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Color revolutions -- Neoliberalism adaptation of Trotskyism idea of "permanent revolution" 

It is easy to mobilize large crowds with slogans which one cannot but characterize as crowd pleasers – for democracy, against corruption, etc.  Add to this money infusion from G7 embassies distributed as cash and the targeted government has real problems; when color revolution succeeds people soon realize that what really bothered them (lack of freedom, humiliation, poverty, social corruption, lack of prospects of a decent life) goes on with doubled intensity under a new neoliberal regime.

News Fifth column Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Venezuela: another "bombs for oil" scenario after Libya? Syria civil war Civil war in Ukraine Yemen war Looting pays dividends to empire War and Venture Capitalism
Methods used for destabilization of the society in color revolutions Bombing country with dollars Government snipers on rooftops false flag operation "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for color revolutions undermining government in developing and xUSSR countries Role of State Department and western embassies NGOs and think tanks as brain trust of color revolutions
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Democracy as a universal opener for access to natural resources Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy "Fight with Corruption" as a smoke screen for neoliberal penetration into host countries Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism The World as the Grand Chessboard of the American empire
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Delegitimization of Ruling Party Parasitism on Human rights: children of Lieutenant Schmidt Human right activists or globalism fifth column The art of manufacturing of prisoners of consciousness Sect of fraudulent election witnesses
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Neoconservatism Media-Military-Industrial Complex The Deep State Compradors  
Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair NGOs as braintrust of color revolutions Hong Cong Color Revolution of 2014 EuroMaidan Russian Color Revolution of 2012 Ukrainian orange revolution
Frustrated underachievers Russian neoliberal compradors Net Hamsters as a part of fifth column Exploiting Revolutionary Romantics as polit-technology IntelliXencia: Corruption of Intelligentsia and it usage in fifth column in Russia Gene Sharp Recipes and Russian Experience
Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite The Iron Law of Oligarchy Two Party System as polyarchy Foreign Agents Registration Act Attack of Think Tanks Destruction by the USA of international law

Corporate Media: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few

Predator state The Real War on Reality Media as a weapon of mass deception Anatol Leiven on American Messianism  Neoliberalism as Trotskyism for the rich
American Exceptionalism Non-Interventionism Hypocrisy of British ruling elite Politically Incorrect Humor Russian Fifth column Humor Etc
NOTE: Due to the size introduction was converted to a separate page. Introduction to color revolution strategy and tactic
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"The great masquerade of evil has played havoc with all our ethical concepts. For evil to appear disguised as light, as charity, as historical necessity, or social justice is quite bewildering to anyone raised on traditional ethical concepts. But for the Christian who builds his life on the word of God, it merely confirms the fundamental perversity of evil."

-- Dietrich Bonhoeffer

[Mar 24, 2020] This weaponizing of random indignation is a classic tool of the Western propaganda

Highly recommended!
Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Dacian Julien Soros , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT

This weaponizing of random indignation is a classic tool of the Western propaganda. In Romania, we heard for a decade how the national-populists masquerading as socialists are to blame for the lack of highways. It's been a few years since idiot Romanians gather in random cities to complain that their city is not yet hooked to the Austro-Hungarian highway system, despite the lack of traffic between their city and Austro-Hungary.

It is my understanding that, once highway construction will start, there will be protests about natural or archeological treasures presumably endangered by the construction. It has been decently working in Russia, with that Khimki forest.

Anything that can be thrown at a government threatening to leave the NWO will be used. It's even worse for governments that are already one foot out, like Russia / China, or completely out, like Iran / North Korea. Putin will be blamed for epidemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and even eclipses. If an earthquake would kill only a few, we will hear about "failure to respond". If the earthquake doesn't kill anybody. we will be told that Putin exploited it for propaganda.

One of the ways that CIA and Soros use, in order to weaponize Romania's presumed lack of highways, is to pay some useful idiots, who call themselves "The Association for the Betterment of Highways", "The Pro-Infrastructura Brigade", and so on. Most of these NGOs consist of a single person, who posts videos of them ranting next to a construction site. Using the model that BoJo used for the upcoming marriage (three men and one dog), the more Soros/CIA-resistant types call them "The One-Incel-And-His-Drone Association".

By that same standard, I suspect we call this Doctors' Alliance "Vasilievna-and-her-thermometer Association". Whatever she says about Moscow hospitals is probably informed by her thermometer anyway. I doubt you can tell how things are in a 10-million city, especially if you are a marginal clown.

Is she an ophthalmologist, like The Part-Time Virologist Martyr of Wuhan? Dentist, perhaps?

[Mar 24, 2020] "Anastasia Vasilieva and her thermometer" NGO

Mar 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

Let's take a look at that last article , written by FT's Henry Foy today, and one of the more balanced (read: less PDS-afflicted) journalists doing the Russia beat (not to mention the most prominent in the above sample, having scored an exclusive interview with Putin in 2019).

"The present number of patients with coronavirus will be hidden from us," said Anastasia Vasilieva, chairman of Doctors' Alliance, a Russian lobby group affiliated with opposition politician Alexei Navalny.

Now Foy, to his credit, at least has the journalistic integrity to acknowledge that this doctors' group (which I have never heard of before now) is affiliated with Navalny, whose entire shtick is to oppose everything and anything the Kremlin does.

A political tilt that its chairwoman helpfully confirms:

"The value of human life for our president is nil . . . We don't want to admit to any pandemic," said Ms Vasilieva. "We know of hospitals that are completely full and nurses who are asked to sew face masks from gauze."

Dacian Julien Soros , says: Show Comment March 22, 2020 at 2:54 pm GMT

This weaponizing of random indignation is a classic tool of the Western propaganda. In Romania, we heard for a decade how the national-populists masquerading as socialists are to blame for the lack of highways. It's been a few years since idiot Romanians gather in random cities to complain that their city is not yet hooked to the Austro-Hungarian highway system, despite the lack of traffic between their city and Austro-Hungary.

It is my understanding that, once highway construction will start, there will be protests about natural or archeological treasures presumably endangered by the construction. It has been decently working in Russia, with that Khimki forest.

Anything that can be thrown at a government threatening to leave the NWO will be used. It's even worse for governments that are already one foot out, like Russia / China, or completely out, like Iran / North Korea. Putin will be blamed for epidemics, earthquakes, tsunamis, and even eclipses. If an earthquake would kill only a few, we will hear about "failure to respond". If the earthquake doesn't kill anybody. we will be told that Putin exploited it for propaganda.

