. Location, evidence, statements = british, the list goes on and on.

You'd think someone might have noticed something of a trend by now.

Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:07:57 AM | link

They just don't bother anymore, the level of double black psy-ops and gaslighting is a mine feild of disinformation. That's what you get when Washington - Obama, gives the green light to propagandizing their people. It's escalated, like we haven't noticed, under Trump despite his pathetic attempts at assuring folks it's fake news.
Gravatomic , Apr 17, 2019 10:20:02 AM | link
The UK's propaganda machine rivals and even surpasses Soviet Russia and Nazi Germany. I watched about 10 minutes of a documentary about Easter Island, as an example, and it was revisionist to the nth degree. Just absolute rubbish incinuating that white European travellers destroyed the Island. This is what British kids are now being marinated in, "He who controls the past"

[Apr 14, 2019] You could not get a more sinister confluence of political fraudsters by Michael Tracey

Notable quotes:
"... Assange accomplished more in 2010 alone than any of his preening media antagonists will in their entire lifetime, combined. Your feelings about him as a person do not matter. He could be the scummiest human on the face of Earth, and it would not detract from the fact that he has brought revelatory information to public that would otherwise have been concealed. He has shone light on some of the most powerful political factions not just in the US, but around the world. This will remain true regardless of whether Trump capitulates to the 'Deep State' and goes along with this utterly chilling, free speech-undermining prosecution. ..."
"... My support was based on the fact that Assange had devised a novel way to hold powerful figures to account, whose nefarious conduct would otherwise go unexamined but for the methods he pioneered. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | spectator.us

The nine-year gap – long after Manning had been charged, found guilty, and released from prison – suggests that there is something ulterior going on here. The offenses outlined in the indictment are on extraordinarily weak legal footing. Part of the criminal 'conspiracy,' prosecutors allege, is that Assange sought to protect Manning as a source and encouraged her to provide government records in the public interest.

This is standard journalistic practice.

And it is now being criminalized by the Trump DoJ, while liberals celebrate from the sidelines – eager to join hands with the likes of Mike Pompeo and Lindsey Graham. You could not get a more sinister confluence of political fraudsters.

They – meaning most Democrats – will never get over their grudge against Assange for having dared to expose the corruption of America's ruling party in 2016, which they believed help deprive their beloved Hillary of her rightful ascension to the presidential throne. Once again, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard is among the few exceptions.

The DNC and Podesta email releases, now distilled reductively into the term 'Russian interference,' contained multitudinous newsworthy revelations, as evidenced by the fact that virtually the entire US media reported on them. (Here, feel free to refresh your memory on this as well.) But for no reason other than pure partisan score-settling, elite liberals are willing to toss aside any consideration for the dire First Amendment implications of Assange's arrest and cry out with joy that this man they regard as innately evil has finally been ensnared by the punitive might of the American carceral state.

Trump supporters and Trump himself also look downright foolish. It takes about two seconds to Google all the instances in which Trump glowingly touted WikiLeaks on the 2016 campaign trail. 'I love WikiLeaks!' he famously proclaimed on October 10, 2016 in Wilkes-Barre, Penn.

Presumably this expression of 'love' was indication that Trump viewed WikiLeaks as providing a public service. If not, perhaps some intrepid reporter can ask precisely what his 'love' entailed. He can pretend all he wants now that he's totally oblivious to WikiLeaks, but it was Trump himself who relayed that he was contemporaneously reading the Podesta emails in October 2016, and reveling in all their newsworthiness. If he wanted, he could obviously intercede and prevent any unjust prosecution of Assange. Trump has certainly seen fit to complain publicly about all matter of other inconvenient Justice Department activity, especially as it pertained to him or his family members and associates. But now he's acting as though he's never heard of WikiLeaks, which is just pitiful: not a soul believes it, even his most ardent supporters.

Sean Hannity became one of Assange's biggest fans in 2016 and 2017, effusively lavishing him with praise and even visiting him in the Ecuadorian embassy in London for an exclusive interview. One wonders whether Hannity, who reportedly speaks to his best buddy Trump every night before bedtime, will counsel a different course on this matter. There's also the question of whether Trump's most vehement online advocates, who largely have become stalwart defenders of WikiLeaks, will put their money where their mouth is and condition their continued support on Assange not being depredated by the American prison system.

Assange accomplished more in 2010 alone than any of his preening media antagonists will in their entire lifetime, combined. Your feelings about him as a person do not matter. He could be the scummiest human on the face of Earth, and it would not detract from the fact that he has brought revelatory information to public that would otherwise have been concealed. He has shone light on some of the most powerful political factions not just in the US, but around the world. This will remain true regardless of whether Trump capitulates to the 'Deep State' and goes along with this utterly chilling, free speech-undermining prosecution.

I personally have supported Assange since I started in journalism, nine years ago, not because I had any special affinity for the man himself (although the radical transparency philosophy he espoused was definitely compelling). My support was based on the fact that Assange had devised a novel way to hold powerful figures to account, whose nefarious conduct would otherwise go unexamined but for the methods he pioneered. As thanks, he was holed up in a tiny embassy for nearly seven years – until yesterday, when they hauled him out ignominiously to face charges in what will likely turn out to be a political show trial. Donald Trump has the ability to stop this, but almost certainly won't. And that's all you need to know about him.

[Apr 14, 2019] 'Boom!' an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell by Michael Tracey

That was Neo-McCarthyim hysteria plain and simple; and it still is continuing as "FullOfSchiff" fqrse.
Notable quotes:
"... Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump . ..."
"... The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. ..."
"... As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason. ..."
"... (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit). ..."
"... Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible. ..."
"... Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point? ..."
"... Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage ..."
Apr 04, 2019 | spectator.us
'Boom!': an autopsy of the media after the Mueller bombshell Dunking on Rachel Maddow may be fun, but she's far from the sole perpetrator Michael Tracey Rachel Maddow

Can you think of a more vulgar and disgraceful manifestation of Trump-Russia media malfeasance than Rachel Maddow? Her deluded nightly conspiratorial rants may have been lucrative for MSNBC, but she fed viewers a complete fraud for three years. Now her show is undergoing a genuine existential crisis after Robert Mueller's exoneration of Trump .

The harm Maddow inflicted is unforgivable and she should obviously resign, go into exile, and take up some other line of work: perhaps gardening. That said, she has also become something of a scapegoat. It's convenient to disavow Maddow's excesses if you're a journalist who wants to pretend that the media failures which gave rise to Trump-Russia weren't a full-scale indictment of their entire profession. To act as though the misconduct was somehow confined to one unhinged cable news personality would be a gross distortion.

As contemptible as Rachel undoubtedly is, dwelling on her absolves the rest of the industry from acknowledging what really happened: a structural calamity of epic proportions, implicating almost all of them, which has utterly destroyed the reputation of the media writ large. And for good reason.

Easy as it might be to pooh-pooh Maddow as some zany outlier, the undeniable reality is that the sick conspiratorial mindset she embodied was thoroughly mainstream: it infected virtually every sector of elite American culture, from journalism, to entertainment, to the professional political class. Rachel is just the tip of the rotten iceberg.

Take, for instance, Keith Olbermann. Keith was the most influential host on MSNBC during the George W. Bush years, when audiences ate up his furious denunciations of the Iraq War, which scratched a genuine itch because of the prevailing pro-war media conformity of the time. Olbermann gave voice to frustrated liberals who felt that their well-founded grievances were not being represented in the popular media, and his style came to be emulated across the industry (including by the host he recruited for a top spot on the network, Rachel Maddow.)

