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May the source be with you, but remember the KISS principle ;-)
Skepticism and critical thinking is not panacea, but can help to understand the world better
Bob Woodward is a pompous darling of the Washington establishment ever since he and Carl Bernstein functioned as human dead drops for the leaks from the FBI and others intelligence agencies which brought down Richard Nixon.
In his book Woodward present the President as mentally incompetent, with attention span of a child. Woodward offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides -- both current and former Trump administration officials -- grew exasperated with the President and increasingly worried about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.
According to anonymous source Chief of staff John Kelly describes Trump as an "idiot" (Kelly refuted this) while the Defense Secretary James Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of "a fifth or sixth grader" (Mattis refuted this). Trump's former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as "a fucking liar," telling Trump he would end up in an "orange jump suit" if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.
Woodward has always relied on anonymous sources, primarily from the US intelligence community, who leak salacious information to him for their own political purposes effectively acting as Fifth power and kingmaker. Christopher Hitchins called Woodward, "the stenographer for the rich and the powerful" but he is more an amplifier for the intelligence community political influence.
In the case of George W. Bush that meant washing the crimes to perhaps the most mentally vacant President in US history including the Iraq War as well as other disastrous military interventions which wrecked the US military and much of Southwest Asia.
Woodward’s much ballyhooed account of a deathbed conversation with former CIA Director Bill Casey has been widely debunked as fabricated and drew a rare public rebuke from President Ronald Reagan who called Woodward an outright liar.
This is why President Trump is right to ask whether the New York Times "Deep State sleeper cell:" op-ed, supposedly written by "senior Trump official" is the attempt to play Iago. Does this official exists, or NT reused Woodward "source."
Woodward’s book on the 2008 bailout of Wall Street, following the collapse which broke most of the country and destroyed our middle class, is a vicious lie, painting the totally corrupted officials of the Bush and Obama Administrations as well-intentioned public servants.
The late great actual investigative reporter, Robert Parry, took Woodward to task for not reporting the real Richard Nixon crime which caused the Watergate cover-up: Nixon’s deliberate sabotage of Viet Nam Paris peace talks (using Henry Kissinger and others), prolonging the Viet Nam War for several years in order to win the 1968 presidential election. This crime cost thousands of US and Vietnamese lives.
Woodward had the story at the time, exclusively, but chose not to report it. Writer Joan Didion best summed up Woodward and his "work" in a famous essay published in the September, 1996, New York Review of Books. She said that after Watergate, "measurable cerebral activity" in Woodward’s books was virtually absent and that the books have "a scrupulous passivity, an agreement to cover the story not as it is occurring but as it is presented, which is to say as it is manufactured." She calls his method, "political pornography."
The Washington Post, now in the hands of Deep State member and pirate capitalist Jeff Bezos, was, for years, owned by the Graham family and functioned purposely throughout the post war period as a psychological warfare and propaganda vehicle for the CIA and intelligence community.
Complementing the NYT’s attempt to play Iago in Trump administration, the WaPo coverage of the Op-Ed by supposed member of a "sleeper cell" within the administration (presented as a "senior official") was aplified by neoliberal MSM to the level of national event. As for the NYT -- Well, any one who is literate can cite their early support for Mussolini and Hitler and their history as the propaganda vehicle during cold war. This is the voice of Wall Street and the City of London.
Currently the WaPo and NYT have been outpaced only by CNN and MSNBC as purveyors of hate against this President.
President Trump accused veteran journalist Bob Woodward of being a Democratic “operative” after excerpts from the reporter’s new book were released. In a tweet Tuesday night, Trump cited his aides refuting the reporting in “Fear: Trump in the White House” as evidence that the book is inaccurate.
“The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly,” he wrote. “Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?”
Sep 21, 2018 | www.amazon.com
3.0 out of 5 stars
span class="a-size-base a-colorFear: Trump in the White HouseBy Jason on September 19, 2018
w.amazon.com/gp/customer-reviews/R26ONK8S0HS7J2/ref=cm_cr_getr_d_rvw_ttl?ie=UTF8&ASIN=B075RV48W3">Patriotism is the last refuge of a scoundrel.
First, let me say I voted for Trump as a "Disrupter" and to that end he has exceeded expectations.
The book starts out great through the first 5 or 6 chapters, but then becomes a bit convoluted. The bottom line of the book and reality is that Trump is surrounded by apprentice scoundrels, and that he is the boss scoundrel.
He demands loyalty but gives none. As a Former Marine I would not follow him into battle; I would never have the opportunity because he and his sons would never go into harm's way.
The best of the book was the hinted forthcoming bombshells, that never exploded. Woodward dropped the ball on this one, and as an author myself, it's nice to see even the big boys, Simon & Schuster, have editing issues.
Jay Fitzpatrick author of "The Patsy".
Sep 16, 2018 | www.amazon.com
Edward Novak on September 15, 2018A frustratingly neutral collection of accounts from morally questionable people.
Trump is really, really bad at being President. This isn't news to anyone who has been following the leaks, rumors, announcements, policies, and tweets coming out of the White House for the last nineteen months.
Rather than being a revelatory, shocking look behind the curtain of an administration run by the single dumbest man to ever hold his office, the book just confirms the stories we've already heard, mixing in additional commentary from people in or close to the White House, mostly former employees who clearly still agree with Trump's agenda, even if they could no longer stand the man himself.
Woodward presents anecdotes from these individuals--people like Sen. Lindsay Graham, a renown proponent of endless wars in the Middle East, and Steve Bannon, former Chief Strategist, an out-and-proud xenophobe and fascist--without commentary or context, which has the odd effect of presenting these people only in contrast and comparison to Trump himself.
One unfamiliar with Bannon, for example, could come away from the book thinking that he was a fairly reasonable person (rather than a racist, white nationalist) because he is only ever shown as a foil to the ongoing circus of incompetence that is the Trump administration.