One of the ways that CIA and Soros use, in order to weaponize Romania's presumed lack of highways, is to pay some useful idiots, who call themselves "The Association for the Betterment of Highways", "The Pro-Infrastructura Brigade", and so on. Most of these NGOs consist of a single person, who posts videos of them ranting next to a construction site. Using the model that BoJo used for the upcoming marriage (three men and one dog), the more Soros/CIA-resistant types call them "The One-Incel-And-His-Drone Association".

By that same standard, I suspect we call this Doctors' Alliance "Vasilievna-and-her-thermometer Association". Whatever she says about Moscow hospitals is probably informed by her thermometer anyway. I doubt you can tell how things are in a 10-million city, especially if you are a marginal clown.

Is she an ophthalmologist, like The Part-Time Virologist Martyr of Wuhan? Dentist, perhaps?

[Mar 21, 2020] When reading any article concerning current events (ie. Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, or Coronavirus) consider how the The Seven Principles of Propaganda may apply

Highly recommended!
Mar 22, 2020 | https://www.moonofalabama.org

Dick | Mar 22 2020 0:48 utc | 66

When reading any article concerning current events (ie. Ukraine, Syria, Iran, Venezuela, or Coronavirus) consider how the The Seven Principles of Propaganda may apply. (repost):

  1. Avoid abstract ideas - appeal to the emotions. When we think emotionally, we are more prone to be irrational and less critical in our thinking. I can remember several instances where this has been employed by the US to prepare the public with a justification of their actions. Here are four examples:

    The Invasion of Grenada during the Reagan administration was said to be necessary to rescue American students being held hostage by Grenadian coup authorities after a coup that overthrew the government. I had a friend in the 82nd airborne division that participated in the rescue. He told me the students said they were hiding in the school to avoid the fighting by the US military, and had never been threatened by any Grenadian authority and were only hiding in the school to avoid all the fighting. Film of the actual rescue broadcast on the mainstream media was taken out of context; the students were never in danger.

    The invasion of Panama in the late 80's was supposedly to capture the dictator Manual Noriega for international crimes related to drugs and weapons. I remember a headline covered by all the media where a Navy lieutenant and his wife were detained by the police. His wife was sexually assaulted while in custody, according to the story. Unfortunately, it never happened. It was intended to get the public emotionally involved to support the action.

    The invasion of Iraq in the early 90's was preceded by a speech by a girl describing the Iraqi army throwing babies out of incubators so the equipment could be transferred to Iraq. It turns out the girl was the daughter of one of the Kuwait's ruling sheiks and the event never occurred. However, it served its purpose by getting the American public involved emotionally supporting the war.

    During the build up to the bombing campaign by NATO against Libya, a woman entered a hotel where reporters were staying claiming she was raped by several police officers of the Gaddafi security services. The report was carried by most media outlets as representative of the brutality of the Gaddafi regime. I was not able to verify if this story was true or not, but it fits the usual method employed to gain public support through propaganda for military interventions.

    The greatest emotion in us is fear and fear is used extensively to make us think irrationally. I remember growing up during the cold war having the fear of nuclear war or 'The Russians are coming!' After the cold war without an obvious enemy, it was Al Qaeda even before 911, so we had 'Al Qaeda is coming!' Now we have 'ISIS is coming!' with media blasting us with terrorist fears. Whenever I hear a government promoting an emotional issue or fear mongering, I ignore them knowing there is a hidden Truth behind the issue.

  2. Constantly repeat just a few ideas. Use stereotyped phrases. This could be stated more plainly as 'Keep it simple, stupid!' The most notorious use of this technique recently was the Bush administration. Everyone can remember 'We must fight them over there rather than over here' or my favourite 'They hate us for our freedoms'. Neither of these phrases made any rational sense despite 911. The last thing Muslims in the Middle East care about is American's freedoms, maybe it was all the bombs the US was dropping on them.
  3. Give only one side of the argument and obscure history. Watching mainstream media in the US, you can see all the news is biased to the American view as an example. This is prevalent within Australian commercial media and newspapers giving only a western view, but fortunately, we have the SBS and the ABC that are very good, certainly not perfect, at providing both sides of a story. In addition, any historical perspective is ignored keeping the citizenry focused on the here and now. Can any of you remember any news organisation giving an in depth history of Ukraine or Palestine? I cannot.
  4. Demonize the enemy or pick out one special "enemy" for special vilification. This is obvious in politics where politicians continuously criticise their opponents. Of course, demonization is more productively applied to international figures or nations such as Saddam Hussein, Osama bin Laden, Gaddafi in Libya, Assad in Syria, the Taliban and just recently Vladimir Putin over the Ukraine, Crimea and Syria. It establishes a negative emotional view of either a nation (i.e. Iran) or a known figure (i.e. Putin) making us again think emotionally, rather than rationally, making it easier to promote evil acts upon a nation or a known figure. Certainly some of these groups or individuals were less than benign, but not necessarily demons as depicted in the west.
  5. Appear humanitarian in work and motivations. The US has used this technique often to validate foreign interventions or ongoing conflicts where the term 'Right to Protect' is used for justification. Everyone should remember the many stories about the abuse of women in Afghanistan or Saddam Hussein's supposed brutality toward his people. The recent attack on Syria by the US, UK, and France was depicted as an Humanitarian intervention by the UK Government, which was far from the truth. One thing that always amazes me is when the US sends humanitarian aid to a country it is accompanied by the US military. In Haiti some years back, the US sent troops with no other country doing so. The recent Ebola outbreak in Africa saw US troops sent to the area. How are troops going to fight a medical outbreak? No doubt, they are there for other reasons.

  6. Obscure one's economic interests. Who believes the invasion of Iraq was for weapons of mass destruction? Or the constant threats against Iran are for their nuclear program? Iraq had no weapons of mass destruction and no one has presented firm evidence Iran intends to produce nuclear weapons. The West has been interfering in the Middle East since the British in the late 19th century. It is all about oil and the control over the resources. In fact, if one researches the cause of wars over the last hundred years, you will always find economics was a major component driving the rush to war for most of them.