Then came the Trump era, when Olbermann's brain appeared to explode. He began recording short video rants for GQ magazine, which rank among the most mind-bendingly deranged content produced throughout the entire Russiagate ordeal. Please, just watch this unbelievable screed from December 2016:

'We are at war with Russia,' Olbermann gravely proclaims. The inauguration of Donald Trump, he prophesies, will mark 'the end of the United States as an independent country.' Anyone who rejects this analysis is a 'traitor' says Olbermann, and in league with 'Russian scum.' His recommendation is to thwart Trump via some harebrained Electoral College scheme where electors are intimidated into violating their duty to vote according to the election outcome in their respective states and districts. I covered this attempted coup at the time, which failed, but was supported by leading Democrats ranging from Hillary Clinton campaign communications director Jennifer Palmieri to Harvard Law Professor Laurence Tribe; as well as Michael Moore, Lawrence Lessig, Peter Beinart, DeRay McKesson, Paul Krugman, and Neera Tanden. Prominent liberals had been melodramatically whinging for months about how appalled they were by Trump's alleged propensity to violate 'norms,' but the next minute they turned around and demanded that all norms governing the centuries-old Electoral College process be thrown out the window. The wild propaganda promoted by Olbermann had become the standard, mainstream view among American liberals: fundamentally corrupting their capacity to view subsequent political events with any semblance of rationality.

Despite their truly insane offerings, focusing solely on demented opinionators like Olbermann and Maddow still lets ostensibly 'neutral' journalists off the hook. The amount of journalistic resources squandered on the Trump-Russia boondoggle, for instance by the New York Times and the Washington Post , will never be fully quantified. Both newspapers were lavished with Pulitzer Prizes and every other pointless accolade for their supposedly intrepid journalism. Their constant 'bombshell scoops' routinely ricocheted across Twitter before they were injected into the rest of the turbocharged media ecosystem, each one breathlessly touted on cable news for hours at a time. The harsh truth is that most all of these 'scoops' were predicated on a fiction. There was supposed to be a core conspiracy, which was meant to explain why Trump associates kept getting caught in lies – why their communications were extrajudicially intercepted, why they were surveilled on dubious pretenses. But no underlying conspiracy was ever revealed. The whole thing was based on a fairytale. Shouldn't the Times and WaPo therefore apologize and give back their Pulitzers? Or at very least toss them in the dumpster.

Benjamin Wittes, the LawFare website guru and arguably the most lauded Twitter authority on the Trump-Russia scam, became well-known for his fun slogan, 'BOOM!,' which he would gleefully tweet every time a supposed bombshell article burst on the scene. Here's a Washington Post story from October 21 last year headlined 'Special counsel examines conflicting accounts as scrutiny of Roger Stone and WikiLeaks deepens,' which got the Wittes 'boom' treatment. Wow, very dramatic! Sounds a lot like Mueller and his squad were closing in on Stone as the evil mastermind behind some grand Trump-Russia conspiracy plot, given his suspicious ties to WikiLeaks, right? The only problem is, when Stone was indicted three months later, Mueller not only brought zero charges alleging Stone as party to any conspiracy, he dispelled such notions.

All the correspondence cited in Mueller's indictment showed that Stone had no advanced knowledge of WikiLeaks releases or any privileged access to its operations. Roger Stone was just doing what Roger Stone does best: bullshitting.

Stone was eventually charged by Mueller for making false statements, but again: none of those statements pertained to a conspiracy cover-up. They pertained to the dirty trickster being who he's been for decades: a fabulist who frequently misrepresents himself and gets in stupid feuds with fellow political hucksters. The October 2018 story about which Wittes tweeted 'boom' ultimately had no real significance. Like so many other stories touted at the time as an incredible BOMBSHELL, everyone got amped up over a total fantasy. The story had no serious value, other than to temporarily scintillate now-discredited obsessives like Wittes.

Special scorn should be reserved for those in prominent media positions who ought to have known better, but indulged day after day in conspiratorial nonsense anyway. Take Chris Hayes, the popular 8pm MSNBC host, who unlike Maddow has a journalistic background (he was formerly the Washington Editor of The Nation magazine). Theoretically, Hayes should have been imbued with a greater sense of ingrained skepticism regarding CIA and FBI claims, which are what drove the entire Trump-Russia investigation to begin with. He is also a genuinely intelligent person, having (ironically) written the excellent Twilight of the Elites (2012), a book which examined the propensity for upper-crust society to engage in self-defeating groupthink.

But Hayes too ended up witlessly amplifying the most obscene Russiagate antics – no doubt influenced by the pressure of having to turn in big ratings every night. His shows were always brimming with security state spooks like John Brennan , the former CIA Director and proven fantasist . Brennan was eventually hired by NBC, becoming one of Hayes's colleagues despite having played a central role in instigating the original Trump-Russia investigation in 2016 and inflaming its most incendiary elements (Brennan infamously declared Trump guilty of treason on Twitter following the Helsinki summit).

For further insight on the subject, Hayes generally turned to pseudo-journalistic figures like Natasha Bertrand of The Atlantic , whose frenetically conspiratorial Russia coverage has also proven to have been total bunk – as well as former prosecutors and FBI officials like Chuck Rosenberg, disreputable security state apparatchiks like former NSA lawyer Susan Hennessey, and outright charlatans like purported 'intelligence expert' Malcolm Nance. (Here's an example from 2016 of the esteemed Nance getting tricked by a Twitter troll.)

Hayes even went so far as to promote the theory that Trump had been colluding with Russia since 1987, a story somehow featured on the cover of New York magazine despite drawing on source material that literally originated with the recently deceased, notorious madman Lyndon LaRouche. Hayes's descent into fact-free mania culminated with his declaration to Stephen Colbert on March 8 last year that Trump and his associates were 'super guilty' of collusion. Whoops!

While many once-respectable media figures like Hayes have seen their reputations inserted directly into the toilet, maybe the most bizarre case of all is Marcy Wheeler, the independent journalist known as @emptywheel . Wheeler appeared on Hayes's first show after Mueller decisively cleared Trump of collusion – you know, the central tenet of the Special Counsel's mandate. The fact that Hayes would have Wheeler on at that moment – after the entire Trump-Russia drama was definitively exposed as a ludicrous fantasy – showed that Hayes was committed to perpetuating the deceit even in the face of all countervailing evidence, whether unconsciously or consciously. That's because Marcy Wheeler is almost certainly a deluded basket case.

The most obvious evidence for this is Wheeler's sensational admission in July 2018 that she burned a source to the FBI, voluntarily and proactively, thereby committing one of journalism's mortal sins. Wheeler justified her demented action on numerous fronts. First, she claimed that she possessed bombshell, smoking gun info that proved a Trump-Russia conspiracy, and felt a patriotic duty to hand this over to the FBI – in retribution for what she called Russia's 'attack' on the United States. Let's remember, shall we, that said attack at most amounted to some Twitter bots, goofy Facebook memes, and spear-phished Gmail accounts: John Podesta famously clicked on a phony link, which led to his emails being swiped. Hardly 9/11 or Pearl Harbor, wouldn't you say? However, those comparisons have been seriously made by various prominent elected officials, including Rep. Jerrold Nadler of New York, who would have presided over impeachment proceedings had things panned out differently.

When pressed – even after the Mueller clearly asserted that no such Trump-Russia conspiracy ever existed – Wheeler still refuses to divulge any details about the extraordinary dispositive evidence she mysteriously claims to possess. Second, Wheeler further justified her insane conduct by insisting she could literally be killed by some unknown sinister alliance of Russians and Trump-backed mafia figures, or something ( I'm not making this up .). Shamefully, Wheeler's outlandish assertions were treated as gospel by members of the media who failed to apply even a modicum of critical scrutiny; Margaret Sullivan of the Washington Post heralded Wheeler as following her conscience and wrote this about the supposed Russian hit squad out to get her: 'Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening.' Utter lunacy. Since the Mueller finding, Wheeler has strangely not revealed any additional information about the nature of these would-be assassins.

Think about it. For months, Wheeler dangled cryptic hints about the explosive info that she alone supposedly knew about, enthralling blog readers and Twitter followers – and earning her major platforms not just on MSNBC but even the New York Times , where she contributed columns that contained blatant falsehoods. In the pages of the world's most influential newspaper, she claimed that Mueller had been 'hiding' evidence showing Trump's participation in a Russia conspiracy, and it would all come out once Mueller issued his final verdict. No dice.

Last week, Wheeler finally admitted her suspicion that the FBI may have just decided she is 'crazy.' Yes, sounds plausible.

So much journalistic energy was wasted chronicling the ins-and-outs of the Russiagate non-story. Imagine if instead that time was devoted to reporting in the public interest: like, say, I don't know – investigating the militaristic think tanks which attempted to undermine Trump's key diplomatic initiatives (such as North Korea), or how Trump was co-opted by the Republican donor class, or his various actual corruptions that didn't happen to involve any international espionage conspiracy.