This is Woodward's style, of course; he presents himself as an almost entirely neutral presence, merely transcribing the things he learned, but when discussing such dangerous and reprehensible people, a paragraph here and there dedicated to reminding readers what, exactly, these people claim to believe would have been appreciated additional context.
Essentially, this book is just Michael Wolfe or Omarosa's stories, only drier and with more footnotes.
Sep 14, 2018 | www.unz.com
Adrian E. , says: September 14, 2018 at 10:57 am GMTWhat I find interesting in the case of Bob Woodward's book is that many anti-Trumpers seem to celebrate it without even taking into account that, if its contents were to be believed, it would completely discredit the whole "Russiagate" story that has been the main line of attack against Donald Trump.
As far as I can judge from the excerpts that have been published, most of the book deals with issues of style -- it is certainly nothing new that many people in the establishment strongly dislike Trump's style -- and about people in important positions in Trump's surroundings have a negative opinion of him and sometimes try to work against him -- that is hardly something new, either.
The only piece of information that could really make Trump look like someone unhinged and dangerous is the claim that he demanded Assad to be killed. Of course, I don't know whether that claim is true and if Trump said something like that, it was meant as an assignment or he just wanted to know what others thought about the idea. But Trump certainly would not have said anything like that if he was a Russian puppet. Although Russia hardly has absolutely loyalty to Assad as a person, killing the president of a government with which Russia is allied and thereby causing more instability is certainly not something Russia might want. So, not only does Bob Woodward's book that claims to report things that happened behind the scenes not show any hints that the Russiagate conspiracy theory might be true, but -- if it is to be believed -, it shows quite strong evidence against that theory.
I don't know whether Bob Woodward spells this out anywhere in the book -- I doubt it because the main target audience of the book is probably Trump haters who like to hate Trump for any conceivable reason and might be upset if one such reason, which had been heavily promoted, was taken away from them. But at least, Bob Woodward seems to be consistent on this to some degree -- after the report by a few handpicked agents from three agencies and Clapper's bureau in January 2017, Woodward criticized the politicization of the secret services. Apart from a few excerpts, I have not read Bob Woodward's book, and I cannot judge its merits, but I think that he is probably somewhat less dishonest than many of Trump haters -- this strange coalition of pseudo-leftists with the deep state.
What I do find absurd is the reception of Bob Woodward's book. It seems that most Trump haters don't seem to have any problems with thinking Trump is unhinged because he threatened to kill the president of a country that is allied with Russia and that he is a Russian puppet and that therefore the investigation about "collusion" is necessary. I think that once more demonstrates the irrationality of the base of that "Anti-Trump Resistance" (not, of course, of people from the Clinton campaign, the FBI and CIA who invented Russiagate, they just exploit the irrationality of large parts of the public).
Bob Woodward's book also stands in a strange relationship to the anonymous NYT piece. The author of that piece seems to be a hardcore neoconservative and free-trade neoliberal -- he wants deregulation, more money for the military, but he dislikes that Trump does not escalate tensions against Russia enough and has to be pressured in order to expell enough Russian diplomats, and also the tentative support of peace efforts for Korea go against his neoconservative desires.
Although it is not mentioned explicitly, the piece is at least compatible with "Russiagate" -- Trump's desire not to escalate international tensions against countries like Russia and North Korea too much is seen as a "preference for dictators and authoritarian leaders", which is an interpretation that is typical of neoconservative ideologues. In contrast, Woodward's main point for accusing Donald Trump of being unhinged is that he wanted to have Assad killed -- something many of the hard-core neocons would hardly object.
Mike P , says: September 14, 2018 at 1:05 pm GMT@Adrian E. What I find interesting in the case of Bob Woodward's book is that many anti-Trumpers seem to celebrate it without even taking into account that, if its contents were to be believed, it would completely discredit the whole "Russiagate" story that has been the main line of attack against Donald Trump.Agent76 , says: September 14, 2018 at 2:35 pm GMT
As far as I can judge from the excerpts that have been published, most of the book deals with issues of style - it is certainly nothing new that many people in the establishment strongly dislike Trump's style - and about people in important positions in Trump's surroundings have a negative opinion of him and sometimes try to work against him - that is hardly something new, either.
The only piece of information that could really make Trump look like someone unhinged and dangerous is the claim that he demanded Assad to be killed. Of course, I don't know whether that claim is true and if Trump said something like that, it was meant as an assignment or he just wanted to know what others thought about the idea. But Trump certainly would not have said anything like that if he was a Russian puppet. Although Russia hardly has absolutely loyalty to Assad as a person, killing the president of a government with which Russia is allied and thereby causing more instability is certainly not something Russia might want. So, not only does Bob Woodward's book that claims to report things that happened behind the scenes not show any hints that the Russiagate conspiracy theory might be true, but - if it is to be believed -, it shows quite strong evidence against that theory.
I don't know whether Bob Woodward spells this out anywhere in the book - I doubt it because the main target audience of the book is probably Trump haters who like to hate Trump for any conceiveable reason and might be upset if one such reason, which had been heavily promoted, was taken away from them. But at least, Bob Woodward seems to be consistent on this to some degree - after the report by a few handpicked agents from three agencies and Clapper's bureau in January 2017, Woodward criticized the politicization of the secret services. Apart from a few excerpts, I have not read Bob Woodward's book, and I cannot judge its merits, but I think that he is probably somewhat less dishonest than many of his haters - this strange coalition of pseudo-leftists with the deep state.
What I do find absurd is the reception of Bob Woodward's book. It seems that most Trump haters don't seem to have any problems with thinking Trump is unhinged because he threatened to kill the president of a country that is allied with Russia and that he is a Russian puppet and that therefore the investigation about "collusion" is necessary. I think that once more demonstrates the irrationality of the base of that "Anti-Trump Resistance" (not, of course, of people from the Clinton campaign, the FBI and CIA who invented Russiagate, they just exploit the irrationality of large parts of the public).