  7. Monopolize the flow of information. This is the most important principle and mainly entails setting the narrative by which all subsequent events can be based upon or interpreted in such a way as to reinforce the narrative. The narrative does not need to be true; in fact, it can be anything that suits the monopoliser as long as it is based loosely on some event. It is critical to have at least majority control of media and the ability to control the message so the flow of information is consistent with the narrative. This has been played out on mainstream media concerning the Ukrainian conflict, Syrian conflict, and the Skirpal affair. Just over the last couple of years, we have all been subjected to propaganda in one form or another. Remember the US wanting to bomb Syria because of the sarin gas attack, it was later determined to be false (see Seymour Hersh 'Whose Sarin'). The shoot down of MH17 was immediately blamed on Russia by the west without any convincing proof (setting the narrative). It amazes me just how fast the story died after the initial saturation in the media. When I awoke that morning in July, I heard on the news PM Tony Abbot blaming Russia for the incident only hours afterward. How could he know Russia shot down the plane? The investigation into the incident had not even begun, so I suspect he was singing from the West's hymnbook in a standard setting the narrative scenario.

[Mar 20, 2020] How NGO get funding, how they influence policies and priorities, the money flow, and billions in taxpayer dollars.

Mar 20, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , Mar 20 2020 0:15 utc | 239

How do NGOs rule the world, while bleeding us dry? This is a comprehensive breakdown on who runs the healthcare industry (and other industries), how they do it, how they get funding, how they influence policies and priorities, the money flow, and billions in taxpayer dollars.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FsCCz3MBjK4

[Mar 15, 2020] US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes: Wehrmacht occupying Ukraine vs US occupying Iraq.

Mar 15, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Kali , Mar 14 2020 18:26 utc | 18

The neocons trying to control Trump are going to have a hard time this year because of the election. Trump knows his people voted for him because of his promises to get the troops back home. Of course the neocons want to build up more and more troops in Iraq or even split Iraq into 3 different countries. The Iraqi and Iranian leaders with the Syrians to a lesser degree will try to take advantage of Trump's dilemma. The Kurds are involved also. This is all explored by Pam Ho How Much Do You Suck (To lose a popularity contest with Saddam Hussein)

Willy2 , Mar 14 2020 18:32 utc | 19

- The US knows it "influence" is waning and tries to "carve out" a sunni "rump state" in North-West Iraq. First the US fights ISIS in that same area/region from the year 2014 onwards and now they are supposed to fight in FAVOUR of the sunnis/ISIS ?

"US seeking to carve out Sunni state as its influence in Iraq wanes"

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/us-seeking-carve-out-sunni-state-its-influence-iraq-wanes

- Some politicians are recognizing that the killing of Qassam Sulemani has weakened the US position in the Middle East.

"Killing Soleimani made US 'weaker' in Middle East, US senator says".

https://www.middleeasteye.net/news/killing-soleimani-made-us-weaker-middle-east-us-senator-says

arata , Mar 14 2020 19:37 utc | 29
General McKenzie said they have bombed a civilian air port in Karbala was a right decision, Iraqi police force who were killed, they shouldn't be there!
See the video 13:00 onward.
Peter AU1 , Mar 14 2020 19:50 utc | 32
arata 29
Rueters had a piece on it which I linked in the last Iraq thread. Total yank arrogance and exceptionalism.

https://www.reuters.com/article/us-iraq-security-usa-iran-retaliation-mi/iraq-condemns-u-s-air-strikes-warns-of-consequences-idUSKBN2101AD?il=0
""These locations that we struck are clear locations of terrorist bases," said Marine General Kenneth McKenzie, head of the U.S. military's Central Command.

"If Iraqis were there and if Iraqi military forces were there, I would say it's probably not a good idea to position yourself with Kataib Hezbollah in the wake of a strike that killed Americans and coalition members," he told a Pentagon news briefing."

dltravers , Mar 14 2020 21:40 utc | 40
Despite Trump the Iraq policy transcends his administration and will continue in some form in the future. There will be a continued presence in some form and in some part of the country. Our beloved ally in the region demands our presence.

They smartly keep the presence small with no draft remembering that is what took them out of Nam. An angry draft worthy populace, a counter culture disillusioned with the murder of their liberal anti war leadership by the state, and ample media coverage of the war carnage.

All of that is long gone, and even with the age of internet reporting the populace has been bought off with entertainment, amazon, porn, and bullshit.

Abe , Mar 15 2020 0:39 utc | 54
@43

Parallel is IMO very interesting, Wehrmacht occupying Ukraine and US occupying Iraq. In both cases there was minority that welcomed occupier with open arms, wanting to oppress majority of own country folks due to earlier grievances. In both cases, invader didn't want to bother with using that minority to own goals, as they saw them all as inferior race. And invader was in both cases more interested in conquering more powerful neighbor to the east.

Irony is that, if Nazi Germany/US didn't look at Ukraine/Iraq people as inferior race they could use them for own goal to fight Russia/Iran. But, dumb as they are, they stuck all those Ukrainians into camps(lot of them sympathizers to Germany/rabidly against Russia)/ disbanding ex. Saddam's army and made kernel of future anti US force into region, not to mention Kurdish question.


Peter AU1 , Mar 15 2020 0:39 utc | 55
53 Snake put up a link back up the thread.
https://www.presstv.com/Detail/2020/03/14/620858/Iraq-military-demands-foreign-forces-swiftly-withdraw-following-US-air-raids
"Iraqi lawmakers unanimously approved a bill on January 5, demanding the withdrawal of all foreign military forces..."

"Later on January 9, former Iraqi prime minister Adel Abdul-Mahdi called on the United States to dispatch a delegation to Baghdad tasked with formulating a mechanism for the move.

According to a statement released by his office at the time, Abdul-Mahdi "requested that delegates be sent to Iraq to set the mechanisms to implement the parliament's decision for the secure withdrawal of (foreign) forces from Iraq" in a phone call with US Secretary of State Mike Pompeo."

US in response moved to a few bases they intended to occupy and give the two finger salute to Iraq. Trump threatened sanctions and theft of Iraq's oil money which is in the US. Pentagon now moving patriots in.

Jackrabbit , Mar 15 2020 2:43 utc | 69
Question to b @53: ... it was a non-binding resolution.

It's "non-binding" on USA only because the Prime Minister conducts foreign policy and there's no current written basing agreement between Iraq and USA that can be terminated. The resolution demands that the Prime Minister arrange for the departure of US troops.

The resolution is binding on the Prime Minister because it was a valid vote in accordance with Iraqi Parliamentary procedure.

USA refused to discuss leaving Iraq and claimed that the Parliamentary vote was "non-binding" because it was unrepresentative (USA got their Sunni and Kurd sympathizers to boycott the vote). But Parliament still had a quorum, so the vote is legal and binding.