Sadly, all the media figures who might have been assigned to legitimate evidence-based inquiries were wrapped up in the never-ending Russia melodrama, based on the hunch that it would result in the revelation of treasonous collusion, followed by the arrest of Trump's family and his swift impeachment. None of this happened. So what was the point?

Most disturbing of all is how otherwise-smart journalists and commentators lost their minds and integrity throughout the debacle. It was all a joke, a scam, and I've barely even scratched the surface here. It will take years to fully sift through the wreckage.

See other Michael Tracy articles Michael Tracey, Author at Spectator USA

[Apr 14, 2019] Assange rendition might backfire for Trump administration

Vindictiveness not always play in the vindictive party favour.
You may love Assange you may hate Assange for his WikiLeaks revelation (And Vault 7 was a real bombshell), but it is clear that it will cost Trump some reputation out of tini share that still left, especially in view of Trump declaration "I love Wikileaks"
Apr 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

For seven years, we have had to listen to a chorus of journalists, politicians and "experts" telling us that Assange was nothing more than a fugitive from justice, and that the British and Swedish legal systems could be relied on to handle his case in full accordance with the law. Barely a "mainstream" voice was raised in his defence in all that time.

... ... ...

The political and media establishment ignored the mounting evidence of a secret grand jury in Virginia formulating charges against Assange, and ridiculed Wikileaks' concerns that the Swedish case might be cover for a more sinister attempt by the US to extradite Assange and lock him away in a high-security prison, as had happened to whistleblower Chelsea Manning.

... ... ...

Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No "mainstream" journalist or politician thought this significant either.

... ... ...

They turned a blind eye to the news that, after refusing to question Assange in the UK, Swedish prosecutors had decided to quietly drop the case against him in 2015. Sweden had kept the decision under wraps for more than two years.

... ... ...

Most of the other documents relating to these conversations were unavailable. They had been destroyed by the UK's Crown Prosecution Service in violation of protocol. But no one in the political and media establishment cared, of course.

Similarly, they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden. They told us -- apparently in all seriousness -- that he had to be arrested for his bail infraction, something that would normally be dealt with by a fine.

... ... ...

This was never about Sweden or bail violations, or even about the discredited Russiagate narrative, as anyone who was paying the vaguest attention should have been able to work out. It was about the US Deep State doing everything in its power to crush Wikileaks and make an example of its founder.

It was about making sure there would never again be a leak like that of Collateral Murder, the military video released by Wikileaks in 2007 that showed US soldiers celebrating as they murdered Iraqi civilians. It was about making sure there would never again be a dump of US diplomatic cables, like those released in 2010 that revealed the secret machinations of the US empire to dominate the planet whatever the cost in human rights violations.

Now the pretence is over. The British police invaded the diplomatic territory of Ecuador -- invited in by Ecuador after it tore up Assange's asylum status -- to smuggle him off to jail. Two vassal states cooperating to do the bidding of the US empire. The arrest was not to help two women in Sweden or to enforce a minor bail infraction.

No, the British authorities were acting on an extradition warrant from the US. And the charges the US authorities have concocted relate to Wikileaks' earliest work exposing the US military's war crimes in Iraq -- the stuff that we all once agreed was in the public interest, that British and US media clamoured to publish themselves.

Still the media and political class is turning a blind eye. Where is the outrage at the lies we have been served up for these past seven years? Where is the contrition at having been gulled for so long? Where is the fury at the most basic press freedom -- the right to publish -- being trashed to silence Assange? Where is the willingness finally to speak up in Assange's defence?

It's not there. There will be no indignation at the BBC, or the Guardian, or CNN. Just curious, impassive -- even gently mocking -- reporting of Assange's fate.

And that is because these journalists, politicians and experts never really believed anything they said. They knew all along that the US wanted to silence Assange and to crush Wikileaks. They knew that all along and they didn't care. In fact, they happily conspired in paving the way for today's kidnapping of Assange.

They did so because they are not there to represent the truth, or to stand up for ordinary people, or to protect a free press, or even to enforce the rule of law. They don't care about any of that. They are there to protect their careers, and the system that rewards them with money and influence. They don't want an upstart like Assange kicking over their applecart.

Now they will spin us a whole new set of deceptions and distractions about Assange to keep us anaesthetised, to keep us from being incensed as our rights are whittled away, and to prevent us from realising that Assange's rights and our own are indivisible. We stand or fall together.

Jonathan Cook won the Martha Gellhorn Special Prize for Journalism. His books include "Israel and the Clash of Civilisations: Iraq, Iran and the Plan to Remake the Middle East" (Pluto Press) and "Disappearing Palestine: Israel's Experiments in Human Despair" (Zed Books). His website is www.jonathan-cook.net .


anonymous [340] • Disclaimer , says: April 12, 2019 at 10:41 am GMT

Thank you.

This should be an uncomfortable time for the “journalists” of the Establishment. Very few will speak up as does Mr. Cook. Watch how little is said about the recent Manning re-imprisonment to sweat out grand jury testimony. Things may have grown so craven that we’ll even see efforts to revoke Mr. Assange’s awards.

This is also a good column for us to share with those people who just might want not to play along with the lies that define Exceptionalia.

Digital Samizdat , says: April 12, 2019 at 5:11 pm GMT

… from the moment Julian Assange first sought refuge in the Ecuadorean embassy in London, they have been telling us we were wrong, that we were paranoid conspiracy theorists. We were told there was no real threat of Assange’s extradition to the United States, that it was all in our fevered imaginations.

It all reminds me of Rod Dreher’s Law of Merited Impossibility: “That’ll never happen. And when it does , boy won’t you deserve it!”

Equally, they ignored the fact that Assange had been given diplomatic status by Ecuador, as well as Ecuadorean citizenship. Britain was obligated to allow him to leave the embassy, using his diplomatic immunity, to travel unhindered to Ecuador. No “mainstream” journalist or politician thought this significant either.

Why would they? They don’t even recognize diplomatic status for heads of state who get in their way! Remember what they did to President Evo Morales of Bolivia back when he was threatening to grant asylum to Ed Snowden? Here’s a refresher:

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

Any way you slice, this is a sad for liberty.

Carlton Meyer , says: • Website April 13, 2019 at 4:32 am GMT
From my blog:

Apr 13, 2019 – Julian Assange

People who just watch corporate media think Julian Assange is a bad guy who deserves life in prison, except those who watch the great Tucker Carlson. Watch his recent show where he explains why our corporate media and political class hate Assange.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/ZE7OfU71Sbk?feature=oembed

He is charged with encouraging Army Private Chelsea Manning to send him embarrassing information, specifically this video of a US Army Apache helicopter gunning down civilians in broad daylight in Baghdad.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/25EWUUBjPMo?feature=oembed

But there is no proof of this, and Manning has repeatedly said he never communicated to Assange about anything. Manning got eight years in prison for this crime; the Apache pilots were never charged. and now they want to hang Assange for exposing a war crime. I have recommend this great 2016 interview twice, where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the “Clinton Crime Family.”

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_sbT3_9dJY4?feature=oembed

This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

The Alarmist , says: April 13, 2019 at 5:01 am GMT

“… they ignored the fact that Assange was forced to hole up for years in the embassy, under the most intense form of house arrest, even though he no longer had a case to answer in Sweden.”

Meh! Assange should have walked out the door of the embassy years ago. He might have ended up in the same place, but he could have seized the moral high ground by seeking asylum in Britain for fear of the death penalty in the US, which was a credible fear given public comments by various US officials. By rotting away in the Ecuadorian embassy, be greatly diminished any credibility he might have had to turn the UK judicial system inside out to his favour. Now he’s just a creepy looking bail jumper who flung faeces against the wall, rather than being a persecuted journalist.

