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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
Fake tale about Smolenkov as "Kremlin spy" who provided info for Steele dossier 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
NeoMcCartyism UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative" Luke Harding a pathetic author of rehash of Steele Dossier book MSM as attack dogs of color revolution US and British media are servants of security apparatus Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap Brennan elections machinations    
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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[Oct 23, 2019] New York Times Fakes The Record About Arming The Syrian Rebels

Notable quotes:
"... Clearly, the US hopes wrench Turkey from the Russian embrace. Moscow's studied indifference toward the US-Turkish cogitations betrays its uneasiness. Conceivably, Erdogan will expect Putin to take a holistic view, considering Russia's flourishing and high lucrative economic and military ties with Turkey and the imperative to preserve the momentum of Russia-Turkey relationship. ..."
"... If the US policy in Syria in recent years promoted the Kurdish identity, it has now swung to the other extreme of stoking the fires of Turkish revanchism. This is potentially catastrophic for regional stability. ..."
"... the main outcome will be that Turkey feels it has western support for its long-term occupation of Syrian territory. ..."
"... Arguably, US expects Turkey's cooperation to strengthen its strategy in Syria (and Iraq) where it seeks to contain Iran's influence. From Ankara, Pompeo travelled to Jerusalem to brief Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. " ..."
Oct 23, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

New York Times Fakes The Record About Arming The Syrian Rebels

History as faked by the New York Times :

Kurds' Sense of Betrayal Compounded by Empowerment of Unsavory Rivals
Ben Hubbard, David D. Kirkpatrick, NYT 18. Oct 2019

Now, [..] the sense of betrayal among the Kurds [..] is matched only by their outrage at who will move in: Turkish soldiers supported by Syrian fighters the United States had long rejected as extremists, criminals and thugs .
...
The deadly battles [..] have also given new leeway to Syrian fighters once considered too extreme or unruly to receive American military support.
...
Grandly misnamed the Syrian National Army, this coalition of Turkish-backed militias is in fact largely composed of the dregs of the eight-year-old conflict's failed rebel movement.

Early in the war [..] the military and the C.I.A. sought to train and equip moderate, trustworthy rebels to fight the government and the Islamic State.

A few of those now fighting in the northeast took part in those failed programs, but most were rejected as too extreme or too criminal . Some have expressed extremist sensibilities or allied with jihadist groups.

The reality is the opposite of what the NYT claims. The majority of the groups now fighting with the Turkish army had earlier received support from the U.S. Even their nominal leader is the same one who the U.S. earlier paid, armed and promoted.

COMPONENTS OF THE NATIONAL ARMY AND THE IMPLICATIONS OF THE UNIFICATION
Ömer Özkizilcik, SETA, October 2019

On August 31, the Syrian National Coalition came together and elected the president and the cabinet of the Syrian Interim Government in which Abdurrahman Mustafa was elected president and Salim Idriss was elected defense minister . With the new cabinet, the Syrian Interim Government became more active on the ground, started visiting each faction of the National Army, and accelerated the stalled negotiations to unite the National Army and the NLF under one command.
Salim Idriss with U.S. Senator John McCain

bigger
Salim Idriss with Guy Verhofstadt, then leader of the ALDE group in the European Parliament

bigger
Among the 41 factions that joined the merger, 15 are from the NLF and 26 from the National Army. Thirteen of these factions were formed after the United States cut its support to the armed Syrian opposition. Out of the 28 factions, 21 were previously supported by the United States , three of them via the Pentagon's program to combat DAESH. Eighteen of these factions were supplied by the CIA via the MOM Operations Room in Turkey, a joint intelligence operation room of the 'Friends of Syria' to support the armed opposition. Fourteen factions of the 28 were also recipients of the U.S.-supplied TOW anti-tank guided missiles.

The SETA study provides a detailed list of the groups involved in the current Turkish invasion of Syria. Not only is their commander Salim Idriss a former U.S. stooge but the majority of these groups did receive U.S. support and weapons.


bigger

The New York Times claim that only "a few of those" who now fight the YPG Kurds took part in the U.S. programs is a blatant lie.

The NYT piece quotes three 'experts' who testify that the 'rebels' the U.S. had armed are really, really bad:

"These are the misfits of the conflict, the worst of the worst," said Hassan Hassan, a Syrian-born scholar tracking the fighting. "They have been notorious for extortion, theft and banditry, more like thugs than rebels -- essentially mercenaries."

It was Hassan Hassan who since the start of the conflict lobbied for arming the rebels from his perch at the UAE's media flagship The National .

Another 'expert' quoted is the Israeli propagandist Elizabeth Tsurkov:

"They are basically gangsters, but they are also racist toward Kurds and other minorities," said Elizabeth Tsurkov, a fellow at the Foreign Policy Research Institute. "No human should be subjected to their rule."

Tsurkov earlier lauded the Israeli hiring and arming of the very same 'Syrian rebels'.

Another 'expert' quoted by the Times is a co-chair of the 'congressionally sponsored bipartisan Syrian Study Group':

"We are turning areas that had been controlled by our allies over to the control of criminals or thugs, or that in some cases groups were associated or fighting alongside Al Qaeda," said Ms. Stroul, of the Syrian Study Group. "It is a profound and epic strategic blunder."

The 'Syrian Study Group' wants to prolong the war on Syria. Ms. Stroul and her co-chair Michael Singh reside at the Washington Institute which is a part of the Zionist lobby and has long argued for 'arming the Syrian rebels'.

The Times report does not mention that the 'experts' it quotes all once lobbied for arming the very same groups they are now lamenting about. When these groups ran rampant in the areas they took from the Syrian government the Times and its 'experts' were lauding them all the way. No effort to support them was big enough. All crimes they committed were covered up or excused.

Now, as the very same rebels attack the Kurds, they are suddenly called out for being what they always have been.

Posted by b on October 20, 2019 at 11:19 UTC | Permalink


Richard , Oct 20 2019 11:46 utc | 1

Hah! More lies from the NYT....mainstream media in the west has deteriorated into a propaganda channel for the Military Industrial Complex and the oligarchy, pumping out a never ending tide of lying filth aimed at more and more war (more and more weapon sales) and promoting and preserving predatory capitalism (more money for the Billionaire class, less for you).

In my own reading of MSM press and my own watching of the MSM Talking Heads I believe I've indentified 8 techniques that amoral, dangerous, barely competent idiots that have the cheek to call themselves journalists use to lie to you, the reader/viewer/listener. Here's my list...

https://richardhennerley.com/2018/10/16/8-techniques-journalists-use-to-lie-to-you/

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Oct 20 2019 12:12 utc | 2
Okay how practical.
Now only is the NYT trying to whitewash themselves by faking, they are also kind enough to do the same for their Jihadi lovin partners in crime.
How empathic! How sensible! Like a true moral authority.

BTW: It seems my previous claims were right. The Turks made a 180 and allied with the US again, reviving the NATO allaince. Now that the Kurds are out of the way in Turk-US relations, US and NATO has much more to offer than Russia, and noe Erdogan has support from NATO and will not be deterred by Putin.
B, i respect you immensly, but your belief the Turkish invasion was Erdogan doing some secret Putin plan was unproven at the time, and now, AT LEAST since the US-Turk deal, is obsolte.

Read M. K. BHADRAKUMARs blog, he thought like you, but after the US-Turk deal, EVERYTHING HAS CHANGED:

https://indianpunchline.com/us-stokes-the-fires-of-turkish-revanchism/

"The extraordinary US overture to Turkey regarding northern Syria resulted in a joint statement on Thursday, whose ramifications can be rated only in the fulness of time , as several intersecting tracks are running.

The US objectives range from Trump's compulsions in domestic politics to the future trajectory of the US policies toward Syria and the impact of any US-Turkish rapprochement on the geopolitics of the Syrian conflict.

Meanwhile, the US-Turkish joint statement creates new uncertainties. The two countries have agreed on a set of principles -- Turkey's crucial status as a NATO power ; security of Christian minorities in Syria; prevention of an ISIS surge; creation of a "safe zone" on Turkish-Syrian border; a 120-hour ceasefire ("pause") in Turkish military operations leading to a permanent halt, hopefully.

The devil lies in the details. Principally, there is no transparency regarding the future US role in Syria . The Kurds and the US military will withdraw from the 30-kilometre broad buffer zone. What thereafter? In the words of the US Vice-President Mike Pence at the press conference in Ankara on Thursday,

"Kurdish population in Syria, with which we have a strong relationship, will continue to endure. The United States will always be grateful for our partnership with SDF in defeating ISIS, but we recognise the importance and the value of a safe zone to create a buffer between Syria proper and the Kurdish population and -- and the Turkish border. And we're going to be working very closely ."

To be sure, everything devolves upon the creation of the safe zone. Turkey envisages a zone stretching across the entire 440 kilometre border with Syria upto Iraqi border, while the US special envoy James Jeffrey remains non-committal, saying it is up to the "Russians and the Syrians in other areas of the northeast and in Manbij to the west of the Euphrates" to agree to Turkey's maximalist stance.

Herein lies the rub. Jeffrey would know Ankara will never get its way with Moscow and Damascus. In fact, President Bashar al-Assad told in unequivocal terms to a high-level Russian delegation visiting Damascus on Friday, "At the current phase it is necessary to focus on putting an end to aggression and on the pullout of all Turkish, US and other forces illegally present in Syrian territories."

Is there daylight between Moscow and Damascus on this highly sensitive issue? Turkish President Recep Erdogan's forthcoming meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin in Sochi on October 22 may provide an answer.

Clearly, the US hopes wrench Turkey from the Russian embrace. Moscow's studied indifference toward the US-Turkish cogitations betrays its uneasiness. Conceivably, Erdogan will expect Putin to take a holistic view, considering Russia's flourishing and high lucrative economic and military ties with Turkey and the imperative to preserve the momentum of Russia-Turkey relationship.

If the US policy in Syria in recent years promoted the Kurdish identity, it has now swung to the other extreme of stoking the fires of Turkish revanchism. This is potentially catastrophic for regional stability. The heart of the matter is that while Turkey's concerns over terrorism and the refugee problem are legitimate, Operation Peace Spring has deeper moorings: Turkey's ambitions as regional power and its will to correct the perceived injustice of territorial losses incurred during the disintegration of the Ottoman Empire. The ultra-nationalistic Turkish commentator (and staunch supporter of Erdogan) wrote this week in the pro-government daily Yeni Safak:

"Turkey once again revived the millennium-old political history on Anatolian territory. It took action with a mission that will carry the legacy of the Seljuks, the Ottomans, the Republic of Turkey to the next stage It is not possible to set an equation in this region by excluding Turkey – it will not happen. A map cannot be drawn that excludes Turkey – it will not happen. A power cannot be established without Turkey – it will not happen. Throughout history, both the rise and fall of this country has altered the region the mind in Turkey is now a regional mind, a regional conscience, a regional identity. President Erdoğan is the pioneer, the bearer of that political legacy from the Seljuks, the Ottomans, and the Turkish Republic to the future."

Trump is unlikely to pay attention to the irredentist instincts in Turkish regional policies. Trump's immediate concerns are to please the evangelical Christian constituency in the US and silence his critics who allege that he threw the Kurds under the bus or that a ISIS resurgence is imminent. But there is no way the US can deliver on the tall promises made in the joint statement. The Kurds have influential friends in the Pentagon. (See the article by Gen. Joseph Votel, former chief of the US Central Command, titled The Danger of Abandoning our Partners.) Nonetheless, the main outcome will be that Turkey feels it has western support for its long-term occupation of Syrian territory.

All in all, it's a "win-win" for Erdogan insofar as he got what he wanted -- US' political and diplomatic support for "the kind of long-term buffer zone that will ensure peace and stability in the region", to borrow the words of Vice President Pence. A Turkish withdrawal from Syrian territory can now be virtually ruled out. State secretary Mike Pompeo added at the press conference in Ankara on Thursday that there is "a great deal of work to do in the region. There's lots of challenges that remain."

Pompeo said Erdogan's "decision to work alongside President Trump will be one that I think will benefit Turkey a great deal." Arguably, US expects Turkey's cooperation to strengthen its strategy in Syria (and Iraq) where it seeks to contain Iran's influence. From Ankara, Pompeo travelled to Jerusalem to brief Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu. "

DontBelieveEitherPr. , Oct 20 2019 12:16 utc | 3
Add to that, that the Turks now threaten SAA with "full out war".

John Helmers latest post sheds light on the fact, that the Russian military leadership and the Stavka in general has warned Putin since the Idlib deal again and again to no avail that the Turks would do this.

Which seems now to have been proven true since the US-Turk deal, which in essence changed everything overnight.

http://johnhelmer.net/in-the-war-for-syrias-highway-m4-the-kremlin-turks-have-been-beaten-to-the-punch-by-the-russian-general-staff-foreign-ministry-for-the-moment/

oldhippie , Oct 20 2019 12:21 utc | 4
As the extremity of propaganda in mainstream news becomes more obvious a few American consumers of news do begin to have doubts. Most continue to be entirely uncritical. The barflies here are in the habit of being critical, analytic, skeptical when reading any news from any source. That is not the American way.

The cohort of educated prosperous middle class readers of the NYT has total faith in NYT. Having the paper edition on the doorstep in the morning is a badge of membership. A totem that gives them status. Questioning any word or phrase or clause that appears in print is wrong. Asking questions means something is wrong with you. The Times is never wrong. Those who doubt the Times have mental health issues. Or they are alt-right. Or they are deplorable. For the intended audience the propaganda feed is always completely effective. Readers of the Times will never untie the knot.

oldhippie , Oct 20 2019 12:21 utc | 4
As the extremity of propaganda in mainstream news becomes more obvious a few American consumers of news do begin to have doubts. Most continue to be entirely uncritical. The barflies here are in the habit of being critical, analytic, skeptical when reading any news from any source. That is not the American way.

The cohort of educated prosperous middle class readers of the NYT has total faith in NYT. Having the paper edition on the doorstep in the morning is a badge of membership. A totem that gives them status. Questioning any word or phrase or clause that appears in print is wrong. Asking questions means something is wrong with you. The Times is never wrong. Those who doubt the Times have mental health issues. Or they are alt-right. Or they are deplorable. For the intended audience the propaganda feed is always completely effective. Readers of the Times will never untie the knot.

Walter , Oct 20 2019 12:29 utc | 5
"Why" always seem like a good question, eh? The NYT lies...why?

This quote caught my attention> " The powerful and historical walls to study today are those of the Kremlin." (Fisk, information clearing house)

As it was for Winston's "Ministry of Truth" (Orwell) the NYT article is necessary. That's the significance - not the lies but the necessity of lies...

And under what situations are lies required? Think about that when (if) you read Fisk's analysis. (I am not a fan of Fisk, but his views in this instance align with my own rather well)

Fisk article title> "Trump's disgrace in the Middle East is the death of an empire. Vladimir Putin is Caesar now"

Some may recall that the monks on Mt Athos quietly elected VVP as the Byzantine Emperor (about 2 years ago) - the Eastern branch of Christianity continues whilst nominally christian(western) branch is fake and perverse ritual and worse...while his Popeness in Rome has as Luther saw... I think Luther said it was a vast brothel...

Does this need Daniel to read the writing...


which is?

mene mene tekel upharsin (well somebody said..)

By the way my vote for the clown-man was cast because I reasoned the best esthetic feature in the freak parade at the end of empire would be a clown act. I am indebted to the late George Carlin for the symbolism.

I am proved right? I think so. Dogs bark and caravan continue...and many expect dollars to go weimarish. then?

Red Corvair , Oct 20 2019 12:57 utc | 7
Ahh.. "experts"... Hassan Hassan is not a Syrian-born scholar, but a Syrian "born-scholar"... Nuance. Or is it "a natural-born-scholar"? ...
As for Israeli propagandist Elizabeth Tsurkov, those very same "bad extremists" she now repudiates on Twitter she once excused for mutilating children "because they were deeply traumatised"... A very coherent "expert"!!
From The Grayzone, Ben Norton and Aaron Maté (and Dan Cohen) about Tsurkov: Western pundits who lobbied for Syrian rebels now admit they are jihadist extremists, Oct. 16 (about Tsurkov, go about 1:45 and the rest):
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Tkg4wJFpc_E
Now Tsurkov seems rather busy rooting for some "color revolution" to take place in Lebanon. Where is Israel?...
As for the picture of Guy Verhofstadt next to Salim Idriss, it seems very aptly to epitomize the EU "politics" about the Syrian conflict: "How tasty those American boots are!! Wanna lick more American boots, please!!"
BM , Oct 20 2019 13:11 utc | 8
Ahh.. "experts"... Hassan Hassan is not a Syrian-born scholar, but a Syrian "born-scholar"... Nuance. Or is it "a natural-born-scholar"? ...

If he is writing nothing but lies he is not any kind of scholar at all except a fake scholar. Nor is he a journalist. He is a propagandist, nothing else. Call a spade a spade.


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Ahhh, I've just posted to the Media and Pundits thread, but it should have come here much more sensibly. Anyway the post is top a new page over there, on Trump and Syria's oil fields.

Sunny Runny Burger , Oct 20 2019 13:18 utc | 9
The new narrative seems to me to have everything to do with Turkey and nothing to do with Russia. A comment in the last Syria-related thread.

Then again there are so many loose ends concerning Turkey that almost anything could happen (coup attempt and "cleansing", dead ambassadors, Cyprus, Greece, Armenia, Syria, ISIS and others, Kurds, weapon deals, shooting down a Russian plane, annoying Europe and the EU as well as the US and just about everybody, some only politically but many militarily as well (at least the US, Germany, and France), the list surely goes on).

As I commented I'm not convinced Turkey will survive this, are they able to stop and reverse if they find they've set themselves up?

Clueless Joe , Oct 20 2019 14:19 utc | 10
Turkey might be playing a double-game, or plan to betray one side - whether it'll be US or Russia remains to be seen. But that this is all a clever NATO plot conflicts a bit with the fact that the US is systematically destroying its bases in NE Syria. Sure, that might be because they don't want the SAA to use them and to plunder them for techs and scraps, but that would also make things more complicated for a Turkish take-over - it will surely considerably slow the process if the Turkish army and its lackeys have to do everything back from scratches.
Besides, odds are that Putin has taken that into consideration and has some contingency measures ready, just in case - not that they could fully stop Turkish aggression in its tracks in a couple of hours, but still.
Stever , Oct 20 2019 14:46 utc | 11
Meanwhile Nicholas Kristof at the NYTimes also is whitewashing Obama's Syrian policy. He conveniently forgets Timber Sycamore (the CIA's second largest operation, over $1 billion) to overthrow Assad - 2013-2017, that allowed ISIS to get a firm foothold.

Trump Takes Incoherence and Inhumanity and Calls It Foreign Policy

"It was just five years ago that an American president, faced with a crisis on Syria's border, acted decisively and honorably."

"Barack Obama responded with airstrikes and a rescue operation in 2014 when the Islamic State started a genocide against members of the Yazidi sect, slaughtering men and forcing women and girls into sexual slavery. Obama's action, along with a heroic intervention by Kurdish fighters, saved tens of thousands of Yazidi lives."

"Contrast Obama's move, successfully working with allies to avert a genocide, with President Trump's betrayal this month of those same Kurdish partners in a way that handed a victory to the Islamic State, Turkey, Syria, Iran -- and, of course, Russia, ."

Nathan Mulcahy , Oct 20 2019 14:53 utc | 12

@ Walter 5: "I reasoned the best esthetic feature in the freak parade at the end of empire would be a clown act"

Just love it!!

On a side note. Last night met with a new friend couple for dinner. Both are highly educated and work in technical professions. Accordingly they pride themselves in logical thinking ability. I wanted to check out their political leanings and asked about Trump's troop pullback in Syria. Not surprisingly, both were outraged. When asked about their rationale the expected answer was Trump's betrayal of the Kurds. I politely pointed out that our troops' presence in Syria violates both domestic and international laws. That was news to them!!! One of them did lamely point out that Assad is a brutal dictator. Being new "friends", we refrained from further in depth political discussions. That incidence further convinced me of the impending total collapse of the empire.

Don Bacon , Oct 20 2019 15:25 utc | 13
There has been some discussion regarding Syrian oilfields, here's some more on that.

The Syrian Democratic Council is the political wing of the Syrian Democratic Forces in the Autonomous Administration of North and East Syria, including sites of Syrian oilfields. The SDC's stated mission is working towards the implementation of a "secular, democratic and decentralized system for all of Syria. The Syrian Democratic Council was established on 10 December 2015 in Al-Malikiyah.

Here is a letter dated Jan 21, 2019 from the SDC to the CEO of Global Development Corporation (GDC) Inc. in New Jersey, "a formal acceptance of your company, GDC, to represent the Syrian Democratic Council (SDC) in all matters related to the sale of oil owned by SDC . .the estimate off production of crude oil to be 400,000 barrels per day. . .current daily production is 125,000 barrels. ."

The CEO of New Jersey's GDC (no mention on the web) is Mordechai (Moti) Kahana (Hebrew: מוטי כהנא‎; born February 28, 1968, Jerusalem, Israel) is an Israeli-American businessman and philanthropist. He is most notable for his work for the civil war refugees in Syria. . .Since 2011 he heads a group of Israeli businessmen and American Jews who travel to the Syrian refugee camps to provide humanitarian aid to Syrian Civil War refugees.. . He paid for Senator John McCain's trip to war-torn Syria. . . here .

The GDC mailing address is the Roxbury Mall, 275 Route 10 E, Succasunna, NJ.

Hausmeister , Oct 20 2019 15:27 utc | 14

Southfront reports that Turkish mercenaries have taken over Ras Al-Ayn. Did I overlook something? Why didn't the SAA take over after the SDF left?
Don Bacon , Oct 20 2019 15:54 utc | 15
re: Salim Idriss a former U.S. stooge
WSJ, Jun 12, 2013
Rebels Plead for Weapons in Face of Syrian Onslaught
A top Syrian rebel commander has issued a desperate plea for weapons from Western governments to prevent the fall of his forces in Aleppo, pushing the Obama administration to decide quickly whether to agree to arm rebels for the first time or risk the loss of another rebel stronghold just days after the regime's biggest victory.

Gen. Salim Idris, the top Syrian rebel commander backed by the West, issued a detailed request in recent days to the U.S., France and Britain for antitank missiles, antiaircraft weapons and hundreds of thousands of ammunition rounds, according to U.S. and European officials and Mr. Idris's request to the Americans, a copy of which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal.

Gen. Idris's call comes at a pivotal moment in Syria's war, following rapid-fire gains by Bashar al-Assad forces, including last week's recapture of Qusayr, a strategic town near the Lebanon border. Fighters from Hezbollah, which were crucial in helping the Assad regime to take Qusayr, are now massing around Aleppo, say rebels and Western officials. . . here


This was after H. Clinton (SecState) and D. Petraeus (CIA) wanted to fully arm the US-supported rebels but President Obama declined. Clinton had resigned Feb 1, 2013.
worldblee , Oct 20 2019 16:57 utc | 16
I am shocked, shocked, shocked, to find out that lying is going on in the establishment of the NYT.
james , Oct 20 2019 17:24 utc | 17
thanks b... stellar writing and comments throughout... i especially liked your last line :
"Now, as the very same rebels attack the Kurds, they are suddenly called out for being what they always have been."

@13 don bacon - the address says it all.. The GDC mailing address is the Roxbury Mall, 275 Route 10 E, Succasunna, NJ.

james , Oct 20 2019 17:27 utc | 18
regarding the nyt, larry johnson has a post up on sst here.. i quote from it :
"Let us start with a reminder of how damn corrupt the NY Times and its reporters are. Consider this paragraph penned by Adam Goldman and William Rashbaum:

Closely overseen by Mr. Barr, Mr. Durham and his investigators have sought help from governments in countries that figure into right-wing attacks and unfounded conspiracy theories about the Russia investigation, stirring criticism that they are trying to deliver Mr. Trump a political victory rather than conducting an independent review.

"Unfounded conspiracy theories?" What a damn joke."

karlof1 , Oct 20 2019 17:31 utc | 19
Wow! Quite a knee jerk reaction by the NY Times to Max Blumenthal's 16 Oct article in The Grayzone , "The US has backed 21 of the 28 'crazy' militias leading Turkey's brutal invasion of northern Syria," which I linked to Friday. It's great to see such a reaction to what for most people's an obscure online publication.

Notice of MoA website change: I must now type in my name and email every time I want to comment after years of never needing to do so. My issue might be related to the one ben encountered in thinking he couldn't comment, which you can't if those two fields aren't filled.

Tom Ratliff , Oct 20 2019 17:47 utc | 20
@snake #6

See the growing collection of related techniques by David Martin (aka dcdave): Seventeen Techniques for Truth Suppression

"Strong, credible allegations of high-level criminal activity can bring down a government. When the government lacks an effective, fact-based defense, other techniques must be employed. The success of these techniques depends heavily upon a cooperative, compliant press and a mere token opposition party..."

Cloak And Dagger , Oct 20 2019 18:12 utc | 21
Trump should not have sent Pence and Pompeo to Turkey. They will do everything possible to derail the rollback of the US in Syria. They are both more subtle than Bolton, but they are both neocons. If you want anything done, you have to do it yourself.

[Oct 22, 2019] Russia Is All They ve Got - Exposing The Agents Of Empire by Mike Krieger

Notable quotes:
"... This is when it became clear it wasn't just political operatives pushing fake news about Russian influence, but that "respected" mass media would be leading the charge for them. The rest is pretty much history. MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, etc have been spewing outlandish Russiagate nonsense for three years straight, and despite the complete failure of special counsel Robert Mueller to find any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, these agents of empire refuse to stop. ..."
"... Americans like to sneer at more transparently unfree societies around the world, but when you think about the disturbing implications of former spooks delivering news to the public, one can't help but conclude that mass media in 2019 looks like a gigantic propaganda campaign targeting U.S. citizens. Moreover, as can be seen by the recent attacks by Clinton and her allies in the media on Gabbard, they aren't easing up. ..."
"... Comey was a senior vice president for Lockheed Martin before returning to Washington ..."
"... Excuse me, the voting going on up there for sanctions on Russia for various bogus things has been pretty much unanimous and bipartisan. ..."
Oct 22, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Mike Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

The corporate revolution will collapse if we refuse to buy what they are selling – their ideas, their version of history, their wars, their weapons, their notion of inevitability.

– Arundhati Roy

Last week, Hillary Clinton called Tulsi Gabbard (and Jill Stein) Russian agents on a podcast. More specifically :

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on someone who's currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate. She's the favorite of the Russians," said Clinton, apparently referring to Rep. Gabbard, who's been accused of receiving support from Russian bots and the Russian news media. "They have a bunch of sites and bots and other ways of supporting her so far." She added: "That's assuming Jill Stein will give it up, which she might not because she's also a Russian asset. Yeah, she's a Russian asset -- I mean, totally. They know they can't win without a third-party candidate. So I don't know who it's going to be, but I will guarantee you they will have a vigorous third-party challenge in the key states that they most needed."

Tulsi subsequently responded to this slanderous accusation with a series of devastating blows.

Her tweets set off a firestorm, and even if you're as disillusioned by presidential politics as myself, you couldn't help but cheer wildly that someone with a major political platform finally stated without any hint of fear or hesitation exactly what so many Americans across the ideological spectrum feel.

Of course, this has far wider implications than a high profile feud between these two. The "let's blame Russia for Hillary's loss" epidemic of calculated stupidity driven by Ellen-Democrats and their mouthpieces across corporate mass media began immediately after the election. I know about it on a personal level because this website was an early target of the neoliberal-led new McCarthyism courtesy of a ridiculous and libelous smear in the Washington Post over Thanksgiving weekend 2016 (see: Liberty Blitzkrieg Included on Washington Post Highlighted Hit List of "Russian Propaganda" Websites) .

This is when it became clear it wasn't just political operatives pushing fake news about Russian influence, but that "respected" mass media would be leading the charge for them. The rest is pretty much history. MSNBC, CNN, The Washington Post, etc have been spewing outlandish Russiagate nonsense for three years straight, and despite the complete failure of special counsel Robert Mueller to find any evidence of Trump-Russia collusion, these agents of empire refuse to stop. The whole charade seems more akin to an intelligence operation than journalism, which shouldn't be surprising given the proliferation of former intelligence agents throughout mass media in the Trump era.

Here's a small sampling via Politico's 2018 article: The Spies Who Came in to the TV Studio

Former CIA Director John Brennan (2013-17) is the latest superspook to be reborn as a TV newsie. He just cashed in at NBC News as a "senior national security and intelligence analyst" and served his first expert views on last Sunday's edition of Meet the Press .

The Brennan acquisition seeks to elevate NBC to spook parity with CNN, which employs former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper and former CIA Director Michael Hayden in a similar capacity.

Other, lesser-known national security veterans thrive under TV's grow lights. Almost too numerous to list, they include Chuck Rosenberg , former acting DEA administrator, chief of staff for FBI Director James B. Comey, and counselor to former FBI Director Robert S. Mueller III; Frank Figliuzzi , former chief of FBI counterintelligence; Juan Zarate , deputy national security adviser under Bush, at NBC; and Fran Townsend , homeland security adviser under Bush, at CBS News.

CNN's bulging roster also includes former FBI agent Asha Rangappa ; former FBI agent James Gagliano ; Obama's former deputy national security adviser Tony Blinken ; former House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers ; senior adviser to the National Security Council during the Obama administration Samantha Vinograd ; retired CIA operations officer Steven L. Hall; and Philip Mudd , also retired from the CIA.

Americans like to sneer at more transparently unfree societies around the world, but when you think about the disturbing implications of former spooks delivering news to the public, one can't help but conclude that mass media in 2019 looks like a gigantic propaganda campaign targeting U.S. citizens. Moreover, as can be seen by the recent attacks by Clinton and her allies in the media on Gabbard, they aren't easing up.

Which brings us to the crux of the issue. Why are they doing this? Why is Clinton, with zero evidence whatsoever, falsely calling a sitting U.S. Congresswoman, a veteran with two tours in Iraq, and someone polling at only 2% in the Democratic primary a "Russian asset." Why are they so afraid of Tulsi Gabbard?

It's partly personal. Tulsi was one of only a handful of congressional Democrats to set aside fears of the Clintons and their mafia-like network to endorse Bernie Sanders early in 2016. In fact, she stepped down from her position as vice-chairman of the Democratic National Committee to do so. This is the sort of thing a petty narcissist like Hillary Clinton could never forgive, but it goes further.

Tulsi's mere presence on stage during recent debates has proven devastating for the Ellen Degeneres wing of the Democratic party. She effectively ended neoliberal darling Kamala Harris' chances by simply telling the truth about her horrible record, something no one else in the race had the guts to do.

Embedded video

In other words, Tulsi demolished Kamala Harris and put an end to her primary chances by simply telling the truth about her on national television. This is how powerful the truth can be when somebody's actually willing to stand up and say it. It's why the agents of empire -- in charge of virtually all major institutions -- go out of their way to ensure the American public is exposed to as little truth as possible. It's also why they lie and scream "Russia" instead of debating the actual issues.

But this goes well beyond Tulsi Gabbard. Empire requires constant meddling abroad as well as periodic regime change wars to ensure compliant puppets are firmly in control of any country with any geopolitical significance. The 21st century has been littered with a series of disastrous U.S. interventions abroad, while the country back home continues to descend deeper into a neo-feudal oligarchy with a hunger games style economy. As such, an increasing number of Americans have begun to question the entire premise of imperial foreign policy.

To the agents of empire, dominant throughout mainstream politics, mega corporations, think-tanks and of course mass media, this sort of thought crime is entirely unacceptable. In case you haven't noticed, empire is a third-rail of U.S. politics. If you dare touch the issue, you'll be ruthlessly smeared, without any evidence, as a Russian agent or asset. There's nothing logical about this, but then again there typically isn't much logic when it comes to psychological operations. They depend on manipulation and triggering specific emotional responses.

There's a reason people like Hillary Clinton and her minions just yell "Russia" whenever an individual with a platform criticizes empire and endless war. They know they can't win an argument if they debate the actual issues, so a conscious choice was made to simply avoid debate entirely. As such, they've decided to craft and spread a disingenuous narrative in which anyone critical of establishment neocon/neoliberal foreign policy is a Russia asset/agent/bot. This is literally all they've got. These people are telling you 2+2=5 and if you don't accept it, you're a traitorous, Putin-loving nazi with a pee pee tape. And these same people call themselves "liberal."

Importantly, it isn't just a few trollish kooks doing this. It's being spread by some of the most powerful people and institutions in the country, including of course mass media.

For example:

Embedded video

This inane verbal vomit is considered "liberal" news in modern America, a word which has now lost all meaning. Above, we witness a collection of television mannequins questioning the loyalty of a U.S. veteran who continues to serve in both Congress and the national guard simply because she dared call out America's perpetually failing foreign policy establishment.

To conclude, it's now clear dissent is only permitted so long as it doesn't become too popular. By polling at 2% in the primary, it appears Gabbard became too popular, but the truth is she's just a vessel. What's really got the agents of empire concerned is we may be on the verge of a tipping point within the broader U.S. population regarding regime change wars and empire. This is why debate needs to be shut down and shut down now. A critical mass of citizens openly questioning establishment foreign policy cannot be permitted. Those on the fence need to be bullied and manipulated into thinking dissent is equivalent to being a traitor. The national security state doesn't want the public to even think about such topics, let alone debate them.

Ultimately, if you give up your capacity for reason, for free-thought and for the courage to say what you think about issues of national significance, you've lost everything. This is what these manipulators want you to do. They want you to shut-up, to listen to the "experts" who destroy everything they touch, and to be a compliant subject as opposed to an active, empowered citizen. The answer to such a tactic is to be more bold, more informed and more ethical. They fear truth and empowered individuals more than anything else. Stand up tall and speak your mind. Pandering to bullies never works.

* * *

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Manipuflation , 52 seconds ago link

For those of us who grew up during the Cold War going to Russia is intense. I have never been so scared in my life as when that plane touched down at Pulkovo 2. And I though Dulles was a shithole.

Russians love art and they have fantastic museums and fantastic architecture. Food is a bit sketchy but you can make do. No fat women there that I saw. In fact, you will see some of the most beautiful women in the world there. Trust me on that.

I loved my first trip there. I can't hate Russia.

francis scott falseflag , 38 minutes ago link

Why are they doing this?

Because they're ******* losing and they know it.

Pelosi is smart enough to know that all roads lead to Putin. But is she smart enough to know that're not just American and its 'allied' Western 'roads', but now its all the roads in the world.

Because the world finally understands that Putin is the only peacemaker on the scene. And that most of the disputes the international community is saddled with are a direct result of American foreign policy and the excesses of its economy.

The world is tired of being dragged through Hell at the whim of a handful of American neocon devotees of Paul Wolfowitz and the fallacious Wolfowitz Doctrine which was credited with having won the Cold War for the West and has been in effect ever since.

Except there seems to be some doubt now who actually won the Cold War with America scrambling to get out of Syria, leaving behind a symbolic force of a couple of thousand troops.

That's the reason for everything that's going on America today. Russia, under Putin, has turned the tables on Congress, the neocons, the warmongers, and those politicians and elite who want the Middle East and its vast reserves of oil to continue to be destabilized by intranational, neighborly hatreds, by terrorism and by America's closest ally, Israel to continue to expand its borders with its policy of settlements. This problematic situation is scrupulously avoided in America and the West's MSM, and can only be seen in foreign media. Which brings us back to Putin.

Is he following the strategies of Sun Tzu, who advises you to

'victorious warriors win first and then go to war, while defeated warriors go to war first then try to win.'

swmnguy , 15 minutes ago link

Hillary Clinton is obviously testing the waters for a last-minute, swoop-in candidacy. She sees Biden deflating and realizes there's nobody to keep the Democratic nomination firmly in corporate hands. She wants them to beg her, though.

gold_silver_as_money , 36 minutes ago link

So..."Tulsi Gabbard didn't deny being a Russian asset," you say?

Sounds like a page out of the Dems -- now Trump's -- playbook. Dance around the smear indirectly. Then fire back mercilessly

Manipuflation , 54 minutes ago link

If you go to Russia, you will not come back as you were when you departed. You will never look at things the same way ever again in your life.

artistant , 16 minutes ago link

Russia is an IMPEDIMENT to Apartheid Israhell's design for the MidEast .

Without Russia, ASSAD would be long gone and IRAN would have been bombed to oblivion, and Greater Israhell would have been fulfilled and ruling over the MidEast.