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

Is it enforceable?

USA/NATO are very unlikely to leaving willingly. We are seeing the start of a civil war in Iraq because most Sunnis and Kurds support USA/NATO remaining while Shia want USA/NATO to leave.

!!

james , Mar 15 2020 2:36 utc | 67
just start with the first lie and go from their... usa / uk lied the world into going to war on iraq... and from their the lies just keep on getting stacked.. if you can't acknowledge the first lie, you probably are incapable of recognizing all the other lies that have been thrown on the same bullshit pile... one big pile of lies and bullshite - a specialty of the exceptional country..
james , Mar 15 2020 2:25 utc | 65
@ 63 question.. you like this usa style bullshit that buys politicians in iraq and when that doesn't work, they go on to the next attempt at installing a politician willing to agree to their bullshite? interesting bullshit concept of democracy if you ask me... everything has a price tag and honour is something you can pick up at the grocery store... right..

[Mar 12, 2020] How 'Bernie Bros' Were Invented, Then Smeared as Sexist, Racist and unAmerican as Borscht by Jonathan Cook

Looks like DNC run a pretty sophisticated smear campaign against Sanders ...
Notable quotes:
"... It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities ..."
"... The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power. ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

The Democratic presidential nomination race is a fascinating case study in how power works – not least, because the Democratic party leaders are visibly contriving to impose one candidate, Joe Biden, as the party's nominee, even as it becomes clear that he is no longer mentally equipped to run a local table tennis club let alone the world's most powerful nation.

Biden's campaign is a reminder that power is indivisible. Donald Trump or Joe Biden for president – it doesn't matter to the power-establishment. An egomaniacal man-child (Trump), representing the billionaires, or an elder suffering rapid neurological degeneration (Biden), representing the billionaires, are equally useful to power. A woman will do too, or a person of colour. The establishment is no longer worried about who stands on stage – so long as that person is not a Bernie Sanders in the US, or a Jeremy Corbyn in the UK.

It really isn't about who the candidates are – hurtful as that may sound to some in our identity-saturated times. It is about what the candidate might try to do once in office. In truth, the very fact that nowadays we are allowed to focus on identity to our heart's content should be warning enough that the establishment is only too keen for us to exhaust our energies in promoting divisions based on those identities. What concerns it far more is that we might overcome those divisions and unify against it, withdrawing our consent from an establishment committed to endless asset-stripping of our societies and the planet.

Neither Biden nor Trump will obstruct the establishment, because they are at its very heart. The Republican and Democratic leaderships are there to ensure that, before a candidate gets selected to compete in the parties' name, he or she has proven they are power-friendly. Two candidates, each vetted for obedience to power.

Although a pretty face or a way with words are desirable, incapacity and incompetence are no barrier to qualifying, as the two white men groomed by their respective parties demonstrate. Both have proved they will favour the establishment, both will pursue near-enough the same policies , both are committed to the status quo, both have demonstrated their indifference to the future of life on Earth. What separates the candidates is not real substance, but presentation styles – the creation of the appearance of difference, of choice.

Policing the debate

The subtle dynamics of how the Democratic nomination race is being rigged are interesting. Especially revealing are the ways the Democratic leadership protects establishment power by policing the terms of debate: what can be said, and what can be thought; who gets to speak and whose voices are misrepresented or demonised. Manipulation of language is key.

As I pointed out in my previous post , the establishment's power derives from its invisibility. Scrutiny is kryptonite to power.

The only way we can interrogate power is through language, and the only way we can communicate our conclusions to others is through words – as I am doing right now. And therefore our strength – our ability to awaken ourselves from the trance of power – must be subverted by the establishment, transformed into our Achilles' heel, a weakness.

The treatment of Bernie Sanders and his supporters by the Democratic establishment – and those who eagerly repeat its talking points – neatly illustrates how this can be done in manifold ways.

Remember this all started back in 2016, when Sanders committed the unforgivable sin of challenging the Democratic leadership's right simply to anoint Hillary Clinton as the party's presidential candidate. In those days, the fault line was obvious and neat: Bernie was a man, Clinton a woman. She would be the first woman president. The only party members who might wish to deny her that historic moment, and back Sanders instead, had to be misogynist men. They were supposedly venting their anti-women grudge against Clinton, who in turn was presented to women as a symbol of their oppression by men.

And so was born a meme: the "Bernie Bros". It rapidly became shorthand for suggesting – contrary to all evidence – that Sanders' candidacy appealed chiefly to angry, entitled white men. In fact, as Sanders' 2020 run has amply demonstrated, support for him has been more diverse than for the many other Democratic candidates who sought the nomination.

So important what @ewarren is saying to @maddow about the dangerous, threatening, ugly faction among the Bernie supporters. Sanders either cannot or will not control them. pic.twitter.com/LYDXlLJ7bi

-- Mia Farrow (@MiaFarrow) March 6, 2020

How contrived the 2016 identity-fuelled contest was should have been clear, had anyone been allowed to point that fact out. This wasn't really about the Democratic leadership respecting Clinton's identity as a woman. It was about them paying lip service to her identity as a woman, while actually promoting her because she was a reliable warmonger and Wall Street functionary . She was useful to power.

If the debate had really been driven by identity politics, Sanders had a winning card too: he is Jewish. That meant he could be the United States' first Jewish president. In a fair identity fight, it would have been a draw between the two. The decision about who should represent the Democratic party would then have had to be decided based on policies, not identity. But party leaders did not want Clinton's actual policies, or her political history, being put under the microscope for very obvious reasons.

Weaponisation of identity

The weaponisation of identity politics is even more transparent in 2020. Sanders is still Jewish, but his main opponent, Joe Biden, really is simply a privileged white man. Were the Clinton format to be followed again by Democratic officials, Sanders would enjoy an identity politics trump card. And yet Sanders is still being presented as just another white male candidate , no different from Biden.

(We could take this argument even further and note that the other candidate who no one, least of all the Democratic leadership, ever mentions as still in the race is Tulsi Gabbard, a woman of colour. The Democratic party has worked hard to make her as invisible as possible in the primaries because, of all the candidates, she is the most vocal and articulate opponent of foreign wars. That has deprived her of the chance to raise funds and win delegates.)