Endgame Napoleon , says: April 13, 2019 at 6:14 am GMT
@Johnny Rottenborough Millionaire politicians on both sides of the political fence get very emotional about anything that impacts their own privacy & safety and the privacy & safety of their kin, while ignoring the issues that jeopardize the privacy & safety of ordinary voters. While corporate-owned politicians get a lot out of this game, ordinary voters who have never had less in the way of Fourth Amendment privacy rights, and whose First Amendment rights are quickly shrinking to the size of Assange’s, do not get the consolation of riches without risk granted to bought-off politicians in this era’s pay-to-play version of democracy. It’s a lose / lose for average voters.
Tom Welsh , says: April 13, 2019 at 9:31 am GMT
Mr Cook’s criticism of the mainstream media (MSM) is absolutely justified.

It seems to me that their hatred of Mr Assange reflects the unfortunate fact that, while he is a real journalist, they actually aren’t. Instead, they are stenographers for power: what Paul Craig Roberts calls “presstitutes” (a very happy coinage which exactly hits the bull’s eye).

The difference is that real journalists, like Mr Assange, Mr Roberts and Mr Cook, are mainly motivated by the search for objective truth – which they then publish, as far as they are able.

Whereas those people who go by the spurious names of “journalist”, “reporter”, “editor”, etc. are motivated by the desire to go on earning their salaries, and to gain promotion and “distinction” in society. (Sad but true: social distinction is often gained by performing acts of dishonesty and downright wickedness).

Here are some interesting quotations that cast some light on this disheartening state of affairs. If you look carefully at their dates you may be surprised to find that nothing has changed very much since the mid-19th century.

‘Marr: “How can you know that I’m self-censoring? How can you know that journalists are…”

‘Chomsky: “I’m not saying you’re self censoring. I’m sure you believe everything you’re saying. But what I’m saying is that if you believed something different, you wouldn’t be sitting where you’re sitting”’.

– Transcript of interview between Noam Chomsky and Andrew Marr (Feb. 14, 1996) https://scratchindog.blogspot.com/2015/07/transcript-of-interview-between-noam.html

‘If something goes wrong with the government, a free press will ferret it out and it will get fixed. But if something goes wrong with our free press, the country will go straight to hell’.

– I. F. Stone (as reported by his son Dr Jeremy J Stone) http://russia-insider.com/en/media-criticism/hey-corporate-media-glenn-greenwald-video-can-teach-you-what-real-journalism/ri6669

‘There is no such a thing in America as an independent press, unless it is out in country towns. You are all slaves. You know it, and I know it. There is not one of you who dares to express an honest opinion. If you expressed it, you would know beforehand that it would never appear in print. I am paid $150 for keeping honest opinions out of the paper I am connected with. Others of you are paid similar salaries for doing similar things. If I should allow honest opinions to be printed in one issue of my paper, I would be like Othello before twenty-four hours: my occupation would be gone. The man who would be so foolish as to write honest opinions would be out on the street hunting for another job. The business of a New York journalist is to distort the truth, to lie outright, to pervert, to vilify, to fawn at the feet of Mammon, and to sell his country and his race for his daily bread, or for what is about the same — his salary. You know this, and I know it; and what foolery to be toasting an “Independent Press”! We are the tools and vassals of rich men behind the scenes. We are jumping-jacks. They pull the string and we dance. Our time, our talents, our lives, our possibilities, are all the property of other men. We are intellectual prostitutes’.

– John Swinton (1829–1901), Scottish-American journalist, newspaper publisher, and orator. https://en.wikiquote.org/wiki/John_Swinton http://www.rense.com/general20/yes.htm

‘The press today is an army with carefully organized arms and branches, with journalists as officers, and readers as soldiers. But here, as in every army, the soldier obeys blindly, and war-aims and operation-plans change without his knowledge. The reader neither knows, nor is allowed to know, the purposes for which he is used, nor even the role that he is to play. A more appalling caricature of freedom of thought cannot be imagined. Formerly a man did not dare to think freely. Now he dares, but cannot; his will to think is only a willingness to think to order, and this is what he feels as his liberty’.

– Oswald Spengler, “The Decline of the West” Vol. II, trans. C.F. Atkinson (1928), p. 462

‘How do wars start? Wars start when politicians lie to journalists, then believe what they read in the press’.

– Karl Kraus, “Through Western Eyes – Russia Misconstrued” http://www.hellevig.net/ebook/Putin’s%20new%20Russia.pdf

And finally, two quotations from classic novels which go to the heart of the matter.

‘It is difficult to get a man to understand something when his salary depends upon his not understanding it’.

– Upton Sinclair

‘Sometimes a man wants to be stupid if it lets him do a thing his cleverness forbids’.

– John Steinbeck (“East of Eden”)

UncommonGround , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:13 am GMT
Very good article. There is one point that I would like to make: Assange asked for asyl before he went to the embassy of Ecuador and Ecuador gave him asylum. This meant that they had an obligation to protect him. It’s really unbeliavable that a country gives asylum to someone and half way tells that they have changed their mind and will let the person be arrested. ” We told you you would be safe with us, but now we just changed our mind”. Assange also became a citizen of Ecuador and this possibly means that Ecuador couldn’t have let him been arrested in their embassy by the police of another country without a process against him in Ecuador and without him having the right to defend himself in a court. Many countries don’t extradit their citizens to other countries.

Another remark. For years there were uncountable articles about Assange in The Guardian. Those articles were read by many people and got really many comments. There were very fierce discussions about him with thousends of comments. With time The Guardian turned decisively against him and published articles againt him. There were people there who seemed to hate him. In the last days there were again many articles about him. They pronounce themselves discretely against his extradition to the US even if showing themselves to be critical of him as if trying to justify their years of attacks against him. But one detail: I didn’t find even one article in The Guardian where you can comment the case. Today for instance you can comment an article by Gaby Hinsliff about Kim Kardashian. Marina Hyde talks in an article about washing her hair (whatever else she wants to say, with 2831 comments at this moment). But you don’t find any article about Assange that you can comment. 10 or 8 or 5 years ago there were hundreds of articles about him that you could comment.

EliteCommInc. , says: April 13, 2019 at 10:59 am GMT
The game afoot here is obvious.

https://www.caracaschronicles.com/2017/04/03/ecuador-next-venezuela/

Pressure relief

Tsar Nicholas , says: April 13, 2019 at 11:38 am GMT
@Art

UK PM May said about Assange – “no one is above the law” – proving she is a weak sister without a clue.

No one is above the law except the British government, which ignored the provisions of the EU Withdrawal Act requiring us to leave on March 29th.

No one is above the law except for the US and the UK which have illegally deployed forces to Syria against the wishes of the government in Damascus.

And Tony Blair, a million dead thanks to his corruption. He should be doing time in a Gulag for his evil crimes.

And of course, the black MP for Peterborough – Fiona Onasanya – served a mere three weeks in jail for perverting the course of justice, normally regarded as a very serious offence. But she was out in time – electronic tag and curfew notwithstanding – to vote in the House of Commons against leaving the EU.

[Apr 13, 2019] Russophobia, A WMD (Weapon Of Mass Deception) by Jean Ranc

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... My search for the roots of this particularly vicious and extremely dangerous hate campaign began in a Dartmouth College Russian Foreign Policy course, which led me to the book, "Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy" by San Francisco State University Professor Andrei P. Tsygankov (2009). ..."
"... Then in Italy the following winter, I discovered the work of the Swiss journalist, Guy Mettan, in the Italian geopolitical journal, LiMes: an excerpt from his book, "Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria" (2017). ..."
"... "More than merely dominate, the American superpower now seeks to control history. Such cosmic ambition is accompanied by an equally vast sense of entitlement, of special dispensation to pursue its aims." (p.3) ..."
"... Never-the-less, Mearsheimer is backed up by Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent. In Sakwa's book, "Russia Against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order", 2017, we turn to the section on "Reality Wars and American Power" on p. 217 to read: "It does indeed seem that Russia and Western elites live in totally different worlds, divided by different epistemological understandings of the nature of contemporary reality. The Ukraine crisis crystallized the profound differences between Russian and Atlanticist understandings of the breakdown and its causes." And he continues on p. 218: "Elite and policy-maker perceptions and attitudes forged in the Cold War years sustain these legacies and frame the discussions of such crucial issues as NATO enlargement, democracy promotion in the post-Soviet area, and strategic arms talks." Adding that these "are no longer so much legacies as self-regenerating narratives and modes of discourse that preclude a more open-ended understanding of the dynamics and concerns of Russia today." ..."
"... From another perspective: Mettan's chapter on "German Russophobia" set me thinking that this "Western Supremacy" political-cultural pathology known as Russophobia is like the racism which I knew growing up in totally segregated Oklahoma. ..."
"... So, here's a Swiss journalist punching a hole in this wall of Russophobic Western Supremacy and through that gaping hole, we are reminded that the Russians are Europe's neighbors who sacrificed more than 26 million of their own lives to save Europe, America and Russia from the Nazis. ..."
"... And the week following the August 7, 2018 Trump-Putin Helsinki summit, will surely go down in psychiatric circles as another case of mass media-political delusions led by cheer-leader-in-chief, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC. ..."
"... Never-the-less, after a very long run of American "regime change" abroad leaving a bloody trail of destruction, dictatorships and chaos from Iran in 1953, when we joined with the British to overthrow the democratically-elected President Mohammad Mossadegh to maintain the Brit-US control of its oil on through Guatemala, Vietnam and Chile to name a few of our interventions we were back for a second round with "coalitions of the willing" or not? ..."
"... So how is it that we now have contemporary Inquisitors persecuting so many truth tellers ..."
Apr 13, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Jean Ranc via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