In other words, Russia bashing by Jewish-controlled politicians and in Jewish-controlled Western media is simply PAYBACK .

PoopFilled , 21 minutes ago link

in russia, trump is a bad guy

Vuke , 22 minutes ago link

I am a Russian Agent. Well, not formally but act as one. Only in elections though as Russia forbids (after losing 30 million dead in WW2) any military or violent interference. Agent may be too strong a word as my actions reflect the beauty of Russian literature, music and philosophy. (qv Kropotkin, Rimsky Korsakoff etc. etc.) Maybe a spokesman?

In this coming election vote for the agent of your choice. Gabbard, Trump, (Cackles, hang on and wait for this one) or Biden ( on whom we await a conversion). This agency stuff is fun. Can't wait.

DanausPlex , 47 minutes ago link

The quid pro quo for many Deep State bureaucrats comes after they are no longer in office as typified by jobs as "experts" with the corrupt news networks. Comey was a senior vice president for Lockheed Martin before returning to Washington. Trump is outing them all and they are out to destroy him.

If the Russians are so bad, why did we give them our Uranium? Hillary and corrupt Washington Swamp dwellers in action. How many in Congress opposed the deal? We need Trump to be reelected to Make America Great Again.

Salsa Verde , 32 minutes ago link

I remember in the 80's Democrats would mercilessly lampoon and make fun of Conservatives for their (at the time) hard-line stance against the Soviet Union and how we should just get over it: peace, love and b*llsh*t. My how times have changed.

Nunny , 40 seconds ago link

You need a scorecard to keep track these days. Barry lampooned Mitt for speaking against the Russians, like they were the 'good guys' (ahem, 'tell Vlad' and Kills power reset button) Make up your ******* minds people.

Maxamillia , 32 minutes ago link

If Russia wants to Destroy America.. Why Not.. America is Working to Destroy Her

Just Get it Over With... Were Tired Of Waiting...

We All Want To Go Somewhere... Truth is Is Not What Ur All All Waiting For Tis Where Were Going...

Let Those Missiles Fly....Come On Boys..

Show Us Your Might...

ebear , 44 minutes ago link

Dear Hillary and Co.,

Thank you for bringing my attention to Russia. Had it not been for your constant denunciations, I probably would never have investigated that nation to the extent that I have, and that would have been my loss. Allow me to explain.

As a permanent student of human history and culture, I've traveled to, and studied many different nations, from Japan, China and Thailand, to Europe, Latin America and the Middle East, but somehow I managed to completely miss Russia. Of course I was familiar with the Western narrative concerning communism and the USSR - I grew up with that - but I never fully understood Russian culture until, by your actions, you forced me to look into it.

I've since studied their history intently, and have studied their language to the point where I can at least make myself understood. I've spoken to Russian expats, read numerous books, watched their TV shows, listened to their music, and have kept a close eye on current events, including the coup in Ukraine and Russia's response to that event. At this point I feel well enough prepared to travel to Russia and I'm looking forward to my upcoming trip with great anticipation.

I operate on the basic premise that I'm nobody special - that there are thousands of people just like me with a deep interest in human affairs, who, like myself, have been prompted to investigate a culture that, for various reasons, has been largely overlooked in the West. So, on my own and their behalf I thank you for providing the impetus to focus our attention in that regard. It's probably not what you intended, but it is what it is. Thanks to you, many hundreds, if not thousands of people have now undertaken a study of Russia and her people, and that can only be a good thing, as the more we know about each other, the less we have to fear, and the less likely we are to come into conflict with one another.

condotdo , 39 minutes ago link

it is just another attack on a WHITE CHRISTIAN DEMOCRATIC NATION, it is as simple as that , "THEY" must destroy the white race

DesertRat1958 , 53 minutes ago link

We are all Russians now.

hispanicLoser , 47 minutes ago link

Yeah you definitely want to trot out the niggers when youre catapulting the crazy talk. They'll swallow anything.

slicktroutman , 55 minutes ago link

Bravo well written and right on the mark. If Tulsi wasn't a gun grabber and openly supported the 2nd Amendment she would be a front runner, only a few steps behind Trump. And by the way, don't trust those 2% Polls. We all know the polls are pure ********.

Joiningupthedots , 49 minutes ago link

When one Colonel Gary Powers was shot down in his USAF U2 spy plane in 1960 and captured alive he was asked by his then KGB interrogators what the difference was between the Republican and Democratic parties.......and he admitted to being at a loss to explain that there was any fundamental difference at all.

Therein lies the root problem with the American political system. All through the process it arrives at the same outcomes and it doesnt matter who you vote for.

It could be argued that it is in effect a one party system as both are indistinguishable from each other ultimately as they push the America PLC agenda.

The entire system is held captive by secretive and "invisible" unelected groups who call the shots and if you push too hard they have you killed one way or another.....all the esoteric secret societies of any significance are represented.

The question therefore is this; Is America any different to China other than the wallpaper coverings?

To paraphrase Mark Twain; If voting really mattered they wouldn't let you do it.

SolidGold , 1 hour ago link

Tulsi Gabbard is the Dems Donald Trump and they don't like that. That simple.

Epstein101 , 1 hour ago link

Jews control the DNC

Jews control the news media

Jews hate a white, Christian Russia they can not exploit as they once (twice!) did.

Jews want Syria smashed for Greater Israel.

Everything else is commentary.

https://russia-insider.com/en/big-tech-oligarchs-best-tool-censoring-internet-jewish-adl/ri27797

Manipuflation , 1 hour ago link

Russia is an interesting place to visit. There is no good way to describe Russia because you have to go there and see it for yourself.

SolidGold , 59 minutes ago link

Russia is the "bad" one because they literally have no debt

and a ****-load of resources.

Seek Shelter , 1 hour ago link

In a real poll, involving all possible voters, Tulsi Gabbard would be a hell of a lot higher than 2%.

Arising , 1 hour ago link

Those on the fence need to be bullied and manipulated into thinking dissent is equivalent to being a traitor

This is true with Trumptards on this comments board. They unquestionably follow lies, manipulative, and hollow Trump doctrine without thinking.

Just yesterday there was and idiot spewing out that 'Assange was treasonous' before engaging his cerebral matter to realise you cannot be a traitor against a country that's not yours.

pwall70 , 54 minutes ago link

The same can be said for leftards and CNN. Goes both ways, just like you.

chunga , 1 hour ago link

Excuse me, the voting going on up there for sanctions on Russia for various bogus things has been pretty much unanimous and bipartisan.

[Oct 22, 2019] US foreign policy is now based on virtual facts

Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives.
Notable quotes:
"... Some of the "virtual facts:" ..."
"... The Soviet Union never ended. Russia is still communist and an inevitable and indeed indispensable enemy of the US. Anyone who challenges that certitude is an obvious agent of the Russian government. ..."
"... Iran is the "greatest supporter of terrorism" in the world." ..."
"... The Syrian Arab Government is an abomination on the scale of Nazi Germany and must be destroyed and replaced by God knows what . ..."
"... Saudi Arabia is a deeply friendly state and ally of the US. ..."
"... It is beyond scary to see just how entrenched and powerful Deep State is and how it involves/controls both political parties ..."
"... I doubt there is any magic bullet website or other source of information that would turn people over night. A good start would be encouraging them to read transcripts of various Putin and Lavrov speeches and pressers, also Valdai Club, economic forum ect. ..."
"... The colonel's complaint implicitly assumes that things were not always thus. My adult experience since I saw a war up close has been that the "facts" of our public discourse are always simplified and usually grossly distorted. ..."
"... Not only are the MSM married to a narrative but they feel compelled to attack the few who ever challenge the orthodoxy. For example, 'Tulsi Gabbard met with the war criminal Assad'. ..."
"... It is certainly true that Russia is being demonized in all the MSM I have sampled. A frequent criticism is that Putin, like Assad, and earlier Saddam and Quadaffi, is essentially an illegitimate ruler of his country, ruling through brute force and without the consent of his countrymen. (Thus the WaPo editorials routinely call Putin a "thug", just as they call Assad a "butcher".) ..."
"... Not to defend Trump and his balance sheet mindset with respect to the Saudis, the reality is that both parties and presidents from George H.W to Bill Clinton to W and Obama have treated the Saudi monarchy as our "friend", even when they sponsored the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11. ..."
"... Tony Blair became a wealthy man after his prime ministership on the back of money thrown his way by the Arab sheikhs ..."
Oct 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Mika B remarked a couple of years ago on the show that she and her sex slave stage in the early morning that the social media were out of control because it is the job of the MSM to tell people what to think. The Hillary stated recently that life was better when there were only three TeeVee news outlets because it was easier to keep things under control. Now? My God! Any damned fool can propagate unauthorized "facts." What? Who?

Well, pilgrims, the US government (along with our British and Israeli helpmates and masters) are the preeminent creators and purveyors of the manufactured virtual facts on which we base our policy. These "facts" are "ginned up" in the well moneyed hidden staff groups of "hidden" candidates that are devoted to the seizure of power made possible by a deluded electorate. These "facts" are then propagated and reinforced through relentless IO campaigns run by executive "bots" in the MSM and in such remarkable and imaginative efforts as the "White Helmets" film company manned by jihadis and managed by clubby Brits left over from the Days of The Raj (sob). These "facts" are now so entrenched in the general mind that they can be used to denounce people like Rep. (major ) Gabbard as traitors because they challenge them.

Some of the "virtual facts:"


Harper , 21 October 2019 at 07:50 PM

Yes I fully concur. We have gone from fact-based news to faith-based fake news led by the MSM. I recall at the start of the Iraq War in March 2003, the line was out that British PM Tony Blair was George W. Bush's "poodle," forgetting entirely that it was the first of the British "dodgy dossiers" that made the totally discredited claim that Saddam had gotten tons of yellow cake from Niger. So the British have no military resources but they continue to maintain the idea that they can manipulate the U.S. and make up for the demise of the old British empire.

The Steele dossier was the second British "dodgy dossier" that got the ball rolling on Trump the Russian mole and Putin's "poodle."

So much fraud. But now social media must be patrolled and anyone daring to challenge the voice of the MSM must be purged by Google, Facebook, Twitter et al.

My question is: When will the machinations of the Big Lie MSM Wurlitzer cross the line and trigger the backlash that they secretly fear so much? MSM has to destroy Trump by 2020 or else his "fake news" polemic will stick... because there is no much truth to it. The messenger may be crude, but he has the bully pulpit to have a real impact.

I await the release, as Larry Johnson pointed out, of the Horowitz IG report on the origins of the fake Trump-Russia collusion line. Also the pending Barr-Durham larger report which is zeroing in on John Brennan.

Fred -> Harper... , 22 October 2019 at 08:28 AM
Harper,

"MSM has to destroy Trump by 2020 or else..."
The MSM are joined by all those folks who were wined, dined, and degraded by Jeffrey Epstein and Hollywood hero Harvey Weinstein. Nobody seems to care about who Jeffrey abused, or who enjoyed his island paradise. Harvey, he's about to buy a free ride out of jail. Meanwhile we jail idiots who "bribe" there kids way into that "elite" institution - UCLA.

Vig said in reply to Harper... , 22 October 2019 at 11:31 AM
Great response Harper,

an ideal study would no doubt want to look into the Italy-GB-US angle already concerning the "first dossier", or whatevers. Didn*t that have mediawise an intermediate French angle?

But is that what is looked at? At present?

VietnamVet , 21 October 2019 at 08:03 PM
Colonel,

This is what happens when the deciders believe their own propaganda. The media now says that a residual force of American troops and contractors will stay behind at the Deir ez-Zor oil fields and Al-Tanf base near the Jordon border. The media moguls dare not mention that the real intention is to prevent the Syrian Arab Army from retaking its own territory or that Turkey is seizing thousands of square miles of Syria. Syrians with Russia, Chinese and Iranian aid won't quit until Syria is whole again and rebuilt. This means that America continues its uninvited unwinnable war in the middle of nowhere with no allies for no reason at all except to do Israel's bidding and to make money for military contractors. The swamp's regime change campaign failed. The Houthis' Aramco attack shows that the gulf oil supply is at risk and can be shut down at will. Continuing these endless wars that are clearly against the best interests of the American people is insane.

CK said in reply to VietnamVet... , 22 October 2019 at 10:05 AM
It strikes me, as a matter of observable fact, that the Houthi attack had almost no long run affect on oil production. Everything was back to normal within 10 days. I think that the attack was allowed to occur for exactly one reason and that was to start a shooting war between the USA as KSA's great defender and Iran as the horrible nation that has a mild dislike for Israel.
It failed. So far.
To believe that the 24/7/52 AWACS, Ground radar, Israeli radar, and the overlapping close in radar coverage of the Saudi oil fields all failed to detect the drones and cruise missiles is to believe in more miracles than I can handle on a good day. It also means that assets in other parts of this world covered by these same type of radars are just as vulnerable to local disaffected groups.
j , 21 October 2019 at 08:22 PM
The FUKUS thinks we are all a bunch of brainless sheep to be led by a ring in our noses. The 'Muktar' is clueless regarding our Saudi brethren, he's supposed to administer how the overlords say he's to administer, nothing more. The CIA administration still has a hard-on because they blew it regarding Iran and they're still embarrassed about it.

In two days, counting closer to a day and a half will be the sad anniversary (October 23) where the Israeli government willfully with forethought let our Marines and other service personnel bunked with them at the barracks in Beirut die needlessly, because Nahum Admoni wanted U.S. to get our noses bloodied.

Never mind that the Russians lost close to 30 million to the brotherhood of the Operation Paper Clip, and the Bormann Group that today controls from behind the scenes most of the World's money thanks to Martin creating over 750 corporations initially to start with, that has expanded like a Hydra. Any time that truth (Russia is no longer Communist) rears its ugly head, the Bormann group goes into overdrive to ensure that the big lie perpetuates.

The FUKUS think we're all a bunch of sheep to be led off a cliff, and the propaganda mills have created the trail right up to the edge of the precipice that the sheep are trotting.

Heaven help our children and grandchildren.

Larry Johnson , 21 October 2019 at 08:29 PM
Amen. The landslide of disinformation and bullshit disseminated on a daily basis by a pliant media is happily lapped up by ignorant, uninformed Americans. I've had quite an exchange with a liberal friend of mine who was shrieking MSNBC talking points on Syria and the Kurds. Mind you, this fellow never served a day in the military. Never held a clearance in his life. Didn't know a thing about JOPES and how Special Ops forces use a series of written orders signed off on by the CJCS. Yet, he was qualified to criticize Trump. At the same time not one of his kids or grandkids are signed up to fight on that frontline. I told him politely to STFU and get educated before trying to comment on something he knows nothing about.
Thanks Colonel.
JJackson said in reply to Larry Johnson ... , 22 October 2019 at 06:41 AM
I am British and did consider the military in my youth but if I were that age now I would not. Having seen what my political master, and yours, have asked the military to do the danger of being sent on some counter product regime change mission or to prop-up someone I would rather fight is just too great. I would only end up refusing to follow orders which I understand the military takes a rather dim view of.
Vig said in reply to JJackson... , 22 October 2019 at 12:03 PM
... regime change mission or to prop-up someone I would rather fight is just too great.

once upon a time, and strictly I had opted not to believe either side before that, but yes, at one point I wondered fully aware they may be legitimate complaints, how would the UCK, or the Kosovo Liberation Army become the "Western" partner in war.

In hindsight I was made aware of this one grandiose British officer ... once upon a time.

Fred -> JJackson... , 22 October 2019 at 12:04 PM
JJackson,

"if I were that age now..." That is the same line used by the American left since the '60s.
"I would only end up refusing to follow orders..."
Samantha Power at the UN and James Comey at the FBI both had a "higher loyalty" than to the elected government or the Constitution on which it is based. That's why they are busy trying to subvert it.

The Twisted Genius , 21 October 2019 at 10:01 PM
There's a lot of truth there, Colonel. Life would be better with just three TV new outlets, huh. Which three? Can you imagine being limited to three cable new outlets? Actually most people probably limit themselves to three news outlets or less. They find an echo chamber and stick with it. I thank God I don't have cable or satellite TV and I have too many interests to engage with talk radio.

I couldn't agree more with your characterization of "virtual facts" about Iran, Syria and Saudi Arabia. I also agree that those who continue to view Russia as an implacable enemy bent on our destruction and world domination are liars and/or fools. The Soviet Union was just a phase, a phase now past. Russia never ended. Conversely, those who insist that Russia is a newly minted nation of glitter farting unicorns incapable of nefarious behavior are also fools and/or liars. Russia is a formidable competitor, fully capable and willing to take prudent actions in pursuit of her interests. We should respect her and seek cooperation where we can and tolerance where we must.

How the never-Trumpers treat Tulsi Gabbard is shameful. What Clinton recently said is mild compared to what others have been saying for quite some time. Calling Tulsi a Russian asset is foolishly wrong. That Russia may prefer Tulsi over other potential Presidential candidates should be seen as a positive thing. A policy of mutual respect, cooperation and tolerance between our two countries would benefit the entire world.

Sbin , 21 October 2019 at 10:21 PM
The nonsense is endless.

America needed to restore the Kuwait monarchy for freedom and democracy. Remember defense Secretary Dick Cheney sending captured Iraq arms to the Taliban.

Same play book was used to run Libyan arms through Bengazi to Wahhabism freedom fighter "ISIS" and the al Lindsey McCain head choppers.

Babak Makkinejad -> Sbin... , 21 October 2019 at 11:25 PM
The nonsense will end since not even the United States can endure these costs. Did you hear Trump? 8 trillion yankee dollars and nothing to show for it.
Fred -> Babak Makkinejad... , 22 October 2019 at 08:23 AM
Babak,

He left out thousands dead and injured and not a single one of them a politician, banker, professor or news anchor.

walrus , 21 October 2019 at 11:43 PM
What is highly alarming, almost terrifying, is that really well educated people who have achieved great things in their careers and are pillars of society believe this crap.

I had dinner guests last week; a former Chairman of a bank and his wife who is a highly acclaimed Professor of public Health and Epidemiology who told me how awful Trump and Putin are neither of these friends are what you could remotely classify as Social Justice leftists.

My problem is that I don't know where to start to try and put them right without them thinking I'm a tinfoil hatted conspiracy nut. I wish there was a website dedicated solely to purveying basic truthful information that is not perhaps as esoteric as SST. Should I try and start one or are there already good examples to point to?

Voatboy -> walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 05:10 AM
https://www.wanttoknow.info/ is a useful resource for educating citizens.
John B said in reply to walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 09:21 AM
I'm thinking this is so far and so deep there is nothing that can or will be done. Trump's election and presidency has lifted the curtain on the puppet show. This recent Syria troop removal is Trump's second attempt at openly declaring troops will be pulled out of Syria only to have the military has said, "Um, no, we will stay and simply relocate."

Trump openly called for FISA warrants to be declassified only to have the DOJ and FBI either ignore and defy him. Groups like Judicial Watch and others go into court to get the requested information through FOIA and DOJ and FBI lawyers and the courts block them.

It is beyond scary to see just how entrenched and powerful Deep State is and how it involves/controls both political parties. Trump has faced hurricane winds of opposition from day one and has been constantly subverted by his own party and his own people. I don't know how he can get up every day and continue to fight the obvious and concerted Deep State coup against him. I pray for him. I pray the rosary for him.

There are members within Trump's own party who have agreed that there should be an investigation into the impeachment of Trump for running a yellow light (at most). Again, members of his own party. Renowned Constitutional lawyers John Yoo and Alan Dershowitz, from Cal-Berkeley and Harvard laws schools respectively, have said that not only has Trump done nothing, even remotely, which could trigger an impeachment inquiry but if Congress were to do so it would be unconstitutional and illegal. But alas, who would enforce this? Deep State snakes like John Roberts at the Supreme Court? Robert has already signed off on the coup ( https://slate.com/news-and-politics/2019/10/john-roberts-mitch-mcconnell-trump-impeachment-trial.amp).

The only thing that separates America from falling into the abyss is Trump, a handful of people in Washington, a few conservative talk show hosts, and about 40% of America. Many people have talked a good game at points but I think in the end are just double agents of the dark side/Deep State (Lindsey Graham, Mitch McConnell, ... IG Horowitz, etc.). And some, such as Chris Wray, are unabashed dark side/Deep State agents in good standing.

As St. Thomas More said, "The times are never so bad that a good man cannot live in them." I have faith in Barr. I have faith in Durham. Two men whose Catholic faith is integral to every aspect of their lives and work. But with as pervasive, entrenched, and powerful as the Deep State is I'm skeptical they have the power to do anything. Btw, here's U.S. Attorney John Durham's lecture before the Thomistic Institute at Yale (hosted by the Dominican Order): https://soundcloud.com/thomisticinstitute/perspective-of-a-catholic-prosecutor-honorable-john-durham

One thing that really amuses me is that the marionettes of Deep State in the media and politics actually believe that once Trump is gone their puppet show theatre can resume like nothing happened. Sorry, but there is no coming back from this. They will be lucky if the worst thing that happens is a sizable part of of the American populace protests by throwing sand in the gears. I'm afraid it will end much worse.

Peter AU 1 said in reply to walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 01:12 PM
I doubt there is any magic bullet website or other source of information that would turn people over night. A good start would be encouraging them to read transcripts of various Putin and Lavrov speeches and pressers, also Valdai Club, economic forum ect.

Most only get to see the odd sentence or paragragh in western MSM with an entirely fictional story built around it, so perhaps and MSM piece like that and the transcript of the relevant presser or speech alongside it.

I suspect the fine detail in Putin and Lavrov's replies to press questions rather than cliches would surprise many people.

Glorious Bach said in reply to walrus... , 22 October 2019 at 02:29 PM
Walrus--100% my experience as well. Many dinners with "liberal" even "progressive" friends, mostly of the retired kind require great psychic energy. Their Overton Window is 1"-square, making exchanges very difficult to squeeze even minimal bits of political reality.

My daily blog tour, like MW's above, takes me through: Moon of Alabama, Naked Capitalism, SST, Caitlin Johnstone, Grayzone and a few others. I'm intel gathering -- but I need to figure out how to convey broader perspectives even to my 40-45 year-old children and their friends. Inside the Beltway assumptions are hard to de-program.

Vegetius , 22 October 2019 at 12:13 AM
The CIA is a clear and present danger.
b , 22 October 2019 at 01:31 AM
While I agree with the essence of the post I disagree with the characterization of SOHR. It tends to get its stuff right. I have listed several significant events where SOHR disagreed with the official narrative: On Sources And Information - The Syrian Observatory For Human Rights . Those are exactly the moments where SOHR is disregarded by the pressitude.

It is the selective quoting of such sources that paint them as partisan even as they try to stay somewhat neutral.

---
@Pat - Any comment to the Gen. McRaven op-ed in the NYT?
Our Republic Is Under Attack From the President
If President Trump doesn't demonstrate the leadership that America needs, then it is time for a new person in the Oval Office.

Isn't it a call to mutiny? It seems to me to be far beyond the allowed political comment from a retired General.

Anonymous , 22 October 2019 at 01:34 AM
Those that look up the pole, all they see is assholes. Those that look down all they see is assholes, but those that look straight ahead, they see which path to take.
fredw , 22 October 2019 at 08:13 AM
The colonel's complaint implicitly assumes that things were not always thus. My adult experience since I saw a war up close has been that the "facts" of our public discourse are always simplified and usually grossly distorted.

Is the Iranian regime terrible? Well, yes, but it is also a regime that holds real elections and often loses them. Not in the same league of awful with Nazi Germany or the Soviet Union.

Similarly with the other examples. The "facts" have in each case a basis in truth but do not by themselves give a true picture. Is our discourse more unfair to Russia than it was to Nasser's Egypt? Is our promotion of Saudi Arabia any worse than our adulation of Chiang Kai-shek?

Christian J Chuba , 22 October 2019 at 08:30 AM
Not only are the MSM married to a narrative but they feel compelled to attack the few who ever challenge the orthodoxy. For example, 'Tulsi Gabbard met with the war criminal Assad'.

It would do our vaunted free press wonders if they traveled to Damascus instead of repeating the same tired talking points about Syria. I'll never forget the look on Gabbard's face when she talked about the Syrians came up to her and said, 'why are you attacking us, what did we do to you'. Meeting real people can undo a lifetime of blather and must be stopped at all cost.

turcopolier , 22 October 2019 at 08:56 AM
b Perhaps memory fails me but I think SOHR propagated the SAG gas attacks mythology. I have stated that McRaven should be recalled to active duty and court-martialed. I could find several punitice articles in UCMJ under which he could be charged.
CK said in reply to turcopolier ... , 22 October 2019 at 10:21 AM
When McCain returned from the Hanoi Hilton he could have been prosecuted for treason he was not because "peace with honour" overrode UCMJ and honour. McRaven is being offered up as a distraction. Call him back to active duty yes, and assign him somewhere dreary, unimportant and far from CONUS. Ignore the stuff he is blathering while he is retired, if he repeats blather while on active duty then the navy might be able to recover some honour.
Elora Danan said in reply to turcopolier ... , 22 October 2019 at 12:50 PM
No...your memory does not fail you, Colonel, the SOHR was the main source cited at MSM level on the alleged protests which gave place to the destruction of Syria and the legitimation and labelling of alleged "moderate rebels" which then resulted being but terrorist jihadi groups brought mainly from abroad under financing and mtrainning of non Syrian actors...

The source on the alleged atrocities commited by Assad was SOHR at the first years of the war on Syria, along with Doctors Without Borders and "special envoys" by British and French main papers reporting from the former, and first, "Baba Amr" caliphate in Homs....I am meaning the times of Sunday Times´ Marie Colvin and the other woman from Le Figaro , who then resulted or KIA or caught amongst the jihadists ranks along with other foreign "special envoys" who then were released in a truce with Assad through a safe corridor, especially made for that end, to Lebanon.

I fear SOHR was the source of the super-trolling consisting on inundating the MSM comments sections, like that of El País , with dozens of vertical doctored photographs every time any of us aware entered commenting to debunk their fake news.
I remember this since that was the starting point of Elora as net activist...( till then, just a baby, peacefully growing up...unaware....but had no election, felt it was a duty, since, as you comment here, so few people aware...Having known Syria few years before she could not believe what they were telling about Assad, who, eventhough not being perfect, as it has been long ago proved any other leader in the world is, had managed to show the visitant a flourishing Syria where misery present at other ME countries was almost absent...

It is only lately, when the Syrian war was obviously lost for the US coalition, that the SOHR started contradicting some fake claims by the White Helmets, especially last two alleged chemical attacks, if Elora´s not wrong.

Why this, why now, why in this form? Probably those powers behind SOHR trying to secure a part in the cake of reconstruction and future of Syria...since, it got obvious, love for Syria is not amongst one of their mottos...

Dave P. said in reply to Elora Danan... , 22 October 2019 at 04:04 PM
This news just broke:
Trump approves $4.5 million in aid for Syria's White Helmets

WASHINGTON -- US President Donald Trump has authorized $4.5 million in aid for Syria's White Helmets group, famed for rescuing wounded civilians from the frontlines in the civil war, the White House says today...

https://www.timesofisrael.com/liveblog_entry/trump-approves-4-5-million-in-aid-for-syrias-white-helmets/

Steve , 22 October 2019 at 09:41 AM
Col Lang,
I'm an extremely grateful for you and your blog. We are all very fortunate to have you.
PeterVE , 22 October 2019 at 09:58 AM
Thank you for this refuge from the noise. How long before the strangling of information makes its way here, and to Craig Murray, Naked Capitalism, and others who look on with clear eyes?
Terry , 22 October 2019 at 10:13 AM
Humans are copy/paste artists and generally not very good at creative thinking. When shown a series of steps to achieve a reward people will repeat all the steps including clearly unnecessary ones. Monkeys will drop unnecessary steps and frequently show more creativity by using a different method to achieve the reward instead of copying.

The old story goes how a woman always cut the ends off a roast before putting it in a pan. When her daughter asks why she doesn't know, asks her mother who doesn't know and asks the great grandmother who laughs and says her pan was too small.

I suspect it is a functional tradeoff that lets us transfer great amounts of cultural information and maintain a civilization of sorts. It creates a tough environment for innovators and allows for easy manipulation of the majority.

Nature of course always has a sprinkling of minority traits in the gene pool to allow for sudden changes in the environment. Most likely those of us that are more critical thinkers and like in depth, multi-dimensional viewpoints and historical knowledge are always going to be standing by watching the crowd do their copy/paste thing.

The rise of the internet giving easy access to more "sources" means more fragmentation in worldviews than ever before depending on where people copy/paste from.

prawnik , 22 October 2019 at 10:56 AM
To be fair, Russia is portrayed as a sort of resurrected Soviet Union intent on world conquest when the audience are conservatives.

Russia portrayed as a fascist theocracy when the audience are liberals.

prawnik , 22 October 2019 at 11:05 AM
Re: only three TV channels and they all said the same thing!

Once Upon a Time, not so long ago, publishing news was hard. For one thing, you needed a printing press, which was big, expensive and required housing and specialized technicians to operate it. Not only that, but a printing press cost money for every sheet of paper printed, and you had to spend more money to distribute what he printed.

They say that "freedom of the press belongs to those who own one" but there's more! Unless you were already rich and planned to publish as an expensive and time-consuming hobby, you needed an income stream. You would get some money from subscriptions, but subscriptions are really a means to sell advertising. Dependence on advertising meant that there were some people the publisher had to keep happy, and others he could not afford to annoy.

Anyone who knows anything about local news knows this. At best, it's a tightrope walk between giving subscribers the news they want to know, and not infuriating your advertisers. The result was a sort of natural censorship. Publishers had to think long and hard before they published anything that would tork the bigwigs off. The fact that a publisher was tied to a physical location and physical assets also made libel suits much easier.

The same thing applied to broadcast TV, only more so. It took orders of magnitude more money, and you were restricted to a limited amount of bandwidth.

The internet changed all that. Now, any anonymous toolio with a laptop ($299 cheap at WallyWorld) and WiFi (free at many businesses) can go into the news publishing business by nightfall, and with worldwide distribution and an advertising revenue stream, to boot. Marginal cost of readership is zero.

Needless to say, this development has The People That Matter very concerned, and they are working hard to stuff that genie back into the bottle.

casey , 22 October 2019 at 11:32 AM
For what it's worth, I found the late Udo Ulfkotte's personal-experience book "Bought Jounalism" to be quite interesting on this topic, as it details the kind of nuts-and-bolts of print-media prostitution. But I would really like to see an org-chart sometime of the overlapping, possibly competing, mission control centers (if that's the right phrase) that control the various "Wurlitzer" messaging and who, ultimately, is on charge of these. It has been intriguing to watch, since Kerry uttered his "the Internet makes it very hard to govern" line years ago, the blurry outline of a vast operation to shut down any non-approved media messages, now including all social media. To give credit where credit is due, "they" sure have done a bang-up job in feeding bullshit across all platforms down the throats of a Western people, like a goose being fattened up for foie gras.
Jack , 22 October 2019 at 12:04 PM
"...the US government (along with our British and Israeli helpmates and masters) are the preeminent creators and purveyors of the manufactured virtual facts on which we base our policy."

Sir

I've been perplexed for some time what the objectives are of these virtual fact creators? When one digs into who the movers & shakers are in the virtual fact creation apparatus then it seems very much analogous to the Jeffrey Epstein orbit. Folks bound together through the carrot of extraordinary personal gain and the stick of personal destruction. Your Drinking the Koolaid, is a seminal work in exploring how these virtual facts are created and how those who challenge the creation are marginalized and even destroyed personally.

IMO, policy making on the basis of virtual facts extends beyond foreign policy to economic and financial policy as well as healthcare policy in the US. The symptoms are seen in growing wealth inequality and increased market concentration globally and financial policy completely unmoored from common sense and sophistry an important element in virtual fact creation.

We're seeing signs of the early breakdown in social cohesion with social unrest in France, Spain, Hong Kong, Chile, Lebanon, Ecuador. Brexit and the election of Trump despite the intensity and vitriolic nature of how the media was used against them. The impeachment of Trump another tool in the desperate attempt to retain and consolidate power. Maybe we're in the Fourth Turning as Howe & Strauss label it.

Keith Harbaugh , 22 October 2019 at 12:43 PM
"The Soviet Union never ended. Russia is still communist ..."
In the interest of specificity and accountability, where/who in the MSM are asserting that?
You (PL) are making a serious charge.
Just who is guilty of perpetrating such a blatant falsehood?
Terry said in reply to Keith Harbaugh... , 22 October 2019 at 04:19 PM
Google "Russia like USSR". It has to be google tho, not Qwant or Duckduckgo. The bias is thick on google.

Back in the U.S.S.R.? How Today's Russia Is Like the Soviet Era
https://www.nbcnews.com/news/world/back-u-s-s-r-how-todays-russia-soviet-era-n453536

Russia vs. Ukraine: More Russians Want the Soviet Union and Communism Back Amid Continued Tensions

https://www.newsweek.com/russia-vs-ukraine-soviet-union-communism-1264875

Putin's Russia is becoming more Soviet by the day

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/democracy-post/wp/2018/02/26/putins-russia-is-becoming-more-soviet-by-the-day/

Joseph Stalin: Why so many Russians like the Soviet dictator

https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-47975704

Putin says he wishes the Soviet Union had not collapsed and many Russians agree.

www.washingtonpost.com/news/worldviews/wp/2018/03/03/putin-says-he-wishes-he-could-change-the-collapse-of-the-soviet-union-many-russians-agree/&usg=AOvVaw22Q9M8lhhTo8IYh6rl-FCi

oldman22 , 22 October 2019 at 01:04 PM
John Helmer has today published a comprehensive piece on Syria.
The details of history and current affairs are comprehensive.
Highly recommended, a reference work.
His cartoon is good too!
http://johnhelmer.net/oil-and-water-dont-mix-the-solution-to-the-war-in-syria/print/
oldman22 , 22 October 2019 at 01:13 PM
pardon me, should have said the article that John Helmer published
was written by Gary Busch
divadab , 22 October 2019 at 01:15 PM
well it seems to me that the groundwork is being laid for an authoritarian state - and it already has sophisticated tools that are unprecedented in their scope and depth and ability to store data. And the whole enterprise is based on three rules:
1) secrecy - data is restricted to "insiders";
2) deception - the "outsiders" (you know, the citizens) are regarded as a herd of cattle to be managed - with lies and disinformation so we don't get any ideas;
3) ruthless enforcement to dehumanize and destroy dissent. Just consider the torture and destruction of Journalist Julian Assange: https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

Not sure what the appropriate response is but I spend a lot of time at my camp working in the woods. Thanks, Colonel Lang, for maintaining this site.

turcopolier , 22 October 2019 at 01:24 PM
Elora Danan

You are more and more interesting.

turcopolier , 22 October 2019 at 01:28 PM
Keith Harbaugh
This is my opinion. I am uninterested in proving anything to you. If you listen to what is said on the MSM (including Fox) it is evident that in the "minds" of the media squirrels Russia is just the USSR in disguise. Try listening to what they are saying as sub-text.
Jackrabbit , 22 October 2019 at 02:21 PM
Thank you pl!
Keith Harbaugh , 22 October 2019 at 02:25 PM
The request was not just for my benefit, but with the thought that it would be useful to document the occurrences of such clearly false statements in the media.

It is certainly true that Russia is being demonized in all the MSM I have sampled. A frequent criticism is that Putin, like Assad, and earlier Saddam and Quadaffi, is essentially an illegitimate ruler of his country, ruling through brute force and without the consent of his countrymen. (Thus the WaPo editorials routinely call Putin a "thug", just as they call Assad a "butcher".)

I am certainly not endorsing that view, just reporting what I hear and read. When I hear that, I harken back to my graduate school days, when the same sort of charges were leveled against America, which was usually spelled "Amerika", or sometimes "AmeriKKKa", and described as a racist, imperialist, fascist country whose establishment must be "Smashed". I believe the core group of people who so wanted a revolution in America in 1970 (which they essentially got, as we have seen over the last 50 years) are much the same as those now demonizing Russia.

Here is some specificity on their complaints against Russia back then: They were not opposed to the USSR, or communism. Many of them were in effect communists. The cry among many was : "Marx, Mao, and Marcuse" (Herbert Marcuse was a former Brandeis professor who extolled cultural Marxism). What they did have, in spades, was a feeling that their ancestors had been victimized by the Czarist regime in Russia, which, among other supposed sins, had not done enough to prevent pogroms against them. They seemed to have a deep fear of the Russian people, based on their long experience with them.