Bob Woodward's book also stands in a strange relationship to the anonymous NYT piece. The author of that piece seems to be a hardcore neoconservative and free-trade neoliberal - he wants deregulation, more money for the military, but he dislikes that Trump does not escalate tensions against Russia enough and has to be pressured in order to expell enough Russian diplomats, and also the tentative support of peace efforts for Korea go against his neoconservative desires. Although it is not mentioned explicitly, the piece is at least compatible with "Russiagate" - Trump's desire not to escalate international tensions against countries like Russia and North Korea too much is seen as a "preference for dictators and authoritarian leaders", which is an interpretation that is typical of neoconservative ideologues. In contrast, Woodward's main point for accusing Donald Trump of being unhinged is that he wanted to have Assad killed - something many of the hard-core neocons would hardly object. Very good observations. Maybe the "kill Assad" ploy is not intended for domestic consumption but rather to further undermine Trump's working relationship with Putin – just as with the of the phoney Russian agent indictment which wast timed precisely to disrupt the Helsinki summit.History is very clear who runs the media for those who are in the know.Agent76 , says: September 14, 2018 at 2:39 pm GMT
9/23/1975 Tom Charles Huston Church Committee Testimony
Tom Charles Huston testified before the Senate Select Committee to Study Governmental Operations with Respect to Intelligence Activities, commonly known as the Church Committee, on the 43-page plan he presented to the President Nixon and others on ways to collect information about anti-war and "radical" groups, including burglary, electronic surveillance, and opening of mail.
https://www.c-span.org/video/?408953-1/tom-charles-huston-testimony-church-committeeSeptember 1, 2015 THE CIA AND THE MEDIA: 50 FACTS THE WORLD NEEDS TO KNOWBuckwheat , says: September 14, 2018 at 2:47 pm GMT
Since the end of World War Two the Central Intelligence Agency has been a major force in US and foreign news media, exerting considerable influence over what the public sees, hears and reads on a regular basis.
https://www.intellihub.com/the-cia-and-the-media-50-facts-the-world-needs-to-know-2/President Trump's greatest legacy will be his exposing how corrupt the American government has become. Almost every branch of Government has been exposed as corrupt but the absolute worst is the FBI. This attempted coup should be met with the hangman's rope for traitors.jilles dykstra , says: September 14, 2018 at 3:19 pm GMTHistorians know that very few people understand great historical events when they happen.Anonymous ,  Disclaimer says: September 14, 2018 at 3:55 pm GMT
My idea is that this now is the case.
Never before in history did the leader of an empire understand that that empire could not survive, and act accordingly.
The British empire was already not sustainable, financially, before 1914. Britain had to give up the two fleet standard, the situation where the British fleet was superior to the next two biggest fleets. Obama had to give up the two war standard, the USA went to one and a half war. What a half war accomplishes one can see in Syria.
The British empire fell apart through WWII, Churchill the undertaker. For this reason, I suspect, are the peace proposals that Rudolf Hess brought to Scotland in May 1941 still secret. France got a generous peace, logical to assume that Hitler would propose the same to Great Britain, the empire he admired.
The British example makes two things clear: what should have been clear prior to 1914 was not clear, or was ignored, and the price of unwilling, or not capable of understanding history at the moment it happens becomes clear. Britain did not have a Deep State, one might say, on the other hand, one can be of the opinion that the British Deep State did exist. A conflict as now in the USA never existed in Great Britain.
What would have happened if say Chamberlain would have acted as Trump does know, anybody's guess. Chamberlain did not want war, but he also did not want to end British imagined power, he belonged to the Thirtyniners, those with the illusion that Great Britain was ready for war in 1939.
As in 1917, the USA had to rescue Britain, but this time the price was high: opening the empire to foreign competition, on top of that, FDR's lofty statements, the Atlantic Charter, in fact the end of all colonial European empires.@Buckwheat President Trump's greatest legacy will be his exposing how corrupt the American government has become. Almost every branch of Government has been exposed as corrupt but the absolute worst is the FBI. This attempted coup should be met with the hangman's rope for traitors.Windwaves , says: September 14, 2018 at 4:01 pm GMT
President Trump's greatest legacy will be his exposing how corrupt the American government has become. Almost every branch of Government has been exposed as corrupt but the absolute worst is the FBI. This attempted coup should be met with the hangman's rope for traitors.
The media controls the minds of the mob, and presents itself as vox populi . Corruption has been exposed, and the media admits to it, endorses it, and encourages more.
So, whaddya figure? 20 years to total economic collapse? Who's gonna feed the messicans? Oh! The humanity! Oh, Rome, do not burn!
"Shining city on a hill" and all that bullshit. Turn out the lights.Yep, finally someone who gets it.jilles dykstra , says: September 14, 2018 at 5:09 pm GMT
Trump 180 degree turn on his promises to get out of israel's wars is clear proof that he is just another zionist.@Deschutes I didn't like Clinton, but I think Trump is as bad, probably worse. Look at the EPA under Trump, it's a fucking joke with fossil fuel shills like Pruitt gutting much needed laws to protect environment and people. Look at Education secretary DeVoss: it does NOT get any worse: a billionaire christian fundamentalist wacko billionaire who bought her way into that post funding the GOP/Trump ticket!? She's the epitome of what the 'Trump voters' ostensibly hate: a billionaire class aka 'Rome on the Potomac' as this author calls it, the plutocracy who own and run the show while the proletariat slave away at their office temp jobs, or worse yet amazon.com sweatshop, etc. DeVoss is privatizing education so that christian fundies can have their kids taught 'gawd made the world in 7 days' instead of Darwin's evolution. Look at Trumps Atty General Sessions: he's a reactionary fossil from the 1950s who wants to illegalize weed? Roll back sensible drug policy? He's a fucking disaster. And look at what Trump is doing for Israel!? Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, and Kishner sucking up to Netanyahoo, doing his bidding like an Israel firster? This is all good? This is what the disenfranchised Trump supporter voted for and had in mind??Ilyana_Rozumova , says: September 14, 2018 at 6:13 pm GMT
Trump is a fucking awful trainwreck. ' Moving the U.S. embassy to Jerusalem, '
If this makes Netanyahu happy for some time, at negligible cost to the USA, smart move.