Russophobia, as psycho-social-political pathology, is diagnosed as a disorder in The West since before the 1000-year-old Roman-Orthodox religious schism and most recently manifested with a vengeance in the course of the 2013-14 with Edward Snowden's revelations of mass surveillance by the US and its covert activities leading to the Ukraine coup with Russophobia used thereafter as a weapon of mass deception to inflame this latent pathology in the public.

After more than a year since we first heard the BBC "breaking news" about the "Russians Poisoning the Skipals", all we have are allegations, but there is still no real evidence to present before a judge and jury for a just trial, only media propaganda which has provoked even more fear and hysteria meant to distract people from the government's bungling and high level of anxiety over Brexit by once again blaming Russia . Never-the-less, it prompted politicians to administer instant sanctions against Russia as punishment. That first day, the "evidence", presented in the usual clipped, "authoritative" British accents, included interviews with a conservative British MP, then the former US Ambassador to Russia, Alexander Vershbow (2001-05), now with the notoriously hawkish US-based think tank, the Atlantic Council. Thus, the three of them: the BBC "journalist" and the two "experts", colluded to transform false allegations into "facts"... fueled, as always, by their perpetual prejudice, RUSSOPHOBIA, in the course of their propaganda war to force Russia to surrender to American-led Western Domination or else: have their economy destroyed & their people suffer. Indeed, it is a threat to the whole world played to the discord of rattling nuclear swords with a chorus of vindictive Russian oligarchs, whom Putin expelled for robbing the Russian people. So, now living in London as expats, they would seem to be the more likely culprits. All the while elsewhere in London, thanks to our "special US-UK relationship", Julian Assange has been excommunicated and imprisoned in a tiny "cell" at the Ecuador embassy for revealing embarrassing American secrets via Wikileaks.

There we have it: the poisoning of our minds by the media and politicians which are owned and controlled by the US-UK-EU 1%, who benefit from Western Hegemony. So, these deluded few are now desperately defending it from the rising powers led by Russia and China with India not far behind demanding a multi-polar, democratic world order.

My search for the roots of this particularly vicious and extremely dangerous hate campaign began in a Dartmouth College Russian Foreign Policy course, which led me to the book, "Russophobia: Anti-Russian Lobby and American Foreign Policy" by San Francisco State University Professor Andrei P. Tsygankov (2009). And there, the detoxification of my mind began as I studied his deft, well-documented deconstruction of the political propaganda disseminated "by various think tanks, congressional testimonials, activities of NGOs and the media" (preface p. XIII)

Then in Italy the following winter, I discovered the work of the Swiss journalist, Guy Mettan, in the Italian geopolitical journal, LiMes: an excerpt from his book, "Creating Russophobia: From the Great Religious Schism to Anti-Putin Hysteria" (2017).

There, Mettan informs us that this psycho-social pathology in Western Civilization" goes back more than 1000 years: to the division of Christendom between the Orthodox and Roman churches. Indeed, his research into the depths of history confirms the diagnosis by our renowned American psychiatrist, Robert Jay Lifton, in his 2003 book, "Superpower Syndrome: America's Apocalyptic Confrontation with the World".

Therein, Lifton states: "More than merely dominate, the American superpower now seeks to control history. Such cosmic ambition is accompanied by an equally vast sense of entitlement, of special dispensation to pursue its aims." (p.3) And Mettan's analysis of Russophobia also underscores the work of University of Chicago Professor John J. Mearsheimer, our leading international relations "realist" in his three Henry L. Stimson lectures at Yale University November 2017: "The Roots of Liberal Hegemony", "The False Promises of Liberal Hegemony" and "The Case for Restraint": with his book , "The Great Delusion: Liberal Dreams, International Realities" published in 2018.

But what about "Russian Aggression" in Ukraine & Crimea?

In the first place, it was the astute Mearsheimer, who, in the Sept-Oct 2014 Foreign Affairs, informed us "Why the Ukraine Crisis is the West's Fault: The Liberal Delusions That Provoked Putin" (pp 77-89), but the American foreign policy establishment, together with ambitious politicians and the me-too media, paid no heed and continues to repeat its fabricated "facts".

Never-the-less, Mearsheimer is backed up by Richard Sakwa, Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent. In Sakwa's book, "Russia Against the Rest: The Post-Cold War Crisis of World Order", 2017, we turn to the section on "Reality Wars and American Power" on p. 217 to read: "It does indeed seem that Russia and Western elites live in totally different worlds, divided by different epistemological understandings of the nature of contemporary reality. The Ukraine crisis crystallized the profound differences between Russian and Atlanticist understandings of the breakdown and its causes." And he continues on p. 218: "Elite and policy-maker perceptions and attitudes forged in the Cold War years sustain these legacies and frame the discussions of such crucial issues as NATO enlargement, democracy promotion in the post-Soviet area, and strategic arms talks." Adding that these "are no longer so much legacies as self-regenerating narratives and modes of discourse that preclude a more open-ended understanding of the dynamics and concerns of Russia today."

Karl Rove: "We're an empire now; we create our own reality."

[In 2004, journalist Ron Suskind wrote in The New York Times magazine that a top White House strategist for President George W. Bush -- identified later as Karl Rove, Bush's Deputy White House Chief of Staff -- told him, "We're an empire now, we create our own reality."]

Thus, we've become trapped in a contrived "reality" promulgated by neo-conservative warriors under cover of neo-liberal "democracy-spreading-humanitarian-interventionists" to justify an American Empire promoting itself as the indispensable "Liberal World Order". However, under that global order, as Sakwa points out on p. 219: "If a foreign power is considered to have violated 'international order', then it can be overthrown" as a rationale for American "regime change" anywhere around the world: whether to control the supply of copper in Chile or oil in Iran. And, with its eye on Russia's vast oil, gas and other natural resources, America claims the right to threaten Russia by ringing it with weapons which we would not abide were the Russians to place missiles in Mexico as the Soviets did in Cuba to defend it after our "Bay of Pigs" invasion that brought humanity to the brink of nuclear war. Thus, Russia was defending itself in Ukraine against further NATO expansion while Crimean citizens, by majority vote in a democratic referendum, chose to rejoin Russia as they had been one country ever since Catherine the Great except for an interval in the '50s when Crimea was" gifted" to Ukraine while they were all members of the Soviet Union.

"Ditching Solzhenitsyn, Defender of Russia"

And not to forget that in 1974, after being expelled from the Soviet Union, Alexandr Solzhenitsyn and his family fled first to Zurich then to Vermont in 1976 and lived on a farm near Cavendish, where he continued to write and publish his work. Meanwhile, Mettan, as a journalist covering events related to Russia, became quite distressed over "the widespread prejudices, cartloads of clichés and systematic anti-Russian biases of most western media." And he went on to say that "the more I traveled, discussed and read, the wider I perceived, the more the gap of incomprehension and ignorance between Western Europe and Russia became evident.