My suspicion (actually, belief) is that the opposition to Putin is based on the fact that he is sometimes viewed as a throwback to the the Czars, and that is definitely not something looked upon favorably by many Jews.

arze , 22 October 2019 at 02:33 PM
This is SOHR, Tweet, Dec. 6, 2014

"Regime forces use Chlorine gas to stop ISIS advances in Der-Ezzor military airport http://fb.me/4qb09QhnH
3:01 AM - 6 Dec 2014"

https://twitter.com/syriahr/status/541185710443995136?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw%7Ctwcamp%5Etweetembed&ref_url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.dw.com%2Fen%2Fsyrian-observatory-reports-assad-gas-attack-on-is%2Fa-18113807

blue peacock , 22 October 2019 at 03:33 PM
Col. Lang,

"Trump has a balance sheet where a soul should be and that is the basis for the belief that MBS and/or his "country" are our friends."

Not to defend Trump and his balance sheet mindset with respect to the Saudis, the reality is that both parties and presidents from George H.W to Bill Clinton to W and Obama have treated the Saudi monarchy as our "friend", even when they sponsored the terrorists that attacked us on 9/11.

Tony Blair became a wealthy man after his prime ministership on the back of money thrown his way by the Arab sheikhs.

[Oct 22, 2019] Hillary claims that Gabbard is being groomed to run as a third-party spoiler candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also totally a Russian asset )

Notable quotes:
"... "I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate." ..."
"... The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times , and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with. ..."
Oct 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

by Tyler Durden Mon, 10/21/2019 - 22:25 0 SHARES

Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins vis The Unz Review,

So, it looks like that's it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have "hacked," or "influenced," or "meddled in" our democracy. Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup , it's four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death's heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.

We probably should have seen this coming.

That's right, as I'm sure you are aware by now, president-in-exile Hillary Clinton has discovered Putin's diabolical plot to steal the presidency from Elizabeth Warren, or Biden, or whichever establishment puppet makes it out of the Democratic primaries. Speaking to former Obama adviser and erstwhile partner at AKPD Message and Media David Plouffe, Clinton revealed how the godless Rooskies intend to subvert democracy this time:

"I'm not making any predictions, but I think they've got their eye on somebody who is currently in the Democratic primary and are grooming her to be the third-party candidate."

She was referring, of course, to Tulsi Gabbard, sitting Democratic Member of Congress, decorated Major in the Army National Guard, and long shot 2020 presidential candidate. Apparently, Gabbard (who reliable anonymous sources in the Intelligence Community have confirmed is a member of some kind of treasonous, Samoan-Hindu, Assad-worshipping cult that wants to force everyone to practice yoga) has been undergoing Russian "grooming" at a compound in an undisclosed location that is probably in the basement of Mar-a-Lago, or on Sublevel 168 of Trump Tower.

In any event, wherever Gabbard is being surreptitiously "groomed" (presumably by someone resembling Lotte Lenya in From Russia With Love ), the plan (i.e., Putin's plan) is to have her lose in the Democratic primaries, then run as a third-party "spoiler" candidate, stealing votes from Warren or Biden, exactly as Jill Stein (who, according to Clinton, is also "totally a Russian asset") stole them from Clinton back in 2016, allowing Putin to install Donald Trump (who, according to Clinton, is still being blackmailed by the FSB with that "kompromat" pee-tape) in the White House, where she so clearly belongs.

Clinton's comments came on the heels of a preparatory smear-piece in The New York Times , What, Exactly, Is Tulsi Gabbard Up To? , which reported at length on how Gabbard has been "injecting chaos" into the Democratic primaries . Professional "disinformation experts" supplied The Times with convincing evidence (i.e., unfounded hearsay and innuendo) of "suspicious activity" surrounding Gabbard's campaign. Former Clinton-aide Laura Rosenberger (who also just happens to be the Director of the Alliance for Securing Democracy , "a bipartisan transatlantic national security advocacy group" comprised of former Intelligence Community and U.S. State Department officials, and publisher of the Hamilton 68 dashboard) "sees Gabbard as a potentially useful vector for Russian efforts to sow division."

The Times piece goes on to list an assortment of unsavory, extremist, white supremacist, horrible, neo-Nazi-type persons that Tulsi Gabbard has nothing to do with, but which Hillary Clinton, the Intelligence Community, The Times , and the rest of the corporate media would like you to mentally associate her with.

Richard Spencer, David Duke, Steve Bannon, Mike Cernovich, Tucker Carlson, and so on. Neo-Nazi sites like the Daily Stormer . 4chan, where, according to The New York Times , neo-Nazis like to "call her Mommy."

In keeping with professional journalistic ethics, The Times also reached out to experts on fascism, fascist terrorism, terrorist fascism, fascist-adjacent Assad-apologism, Hitlerism, horrorism, Russia, and so on, to confirm Gabbard's guilt-by-association with the people The Times had just associated her with. Brian Levin, Director of the CSU Center for the Study of Hate and Extremism, confirmed that Gabbard has "the seal of approval" within goose-stepping, Hitler-loving, neo-Nazi circles. The Alliance for Securing Democracy (yes, the one from the previous paragraph) conducted an "independent analysis" which confirmed that RT ("the Kremlin-backed news agency") had mentioned Gabbard far more often than the Western corporate media (which isn't backed by anyone, and is totally unbiased and independent, despite the fact that most of it is owned by a handful of powerful global corporations, and at least one CIA-affiliated oligarch). Oh, and Hawaii State Senator Kai Kahele, who is challenging Gabbard for her seat in Congress, agreed with The Times that Gabbard's support from Jew-hating, racist Putin-Nazis might be a potential liability.

"Clearly there's something about her and her policies that attracts and appeals to these type of people who are white nationalists, anti-Semites, and Holocaust deniers."

But it's not just The New York Times , of course. No sooner had Clinton finished cackling than the corporate media launched into their familiar Goebbelsian piano routine, banging out story after television segment repeating the words "Gabbard" and "Russian asset." I've singled out The Times because the smear piece in question was clearly a warm-up for Hillary Clinton's calculated smear job on Friday night. No, the old gal hasn't lost her mind. She knew exactly what she was doing, as did the editors of The New York Times , as did every other establishment news source that breathlessly "reported" her neo-McCarthyite smears.

As I noted in my previous essay , 2020 is for all the marbles, and it's not just about who wins the election. No, it's mostly about crushing the "populist" backlash against the hegemony of global capitalism and its happy, smiley-faced, conformist ideology. To do that, the neoliberal establishment has to delegitimize, and lethally stigmatize, not just Trump, but also people like Gabbard, Bernie Sanders, Jeremy Corbyn and any other popular political figure (left, right, it makes no difference) deviating from that ideology.

Ask yourself, what do Trump, Sanders, Corbyn, and Gabbard have in common? No, it's not their Putin-Nazism it's the challenge they represent to global capitalism. Each, in his or her own way, is a symbol of the growing populist resistance to the privatization and globalization of everything. And thus, they must be delegitimized, stigmatized, and relentlessly smeared as "Russian assets," "anti-Semites," "traitors," "white supremacists," "fascists," "communists," or some other type of "extremists."

Gabbard, to her credit, understands this, and is focusing attention on the motives and tactics of the neoliberal establishment and their smear machine. As I noted in an essay last year , "the only way to effectively counter a smear campaign (whether large-scale or small-scale) is to resist the temptation to profess your innocence, and, instead, focus as much attention on the tactics and the motives of the smearers as possible ." This will not save her, but it is the best she can do, and I applaud her for having the guts to do it. I hope she continues to give them hell as they finish off her candidacy and drive her out of office.

Oh, and if you're contemplating sending me an email explaining how these smear campaigns don't work (or you spent the weekend laughing about how Hillary Clinton lost her mind and made an utter jackass of herself), maybe check in with Julian Assange, who is about to be extradited to America, tried for exposing U.S. war crimes, and then imprisoned for the remainder of his natural life.

If you can't get through to Julian at Belmarsh, you could ring up Katharine Viner at The Guardian, which has ruthlessly smeared Assange for years, and published outright lies about him , and is apparently doing very well financially.

And, if Katharine is on holiday in Antigua or somewhere, or having tea with Hillary in the rooftop bar of the Hay-Adams Hotel , you could try Luke Harding (who not only writes and publishes propaganda for The Guardian , but who wrote a whole New York Times best-seller based on nothing but lies and smears). Or try Marty Baron, Dean Baquet, Paul Krugman, or even Rachel Maddow, or any of the other editors and journalists who have been covering the Putin-Nazi " Attack on America ," and keeping us apprised of who is and isn't a Hitler-loving "Russian asset."

Ask them whether their smear machine is working... if you can get them off the phone with their brokers, or whoever is decorating their summer places in the Hamptons or out on Martha's Vineyard .

Or ask the millions of well-off liberals who are still, even after Russiagate was exposed as an enormous hoax based on absolutely nothing , parroting this paranoid official narrative and calling people "Russian assets" on Twitter. Or never mind, just pay attention to what happens over the next twelve months. In terms of ridiculous official propaganda , spittle-flecked McCarthyite smears, and full-blown psychotic mass Putin-Nazi hysteria, it's going to make the last three years look like the Propaganda Special Olympics.

* * *

C. J. Hopkins is an award-winning American playwright, novelist and political satirist based in Berlin. His plays are published by Bloomsbury Publishing (UK) and Broadway Play Publishing (USA). His debut novel, ZONE 23 , is published by Snoggsworthy, Swaine & Cormorant Paperbacks. He can be reached at cjhopkins.com or consentfactory.org .

[Oct 22, 2019] It's four more years of the Trumpian Reich folks, with Russian spetnaz patrolling the streets, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, babushkas, the whole nine yards by CJ Hopkins

Notable quotes:
"... Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins vis The Unz Review, ..."
Oct 21, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored (satirically) by CJ Hopkins vis The Unz Review,

So, it looks like that's it for America, folks. Putin has gone and done it again. He and his conspiracy of Putin-Nazis have "hacked," or "influenced," or "meddled in" our democracy.

Unless Admiral Bill McRaven and his special ops cronies can ginny up a last-minute military coup , it's four more years of the Trumpian Reich, Russian soldiers patrolling the streets, martial law, concentration camps, gigantic banners with the faces of Trump and Putin hanging in the football stadiums, mandatory Sieg-heiling in the public schools, National Vodka-for-Breakfast Day, death's heads, babushkas, the whole nine yards.

[Oct 20, 2019] Unasked Questions About US-Ukrainian Relations by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes. ..."
Oct 20, 2019 | www.unz.com

The transcript of President Trump's July 25 telephone conversation with Ukraine's recently elected president, Volodymyr Zelensky, has ignited the usual anti-Trump bashing in American political-media circles, even more calls for impeachment, with little, if any, regard for the national security issues involved. Leave aside that Trump should not have been compelled to make the transcript public and ask: Which, if any, foreign leaders will now feel free to conduct personal telephone diplomacy with an American president directly or indirectly, of the kind that helped end the 1962 Cuban missile crisis, knowing that his or her comments might become known to domestic political opponents? Consider instead only the following undiscussed issues:

§ Even if former vice president Joseph Biden, who figured prominently in the Trump-Zelensky conversation, is not the Democratic nominee, Ukraine is now likely to be a contested, and poisonous, issue in the 2020 US presidential election. How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine's torturous and famously corrupt politics? The short answer is NATO expansion, as some of us who opposed that folly back in the 1990s warned would be the case, and not only in Ukraine. The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013 -- 14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country's constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass. All those fateful events infused the Trump-Zelensky talk, if only between the lines.

§ Russia shares centuries of substantial civilizational values, language, culture, geography, and intimate family relations with Ukraine. America does not. Why, then, is it routinely asserted in the US political-media establishment that Ukraine is a "vital US national interest" and not a vital zone of Russian national security, as by all geopolitical reckoning it would seem to be? The standard American establishment answer is: because of "Russian aggression against Ukraine." But the "aggression" cited is Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea and support for anti-Kiev fighters in the Donbass civil war, both of which came after, not before, the Maidan crisis, and indeed were a direct result of it. That is, in Moscow's eyes, it was reacting, not unreasonably, to US-led "aggression." In any event, as opponents of eastward expansion also warned in the 1990s, NATO has increased no one's security, only diminished security throughout the region bordering Russia.

§ Which brings us back to the Trump-Zelensky telephone conversation. President Zelensky ran and won overwhelmingly as a peace-with-Moscow candidate, which is why the roughly $400 million in US military aid to Ukraine, authorized by Congress, figured anomalously in the conversation. Trump is being sharply criticized for withholding that aid or threatening to do so, including by Obama partisans. Forgotten, it seems, is that President Obama, despite considerable bipartisan pressure, steadfastly refused to authorize such military assistance to Kiev, presumably because it might escalate the Russian-Ukrainian conflict (and Russia, with its long border with Ukraine, had every escalatory advantage). Instead of baiting Trump on this issue, we should hope he encourages the new peace talks that Zelensky has undertaken in recent days with Moscow, which could end the killing in Donbass. (For this, Zelensky is being threatened by well-armed extreme Ukrainian nationalists, even quasi-fascists. Strong American support for his negotiations with Moscow may not deter them, but it might.)

§ Finally, but not surprisingly, the shadow of Russiagate is now morphing into Ukrainegate. Trump is also being sharply criticized for asking Zelensky to cooperate with Attorney General William Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate, even though the role of Ukrainian-Americans and Ukraine itself in Russiagate allegations against Trump on behalf of Hillary Clinton in 2016 is now well-documented .

We need to know fully the origins of Russiagate, arguably the worst presidential scandal in American history, and if Ukrainian authorities can contribute to that understanding, they should be encouraged to do so. As I've argued repeatedly, fervent anti-Trumpers must decide whether they loathe him more than they care about American and international security. Imaging, for example, a Cuban missile -- like crisis somewhere in the world today where Washington and Moscow are militarily eyeball-to-eyeball, directly or through proxies, from the Baltic and the Black Seas to Syria and Ukraine. Will Trump's presidential legitimacy be sufficient for him to resolve such an existential crisis peacefully, as President John F. Kennedy did in 1962?

Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show, now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com.

Realist , says: October 4, 2019 at 12:06 am GMT

Trump is an agent of the Deep State, playing good cop to the bad cop Deep State. I have been saying this since mid April 2017. His multitude of actions belie his promises. Trump is a quisling to his supporters.

Here is an excellent article that comports with my view of Trump.

http://www.alt-market.com/index.php/articles/3949-trump-cannot-be-anti-globalist-while-working-with-global-elites

Ron Unz , says: October 4, 2019 at 3:35 am GMT
@Dan Hayes

I am puzzled why Cohen is permitted to publish in the Nation. Is it due to his marriage to its publisher or to the magazine's remnant infatuation with the Soviet state? Just asking.

The whole situation is a rather ironic

Prof. Cohen is certainly one of America's most eminent Russia scholars, and I think that for decades he was regarded as one of the most left-leaning ones, regularly denounced for his leftism by all the Neocons and other rightwingers. I remember I used to see him on the PBS Newshour, sometimes paired with a conservative critic of the Soviets. I'd guess that past history plus being married to the publisher of The Nation is what gives him his residual foothold there.

I'd suspect that if someone had told him a couple of decades ago that by the late 2010s he'd be blacklisted from the MSM and denounced as a "Russian agent," he probably would have been greatly saddened at the disheartening turn in American society, but not totally shocked. He probably would have regarded such a scenario as having a 10% possibility.

But if someone would have told him that the people denouncing and blacklisting him would have been the *liberal Democrats* and some of their most "excitable" elements would be accusing him of being a "Neo-Nazi White Supremacist Russian Agent" he would have thought the entire country had gone on LSD.

It's sad that our entire country has gone on LSD

The whole situation is actually a perfect parallel to the various past American purges I've often covered in my articles:

http://www.unz.com/runz/american-pravda-our-great-purge-of-the-1940s/


renfro , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:31 am GMT

Russia is the excuse for US actions in the Ukraine as it was in the ME.
What is America without a big bad boogeyman like Russia?.
Certainly not a “Superpower’ defending the world.
Without enemies like Russia we would be nothing but big rich country.
And all the Neos and Zios and politicians would have to use Viagra instead of war to squirt out their poison.

A lot of countries like the Ukraine have gotten a lot of US taxpayer money by ‘standing up to a Russian takeover’….and are laughing all the way to their bank.

sally , says: October 4, 2019 at 4:47 am GMT
How did the United States become so involved in Ukraine’s torturous and famously corrupt politics?

The short answer is NATO expansion <= maybe something different? I like pocketbook expansion..
NATO Expansion provides cover and legalizes the private use of Presidential directed USA resources to enable a few to make massively big profits at the expense of the governed in the target area.

Behind NATO lies the reason for Bexit, the Yellow Jackets, the unrest in Iraq and Egypt, Yemen etc.

Hypothesis 1: NATO supporters are more corrupt than Ukraine officials.
Hypothesis 2: NATO expansion is a euphemism for USA/EU/ backed private party plunder to follow invade and destroy regime change activities designed to dispossess local Oligarchs of the wealth in NATO targeted nations? Private use of public force for private gain comes to mind.

I think [private use of public force for private gain] is what Trump meant when Trump said to impeach Trump for investigating the Ukraine matter amounts to Treason.. but it is the exactly the activity type that Hallmarks CIA instigated regime change.

A lot of intelligence agency manipulation and private pocketbook expanding corruption can be hidden behind NATO expansion.. Please prove to me that Biden and the hundreds of other plunders became so deeply involved in Ukraine because of NATO expansion?

mark green , says: October 4, 2019 at 6:06 am GMT
It is more than ironic that the Dems (and their like-minded cronies in Big Media) are up in arms over Trump’s attempt in find ‘dirt’ about Joe Biden when the ‘dirt’ looks and smells like actual corruption. Have laws been broken? Was Biden selling influence through his son? Stranger things have happened. At the very least, it looks as though Joe Biden crossed an ethical line. This will likely cost him the nomination.

Similarly, the news media should–if it was doing its job–pursue leads that would help find the source behind the missing server and the Fake News that helped justify the toxic and duplicitous ‘Russiagate’ investigation. But they’d rather pursue Trump instead. I have never witnessed a more partisan and bloodthirsty Fourth Estate.

Why is the media so utterly uninterested in finding out who/how the fake Putin-Trump ‘conspiracy’ was cooked up in the first place? Doesn’t it make sense the Trump would want to find out more? Justice demands it. False intelligence can sow chaos and start wars.

Consider, for instance, the manufactured lies (Saddam’s phantom WMD, links to 911, etc) that were used to justify Zio-America’s annihilation of Iraq. What intelligence agency cooked up these falsehoods? Who spoon-fed these fairy tales to G.W. Bush and Colin Powell?

Not only have these questions never been answered, they are seldom even asked! The Deep State has gone rogue. And Big Media is covering it up.

animalogic , says: October 4, 2019 at 7:29 am GMT
This whole ridiculous drama may profit the Dem’s in the longer term — that is, by removing that corrupt, dementia ridden nit-wit Biden from the presidential competition.
As president, Biden would be a greater sock puppet than even GWB…of course, “sock puppet” maybe just what the Dem’s want….
Patric , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:13 am GMT
@renfro renfro said “And all the Neos and Zios and politicians would have to use Viagra instead of war to squirt out their poison.”

Very well said indeed!

Beckow , says: October 4, 2019 at 8:16 am GMT
The key question is what is the gain in separating Ukraine from Russia, adding it to NATO, and turning Russia and Ukraine into enemies. And what are the most likely results, e.g. can it ever work without risking a catastrophic event?

There are the usual empire-building and weapons business reasons, but those should function within a rational framework. As it is right now, the most likely outcome of the Western initiative in Ukraine will be substantially lower living standards than there would be otherwise for most Ukrainians. And an increase in tensions in the region with inevitable impact on the business there. So what exactly is the gain and for whom?

Mikhail , says: • Website October 4, 2019 at 8:33 am GMT
@Ron Unz Thanks to Tucker Carlson’s show, some folks on the left like Cohen, Mate and Greenwald, are more likely to get air time on Fox News than MSNBC and CNN.
Observator , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:15 am GMT
The current CIA talking point is that it is illegal for the President to seek foreign assistance for his campaign. One might also slant it that the President of the United States has an obligation to the people who elected him to require an allied, friendly government to reopen the investigation of Biden because there is adequate reason to suspect that the Democrats are running yet another corrupt criminal for President. Incidentally, this puts Zelensky in a very awkward position, as one of the backers of his transition from sitcom star to President of Ukraine was a principal in Burisma

It is not the threat of impeachment that will energize Trump’s base; it is the grotesque, constant character assassination in the (largely CIA manipulated) media that will return him to the White House. The American people have a sense of fairness. They have always been of better character than the reprobates we are allowed to vote for. Whatever happened to trusting the democratic process, instead of using intelligence assets to engineer domestic regime change?

History is not made by nice guys. Trump has torn a big hole in the tissue of lies about what this country is and what it stands for, and that is too much for those who make their living deceiving us.

mike k , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT
Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes.
eah , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:55 am GMT
The Washington-led attempt to fast-track Ukraine into NATO in 2013–14 resulted in the Maidan crisis, the overthrow of the country’s constitutionally elected president Viktor Yanukovych, and to the still ongoing proxy civil war in Donbass.

Which exemplifies the stupidity and arrogance of the American military/industrial/political Establishment — none of that had anything to do with US national security (least of all antagonizing Russia) — how fucking hypocritical is it to presume the Monroe Doctrine, and then try to get the Ukraine into NATO? — none of it would have been of any benefit whatsoever to the average American.

[Oct 19, 2019] Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes.

Oct 19, 2019 | www.unz.com

mike k , says: October 4, 2019 at 11:53 am GMT

Russia hating is the lynchpin of oligarchic deepstate MIC MSM propaganda. Take that away and the fat cats are revealed as the naked face of evil that they are. Hating Russia (and China) supposedly justifies all their crimes.

[Oct 19, 2019] Russian agents under every bed

Highly recommended!
Oct 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

S , Oct 19 2019 15:33 utc | 24

Okay, let's recap:

1) Tulsi Gabbard is a Russian asset (Clinton).
2) Jill Stein is a Russian asset (Clinton).
3) Donald Trump has been a Russian asset since 1987 ( Intelligencer ).
4) Rand Paul is "working for Vladimir Putin" ( McCain , Greg Olear ).
5) Bernie Sanders is "just a tool" to the Russians ( The Washington Post ).

I'm sure Bernie will turn from "just a tool" into "an asset" in no time if his poll numbers become too high. After all, nobody forgot his fraternizing with the enemy in a sauna in USSR !

[Oct 09, 2019] The only 'Russian bots' to meddle in US elections belonged to Democrat-linked 'experts'

Another day, another false flag operation...
Notable quotes:
"... New Knowledge's victory lap was short-lived. On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate. ..."
"... Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead. ..."
"... In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet. ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

US cyber-security experts have blamed Russia for meddling in American elections since 2016. Now it has emerged that authors of a Senate report on 'Russian' meddling actually ran a "false flag" meddling operation themselves. A week before Christmas, the Senate Intelligence Committee released a report accusing Russia of depressing Democrat voter turnout by targeting African-Americans on social media. Its authors, New Knowledge, quickly became a household name.

Described by the New York Times as a group of "tech specialists who lean Democratic," New Knowledge has ties to both the US military and intelligence agencies. Its CEO and co-founder Jonathon Morgan previously worked for DARPA, the US military's advanced research agency. His partner, Ryan Fox, is a 15-year veteran of the National Security Agency who also worked as a computer analyst for the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC). Their unique skill sets have managed to attract the eye of investors, who pumped $11 million into the company in 2018 alone. Morgan and Fox have struck gold in the "Russiagate" racket, which sprung into being after Hillary Clinton blamed Moscow for Donald Trump's presidential victory in 2016. Morgan, for example, is one of the developers of the Hamilton 68 Dashboard, the online tool that purports to monitor and expose narratives being pushed by the Kremlin on Twitter. The dashboard is bankrolled by the German Marshall Fund's Alliance for Securing Democracy – a collection of Democrats and neoconservatives funded in part by NATO and USAID.

It is worth noting that the 600 "Russia-linked" Twitter accounts monitored by the dashboard are not disclosed to the public, making it impossible to verify its claims. This inconvenience has not stopped Hamilton 68 from becoming a go-to source for hysteria-hungry journalists, however.

From the way it was formed to the secrecy of its "methods" to the blatantly false assumptions on which its claims rest, "Hamilton68" is probably the single most successful media fraud & US propaganda campaign I've seen since I've been writing about politics. It's truly shocking.

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) February 22, 2018
Troll hunters or bot farm?

New Knowledge's victory lap was short-lived. On December 19, a New York Times story revealed that Morgan and his crew had created a fake army of Russian bots, as well as fake Facebook groups, in order to discredit Republican candidate Roy Moore in Alabama's 2017 special election for the US Senate.

Working on behalf of the Democrats, Morgan and his crew created an estimated 1,000 fake Twitter accounts with Russian names, and had them follow Moore. They also operated several Facebook pages where they posed as Alabama conservatives who wanted like-minded voters to support a write-in candidate instead.

In an internal memo, New Knowledge boasted that it had "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

It worked. The botnet claim made a splash on social media and was further amplified by Mother Jones , which based its story on expert opinion from Morgan's other dubious creation, Hamilton 68.

Russian trolls tracked by #Hamilton68 are taking an interest in the AL Senate race. What a surprise. pic.twitter.com/Nz1PNmuT2R

-- Jonathon Morgan (@jonathonmorgan) November 10, 2017

Ultimately, Moore ended up losing the race by a miniscule 1.5 percentage points – making his opponent Doug Jones the first Democrat to represent Alabama in the US Senate in over 25 years.

Money trail and weak apologies

Things got even weirder when it turned out that Scott Shane, the author of the Times piece, had known about the meddling for months, because he spoke at an event where the organizers boasted about it!

Shane was one of the speakers at a meeting in September, organized by American Engagement Technologies, a group run by Mikey Dickerson, President Barack Obama's former tech czar. Dickerson explained how AET spent $100,000 on New Knowledge's campaign to suppress Republican votes, " enrage" Democrats to boost turnout, and execute a "false flag" to hurt Moore. He dubbed it "Project Birmingham."

This gets even weirder: NYT reporter @ScottShaneNYT , who broke the Alabama disinfo op story, learned of it in early September when he spoke at an off-the-record event organized by one of the firms that perpetrated the deception https://t.co/gIAytOh2yy

-- Dan Cohen (@dancohen3000) December 28, 2018

The money for the venture came from a $750,000 contribution to AET by Reid Hoffman, the billionaire co-founder of LinkedIn and a big Democrat donor. Once that emerged, Hoffman offered a public apology for his connection to the shady operation, but insisted that he didn't know what his money was going towards.

" I find the tactics that have been recently reported highly disturbing ," Hoffman said in a statement.

"For that reason, I am embarrassed by my failure to track AET -- the organization I did support -- more diligently as it made its own decisions to perhaps fund projects that I would reject."

As for Shane, he told BuzzFeed that he was "shocked" by the revelations, but had signed a nondisclosure agreement at the request of AET, so he could not talk about it further.

Spin and denial

Shane's spin on the tale was that New Knowledge "imitated Russian tactics" as part of an "experiment" that had a budget of "only" $100,000 and had no effect on the election. Yet these tactics are only considered "Russian" because New Knowledge and similar outfits said so! Moreover, New Knowledge's budget in Alabama was greater than the reported amount spent by "Russians" on the 2016 US presidential election, yet Moscow's alleged meddling was supposed to be decisive, while New Knowledge's failed?

New Knowledge responded to the Times story by insisting that the "false flag" operation was actually a benign research project. In a statement posted on Twitter, the company's CEO claimed that its activities during the Alabama Senate race were conducted in order to "better understand and report on the tactics and effects of social media disinformation."

My statement on this evening's NYT article. pic.twitter.com/lsJuRqiffL

-- Jonathon Morgan (@jonathonmorgan) December 20, 2018

Morgan emphasized that he in no way took part in an influence campaign, and warned people not to mischaracterize his "research."

While the New York Times seemed satisfied with his explanation, others pointed out that Morgan had used the Hamilton 68 dashboard to give his "false flag" more credibility – misleading the public about a "Russian" influence campaign that he knew was fake.

New Knowledge's protestations apparently didn't convince Facebook, which announced last week that five accounts linked to New Knowledge – including Morgan's – had been suspended for engaging in "coordinated inauthentic behavior."

Meddlers unmasked

The final nail in the coffin of Morgan's story came on Thursday, when the leaked secret after-action report from "Project Birmingham" was published online, showing that those behind the Alabama campaign knew perfectly well what they were doing and why.

BREAKING: Here's the after-action report from the AL Senate disinfo campaign.

**an exclusive release by @JeffGiesea https://t.co/VXrCeb8LAD

-- Jeff Giesea🌿 (@jeffgiesea) December 28, 2018

So, it turns out there really was meddling in American democracy by "Russian bots." Except they weren't run from Moscow or St. Petersburg, but from the offices of Democrat operatives chiefly responsible for creating and amplifying the "Russiagate" hysteria over the past two years in a textbook case of psychological projection.

Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!

[Oct 09, 2019] Here they go again Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence -- RT USA News

Notable quotes:
"... "much of this Volume's analysis is derived from" ..."
"... "Russian troll farm" ..."
"... "Intelligence Community Assessment," ..."
"... "Strategic Communications Center of Excellence." ..."
"... "a cybersecurity company dedicated to protecting the public sphere from disinformation attacks." ..."
"... "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet." ..."
"... "Russian" ..."
"... "significantly informed the Committee's understanding of Russia's social media-predicated attack against our democracy," ..."
"... Ever since Hillary Clinton blamed "Russian hackers" ..."
Oct 09, 2019 | www.rt.com

Here they go again: Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence 9 Oct, 2019 00:05 Get short URL Here they go again: Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence Here they go again: Senate reheats 'Russian meddling' claims, using assertions as evidence Members of the Senate Intelligence Committee look at a placard showing 'Russian social media manipulation' at a November 1, 2017 hearing. © REUTERS/Joshua Roberts Follow RT on RT The Senate Intelligence Committee's final report on 'Russian interference' in the 2016 US presidential election is short on evidence and long on reheated assertions and innuendo from 'experts' exposed as actual election meddlers. There is little new in the 85-page , partially redacted document released on Tuesday, that has not been made public by the committee previously – including the accusations that "Russia" focused on stoking anger and resentment among African-Americans, for example .

There is a reason for that. By the committee's own admission, "much of this Volume's analysis is derived from" the work of two Technical Advisory Groups (TAG), which produced two public reports back in December 2018, to the same kind of fawning press coverage the report is receiving now.

NEW: The Russian government's efforts to interfere in the 2016 U.S. elections involved using social media content to mostly target African-Americans, a new Senate committee report concludes. https://t.co/7BRUmiG18T

-- NPR (@NPR) October 8, 2019

Not surprisingly, the report's "findings" are being cited as conclusive proof that Democrats were right and President Donald Trump was wrong about 2016, Russia, Ukraine and the US presidential election.

The Senate Intelligence Committee unveiled a sweeping new bipartisan report showing Russian efforts to boost Trump's White House bid on social media during the 2016 U.S. election https://t.co/TUjUhBdMnc

-- POLITICO (@politico) October 8, 2019

The only trouble with that is that the committee provides no actual evidence for any of its claims – only assertions. For example, their description of the Internet Research Agency – the "Russian troll farm" – is basically copied over from Special Counsel Robert Mueller's indictment of a dozen of its alleged members. Yet a federal judge presiding over the case ruled back in May that allegations cannot be treated as established evidence or conclusion, coming close to finding Mueller's prosecutors in contempt.

Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim READ MORE: Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim

Another document presented as evidence is the January 2017 "Intelligence Community Assessment," the disingenuously named work of a small group of people, hand-picked by the Obama administration's DNI and chiefs of the CIA, FBI and NSA – all of whom, except for the NSA, have since been implicated in what seems to be a campaign to spy on Trump, delegitimize his presidency, and have him impeached.

The Senate report also quotes testimonies from Obama aides such as Ben Rhodes – helpfully redacted of course – Gen. Philip Breedlove, the NATO commander who tried to set off a war with Russia; professional "Russian bot" hunters like Clint Watts and Thomas Rid; and NATO's "Strategic Communications Center of Excellence."

The best part, however, has to be the reliance on New Knowledge, presented as "a cybersecurity company dedicated to protecting the public sphere from disinformation attacks." In reality, New Knowledge was exposed by the New York Times as the outfit that actually ran bots and disinformation operations during the 2017 Alabama special election for the US Senate, targeting Republican candidate Roy Moore on behalf of Democrats – while blaming Russia! In an internal memo, New Knowledge executives boasted how they "orchestrated an elaborate 'false flag' operation that planted the idea that the Moore campaign was amplified on social media by a Russian botnet."

The other TAG, led by British academics and researchers, found that the activity of 'Russian trolls' increased after the election – by 238 percent on Instagram, 59 percent on Facebook, 52 percent on Twitter, and 84 percent on YouTube. So it was influencing elections retroactively?

Left unsaid was that the absolute quantity of "Russian" posts was minuscule, a proverbial drop in the bucket compared to the billions of social media posts generated and consumed by the US electorate during the campaign.

Also on rt.com Worst meddler ever? 'Russian' Facebook ads 'trolling US election' went completely unseen

These are the people who "significantly informed the Committee's understanding of Russia's social media-predicated attack against our democracy," as this week's report puts it.

Ever since Hillary Clinton blamed "Russian hackers" for the revelations of corruption within the DNC in July 2016, the Washington establishment has been eager to blame Moscow for all the ills of the US political system, real or imagined. The Senate Intelligence Committee's report seems to be nothing more than an attempt to reheat the long-cold corpse of a conspiracy that should have been buried with the Mueller Report and allowed to rest in peace.

[Oct 05, 2019] Trumpenstein Must Be Destroyed! by C.J. Hopkins

Oct 05, 2019 | www.unz.com

The [neo]liberal mob was standing around with their torches and pitchforks in a state of shock. Doctor Mueller, the "monster hunter," had let Trumpenstein slip through his fingers. The supposedly ironclad case against him had turned out to be a bunch of lies made up by the Intelligence Community, the Democratic Party, and the corporate media.

Russiagate was officially dead . The President of the United States was not a Russian secret agent. No one was blackmailing anyone with a videotape of Romanian prostitutes peeing on a bed where Obama once slept. All that had happened was, millions of liberals had been subjected to the most elaborate psyop in the history of elaborate deep state psyops which, ironically, had only further strengthened Trumpenstein, who was out there on the Portico balcony, shotgunning Diet Cokes with one hand and shaking his junk at the mob with the other.

It wasn't looking so good for "democracy."

[Oct 02, 2019] MSM tri to swipe under the rad facts of Ukranine interfernce in 2016 elections

Oct 02, 2019 | abcnews.go.com

me name=

Rudy Giuliani, President Donald Trump's personal attorney, defended himself Sunday on "This Week with George Stephanopoulos" from accusations lodged by the president's former homeland security adviser that he has trafficked unfounded theories about foreign interference in the 2016 presidential election.

Interested in Donald Trump? Add Donald Trump as an interest to stay up to date on the latest Donald Trump news, video, and analysis from ABC News. Donald Trump Add Interest

Tom Bossert, the former White House official, took aim at Giuliani earlier on "This Week," calling it a mistake for the president to have hired him in the first place. He also called out Giuliani for repeating a "completely false" theory that Ukraine – not Russia – was responsible for interference in the 2016 election.

me name=

"At this point I am deeply frustrated with what [Giuliani] and the legal team is doing and repeating that debunked theory to the president," Bossert, who is now an ABC contributor, said. "It sticks in his mind when he hears it over and over again."

Giuliani fired back later in the show, telling Stephanopoulos, "Tom Bossert doesn't know what he's talking about I'm not peddling anything."

me name=

The president's personal attorney also sought to defend his role in pressing Ukrainians to investigate former Vice President Joe Biden, the fallout from which has led to an impeachment inquiry in Congress.

"Everything I did was to defend my client and I am proud of having uncovered what will turn out to be a massive pay-for-play scheme," Giuliani told Stephanopoulos.

The "pay-for-play scheme" Giuliani has accused Biden of perpetrating in Ukraine dates back to 2016 and the dismissal of the country's former prosecutor general, Viktor Shokin. At the time, Biden was leading U.S. policy toward Ukraine with an emphasis on cracking down on corruption.