At the same time, Trump can claim 'see how I love Israel'.
For me the same as the fake attacks on Syria.
Show.@Wizard of Oz You seem to be using language like Alice's Humpty Dumpty. "Zionism" is at least a little bit constrained in meaning by its being a movement to restore the Jewish people as currently understood to the land of Israel (Judea and Samaria principally which creates special difficulties...) with Jerusalem as it's capital, and, I suppose to maintain them there. You are absolutely correct.Enver Masud , says: Website Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 6:39 pm GMT
But it also includes protection of Israel.
And what is the best protection of Israel?
To control the most powerful country in the world ergo USA
And what is even better protection of Israel?
To to rule the world.
What is wrong or evil in this plan?
Nothing! it is good plan.
So where is the snag?
Complications in executing this plan.Bob Woodward needs to answer for not following up on what really happened at the Pentagon on 9/11. My letter the Washington Post at http://www.twf.org/News/Y2009/1206-Ombudsman.pdfanarchyst , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 6:50 pm GMT
In part, I wrote:
According to the Washington Post, Barbara K. Olson called her husband twice on September 11, 2001 in the final minutes of Flight 77. Her last words to him were, "What do I tell the pilot to do?"
"She called from the plane while it was being hijacked," said Theodore Olson -- 42nd Solicitor General of the United States. "I wish it wasn't so, but it is."
However, prosecution exhibit P200054 (attached) in United States v.
Zacarias Moussaoui -- http://www.vaed.uscourts.gov/notablecases/moussaoui/ exhibits/prosecution/flights/P200054.html -- shows that Barbara Olson made only one phone call -- it did not connect, and it lasted for 0 seconds!
Both accounts of Barbara Olson's phone calls -- the Solicitor General's and the prosecution's in United States v. Zacarias Moussaoui -- cannot be correct.Media lies and fabrications have been going on ever since there were "journalists" (I use that term loosely). The difference today, is that "professional journalism" is now blatantly showing its liberal communistic bias.crimson2 , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 7:20 pm GMT
From "Remember the Maine" in the Spanish-American war (actually a powder magazine explosion–not an attack) to walter duranty's extolling the "virtues" of communism while one of the greatest artificially-engineered (by communists)famines in the Ukraine was taking place, in order to force the "collectivization" of privately-held farms, to walter cronkite outright lying about the American military's effectiveness during the 1968 Vietnam "Tet offensive" (in which much enemy life was lost) journalism has always been a "nasty craft". In cronkite's case, the North Vietnamese were ready to settle (and capitulate) until cronkite's lies about the supposed American "defeat" were publicized. Cronkite's lies gave the North Vietnamese new resolve, as they realized that they had the American "news media" on their side. There has always been a certain sympathy for communism and totalitarianism in the so-called "mainstream media". All one has to do is to look at the journalists fawning over Cuba's Fidel Castro and how wonderful life is in that communist "paradise".
Journalists HATE the internet because it exposes their "profession" for what it really is with the internet, anyone can be a true journalist. This is why the same "mainstream media" is calling for the "licensing" of journalists–something that would have been unheard of (and treasonous) in previous decades
Professional journalism is its own worst enemy@Rational WHAT A FOO BELIEVES........HE SEES; OR WHY JUDAISTS ARE GOING BERSERK.The Alarmist , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 7:53 pm GMT
Thanks for the excellent article, Madam.
You forgot to mention that the NYT and Woodward are Judaists.
Jewish paranoid delusions have become severe since Trump took office.
Obviously the NYT op ed is fake. It is a forgery. Per PCR, it is by the NYT itself. Childish pranks.
Bob Woodward's "sources" are fake. He made things up himself.
Every Sabbath, Judaists like these read the Torah, including Deuteronomy 20:16:
"However, in the cities of the nations the LORD your God is giving you as an inheritance, do not leave alive anything that breathes."
And their plan to destroy and exterminate the white goyim is facing hiccups, so the Judaists have gone berserk.
Jewish paranoid delusions
Maybe the dumbasses who think the Jews are behind every bad thing that ever happens to them are the paranoid delusional ones.We're surprised the tools of the Oligarch Class remain loyal to their paymasters? Comey and Müller both received very lucrative board-seat assignments for looking the other way when appropriate, or digging a little deeper when asked.Agent76 , says: Next New Comment September 14, 2018 at 8:56 pm GMTPublic Intelligence
"In the absence of the governmental checks and balances present in other areas of our national life, the only effective restraint upon executive policy and power in the areas of national defense and international affairs may lie in an enlightened citizenry -- in an informed and critical public opinion which alone can here protect the values of democratic government. For this reason, it is perhaps here that a press that is alert, aware, and free most vitally serves the basic purpose of the First Amendment. For, without an informed and free press, there cannot be an enlightened people."
Sep 14, 2018 | www.unz.com
Carlton Meyer , says: Website September 14, 2018 at 4:30 am GMTWoodward is a career CIA agent as documented in many articles, such as this:Justsaying , says: September 14, 2018 at 4:59 am GMT
He graduated from the CIA university (aka Yale) then went to CIA basic training as a naval intelligence officer for five years, then to the Washington Post. This is why he was allowed White House access by the Trump Neocons, despite is record as a back stabber to those who oppose the Neocon agenda. The Washington Post itself was co-founded by the CIA. Woodward was a key player in the last CIA coup when Nixon was ousted, not too long after they disposed of troublesome President Kennedy. I noted some of this in my 2010 blog:
Retired USAF Col. Fletcher Prouty revealed that the "Pentagon Papers" were a planned CIA leak to shift blame for the failed war in Vietnam from the CIA to the Pentagon. The documents were real, but only certain documents were released. Prouty wrote the other reason for this "leak" was to upset the Nixon administration, which it was trying to destabilize in hopes of ousting Nixon.