"That was why, during the 1990s, I was shocked by the way the West treated Solzhenitsyn. For decades, we had published, celebrated, and acclaimed the great writer as bearing the torch of anti-Soviet dissidence. We had praised Solzhenitsyn to the skies as long as he criticized his native country, communist Russia. But as soon as he emigrated, realizing that he preferred to isolate himself in his Vermont retreat to work rather than attending anticommunist conferences, western media and academics began to distance themselves from the great writer.

"The idol no longer matched the image they had built and was becoming a hindrance to their academic and journalistic career plans. And once Solzhenitsyn had left the United States to go back to Russia and defend his humiliated, demoralized motherland that was being sold at auction, raising his voice against the Russian 'Westernizers' and pluralist liberals who denied the interests of Russia to better revel in the troughs of capitalism, he became a marked man, an outdated, senile writer, even though he himself had not changed in the least, denouncing with the same vigor the defects of market totalitarianism as those of communist totalitarianism.

"He was booed, despised, his name was dragged through the mud for his choices, often by the very people who had praised his first fights. Despite that, against all odds, against the most powerful powers that were trying to dissuade him, Solzhenitsyn defended his one and only cause, that of Russia. He was not forgiven for having turned his pen against that West that had welcomed him and felt it was owed eternal gratitude. A dissident today, a dissident wherever truth compelled, such was his motto. This deserves to be remembered." Mettan, pp. 15-16 in "Creating Russophobia".

Russophobia: akin to Racism

From another perspective: Mettan's chapter on "German Russophobia" set me thinking that this "Western Supremacy" political-cultural pathology known as Russophobia is like the racism which I knew growing up in totally segregated Oklahoma.

Until in high school, I became so perplexed and appalled by the curtain of hate and "justifications" in which we were smothered: the Negro schools on the other side of town? and why were there separate waiting rooms, drinking fountains & restrooms in bus and train stations?...that I began poking holes in the curtain to see what was outside...and found a book in the library: "South of Freedom" by Carl Rowan, an African-American Minneapolis Star Tribune journalist, describing his journey from South to North. So, thanks to what I learned from Rowan, I began to tear the whole damned curtain down...at least in my mind.

Whom the Gods would destroy, they first drive mad?

So, here's a Swiss journalist punching a hole in this wall of Russophobic Western Supremacy and through that gaping hole, we are reminded that the Russians are Europe's neighbors who sacrificed more than 26 million of their own lives to save Europe, America and Russia from the Nazis.

These are not poor "niggers" from the Eurasian ghetto we've been trying to club into submission as second-class citizens of "The Liberal World Order" dominated by US; they're nuclear-armed and no longer willing to sit at a separate, inferior table with no vote and no voice over who makes the rules...nor are China, India and Brazil. And last year, while the wave of Russophobic hysteria over alleged "Russian poisoning" was rolling out of the UK and engulfing the Western world in the latest siege of mass madness with only Jeremy Corbyn, leader of the British Labor party, having the courage to stand up in Parliament on the Ides of March and demand Evidence! only to be pilloried by the mindless politicians and media led by the once esteemed BBC.

And the week following the August 7, 2018 Trump-Putin Helsinki summit, will surely go down in psychiatric circles as another case of mass media-political delusions led by cheer-leader-in-chief, Rachel Maddow of MSNBC.

Meanwhile, not to forget that it was Hearst newspaper propaganda that whipped the American public into a war frenzy to support our first step in empire-building: our 1898 intervention in Cuba's war for independence from the Spanish Empire which had dominated all of Latin America for 500 years. As the former NYTimes journalist/bureau chief in Istanbul, Berlin & Central America, Stephen Kinzer reminds us in his latest book "The True Flag: Theodore Roosevelt, Mark Twain, and the Birth of American Empire", Twain, Booker T. Washington and even Andrew Carnegie leading a handful of other anti-imperialists...were not able to prevail against Roosevelt with his Rough Riders and the Hearst newspapers' war propaganda.

Regime Change Comes Home

Never-the-less, after a very long run of American "regime change" abroad leaving a bloody trail of destruction, dictatorships and chaos from Iran in 1953, when we joined with the British to overthrow the democratically-elected President Mohammad Mossadegh to maintain the Brit-US control of its oil on through Guatemala, Vietnam and Chile to name a few of our interventions we were back for a second round with "coalitions of the willing" or not?

In the Middle East where our regime-change machine managed to plow its way through Afghanistan, Iraq and Libya before breaking down in Syria. Until now it's been brought home again, renovated and renamed "RussiaGate" for another attempt at removing a President for trying to mend US relations with Russia. Though even after more than a year of Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller's investigations accompanied by such cinematic support as the movie, "Felt", another "Watergate" re-run. Did anyone else notice the resemblance between "Felt" and Mueller? And despite the media's commemoration of its 44-year-old "moment of courage" with the movie "The Post" to promote Trump's ouster, our democratically-elected President, as of this writing, remains in power. However, in this rush to "regime change", didn't the our "ruling elite" read Jane Mayer's "The Danger of President Pence" in the 10/23/17 New Yorker? At least the 70s' "ruling class" was smart enough to remove an unqualified Vice President Spiro (who?) Agnew before "regime changing" Nixon and replacing him with the more or less benign Gerald Ford.

A Florentine Epiphany

But back to last January in Florence, Italy, when I was hiking in the hills beyond the Piazzale Michelangelo, with its spectacular view of that Renaissance city and its centerpiece, the Duomo, I came across the Villa Galileo, which had been his last home after his trial as a "heretic", during which to save himself from torture and execution, he was forced to deny his helio-centric vision and henceforth lived under "villa arrest", from 1631 until his natural death in 1642. While pondering his fate, I continued walking along the gently rising, ever-narrowing road between ancient stone walls overlooking villas and olive groves until I reached the peak, where I felt as if I were standing on top of the world as I contemplated both the Arno and Ema river valleys far below and where I swear I heard Galileo declare: "The world does not turn on an American axis!"

The 21st Century Inquisition

So how is it that we now have contemporary Inquisitors persecuting so many truth tellers such as Edward Snowden, our electronic age "Solzhenitsyn?" in Russian exile; Chelsea Manning, imprisoned some 7 years for revealing US brutality in Iraq; Julian Assange confined to his Ecuadorian Embassy exile in London since August 2012; Katharine Gun, a whistleblower attempting to stop the Iraq invasion, who faced 2 years of British imprisonment before her case was dropped; James Risen, former New York Times journalist who was persecuted by our "justice" system for revealing our government's surveillance of US!

Any Good Sense Left?

So, do we the people have enough good sense & independent thinking left to follow the advice of Henry David Thoreau?

"Let us settle ourselves, and work and wedge our feet downward through the mud and slush of opinion, and prejudice, and tradition, and delusion, and appearance, that alluvion which covers the globe, through Paris and London, through New York and Boston and Concord, through church and state, through poetry and philosophy and religion, till we come to a hard bottom and rocks in place, which we can call reality."

"Walden" 1854

If not, the Doctor prescribes Shock Therapy:

For a week, a month, or however long it takes to cleanse and open the mind, one must adhere to strict abstinence from Mainstream Media propaganda, junk news, pseudo analysis, fake photos, TV & videos including absolutely NO phony "for, by & of the people" NPR, PBS, BBC or other Government-funded Neo or LibCon Imperial tranquilizer.

[Apr 12, 2019] the main goal of those who started> Russia probe was to unleash neo-McCarthyism compaign, not so much Trump who proviided to the Deel State everything they wanted: he expanded the military budget, cut taxes, reduced regulations

Notable quotes:
"... Those who started Russia probe were attempting a 'coup', AG must start investigation – Trump ..."
"... The coup happened in earnest on 9/11 and the people who started the Russia probe were just doing what they do: sow division and strife within the domestic population to allow them to continue operating in an unfettered manner in service to their master, Zionism. ..."
"... "When the Mueller report is released, it would be wonderful if he explained why neither he, the senate, nor any one of the federal law or intelligence agencies who have all given opinions on the matter, has ever taken the simple first step of examining the DNC servers. He won't." ..."
"... Friends and associates of all of these 'ringleaders' (in single-quotes because my suppositions are based on indirect evidence) have gotten key positions in the Trump Administration. ..."
Apr 12, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Apr 10, 2019 12:14:58 PM | link

thoughts on how far this will go?