He called for Shokin to be fired.

At one point, Giuliani waved what he said were several affidavits, including one by Shokin defending himself, which he said verified his claims that Shokin was dismissed as a result of his investigation of Burisma and Hunter Biden.

It was not immediately clear how the documents verified those claims.

Trump and Giuliani have accused Biden of calling for Shokin's dismissal because his office was investigating Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company where Biden's son, Hunter, had a seat on the board of directors.

"This is not about getting Joe Biden in trouble," Giuliani said. "This is about proving that Donald Trump was framed by the Democrats."

PHOTO: President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. Saul Loeb/AFP/Getty Images
President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky speak during a meeting in New York on September 25, 2019, on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly. more +

But the assertion that Biden acted to help his son has been undercut by widespread criticism of Shokin from several high-profile international leaders, including members of the European Union and International Monetary Fund, who said Biden's recommendation was well justified.

(MORE: Trump administration changed foreign-leader call-storage methods after leaks)

The IMF threatened to withhold aid to Kiev in early 2016, citing "Ukraine's slow progress in improving governance and fighting corruption," according to Christine Lagard, the IMF's managing director.

Giuliani also sought to undermine a whistleblower complaint, which was filed in August and released publicly last week, that describes the nature of the president's phone call with his Ukrainian counterpart, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, and an apparent effort within the White House to "lock down" records of the conversation.

"The whistleblower says, 'I don't have any direct knowledge, I just heard things,'" Giuliani said. "I'm not saying [the whistleblower] was false, I'm saying he could have heard it wrong."

(MORE: President Trump will be held 'accountable' in wake of whistleblower complaint: Adam Schiff)

Stephanopoulos cited several examples from the complaint in which the whistleblower accurately described the content of Trump's conversation with Zelenskiy as compared to the transcript.

The whistleblower, who has not been identified, claimed that at least a half dozen administration officials had raised concerns that Trump had used "the power of his office to solicit interference from a foreign country in the 2020 U.S. election."

PHOTO: The annual Free Iran Conference for the first time at Ashraf 3, the headquarters of the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran on July 13, 2019, near Duress in Albania. Siavosh Hosseini/NurPhoto via Getty Images
The annual Free Iran Conference for the first time at Ashraf 3, the headquarters of the Peoples Mojahedin Organization of Iran on July 13, 2019, near Duress in Albania. more +

Democrats have accused the president of using his desire for an investigation into the Bidens as leverage with Zelenskiy, particularly in light of the fact that the White House had, at the time, withheld nearly $400 million in aid to Ukraine.

It was later released.

Giuliani's name is invoked more than 30 times in the whistleblower's complaint.

When Stephanopoulos asked Giuliani whether he will cooperate with the House Intelligence Committee, for which Rep. Adam Schiff is the chair, Giuliani said he wouldn't cooperate with Schiff. But when pressed said he would "consider it" if his client, the president, signed off.

"I'm a lawyer. It's his privilege, not mine," he responded. "If he decides that he wants me to testify, of course I'll testify, even though I think Adam Schiff is an illegitimate chairman. He has already prejudged the case."

(MORE: From a controversial phone call to impeachment calls: A Trump whistleblower timeline)

In his interview on "This Week," Giuliani sought to clarify the timeline of his conversations with Ukrainians and insisted he did not instigate communications.

"November of 2016, they first came to me," Giuliani said of the alleged outreach from Ukrainians through the State Department. "The Ukrainians came to me. I didn't go to them."

The State Department and its chief, Mike Pompeo, have faced scrutiny for their handling of Giuliani's overtures to the Ukrainians. The former U.S. Special Envoy for Ukraine, Kurt Volker, helped coordinate at least one interaction Giuliani had with an aide to Zelenskiy in Madrid in May, Volker confirmed.

(MORE: Only 17% of Americans surprised by Trump's actions tied to Ukraine: POLL)

Giuliani has claimed the State Department directed him to act and has said he briefed Volker and the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, after his meetings with Ukrainians.

On Friday, ABC News reported that Volker had resigned from his post with the State Department. House Democrats still plan to interview him next week as part of their impeachment inquiry, according to a congressional aide.

Giuliani planned to speak at a conference in Armenia next week, according to a schedule. But he cancelled after news outlets reported that several Kremlin officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin would also be in attendance.

[Oct 02, 2019] The alliance of neoliberals and neocons tries to ostracize Putin and has some level of success

Notable quotes:
"... Giuliani planned to speak at a conference in Armenia next week, according to a schedule. But he cancelled after news outlets reported that several Kremlin officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin would also be in attendance. ..."
Oct 02, 2019 | abcnews.go.com

Giuliani has claimed the State Department directed him to act and has said he briefed Volker and the U.S. ambassador to the European Union, Gordon Sondland, after his meetings with Ukrainians.

On Friday, ABC News reported that Volker had resigned from his post with the State Department. House Democrats still plan to interview him next week as part of their impeachment inquiry, according to a congressional aide.

Giuliani planned to speak at a conference in Armenia next week, according to a schedule. But he cancelled after news outlets reported that several Kremlin officials and Russian President Vladimir Putin would also be in attendance.

[Sep 28, 2019] Pretending that Russia is some default source of evil inventions is the true intellectual dishonesty

Sep 28, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

james , Sep 26 2019 20:04 utc | 59

@48 piotr.. "Pretending that Russia is some source of evil inventions is the true intellectual dishonesty." exactly... i'm thinking the amount of ignorance that the western MSM has happily shed on this has won over a number of otherwise intelligent people... it is friggin' shocking... many folks like Kool-Aid it seems, including otherwise intelligent people...

[Sep 24, 2019] The Plan to Trip Up Trump Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... "I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself. ..."
"... Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney. ..."
"... Wall Street Journal ..."
"... Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review. ..."
"... With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community. ..."
"... As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh. ..."
"... Le Monde Diplomatique ..."
Sep 24, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Before the Trump Tower visit, Comey sat down with top FBI brass – Chief of Staff James Rybicki, Deputy Director Andrew McCabe, General Counsel James Baker, and others involved with the Russiagate investigation – to strategize about the upcoming meeting.

Page 17 of the OIG report tells of what they were up to:

"Baker and McCabe said that they agreed that the briefing needed to be one-on-one, so that Comey could present the 'salacious' information in the most discreet and least embarrassing way. At the same time, we were told, they did not want the President-elect to perceive the one-on-one briefing as an effort to hold information over him like a 'Hoover-esque type of plot.' Witnesses interviewed by the OIG also said that they discussed Trump's potential responses to being told about the 'salacious' information, including that Trump might make statements about, or provide information of value to, the pending Russian interference investigation."

As the final sentence shows, Comey's job was to confront Trump about the alleged 2013 Moscow incident and see whether he would give the FBI reason to advance its Russiagate investigation to a whole new level, that of the presidency itself.

This was the same approach the FBI would employ a couple of weeks later after listening in on a telephone conversation between Mike Flynn and Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak and not liking what it heard about plans to bolster U.S.-Russian relations. The solution was to send a couple of agents to quiz the newly-appointed national security adviser and see how he would respond. After telling Flynn not to bother bringing along a lawyer because it was just a friendly chat and "they wanted Flynn to be relaxed, and they were concerned that giving the warnings might adversely affect the rapport" – as a follow-up memo noted – the agents caught the ever-voluble Flynn fudging various details. Three weeks later, he found himself out of office and in disgrace. Ten months after that, he was in federal court pleading guilty to making false and misleading statements.

Another Set-Up

Michael Horowitz, the Justice Department's inspector general. (Wikimedia Commons)

Now we know from the OIG report that this was apparently the goal with regard to Trump.

Russiagate began nine months earlier with a smallarmy of intelligence agents buzzing around a naïve young Trump adviser named George Papadopoulos. [See " Spooks Spooking Themselves ," May 31, 2018.] An Anglo-Maltese academic named Joseph Mifsud, an individual with strong Anglo-American intelligence connections, wined and dined him and told him that Russia had "dirt" on Hillary Clinton in the form of "thousands of emails."

An Australian diplomat, former Foreign Minister Alexander Downer , who was similarly connected, invited him out for drinks and then passed along the fruits of the conversation to Canberra, which related them to Washington. A Belorussian-American businessman who worked for Steele offered Papadopoulos $30,000 a month under the table. A U.S. intelligence asset named Charles Tawil presented him with $10,000 in cash. A long-time CIA informant named Stefan Halper flew Papadopoulos to London and barraged him with questions:

"It's great that Russia is helping you and the campaign, right, George? George, you and your campaign are involved in hacking and working with Russia, right? It seems like you are a middleman for Trump and Russia, right? I know you know about the emails."

"I don't know what the fuck you're talking about," Papadopoulos replied according to his recent book , "Deep State Target." But what if he had instead chuckled or said something stupid in order to puff himself up? Based on previous FBI entrapment cases , the answer seems clear: after threatening him with prosecution, the bureau would have outfitted him with a wire so that he could bring down other campaign officials. It wouldn't have stopped until it snared the ultimate prize –Trump himself.

Trump told reporters in May he wanted Australia's role to be investigated by the Justice Department. Comey's Trump Tower meeting was important because it led directly to the publication of the notorious dossier that would generate endless headlines and cripple the incoming Trump administration even though it was full of baloney.

Most of what we know about that meeting in the early days of the Trump administration comes from a memo that Comeydashed off minutes later and then lightly revised the next morning.

According to his memo, Comey met one-on-one with Trump to tell him about the Steele dossier because

"the content [was] known at IC [intelligence community] senior level and I didn't want him caught cold by some of the detail . I said I wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands. I said media like CNN had them and were looking for a news hook. I said it was important that we not give them the excuse to write that the FBI has the material and that we were keeping it very close-hold."

But Comey's memo was disingenuous, starting with his line about not wanting to give the media "the excuse to write that the FBI has the material." Leaks are an integral part of Washington, as an insider and a leaker like Comey knows.

As Comey must have also known, his very decision to brief Trump on the dossier wound up triggering press attention to it.

Four days later, Buzzfeed posted the dossier on its website. The source remains anonymous but it's easy to imagine that either Director of National Intelligence James Clapper or CIA Director John Brennan spilled the beans. They both accompanied Comey to the meeting and were appalled by Trump's call for a rapprochement with Russia.

Comey's memo also rings false where it says he "wasn't saying this was true, only that I wanted him to know both that it had been reported and that the reports were in many hands."

Glenn Simpson, the ex- Wall Street Journal reporter whose private Washington intelligence firm, Fusion GPS, commissioned the dossier on behalf of the Clinton campaign and the DNC, told the House intelligence committee that Steele began sharing his findings with the FBI "in July or late June" of 2016. (See p. 60 of testimony transcript ).

That means that the bureau had the Moscow Ritz-Carlton report in hand six months prior to the Trump Tower meeting. Surely, this is enough time to reach some conclusion as to its veracity.

'Might Make Statements'

Had Trump fallen into Comey's trap, millions of Americans would no doubt have cheered – and given Trump's dismal record in office, who can blame them? But the implications are chilling, and not just for rightwing dissidents. Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review.

With the Electoral College and the Supreme Court already overturning the popular vote in two of the last five presidential elections, voters would have a fourth branch to contend with – the intelligence community.

As Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer told MSNBC'S Rachel Maddow at the height of the Russiagate madness: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community – they have six ways from Sunday of getting back at you." Had Comey succeeded in bringing down Trump, they may have had a seventh.

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 .


Richard A. , September 24, 2019 at 15:13

I think Russiagate is more than just smearing Trump, it's also about smearing Russia. The war lobby here in the US and the UK are trying to manipulate public opinion in to hating Russia.

R Zarate , September 24, 2019 at 05:02

And now there are calls to impeach Trump for asking for an investigation into Biden! It speaks volumes about the MSM that there was no uproar when H.B. took the job at Bursima, I remember the White House putting out a release at the time saying they could see no conflict of interest, I guess the lack of conflict was it was par for the course to enrich family members.

By the bye. So Trump gets impeached, then what? Didn't do Clinton any harm.

CitizenOne , September 23, 2019 at 23:26

It is an interesting history filled with plots within plots to destroy Trump for the audacity to win the presidential election. True he won the election with a lot of help from Cambridge Analytica and his election team which included Roger Stone, George Papadopoulos (the nube) Paul Manafort (the former partner in the Black, Stone, Manafort and Kelly lobby firm) , Rick Gates and Michael Flynn.

All these people were indicted under the Mueller probe but yet Trump escaped without a scratch on his record. To pull this off Trump abandoned all of them in turn claiming he hardly knew them and had no involvement. How Trump escaped from the Mueller investigation has nothing to do with his innocence and everything to do with the lack of evidence tying him to the crimes his associates admitted to under intense scrutiny by the Mueller Special Council Investigation into the alleged Russian Hacks which supposedly threw the election toward Trump. Michael Cohen, Trump's long time lawyer was also convicted of paying off two women that alleged Trump arranged for sex with the women and later paid them off handsomely allegedly by orders from Trump.

It is like Trump won his freedom because there was no evidence to convict him despite the many people who were closely associated with himwho fell as victims to the special prosecutors zeal for indictments of Trump's inner guard.

In the end the Mueller report all but exonerated Trump with Mueller claiming Trump had committed impeachable evidence but that Mueller could do nothing about that leaving his conclusions up to the court of popular appeal as to whether or not Trump was guilty of obstruction of justice in the entire Russia Gate story.

Trump accurately called out the testimony of Comey before Congress into what he knew about the Russian attempt to hack the election as fake news. Trump banked on what the intelligence community would share about the election result and he won big time when the Mueller investigation into Russian hacking of the election produced no tangible connection between Trump and the alleged hackers. The Steel dossier was also l shown to be just more fake news paid for by the democrats.

The longer Trump remains in charge the less likely that he will be implicated in a scandal although the new allegations that he attempted to get the Ukrainian government to investigate Joe Biden has the potential to raise a new round of fake news decrying that the president has engaged in yet more impeachable offenses.

robert e williamson jr , September 23, 2019 at 21:23

Beware of the Department of Justice, mad dogs and dogs of war.

Appears to be FBI disruption of the domestic governmental tranquility for the unique purpose of disrupting a duly elected president.

I mean the FBI bill themselves as the domestic counter intelligence apparatus and CIA apparently agrees. Maybe CIA is actually running another of their counter intelligence covert mission that involves the undoing of Ole Donny J. .

No I didn't say it, no mention of the dreaded "executive action" my me.

My assumption is that this may be simply collateral damage from the investigation into the Russia meddling in the 2016 elec . . . . .

. . . and the beat goes on, la da da dee . . . !

That far away look in the eyes of the old democratic leaders is the look of "the fear" (H.S.T.). They watch as the repugs, their partners in crime get skewered , by the same DOJ that will skewer them in a New York second given a chance.

DOJ and the USAG leading the shock troops of the National Socialists take over.

Sandra Thompson , September 23, 2019 at 20:58

One of your best lines: "Instead of electing presidents, Americans would merely submit them to the FBI for review." Liked last couple of paragraphs too. Thank you

Abby , September 23, 2019 at 19:43

So Comey knowingly and blatantly lied to the incoming president and it was that incoming president that got investigated? How the hell does that make sense to the Russia Gaters? And then they elevated Comey after he got fired? This makes as much sense as people thinking that Robert Mueller was going to save the country.

After reading Parry's essay on Joe ByeDone from 2014 after the Obama coup in Ukraine that showed how corrupt the powerful people in our government are I don't even know why people bother to vote anymore. The country is run by people behind the scenes who use congress critters to do their dirty work and give them cover. And with our corrupt military industrial complex setting the world on fire I think it's time for the empire to burn.

Ray McGovern , September 23, 2019 at 18:46

VERY GOOD PIECE, DAN. THANKS. Ray McGovern

Martin , September 23, 2019 at 15:27

I read somewhere early on that someone was peddling the steele-dossier to many different outlets weeks or even months before trump's briefing, but they wouldn't bite (too fantastic) until the feds legitimized it. The people should be informed about these mechanics.

Dan Anderson , September 23, 2019 at 15:09

Here's the warning before being sworn in:
January 3, 2017 – Senate Minority Leader Chuck Schumer: "Let me tell you, you take on the intelligence community, they have six ways from Sunday to get back at you. So, even for a practical, supposedly hard-nosed businessman, he is being really dumb to do this."
Rachel Maddow: "What do you think the intelligence community would do if they were motivated to?"
Schumer: "I don't know, but from what I am told, they are very upset with how he has treated them and talked about them," -- The Rachel Maddow Show Jan 3, 2017

[Sep 23, 2019] Apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact

Highly recommended!
This is a apt demonstration of the raw power of the US neoliberal MSM propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... This is a very interesting process: no matter how absurd is the particular notion and how many contravening facts exist, the power of neoliberal MSM is such that soon enough it is viewed as an established and indisputable fact. As you aptly call it "an article of faith". ..."
"... So we can state that neoliberal MSM are performing part of functions that in Medieval Europe was performed by the Church. Kind of giant televangelism pulpit in the mega church of neoliberalism ..."
Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 21, 2019 at 3:52 pm

Interesting – apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact, it is safe to advance on that a little. Now Donald Trump actually asked Vladimir Putin to hack the emails of his democratic rival.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/ukraine-if-youre-listening–how-trump-tries-to-quell-controversies-by-saying-the-quiet-part-out-loud/2019/09/20/8e68aad0-dbc1-11e9-adff-79254db7f766_story.html

Curiously, the Washington Post's recently-adopted new slogan is "Democracy dies in darkness". So telling the readers any old shit that you made up and can offer no proof whatsoever is true is infinitely better than darkness. And they wonder why academic standards are slipping, and why Americans faithfully believe things that few other countries accept as true. All the while they are cultivating a nation of dunces which believes anything it is told by its government.

likbez

"apparently now that the notion Russia interfered in the US presidential election to tip the vote to Trump has become an article of faith that much of the world regards as established fact,"

Mark, you are a very astute political observer!

This is a very interesting process: no matter how absurd is the particular notion and how many contravening facts exist, the power of neoliberal MSM is such that soon enough it is viewed as an established and indisputable fact. As you aptly call it "an article of faith".

So we can state that neoliberal MSM are performing part of functions that in Medieval Europe was performed by the Church. Kind of giant televangelism pulpit in the mega church of neoliberalism

[Sep 23, 2019] It's Twenty-Fifth Amendment time. Americans need to get this dangerous clown out of office NOW.

Sep 23, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Northern Star September 16, 2019 at 2:29 pm

Fuck Impeachment. It's Twenty -Fifth Amendment time. Americans need to get this dangerous clown out of office NOW.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9Jo8QU2s_5I?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

[Sep 22, 2019] The US media has become a cesspool of bottom-feeders all looking for the 'gotcha' moment, while the business and profession of journalism in general has morphed to uncritical relay of government propaganda.

Sep 22, 2019 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman September 16, 2019 at 9:05 am

Young people in the west, generally speaking, are know-it-alls convinced of their own absolute currency of knowledge, and most of what they believe they know comes from reading newspapers and watching television. I say this from experience as, like all of us, I was young once and thought I knew it all, and I got almost all my information from newspapers and television news, although some came from professional journals like the US Naval Institute Proceedings. I grew up believing Russia was a grey and colourless place where hopeless people in shabby, ill-fitting clothes trudged dispiritedly from one line-up to another, then home to their tenth-floor walk-up concrete box shared with from eight to a dozen other family members and relatives.

Of course, it WAS like that for some people. Just as it likely was for the poor in the west, although they were all but invisible then save for occasional charity drives to 'help the less fortunate'. I was a huge fan of the United States, loving pretty much everything about it, as my first foreign trips with the Navy were to places like New London, Connecticut (right across the river from Groton, the headquarters of submarine builders Electric Boat) and Boston. I was a big fan of the U.S. Navy, and in many respects I still am – it was and is mostly a professional service with capable leaders and sound ethics common to seagoing services the world over.

It was in the area of the USA's political system that gradual and then total disillusionment took place. Any respect I might once have had for the media vanished at about the same time.

The media has become a cesspool of bottom-feeders all looking for the 'gotcha' moment, while the business and profession of journalism in general has morphed to uncritical relay of government propaganda.

From that same link, a very interesting dissection of the Salisbury poisonings. We've become used to mocking or horrified refutations of the UK government's line that it could only have been Russia, but this source does it with considerable detail; for instance, the formula originally devised by Vil Marzayanov and his compatriots in the Soviet Union was later patented by a US Chemical lab.

https://timhayward.wordpress.com/2018/05/10/briefing-note-update-on-the-salisbury-poisonings-2/

[Sep 21, 2019] Edward Snowden On The NSA, His Book 'Permanent Record' And Life In Russia NPR

Sep 21, 2019 | www.npr.org

In 2013, Edward Snowden was an IT systems expert working under contract for the National Security Agency when he traveled to Hong Kong to provide three journalists with thousands of top-secret documents about U.S. intelligence agencies' surveillance of American citizens.

To Snowden, the classified information he shared with the journalists exposed privacy abuses by government intelligence agencies. He saw himself as a whistleblower. But the U.S. government considered him a traitor in violation of the Espionage Act .

After meeting with the journalists, Snowden intended to leave Hong Kong and travel -- via Russia -- to Ecuador, where he would seek asylum. But when his plane landed at Moscow's Sheremetyevo International Airport, things didn't go according to plan.

"What I wasn't expecting was that the United States government itself ... would cancel my passport," he says.

Snowden was directed to a room where Russian intelligence agents offered to assist him -- in return for access to any secrets he harbored. Snowden says he refused.

"I didn't cooperate with the Russian intelligence services -- I haven't and I won't," he says. "I destroyed my access to the archive. ... I had no material with me before I left Hong Kong, because I knew I was going to have to go through this complex multi-jurisdictional route."

Snowden spent 40 days in the Moscow airport, trying to negotiate asylum in various countries. After being denied asylum by 27 nations, he settled in Russia, where he remains today.

"People look at me now and they think I'm this crazy guy, I'm this extremist or whatever. Some people have a misconception that [I] set out to burn down the NSA," he says. "But that's not what this was about. In many ways, 2013 wasn't about surveillance at all. What it was about was a violation of the Constitution."

Snowden's 2013 revelations led to changes in the laws and standards governing American intelligence agencies and the practices of U.S. technology companies, which now encrypt much of their Web traffic for security. He reflects on his life and his experience in the intelligence community in the memoir Permanent Record.

On Sept. 17, the U.S. Justice Department filed suit to recover all proceeds from the book, alleging that Snowden violated nondisclosure agreements by not letting the government review the manuscript before publication; Snowden's attorney, Ben Wizner, said in a statement that the book contains no government secrets that have not been previously published by respected news organizations, and that the government's prepublication review system is under court challenge.

[Sep 20, 2019] The Narcissism of the West

The USA clearly overextended itself with all those neocon global neoliberal empire games. So for Canada, to think of it as an independent country is somewhat naive. It is vassal of Washington at best, a colony at worst.
But RussiaGate is not about Russia and its attitude to the West. Russiagate is about crisis of neoliberalism and cracks in the facade of the neoliberal society, the cracks that the ruling elite tried to patch by redirecting anger to the external enemy.
This is the point that the author seems do not understand. all russigate stupidity is just at attempt to use the image of expernal enemy to rally the nation and produce at this some kind of artificial unity. Unity that now is severely lacking in the USA.
Sep 20, 2019 | irrussianality.wordpress.com
West. Boosted by victory in the Cold War, believing that our systems represent the 'end of history', we in the West have come to see ourselves as 'masters of the universe'. We are all that matters.

And so it follows that we must be at the top of everybody else's agenda, and that whatever anybody else in the world does, it must somehow be about us.

Take the paranoid stories I've been covering on this blog about how the Russians are bound to 'meddle' in Canada's upcoming general election. Why on earth do people here think that this is so likely, given that the choice is between a governing party whose foreign minister is banned from entering Russia and an opposition party whose leader is banned from entering Russia? The answer lies in our strange belief that we're actually really important. Canada is a G7 country after all. Of course the Russians will target us. We matter! Except that in reality we don't.

As was mentioned in the report by Sergey Sukhankin which I critiqued a week or so ago, Russians who study international affairs don't look at Canada as a truly independent country. To most of them, we're just an appendage of the United States. Our belief that the opposite is true – that we're a big player, that our elections really matter to foreign countries, that they're bound to try to undermine us because 'WE'RE IMPORTANT!' – is narcissism pure and simple.

Canadians aren't the only one guilty of this. Americans have a similar problem. It's why they had such a huge problem understanding what Saddam Hussein was up to after his defeat in the 1991 Gulf War. Faced with apparent Iraqi obstruction of US demands, they assumed that this meant that Saddam was plotting some sort of evil revenge against the United States. In fact, it turned out that he wasn't thinking of the Americans at all; his real concerns were to do with Iran. You can find lots of examples like that. Americans are told that they must fight the Taliban because of the danger that terrorists might again use Afghanistan to strike the United States. But is the average Talibani really thinking about America? Or is he thinking about his home, his family, his village – all things local? If the Iranians are helping the Syrian government, is it because they view the war in Syria as part of a global struggle against the United States, or is it because Syria is next door to Iran and what happens there is of direct importance to Iran's own security? The answers, I think, are pretty clear.

To put it another way, states (and non-state actors) have their own interests unconnected to us. The fact that their pursuit of their interests sometimes makes them clash with Western states who are pursuing different interests doesn't mean that they're doing what they doing because of us. Moreover, as the balance of power in the world shifts, it's likely that more and more often the West will become less and less of a factor in non-Western states' calculations. As Derek Averre says with reference to Russia in another part of the LSE report:

We are in danger of missing the fact that European norms are becoming less important as a reference point against which Russia's political elite measures its policy. Indeed, Ted Hopf's argument – that Russia constructs its identity in relation to the US/Europe as 'significant others' – should be subject to appraisal at this time of far-reaching change in Russian foreign policy.

In short, it's not all about us, and becoming less and less about us with every passing day. But arrogance and narcissism prevent us from seeing this. As a result we stumble from foreign policy blunder to foreign policy blunder . Unless and until we are able to come off our high horses and recognize that we're not the centre of the universe, we're going to keep getting things horribly wrong.

[Sep 19, 2019] Pelosi Unloads On Nadler; Tells Him To Drop 'Moby Dick' Like Impeachment Obsession

Notable quotes:
"... "Sadly, the country spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations," said Lewandowski. "It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda -- to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States," Lewandowski said in his opening statement - later adding "We, as a Nation, would be better served if elected officials like you concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country, as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing." ..."
"... Nadler and Schiff and those in their camp have a single-minded purpose: Never, ever , again allow the unwashed to get away with a successful rebellion. ..."
Sep 18, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi blasted House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler last week over his 'Moby Dick'-like obsession with impeaching President Trump - days before Trump's 2016 campaign manager Corey Lewandowski wiped the floor with Congressional Democrats during a contentious five-hour hearing on Tuesday in front of Nadler's panel.

Pelosi's comments came during a closed-door Capitol Hill meeting of Democrats last week, where she complained that Judiciary Committee aides have advanced the impeachment push "far beyond where the House Democratic Caucus stands," according to Politico .

" And you can feel free to leak this ," Pelosi added, according to several people who were there.

It was the latest sign of the widening schism between Pelosi and Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerry Nadler, two longtime allies who are increasingly in conflict over where to guide the party at one of its most critical moments.

Both Pelosi and Nadler, who have served in the House together for more than 25 years, insist their relationship remains strong. But their rift over impeachment is getting harder and harder to paper over amid Democrats' flailing messaging on the topic and a growing divide in the caucus. - Politico

And while Pelosi aides told Politico that Nadler has coordinated with her office on investigations, legal strategy and messaging - and Pelosi has signed off on all the Judiciary Committee's court filings against Trump, the House Speaker has been expressing skepticism for months that a successful impeachment in the House would only lead to "exonerating" Trump on the campaign trail after the effort dies in the GOP-led Senate.

Pelosi has privately clashed with Nadler over his aggressive impeachment agenda, arguing the public does not support it and it does not have the 218 votes to pass on the House floor. So far, about 137 Democrats say they would vote to open an official impeachment inquiry.

...

The relationship between the two veteran lawmakers has become strained . While Pelosi has blocked the House from formally voting to open an impeachment inquiry, Nadler declared he is authorized to begin one even without a House vote. - Washington Examiner

"Am I concerned? The answer is yes!," Florida Democratic Rep. Donna Shalala told the Washington Examiner . "In my district, I'm not getting asked about impeachment. I'm being asked about healthcare, I'm being asked about the environment, and about infrastructure. It's not like around the country they are thinking about impeachment. It's a Washington phenomenon as far as I can tell."

... ... ...

During Tuesday's 'impeachment' hearing, Corey Lewandowski beat Congressional Democrats like a red-headed stepchild - starting with his opening statement:

"Sadly, the country spent over three years and 40 million taxpayer dollars on these investigations," said Lewandowski. "It is now clear the investigation was populated by many Trump haters who had their own agenda -- to try and take down a duly elected president of the United States," Lewandowski said in his opening statement - later adding "We, as a Nation, would be better served if elected officials like you concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country, as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing."

" As for actual 'collusion,' or 'conspiracy,' there was none. What there has been, however, is harassment of the president from the day he won the election ."

"Corey Lewandowski was very precise," Rep. Matt Gaetz, a member of the House panel, told Fox News ' Sean Hannity. "And House Democrats looked like a dog that had chased a car and then caught it and then did not know what to do about it ."

Norm Corin , 8 minutes ago link

Nadler and Schiff and those in their camp have a single-minded purpose: Never, ever , again allow the unwashed to get away with a successful rebellion.

That's the reason a now 90% controlled Trump can't be allowed to escape unscathed, no matter how otherwise useless the exercise -- even by the standards of their own (apparent) issue agendas.

[Sep 18, 2019] "Why do Dems continue this charade?" Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) asked. Lewandowski replied: "I think they hate this president more than they love their country."

Dems still beat a dead horse, This is so stupid that there are chances that they will lose electins to Trump again.
Corey Lewandowski Opening statement - YouTube
Notable quotes:
"... "If instead of focusing on petty and personal politics, the committee focused on solving the challenges of this generation, imagine how many people we could help." ..."
"... He also took a swipe at Trump's 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, and her handling of emails, and criticized the "Obama-Biden administration" for its inability to stop Russia election interference -- dropping the name of the former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate. ..."
"... Nadler is an incompetent idiot with a Napoleon complex. Why did this hearing ever happen and televised when it was certain it was going to be a bust. ..."
"... More of our vicious, counterproductive political duopoly. This was just one example of what is happening in general with our current political processes - a lot of stagnation. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.washingtonpost.com

He set the tone in his opening statement, mocking Democrats and ridiculing what he called the "fake Russia collusion narrative."

"We as a nation would be better served if elected officials like you concentrated your efforts to combat the true crises facing our country as opposed to going down rabbit holes like this hearing," Lewandowski said. "If instead of focusing on petty and personal politics, the committee focused on solving the challenges of this generation, imagine how many people we could help."

... ... ...

He also took a swipe at Trump's 2016 rival, Hillary Clinton, and her handling of emails, and criticized the "Obama-Biden administration" for its inability to stop Russia election interference -- dropping the name of the former vice president and 2020 presidential candidate.

"Donald Trump was a private citizen and had no more responsibility than I did to protect the 2016 election," he said. "That fell to the Obama-Biden administration and they failed. "

... ... ...

At times the hearing was almost comical. When Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (D-N.Y.) asked Lewandowski, "Are you the hit man, bag man, the lookout or all of the above?" Lewandowski replied: "I think I'm the good-looking man, actually."

Lewandowski also scolded Rep. Jamie B. Raskin (D-Md.) for saying the tooth fairy was not real: "My children are watching, so thank you for that."

Republicans, meanwhile, used their time to praise the president and sympathize with Lewandowski because Democrats asked him to testify.

"Why do Dems continue this charade?" Trump ally Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) asked. Lewandowski replied: "I think they hate this president more than they love their country."

=== 5 minutes ago Lewandowski made everyone including himself look foolish and today’s circus proved nothing except Nadler is an incompetent idiot with a Napoleon complex. Why did this hearing ever happen and televised when it was certain it was going to be a bust. 1 minute ago One of the commentators said this was exactly to be expected … He said the Dems requested this hearing because their constituents wanted it. I think plenty of us knew what was gonna happen -- as it often does in these situations, regardless of party. More of our vicious, counterproductive political duopoly. This was just one example of what is happening in general with our current political processes - a lot of stagnation.

I think we need to get away from parties, they naturally lead to antagonism, and an "us vs them" mentality, and fighting. I have some ideas (humble and basic) on doing away with parties at ourconstitution.info , Outreach, Other Comments.

We must do something; take back Washington's lead -- he couldn't stand parties. Much scarier stuff as well -- rise of the Medical-Military Industrial, " a lot of killers" (Trump to O'Reilly, video on my LInks page), in and out of hospitals. Some are concerned also that the military and CIA are running the Country -- I see a big problem with these career positions vs desires of an oncoming president. Apparently, these orgs, if they don't like a president or policy, just wait them out (or kill them), "contributing" to this current disgrace of a Constitutional Republic. What to do about that? Something needs to be done... Maybe those personnel should be changed out, they can be as much or more dangerous than a president for life...

It is Our Republic, Of, By, and For The People, as long as we can keep it. Protest with me in Miami, or wherever you are, before it is too late.

[Sep 18, 2019] Jerry Nadler is aiming to become the Rachael Maddow of Adam Schiffs

Humor aside Corey Lewandowski Opening statement deserves to be listened. Just 5 min.
This was obviously a Dog & Pony show by Nadler and his gang who can't shoot strait
Sep 18, 2019 | www.youtube.com

Seminole Nation , 5 hours ago

"Jerry Nadler is aiming to become the Rachael Maddow of Adam Schiffs" – Dan Bongino (3-24-19)

Gilbert Perea , 9 hours ago

You have to laugh , I wonder if Mr. Cowen has a chicken wing in his jacket pocket.

RIC shady , 7 hours ago

"The real danger is that if we hear enough lies, then we no longer recognize the truth at all." - Valery Legasov, Soviet chemist

ZENIGMATV , 3 hours ago

Nadler:Corey what time is it? Corey :It's 2pm. Nadler: The clock shows 1:59 . Charge Corey for lying to Congress! All a gotcha game by a group of angry haters.

ZENIGMATV , 3 hours ago

Nadler:Corey what time is it? Corey :It's 2pm. Nadler: The clock shows 1:59 . Charge Corey for lying to Congress! All a gotcha game by a group of angry haters.

Jim Carpenter , 6 hours ago

Nadler provides so much comic relief!!!! He is definitely one of my all time favorite oafs.

Forever Joy , 9 hours ago

40 million tax payer dollars wasted...boom! Pathetic, thanks Democrats!

Bobwehada Babyitzaboy , 3 hours ago

3rd time. If that were good for the left they wouldn't shut up about it. This is another witch hunt with attempt to deceive

Dr.Roberto Rodriguez Jr. , 5 hours ago

What a joke. Democratic live in a fantasy world

Ricky Alfaro , 5 hours ago

Corey is toast!

Teresa Upchurch , 8 hours ago

This is obviously a Dog & Pony show by the Nadler nerd group of Demonrats! Can't even follow the House rules. Sickening !!!

[Sep 17, 2019] Explaining CIA's 'Agent Smolenkov'

Notable quotes:
"... This damage to supposed bastions of US journalism cannot be overstated. More than two years of spinning speculation-cum-reporting about Russian collusion with Trump and/or interference in US politics has produced not a crumb of substantive fact. ..."
"... So when they got the chance to seemingly resurrect their buried "Russiagate" yarn with this latest fable about agent Oleg Smolenkov being exfiltrated from Russia to the US, they leapt at it because their equally buried reputations are also at stake. ..."
"... As far as we can tell, an anonymous intelligence source started the ball rolling. The source is likely to be former CIA chief John Brennan or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Both are hangouts for the anti-Trump media since they lost their intel jobs at the beginning of 2017, and both are believed to have seeded the "Russiagate" narrative in 2016 from before Trump was elected. ..."
"... Thus, if Smolenkov is peddling fiction to his former handlers in the CIA, that means he has no credibility as a "top mole". ..."
"... Again, opportunism is the key. Somebody came up with a lurid story about "Russian interference" in US democracy and "collusion" with Trump. Maybe it was Smolenkov who saw an opportunity to win a big pay day from his CIA patrons by flogging them a blockbuster. ..."
"... CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, Brennan and Clapper are so much damaged goods from past failure of "Russiagate" fabrications, they find an opportunity to salvage their disgraced names by outing the hapless Smolenkov at this juncture. ..."
"... There is a sinister similarity here to the Sergei Skripal case in England. Is Smolenkov being set up for hit which can then be conveniently blamed on Russia as "revenge" by the Russophobic, anti-Trump, deep state US media? ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org

The saga of daring escape by a supposed Russian CIA agent from the Kremlin's clutches and then the added twist of a security-risk American president putting the agent's life in danger does indeed sound like a pulp fiction novel, as Kremlin spokesman Dmitry Peskov put it.