. @DanaPerino I'm not quite sure why you're telling FOX viewers that Elizabeth Warren is the last female candidate in the Dem primary. Is it because you believe a fake indigenous woman of color is "real" and the real indigenous woman of color in this race is fake? pic.twitter.com/VKCxy2JzFe

-- Tulsi Gabbard 🌺 (@TulsiGabbard) March 3, 2020

Sanders' Jewish identity isn't celebrated because he isn't useful to the power-establishment. What's far more important to them – and should be to us too – are his policies, which might limit their power to wage war, exploit workers and trash the planet.

But it is not just that Democratic Party leaders are ignoring Sanders' Jewish identity. They are also again actively using identity politics against him, and in many different ways.

The 'black' establishment?

Bernie Sanders' supporters have been complaining for some time – based on mounting evidence – that the Democratic leadership is far from neutral between Sanders and Biden. Because it has a vested interest in the outcome, and because it is the part of the power-establishment, the Democratic National Committee (DNC) is exercising its influence in favour of Biden. And because power prefers darkness, the DNC is doing its best to exercise that power behind the scenes, out of sight – at least, unseen by those who still rely on the "mainstream" corporate media, which is also part of the power-establishment. As should be clear to anyone watching, the nomination proceedings are being controlled to give Biden every advantage and to obstruct Sanders.

But the Democratic leadership is not only dismissing out of hand these very justified complaints from Bernie Sanders' supporters but also turning these complaints against them, as further evidence of their – and his – illegitimacy. A new way of doing this emerged in the immediate wake of Biden winning South Carolina on the back of strong support from older black voters – Biden's first state win and a launchpad for his Super Tuesday bid a few days later.

It was given perfect expression from Symone Sanders, who despite her surname is actually a senior adviser to Biden's campaign. She is also black. This is what she wrote: "People who keep referring to Black voters as 'the establishment' are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing."

People who keep referring to Black voters as "the establishment" are tone deaf and have obviously learned nothing.

-- Symone D. Sanders (@SymoneDSanders) March 3, 2020

Her reference to generic "people" was understood precisely by both sides of the debate as code for those "Bernie Bros". Now, it seems, Bernie Sanders' supporters are not simply misogynists, they are potential recruits to the Ku Klux Klan.

The tweet went viral, even though in the fiercely contested back-and-forth below her tweet no one could produce a single example of anyone actually saying anything like the sentiment ascribed by Symone Sanders to "Bernie Bros". But then, tackling bigotry was not her real goal. This wasn't meant to be a reflection on a real-world talking-point by Bernie supporters. It was high-level gaslighting by a senior Democratic party official of the party's own voters.

Survival of the fittest smear

What Symone Sanders was really trying to do was conceal power – the fact that the DNC is seeking to impose its chosen candidate on party members. As occurred during the confected women-men, Clinton vs "Bernie Bros" confrontation, Symone Sanders was field-testing a similar narrative management tool as part of the establishment's efforts to hone it for improved effect. The establishment has learnt – through a kind of survival of the fittest smear – that divide-and-rule identity politics is the perfect way to shield its influence as it favours a status-quo candidate (Biden or Clinton) over a candidate seen as a threat to its power (Sanders).

In her tweet, Symone Sanders showed exactly how the power elite seeks to obscure its toxic role in our societies. She neatly conflated "the establishment" – of which she is a very small, but well-paid component – with ordinary "black voters". Her message is this: should you try to criticise the establishment (which has inordinate power to damage lives and destroy the planet) we will demonise you, making it seem that you are really attacking black people (who in the vast majority of cases – though Symone Sanders is a notable exception – wield no power at all).

Symone Sanders has recruited her own blackness and South Carolina's "black voters" as a ring of steel to protect the establishment. Cynically, she has turned poor black people, as well as the tens of thousands of people (presumably black and white) who liked her tweet, into human shields for the establishment.

It sounds a lot uglier put like that. But it has rapidly become a Biden talking-point, as we can see here:

NEW: @JoeBiden responds to @berniesanders saying the "establishment" is trying to defeat him.

"The establishment are all those hardworking, middle class people, those African Americans they are the establishment!" @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/43Q2Nci5sS

-- Bo Erickson CBS (@BoKnowsNews) March 4, 2020

The DNC's wider strategy is to confer on Biden exclusive rights to speak for black voters (despite his inglorious record on civil rights issues) and, further, to strip Sanders and his senior black advisers of any right to do so. When Sanders protests about this, or about racist behaviour from the Biden camp, Biden's supporters come out in force and often abusively, though of course no one is upbraiding them for their ugly, violent language. Here is the famous former tennis player Martina Navratilova showing that maybe we should be talking about "Biden Bros":

Sanders is starting to really piss me off. Just shut this kind of crap down and debate the issues. This is not it.

-- Martina Navratilova (@Martina) March 6, 2020

Being unkind to billionaires

This kind of special pleading by the establishment for the establishment – using those sections of it, such as Symone Sanders, that can tap into the identity politics zeitgeist – is far more common than you might imagine. The approach is being constantly refined, often using social media as the ultimate focus group. Symone Sanders' successful conflation of the establishment with "black voters" follows earlier, clumsier efforts by the establishment to protect its interests against Sanders that proved far less effective.

Billionaires should not exist. https://t.co/hgR6CeFvLa

-- Bernie Sanders (@BernieSanders) September 24, 2019

Remember how last autumn the billionaire-owned corporate media tried to tell us that it was unkind to criticise billionaires – that they had feelings too and that speaking harshly about them was "dehumanising". Again it was aimed at Sanders, who had just commented that in a properly ordered world billionaires simply wouldn't exist. It was an obvious point: allowing a handful of people to control almost all the planet's wealth was not only depriving the rest of us of that wealth (and harming the planet) but it gave those few billionaires way too much power. They could buy all the media, our channels of communication, and most of the politicians to ringfence their financial interests, gradually eroding even the most minimal democratic protections.

That campaign died a quick death because few of us are actually brainwashed enough to accept the idea that a handful of billionaires share an identity that needs protecting – from us! Most of us are still connected enough to the real world to understand that billionaires are more than capable of looking out for their own interests, without our helping them by imposing on ourselves a vow of silence.

But one cannot fault the power-establishment for being constantly inventive in the search for new ways to stifle our criticisms of the way it unilaterally exercises its power. The Democratic nomination race is testing such ingenuity to the limits. Here's a new rule against "hateful conduct" on Twitter, where Biden's neurological deficit is being subjected to much critical scrutiny through the sharing of dozens of videos of embarrassing Biden "senior moments".