Those who started Russia probe were attempting a 'coup', AG must start investigation – Trump

SlapHappy , Apr 10, 2019 12:29:20 PM | link

The coup happened in earnest on 9/11 and the people who started the Russia probe were just doing what they do: sow division and strife within the domestic population to allow them to continue operating in an unfettered manner in service to their master, Zionism.
PJB , Apr 10, 2019 4:04:00 PM | link
The absurdity of two official mainstream conspiracy theories.

Nice satire: https://consentfactory.org/2019/04/02/a-russiagate-requiem/

karlof1 , Apr 10, 2019 7:25:22 PM | link
Good thread discussion:

"When the Mueller report is released, it would be wonderful if he explained why neither he, the senate, nor any one of the federal law or intelligence agencies who have all given opinions on the matter, has ever taken the simple first step of examining the DNC servers.
He won't."

Nor will there be any answer to the unasked questions that after Murray's open statement about he knowing the leaker and the revelation of the metadata why none of the people involved were questioned.

karlof1 , Apr 10, 2019 8:13:38 PM | link
Excellent thread by Aaron Mate! "With Trump, Barr now on offense..."

"Dems face an awkward choice: continue to defend those who gave them a discredited (& self-defeating) conspiracy theory, or acknowledge that those people, including intel officials, acted improperly."

I'm sure we'll be discussing what Ray McGovern has dubbed Deep State Gate now that Russiagate's ended. I linked to Ray's essay earlier, which focused on BigLie media's roll.

Jackrabbit , Apr 10, 2019 11:30:41 PM | link
karlof1 @49

IMO the notion that a few senior Intelligence officials (mostly FBI) tried to overthrow Trump is silly to the point of being laughable. But that is the fall-back position that is being ... ur, Trumped up. The fact is, Trump has done everything that the Deep State and establishment could have wanted: expanded the military budget, cut taxes, reduced regulations, etc.

While some will complain loudly (for now), the whole affair will slowly fade away because, as I've previously noted, the best explanation for Russiagate is that the Deep State selected Trump and ran an anti-Russia psyop to spur neo-McCarthyism. As part of that effort, it seems highly likely that they attempted to settle scores with Wikileaks/Assange and Michael Flynn.

FBI failures - to follow investigative procedures; to include important information to the FISA court, etc. - are best explained as part of the bi-partisan Deep State consensus to pursue an anti-Russia agenda.

Anyone that thinks that senior people would participate in such activities without the cover of higher-ups is smoking something. Brennan, Mueller, Hillary, McCain, and Kissinger have the collective power to form and initiate a strategy to meet the challenge from Russia and China.

It all goes back to the 2014 surprise realization that Russia had grown a backbone and that the Russia-China Alliance was a serious threat to AZ Empire's NWO. That point of view was described by Kissinger in August 2014, in which Kissinger ALSO called for MAGA.

Trump entered the race for President 10 months later as the only MAGA candidate.

Jackrabbit | Apr 10, 2019 11:46:30 PM | 69

@67

Friends and associates of all of these 'ringleaders' (in single-quotes because my suppositions are based on indirect evidence) have gotten key positions in the Trump Administration.

[Apr 12, 2019] Edward Snowden and Julian Assange Betrayed

Feb 24, 2014 | homment.com
Correspondence with Edward Snowden, and the key to freedom for Julian Assange

A member of our Belgian Jewish community is in touch with Edward Snowden in Russia, both sharing the role of being significant global dissidents who used to live in the USA.

We are publishing here a copy of some of that correspondence between those two figures, as it discusses the likelihood of how both Edward Snowden and Julian Assange are being betrayed and actively harmed by the American lawyers and US-UK media companies claiming to 'represent' them, including America's ACLU (America's Civil Liberties Union), the UK Guardian and New York Times newspapers, and Glenn Greenwald.

All these groups and journalists, are apparently hiding thousands of pages of legal files, about the corruption and bribery of US federal (national) judges who are the same judges who would put Julian Assange or Edward Snowden on trial ... even though these lawyers and journalists all know that exposing the crimes of the bribed US judges, is the quick key to releasing Julian Assange from threats that confine him to his refuge in the Ecuadorean Embassy in London, and key to more safety and freedom for Snowden as well.

US Attorney General Eric Holder is accused of sponsoring criminal acts of deception against the UK, Sweden, Russia and other countries, hiding 'smoking gun' evidence of US judge bribery, in order to harm and destroy both Julian Assange and Edward Snowden. Google Inc has agreed to censor and hoax the internet and hide dozens of web pages about this.

This bribery is said to be funded by Britain's Pearson plc, with the Guardian and New York Times accused of accepting Pearson-funded bribes to print fake 'news' to obstruct and pervert justice so that the UK will not prosecute Pearson's bribery of US high judges and government.

Mr Snowden is also facing the terrifying possibility that his name is being abused by these parties, New York Times, Guardian and Greenwald, for the sake of entrapping other dissidents and whistleblowers into 'trusting' these journalists, who might then convey dissident names to the US regime in order to silence and murder them. It seems possible the Guardian and New York Times have already given Snowden files back to the US regime.

The correspondence with Edward Snowden makes reference to the police file with several EU countries, who are beginning investigations and prosecutions, starting in Finland, of the CIA-tied Wikipedia website, for fundraising fraud ... that police file significantly discusses the evidence of bribery of US federal judges who are the same judges who would put Edward Snowden and Julian Assange on trial in America, and how Wikipedia, actually an American CIA-controlled 'Trojan horse' for inserting lies on targeted topics, has been used to plant lies about that judicial bribery - the police dossier text is here:

'CIA Wikipedia fraud Finland police report'
http://homment.com/FB3PjBQ2DF

Here is a screenshot of a Google Inc 'search results' page, with tiny text at the bottom admitting that Google is censoring a large number of search results, about Edward Snowden's correspondent, a major witness to the crimes involving the same US judges who would put Edward Snowden or Julian Assange on trial:

'Live Photo: Google Inc. Caught Censoring EU Search Results on US corruption'
http://www.flickr.com/photos/22325431@N05/6100668211/in/photostream

- Jewish Community of Flanders

[Apr 12, 2019] Is Mueller another of Putin's puppets? I ask because it simply isn't credible that he couldn't find any evidence of collusion, as Adam Schiff has seen it and he has said so repeatedly.

Apr 12, 2019 | consentfactory.org

Eric McCow April 2, 2019 at 13:40 Reply

'So the Mueller report is finally in, and it appears that hundreds of millions of Americans have, once again, been woefully bamboozled. Weird, how this just keeps on happening. At this point, Americans have to be the most frequently woefully bamboozled people in the entire history of woeful bamboozlement. If you didn't know better, you'd think we were all a bunch of hopelessly credulous imbeciles that you could con into believing almost anything, or that our brains had been bombarded with so much propaganda from the time we were born that we couldn't really even think anymore.'

Brilliant. That really is the central message of '1984'. A lot of the brainwashing, particularly to liberals is ego massaging.They are led to believe they have superior education, intelligence and information.Even in the slipstream of this insanity, it's unlikely you will find a liberal whose confidence in his cultural superiority is even slightly dented.

'If there is hope,' wrote Winston, 'it lies in the proles.' .

'The great majority of proles did not even have telescreens in their homes'.

Nineteen Eighty-four, by George Orwell

https://ebooks.adelaide.edu.au/o/orwell/george/o79n/chapter1.7.html

Robert Laine April 2, 2019 at 22:05

Thanks so much CJ for putting my mind at ease. I feel much better now knowing it was all just a big mistake. Actually, in corporate management courses they don't use the term "mistake". They prefer "learning experience". I have certainly learned a lot during this McCarthy rerun episode.

Lorie April 3, 2019 at 21:12

Whew. Now we can all turn our attention to Saddam Maduro who is most surely some kind of a Hitler, or Stapn, or, SOMETHING. Even Trump haters can agree with him on that one, lead by the Bezos Post and the New York peTimes.

steve Hayes April 9, 2019 at 10:54

Is Mueller another of Putin's puppets? I ask because it simply isn't credible that he couldn't find any evidence of collusion, as Adam Schiff has seen it and he has said so repeatedly. So all Mueller had to do was ask Schiff – hey, even Tucker Carlson asked.