How to explain this sensational story? "Opportunism" is one word that comes to mind.

The news media who pushed the story, CNN, the New York Times and Washington Post, are vehemently "anti-Trump". Any chance to damage this president and they grab it.

Also, perhaps more importantly, these media are desperate to salvage their shot-through journalistic credibility since the "Russiagate" narrative they had earnestly propagated died a death, after the two-year Mueller circus finally left town empty-handed.

This damage to supposed bastions of US journalism cannot be overstated. More than two years of spinning speculation-cum-reporting about Russian collusion with Trump and/or interference in US politics has produced not a crumb of substantive fact. That means those media responsible for the "Russiagate" nonsense have forfeited that precious quality – credibility. They no longer deserve to be categorized as news services, and are more appropriately now listed as fiction peddlers.

So when they got the chance to seemingly resurrect their buried "Russiagate" yarn with this latest fable about agent Oleg Smolenkov being exfiltrated from Russia to the US, they leapt at it because their equally buried reputations are also at stake.

As far as we can tell, an anonymous intelligence source started the ball rolling. The source is likely to be former CIA chief John Brennan or former Director of National Intelligence James Clapper. Both are hangouts for the anti-Trump media since they lost their intel jobs at the beginning of 2017, and both are believed to have seeded the "Russiagate" narrative in 2016 from before Trump was elected.

Notably, the current CIA assessment of the latest US media reporting on the exfiltrated spy is that the reporting is "false" and "misguided". In particular, the CNN spin that the agent (Smolenkov) had to be extricated from Russia in 2017 because Langley feared that Trump may have endangered the supposed Kremlin mole when he hosted Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov in the White House in May 2017.

Also of note is the dismissive response from US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo who rubbished the reports. He was head of the CIA during 2017. (Admittedly, Pompeo is a self-confessed liar.)

According to CNN, NY Times and Washington Post, the former spy in the Kremlin, named as Oleg Smolenkov by subsequent Russian media reporting, was a top mole with direct access to President Vladimir Putin. It is claimed that Smolenkov confirmed allegations about a Putin-directed plot to interfere in US presidential elections. The agent is said to have also confirmed that Putin (allegedly) ordered the hacking of the Democratic party's central database to obtain scandalous material on Hillary Clinton which was then fed to the Wikileaks whistleblower site for the purpose of scuttling her bid for the presidency in November 2016, thus favoring Trump.

Smolenkov was allegedly providing this information on a purported Kremlin interference campaign in 2016.

The US media claim Smolenkov was exfiltrated from Russia by the CIA in June 2017 – out of concern for his safety, which CNN reported was being jeopardized by President Trump due to his implied compromised relations with Putin. Smolenkov and his family disappeared while on a holiday in Montenegro in June 2017.

After the story broke earlier this week about the exfiltrated Kremlin mole, subsequent media reporting tracked down Oleg Smolenkov and his wife living in a $1-million-dollar mansion in Stafford, Virginia. Curiously, public records showed the house purchase was in their names, which seems odds for a supposed top-level spy, who had apparently committed extreme betrayal against the Kremlin, to be living openly. The family apparently fled the house to unknown whereabouts on September 9 after the story about his alleged spy role broke this week.

Who is Oleg Smolenkov? The Kremlin said this week that he previously worked in the presidential administration, but he was sacked "several years ago". He did not have direct access to President Putin's office, according to the Kremlin. For his part, Russian foreign minister Sergei Lavrov says he never heard of the man before, never mind ever having met him.

It is understood that Smolenkov previously worked in the Russian embassy in Washington under ambassador Yuri Ushakov (1999-2008). Smolenkov reportedly continued working for Ushakov when the diplomat returned to Moscow after his ambassadorial tenure in the US.

Here is where we may speculate that Smolenkov was recruited by the CIA during his diplomatic assignment in the US. But we assume that the Kremlin's assessment is correct; he did not have a senior position or access to Putin's office. By contrast, the US media are claiming Smolenkov was "one of the CIA's most valuable assets" in the Kremlin and that he was providing confirmatory information that Putin was (allegedly) running an interference campaign to subvert the US presidential elections.

The discerning detail as to the truth of the imbroglio is revealed by the US media claims that Smolenkov corroborated the alleged hacking into the Democratic party database in 2016. However, that specific allegation has been disproven by several top hacker experts, notably William Binney who was formerly technical head at the US National Security Agency. There was no hacking. The damaging information on Hillary Clinton was leaked by a Democratic party insider, possibly Seth Rich, who soon after was shot dead by an unknown attacker. In short, the entire narrative about the Kremlin hacking into the Democratic party is a fiction. The premise to "Russiagate" is baseless.

Thus, if Smolenkov is peddling fiction to his former handlers in the CIA, that means he has no credibility as a "top mole".

Again, opportunism is the key. Somebody came up with a lurid story about "Russian interference" in US democracy and "collusion" with Trump. Maybe it was Smolenkov who saw an opportunity to win a big pay day from his CIA patrons by flogging them a blockbuster. Or maybe, Brennan and Clapper (known liars in the public record) dreamt up a scheme of Kremlin malignancy to benefit Trump, and if that could be tied to Trump then his election would be discredited and nullified. But what they needed was a "Kremlin source" to "corroborate" their readymade story of "Russian interference". Step forward Oleg Smolenkov – fired and out of work – to do the needful "corroboration" and in return he gets a new life for himself and family with a mansion in a leafy Virginian suburb.

CNN, NY Times, Washington Post, Brennan and Clapper are so much damaged goods from past failure of "Russiagate" fabrications, they find an opportunity to salvage their disgraced names by outing the hapless Smolenkov at this juncture.

That then raises the grave question of why he was permitted to live openly in his own name?

There is a sinister similarity here to the Sergei Skripal case in England. Is Smolenkov being set up for hit which can then be conveniently blamed on Russia as "revenge" by the Russophobic, anti-Trump, deep state US media?

[Sep 17, 2019] The Devolution of US-Russia Relations by Tony Kevin

Highly recommended!
Sep 17, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

A retired Australian diplomat who served in Moscow dissects the emergence of the new Cold War and its dire consequences.

I n 2014, we saw violent U.S.-supported regime change and civil war in Ukraine. In February, after months of increasing tension from the anti-Russian protest movement's sitdown strike in Kiev's Maidan Square, there was a murderous clash between protesters and Ukrainian police, sparked off by hidden shooters (we now know that were expert Georgian snipers) , aiming at police. The elected government collapsed and President Yanukevich fled to Russia, pursued by murder squads.

The new Poroshenko government pledged harsh anti-Russian language laws. Rebels in two Russophone regions in Eastern Ukraine took local control, and appealed for Russian military help. In March, a referendum took place in Russian-speaking Crimea on leaving Ukraine, under Russian military protection. Crimeans voted overwhelmingly to join Russia, a request promptly granted by the Russian Parliament and President. Crimea's border with Ukraine was secured against saboteurs. Crimea is prospering under its pro-Russian government, with the economy kick-started by Russian transport infrastructure investment.

In April, Poroshenko ordered full military attack on the separatist provinces of Donetsk and Luhansk in Eastern Ukraine. A brutal civil war ensued, with aerial and artillery bombardment bringing massive civilian death and destruction to the separatist region. There was major refugee outflow into Russia and other parts of Ukraine. The shootdown of MH17 took place in July 2014.

Poroshenko: Ordered military attack.

By August 2015, according to UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs estimates, 13,000 people had been killed and 30,000 wounded. 1.4 million Ukrainians had been internally displaced, and 925,000 had fled to neighbouring countries, mostly Russia and to a lesser extent Poland.

There is now a military stalemate, under the stalled Minsk peace process. But random fatal clashes continue, with the Ukrainian Army mostly blamed by UN observers. The UN reported last month that the ongoing war has affected 5.2 million people, leaving 3.5 million of them in need of relief, including 500,000 children. Most Russians blame the West for fomenting Ukrainian enmity towards Russia. This war brings back for older Russians horrible memories of the Nazi invasion in 1941. The Russia-Ukraine border is only 550 kilometres from Moscow.

Flashpoint Syria

Russian forces joined the civil war in Syria in September 2015, at the request of the Syrian Government, faltering under the attacks of Islamist extremist rebel forces reinforced by foreign fighters and advanced weapons. With Russian air and ground support, the tide of war turned. Palmyra and Aleppo were recaptured in 2016. An alleged Syrian Government chemical attack at Khan Shaykhun in April 2017 resulted in a token U.S. missile attack on a Syrian Government airbase: an early decision by President Trump.

NATO, Strategic Balance, Sanctions

An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from Royal Air Force Lakenheath, England, March 6, 2014. The 48th Fighter Wing sent an additional six aircraft and more than 50 personnel to support NATO's air policing mission in Lithuania, at the request of U.S. allies in the Baltics. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Emerson Nunez/Released)

Tensions have risen in the Baltic as NATO moves ground forces and battlefield missiles up to the Baltic states' borders with Russia. Both sides' naval and air forces play dangerous brinksmanship games in the Baltic. U.S. short-range, non-nuclear-armed anti-ballistic missiles were stationed in Poland and Romania, allegedly against threat of Iranian attack. They are easily convertible to nuclear-armed missiles aimed at nearby Russia.

Nuclear arms control talks have stalled. The INF intermediate nuclear forces treaty expired in 2019, after both sides accused the other of cheating. In March 2018, Putin announced that Russia has developed new types of intercontinental nuclear missiles using technologies that render U.S. defence systems useless. The West has pretended to ignore this announcement, but we can be sure Western defence ministries have noted it. Nuclear second-strike deterrence has returned, though most people in the West have forgotten what this means. Russians know exactly what it means.

Western economic sanctions against Russia continue to tighten after the 2014 events in Ukraine. The U.S. is still trying to block the nearly completed Nordstream Baltic Sea underwater gas pipeline from Russia to Germany. Sanctions are accelerating the division of the world into two trade and payments systems: the old NATO-led world, and the rest of the world led by China, with full Russian support and increasing interest from India, Japan, ROK and ASEAN.

Return to Moscow

In 2013, my children gave me an Ipad. I began to spend several hours a day reading well beyond traditional mainstream Western sources: British and American dissident sites, writers like Craig Murray in UK and in the U.S. Stephen Cohen, and some Russian sites – rt.com, Sputnik, TASS, and the official Foreign Ministry site mid.ru. in English.

In late 2015 I decided to visit Russia independently to write Return to Moscow , a literary travel memoir. I planned to compare my impressions of the Soviet Union, where I had lived and worked as an Australian diplomat in 1969-71, with Russia today. I knew there had been huge changes. I wanted to experience 'Putin's Russia' for myself, to see how it felt to be there as an anonymous visitor in the quiet winter season. I wanted to break out of the familiar one-dimensional hostile political view of Russia that Western mainstream media offer: to take my readers with me on a cultural pilgrimage through the tragedy and grandeur and inspiration of Russian history. As with my earlier book on Spain 'Walking the Camino' , this was not intended to be a political book, and yet somehow it became one.

I was still uncommitted on contemporary Russian politics before going to Russia in January 2016. Using the metaphor of a seesaw, I was still sitting somewhere around the middle.

My book was written in late 2015 – early 2016, expertly edited by UWA Publishing. It was launched in March 2017. By this time my political opinions had moved decisively to the Russian end of the seesaw, on the basis of what I had seen in Russia, and what I had read and thought during the year.

I have been back again twice, in winter 2018 and 2019. My 2018 visit included Crimea, and I happened to see a Navalny-led Sunday demonstration in Moscow. I thoroughly enjoyed all three independent visits: in my opinion, they give my judgements on Russia some depth and authenticity.

Russophobia Becomes Entrenched

Russia was a big talking point in the 2016 U.S. presidential election. As the initially unlikely Republican candidate Donald Trump's chances improved, anti-Putin and anti-Russian positions hardened in the outgoing Obama administration and in the Democratic Party establishment which backed candidate Hillary Clinton.

Russia and Putin became caught up in the Democratic Party's increasingly obsessive rage and hatred against the victorious Trump. Russophobia became entrenched in Washington and London U.S. and UK political and strategic elites, especially in intelligence circles: think of Pompeo, Brennan, Comey and Clapper. All sense of international protocol and diplomatic propriety towards Russia and its President was abandoned, as this appalling Economist cover from October 2016 shows.

My experience of undeclared political censorship in Australia since four months after publication of 'Return to Moscow' supports the thesis that:

We are now in the thick of a ruthless but mostly covert Anglo-American alliance information war against Russia. In this war, individuals who speak up publicly in the cause of detente with Russia will be discouraged from public discourse.

In the Thick of Information War

When I spoke to you two years ago, I had no idea how far-reaching and ruthless this information war is becoming. I knew that a false negative image of Russia was taking hold in the West, even as Russia was becoming a more admirable and self-confident civil society, moving forward towards greater democracy and higher living standards, while maintaining essential national security. I did not then know why, or how.

I had just had time to add a few final paragraphs in my book about the possible consequences for Russia-West relations of Trump's surprise election victory in November 2016. I was right to be cautious, because since Trump's inauguration we have seen the step-by-step elimination of any serious pro-detente voices in Washington, and the reassertion of control over this haphazard president by the bipartisan imperial U.S. deep state, as personified from April 2018 by Secretary of State Pompeo and National Security Adviser Bolton. Bolton has now been thrown from the sleigh as decoy for the wolves: under the smooth-talking Pompeo, the imperial policies remain.

Truth, Trust and False Narratives

Let me now turn to some theory about political reality and perception, and how national communities are persuaded to accept false narratives. Let me acknowledge my debt to the fearless and brilliant Australian independent online journalist, Caitlin Johnstone.

Behavioural scientists have worked in the field of what used to be called propaganda since WW1. England has always excelled in this field. Modern wars are won or lost not just on the battlefield, but in people's minds. Propaganda, or as we now call it information warfare, is as much about influencing people's beliefs within your own national community as it is about trying to demoralise and subvert the enemy population.

The IT revolution of the past few years has exponentially magnified the effectiveness of information warfare. Already in the 1940s, George Orwell understood how easily governments are able to control and shape public perceptions of reality and to suppress dissent. His brilliant books 1984 and Animal Farm are still instruction manuals in principles of information warfare. Their plots tell of the creation by the state of false narratives, with which to control their gullible populations.

The disillusioned Orwell wrote from his experience of real politics. As a volunteer fighter in the Spanish Civil War, he saw how both Spanish sides used false news and propaganda narratives to demonise the enemy. He also saw how the Nazi and Stalinist systems in Germany and Russia used propaganda to support show trials and purges, the concentration camps and the Gulag, anti-Semitism and the Holocaust, German master race and Stalinist class enemy ideologies; and hows dissident thought was suppressed in these controlled societies. Orwell tried to warn his readers: all this could happen here too, in our familiar old England. But because the good guys won the war against fascism, his warnings were ignored.

We are now in Britain, U.S. and Australia actually living in an information warfare world that has disturbing echoes of the world that Orwell wrote about. The essence of information control is the effective state management of two elements, trust and fear , to generate and uphold a particular view of truth. Truth, trust and fear : these are the three key elements, now as 100 years ago in WWI Britain.

People who work or have worked close to government – in departments, politics, the armed forces, or top universities – mostly accept whatever they understand at the time to be 'the government view' of truth. Whether for reasons of organisational loyalty, career prudence or intellectual inertia, it is usually this way around governments. It is why moral issues like the Vietnam War and the U.S.-led 2003 invasion of Iraq were so distressing for people of conscience working in or close to government and military jobs in Canberra. They were expected to engage in 'doublethink' as Orwell had described it:

Even in Winston's nightmare world, there were still choices – to retreat into the non-political world of the proles, or to think forbidden thoughts and read forbidden books. These choices involved large risks and punishments. It was easier and safer for most people to acquiesce in the fake news they were fed by state-controlled media.

'Trust, Truth and False Narratives'

Fairfax journalist Andrew Clark, in the Australian Financial Review , in an essay optimistically titled "Not fake news: Why truth and trust are still in good shape in Australia", (AFR Dec. 22, 2018), cited Professor William Davies thus:

"Most of the time, the edifice that we refer to as "truth" is really an investment of trust in our structures of politics and public life' 'When trust sinks below a certain point, many people come to view the entire spectacle of politics and public life as a sham."

Here is my main point: Effective information warfare requires the creation of enough public trust to make the public believe that state-supported lies are true.

The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining.

Caitlin Johnstone a few days ago put it this way:

" Power is being able to control what happens. Absolute power is being able to control what people think about what happens. If you can control what happens, you can have power until the public gets sick of your BS and tosses you out on your ass. If you can control what people think about what happens, you can have power forever. As long as you can control how people are interpreting circumstances and events, there's no limit to the evils you can get away with."

The Internet has made propaganda campaigns that used to take weeks or months a matter of hours or even minutes to accomplish. It is about getting in quickly, using large enough clusters of trusted and diverse sources, in order to cement lies in place, to make the lies seem true, to magnify them through social messaging: in other words, to create credible false narratives that will quickly get into the public's bloodstream.

Over the past two years, I have seen this work many times: on issues like framing Russia for the MH17 tragedy; with false allegations of Assad mounting poison gas attacks in Syria; with false allegations of Russian agents using lethal Novichok to try to kill the Skripals in Salisbury; and with the multiple lies of Russiagate.

It is the mind-numbing effect of constant repetition of disinformation by many eminent people and agencies, in hitherto trusted channels like the BBC or ABC or liberal Anglophone print media that gives the system its power to persuade the credulous. For if so many diverse and reputable people repeatedly report such negative news and express such negative judgements about Russia or China or Iran or Syria, surely they must be right?

We have become used to reading in our quality newspapers and hearing on the BBC and ABC and SBS gross assaults on truth, calmly presented as accepted facts. There is no real public debate on important facts in contention any more. There are no venues for dissent outside contrarian social media sites.

Sometimes, false narratives inter-connect. Often a disinformation narrative in one area is used to influence perceptions in other areas. For example, the false Skripals poisoning story was launched by British intelligence in March 2018, just in time to frame Syrian President Assad as the guilty party in a faked chemical weapons attack in Douma the following month.

The Skripals Gambit

The Skripals gambit was also a failed British attempt to blight the Russia –hosted Football World Cup in June 2018. In the event, hundreds of thousands of Western sports fans returned home with the warmest memories of Russian good sportsmanship and hospitality.

How do I know the British Skripals narrative is false? For a start, it is illogical, incoherent, and constantly changes. Allegedly, two visiting Russian FSB agents in March 2018 sprayed or smeared Novichok, a deadly toxin instantly lethal in the most microscopic quantities, on the Skripals' house front doorknob. There is no video footage of the Skripals at their front door on the day. We are told they were found slumped on a park bench, and that is maybe where they had been sprayed with nerve gas? Shortly afterwards, Britain's Head of Army Nursing who happened to be passing by found them, and supervised their hospitalisation and emergency treatment.

Allegedly, much of Salisbury was contaminated by Novichok, and one unfortunate woman mysteriously died weeks later, yet the Skripals somehow did not die, as we are told. But where are they now? We saw a healthy Yulia in a carefully scripted video interview released in May 2018, after an alleged 'one in a million' recovery. We were assured her father had recovered too, but nobody has seen him at all. The Skripals have simply disappeared from sight since 16 months ago. Are they now alive or dead? Are they in voluntary or involuntary British custody?

A month after the poisoning, the UK Government sent biological samples from the Skripals to the Organisation for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons , for testing. The OPCW sent the samples to a trusted OPCW laboratory in Spiez, Switzerland.

Lavrov Spiez BZ claims, April 2018

A few days later, Russian Foreign Minister Sergey Lavrov dramatically announced in Moscow that the Spiez lab had found in the samples a temporary-effect nerve agent BZ, used by U.S. and UK but not by Russia, that would have disabled the Skripals for a few days without killing them. He also revealed the Spiez lab had found that the Skripal samples had been twice tampered with while still in UK custody: first soon after the poisoning, and again shortly before passing them to the OPCW. He said the Spiez lab had found a high concentration of Novichok, which he called A- 234, in its original form. This was extremely suspicious as A-234 has high volatility and could not have retained its purity over a two weeks period. The dosage the Spiez lab found in the samples would have surely killed the Skripals. The OPCW under British pressure rejected Lavrov's claim, and suppressed the Spiez lab report.

Let's look finally at the alleged assassins.

'Boshirov and Petrov'

These two FSB operatives who visited Salisbury under the false identities of 'Boshirov' and 'Petrov' did not look or behave like credible assassins. It is more likely that they were sent to negotiate with Sergey Skripal about his rumoured interest in returning to Russia. They needed to apply for UK visas a month in advance of travel: ample time for the British agencies to identify them as FSB operatives, and to construct a false attempted assassination narrative around their visit. This false narrative repeatedly trips over its own lies and contradictions. British social media are full of alternative theories and rebuttals. Russians find the whole British Government Skripal narrative laughable. They have invented comedy skits and video games based on it. Yet it had major impact on Russia-West relations.

The Douma False Narrative

I turn now to the claimed Assad chemical weapons attack in Douma in April 2018.This falsely alleged attack triggered a major NATO air attack on Syrian targets, ordered by Trump. We came close to WWIII in these dangerous days. Thanks to the restraint of the then Secretary of Defence James Mattis and his Russian counterparts, the risk was contained.

The allegation that Syrian President Bashar al-Assad had used outlawed chemical weapons against his own people was based solely on the evidence of faked video images of child victims, made by the discredited White Helmets, a UK-sponsored rebel-linked 'humanitarian' propaganda organisation with much blood on its hands. Founded in 2013 by a British private security specialist of intelligence background, James Le Mesurier, the White Helmets specialised in making fake videos of alleged Assad regime war crimes against Syrian civilians. It is by now a thoroughly discredited organisation that was prepared to kill its prisoners and then film their bodies as alleged victims of government chemical attacks.

White Helmets

As the town of Douma was about to fall to advancing Syrian Government forces, the White Helmets filled a room with stacked corpses of murdered prisoners, and photographed them as alleged victims of aerial gas attack. They also made a video alleging child victims of this attack being hosed down by White Helmets. A video of a child named Hassan Diab went viral all over the Western world.

Hassan Diab later testified publicly in The Hague that he had been dragged terrified from his family by force, smeared with some sort of grease, and hosed down with water as part of a fake video. He went from hero to zero overnight, as Western governments and media rejected his testimony as Russian and Syrian propaganda.

In a late development, there is proof that the OPCW suppressed its own engineers' report from Douma that the alleged poison gas cylinders could not have possibly been dropped from the air through the roof of the house where one was found, resting on a bed under a convenient hole in the roof.

I could go on discussing the detail of such false narratives all day. No matter how often they are exposed by critics, our politicians and mainstream media go on referencing them as if they are true. Once people have come to believe false narratives, it is hard to refute them.

So it is with the false narrative that Russian internet interference enabled Trump to win the 2016 U.S. presidential elections: a thesis for which no evidence was found by [Special Counsel Robert] Mueller, yet continues to be cited by many U.S. liberal Democratic media as if it were true. So, even, with MH17.

Managing Mass Opinion

This mounting climate of Western Russophobia is not accidental: it is strategically directed, and it is nourished with regular maintenance doses of fresh lies. Each round of lies provides a credible platform for the next round somewhere else. The common thread is a claimed malign Russian origin for whatever goes wrong.

So where is all this disinformation originating? Information technology firms in Washington and London that are closely networked into government elites, often through attending the same establishment schools or colleges like Eton and Yale, have closely studied and tested the science of influencing crowd opinions through mainstream media and online. They know, in a way that Orwell or Goebbels could hardly have dreamt, how to put out and repeat desired media messages. They know what sizes of 'internet attraction nodes' need to be established online, in order to create diverse critical masses of credible Russophobic messaging, which then attracts enough credulous and loyal followers to become self-propagating.

Firms like the SCL Group (formerly Strategic Communication Laboratories) and the now defunct Cambridge Analytica pioneered such work in the UK. There are many similar firms in Washington, all in the business of monitoring, generating and managing mass opinion. It is big business, and it works closely with the national security state.

Starting in November 2018, an enterprising group of unknown hackers in the UK , who go by the name 'Anonymous', opened a remarkable window into this secret world. Over a few weeks, they hacked and dumped online a huge volume of original documents issued by and detailing the activities of the Institute for Statecraft (IfS) and the Integrity initiative (II). Here is the first page of one of their dumps, exposing propaganda against Jeremy Corbyn.

We know from this material that the IfS and II are two secret British disinformation networks operating at arms' length from but funded by the UK security services and broader UK government establishment. They bring together high-ranking military and intelligence personnel, often nominally retired, journalists and academics, to produce and disseminate propaganda that serves the agendas of the UK and its allies.

Stung by these massive leaks, Chris Donnelly, a key figure in IfS and II and a former British Army intelligence officer, made a now famous seven-minute YouTube video in December 2018, artfully filmed in a London kitchen, defending their work.

He argued – quite unconvincingly in my opinion – that IfS and II are simply defending Western societies against disinformation and malign influence, primarily from Russia. He boasted how they have set up in numerous targeted European countries, claimed to be under attack from Russian disinformation, what he called 'clusters of influence' , to 'educate' public opinion and decision-makers in pro-NATO and anti-Russian directions.

Donnelly spoke frankly on how the West is already at war with Russia, a 'new kind of warfare', in which he said 'everything becomes a weapon'. He said that 'disinformation is the issue which unites all the other weapons in this conflict and gives them a third dimension'.

He said the West has to fight back, if it is to defend itself and to prevail.

We can confirm from the Anonymous leaked files the names of many people in Europe being recruited into these clusters of influence. They tend to be significant people in journalism, publishing, universities and foreign policy think-tanks: opinion-shapers. The leaked documents suggest how ideologically suitable candidates are identified: approached for initial screening interviews; and, if invited to join a cluster of influence, sworn to secrecy.

Remarkably, neither the Anonymous disclosures nor the Donnelly response have ever been reported in Australian media. Even in Britain – where evidence that the Integrity Initiative was mounting a campaign against [Labour leader] Jeremy Corbyn provoked brief media interest. The story quickly disappeared from mainstream media and the BBC. A British under-foreign secretary admitted in Parliamentary Estimates that the UK Foreign Office subsidises the Institute of Statecraft to the tune of nearly 3 million pounds per year. It also gives various other kinds of non-monetary assistance, e.g. providing personnel and office support in Britain's overseas embassies.

This is not about traditional spying or seeking agents of influence close to governments. It is about generating mass disinformation, in order to create mass climates of belief.

In my opinion, such British and American disinformation efforts, using undeclared clusters of influence, through Five Eyes intelligence-sharing, and possibly with the help of British and American diplomatic missions, may have been in operation in Australia for many years.

Such networks may have been used against me since around mid-2017, to limit the commercial outreach of my book and the impact of its dangerous ideas on the need for East-West detente; and efficiently to suppress my voice in Australian public discourse about Russia and the West. Do I have evidence for this? Yes.

It is not coincidence that the Melbourne Writers Festival in August 2017 somehow lost all my sign-and-sell books from my sold-out scheduled speaking event; that a major debate with [Australian writer and foreign policy analyst] Bobo Lo at the Wheeler Centre in Melbourne was cancelled by his Australian sponsor, the Lowy institute, two weeks before the advertised date; that my last invitation to any writers festival was 15 months ago, in May 2018; that Return to Moscow was not shortlisted for any Australian book prize, though I entered it in all of them ; that since my book's early promotion ended around August 2017, I have not been invited to join any ABC discussion panels, or to give any talks on Russia in any universities or institutes, apart from the admirable Australian Institute of International Affairs and the ISAA.

My articles and shorter opinion commentaries on Russia and the West have not been published in mainstream media or in reputable online journals like Eureka Street, The Conversation, Inside Story or Australian Book Review . Despite being an ANU Emeritus Fellow, I have not been invited to give a public talk or join any panel in ANU (Australian National University) or any Canberra think tank. In early 2018, I was invited to give a private briefing to a group of senior students travelling on an immersion course to Russia. I was not invited back in 2019, after high-level private advice within ANU that I was regarded as too pro-Putin.

In all these ways – none overt or acknowledged – my voice as an open-minded writer and speaker on Russia-West relations seems to have been quietly but effectively suppressed in Australia. I would like to be proved wrong on this, but the evidence is there.

This may be about "velvet-glove deterrence" of my Russia-sympathetic voice and pen, in order to discourage others, especially those working in or close to government. Nobody is going to put me in jail, unless I am stupid enough to violate Australia's now strict foreign influence laws. This deterrence is about generating fear of consequences for people still in their careers, paying their mortgages, putting kids through school. Nobody wants to miss their next promotion.

There are other indications that Australian national security elite opinion has been indoctrinated prudently to fear and avoid any kind of public discussion of positive engagement with Russia (or indeed, with China).

There are only two kinds of news about Russia now permitted in our mainstream media, including the ABC and SBS: negative news and comment, or silence. Unless a story can be given an anti-Russian sting, it will not be carried at all. Important stories are simply spiked, like last week's Eastern Economic Forum in Vladivistok, chaired by President Putin and attended by Prime Ministers Abe, Mahathir and Modi, among 8500 participants from 65 countries.

The ABC idea of a balanced panel to discuss any Russian political topic was exemplified in an ABC Sunday Extra Roundtable panel chaired by Eleanor Hall on July, 22 2018, soon after the Trump-Putin Summit in Helsinki. The panel – a former ONA Russia analyst, a professor of Soviet and Russian History at Melbourne University, and a Russian émigré dissident journalist introduced as the 'Washington correspondent for Echo of Moscow radio' spent most of their time sneering at Putin and Trump. There were no other views.

A powerful anti-Russian news narrative is now firmly in place in Australia, on every topic in contention: Ukraine, MH17, Crimea, Syria, the Skripals, Navalny and public protest in Russia. There is ill-informed criticism of Russia, or silence, on the crucial issues of arms control and Russia-China strategic and economic relations as they affect Australia's national security or economy. There is no analysis of the negative impact on Australia of economic sanctions against Russia. There is almost no discussion of how improved relations with China and Russia might contribute to Australia's national security and economic welfare, as American influence in the world and our region declines, and as American reliability as an ally comes more into question. Silence on inconvenient truths is an important part of the disinformation tool kit.

I see two overall conflicting narratives – the prevailing Anglo-American false narrative; and valiant efforts by small groups of dissenters, drawing on sources outside the Anglo-American official narrative, to present another narrative much closer to truth. And this is how most Russians now see it too.

The Trump-Putin summit in Helsinki in July 2018 was damaged by the Skripal and Syria fabrications. Trump left that summit friendless, frightened and humiliated. He soon surrendered to the power of the U.S. imperial state as then represented by [Mike] Pompeo and [John] Bolton, who had both been appointed as Secretary of State and National Security Adviser in April 2018 and who really got into their stride after the Helsinki Summit. Pompeo now smoothly dominates Trump's foreign policy.

Self-Inflicted Wounds

U.S. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo (Gage Skidmore)

Finally, let me review the American political casualties over the past two years – self-inflicted wounds – arising from this secret information war against Russia. Let me list them without prejudging guilt or innocence. Slide 20 – Self-inflicted wounds: casualties of anti-Russian information warfare.

Trump's first National Security Adviser, the highly decorated Michael Flynn lost his job after only three weeks, and soon went to jail. His successor H R McMaster lasted 13 months until replaced by John Bolton. Trump's first Secretary of State Rex Tillerson lasted just 14 months until his replacement by Trump's appointed CIA chief (in January 2017) Mike Pompeo. Trump's chief strategist Steve Bannon lasted only seven months. Trump's former campaign chairman Paul Manafort is now in jail.

Defence Secretary James Mattis lasted nearly two years as Secretary of Defence, and was an invaluable source of strategic stability. He resigned in December 2018. The highly capable Ambassador to Russia Jon Huntsman lasted just two years: he is resigning next month. John Kelly lasted 18 months as White House Chief of Staff. Less senior figures like George Papadopoulos and Trump's former lawyer Michael Cohen both served jail time. The pattern I see here is that people who may have been trying responsibly as senior U.S. officials to advance Trump's initial wish to explore possibilities for detente with Russia – policies that he had advocated as a candidate – were progressively purged, one after another . The anti-Russian U.S. bipartisan imperial state is now firmly back in control. Trump is safely contained as far as Russia is concerned .

Russians do not believe that any serious detente or arms control negotiations can get under way while cold warriors like Pompeo continue effectively to control Trump. There have been other casualties over the past two years of tightening American Russophobia. Julian Assange and Chelsea Manning come to mind. The naive Maria Butina is a pathetic victim of American judicial rigidity and deep state vindictiveness.

False anti-Russian Government narratives emanating from London and Washington may be laughed at in Moscow , but they are unquestioningly accepted in Canberra. We are the most gullible of audiences. There is no critical review. Important contrary factual information and analysis from and about Russia just does not reach Australian news reporting and commentary, nor – I fear – Australian intelligence assessment. We are prisoners of the false narratives fed to us by our senior Five Eyes partners U.S. and UK.

To conclude: Some people may find what I am saying today difficult to accept. I understand this. I now work off open-source information about Russia with which many people here are unfamiliar, because they prefer not to read the diverse online information sources that I choose to read. The seesaw has tilted for me: I have clearly moved a long way from mainstream Western perceptions on Russia-West relations.

Under Trump and Pompeo, as the Syria and Iran crises show, the present risk of global nuclear war by accident or incompetent Western decision-making is as high as it ever was in the Cold War. The West needs to learn again how to dialogue usefully and in mutually respectful ways with Russia and China. This expert knowledge is dying with our older and wiser former public servants and ex-military chiefs.

These remarks were delivered by Tony Kevin at the Independent Scholars Association of Australia in Canberra, Australia on Wednesday.

Watch Tony Kevin interviewed Friday night on CN Live!

Tony Kevin is a retired Australian diplomat who was posted to Moscow from 1969 to 1971, and was later Australia's ambassador to Poland and Cambodia. His latest book is Return to Moscow, published by UWA Publishing.


Bruce , September 17, 2019 at 08:58

Excellent article. It's very interesting to see how the state and its media lackey set the narrative.

Most of this comment relates to the Skripals but also applies to other matters (the Skripals writing was some of Craig Murray's finest work in my opinion). One of the hallmarks of a hoax is a constantly evolving storyline. I think governments have learned from past "mistakes" with their hoaxes/deception where they've given a description of events and then scientists/engineers/chemists etc have come in and criticised their version of events with details and scientific arguments. Nowadays, governments are very reluctant to commit to a version of events, and instead rely on the media (their propaganda assets) to provide a scattergun set of information to muddy the waters and thoroughly confuse the population. The government is then insulated from some of the more bizarre allegations (the headlines of which are absorbed nonetheless), and can blame it on the media (who would use an anonymous government source naturally). Together with classifying just about everything on national security grounds, they can stonewall for as long as they want.

The British are masters of propaganda. They maintained a global empire for a very long time, and the prevailing view (in the west at least) was probably one of tea-drinking cricket playing colonials/gentlemen. But you don't maintain an empire without being absolutely ruthless and brutal. They've been doing this for a very long time.

When we hear something from the BBC or ABC, we should think "State Media".
That's probably why its got a nice folksy nickname of "aunty" .build up the trust.

Leslie Louis , September 17, 2019 at 04:00

Society is suffering the extreme paradox; there is the potential for everyone to have a voice, but the last vestiges of free speech have been whittled away. Fake news is universal, assisted by the fake "left". It is impossible to get published any challenge to even the most outlandish versions of identity politics. As the experience of Tony Kevin exemplifies, all avenues for dissent against hegemonic orthodoxies are closed off.
Disinformation is now an essential weapon in waging hot and cold wars. Cold War historians are well informed on false flags, "black ops", and other organised dirty tactics. I do not know what happened to the Skripals, and while it is legitimate to bear in mind KGB assassinations, despite the enormous resources at its disposal, the English security state has been unable to construct a credible case. Surely scepticism is provoked by the leading role being played by the notorious Bellingcat outfit.