Twitter expanding its hateful conduct rules "to include language that dehumanizes on the basis of age, disability or disease." https://t.co/KmWGaNAG9Z

-- Ben Collins (@oneunderscore__) March 5, 2020

Yes, disability and age are identities too. And so, on the pretext of protecting and respecting those identities, social media can now be scrubbed of anything and anyone trying to highlight the mental deficiencies of an old man who might soon be given the nuclear codes and would be responsible for waging wars in the name of Americans. Twitter is full of comments denouncing as "ableist" anyone who tries to highlight how the Democratic leadership is foisting a cognitively challenged Biden on to the party.

Maybe the Dem insiders are all wrong, but it's true that they are saying it. Some are saying it out loud, including Castro at the debate and Booker here: https://t.co/0lbi7RFRqG

-- Ryan Grim (@ryangrim) March 6, 2020

Russian 'agents' and 'assets'

None of this is to overlook the fact that another variation of identity politics has been weaponised against Sanders: that of failing to be an "American" patriot. Again illustrating how closely the Democratic and Republican leaderships' interests align, the question of who is a patriot – and who is really working for the "Russians" – has been at the heart of both parties' campaigns, though for different reasons.

Trump has been subjected to endless, evidence-free claims that he is a secret "Russian agent" in a concerted effort to control his original isolationist foreign policy impulses that might have stripped the establishment – and its military-industrial wing – of the right to wage wars of aggression, and revive the Cold War, wherever it believes a profit can be made under cover of "humanitarian intervention". Trump partly inoculated himself against these criticisms, at least among supporters, with his "Make America Great Again" slogan, and partly by learning – painfully for such an egotist – that his presidential role was to rubber-stamp decisions made elsewhere about waging wars and projecting US power.

I'm just amazed by this tweet, which has been tweeted plenty. Did @_nalexander and all the people liking this not know that Mueller laid out in the indictments of a number of Russians and in his report their help on social media to Sanders and Trump. Help Sanders has acknowledged https://t.co/vuc0lmvvKP

-- Neera Tanden (@neeratanden) December 8, 2019

Bernie Sanders has faced similar smear efforts by the establishment, including by the DNC's last failed presidential candidate Hillary Clinton – in his case, painting him as a "Russian asset". ("Asset" is a way to suggest collusion with the Kremlin based on even more flimsy evidence than is needed to accuse someone of being an agent.) In fact, in a world where identity politics wasn't simply a tool to be weaponised by the establishment, there would be real trepidation about engaging in this kind of invective against a Jewish socialist.

One of the far-right's favourite antisemitic tropes – promoted ever since the publication of the Protocols of the Elders of Zion more than 100 years ago – is that Jewish "Bolsheviks" are involved in an international conspiracy to subvert the countries they live in. We have reached the point now that the corporate media are happy to recycle evidence-free claims, cited by the Washington Post, from anonymous "US officials" and US intelligence agencies reinventing a US version of the Protocols against Sanders. And these smears have elicited not a word of criticism from the Democratic leadership nor from the usual antisemitism watchdogs that are so ready to let rip over the slightest signs of what they claim to be antisemitism on the left.

But the urgency of dealing with Sanders may be the reason normal conventions have been discarded. Sanders isn't a loud-mouth egotist like Trump. A vote for Trump is a vote for the establishment, if for one of its number who pretends to be against the establishment. Trump has been largely tamed in time for a second term. By contrast, Sanders, like Corbyn in the UK, is more dangerous because he may resist the efforts to domesticate him, and because if he is allowed any significant measure of political success – such as becoming a candidate for president – it may inspire others to follow in his footsteps. The system might start to throw up more anomalies, more AOCs and more Ilhan Omars.

So Sanders is now being cast, like Trump, as a puppet of the Kremlin, not a true American. And because he made the serious mistake of indulging the "Russiagate" smears when they were used against Trump, Sanders now has little defence against their redeployment against him. And given that, by the impoverished standards of US political culture, he is considered an extreme leftist, it has been easy to conflate his democratic socialism with Communism, and then conflate his supposed Communism with acting on behalf of the Kremlin (which, of course, ignores the fact that Russia long ago abandoned Communism).

Sen. Bernie Sanders: "Let me tell this to Putin -- the American people, whether Republicans, Democrats, independents are sick and tired of seeing Russia and other countries interfering in our elections." pic.twitter.com/ejcP7YVFlt

-- The Hill (@thehill) February 21, 2020

Antisemitism smear at the ready

There is a final use of weaponised identity politics that the Democratic establishment would dearly love to use against Sanders, if they need to and can get away with it. It is the most toxic brand – and therefore the most effective – of the identity-based smears, and it has been extensively field-tested in the UK against Jeremy Corbyn to great success. The DNC would like to denounce Sanders as an antisemite.

In fact, only one thing has held them back till now: the fact that Sanders is Jewish. That may not prove an insuperable obstacle, but it does make it much harder to make the accusation look credible. The other identity-based smears had been a second-best, a make-do until a way could be found to unleash the antisemitism smear.

The establishment has been testing the waters with implied accusations of antisemitism against Sanders for a while, but their chances were given a fillip recently when Sanders refused to participate in the annual jamboree of AIPAC, the American Israel Public Affairs Committee, a prominent lobby group whose primary mission is to ringfence Israel from criticism in the US. Both the Republican and Democratic establishments turn out in force to the AIPAC conference, and in the past the event has attracted keynote speeches from Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.

But Sanders has refused to attend for decades and maintained that stance this month, even though he is a candidate for the Democratic nomination. In the last primaries debate, Sanders justified his decision by rightly calling Israel's prime minister Benjamin Netanyahu a "racist" and by describing AIPAC as providing a platform "for leaders who express bigotry and oppose basic Palestinian rights".

Trump's Vice-President, Mike Pence, responded that Sanders supported "Israel's enemies" and, if elected, would be the "most anti-Israel president in the history of this nation" – all coded suggestions that Sanders is antisemitic.

But that's Mike Pence. More useful criticism came from billionaire Mike Bloomberg, who is himself Jewish and was until last week posing as a Democrat to try to win the party's nomination. Bloomberg accused Sanders of using dehumanising language against a bunch of inclusive identities that, he improbably suggested, AIPAC represents. He claimed :

"This is a gathering of 20,000 Israel supporters of every religious denomination, ethnicity, faith, color, sexual identity and political party. Calling it a racist platform is an attempt to discredit those voices, intimidate people from coming here, and weaken the US-Israel relationship."