That President was upset that the CIA refused to provide him with requested documents concerning the Bay of Pigs and the JFK assassination. Nixon also angered the "Power Elite" by withdrawing American troops from their profitable business venture in Vietnam and improving relations with Red China.
Nixon was ousted with the help of covert CIA agent Bob Woodward, working undercover as a reporter at the CIA co-founded "Washington Post". Gerald Ford became President, who just happened to be a member of the discredited Warren Commission that engineered the cover-up of the JFK assassination!This piece makes Trump look like a credible president – that is, if he is to be judged by his campaign promises to the American electorate who voted him in. This is only partly true. Recall that Trump did make unequivocal promises: "We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with,". and "We will stop racing to topple foreign regimes that we know nothing about, that we shouldn't be involved with," Not long after such promises, he announced he would be sending more troops to Afghanistan. His bombing of Syria and illegally keeping American boots in that country surely flies in the face of such promises especially in light of statements that American troops will not leave that country any time soon, in keeping with America's zeal for fighting Israel's wars. This piece portrays Trump as intrepid and true to his word. Yet, like many of his predecessors, the morbid fear of the pro-Israeli lobby remains a defining feature of US foreign policy matters. Neither can Trump exonerate himself from the ongoing tragedy in Yemen emboldening the Saudis and their Emirati allies with the sale of billions of dollars of arms to these medieval monarchies, not to mention the logistical support given them by the US.
Sep 12, 2018 | www.amazon.com
Betsy Lee, September 12, 2018
Not much of a book
I went into this book thinking that it would confirm all of my deepest fears about Trump and give me more reasons to dislike him. At the end of the book, I had the distinct impression that Trump's presidency is not as bad as it is often portrayed.
Some of Trump's ideas are not so bad -- for example, the book spends a lot of time on Afghanistan. Trump has for a long time believed the war was a mistake, that there is no way to "win," and that it is a perpetual loss of our country's treasures.
The book spends a lot of time showing how Trump fought the "swamp" to come up with a strategy to get out -- and failed.
Of course, many other stories in the book confirmed my belief that he is a disaster for a president.
The book jumps around in time and topic a lot, making it difficult to follow. Kind of like Trump himself.
Melanie Gilbert, September 12, 2018
My Kindle book loaded at 12:30 Tuesday morning , and I stayed up until 6:30 a.m. reading this fascinating and alarming story. The scariest part of this massive tome is the sheer hubris of everyone in President Trump's orbit including the author, famed Watergate reporter, Bob Woodward. They all think they are more presidential than the actual president, and that sense of entitlement and arrogance drives this tell-all narrative.
Even though I agree that Trump is mentally unfit to be Commander-in-Chief – and Woodward cites many troubling incidents that point to a memory-impaired leader – it feels as if Woodward operated under the theory of selection bias, finding sources who would confirm his thesis. I don't know what's scarier, a president who is off the rails, or a staff that helps keep him there while they are busy running the country the way they see fit (except when the crazy uncle escapes his handlers and spouts off on Twitter.)
Woodward, a veteran reporter, and the man (with Carl Bernstein) who broke the Nixon-era Watergate crime with a source the known only as "Deep Throat" falls for and magnifies their conceit. The real story isn't Trump, it's his unelected and unconstitutional enablers (senior staff, family, media, lobbyists, rogue governments) who act like they are running a shadow government (surreptitiously taking papers off his desk, screening his briefing materials.) Woodward's story will feed Trump's main argument that there's a Deep State at work in this country.
I fell in love with Woodward's writing with "All the President's Men." It inspired me to work in journalism. But Woodward has lost his touch. His "reporting" feels second-hand and arm's length. Each Chapter in his Source Notes leads with this disclaimer: "The information in the chapter comes primarily from multiple deep background interviews and firsthand sources." We have no way of knowing what firsthand sources even means – an article he read in the New York Times whose author he's friends with?
This book is beneath Woodward's skill and reputation. You can basically retrieve the same message in "Unhinged" a much briefer and far more readable format - though no less disturbing account - of working in the Trump White House.
gerald t. slevin on September 11, 2018
NOTES: The review mentions biography of Mike Pence, "The Shadow President ..." by Michael D'Antonio and Peter Eisner . For former Harvard alumni this is an extremely naive review, that is completely devoid of understanding of political forces that are shaping the country and first of all the crisis of neoliberalism.Donald Trump's Demotion & Mike Pence's Promotion! When and How?
Bob Woodward has done it again. "Fear" is a remarkable and important book, especially because it is so current and revealing and is vouched for by this very credible reporter. Woodward's book confirms in much greater detail many earlier and less credible reports, plus many others --- establishing clearly that Donald Trump is not fit to be the US president --- politically, intellectually, psychologically or morally. Moreover, his erratic behavior is a threat to US national security, as Woodward's book and recent TV interviews make very clear. Of course, most of the media attention on this book has been and will continue to be on Woodward's many shocking scoops. The most important question, however, that the book raises, for me at least, is "When and how will Trump's reckless rule be retired?"
Mike Pence, the "Shadow President" and Trump's hand picked successor, will from many indications become president in the months following the November 6 election. That seems to be a high probability, even without Special Counsel Robert Mueller's likely devastating report on the Russian conspiracy to influence illegally the 2016 presidential elections and the related cover up obstructing Mueller's investigation of this conspiracy . The only unknown now is when and how Trump goes--- by the impeachment process or by simple resignation like Nixon did.
We can expect Pence will then give Trump a full pardon, after Trump fully pardons some family members and close associates. Michael Cohen and Paul Manafort need not hold their breath waiting for a pardon. Trump, some of his family members and close associates will, of course, still be at risk of state law prosecutions, expecially in NY.