[Apr 12, 2019] U.S. attorney general's 'spying' remarks anger Democrats

Apr 12, 2019 | www.reuters.com


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Attorney General William Barr said on Wednesday he would look into whether U.S. agencies illegally spied on President Donald Trump's 2016 campaign, sparking criticism from Democrats who accused him of promoting a conspiracy theory.

Barr, who was appointed by Trump, is already facing criticism by congressional Democrats for how he has handled the release of Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report on the probe of Russian interference in the 2016 election, and his comments about surveillance brought more derision from Democratic senators.

His testimony echoed longstanding allegations by Trump and Republican allies that seeks to cast doubt on the early days of the federal investigation in an apparent attempt to discredit Mueller, law enforcement and intelligence agencies.

Posted by: librul | Apr 10, 2019 11:47:32 PM | 70 @ Jackrabbit #67

IMO the notion that a few senior Intelligence officials (mostly FBI) tried to overthrow Trump is silly to the point of being laughable.

Not to all of us, it isn't. The part I don't understand is the Why of their effort. Did they have some scheme to get rid of Pence too? Or was it all mindless blind hatred because he took down their Goddess Hillary?

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 10, 2019 11:49:22 PM | 71 ZS @ 68 said in part;"assuming the Corporate Democrats don't force one of their candidates Big Corporations want on the ballot. Which is, of course, most of them."

I assume what you speculated on above, will happen.

Posted by: ben | Apr 10, 2019 11:56:00 PM | 72 Zachary Smith @68: ... Corporate Democrats ... domestic policies ...

The democratic party is irredeemable as it operates as one arm of the duopoly. I don't see any meaningful distinction between "Corporate Democrats" and progressive Democrats except this: progressive Democrats give the Democratic Party cover to support the establishment.

IMO domestic policy can no longer be considered separately from Empire. "Progressive Democrats" are forced encouraged by their Party to support the military and ignore foreign policy.

<> <> <> <> <> <> <>

IMO the only grouping that is currently viable/strong alternative is the libertarians. If they could bring conservatives and (real) progressives together, then we could see a real challenge to the "radical center" (which actually rules as center-right).

But conservatives, (real) progressives, and libertarians are underfunded and constantly get played.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 11, 2019 12:02:16 AM | 73 @ Zachary Smith | Apr 10, 2019 11:49:22 PM | 71


RussiaGate: 'Why Did This Ever Start In The First Place?'

Posted by: librul | Apr 11, 2019 12:06:23 AM | 74 Zachary Smith @71:

Not to all of us, it isn't. The part I don't understand is the Why of their effort.

Well of course the WHY baffles you, because the only WHY that makes sense is what I described and that will never be allowed to come out publicly because then people will see that their democracy is a sham.

The "managed democracy" that we have in USA subverts the will of the people to the Empire.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 11, 2019 12:08:56 AM | 75 "Germany still owes Israel $19 billion for the Holocaust. The new estimate was calculated by independent American economist Sidney Zabludoff, a former CIA, White House and U.S. Treasury official."

https://www.haaretz.com/opinion/.premium-netanyahu-could-have-prevented-the-submarine-affair-by-collecting-germany-s-debt-1.7086232

https://www.jpost.com/Opinion/East-Germanys-reparation-debt-must-be-demanded-584941
---------------

Chutzpah...

Posted by: John Smith | Apr 11, 2019 12:13:27 AM | 76 @ 74: Why did Russiagate start in the first place? The short answer is IMO, diversion.

Another answer could be, that DJT stood on a stage, and asked another country to find his opponents e-mails.

Posted by: ben | Apr 11, 2019 12:34:51 AM | 77 @ librul #74

Though I hadn't seen that before, the general theme is in agreement with what I believe is the truth. Even ignorant and thuggish goons like Trump can be victims of a crime, and I believe that's what happened here.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 11, 2019 12:52:57 AM | 78 I find it piquant that the vice president of the US attacks a Venezuelan ambassador at the UN and then ramps up his aggression...by retreating.

Pence is so certain that the other guy doesn't belong, that he himself walks away. Every schoolyard would see this behavior for exactly what it is. Animals would understand it clearly also, in terms of pecking order.

How perfect this action is in matching precisely what we've been watching the US do in several military theaters for some time now. The louder and the ruder the bluster, the more certain we can be that it covers pure emptiness. And that the US is tangibly retreating under cover of the smoke.

The cowardice is becoming palpable.

Posted by: Grieved | Apr 11, 2019 12:53:10 AM | 79 ben

Well, why did "America First" Trump ask Russia to do that? (And later ask Wikileaks to release the DNC emails!)

And why did "America First" Trump hire Manafort who had extensive Russian contacts and pro-Russian activities that drew the ire of US officials?

These (and more) played into Russiagate hysteria that followed the election and were not in keeping with Trump's "America First" rhetoric.

Now, long after the election, we see additional strangeness like Roger Stone's claims of a contact at Wikileaks.

Posted by: Jackrabbit | Apr 11, 2019 1:01:14 AM | 80 Posted by: karlof1 | Apr 10, 2019 6:42:57 PM | 38

"IDF's chief rabbi-to-be permits raping women in wartime."

Just how does that differ from Daesh's behavior? Or was it the IDF that told Deash such behavior was okay? I'm pretty certain that rabbi is afoul of fundamental Mosaic Law and thus shouldn't be a rabbi.
----------------------

"The Talmud: The Steinsaltz Edition," Ketubot 11b, vol. 7 (NY: Random House, 1991), p. 145:

"If a grown man has intercourse with a little girl less than three years old, all agree that it is not a significant sexual act "

"Koren Talmud Bavli," Sanhedrin 54b, vol. 30 (Jerusalem, 2017), p. 41:

"If a man engages in homosexual intercourse with a minor who is under the age of nine, whether actively or passively, he is exempt as with regard to ritual law..."

.

Posted by: John Smith | Apr 11, 2019 1:02:54 AM | 81 @ Grieved with the UN/Pence story....here is China's take on the situation
"
UNITED NATIONS, April 10 (Xinhua) -- The Chinese ambassador to the United Nations on Wednesday rejected U.S. Vice President Mike Pence's accusation against China over Venezuela.

"China categorically rejects the accusation," Ma Zhaoxu, China's permanent representative to the United Nations, told a Security Council meeting on the situation in Venezuela.

"Earlier in his intervention, the U.S. representative leveled an unfounded accusation on China's position on Venezuela in the Security Council," he said, referring to Pence's remarks that Russia and China obstructed Council action on Venezuela with their veto power.

China has all along maintained friendly and cooperative relations with other countries around the world, including Venezuela, on the basis of the Five Principles of Peaceful Coexistence, he said.

"We support peoples of all countries in independently choosing their development paths that cater to their national conditions. We never interfere in other countries' internal affairs, nor do we impose anything on other countries," Ma added.

Members of the Security Council should faithfully abide by the purposes and principles of the UN Charter and the universally recognized norms of international relations, genuinely respect the choices of peoples of other countries, and do more positive and practical things for the people of Venezuela rather than the opposite, said the Chinese envoy.
"

Posted by: psychohistorian | Apr 11, 2019 1:02:58 AM | 82 WJ @51 ... FWIW, as of this writing I'm having no trouble accessing the naked capitalism site.

Posted by: John Anthony La Pietra | Apr 11, 2019 1:05:26 AM | 83 Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, Instagram March 10, 2019:

"Israel is not a state of all its citizens. According to the Nation-State Law that we passed, Israel is the nation-state of the Jewish People -- and them alone."

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/D1T_F00VsAAb25V.jpg

Posted by: John Smith | Apr 11, 2019 1:07:35 AM | 84 @ Jackrabbit #75

I"m not sure we disagree very much, for I also believe our "democracy" is thoroughly managed, and "sham" is quite a good word for it. The part I don't understand is why you seem to object to pointing out efforts by the 'managers' to correct the error of a slam dunk election going bad. Hillary was supposed to be in the White House. More than one nation had been making advance payments to the Clinton Foundation to purchase her goodwill. She was the dream for Big Banking, the apartheid Jewish state, and probably a lot more folks. That didn't happen, and some people became unhinged.

Posted by: Zachary Smith | Apr 11, 2019 1:08:09 AM | 85