Where might this head? At the AIPAC conference last week we were given a foretaste. Ephraim Mirvis, the chief rabbi of the UK and a friend to Conservative government leader Boris Johnson, was warmly greeted by delegates, including leading members of the Democratic establishment. He boasted that he and other Jewish leaders in the UK had managed to damage Jeremy Corbyn's electoral chances by suggesting that he was an antisemite over his support, like Sanders, for Palestinian rights.

His own treatment of Corbyn, he argued, offered a model for US Jewish organisations to replicate against any leadership contender who might pose similar trouble for Israel, leaving it for his audience to pick up the not-so-subtle hint about who needed to be subjected to character assassination.

WATCH: "Today I issue a call to the Jews of America, please take a leaf out of our book and please speak with one voice."

The Chief Rabbi speaking to the 18,000 delegates gathered at the @AIPAC General Session at their Policy Conference in Washington DC pic.twitter.com/BOkan9RA2O

-- Chief Rabbi Mirvis (@chiefrabbi) March 3, 2020

Establishment playbook

For anyone who isn't wilfully blind, the last few months have exposed the establishment playbook: it will use identity politics to divide those who might otherwise find a united voice and a common cause.

There is nothing wrong with celebrating one's identity, especially if it is under threat, maligned or marginalised. But having an attachment to an identity is no excuse for allowing it to be coopted by billionaires, by the powerful, by nuclear-armed states oppressing other people, by political parties or by the corporate media, so that they can weaponise it to prevent the weak, the poor, the marginalised from being represented.

It is time for us to wake up to the tricks, the deceptions, the manipulations of the strong that exploit our weaknesses – and make us yet weaker still. It's time to stop being a patsy for the establishment. Join the debate on Facebook More articles by: Jonathan Cook

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

[Mar 12, 2020] Americans are told every day that Russians are interfering in our politics. We've been interfering in Russia's for a century. -

Notable quotes:
"... Nonetheless much of this Cold War rivalry played out within a set of rules. Since 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed, those rules have largely evaporated. The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new American effort to bring Russia into the Western fold -- to make it, in Washington-speak, a "responsible partner in the rules-based international order." We sought a cooperative Russian leader -- one who would play the pro-Western role once envisioned for Admiral Kolchak. ..."
"... In 1996 President Boris Yeltsin, who had presided over an epic collapse of living standards in Russia, seemed headed for electoral defeat. That threatened America's influence over Russia. President Bill Clinton told his advisers, " I want this guy to win so bad it hurts ." A team of American political consultants flew to Russia, took over Yeltsin's campaign and, using media techniques not previously seen there, steered him to an improbable victory. This direct intervention in Russian politics was hardly clandestine. Time magazine published a gleeful account soon afterward, with a drawing of Yeltsin on the cover waving an American flag over the headline " Yanks to the Rescue ." ..."
Mar 12, 2020 | www.bostonglobe.com

Shots rang out beside a frozen Siberian river one century ago, and a famous commander fell dead. Members of the firing squad dumped his body through a hole in the ice. With that, the Russian civil war took a decisive turn. Communists consolidated power and set in motion events that still shape Russia.

Observing the anniversary of this fateful execution helps explain why Russia today feels besieged by the United States. The victim, Admiral Alexander Kolchak, was recognized by Western powers as the legitimate ruler of Russia. He and his White Army were waging an epic war to overthrow Lenin and the Reds. In 1919 President Woodrow Wilson, horrified at the rise of Bolshevik power, sent 13,000 American soldiers to Russia.

Although Americans have largely forgotten this episode, Russians have not. They know from their history books that the United States and other powers sent a potent army on an ill-fated mission deep inside their country. Many see that intervention as the beginning of a century during which the United States has relentlessly interfered in Russia's internal affairs. This has created a narrative of encirclement -- a view that the West relentlessly threatens Russia and does whatever possible to destabilize and weaken it.

Americans are told every day that Russia is interfering in our internal politics. This is said to be an effort to erode American society and weaken our democracy. Portrayals of Russia in the American press are unfailingly negative, President Vladimir Putin is presented as demonic, and any politician who advocates better relations with Moscow risks being accused of treason. Presidential candidates compete to be more virulently anti-Russian than their rivals, as if this is a measure of patriotism. Tensions between the two countries are in some ways higher than during the worst days of the Cold War.

The American and Russian governments have adopted startlingly similar views of each other. Each believes that the other is systematically and malignantly intervening in its internal politics. This feeds a spiral of mistrust and anger. We have not yet returned to the extreme of 1919, when the United States sent combat troops to Russia in an attempt to preserve Western influence there. Yet Russians have reason to suspect that the United States is still trying to guide the course of their history. We lost Admiral Kolchak 100 years ago but haven't given up.

Kolchak was a celebrated scientist and polar explorer who rose to high positions in the Russian Navy. He visited the United States in 1917, and upon his return began marshalling forces to fight the Bolsheviks. Despite receiving troves of weaponry from the British, his forces could not win. He fell into Bolshevik hands and, at dawn on February 7, 1920, was marched toward a tributary of the Angara River. Ever the gentleman, he refused a blindfold and asked the commander of the firing squad to send a final message of love to his wife and son. The commander replied, "I will if I don't forget."

With Kolchak gone, the White Army weakened and finally succumbed. Russia remained Communist for seven decades. During that entire period, with the notable exception of their alliance against Nazi power in World War II, Moscow and Washington were intense global rivals. Americans overlaid the worst qualities of our World War II enemies onto Russia: since the Japanese had attacked us without warning, the Russians probably would too, and since the Nazis had invaded other countries and brutalized their people, Russians were likely to do the same.

Nonetheless much of this Cold War rivalry played out within a set of rules. Since 1990, when the Soviet Union collapsed, those rules have largely evaporated. The end of the Cold War marked the beginning of a new American effort to bring Russia into the Western fold -- to make it, in Washington-speak, a "responsible partner in the rules-based international order." We sought a cooperative Russian leader -- one who would play the pro-Western role once envisioned for Admiral Kolchak.

In 1996 President Boris Yeltsin, who had presided over an epic collapse of living standards in Russia, seemed headed for electoral defeat. That threatened America's influence over Russia. President Bill Clinton told his advisers, " I want this guy to win so bad it hurts ." A team of American political consultants flew to Russia, took over Yeltsin's campaign and, using media techniques not previously seen there, steered him to an improbable victory. This direct intervention in Russian politics was hardly clandestine. Time magazine published a gleeful account soon afterward, with a drawing of Yeltsin on the cover waving an American flag over the headline " Yanks to the Rescue ."