Zenobia van Dongen , September 17, 2019 at 00:29

Here is part of an eyewitness account:
"After the Orange Revolution which began in Kiev, the country was divided literally into two parts -- the supporters of integration with Russia and the supporters of an independent Ukraine. For almost 100 years belonging to the Soviet Union, the propaganda about the assistance and care from our "big brother" Russia, in Ukraine as a whole and the Donbass in particular has borne fruit. At the end of February 2014, some cities of the Southeast part were boiling with mass social and political protest against the new Ukrainian government in defense of the status of the Russian language, voicing separatist and pro-Russian slogans. The division took place in our city of Sloviansk too. Some people stood for separation from Ukraine, while Ukrainian patriots stood for the unity of our country.
On April 12, 2014 our city of Sloviansk in the Donetsk region was seized by Russian mercenaries and local volunteers. From that moment onward, armed assaults on state institutions began. The city police department, the Sloviansk City Hall, the building of the Ukraine Security Service was occupied. Armed militants seized state institutions and confiscated private property. They threatened and beat people, and those who refused to obey were taken away to an unknown destination and people started disappearing. The persecution and abduction of patriotic citizens began."

Michael McNulty , September 16, 2019 at 11:36

Watching Vietnam news coverage as a kid in the '60s I noticed the planes carpet-bombing South East Asia were American, not Russian. And as I only watched the footage and never listened to the commentary (I was waiting for the kids programs that followed) the BS they came out with to explain it all never reached me. I saw with my own eyes what the US really was and is, and always believed growing up they were the belligerent side not Russia. Once the USSR fell it was clear there were no longer any constraints on US excesses.

dean 1000 , September 15, 2019 at 18:17

Doublethink, not to mention doublespeak, is so apt to describe what is happening. If Orwell was writing today it would have to be classified as non-fiction.

Free speech is impossible unless every election district has a radio/TV station where candidates, constituents, and others can debate, discuss and speak to the issues without bending a knee to large campaign contributors or the controllers of corporate or government media. It may start with low-power pirate radio/TV broadcasts. No, the pirate speakers will not have to climb a cell tower to broadcast an opinion to the neighborhood or precinct.
If genuine free speech is going to exist it will start as something unauthorized and unlawful. If it sticks to the facts it will quickly prove its value.

Download a free pdf copy of '1984.' https://www.planetebook.com/free-ebooks/1984.pdf

Njegos , September 15, 2019 at 03:39

Excellent article. The only exhibit missing was reference to Bill Browder's lies. Browder's rubbish has been exposed by intrepid journalists and documentary makers such as Andrei Nekrasov, Sasha Krainer and Lucy Komisar but to read or listen to our media, you'd think BB was some sort of human rights hero. That's because BB's fairy tale fits nicely into the MSM's hatred of Putin and Russia. Debunk Browder and a major pillar of anti-Russia prejudice collapses. Therefore, Browder will never face any serious questions by the MSM.

John A , September 16, 2019 at 09:18

judges of the European Court of Human Rights published a judgement a fortnight ago which utterly exploded the version of events promulgated by Western governments and media in the case of the late Mr Magnitskiy. Yet I can find no truthful report of the judgement in the mainstream media at all.
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2019/09/the-magnitskiy-myth-exploded/

MSM propaganda by omission. Anything that doesn't fit the government narrative gets zero publicity.

Jim Ingram , September 14, 2019 at 21:12

Well said and needing to be said Tony.

Mr. Dan , September 14, 2019 at 19:41

I have stopped following australian mainstream media including the darlings of the 'left' ABC/SBS over a decade ago, completely. My disgust with their 'coverage' of the 2008 GFC was more than enough. Since 2008-9 things have deteriorated drastically into conspiracy theory propaganda by omission la-la land *it seems*, given I don't tune in at all.

The author has a well supported view. I find it a little naive in him thinking that the MSM has that much power over shaping public opinion in australia.

People who want to be informed do so. The half intelligent conformists on hamster wheel of lifetime mortgage debt have 'careers' to hold onto, so parroting the group think or living in ignorance is much easier. The massive portion of australian racists, inbred bogans and idiots that make up the large LNP, One Nation etc. voting block are completely beyond salvation or ability to process, and critically evaluate any information. The smarter ones drool on about the 'UN Agenda 21' conspiracy at best. Utterly hopeless.

I don't expect things to change as the australian economy is slowly hollowed out by the rich, and the education system (that has always been about conforming, wearing school uniform and regurgitating what the teacher/lecturer says at best) is gutted completely. Welcome to australistan.

Fran Macadam , September 14, 2019 at 19:21

Note that the prohibition against false propaganda to indoctrinate the domestic population by the American government was lifted by President Obama at the tail end of his administration. The Executive Order legalizes all the deceptive behavior Tony itemizes in his article.

Josep , September 17, 2019 at 04:10

I thought it was Reagan who did that by abolishing the Fairness Doctrine in 1987. At least in terms of television and radio (?) broadcasts.

Stephen Morrell , September 14, 2019 at 19:02

Thank you Tony for your thoughtful talk (and interview on CN Live! too).

What's encouraging is this cohort of what might be called 'millennial journalists' coming through willing to do 'shoe-leather' journalism and stand up to smears and flack for revealing uncomfortable facts and truth. They're the online 5th estate holding the 4th to account (to steal Ray McGovern's apt view), and they're congealing against the onslaught.

Some include Max Blumenthal and Rania Kahlek (both now being pilloried by MSM and others for visiting Syrian government held areas and reporting that life isn't hellish as MSM would have everyone believe heaven forbid); Vanessa Bealey who's exposed a lot of White Helmet horrors and false-flag attacks in Syria (and being attacked by all and sundry for exposing the White Helmets in particular); Abby Martin whose Empire Files are excellent and always edifying; Dan Cohen who has written the best expose of the actors behind the Hong Kong rioting and co-authored the best expose of the background of Guaido et al.; Whitney Webb of Mint Press whose series on Epstein is overwhelming and likely a ticking timebomb; Caitlin Johnstone of course; and Aaron 'Buzzsaw' Mate who made his first mark with a wonderful takedown interview of Russiaphobe MI6 shill Luke Harding. Others too of course, with most appearing or having written pieces on CN. John Pilger, Robert Fisk, Greg Palast, et al. won't drop off their twigs disappointed.

This, along with the fact that MSM -- that cowed and compromised fourth estate -- increasingly is held in such laughable contempt by most people under about 50 yr, is highly encouraging indeed. Truth is the new black.

nwwoods , September 15, 2019 at 11:49

The Blogmire is an excellent resource for detailed analysis of the Skripal hoax. The author happens to be a long-time resident of Salisbury, and is intimately familiar with the topography, public services, etc., and a very thorough investigator.

John Wright , September 14, 2019 at 18:35

I'm not surprised that Mr. Kevin is being isolated and shunned by the Australian establishment. Truth and truth tellers are always the first casualties of war. I do hope that his experience will encourage him to increase his resistance to the corrosiveness of mendacious propaganda and those who promulgate it.

Truth is the single best weapon when fighting for a peaceful future.

If Australia is to flourish in the 21st century, it really needs to understand Russia and China, how they relate to each other, and how this key alliance will interface with the rest of the world. Australia and Australians simply cannot afford to get sucked down further by facilitating the machinations of the collapsing Anglo-American Empire. They have served the empire ably and faithfully, but now need to take a cold hard look at reality and realign their long-term interests with the coming global power shift. If not, they could literally find themselves in the middle of an unwinnable and devastating war.

* * *

The first Anglo-American Russian cold war began with the Russian revolution and was only briefly suspended when the West needed the Soviet people to throw themselves in front of the Nazi blitzkrieg in order to save Western Europe. Following their catastrophically costly contribution to the victory on the Continent, the Russians were greeted with an American nuclear salute on their eastern periphery, signalling their return to the diplomatic and economic deep freeze.

While the Anglo-American Empire solidified and extended its hold on the globe, the enlarged but war-ravaged and isolated Soviet Union hunkered down and survived on scraps and sheer will until its collapse in 1989. Declaring the cold war over, and with promises to help their new Russian friends build a prosperous future, the duplicitous West then ransacked their neighbors resources and sold them into debt peonage. The Russians cried foul, the West shrugged and Putin pushed back. Unable to declaw the bear, the west closed the cage door again and the second cold war commenced.

* * *

The first cold war was essentially an offensive war disguised as a defensive war. It enabled the Anglo-American Empire to leverage its post-war advantage and establish near total dominance around the globe through naked violence and monetary hegemony.

Today, with its dominance rapidly slipping away, the Anglo-American Empire is waging a truly defensive cold war. On the home front, they fight to convince their subjects of their eternal exceptionalism with ever more absurd and vile propaganda denigrating their adversaries . Abroad, they disrupt and defraud in a desperate attempt to delay the demise of the PetroDollar ponzi.

The Russians and the Chinese, having both been brutally burned by the Western elites, will not be fooled into abandoning their natural geographic partnership. They are no longer content to sit quietly at the kids' table taking notes. While they may not demand to sit at the head of the table, it is clear that they will insist on a round table, and one that is large enough to include their growing list of friends.

If the Americans don't smash the table, it could be the first of many peaceful pot lucks.

John Read , September 15, 2019 at 02:11

Well said. Great comments. Thanks to Tony Kevin.

Mia , September 14, 2019 at 18:33

Thank you Tony for continuing to shine light on the pathetic propaganda information bubble Australians have been immersed in .. you demonstrate great courage and you are not alone ??

Peter Loeb , September 14, 2019 at 12:58

WITH THANKS TO TONY KEVIN

An excellent article.

There is a lack of comments from some of the common writers upon whose views I often rely.

Personally, I often avoid the very individual responses from websites as I have no way
of checking out previous ideas of theirs. Who funds them? With which organizations are they
affiliated? And so forth and so on.

Peter Loeb, Boston, Massachusetts

Peter Sapo , September 14, 2019 at 10:24

As a fellow Australian, everything Tony Kevin said makes perfect sense. Our mainstream media landscape is designed to distribute propaganda to folk accross the political spectrum. Have you noticed that the ABC regurgitates stories from the BBC? The BBC has a long history (at least since WW2) of supporting government propaganda initiatives. Based on this fact, it is hard to see how ABC and SBS don't do the same when called upon by their minders.

Francis Lee , September 14, 2019 at 09:48

I just wonder where the Anglo-Zionist empire thinks it is going. It should be obvious that any NATO war against Russia involving a nuclear exchange is unwinnable. It seems equally likely the even a conventional war will not necessarily bring the result expected by the assorted 'experts' – nincompoops living in their own fantasy world. The idea that the US can fight a war without the US homeland becoming very much involved basically ended when Putin announced the creation of Russia's set of advanced hypersonic missile system. But this was apparently ignored by the 'defence' establishment. It was not true, it could not possibly be true, or so we were told.

Moreover the cost of such wars involving hundreds of thousands of troops and military hardware are massively expensive and would occasion a massive resistance from the populations affected. It was the wests wars in Korea, and Indo-China that bankrupted the US and led to the US$ being removed from the gold standard. The American military is rapidly consuming the American economy, or at least what is left of it. From a realist foreign policy perspective this is simply madness. Great powers end wars, they don't start them. Great powers are creditor nations, not debtor nations. Such is the realist foreign policy view. But foreign policy realists are few and far between in the Washington Beltway and MIC/NSA Pentagon and US/UK/AUSTRALIAN MSM.

Thus the neo-hubris of the English speaking world is such that if it is followed to its logical conclusion then total annihilation would be the logical outcome. A sad example of not very bright people who face no domestic opposition, believing in their own bullshit:

"American elites proved themselves to be master manipulators of propaganda constructs But the real danger from such manipulations arises not when those manipulations are done out of knowledge of reality, which is distorted for propaganda purposes, but when those who manipulation begin to sincerely believe in their own falsifications and when they buy into their own narrative. They stop being manipulators and they become believers in a narrative. They become manipulated themselves." (Losing Military Supremacy – Andrei, Martyanov)

Or maybe just the whole thing is a bluff. Those policy elites maybe just want to loot the US Treasury for more cash to be put their way.

John Wright , September 15, 2019 at 19:15

The self-serving Israeli Zionists know that the American cow is running dry and their days of freely milking it are coming to an end. They have an historic relationship with Russia and, leveraging their nuclear arsenal, know they can make a deal with the emerging China-Russia-centric global paradigm to extort enough protection to maintain their armed enclave for the foreseeable future. Their no so hidden alliance with the equally sociopathic Saudis will become even more obvious for all to see.

Israel, like China and Russia, knows how to play a long game. Thus, Israel will consolidate its land grab with the just announced expansion into the Jordan Valley and quietly continue as much ethnic cleansing as possible while the rest of the world is preoccupied with the incipient global power shift (True victims of history, the Palestinians have no real friends). While they will bemoan the loss of their muscular American stooge, Israel enjoyed a very lucrative 70 year run and will part with a pile of useful and deadly toys. They're also fully aware that no one else will ever let them take advantage to the degree they've been able to with the U.S.A. (Unlimited Stupidity of Arrogance?)

Eventually, the social schizophrenia that is the state of Israel will catch up with them and they will implode. Let's hope that breakdown doesn't involve the use of their nuclear arsenal.

Yes, the U.S. Treasury will continue to be looted until the last teller turns the lights out or the electricity is shut off, whichever comes first.

The Western transnational financial elites will accept their losses, regroup and make deals with the new bosses where they can; but their days of running the game unopposed are over.

Today is a good day to learn Mandarin (or Russian, if you prefer to live in Europe).

Bill , September 16, 2019 at 03:36

Very well said and I agree with a lot of what you say.

Tiu , September 14, 2019 at 06:01

Won't be too long before writing articles like this will get you busted for "hate-speech" (e.g. anything that is contrary to the official version prescribed by the "democratically elected" government)
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/uk-tony-blair-think-tank-proposes-end-free-speech
Personally I always encourage people to read George Orwell, especially 1984. We're there, and have been for a long time.

geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 01:15

Tony Kevin – Nice rundown of what ails society. You have a fine writing style that gets the point across to the reader. Kudos and cheers.

Michael , September 13, 2019 at 22:34

The 'modernization' of the Smith Mundt Act in 2013 "to authorize the domestic dissemination of information and material [PROPAGANDA] about the United States intended primarily for foreign audiences" was a major nail in the Democracy coffin, consolidating the blatant ruling of the US Police State by our 17 Intelligence Agencies (our betters). The Telecommunications Act of 1996 lead to ownership of (>80%) of our media (the MSM by a handful of owners, all disseminating the same narratives from above (CIA, State Department, FBI etc) and squelching any dissenting views, particularly related to foreign policies.
Tony's article sadly just confirms the depth and breadth of our Global Stasi, with improved, innovative and (mostly) subtle surveillance, and the controlling constant interference with alternate viewpoints and discussions, the real basis for free societies. It is bad enough to be ruled by neoliberal psychopathic hyenas and jackals, soon we won't be able to even bitch about what they are doing.

Tom Kath , September 13, 2019 at 21:42

The most impressive article I have read in a very long time. I congratulate and thank Tony.
I have myself recently addressed the issue of whether it is a virtue to have an "open mind". – The ability to be converted or have your mind changed, or is it the ability to change your own mind ?
Tony Kevin clearly illustrates the difference.

Litchfield , September 13, 2019 at 16:11

Great article.
Please keep writing.
Do start a website, a la Craig Murray.
There are people who are proactively looking for alternative viewpoints and informed analysis.
How about starting a website and publishing some excerpts of your book there?

Or, sell chapters separately by download from your website?
You could also have a discussion blog/forum there.

John Zimmermann , September 13, 2019 at 16:02

Excellent essay. Thanks Mr. Kevin.

rosemerry , September 13, 2019 at 15:37

At least Tony Kevin was an Australian ambassador, not like Mike Morrell and the chosen russop?obes the USA assumes are needed as diplomats!! Now he is treated as Stephen Cohen is- a true expert called "controversial" as he dares to go by real facts and evidence, not prejudice.

If instead of enemies, the West could consider getting to understand those they are wary of, and give them a chance to explain their point of view and actually listen and reflect on it.
(Dmitri Peskov valiantly explained the Russian official response as soon as the "Skripal poisoning" story broke, but it was fully ignored by UK/US media, while all of Theresa May's fanciful imaginings were respectfully relayed to the public).

geeyp , September 14, 2019 at 23:26

As you usually are with your comments, you are spot on again, rosemerry.

Martin - Swedish citizen , September 13, 2019 at 14:46

Excellent article!
I find the mechanics of how the propaganda is spread and the illusion upheld the most important part of this article, since this knowledge is required to counter it.
When (not if) the fraud becomes more common knowledge, our societies are likely to tumble.

Pablo Diablo , September 13, 2019 at 14:45

Whoever controls the media, controls the dialogue.
Whoever controls the dialogue, controls the agenda.

peter mcloughlin , September 13, 2019 at 13:40

' The present risk of global nuclear war is as high as it ever was in the Cold War.' And possibly higher. The Cold War, though dangerous, was the peace. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war. The powers that are leading us towards conflagration see this as a re-run of the first Cold War. They are dangerously mistaken.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/

Guy , September 13, 2019 at 13:21

With so many believing the lies ,how will this mess ever come to light . I don't reside in Australia but anywhere in the Western world the shakedown is the same .In my own house ,the discussion on world politics descends into absolute stupidity . As one can't get past the constant programming that has settled in the minds of the comfortable with the status quo of lies by our media. There are intelligent sources of news sources but none get past the absolutely complete control of MSM.So the bottom line is ,for now ,the lies and liars are winning the propaganda war.

Anton Antonovich , September 13, 2019 at 13:16

He speaks the truth. Liars and dissemblers have won over the minds and hearts of so many lazy shameful citizens who will not accept the truth Tony Kevin wants to share with the world.

junaid , September 13, 2019 at 13:08

Washington resumes military assistance to Kyiv. According to American lawmakers, Ukraine is fighting one of the main enemies. "Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine

"Contain Russia": what the US pays for Ukraine

Lily , September 13, 2019 at 23:42

The Pentagon is using the Ukrainian territory for experiments on chemical weapons.

https://m.youtube.com/watch?v=3T9ktfz_FfA

John A , September 14, 2019 at 06:55

Anyone or article who spells Kiev as Kyiv can be safely ignored as western anti-Russia propaganda. It's a true tell.

Robert Edwards , September 13, 2019 at 12:53

The Cold war is totally manufacture to keep the dollars flowing into the MIC – what a sham . and a disgrace to humanity.

Cavaleiro Marginal , September 13, 2019 at 12:52

"The key tools are repetition of messages, and diversification of trusted voices. Once a critical mass is created of people believing a false narrative, the lie locks in: its dissemination becomes self-sustaining."

This had occurred in Brazil since the very first day of Lula's presidency. Eleven years late, 2013, a color revolution began. Nobody (and I mean REALLY nobody) could realize a color revolution was happening at that time. In 2016, Dilma Rousseff was kicked from power throughout a ridiculous and illegal coup perpetrated by the parliament. In 2018 Lula was imprisoned in an Orwellian process; illegal, unconstitutional, with nothing (REALLY nothing) proved against him. Then a liar clown was elected to suppress democracy

I knew on the news that in Canada and Australia the police politely (how civilized ) went to some journalist's homes to have a chat this year. Canadians and Aussies, be aware. The fascism's dog is a policial state very well informed by the propaganda they call news.

Robert Fearn , September 13, 2019 at 12:48

As a Canadian author who wrote a book about various tragic American government actions, like Vietnam, I can relate to the difficulties Tony has had with his book. I would mail my book, Amoral America, from Canada to other countries, like the US, and it would never arrive. Book stores would not handle it, etc. etc.

Josep , September 17, 2019 at 05:21

Not to disagree, but some years ago I read about anecdotes of anti-Americanism in Canada, coming from both USians and Canadians, whether it be playful banter or legitimate criticism. I believe it is more concentrated among the people than among the governmental elites (with the exception of the Iraq War era when both the people and the government were against it). And considering what you describe in your book and the difficulty you've faced in distributing it abroad, maybe the said people are on to something.

Stephen , September 13, 2019 at 11:44

This interview by Abby Martin with Mark Ames is a little dated but is a fairly accurate history. I post it to try and counter the nonsense.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=e7HwvFyMg7A

All the empire wants is to do it all again.

Jeremy Kuzmarov , September 13, 2019 at 10:33

Outstanding article and analysis. Thank you Sir! Jeremy Kuzmarov

Jeff Harrison , September 13, 2019 at 10:17

Thank you, sir. A far better peroration than I could have produced but what I have concluded nonetheless.

Skip Scott , September 13, 2019 at 10:10

Fantastic article. Left unmentioned is the origin of the west's anti-Russia narrative. Russia was being pillaged by the west under Yeltsin, and Russia was to become our newest vassal. Life expectancy dropped a full decade for the average Russian under Yeltsin. The average standard of living dropped dramatically as well. Putin reversed all that, and enjoys massive popular support as a result. The Empire will never tolerate a national leader who works for the benefit of the average citizen. It must be full-on rape, pillage and plunder- OR ELSE. Keep that in mind as we watch the latest theatrical performances by our DNC controlled "Commander in Chief" wannabes.

Realist , September 17, 2019 at 05:48

?The ongoing success of the "Great Lie" (that Washington is protecting the entire world from
anarchy perpetrated by a few bad actors on the global stage) and all of its false narrative subtexts
(including but far from limited to the Maidan, Crimea, Donbass, MH-17, the Skripals, gassing
"one's own people," piracy on the high Mediterranean, etc) just underscores how successful was
the false flag operation known as 9-11, even as the truth of that travesty is slowly being
unraveled by relentless truth-seekers applying logic and the scientific method to the problem.
Most Americans today would gladly concur, if queried, that Osama bin Laden was most certainly
a perfidious tool of Russia and its diabolical leader, Mr. Putin (be sure to call him "Vlad," to
conjure up images of Dracula for effect). The Winston Smith's are rare birds in America or in
any of its reliable vassal states. Never mind that the spooks from Langley (and the late
"chessmaster") concocted and orchestrated all these tales from the crypt.

Lily , September 13, 2019 at 07:54

Great summary of the developement of a new cold war. The narrative of the Mainstream Media is dangerous as well as laughable. I am glad to hear the Russian reaction to this bullshit propaganda. As often the people are so much wiser than their government – at least in the West.

During the Football WM a famous broadcaster of the German State TV channel ARD, who is a giftet propagandist, regrettet publicly the difficulty to convince the stubborn Germans to look at Russia as an enemy because they have started to look at Russia as a friend long ago.

Contrary to the people and the big firms who are completely against the sanctions against Russia and 100 % pro Northstream the German government with Chancelor Merkel is one of the top US vassalles. Even the Green Party which started as an environmental and peace party are now against North Stream and in favour of the filthy US fracking gas thanks to NATO propaganda although Russia has never let them down. Most of "Die Grünen" party have been turned into fervent friends of our American occupants which is very sad.

Thank you Tony Kevin. It has been great to read your article. I cant wait to read your book 'Return to Moscow' and to watch your interview on CN Live.

Godfree Roberts , September 13, 2019 at 07:37

Good summary of the status quo. From my experience of writing similarly about China, precisely the same policies and forces are at work.

The good news is that they are failing.

junaid , September 13, 2019 at 07:15

Russian Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov announced the end of the war in Syria and the country's return to a state of peace. "Syria is returning to normal life": Lavrov announced the end of the war

"Syria is returning to normal life": Lavrov announced the end of the war

Gezzah Potts , September 13, 2019 at 05:47

You hit several nails squarely on the head with your excellent article Tony. Thank you for the truth of how the media is in Australia. It is indeed chilling where all this is leading. The blatant lies just spewed out as fact by both ABC and SBS. They, in my opinion are nothing but stenographers for the Empire, of which Australia is a fully subservient vassal state, with no independence.
I try to boycott all Australian presstitutes . Oops, I mean 'media' now. Occasionally, I do slip up and watch SBS or The Drum or News on ABC.
Virtually all my news comes from independent news sites like this one.
I have been accused of being a 'Putin lover', a Russian troll, a conspiracy theorist, while people I know have claimed that "Putin is a monster whose murdered millions of people".
On and on this crap goes. And the end result? Ask Stephen Cohen. Things are very surreal now. Sadly, you've been made an Unperson Tony.

Robyn , September 13, 2019 at 04:08

Bravo, Tony, great article. I enjoyed your book and recommend it to CN readers who haven't yet read it.

The world looks entirely different when one stops reading/watching the MSM and turns to CN, Caitlin Johnstone and many others who are doing a sterling job.

Cascadian , September 13, 2019 at 03:52

I don't know which is worse, to not know what you are (reliably uninformed) and be happy, or to become what you've always wanted to be (reliably informed) and feel alone.

Realist , September 14, 2019 at 00:19

Knowing the truth has always seemed paramount to me, even if it means realising that the entire world and all in it are damned, and deliberately by our own actions. Hope is always the last part of our essence to die, or so they say: maybe we will somehow be redeemed through our own self-immolation as a species.

Deb , September 13, 2019 at 02:54

As an Australian I have no difficulty accepting what Tony Kevin has said here. He should do what Craig Murray has done start a website.

[Sep 17, 2019] Meddling schmeddling by PaulR

Notable quotes:
"... dezinformatziia, active measures ..."
"... active measures ..."
"... "We vote for one party which is 100% anti-Russian rather than for another party which is 100% anti-Russian? Is that the point? Because here in Canada, that's basically the choice on offer [A]t the end of the day we're still going to end up electing somebody determined to prove that he or she is more anti-Russian that the next guy or girl. " ..."
"... For Heaven's sake, the worst country for meddling in other nations' internal affairs is the US, by far! With respect to the Arctic, both Canada and Russia signed the Treaty of the Sea, under which various challenges to ownership of the seabed are settled by the terms of the treaty. The US, of course didn't sign it. Why would they when they sincerely believe that their impressive military can just grab whatever pieces of the Arctic they want. ..."
Sep 17, 2019 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

September 10, 2019

15 Comments

You may have missed it in the all the excitement around the world, but Canada has a general election coming up in October. As you know, elections equal Russian meddling. They're when our Eastern friends pull out all their computer bots, fire up their trolls, and start spreading shedloads of disinformation in order to confuse and disorientate us, so that we lose our faith in democracy and then we we well I'm not sure what we're meant to do then; the ultimate aim of it all rather defeats me. We vote for one party which is 100% anti-Russian rather than for another party which is 100% anti-Russian? Is that the point? Because here in Canada, that's basically the choice on offer. Those pesky Russkies can confuse us all they like with their dezinformatziia, active measures , and maskirovka , but at the end of the day we're still going to end up electing somebody determined to prove that he or she is more anti-Russian that the next guy or girl. Meddling, schmeddling – it's not going to make a blind bit of difference to the result.

None of this stops the fearmongers, however, and so it was that yesterday the Canadian press was happily quoting a new report from the University of Calgary, saying that, 'Russia could meddle in Canada's election due to "growing interest" in Arctic'. Now, I've been saying for a while now that these worries are exaggerated, but for some reason 'Professor at University of Ottawa says it's a load of nonsense' doesn't generate any headlines, whereas 'part-time lecturer in Calgary says it's so' is national news. Well, so be it. We all know that the press has its biases. So rather than rely on the media, I thought I'd better check out what the report in question actually has to say, and it turns out that it's not quite what you'd imagine, at least not entirely.

The report is written by one Sergey Sukhankin who is said to be 'a Fellow at the Jamestown Foundation' in Washington DC, and to be currently 'teaching at the University of Alberta and MacEwan University (Edmonton)'. According to his Linkedin page, he has a 3 month contract to teach a single course at the former, and a 9 month contract as a lecturer in the latter. He's also listed as an 'Associate Expert at the International Center for Policy Studies (Kyiv).' Anyway, he starts off his report encouragingly enough by declaring that he aims 'to give a more balanced and nuanced picture of the situation, particularly with regard to Canada', and it is a 'tactical error to label as disinformation or propaganda every news item emanating from Russia. This creates the perception of a Russian disinformation machine that is much more powerful than it really is.' Personally, I would say that it's not a 'tactical error', it's just plain wrong, but at least Sukhankin isn't trying to overdo things. But this praiseworthy restraint doesn't mean that he wants us to let down our guard. No, he says, 'the peril is real', 'the West must stick to confronting the Kremlin', and (and this is the bit which got the headlines):

The Kremlin has a growing interest in dominating the Arctic, where it sees Russia as in competition with Canada. This means Canada can anticipate escalations in information warfare Perceived as one of Russia's chief adversaries in the Arctic region, Canada is a prime target in the information wars, with Russia potentially even meddling in the October 2019 federal election.

There's a leap of logic here which I must admit I failed to understand. Why does 'competition' in the Arctic 'mean' that Canada 'can anticipate escalations in information warfare', let alone 'meddling' in the election? Why does the one necessarily lead to the other? I don't see it. It would only make sense if the second part (the meddling) helped achieve some objectives in the first part (competition in the Arctic) but Sukhankin doesn't show how they would. He just connects two unconnected things. But we'll get back to the Arctic a little later. For now, let's return to the report.

This essentially has two parts. The first is a fairly standard summary of the general argument that Russia is engaged in some sort of information war designed to undermine the West from within. It makes reference to the normal vocabulary of Soviet active measures and the like, as well as to the conventional list of sources, such as Peter Pomerantseve, Michael Weiss, and Edward Lucas (not the most reliable types in my opinion). In short, it doesn't add anything new. By contrast, the second part, which specifically focuses on alleged Russian information operations against Canada, is much more interesting.

Russian disinformation about Canada, says Sukhankin, is centred on four themes:

  1. 'Canada as a safe haven of russophobia and (neo)fascism.
  2. 'Canada as part of the colonial forces in the Baltic Sea region'.
  3. 'Canada as Washington's useful satellite'.
  4. 'Canada as a testing ground for the practical implementation of immoral Western values.'

The extent to which these could all be called 'disinformation' is debatable ('Canada as Washington's useful satellite' doesn't seem entirely inaccurate to me). But the key point Sukhankin makes is that these themes reflect the Russian government's own internal, domestic political priorities – i.e. its desire to convince its own citizens that its policies are right, by means of discrediting others. In general, says Sukhankin, Russian propaganda targets 'the following audiences, prioritized from the greatest to the smallest'.

Canada, therefore, falls into the lowest priority of targets. This reflects the fact that, as Sukhankin says, 'Russians don't see Canada as a fully independent political actor'. To be frank, we're not high on Russia's information war hitlist. The Russian government doesn't care that much about us, and it cares even less about our internal politics. Consequently, says Sukhankin, while the Russian media and social media do publish anti-Canadian stories, the point of them isn't to 'meddle' in Canadian internal affairs. Rather, he says, in what to me is the most crucial statement in his report:

Russia's anti-Canadian propaganda, which still plays a marginal part compared to other theatres, is primarily tailored for domestic Russian consumption – it is not designed for a Canadian audience. [my underlining]

Here, therefore, we run into a huge problem. We're told to fear the genuine 'peril' of Russian disinformation, and Russian 'meddling' in Canada's election, but we're also told that Russia doesn't actually care very much about Canadian internal affairs and that in any case Russian disinformation isn't targeted at Canadians. It seems to me that you can't have it both ways. If it's not targeted at Canadians, then it doesn't constitute meddling, interference, or anything else of the sort. The logical conclusion of Sukhankin's analysis is that we should calm down a little and stop worrying so much.

That, however, would not fit with the current zeitgeist . Although his logic points him in one direction, Sukhankin apparently feels a desperate need to nonetheless throw in something about the dangers of Russian interference in Canadian internal affairs. So all of a sudden, completely out of the blue, and unconnected with anything else, in his final paragraph he suddenly throws in a quotation from the head of that most neutral of trustworthy academic sources, the head of the Ukrainian Canadian Congress Alexandra Chiczij, saying that, 'The Kramlin's propaganda machine will increasingly target our country with anti-Canadian fabrications in an attempt to sow discord, conflict, and to undermine our democratic institutions.' Sukhankin then adds that this might happen 'during the 2019 Canadian federal election.' No evidence to support this claim – which is entirely at odds which everything which preceded it – is produced. Why would Russia suddenly become so interested in Canadian internal affairs? Sukhankin thinks he has an answer, 'from this author's point of view, Moscow's next theme could be the Arctic', he says. But since this is his last paragraph, he doesn't have time to develop this thought. As I said, it just comes out of the blue.

It's also rather odd. As I said earlier, it's not at all clear why interfering in Canada's election (exactly how, Sukhankin never makes clear) would promote Russia's interests in the Arctic. But more than that it ignores the nature of Russian-Canadian Arctic politics. In my conversations with both Canadian and Russian officials, the Arctic is always mentioned as a zone of cooperation rather than competition. In an era when Canadian and Russian diplomats barely talk to each other, the Arctic is the one subject they both think it's actually possible to discuss in a constructive manner. Conversations about how to improve Canada-Russia relations generally take the form of something like, 'Let's not aim too high. Let's just take little steps, and focus on areas where agreement is possible, especially the Arctic'. To pick on the Arctic as the subject likely to provoke Russia (for purposes unknown) to 'meddle' in Canada's oncoming election (by means and to effect unknown) seems to me to completely misread the situation.

In short, what we have here is a report which tells us that Canada doesn't matter much to Russians, and that to date Russians have shown little or no interest in targeting Canadian public opinion, let alone interfering in Canadian politics, and yet which nonetheless concludes that we face the 'peril' of Moscow 'potentially even meddling in the October 2019 federal election'. I don't know about you, but that doesn't make any sense to me.

  1. Mitleser says: September 10, 2019 at 3:00 pm "4. Canada as a testing ground for the practical implementation of immoral Western values.'"

    Reminds me of one of the comments to an another article of yours.

    " Canada has generally been the test case for new features of this "western universalism," and, as a peripheral resource-based economy tightly tied into globalized value-chains, we have often been intellectually colonized by liberal-internationalist views (for good and ill). Unlike Russia, as we are small in population and sit next to the US, we have rarely had the capacity (or the will) to resist US-led "universalism," but our analysis when we have tried has been much the same as Remizov's ."
    https://irrussianality.wordpress.com/2017/11/02/interview-with-mikhail-remizov/#comment-6953

    Like Like Reply

  2. Mao Cheng Ji says: September 10, 2019 at 3:46 pm "in order to confuse and disorientate us"

    May I ask: do you, Canadians, typically say " disorientate ", in the British manner? Or was it your British identity speaking?

    Anyhow. I envy the hack who thought of "sow discord". I love it. It's so biblical: "he that soweth discord among brethren."

    Clearly, it could only be SATAN.

  1. dewittbourchier says: September 10, 2019 at 4:13 pm We should not be surprised at how febrile things are.

    https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2019/01/the-real-story-behind-the-havana-embassy-mystery

    Quite literally US diplomats in Cuba, and with them many US policymakers and journalistic organisations descended into mass hysteria about Cicadas.

  1. Alex Kramer says: September 10, 2019 at 6:35 pm Makes sense to me as both Canadian academia and media are full of dipshit Russophobes.
  1. Karl Kolchak says: September 10, 2019 at 8:22 pm If Russia wants the weakest possible Canada, wouldn't it be in their interests to see a feckless little poodle like Trudeau remain as PM?
  1. Lyttenburgh says: September 11, 2019 at 5:21 am "We vote for one party which is 100% anti-Russian rather than for another party which is 100% anti-Russian? Is that the point? Because here in Canada, that's basically the choice on offer [A]t the end of the day we're still going to end up electing somebody determined to prove that he or she is more anti-Russian that the next guy or girl. "

    [WARNING/ATTENTION/УВАГА!]

    This is very lowbrow, but relevant

    Now, on a more serious note – about propacondom Sergey Sukhankin (formerly from Kaliningrad oblast, RF).

    He's one of those "professional victims of the Putinist Regime", that "miraculously" escaped our Northern Mordor, and now spends ink, bytes and bodily fluids in a ceaseless struggle with the Dark Overlord. "Russian interference" is both his idea fix and bread and butter. E.g., check out his logorrhea on "Russian trace" in Catalonia's referendum (published by his sponsors in Jamestown foundation AKA CIA). There are many stock accusations, about RT, "pro-Kremline profiles" in FB and Twitter, and, the horror of horrors, the fact that the Immortal Regiment now dares to happen on the sacred soil of the country, which dispatched the Blue Division to the Abode of all Evil. He admits, that to proof the fact that the "Russian meddling" was the cause of what transpired in Catalonia (uh, you remember what happened back then, right?) is difficult, but what is without doubt, is that it benefits Kremlin and the Terrible Russkiy Mir.