Trump has long used fear to exercise power over others. Fear, as Machiavelli strongly recommended five centuries ago to a corrupt pope's nephew, is preferable to and more effective than kindness. Paradoxically, Trump's own deep personal fear of failure still drives him desperately--- any means are justified to reach Trump's top goals of personal profit and glory forever. Any means is OK, including even orphaning innocent infants at the Mexican border, while other immigrants are welcomed to work temporarily at Mar-a-Lago. Woodward's book just reinforces these observations many have already made.
It is amazing to me that many of the so-called "adults in the room" cannot see that Trump is misbehaving as he always did. He cannot be changed, certainly not now and not by the many handlers selected seemingly because Trump can dominate them. That said, Trump still has more than two years remaining on his term!
I have strong reactions to Woodward's many disturbing disclosures, as (1) a former Harvard Law assistant to Archibald Cox (prior to his being the unforgettable Watergate Prosecutor and nailing Nixon), (2) a former high school chum of Rudy Guiliani (now an unimpressive key Trump advisor), (3) a former law firm colleague of Bob Khuzami (now the impressive head of NYC federal investigations of Trump criminal matters) and (4) a father and grandfather.
... ... ...
At 75 years old, Woodward clearly had a purpose in this voluntary and prodigious effort to research and write this book--- to flush out the true Donald Trump and show the danger he poses for US national security. Woodward, a Navy veteran like John McCain before him, is also a patriot. To paraphrase Trump, Woodward shows vividly that Trump's behavior is "very sad and really disgusting".
The media will have a field day with some of the troubling Trump episodes Woodward reports. Many persons cited in the book will challenge some of his reports. To be expected and perhaps understandable, given Trump's fiery temper about those he thinks are in any way disloyal to him. The facts will nevertheless prevail, as they have mostly for Woodward's earlier books about the many presidents who immediately preceded Trump.
More important, however, than specific episodes, is what the confluence of these troubling episodes clearly shows --- Trump is clearly unfit to be president! The longer he remains, the greater the risk in our nuclear age for the US, and the world as well. It is well to recall the near catastrophe last January when a Hawaiian technician pressed the wrong button indicating a non-existent "imminent" North Korean missile attack, following Trump's reckless rhetoric about the real North Korean threat. This must have sent a real chill down the spines of the leaders of all nuclear nations, and many others as well.
Will Trump then finish his first term? Very doubtful, it appears.
If the Democrats win a House majority in less than two months, prompt impeachment proceedings and numerous House investigations of Trump and his corrupt cronies appear to be inevitable. That dooms Trump.
Even if the Democrats remain the minority, impeachment is still likely to occur in my view as Mueller's efforts continue --- they cannot be stopped now. They will continue even if Mueller is fired as they continued after Nixon fired Archibald Cox. Moreover, there is a reasonable prospect that one or more of Trump's children and/or in-laws could soon be indicted.
Trump will after November be an increasingly unnecessary liability for Republicans, the GOP. Only 32% of voters currently polled even think Trump is honest. He has already done what the GOP and its billionaire backers like the Kochs and Devoses most wanted --- a major tax cut for the wealthiest, reckless deregulation, insuring a right wing judiciary majority, reducing drastically Federal revenues needed to fund the social safety net, et al.
Moreover, it seems unlikely that Trump will be able to handle the steadily growing pressure he faces. He may even elect to resign as Nixon did. Pence can finish up to the cheers of the Kochs, Devoses, et al.
For a fuller picture of what to expect from Pence when Trump "retires", please see the new comprehensive, readable and detailed biography of Mike Pence, "The Shadow President ..." by Pulitzer Prize winning investigative reporter, Michael D'Antonio, and by his co-author, Peter Eisner. This book's findings dovetail nicely with the findings in "Fear".
Unlike Woodward, D'Antonio even got, for his recent excellent Trump biography, hours of direct interviews of Trump before the 2016 elections, until Trump abruptly ended the interviews apparently concerned that D'Antonio was writing a truthful book based on facts, not on Trump's limitless lies and specious spin. We now know from this important book on Pence why it is very unlikely that Pence will ever be able to clean up Donald Trump's mess. We also can understand much better why Trump recently predicted that stock markets would crash if he were to be impeached. Not too great an endorsement of his successor, Pence, by a reckless and incompetent boss who has now witnessed up close for almost two years the non-stop cheerleading of the "Shadow President", Mike Pence.
Pence successfully strived during the last two years behind the scenes, with Trump's apparent blessings, to advance his repressive and regressive fundamentalist Christian remaking of American society, including through administration and judicial right-wing appointments and adoption of fundamentalist social policies, like curtailing legal abortions and even limiting contraception access. Significantly, these policies mostly benefit in the end the already "uberrich" top 0.01% of Americans at the expense of the 99.99 % less fortunate--- how Christian is that?
Trump's and Pence's unfair tax cuts and excessive deregulation can readily be fixed by Democrats when they regain power. But Trump and Pence have already changed the Federal judiciary with their many right wing judges appointed for life. That is not so easily fixed.
This is scary stuff for a religiously diverse nation with constitutional safeguards of religious freedom that were extremely important for good reason to our Founding Fathers. They rejected a theocracy as well as a monarchy !
By providing a brisk and insightful history of Pence's personal and political journey, we are able with this book to see behind Pence's perpetual smile and smooth style. It is not a very pretty picture.
All, even Trump supporters, should read this book to understand better the threat Pence poses even for Trump. After the midterm elections, the "uberrich" will know they can fulfill all their remaining political and economic dreams through Pence, without having to put up any longer with Trump's erratic and at times almost bizarre policies and behavior. By mid-November, Trump will need Pence more than Pence will need Trump.