    Sukhankin is also an active participant in the anti-Russian propaganda efforts of the European Council on Foreign Relations (ECFR), where he regularly rubs shoulders and tries to imitate another well known "researcher" and expert on Russian maskirovka, dezinformatsiya and active measures, Russophobic fantasy and sci-fi author Mark Galeotti.

    1. archie1954 says: September 17, 2019 at 3:57 pm For Heaven's sake, the worst country for meddling in other nations' internal affairs is the US, by far! With respect to the Arctic, both Canada and Russia signed the Treaty of the Sea, under which various challenges to ownership of the seabed are settled by the terms of the treaty. The US, of course didn't sign it. Why would they when they sincerely believe that their impressive military can just grab whatever pieces of the Arctic they want.

      As a matter of fact, the US wants to separate Canada right across the middle by designating the waterway between the mainland and the Arctic Islands as an international one. It is the US which is meddling in Canada's internal affairs, not Russia!

      Like Like Reply

  1. Patrick Armstrong says: September 11, 2019 at 7:35 am The guys just trying to get a job by saying what the Boss wants to hear.
  1. Josh says: September 11, 2019 at 8:45 am It always baffles me how, usually motivated by an American Russophobe, the Arctic gets used or abused for this polemic. As you correctly point out, the Arctic council is an example of multipolar peaceful talks. In addition, we forget that when we look at the Arctic sea routes opening up, that it is primarily the NEP – the route along Russia and in Russian waters – is the one more navigable. Yet even to keep that one open for the small amount of time per year, Russia has a lot of maintenance to do with expensive ice breakers. It follows quite logically that Russia puts a lot of effort and money into this; and the regimented discipline of the army is the better and cheaper option for the safety and rescue services.

    If Canada wanted to do the same thing in the NWP, not only is this route much more treacherous, iced up and difficult, the investment would be higher than that which Russia is making, while global warming will only help this passage marginally.

    All this to say that the sea routes are the most talked about issues here; mineral, oil and other deposits along the continental shelves are dealt with rigourously and with full support from all sides through the UN. The only small conflict is the disputed island between Canada and the US.

[Sep 17, 2019] Russia Absolutely Pwn3d The FBI During Obama Years Report

Sep 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Transmedia001 , 8 minutes ago link

Another media spin in preparation of the public proof that the Steale dossier and Russia Gate was a soft coup and media hoax. Articles like this allow the traitors to argue that they didn't know it was fake or that certain assets were not Russian because the Russians were several steps ahead manipulating the situation using FBI hacked coms.

Time to start setting fire to every MSM outlet and making s'mores as we watch it all burn.

Koba the Dread , 21 minutes ago link

What a terrible typographical error. Somehow the word "Russian" was inserted in this text when the word "Israeli" was supposed to be used. Hey, typographers, pay more attention.

MaxThrust , 25 minutes ago link

"The technical break-through allowed Russian spies in American cities, key insights into how FBI surveillance teams were operating. "

The Russians learned how the FBI goes about lying to cover up for it's actions. How "False Flag" operations are coordinated and how entrapment schemes are run.

NiggaPleeze , 31 minutes ago link

We didn't understand that they were at political war with us already in the second term

Spying is not political war, moron. But fact is the Evil Empire never stopped its war against Russia - under Yeltsin they just moved it inside the country with their *** oligarch traitors, getting Russia to dismantle its industry, etc.

beemasters , 47 minutes ago link

According to a report this week, Israel has been spying on the White House. While that news itself isn't shocking, the Trump administration's response – or lack thereof – has taken many in DC by surprise.

But, unlike past administrations, the Trump team has not taken any action against surveillance by one of its closest allies, and spying on US soil has had no real consequences for Israel, American officials said.

Israeli spying is not new – but the Trump administration's response is

https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/israel-trump-spy-white-house-netanyahu-surveillance-a9104776.html

They are now voting for the next POTUS in Israhell, as we speak. Will it be Netanyahu again?

Neochrome , 52 minutes ago link

We didn't understand that they were at political war with us

Is that why US was (is) spying on Merkel?

youshallnotkill , 54 minutes ago link

Russia Absolutely Pwn3d The FBI During Obama Years

And this headline makes abundantly clear which side the Tylers cheer for.

(Not that there was any doubt about it).

Joiningupthedots , 1 hour ago link

So the FBI wants more money for "integrated" communications or something?

This **** is not dissimilar to the CIA/MI6 pet rock trasmitters in the Moscow parks.

Spy agencies spy on each other....its their job LOL

Heroic Couplet , 1 hour ago link

"Shortly before the Obama administration approved a deal granting Russia 20% of America's uranium," LInk? If Russia mines uranium in the Western Hemisphere, it cannot export it. See Forbes Magazine, 13Dec2018, the article debunking Hillary-Uranium One.

booboo , 1 hour ago link

All roads lead to that neocon infested festering cesspool of anti American shitlips called the State Department. With friends like that who needs "the Russians"

truthalwayswinsout , 1 hour ago link

How can you believe this?

If the Russians did crack certain communications and the US knew it, they would use that to really screw the Russians and let them think they had us by the balls.

And they certainly would no be admitting any of it in an article.

Totally_Disillusioned , 1 hour ago link

And all the while the FBI / DOJ was running cover for the Clintonn Foundation and the Clintons, Debbie Wasserman-Schultz and the Awan brothers and surveilling American citizens with help of contractors. NOT ONE FBI whistle blower came forward...

I have been asking "Why?" At first I thought perhaps the threats to self/family may be the reason, but I'm now convinced THEY WERE ALL IN ON THE CORRUPTION. This agency is totally and thoroughly corrupt and beyond redemption. This is why Wray continues to carry water for the corrupt FBI leadership. Time to completely dismantle and re-engineer into the US Marshalls office.

[Sep 16, 2019] Manhattan DA Subpoenas 8 Years Of Trump Tax Returns

Looks like very polarized decision: to friends everything, to enemies the law. And treatment by NY of Epstein and Harvey Weinstein supports this hypothesis.
Sep 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Manhattan DA Subpoenas 8 Years Of Trump Tax Returns

by Tyler Durden Mon, 09/16/2019 - 16:45 0 SHARES

It never ends.

New York state prosecutors in Manhattan have subpoenaed President Trump's accounting firm, Mazars USA, demanding eight years of his personal and corporate tax returns according to the New York Times , citing "several people with knowledge on the matter" - the gold standard in modern sources.

The subpoena was issued by the Manhattan DA's office last month following the launch of a criminal investigation into hush-money payments made to porn star Stormy Daniels (real name Stephanie Clifford) by former Trump attorney Michael Cohen - who pleaded guilty last year to eight charges; seven of which were unrelated to the Trump campaign, and one for breaking federal campaign finance laws. He is currently serving a three-year prison sentence.

At issue - Democratic Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance Jr. (whose daddy was Jimmy Carter's Secretary of State - and who took money from Harvey Weinstein while declining to prosecute him for sexual assault - and who sought a reduced sex-offender status for Jeffrey Epstein) wants to see if Trump's reimbursement of Cohen violated any laws in New York , and whether Trump's accounting firm falsely accounted for the reimbursements as a legal expense.

In New York, filing a false business record can be a crime.

But it becomes a felony only if prosecutors can prove that the false filing was made to commit or conceal another crime, such as tax violations or bank fraud. The tax returns and other documents sought from Mazars could shed light on whether any state laws were broken . Such subpoenas also routinely request related documents in connection with the returns. - New York Times

Congressional Democrats have been hunting down Trump's tax returns for years after the billionaire refused to do so, citing an ongoing IRS audit as well as the position that Trump Organization competitors would then have access to industry secrets.

Congressional Democrats have taken an aggressive approach, subpoenaing six years of Mr. Trump's tax returns from the Treasury Department, as well as personal and corporate financial records from Deutsche Bank, Capital One and Mazars USA.

The president has fought back to keep his finances under wraps, challenging the subpoenas in federal court. He has also sued to block a New York state law, passed this year, that authorized state officials to provide his state tax returns in response to certain congressional inquiries. By tying up the requests in court, Mr. Trump's team has made it diminishingly likely that Democrats in Washington will get the chance to review them before the election next year . - New York Times

And while Trump and the Treasury Department have proven thus far successful in thwarting Democratic lawmakers' inquiries, it may not be as easy to fend off a subpoena in Manhattan .

According to Mazars, they will "will respect the legal process and fully comply with its legal obligations," adding that the company was legally prohibited from commenting on its work.

If the Manhattan DA is able to obtain Trump's tax returns, the Times notes that "the documents would be covered by secrecy rules governing grand juries, meaning they would not become public unless they were used as evidence in a criminal case."

The Times does not note, however, that the records would likely be leaked within 30 minutes to the Washington Post or similar.

State prosecutors also subpoenaed the Trump Organization in early August for records of the payments to Daniels and Cohen's reimbursement - a request which has been complied with according to the report.

"It's just harassment of the president, his family and his business, using subpoenas as weapons," said Trump Org attorney, Marc L. Mukasey in a statement last month.

As part of its investigation, prosecutors from Mr. Vance's office visited Mr. Cohen in prison in Otisville, N.Y., to seek assistance with their investigation, according to people briefed on the meeting, which was first reported by CNN.

Mr. Cohen also helped arrange for American Media Inc., the publisher of The National Enquirer, to pay Karen McDougal, a Playboy model who also said she had an affair with the president. Prosecutors in the district attorney's office subpoenaed American Media in early August, as well as at least one bank. - New York Times

Will the Democrats' gambit pay off? Or will the ongoing "witch hunts" into President Trump backfire and turn him into a martyr?


Tachyon5321 , 43 minutes ago link

There is no evidence that any crimes of any type has been committed.

There is no legal grounds for a subpoena to be issued without evidence that a crime has been committed.

Cearly, the Manhattan DA is violating the civil right of a citizen for asking for 8 years of tax records with no indication of a crime. Trump should sue the DA and the jutice department should look into the DA violation of due process and legal rights of a citizen.

rgraf , 53 minutes ago link

Has he subpoenaed Epstein's docs? Is he going to claim tax fraud is worse than child molestation? Why don't Trump supporters file a class action lawsuit and RICO against this clown?

William Dorritt , 3 hours ago link

Perfect

"Democratic Manhattan D.A. Cyrus R. Vance Jr.

wants to see if Trump's reimbursement of Cohen violated any laws in New York , and whether Trump's accounting firm falsely accounted for the reimbursements as a legal expense. "

Love to see the Bio on the Judge that approved the Subpeona

DBAustin , 3 hours ago link

How many people reading this think that the IRS never reviewed Trump's tax returns?

How many people reading this think that Obama's IRS did NOT make a special effort to go over Trump's taxes in great detail, even as Obama's FBI and DOJ spied on Trump and his campaign?

How many people reading this think that Obama's IRS would NOT have charged Trump with tax evasion even if they could have?

How many people reading this think that making Trump's tax return public is NOT an effort to twist, distort, and misinterpret complex tax returns in an attempt to make Trump look bad as bad as possible for taking legitimate, legal, but large tax deductions?

How many people reading this think that it is perfectly fine for democrat leaders, such as Pelosi, Schumer, and multimillionaire Maxine Waters NOT to have to release their tax returns while Trump has to release his?

beemasters , 4 hours ago link

Why did Weinstein and Epstein get such special treatment?

Both did get the same treatment- in escaping from justice. Oh, you mean not producing tax returns? No one is demanding them, for one plus they are not public servants. All government officials should submit their tax returns to ensure they are not compromised by those who have access to them.

[Sep 15, 2019] Trump's new world disorder: competitive, chaotic, conflicted by

The key to understanding the c
The collapse of neoliberalism naturally lead to the collapse of the US influence over the globe. and to the treats to the dollar as the world reserve currency. That's why the US foreign policy became so aggressive and violent. Neocons want to fight for the world hegemony to the last American.
Notable quotes:
"... US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational ..."
"... Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel. ..."
"... Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. ..."
"... The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched. ..."
"... driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university. ..."
"... "The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy." ..."
"... This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible. ..."
"... The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along. ..."
"... With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely. ..."
"... "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", ..."
Sep 14, 2019 | www.theguardian.com

With John Bolton dismissed, Taliban peace talks a fiasco and a trade war with China, US foreign policy is ever more unstable and confrontational

It was by all accounts, a furious row. Donald Trump was talking about relaxing sanctions on Iran and holding a summit with its president, Hassan Rouhani, at this month's UN general assembly in New York. John Bolton, his hawkish national security adviser, was dead against it and forcefully rejected Trump's ideas during a tense meeting in the Oval Office on Monday.

...Bolton's brutal defenestration has raised hopes that Trump, who worries that voters may view him as a warmonger, may begin to moderate some of his more confrontational international policies. As the 2020 election looms, he is desperate for a big foreign policy peace-making success. And, in Trump world, winning matters more than ideology, principles or personnel.

The US president is now saying he is also open to a repeat meeting with North Korea's leader, Kim Jong-un, to reboot stalled nuclear disarmament talks. On another front, he has offered an olive branch to China, delaying a planned tariff increase on $250bn of Chinese goods pending renewed trade negotiations next month. Meanwhile, he says, new tariffs on European car imports could be dropped, too.

Is a genuine dove-ish shift under way? It seems improbable. Since taking office in January 2017, Trump has not merely broken with diplomatic and geopolitical convention. He has taken a wrecking ball to venerated alliances, multilateral cooperation and the postwar international rules-based order. He has cosied up to autocrats, attacked old friends and blundered into sensitive conflicts he does not fully comprehend.

The resulting new world disorder – to adapt George HW Bush's famous 1991 phrase – will be hard to put right. Like its creator, Trump world is unstable, unpredictable and threatening. Trump has been called America's first rogue president. Whether or not he wins a second term, this Trumpian era of epic disruption, the very worst form of American exceptionalism, is already deeply entrenched.

The suggestion that Trump will make nice and back off as election time nears thus elicits considerable scepticism. US analysts and commentators say the president's erratic, impulsive and egotistic personality means any shift towards conciliation may be short-lived and could quickly be reversed, Bolton or no Bolton.

Trump wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal in Afghanistan with the Taliban, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute

Trump is notorious for blowing hot and cold, performing policy zigzags and suddenly changing his mind. "Regardless of who has advised Mr Trump on foreign affairs all have proved powerless before [his] zest for chaos," the New York Times noted last week .

Lacking experienced diplomatic and military advisers (he has sacked most of the good ones), surrounded by an inner circle of cynical sycophants such as secretary of state Mike Pompeo, and driven by a chronic desire for re-election, Trump's behaviour could become more, not less, confrontational during his remaining time in office, suggested Eliot Cohen, professor of strategic studies at Johns Hopkins university.

"The president has proved himself to be what many critics have long accused him of being: belligerent, bullying, impatient, irresponsible, intellectually lazy, short-tempered and self-obsessed," Cohen wrote in Foreign Affairs journal . "Remarkably, however, those shortcomings have not yet translated into obvious disaster. But [that] should not distract from a building crisis of US foreign policy."

This pending crisis stems from Trump's crudely Manichaean division of the world into two camps: adversaries/competitors and supporters/customers. A man with few close confidants, Trump has real trouble distinguishing between allies and enemies, friends and foes, and often confuses the two. In Trump world, old rules don't apply. Alliances are optional. Loyalty is weakness. And trust is fungible.

As a result, the US today finds itself at odds with much of the world to an unprecedented and dangerous degree. America, the postwar global saviour, has been widely recast as villain. Nor is this a passing phase. Trump seems to have permanently changed the way the US views the world and vice versa. Whatever follows, it will never be quite the same again.

Clues as to what he does next may be found in what he has done so far. His is a truly calamitous record, as exemplified by Afghanistan. Having vowed in 2016 to end America's longest war, he began with a troop surge, lost interest and sued for peace. A withdrawal deal proved elusive. Meanwhile, US-led forces inflicted record civilian casualties .

Facebook Twitter Pinterest The US and Israeli flags are projected on the walls of Jerusalem's Old City in May, marking the anniversary of the US embassy transfer from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem. Photograph: Ahmad Gharabli/Getty

The crunch came last weekend when a bizarre, secret summit with Taliban chiefs at Camp David was cancelled . It was classic Trump. He wanted quick 'n' easy, primetime credit for a dramatic peace deal, pushed ahead blindly, then changed his mind at the last minute. Furious over a debacle of his own making, he turned his wrath on others, notably Bolton – who, ironically, had opposed the summit all along.

All sides are now vowing to step up the violence, with the insurgents aiming to disrupt this month's presidential election in Afghanistan. In short, Trump's self-glorifying Afghan reality show, of which he was the Nobel-winning star, has made matters worse. Much the same is true of his North Korea summitry, where expectations were raised, then dashed when he got cold feet in Hanoi , provoking a backlash from Pyongyang.

The current crisis over Iran's nuclear programme is almost entirely of Trump's making, sparked by his decision last year to renege on the 2015 UN-endorsed deal with Tehran. His subsequent "maximum pressure" campaign of punitive sanctions has failed to cow Iranians while alienating European allies. And it has led Iran to resume banned nuclear activities – a seriously counterproductive, entirely predictable outcome.

Trump's unconditional, unthinking support for Benjamin Netanyahu, Israel's aggressively rightwing prime minister – including tacit US backing for his proposed annexation of swathes of the occupied territories – is pushing the Palestinians back to the brink, energising Hamas and Hezbollah, and raising tensions across the region .

With Trump's blessing, Israel is enmeshed in escalating, multi-fronted armed confrontation with Iran and its allies in Iraq, Lebanon and Syria. Add to this recent violence in the Gulf, the disastrous Trump-backed, Saudi-led war in Yemen, mayhem in Syria's Idlib province, border friction with Turkey, and Islamic State resurgence in northern Iraq, and a region-wide explosion looks ever more likely.

The bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived

Stephen Wertheim, historian

Yet Trump, oblivious to the point of recklessness, remains determined to unveil his absurdly unbalanced Israel-Palestine "deal of the century" after Tuesday's Israeli elections. He and his gormless son-in-law, Jared Kushner, may be the only people who don't realise their plan has a shorter life expectancy than a snowball on a hot day in Gaza.

... ... ...

...he is consistently out of line, out on his own – and out of control. This, broadly, is Trump world as it has come to exist since January 2017. And this, in a nutshell, is the intensifying foreign policy crisis of which Professor Cohen warned. The days when responsible, trustworthy, principled US international leadership could be taken for granted are gone. No vague change of tone on North Korea or Iran will by itself halt the Trump-led slide into expanding global conflict and division.

Historians such as Stephen Wertheim say change had to come. US politicians of left and right mostly agreed that "the bipartisan consensus forged in the 1990s – in which the US towered over the world and, at low cost, sought to remake it in America's image – has failed and cannot be revived", Wertheim wrote earlier this year . "But agreement ends there " he continued: "One camp holds that the US erred by coddling China and Russia, and urges a new competition against these great power rivals. The other camp, which says the US has been too belligerent and ambitious around the world, counsels restraint, not another crusade against grand enemies."

This debate among grownups over America's future place in the world will form part of next year's election contest. But before any fundamental change of direction can occur, the international community – and the US itself – must first survive another 16 months of Trump world and the wayward child-president's poll-fixated, ego-driven destructive tendencies.

Survival is not guaranteed. The immediate choice facing US friends and foes alike is stark and urgent: ignore, bypass and marginalise Trump – or actively, openly, resist him.

Here are some of the key flashpoints around the globe

United Nations

Trump is deeply hostile to the UN. It embodies the multilateralist, globalist policy approaches he most abhors – because they supposedly infringe America's sovereignty and inhibit its freedom of action. Under him, self-interested US behaviour has undermined the authority of the UN security council's authority. The US has rejected a series of international treaties and agreements, including the Paris climate change accord and the Iran nuclear deal. The UN-backed international criminal court is beyond the pale. Trump's attitude fits with his "America First" isolationism, which questions traditional ideas about America's essential global leadership role.

Germany

Trump rarely misses a chance to bash Germany, perhaps because it is Europe's most successful economy and represents the EU, which he detests. He is obsessed by German car imports, on which protectionist US tariffs will be levied this autumn. He accuses Berlin – and Europe– of piggy-backing on America by failing to pay its fair share of Nato defence costs. Special venom is reserved for Germany's chancellor, Angela Merkel, most likely because she is a woman who stands up to him . Trump recently insulted another female European leader, Denmark's Mette Frederiksen, after she refused to sell him Greenland .

Israel

Trump has made a great show of unconditional friendship towards Israel and its rightwing prime minister, Benjamin Netanyahu, who has skilfully maximised his White House influence. But by moving the US embassy to Jerusalem, officially condoning Israel's annexation of the Golan Heights, and withdrawing funding and other support from the Palestinians, the president has abandoned the long-standing US policy of playing honest broker in the peace process. Trump has also tried to exploit antisemitism for political advantage, accusing US Democrat Jews who oppose Netanyahu's policies of "disloyalty" to Israel.

... ... ...

[Sep 15, 2019] Demythologizing the Roots of the New Cold War by Ted Snider

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Like the Cold War, the new cold war was triggered by an American lie. It was a lie so duplicitous, so all encompassing, that it would lead many Russians to see the agreement that ended the cold war as a devastating and humiliating deception that was really intended to clear the way for the US to surround and finally defeat the Soviet Union. It was a lie that tilled the soil for all future "Russian aggression." ..."
"... That key promise made to Gorbachev was shattered, first by President Clinton and then subsequently supported by every American President: NATO engulfed Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, most recently, Montenegro. ..."
"... When Clinton decided to break Bush's promise and betray Russia, George Kennen, father of the containment policy, warned that NATO expansion would be "the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-cold-war era." "Such a decision," he prophesied, "may be expected to . . . restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations . . .." ..."
"... As Matlock explains, the urgent transition allowed "privileged insiders[to] join the criminals who had been running a black market [and to] steal what they could, as fast as they could." The sudden, uncompromising transition imposed on Russia by the United States enabled, according to Cohen, "a small group of Kremlin-connected oligarchs to plunder Russia's richest assets and abet the plunging of some two-thirds of its people into poverty and misery." ..."
"... The rape of Russia was funded, overseen and ordered by the United States and handed over by President George H.W. Bush to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of their advice, Matlock says generously, "was not only useless, but sometimes actually damaging." ..."
"... The economic policies wrestled onto Russia by the US and the transition experts and international development experts it funded and sent over led to, what Cohen calls, "the near ruination of Russia." Russia's reward for ending the Cold War and joining the Western economic community was, in Cohen's words, "the worst economic depression in peacetime, the disintegration of the highly professionalized Soviet middle class, mass poverty, plunging life expectancy [for men, it had fallen below sixty], the fostering of an oligarchic financial elite, the plundering of Russia's wealth, and more." ..."
"... By the time Putin came to power in 2000, Cohen says, "some 75% of Russians were living in poverty." 75%! Millions and millions of Russian lives were destroyed by the American welcoming of Russia into the global economic community. ..."
"... But before Putin came to power, there was more Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a necessity for Clinton and the United States because Yeltsin was the pliable puppet who would continue to enforce the cruel economic transition. But to continue the interference in, and betrayal of, the Russian people economically, it would now be necessary to interfere in and betray the Russian democracy. ..."
"... Intoxicated with American support, Yeltsin dissolved the parliament that had rescinded his powers and abolished the constitution of which he was in violation. In a 636-2 vote, the Russian parliament impeached Yeltsin. But, President Clinton again sided with Yeltsin against the Russian people and the Russian law, backed him and gave him $2.5 billion in aid. Clinton was blocking the Russian people's choice of leaders. ..."
"... "Funded by the US government," Cohen reports, Americans "gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers, drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996." ..."
"... Asserting its right as the unipolar victor of a Cold War it never won, betraying the central promise of the negotiated end of the cold war by engulfing Russia's neighbors, arming those nations against its written and signed word and stealing all Russian hope in capitalism and democracy by kidnapping and torturing Russian capitalism and democracy, the roots of the new cold war were not planted by Russian lies and aggression, as the doctrinal Western version teaches, but by the American lies and aggression that the fact checked, demythologized version of history reveals. ..."
Sep 09, 2019 | original.antiwar.com

When Soviet president Mikhail Gorbachev received his peace prize in 1990, the Nobel Prize committee declared that "the two mighty power blocs, have managed to abandon their life-threatening confrontation" and confidently expressed that "It is our hope that we are now celebrating the end of the Cold War." Recently, U.N. General Secretary António Guterres funereally closed the celebrations with the realization that "The Cold War is back."

In a very short span of history, the window that had finally opened for Russia and the United States to build a new international system in which they work cooperatively to address areas of common interest had slammed back closed. How was that historic opportunity wasted? Why was the road from the Nobel committee's hope to the UN's eulogy such a short one?

The doctrinal narrative that is told in the U.S. is the narrative of a very short road whose every turn was signposted by Russian lies, betrayal, deception and aggression. The American telling of history is a tale in which every blow to the new peace was a Russian blow. The fact checked version offers a demythologized history that is unrecognizably different. The demythologized version is also a history of lies, betrayal, deception and aggression, but the liar, the aggressor, is not primarily Russia, but America. It is the history of a promise so historically broken that it laid the foundation of a new cold war.

But it was not the first promise the United States broke: it was not even the first promise they broke in the new cold war.

The Hot War

Most histories of the cold war begin at the dawn of the post World War II period. But the history of U.S-U.S.S.R. animosity starts long before that: it starts as soon as possible, and it was hot long before it turned cold.

The label "Red Scare" first appeared, not in the 1940s or 50s, but in 1919. Though it is a chapter seldom included in the history of American-Russian relations, America actively and aggressively intervened in the Russian civil war in an attempt to push the Communists back down. The United States cooperated with anti-Bolshevik forces: by mid 1918, President Woodrow Wilson had sent 13,000 American troops to Soviet soil. They would remain there for two years, killing and injuring thousands. Russian Premier Nikita Khrushchev would later remind America of "the time you sent your troops to quell the revolution." Churchill would record for history the admission that the West "shot Soviet Russians on sight," that they were "invaders on Russian soil," that "[t]hey armed the enemies of the Soviet government," that "[t]hey blockaded its ports, and sunk its battleships. They earnestly desired and schemed for its downfall."

When the cause was lost, and the Bolsheviks secured power, most western countries refused to recognize the communist government. However, realism prevailed, and within a few short years, by the mid 1920s, most countries had recognized the communist government and restored diplomatic relations. All but the US It was not until several years later that Franklin D. Roosevelt finally recognized the Soviet government in 1933.

The Cold War

It would be a very short time before the diplomatic relations that followed the hot war would be followed by a cold war. It might even be possible to pin the beginning of the cold war down to a specific date. On April 22 and 23, President Truman told Soviet foreign minister Vyacheslav Molotov to "Carry out his agreement" and establish a new, free, independent government in Poland as promised at Yalta. Molotov was stunned. He was stunned because it was not he that was breaking the agreement because that was not what Roosevelt, Churchill and Stalin had agreed to at Yalta. The final wording of the Yalta agreement never mentioned replacing Soviet control of Poland.

The agreement that Roosevelt revealed to congress and shared with the world – the one that still dominates the textbook accounts and the media stories – is not the one he secretly shook on with Stalin. Roosevelt lied to congress and the American people. Then he lied to Stalin.

In exchange for Soviet support for the creation of the United Nations, Roosevelt secretly agreed to Soviet predominance in Poland and Eastern Europe. The cold war story that the Soviet Union marched into Eastern Europe and stole it for itself is a lie: Roosevelt handed it to them.

So did Churchill. If Roosevelt's motivation was getting the UN, Churchill's was getting Greece. Fearing that the Soviet Union would invade India and the oil fields of Iran, Churchill saw Greece as the geographical roadblock and determined to hold on to it at all cost. The cost, it turned out, was Romania. Churchill would give Stalin Romania to protect his borders; Stalin would give Churchill Greece to protect his empire's borders. The deal was sealed on October 9, 1944.

Churchill says that in their secret meeting, he asked Stalin, "how would it do for you to have ninety percent predominance in Romania, for us to have ninety percent predominance in Greece? . . ." He then went on to offer a fifty-fifty power split in in Yugoslavia and Hungary and to offer the Soviets seventy-five percent control of Bulgaria. The exact conversation may never have happened, according to the political record, but Churchill's account captures the spirit and certainly captures the secret agreement.

Contrary to the official narrative, Stalin never betrayed the west and stole Eastern Europe: Poland, Romania and the rest were given to him in secret. Then Roosevelt lied to congress and to the world.

That American lie raised the curtain on the cold war.

The New Cold War

Like the Cold War, the new cold war was triggered by an American lie. It was a lie so duplicitous, so all encompassing, that it would lead many Russians to see the agreement that ended the cold war as a devastating and humiliating deception that was really intended to clear the way for the US to surround and finally defeat the Soviet Union. It was a lie that tilled the soil for all future "Russian aggression."

At the close of the cold war, at a meeting held on February 9, 1990, George H.W. Bush's Secretary of State, James Baker, promised Gorbachev that if NATO got Germany and Russia pulled its troops out of East Germany, NATO would not expand east of Germany and engulf the former Soviet states. Gorbachev records in his memoirs that he agreed to Baker's terms "with the guarantee that NATO jurisdiction or troops would not extend east of the current line." In Super-power Illusions , Jack F. Matlock Jr., who was the American ambassador to Russia at the time and was present at the meeting, confirms Gorbachev's account, saying that it "coincides with my notes of the conversation except that mine indicate that Baker added "not one inch." Matlock adds that Gorbachev was assured that NATO would not move into Eastern Europe as the Warsaw Pact moved out, that "the understanding at Malta [was] that the United States would not 'take advantage' of a Soviet military withdrawal from Eastern Europe." At the February 9 meeting, Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President or I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place."

But the promise was not made just once, and it was not made just by the United States. The promise was made on two consecutive days: first by the Americans and then by West German Chancellor Helmut Kohl. According to West German foreign ministry documents, on February 10, 1990, the day after James Baker's promise, West German Foreign Minister Hans-Dietrich Genscher told his Soviet counterpart Eduard Shevardnadze "'For us . . . one thing is certain: NATO will not expand to the east.' And because the conversation revolved mainly around East Germany, Genscher added explicitly: 'As far as the non-expansion of NATO is concerned, this also applies in general.'"

A few days earlier, on January 31, 1990, Genscher had said in a major speech that there would not be "an expansion of NATO territory to the east, in other words, closer to the borders of the Soviet Union."

Gorbachev says the promise was made not to expand NATO "as much as a thumb's width further to the east." Putin also says mourns the broken promise, asking at a conference in Munich in February 2007, "What happened to the assurances our Western partners made after the dissolution of the Warsaw Pact? Where are those declarations today? No one even remembers them."

Putin went on to remind his audience of the assurances by pointing out that the existence of the NATO promise is not just the perception of him and Gorbachev. It was also the view of the NATO General Secretary at the time: "But I will allow myself to remind this audience what was said. I would like to quote the speech of NATO General Secretary Mr. [Manfred] Woerner in Brussels on 17 May 1990. He said at the time that: 'The fact that we are ready not to place a NATO army outside of German territory gives the Soviet Union a firm security guarantee.' Where are those guarantees?"

Recent scholarship supports the Russian version of the story. Russian expert and Professor of Russian and European Politics at the University of Kent, Richard Sakwa says that "[r]ecent studies demonstrate that the commitment not to enlarge NATO covered the whole former Soviet bloc and not just East Germany." And Stephen Cohen, Professor Emeritus of Politics at Princeton University and of Russian Studies and History at New York University, adds that the National Security Archive has now published the actual documents detailing what Gorbachev was promised. Published on December 12, 2017, the documents finally, and authoritatively, reveal that "The truth, and the promises broken, are much more expansive than previously known: all of the Western powers involved – the US, the UK, France, Germany itself – made the same promise to Gorbachev on multiple occasions and in various emphatic ways."

That key promise made to Gorbachev was shattered, first by President Clinton and then subsequently supported by every American President: NATO engulfed Poland, Hungary and the Czech Republic in 1999; Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Bulgaria, Romania, Slovakia and Slovenia in 2004, Albania and Croatia in 2009 and, most recently, Montenegro.

It was this shattered promise, this primal betrayal, this NATO expansion to Russia's borders that created the conditions and causes of future conflicts and aggressions. When, in 2008, NATO promised Georgia and Ukraine eventual membership, Russia saw the threat of NATO encroaching right to its borders. It is in Georgia and Ukraine that Russia felt it had to draw the line with NATO encroachment into its core sphere of influence. Sakwa says that the war in Georgia was "the first war to stop NATO enlargement; Ukraine was the second." What are often cited as acts of Russian aggression that helped maintain the new cold war are properly understood as acts of Russian defense against US aggression that made a lie out of the promise that ended the Cold War.

When Clinton decided to break Bush's promise and betray Russia, George Kennen, father of the containment policy, warned that NATO expansion would be "the most fateful error of American foreign policy in the entire post-cold-war era." "Such a decision," he prophesied, "may be expected to . . . restore the atmosphere of the cold war in East-West relations . . .."

The broken promise restored the cold war. Though it is the most significant root of the new cold war, it was not the first. There was a prior broken promise, and this time the man who betrayed Russia was President H.W. Bush.

The end of the Cold War resulted from negotiations and not from any sort of military victory. Stephen Cohen says that "Presidents Reagan and George H.W. Bush negotiated with the last Soviet Russian leader, Mikhail Gorbachev, what they said was the end of the Cold War on the shared, expressed premise that it was ending 'with no losers, only winners.'"

The end of the Cold War and the end of the Soviet Union occurred so closely chronologically that it permitted the American mythologizers to conflate them in the public imagination and create the doctrinal history in which the US defeat of the Soviet Union ended the cold war. But the US did not defeat the Soviet Union. Gorbachev brought about what Sakwa calls a "self-willed disintegration of the Soviet bloc." The Soviet Union came to an end, not by external force or pressure, but out of Gorbachev's recognition of the Soviet Union's own self interest. Matlock flatly states that "pressure from governments outside the Soviet Union, whether from America or Europe or anywhere else, had nothing to do with [the Soviet collapse]." "Cohen demythologizes the history by reinstating the chronological order: Gorbachev negotiated the end of the cold war "well before the disintegration of the Soviet Union." The Cold War officially ended well before the end of the Soviet Union with Gorbachev's December 7, 1988 address to the UN

Matlock says that "Gorbachev is right when he says that we all won the Cold War." He says that President Reagan would write in his notes, "Let there be no talk of winners and losers." When Gorbachev compelled the countries of the Warsaw Pact to adopt reforms like his perestroika in the Soviet Union and warmed them that the Soviet army would no longer be there to keep their communist regimes in power, Matlock points out in Superpower Illusions that "Bush assured Gorbachev that the United States would not claim victory if the Eastern Europeans were allowed to replace the Communist regimes that had been imposed on them." Both the reality and the promise were that there was no winner of the Cold War: it was a negotiated peace that was in the interest of both countries.

When in 1992, during his losing re-election campaign, President Bush arrogantly boasted that "We won the Cold War!" he broke his own promise to Gorbachev and helped plant the roots of the new cold war. "In psychological and political terms," Matlock says, "President Bush planted a landmine under the future U.S.-Russian relationship" when he broke his promise and made that claim.

Bush's broken promise had two significant effects. Psychologically, it created the appearance in the Russian psyche that Gorbachev had been tricked by America: it eroded trust in America and in the new peace. Politically, it created in the American psyche the false idea that Russia was a defeated country whose sphere of interest did not need to be considered. Both these perceptions contributed to the new cold war.

Not only was the broken promise of NATO expansion not the first broken American promise, it was also not the last. In 1997, when President Clinton made the decision to expand NATO much more than an inch to the east, he at least signed the Russia-NATO Founding Act , which explicitly promised that as NATO expanded east, there would be no "permanent stationing of substantial combat forces." This obliterated American promise planted the third root of the new cold war.

Since that third promise, NATO has, in the words of Stephen Cohen, built up its "permanent land, sea and air power near Russian territory, along with missile-defense installations." US and NATO weapons and troops have butted right up against Russia's borders, while anti-missile installations have surrounded it, leading to the feeling of betrayal in Russia and the fear of aggression. Among the earliest moves of the Trump administration were the moving of NATO troops into Lithuania, Romania, Bulgaria and nearby Norway.