It is not surprising the Omarosa recently observed on Chris Matthews' "Hardball" show that she thinks one of Pence's staff was the author of the unprecedented and anonymous New York times Op Ed column that further undercuts Trump and re-inforces some of Woodward's revelations. As to be expected, Pence offers to swear under oath that HE did not write the Op Ed column, which denial leaves room that one of his staffers wrote it, no?
"Fear" and "The Shadow Presidency" raise a very ironic possibility in my mind. If Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report, after the midterm elections in November, indicates that Trump and Pence were both implicated in Russian election conspiracy and/or in the subsequent cover-up, both of them could be removed from office or worse by a Congress forced by public outrage to act on Mueller's report. Even Nixon's base abandoned him once the true facts were widely known.
Pence often played a key role in the 2016 campaign, as well as during the two years since. Who knows what he said and did in secret? Who knows if Pence was recorded by Amarosa, an evangelical pastor, or Michael Cohen, a "tell all" third rate lawyer or someone else at the White House, including possibly Trump himself. I suspect that by now, Mueller knows!
If that happens, Nancy Pelosi could succeed after next January to the presidency as Speaker of the House, third in line after the President and Vice President. So much then for the great Trump/Pence strategy.
The Pence book makes very clear why Pence is to be feared, perhaps even more than Trump. The "god" of Trump is Trump --- in that sense, he is obvious and usually predictable. Pence's "god" is much darker and more dangerous, as well as unpredictable, as this book has confirmed for me. It may be that a needy and greedy Trump is a safer bet than a surreptitious and smiling religious zealot, Pence.
Pence legitimated Trump with the important and united fundamentalist voter base, who voted by over 80% to elect Trump! Trump also won 52% of Catholics' votes, while only 46% of the national vote. Who will legitimate Pence? This book suggests "good" fundamentalists should now vote against Pence if they ever find their Christian moorings again!
Pence appears determined to advance a repressive and regressive fundamentalist evangelical theocracy, even though most Americans, including most Christians, have no interest in a theocracy, Christian or otherwise. Our Founding Fathers were well aware of the brutal post-Reformation religious wars that some of their not too distant relatives had fled Europe to avoid.
Interestingly, Pence was a Catholic altar boy and Trump attended for two years a Jesuit college, Fordham. And the current four male Supreme Court conservative Catholic Justices and the newly nominated likely to be Justice, Brett Kavanagh, were also raised Catholic. Four of these five also went to Catholic schools --- Clarence Thomas to Jesuit Holy Cross College, Neil Gorsuch and Kavanagh to Jesuit Georgetown Prep and John Roberts to La Lumiere School. Samuel Alito was raised in a traditional Italian American Catholic family environment.
.... .... ...
Sep 05, 2018 | www.xinhuanet.com
U.S. President Donald Trump continued his attacks Wednesday on an explosive book about his administration.
Trump said the book, written by U.S. veteran investigative journalist Bob Woodward, "means nothing" and called it "a work of fiction" during a photo op with visiting Kuwaiti Emir Sheikh Sabah Al-Ahmad Al-Jaber Al-Sabah at the White House.
Woodward's book -- "Fear: Trump in the White House" -- is to be released next week.
According to excerpts obtained by media outlets, Trump's aides describe him as a "liar" and an "idiot" who is running a "crazytown."
"Isn't it a shame that someone can write an article or book, totally make up stories and form a picture of a person that is literally the exact opposite of the fact, and get away with it without retribution or cost," Trump tweeted earlier in the day.
He also tweeted out written statements of White House Chief of Staff John Kelly and Secretary of Defense James Mattis, both of whom denied uttering quoted criticisms of the president in the book.
In a statement to The Washington Post, Woodward said, "I stand by my reporting."
The book was based on hundreds of hours of conversations with direct players, according to the author.
Woodward has been a reporter at the The Washington Post since 1971 and remains an associate editor there.
He is most famous for breaking the story of the Watergate scandal, which promoted the resignation of Richard Nixon from the presidency in 1974.
Sep 05, 2018 | www.rt.com
President Trump and those close to him have challenged the narrative of Bob Woodward's new book, which portrays him as "a 5th-grader" ready to make rash decisions, such as ordering the assassination of Assad.
"The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly," Trump tweeted on Tuesday afternoon, after excerpts from the book were published by the Washington Post and other publications. The manuscript, which is scheduled for release next week, contains many quotes that were "made up frauds," Trump said, calling the book's narrative "a con on the public."
The Woodward book has already been refuted and discredited by General (Secretary of Defense) James Mattis and General (Chief of Staff) John Kelly. Their quotes were made up frauds, a con on the public. Likewise other stories and quotes. Woodward is a Dem operative? Notice timing?-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) September 4, 2018
Rejecting the claims that senior aides have been plucking sensitive documents off his desk to prevent him from making rash decisions, Trump noted in an exclusive interview with the Daily Caller that the bulk of the stories in the book were just a compilation of "nasty stuff" totally "made up" by the famed Watergate Washington Post reporter.
'She's a lowlife!' Trump explodes over former aide Omarosa's claims of his 'racist' rants
Trump was not the only one to slam Woodward's claims, which present the US leader as an impulsive decision-maker, who is sometimes called an "idiot" and a "liar" even by those closest to him:Trump ordered Mattis to 'f**king kill' Assad
One of the excerpts from the book claims the president ordered Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis to assassinate the Syrian leader following the 2017 Idlib chemical incident. "Let's f**king kill him! Let's go in. Let's kill the f**king lot of them," Trump allegedly told Mattis. "We're not going to do any of that. We're going to be much more measured," the defense secretary allegedly told one of his senior staffers after that.
Following the controversial claim, US Ambassador to the UN Nikki Haley denied that Trump ever planned to assassinate Assad. "I have not once ever heard the president talk about assassinating Assad," she told reporters at UN headquarters.
"Mr. Woodward never discussed or verified the alleged quotes included in his book with Secretary Mattis or anyone within the DOD," a Pentagon spokesman, Col. Rob Manning, added.Mattis compared Trump to '5th or 6th grader'
Woodward claims that Trump once asked Mattis why the US backs South Korea militarily and financially, prompting the defense secretary to tell close associates afterward that Trump had the understanding of a fifth or sixth grader. "Secretaries of defense don't always get to choose the president they work for," Mattis allegedly said in another instance.
Mattis personally rejected the claim made in the book. "In serving in this administration, the idea that I would show contempt for the elected Commander-in-Chief, President Trump, or tolerate disrespect to the office of the President from within our Department of Defense, is a product of someone's rich imagination," he said.Chief of Staff described Trump as an 'unhinged idiot'
"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in crazytown," Woodward quotes White House Chief of Staff John Kelly as saying at a staff meeting in his office. "I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had."
Kelly, however, has firmly denied the allegations, dismissing the chapter about him as "total BS."Staff snatched documents from Trump's desk fearing he might sign them
Former Chief Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, according to Woodward, once saw a draft letter on the Oval Office desk that would have withdrawn the US from a trade agreement with South Korea. "I stole it off his desk," Cohn told an associate, allegedly terrified Trump might sign it. "I wouldn't let him see it. He's never going to see that document. Got to protect the country." Former staff secretary Rob Porter, who handled the flow of presidential papers, allegedly used similar tactics on several occasions.
However, according to White House Press Secretary Sarah Sanders, the entire book is nothing more than a bunch of "fabricated stories" told by "disgruntled" former employees to make the president "look bad."Egypt's president wondered if Trump was 'going to be around' for long
According to Woodward, Egyptian President Abdel Fattah al-Sisi is one of the world leaders who was worried the infamous Mueller probe might eventually result in impeachment. "Donald, I'm worried about this investigation. Are you going to be around?" al-Sisi allegedly said. Trump supposedly later told his lawyer that the question was "like a kick in the nuts."
Amid the barrage of firm denials by Trump and his team, Woodward reiterated that he "stands by" his reporting and the book's contents.
Think your friends would be interested? Share this story!
Sep 07, 2018 | www.rt.com
The paradoxical era of anonymous anti-Trump reporting has turned once-solid journalism into a carnival of unverifiable accusations. True or not, they distract from real issues, says Pulitzer prize winning journalist Chris Hedges. A new bombshell book about the horrors of Trump's White House is about to hit the shelves. This time it's not penned by a disgruntled former official, but the world-famous Bob Woodward – the investigative journalist who uncovered the 1970s Watergate scandal that brought down President Richard Nixon. Only this time, instead of doing solid, verifiable journalism, he is peddling damning claims by anonymous sources, says Chris Hedges, a Pulitzer prize winning journalist and author.
"This is very different from Watergate. This is gossip. Much of it is anonymous gossip, so it feeds this neverending reality television show political drama that cable news channels like CNN are making quite a bit of money off of," – Mr. Hedges told RT. "It's always something, it's endless burlesque, and this feeds into this kind of narrative."
This doesn't mean accusations against Trump are necessarily false – in fact, Mr. Hedges says he's "a little more likely to side with Woodward on this one," – but it does draw attention from America's real issues, and thus further entrenches Trump's voter base.Read more 'Made up frauds'? Book claims Trump is called an 'idiot' by aides & wanted to 'f**king kill' Assad
"At the same time, 70 percent of the people in this country are in pretty severe economic distress, and their voices are not being heard at all, and I think that that's why Trump's base remains firm, because these people have been rendered invisible by the press... that has just become a giant carnival act," Mr. Hedges says.
The "shady world of anonymous sources" has enabled phenomena like the recent New York Times op-ed by a supposed anonymous White House insider, claiming there's a 'Resistance' hotbed within the heart of the presidency. Chris Hedges, who has worked at the NYT for 15 years himself, says the media's war on the president is like nothing he has seen before.
"Institutions like the New York Times... use language about the president that would've been wholly unacceptable when I was there. Calling him a liar day in and day out – that doesn't mean he didn't lie, but presidents lie all the time, and every administration I covered lied, starting with the Reagan administration. This is really a war on the part of the establishment press, the Washington establishment, to take down Trump."
Sep 06, 2018 | www.veteranstoday.com
Even "Bad Dog" Mattis says he's nutzoBy Gordon Duff, Senior Editor - September 4, 2018 25 2633
By Jeremy Herb , Jamie Gangel and Dan Merica , CNN"He's an idiot. It's pointless to try to convince him of anything. He's gone off the rails. We're in crazytown," Kelly is quoted as saying at a staff meeting in his office. "I don't even know why any of us are here. This is the worst job I've ever had."
(CNN) WARNING: This story contains graphic language.
President Donald Trump 's closest aides have taken extraordinary measures in the White House to try to stop what they saw as his most dangerous impulses, going so far as to swipe and hide papers from his desk so he wouldn't sign them, according to a new book from legendary journalist Bob Woodward.
Woodward's 448-page book, " Fear: Trump in the White House, " provides an unprecedented inside-the-room look through the eyes of the President's inner circle. From the Oval Office to the Situation Room to the White House residence, Woodward uses confidential background interviews to illustrate how some of the President's top advisers view him as a danger to national security and have sought to circumvent the commander in chief.
Many of the feuds and daily clashes have been well documented, but the picture painted by Trump's confidants, senior staff and Cabinet officials reveal that many of them see an even more alarming situation -- worse than previously known or understood. Woodward offers a devastating portrait of a dysfunctional Trump White House, detailing how senior aides -- both current and former Trump administration officials -- grew exasperated with the President and increasingly worried about his erratic behavior, ignorance and penchant for lying.
Chief of staff John Kelly describes Trump as an "idiot" and "unhinged," Woodward reports. Defense Secretary James Mattis describes Trump as having the understanding of "a fifth or sixth grader." And Trump's former personal lawyer John Dowd describes the President as "a fucking liar," telling Trump he would end up in an "orange jump suit" if he testified to special counsel Robert Mueller.
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