Mikhail Gorbachev, who offered the West Russia and cooperation in place of the Soviet Union and Cold War, was rewarded with lies, broken promises and betrayal. That was the sowing of the first seeds of the new cold war. The second planting happened during the Yeltsin years that followed. During this stage, the Russian people were betrayed because their hopes for democracy and for an economic system compatible with the West were both destroyed by American intervention.

The goal, Matlock too gently explains, "had to be a shift of the bulk of the economy to private ownership." What transpired was what Naomi Klein called in The Shock Doctrine "one of the greatest crimes committed against a democracy in modern history." The States allowed no gradual transition. Matlock says the "Western experts advised a clean break with the past and a transition to private ownership without delay." But there was no legitimate private capital coming out of the communist system, so there was no private money with which to privatize. So, there was only one place for the money to come. As Matlock explains, the urgent transition allowed "privileged insiders[to] join the criminals who had been running a black market [and to] steal what they could, as fast as they could." The sudden, uncompromising transition imposed on Russia by the United States enabled, according to Cohen, "a small group of Kremlin-connected oligarchs to plunder Russia's richest assets and abet the plunging of some two-thirds of its people into poverty and misery."

The rape of Russia was funded, overseen and ordered by the United States and handed over by President George H.W. Bush to the International Monetary Fund and the World Bank. Much of their advice, Matlock says generously, "was not only useless, but sometimes actually damaging."

Sometimes damaging? In the first year, millions lost their entire life savings. Subsidy cuts meant that many Russians didn't get paid at all. Klein says that by 1992, Russians were consuming 40% less than they were the year before, and one third of them had suddenly sunk below the poverty line. The economic policies wrestled onto Russia by the US and the transition experts and international development experts it funded and sent over led to, what Cohen calls, "the near ruination of Russia." Russia's reward for ending the Cold War and joining the Western economic community was, in Cohen's words, "the worst economic depression in peacetime, the disintegration of the highly professionalized Soviet middle class, mass poverty, plunging life expectancy [for men, it had fallen below sixty], the fostering of an oligarchic financial elite, the plundering of Russia's wealth, and more."

By the time Putin came to power in 2000, Cohen says, "some 75% of Russians were living in poverty." 75%! Millions and millions of Russian lives were destroyed by the American welcoming of Russia into the global economic community.

But before Putin came to power, there was more Boris Yeltsin. Yeltsin was a necessity for Clinton and the United States because Yeltsin was the pliable puppet who would continue to enforce the cruel economic transition. But to continue the interference in, and betrayal of, the Russian people economically, it would now be necessary to interfere in and betray the Russian democracy.

In late 1991, after the fall of the Soviet Union, Boris Yeltsin won a year of special powers from the Russian Parliament: for one year, he was to be, in effect, the dictator of Russia to facilitate the midwifery of the birth of a democratic Russia. In March of 1992, under pressure from the, by now, impoverished, devastated and discontented population, parliament repealed the dictatorial powers it had granted him. Yeltsin responded by declaring a state of emergency, re-bestowing upon himself the repealed dictatorial powers. Russia's Constitutional Court ruled that Yeltsin was acting outside the constitution. But the US sided – against the Russian people and against the Russian Constitutional Court – with Yeltsin.

Intoxicated with American support, Yeltsin dissolved the parliament that had rescinded his powers and abolished the constitution of which he was in violation. In a 636-2 vote, the Russian parliament impeached Yeltsin. But, President Clinton again sided with Yeltsin against the Russian people and the Russian law, backed him and gave him $2.5 billion in aid. Clinton was blocking the Russian people's choice of leaders.

Yeltsin took the money and sent police officers and elite paratroopers to surround the parliament building. Clinton "praised the Russian President has (sic) having done 'quite well' in managing the standoff with the Russian Parliament," as The New York Times reported at the time. Clinton added that he thought "the United States and the free world ought to hang in there" with their support of Yeltsin against his people, their constitution and their courts, and judged Yeltsin to be "on the right side of history."

On the right side of history and armed with machine guns and tanks, in October 1993, Yeltsin's troops opened fire on the crowd of protesters, killing about 100 people before setting the Russian parliament building on fire. By the time the day was over, Yeltsin's troops had killed approximately 500 people and wounded nearly 1,000. Still, Clinton stood with Yeltsin. He provided ludicrous cover for Yeltsin's massacre , claiming that "I don't see that he had any choice . If such a thing happened in the United States, you would have expected me to take tough action against it." Clinton's Secretary of State, Warren Christopher, said that the US supported Yeltsin's suspension of parliament in these "extraordinary times."

In 1996, elections were looming, and America's hegemonic dreams still needed Yeltsin in power. But it wasn't going to happen without help. Yeltsin's popularity was nonexistent, and his approval rating was at about 6%. According to Cohen, Clinton's interference in Russian politics, his "crusade" to "reform Russia," had by now become official policy . And so, America boldly interfered directly in Russian elections . Three American political consultants, receiving "direct assistance from Bill Clinton's White House," secretly ran Yeltsin's reelection campaign. As Time magazine broke the story , "For four months, a group of American political consultants clandestinely participated in guiding Yeltsin's campaign."

"Funded by the US government," Cohen reports, Americans "gave money to favored Russian politicians, instructed ministers, drafted legislation and presidential decrees, underwrote textbooks, and served at Yeltsin's reelection headquarters in 1996."

More incriminating still is that Richard Dresner, one of the three American consultants, maintained a direct line to Clinton's Chief Strategist, Dick Morris. According to reporting by Sean Guillory , in his book, Behind the Oval Office , Morris says that, with Clinton's approval, he received weekly briefings from Dresner that he would give to Clinton. Based on those briefings, Clinton would then provide recommendations to Dresner through Morris.

Then ambassador to Russia, Thomas Pickering, even pressured an opposing candidate to drop out of the election to improve Yeltsin's odds of winning.

The US not only helped run Yeltsin's campaign, they helped pay for it. The US backed a $10.2 billion International Monetary Fund (IMF) loan for Russia, the second-biggest loan the IMF had ever given. The New York Times reported that the loan was "expected to be helpful to President Boris N. Yeltsin in the presidential election in June." The Times explained that the loan was "a vote of confidence" for Yeltsin who "has been lagging well behind in opinion polls" and added that the US Treasury Secretary "welcomed the fund's decision."

Yeltsin won the election by 13%, and Time magazine's cover declared: "Yanks to the rescue: The secret story of how American advisers helped Yeltsin win". Cohen reports that the US ambassador to Russia boasted that "without our leadership we would see a considerably different Russia today." That's a confession of election interference.

Asserting its right as the unipolar victor of a Cold War it never won, betraying the central promise of the negotiated end of the cold war by engulfing Russia's neighbors, arming those nations against its written and signed word and stealing all Russian hope in capitalism and democracy by kidnapping and torturing Russian capitalism and democracy, the roots of the new cold war were not planted by Russian lies and aggression, as the doctrinal Western version teaches, but by the American lies and aggression that the fact checked, demythologized version of history reveals.

Ted Snider writes on analyzing patterns in US foreign policy and history.

[Sep 13, 2019] Something to thank Russians for

Sep 13, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Robert McGregor , September 13, 2019 at 3:43 pm

I'm no fan of Trump, but I would like to see a comparison of the total "US instigated foreign fatalities" for his last 2 & 1/2 years compared with Obama's last 2 & 1/2 years, and what we guess the number would have been under Hillary. I'm sorry, but I think Trump's number would be the lowest. In coming up with an explanation, I like to use the "Reality Show Entertainment Value" theory which many have described. In this case, people like to watch Trump bullshitting and freaking out the establishment, but they really don't like watching dead bodies burn up or be carried away in body bags. That reality is not attractive entertainment, despite the fantasy of it being bankable entertainment when Tarantino flame throws a teenager at the end of "Once Upon a Time in Hollywood."

Obama and Hillary are not "reality TV fans." They are more immersed in their megalomaniac view of themselves as world actors, and will willfully kill a few hundred thousand if they think it advances their misguided objectives.

Jonathan Holland Becnel , September 13, 2019 at 4:07 pm

Whoa there, buddy.

Spoiler alert.

-Tarantino fan :)

P.S. 'It 2' is def one of the best movies of the year. Still need to see Parasite and the Joker.

Punxsutawney , September 13, 2019 at 7:21 pm

Well, the "Liberal" excuse for this is that Putin is controlling him. Well if so, that's one thing to thank the Russians for.

[Sep 13, 2019] Trump the Russian Puppet. A Story That Just Will Not Die -- Strategic Culture

RussiaGate serves several very useful political purposes. First and foremost it supports exorbitant financing of MIC at the expense of everybody else, and as such it will not be abandoned, facts be dammed. In this sense Philip Giraldi is right. BTW intelligence agencies are apart of MIc and they (and first of all Brennan's faction of CIA and FBI (counterintelligence)) are the main force in RussiaGate. US government also was instrumental for the same reasons: for them maintaning EU hostility to Russia and preventing alliance of Russia and Germany is the ancient geopolitical goal, the goal which contributed to flaring two world wars.
But in view of Trump appointment of a war criminal and rabid warmonger Bolton as well as his track record of incompetence and impulsivity one can feel some sympathy to those who try to impeach Trump ;-)
Sep 13, 2019 | www.strategic-culture.org
Philip Giraldi September 12, 2019 © Photo: Wikimedia Certainly, there are many things that President Donald Trump can rightly be criticized for, but it is interesting to note how the media and chattering classes continue to be in the grip of the highly emotional but ultimately irrational "Trump derangement syndrome (TDS)." TDS means that even the most ridiculous claims about Trump behavior can be regurgitated by someone like Jake Tapper or Rachel Maddow without anyone in the media even daring to observe that they are both professional dissemblers of truth who lie regularly to enhance their professional resumes.

There are two persistent bogus narratives about Donald Trump that are, in fact, related. The first is that his campaign and transition teams collaborated with the Russian government to defeat Hillary Clinton. Even Robert Mueller, he of the famous fact-finding commission, had to admit that that was not demonstrable. The only government that succeeded in collaborating with the incoming Trumpsters was that of Israel, but Mueller forgot to mention that or even look into it.

Nevertheless, Russia as a major contributing element in the Trump victory continues to be cited in the mainstream media, seemingly whenever Trump is mentioned, as if it were demonstrated fact. The fact is that whatever Russia did was miniscule and did not in any way alter the outcome of the election. Similarly, allegations that the Kremlin will again be at it in 2020 are essentially baseless fearmongering and are a reflection of the TDS desire to see the president constantly diminished in any way possible.

The other narrative that will not die is the suggestion that Donald Trump is either a Russian spy or is in some other, possibly psychological fashion, controlled by Russian President Vladimir Putin. That spy story was first floated by several former senior CIA officers who were closely tied to the Hillary Clinton campaign, apparently because they believed they would benefit materially if she were elected.

Former CIA Acting Director Michael Morell was the most aggressive promoter of Trump as Russian spy narrative. In August 2016, he wrote a New York Times op-ed entitled "I Ran the CIA. Now I'm endorsing Hillary Clinton." Morell's story began with the flat assertion that "Mrs. Clinton is highly qualified to be commander in chief. I trust she will deliver on the most important duty of a president – keeping our nation safe Donald J. Trump is not only unqualified for the job, but he may well pose a threat to our national security."

In his op-ed, Morell ran through the litany of then GOP candidate Trump's observed personality and character failings while also citing his lack of experience, but he delivered what he thought to be his most crushing blow when he introduced Vladimir Putin into the discussion. Putin, it seems, a wily ex-career intelligence officer, is "trained to identify vulnerabilities in an individual and to exploit them. That is exactly what he did early in the primaries. Mr. Putin played upon Mr. Trump's vulnerabilities In the intelligence business, we would say that Mr. Putin had recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation."

How can one be both unwitting and a recruited agent? Some might roll their eyes at that bit of hyperbole, but Morell, who was a top analyst at the Agency but never acquired or ran an actual spy in his entire career, goes on to explain how Moscow is some kind of eternal enemy. For Morell that meant that Trump's often stated willingness to work with Putin and the nuclear armed state he headed was somehow the act of a Manchurian Candidate, seen by Morell as a Russian interest, not an American one. So much for the presumed insider knowledge that came from the man who "ran the CIA."

The most recent "former intelligence agents'" blast against Trump appeared in the Business Insider last month in an article entitled "US spies say Trump's G7 performance suggests he's either a 'Russian asset' or a 'useful idiot' for Putin." The article cites a number of former government officials, including several from the CIA and FBI, who claimed that Trump's participation at the recent G7 summit in Biarritz France was marked by pandering to Putin and the Kremlin's interests, including a push to re-include Russia in the G-7, from which it was expelled after the annexation of Crimea.

One current anonymous FBI source cited in the article described the Trump performance as a "new low," while a former senior Justice Department official, labeled Trump's behavior as "directly out of the Putin playbook. We have a Russian asset sitting in the Oval Office." An ex-CIA officer speculated that the president's "intent and odd personal fascination with President Putin is worth serious scrutiny," concluding that the evidence is "overwhelming" that Trump is a Russian asset, while other CIA and NSA veterans suggested that Trump might be flattering Putin in exchange for future business concessions in Moscow.

Another recently retired FBI special agent opined that Trump was little more than "useful idiot" for the Russians, though he added that it would not surprise him if there were also Russian spies in Trump's inner circle.

The comments in the article are almost incoherent. They come from carefully selected current and former government employees who suffer from an excess of TDS, or possibly pathological paranoia, and hate the president for various reasons. What they are suggesting is little more than speculation and not one of them was able to cite any actual evidence to support their contentions. And, on the contrary, there is considerable evidence that points the other way. The US-Russia relationship is at its lowest point ever according to some observers and that has all been due to policies promoted by the Trump Administration to include the continuing threats over Crimea, sanctions against numerous Russian officials, abrogation of existing arms treaties, and the expansion of aggressive NATO activity right up to the borders with Russia.

Just this past week, the United States warned Russia against continuing its aerial support for the Syrian Army advance to eliminate the last major terrorist pocket in Idlib province. Once against, Washington is operating on the side of terrorists in Syria and against Russia, a conflict that the United States entered into illegally in the first place. Either Donald Trump acting as "the Russian agent" actually thinks threatening a Moscow that is pursuing its legitimate interests is a good idea or the labeling of the president as a "Putin puppet" or "useful idiot" is seriously misguided.

[Sep 11, 2019] NYT tries to save Russiagate narrative using Smolenkov defection

Sep 11, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

Some former intelligence officials said the president's closed-door meetings with Mr. Putin and other Russian officials , along with Twitter posts about delicate intelligence matters , have sown concern among overseas sources.

"We have a president who, unlike any other president in modern history, is willing to use sensitive, classified intelligence however he sees fit," said Steven L. Hall, a former C.I.A. official who led the agency's Russia operations. "He does it in front of our adversaries. He does it by tweet. We are in uncharted waters."

But the government had indicated that the source existed long before Mr. Trump took office, first in formally accusing Russia of interference in October 2016 and then when intelligence officials declassified parts of their assessment about the interference campaign for public release in January 2017. News agencies, including NBC , began reporting around that time about Mr. Putin's involvement in the election sabotage and on the C.I.A.'s possible sources for the assessment.

The following month, The Washington Post reported that the C.I.A.'s conclusions relied on "sourcing deep inside the Russian government." And The New York Times later published articles disclosing details about the source .

The news reporting in the spring and summer of 2017 convinced United States government officials that they had to update and revive their extraction plan, according to people familiar the matter.

The extraction ensured the informant was in a safer position and rewarded for a long career in service to the United States. But it came at a great cost: It left the C.I.A. struggling to understand what was going on inside the highest ranks of the Kremlin.

The agency has long struggled to recruit sources close to Mr. Putin, a former intelligence officer himself wary of C.I.A. operations. He confides in only a small group of people and has rigorous operational security, eschewing electronic communications.

James R. Clapper Jr., the former director of national intelligence who left office at the end of the Obama administration, said he had no knowledge of the decision to conduct an extraction. But, he said, there was little doubt that revelations about the extraction were "going to make recruiting assets in Russia even more difficult than it already is." Correction : Sept. 10, 2019

An earlier version of this article referred incorrectly to the timing of the initial reporting on the C.I.A.'s 2016 exfiltration offer to a Russian informant. An offer that appears to be the same one that The New York Times described was reported in 2018 in Bob Woodward's book "Fear."

[Sep 11, 2019] We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

OK, lets' assume that neoliberal MSM are not lying. Then why Mueller did not include him in his report? He was already in the USA since June 2017. It is unclear when he was fired by russians.
Also as Smolenkov for a long time lived in the USA he knew very well what the USA wants and could lie with impunity trying to earn more money. In a way similar personality as Skripal.
Is the idea to create the second Skripals-style false poisoning hysteria to help to sustain RussiaGate?
Notable quotes:
"... The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister. ..."
"... My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity. ..."
"... MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up. ..."
"... In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya ..."
"... A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh. ..."
"... We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling. ..."
"... The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016 ..."
"... I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia. ..."
"... Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check. ..."
"... What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA". ..."
"... Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state. ..."
"... And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud! ..."
"... It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories. ..."
"... Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt? ..."
"... We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela? ..."
"... What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning? ..."
"... The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce? ..."
Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org
Smiley , Sep 10 2019 22:54 utc | 34

A point that appears to have missed by several is that an aide to an aide to the foreign minister is not likely to have access to Putin's super-top-secret plans to use a few thousand dollars worth of utube and twit ads to change the course of multi-billion dollar American election, nor would he have access to information that might be used to blackmail a potential foreign leader.

Both would be closely held secrets and apparently way above his pay grade. Often the FM wouldn't know of either, and both operations would be compartmentalized into a close team Putin can trust.

The only way that he's the 'source' of the Steele fiction is if the whole thing was in the style of LeCarre's "The Tailor of Panama" where everyone is lying and inflating what they know and people at the top are paying out good money for this because it suits their little power games. But any Moscow tailor with a couple of important customers would be positioned to run that scam as well as an aide to an aide to a foreign minister.

My personal guess, he made his money by the more typical corruption in Russia, which means he was working for an oligarch. He lost his job, possibly during one of Putin's anti-corruption cleanup campaigns. He decided to move to DC with his oligarch money because he'd served 10 years in the embassy there and he liked the area. He is buying property in his own name because he's not part of any sort of witness/spy protection program and nobody in the USG is setting him up with a fake identity.


karlof1 , Sep 10 2019 23:11 utc | 36

Smiley @33&34--

House likely bought by CIA and annual upkeep--taxes etc.--also paid by them.

MoA's investigators have fairly well established that Skripal was the most likely contributor to the Steele Dossier given the overall web of established connections--that was most certainly an MI-6 operation in league with DNC/HRC officials, not CIA, although CIA was involved in Russiagate Cover-up.

In examining Russia's foreign policy, where were the compromises generated by this alleged spy? Aside from the UNSC vote debacle on Libya, I see nothing but a string of successes, although the Ukraine Coup wasn't debauched. IMO, Outlaw US Empire policy toward Russia has failed spectacularly, and it is within the US government where I'd expect to find well placed spies.

Smiley , Sep 10 2019 23:21 utc | 39
Here's a tough problem for a counter-intelligence agent. Find the source of info for a fictional report.

Normally, after a link, one avenue of investigation would be to check who had access to the leaked information. But, if the report is completely fictional, then there is no list of people who had access to information that didn't exist. Everyone or no one had equal access to the non-existent information.

The Tailor of Moscow had the same access to the non-existent information as did Putin's closest personal aide. Who done it?

willie , Sep 10 2019 23:30 utc | 40
Headline in le Figaro: Ingérence russe :la CIA disposait d'une source haut-placée au Kremlin (Russian collusion: CIA had high placed source at the Kremlin.)

A lot of commentators see the incongruence of this title and make jokes about it. Really,when a superpower becomes a source of jokes and ridicule, than the end might be nigh.

Jackrabbit , Sep 11 2019 0:30 utc | 41
Evidence-free accusations of Russian meddling. Now with extra sauce.

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

We don't really know WHY this spy was extracted. Anyone that believes that Russiagate was deliberately planned as part of the new Cold War is not surprised at yet another attempt to strengthen the nonexistent case for Russian meddling.

GoldmanKropotkin , Sep 11 2019 0:47 utc | 43
The first report in US Press about Putin personally involved was on Dec 14 2016.
Two senior officials with direct access to the information say new intelligence shows that Putin personally directed how hacked material from Democrats was leaked and otherwise used. The intelligence came from diplomatic sources and spies working for U.S. allies, the officials said.

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said.

https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/u-s-officials-putin-personally-involved-u-s-election-hack-n696146

Notice the source is spies working for US Allies. Remember that the NSA did not sign off on the Russian interference/hacking because they were concerned that too much critical info rested on intelligence from a single foreign country.

Sergei Skripal was not just an turncoat for UK he also worked for Estonian intelligence. It seems to me the poisoning fits better as an Estonian job, to keep relations in Europe with Russia in very bad shape. It's easy to say that the Russians wouldn't be so incompetent, also goes for the UK, which could have come up with something more compelling if they pre planned it as false flag.

Notice how we have some sources saying concern grew after the Trump Putin meeting, where supposedly Trump gave Isreali intelligence to Putin on Syria, I think they were concerned Trump would have no problem revealing a spy for another government, much like he was free with foreign intelligence.

I don't think the exfiltration was the real source but someone to sacrifice, to protect the real source, who is working for Estonian intelligence. To me this seems like it is possibly Anton Vaino, Chief of Staff of the Kremlin since August 2016, Deputy Chief of Staff of Kremlin before that. This is not to say his info is accurate, but is in line with the foreign policy of Estonia to alienate everyone with Russia.

Yeah, Right , Sep 11 2019 0:57 utc | 44
Just out of curiosity, if what has been reported is true then what reason would Mueller have to exclude this from his report? The dude is proof of the Russia-did-it!! narrative. Check. The dude has already been extracted. Check. The Russians must have already noticed that he has done a runner. Check.

What would stop Mueller from producing a one-paragraph report that starts with: "we know the following to be true because for the last decade everything that Putin did was being relayed to us by an aide to the foreign policy advisor to the Kremlin, since extracted and now living in the USA".

I mean, bit of a slam-dunk, don't you think?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 14:57 utc | 58

Well, I just think Putin had more important things to think about than the charade that is now the US electoral process. Probably he felt (I'm guessing of course) that the whole Russiagate scenario was a desperate move to throw a curtain over the demise of American democracy that served his, Putin's, purposes very well because it kept the idiots busy while he shored up the badly leaking ship of his own state.

And I go with Smiley@34 - no spy of even mediocre caliber would agree to being placed in such an exposed position under his own name, for crying out loud!

This was a guy who had big money stashed away, wanted to be in a place where rich guys are held in high esteem, planned his exit from a no-longer-friendly-to-rich-folk environment (if you had money in Russia these days, you should use it for the good of the country).

It doesn't make sense that he would leave himself exposed if either in Russia or in the US he had undercover connections of this sort. Just doesn't make sense. But that he was the best the US operatives could come up with right now simply speaks to further deterioration of US ability to field persuasive stories.

And this gave me some amusement:

Putin's objectives were multifaceted, a high-level intelligence source told NBC News. What began as a "vendetta" against Hillary Clinton morphed into an effort to show corruption in American politics and to "split off key American allies by creating the image that [other countries] couldn't depend on the U.S. to be a credible global leader anymore," the official said. [Quote from Goldman Kropotkin@43]

Putin hasn't had to worry about vendettas or showing corruption in American politics. Take a reliable poll. Who in the US thinks our politics ISN'T corrupt?

juliania , Sep 11 2019 15:11 utc | 59
We didn't need Putin, mastermind though he is, to 'create an image' of American unreliability. Was it Putin who reneged on so many treaties? Was it Putin who antagonized the Koreas? Was it Putin who set up the trade war with China? Was it Putin who threatened and sanctioned Russia, Iran, Venezuela?

We, our leaders, masterminded it all. Sorry, Mr. Putin - you lose that enviable title. We own it.

William Gruff , Sep 11 2019 15:50 utc | 60

What can the Russians do to get ahead of the narrative on the likely impending demise of Smolenkov by novichok or polonium poisoning?

I know some here might say "Everyone would know it is a false flag if Smolenkov gets assassinated!" and that is certainly true if by "everyone" one means the regular readers here and at a few other analysis sites that are not controlled by the empire.

The concern is about the three hundred million other Americans who are at least partially captured by the false narratives pumped out non-stop from their Plato's Cave displays. Is there anything that the Russians can do now to inoculate some Americans against the hard sell they will be facing when the corporate mass media ( Mighty Wurlitzer ) cranks up the multi-channel marketing campaign for the United States' own Skripal farce?

[Sep 11, 2019] On view of Russiagate hysteria it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin s observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate

Sep 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Sally Snyder , Sep 11 2019 17:43 utc | 3

Given that Washington continuously claims that Russians are responsible for the election of Donald Trump, here is an interesting look at what Vladimir Putin had to say about why Donald Trump was elected:

https://viableopposition.blogspot.com/2019/09/vladimir-putin-on-americas-middle-class.html

While drawing links from economic class to voting patterns is difficult given that education impacts voting rates, it is pretty clear that Vladimir Putin's observations about American society and the growing sense that middle class America is being left behind is accurate. It is becoming increasingly clear that globalization benefits the few at the top and leaves behind the vast majority of society who feel that their place in society is under threat.

[Sep 11, 2019] On possible Oleg Smolenkov connection to Steele dossier

Sep 10, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

librul , Sep 10 2019 19:54 utc | 19

Is someone brewing up some fresh Novichok nerve agent as we speak?

Don't touch those doorknobs, Oleg!

for future reference: this post was for amusement purposes only

[Sep 10, 2019] PATRICK LAWRENCE The Establishment is Changing its Tune on Russia

Notable quotes:
"... Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys. ..."
"... Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute. ..."
"... Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House. ..."
"... who in their right mind would trust the U.S. anymore for any reason? ..."
"... Until now, the conflict with Russia has resulted in the conversion of the Ukrainian (and other formerly eastern bloc countries) economy from highly industrial to a supplier of cheap labor, some agricultural products, and raw materials to the EU. ..."
"... The empire's war machine always needs a boogeyman. ..."
"... America has earned the mistrust of most of the world. Although establishing a good relationship with Russia is a good idea, using it to isolate Russia probably will not work. ..."
"... Many of Patrick's observations are astute and well-reasoned. But he is ABSOLUTELY WRONG to put any faith whatsoever in Trump being able to negotiate ANYTHING of importance, whether it be with North Korea or Russia. Wake up! There is "no one home" in Donald Trump!! ..."
"... We are witnessing a severely incapacitated, mentally ill individual pretending to be a leader, who is endangering the entire planet. If this doesn't scare the shit out of you, you need to have your head examined! ..."
"... IMHO, it is a fool's errand for our policy makers to think that Russia can be "peeled away from China", or that Russia and China has not seen through that strategy as another ploy by the West to retain hegemony. ..."
"... The West has been hostile to Russia since its inception as a non-monarchy in 1917. ..."
"... The New York Times has played an effective Orwellian role in recent years, simply by reflecting unannounced policy directives – notably the smooth shifts in designated official enemies from ISIS to Russia/Putin to China/Xi all in the space of six short years. ..."
"... The Times has become nothing but a bunch of stenographers for the Intelligence Community. ..."
"... You nailed it in calling it Orwellian. ISIS as "official" enemy indeed is a classic representation of 'doublespeak.' All of those *accidental* U.S. arms-drops on their positions, helicopters showing up to rescue their leaders, the apparent invisibility of those oil tanker fleets freely and blatantly running the highways into Turkey for several years ..."
"... As much of that oil was shipped to Israel by Erdogan's kid at below market prices, it was another testament to the duplicitous nature of the entire scheme to bring Syria down. Fail. Epic fail. I love it. That egg looks great on Netanyahu's face. ..."
"... Trump and the establishment punish and sanction Russia but get along fine with MBS Mohammad Bone Sawman. I voted for Trump but got Hillary's foreign policy. The Devil runs America. ..."
Sep 10, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

In desultory fashion over the past month or so, we have had indications that the policy cliques in Washington are indeed reconsidering the Cold War II they set in motion during the Obama administration's final years. And President Donald Trump, persistent in his effort to reconstruct relations with Russia, now finds an unlikely ally in Emmanuel Macron. This suggests a nascent momentum in a new direction.

"Pushing Russia away from Europe is a profound strategic mistake," the French president asserted in a stunning series of remarks to European diplomats immediately after the Group of 7 summit in Biarritz late last month.

This alone is a bold if implicit attack on the hawkish Russophobes Trump now battles in Washington. Macron then outdid himself: "We are living the end of Western hegemony," he told the assembled envoys.

It is difficult to recall when a Western leader last spoke so truthfully and insightfully of our 21 st century realities, chief among them the inevitable rise of non–Western nations to positions of parity with the Atlantic world. You have nonetheless read no word of this occasion in our corporate media: Macron's startling observations run entirely counter to the frayed triumphalism and nostalgia that grip Washington as its era of preeminence fades.

President Donald J. Trump and French President Emmanuel Macron in joint press conference in Biarritz, France, site of the G7 Summit, Aug. 26, 2019. (White House/ Andrea Hanks)

There is much to indicate that the West's aggressively hostile posture toward Russia remains unchanged. The Russophobic rhetoric emanating from Washington and featured daily in our corporate television broadcasts continues unabated. Last month Washington formally abandoned the bilateral treaty limiting deployment of intermediate-range ballistic missiles, signed with Moscow in 1987. As anyone could have predicted, NATO now suggests it will upgrade its missile defense systems in Poland and Romania. This amounts to an engraved invitation to the Russian Federation to begin a new arms race.

But a counter-argument favoring a constructive relationship with Russia is now evident. This is not unlike the abrupt volte-face in Washington's thinking on North Korea: It is now broadly accepted that the Korean crisis can be resolved only at the negotiating table.

The Times Are Changing

The New York Times seems to be on board with this this sharp turn in foreign policy. It reported the new consensus on North Korea in a news analysis on July 11. Ten days later it published another arguing that it's time to put down the spear and make amends with Moscow. Here is the astonishing pith of the piece: "China, not Russia, represents by far the greater challenge to American objectives over the long term. That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China."

It is encouraging that the Times has at last discovered the well-elaborated alliance between Moscow and Beijing. It took the one-time newspaper of record long enough. But there is another feature of this article that is important to note: It was published as a lead editorial. This is not insignificant.

It is essential, when reading the Times , to understand the close -- not to say corrupt -- relations it has maintained with political power in Washington over many generations. This is well-documented in histories of the paper and of institutions such as the CIA. An editorial advancing a policy shift of this magnitude almost certainly reflects the paper's close consultations, at senior levels of management, with policy-setting officials at the National Security Council, the State Department, or at the Pentagon. The editorial is wholly in keeping with Washington's pronounced new campaign to designate China as America's most dangerous threat.

It is impossible to say whether Trump is emboldened by an inchoate shift of opinion on Russia, but he flew his banner high at the Biarritz G–7. Prior to his departure for the summit in southwest France he asserted that Russia should be readmitted to the group when it convenes in the U.S. next year. Russia was excluded in 2014, following its annexation of Crimea in response to the coup in Kiev.

Trump repeated the thought in Biarritz, claiming there was support among other members for the restoration of the G–8. "I think it's a work in progress," he said. "We have a number of people that would like to see Russia back."

Macron is plainly one of those people. It was just after Trump sounded his theme amid Biarritz's faded grandeur -- and what an excellent choice for a convention of the Western powers -- that the French president made his own plea for repairing ties with Russia and for Europe to escape its fate as "a theater for strategic struggle between the U.S. and Russia."

Biarritz from the Pointe Saint-Martin, 1999. (Wikimedia Commons)

"The European continent will never be stable, will never be secure, if we don't pacify and clarify our relations with Russia," Macron said in his address to Western diplomats. Then came his flourish on the imminent end of the Atlantic world's preeminence.

"The world order is being shaken like never before. It's being shaken because of errors made by the West in certain crises, but also by the choices made by the United States in the past few years -- and not just by the current administration."

Macron is an opportunistic main-chancer in European politics, and it is not at all certain how far he can or will attempt to advance his new vision of either the West or Europe in the Continent's councils of state. But as evidence of a new current in Western thinking about Russia, the non–West in general, and Europe's long-nursed desire for greater independence from Washington, the importance of his comments is beyond dispute.

The question now is whether or how soon better ties with Moscow will translate into practical realities. At present, Trump and Macron share a good idea without much substance to it.

Better US-Russia Ties May Be in Pipeline

But Trump may have taken a step in the right direction. Within days of his return from Biarritz, he put a hold on the Ukraine Security Assistance Initiative, a military aid program that was to provide Kiev with $250 million in assistance during the 2019 fiscal year, which begins Oct. 1 and runs to Sept. 30, 2020. The funds are designated for weaponry, training and intelligence support.

Trump has asked his national security advisers to review the commitment. The delay, coming hard on his proposal to readmit Russia to a reconstituted G–8, cannot possibly be read as a coincidence.

There will be other things to watch for in months to come. High among these is Trump's policy toward the Nord Stream 2 pipeline linking Russian gas fields to terminals in Western Europe, thereby cutting Ukraine out of the loop. Trump, his desire to improve ties with Moscow notwithstanding, has vigorously opposed this project. The Treasury Department has threatened sanctions against European contractors working on it. If Trump is serious about bringing Russia back into the fold, this policy will have to go. This may mean going up against the energy lobby in Washington and Ukraine's many advocates on Capitol Hill.

To date, U.S. threats to retaliate against construction of Nord Stream 2 have done nothing but irritate Europeans, who have ignored them, while furthering the Continent's desire to escape Washington's suffocating embrace. This is precisely the kind of contradiction Macron addressed when he protested that Europeans need to begin acting in their own interests rather than acquiesce as Washington force-marches them on a never-ending anti–Russia crusade.

Macron may prove a pushover, or a would-be Gaullist who fails to make the grade. Or he may have just announced a long-awaited inflection point in trans–Atlantic ties. Either way, he has put highly significant questions on the table. It will be interesting to see what responses they may elicit, not least from the Trump White House.

Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .


Erelis , September 10, 2019 at 18:49

A few European countries may develop warmer relations .but reproachment with Russia will not happen in our lifetimes. Macron offered nothing but rhetoric. The West continues economic warfare and a militaristic stance toward Russia. Western institutions and interests are too tied into Russo-phobia to give it up–it is a financial and emotional heroin to the West. Break the Russian/Chinese alliance? Ain't gonna happen.

As for the NYTimes. They recently have published unsubstantiated accounts about some spy close to Putin who swears by gawd that Putin personally ordered Trump's victory. How is it going to be possible for Trump or even a new democratic president to engage Russia diplomatically with such widely published and accepted propaganda?. Every leading democratic party candidate have sworn to the Russiagate hoax and issued highly aggressive rhetoric. They will be called traitors if they even speak with Putin unless they attempt to punch out Putin.

Jim Glover , September 10, 2019 at 17:36

Now that the war monger Bolton is gone that is good news for pursuing Peace.
It is also good that Patrick points out what has been hiding in plain site from the divide and conquer propaganda from the mass media that the Cold War and the old ones have always been about the West against the East. Maybe the Trump challengers can join the new Pursuit of Peace for the good of Humanity. It Can't hurt!

Stephen M , September 10, 2019 at 15:14

This is as good a time as any to point to an alternative vision of foreign policy. One based on the principle of non-interference, respect for sovereignty, territorial integrity, and, above all, international law. One based on peaceful coexistence and mutual cooperation. A vision of the world at peace and undivided by arbitrary distinctions. Such a world is possible and even though there are currently players around the world who are striving in that direction we need look no further than our own history for inspiration. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you one Henry A. Wallace, for your consideration.

(The following excerpts from an article by Dr. Dennis Etler. Link to the full article provided below.) --

The highest profile figure who articulated an alternative vision for American foreign policy was the politician Henry Wallace, who served as vice president under Franklin D. Roosevelt from 1940-1944 and ran for president in 1948 as the candidate of the Progressive Party.

After he became vice president in 1940, as Roosevelt was increasingly ill, Wallace promoted a new vision for America's role in the world that suggested that rather than playing catch up with the imperial powers, the United States should work with partners to establish a new world order that eliminated militarism, colonialism and imperialism.

Wallace gave a speech in 1942 that declared a "Century of the Common Man." He described a post-war world that offered "freedom from want," a new order in which ordinary citizens, rather than the rich and powerful, would play a decisive role in politics.
That speech made direct analogy between the