In the years since Putin's emergence, the United States has returned to its default view of Russia as a bloodthirsty enemy. We have imposed a maze of sanctions on Russian individuals and corporations. Our military surrounds Russia just as Russians would surround us if they had bases across Canada and Mexico. We have renounced treaties that once restrained our rivalry. Depending on one's point of view, these steps are either aggressive provocations or simply measured responses to Russian threats and misdeeds. Either way, Russians may be forgiven for believing that the United States wishes their country neither prosperity nor stability. Admiral Kolchak's execution one hundred years ago this winter marked an epochal failure of Western efforts to bend Russia to our will. We're still trying.

[Mar 12, 2020] Levada poll is financed by the USA in violation of Russian laws

Mar 12, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Mar 11 2020 7:43 utc | 84

Helmer prefers Levada poll.
https://tass.com/politics/898199
A Justice Ministry source told TASS that a random check carried out by the ministry's Moscow branch had established that the Levada Center was financed by foreign sources and was involved in political activities in the territory of Russia in the interests of its foreign sponsors. The center prepares and distributes by means of modern information technologies their opinion on decisions passed by Russian bodies of state power and their policy and forms socio-political views and convictions.

"The inspection revealed that the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada had received a large part of its funds from the United States, including a grant from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which is curated by the U.S. Department of Defense," the source said.

On things Russian, I think a Russian funded poll might be more accurate than a US government funded NGO.

uncle tungsten , Mar 11 2020 9:11 utc | 85

Peter AU1 #83

On things Russian and USA funding I just discovered this piece at Unz Review in regard to Kevin Rothrock.

Apart from the direct links to State Department and Soros funds, I thought of Integrity Initiative and is jolly band of stenographers at large.

[Mar 11, 2020] Levada poll is financed by the USA in violation of Russian laws

Mar 11, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Peter AU1 , Mar 11 2020 7:43 utc | 84

Helmer prefers Levada poll.
https://tass.com/politics/898199
A Justice Ministry source told TASS that a random check carried out by the ministry's Moscow branch had established that the Levada Center was financed by foreign sources and was involved in political activities in the territory of Russia in the interests of its foreign sponsors. The center prepares and distributes by means of modern information technologies their opinion on decisions passed by Russian bodies of state power and their policy and forms socio-political views and convictions.

"The inspection revealed that the Analytical Center of Yuri Levada had received a large part of its funds from the United States, including a grant from the University of Wisconsin - Madison, which is curated by the U.S. Department of Defense," the source said.

On things Russian, I think a Russian funded poll might be more accurate than a US government funded NGO.

uncle tungsten , Mar 11 2020 9:11 utc | 85

Peter AU1 #83

On things Russian and USA funding I just discovered this piece at Unz Review in regard to Kevin Rothrock.

Apart from the direct links to State Department and Soros funds, I thought of Integrity Initiative and is jolly band of stenographers at large.

[Mar 07, 2020] The Surprising and Sobering Science of How We Gain and Lose Influence

Mar 07, 2020 | getpocket.com

Stories to fuel your mind. "We rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst." Brain Pickings |

Art by Shaun Tan for a special edition of the Brothers Grimm fairy tales .

Thoreau wrote as he contemplated how silence ennobles speech . In the century and a half since, we have created a culture that equates loudness with leadership, abrasiveness with authority. We mistake shouting for powerful speech much as we mistake force for power itself. And yet the real measure of power is more in the realm of Thoreau's "fine things."

So argues UC Berkeley psychologist Dacher Keltner in The Power Paradox: How We Gain and Lose Influence ( public library ) -- the culmination of twenty years of research exploring what power is, what confers it upon an individual, and how it shapes the structure of a collective, a community, and a culture. Drawing on a wealth of social science studies and insights from successful teams ranging from companies like Pixar and Google to restorative justice programs in San Quentin State Prison, he demonstrates "the surprising and lasting influence of soft power (culture, ideas, art, and institutions) as compared to hard power (military might, invasion, and economic sanctions)."

Keltner writes:

Life is made up of patterns. Patterns of eating, thirst, sleep, and fight-or-flight are crucial to our individual survival; patterns of courtship, sex, attachment, conflict, play, creativity, family life, and collaboration are crucial to our collective survival. Wisdom is our ability to perceive these patterns and to shape them into coherent chapters within the longer narrative of our lives.

Power dynamics, Keltner notes, are among the central patterns that shape our experience of life, from our romantic relationships to the workplace. But at the heart of power is a troubling paradox -- a malignant feature of human psychology responsible for John Dalberg-Acton's oft-cited insight that "power tends to corrupt, and absolute power corrupts absolutely." Keltner explains the psychological machinery of this malfunction and considers our recourse for resisting its workings:

The power paradox is this: we rise in power and make a difference in the world due to what is best about human nature, but we fall from power due to what is worst. We gain a capacity to make a difference in the world by enhancing the lives of others, but the very experience of having power and privilege leads us to behave, in our worst moments, like impulsive, out-of-control sociopaths.

How we handle the power paradox guides our personal and work lives and determines, ultimately, how happy we and the people we care about will be. It determines our empathy, generosity, civility, innovation, intellectual rigor, and the collaborative strength of our communities and social networks. Its ripple effects shape the patterns that make up our families, neighborhoods, and workplaces, as well as the broader patterns of social organization that define societies and our current political struggles.

[...]

Much of what is most unsettling about human nature -- stigma, greed, arrogance, racial and sexual violence, and the nonrandom distribution of depression and bad health to the poor -- follows from how we handle the power paradox.

Art by Olivier Tallec from Louis I, King of the Sheep, an illustrated parable of how power changes us .

What causes us to mishandle the power paradox, Keltner argues, is our culture's traditional understanding of power -- a sort of time-capsule that no longer serves us. Predicated on force, ruthlessness, and strategic coercion, it was shaped by Niccolò Machiavelli's sixteenth-century book The Prince -- but it is as antiquated today as the geocentric model of the universe that dominated Machiavelli's day. What governs the modern world, Keltner demonstrates through two decades of revelatory studies, is a different kind of power -- softer, more relational, predicated on reputation rather than force, measured by one's ability to affect the lives of others positively and shift the course of the world, however slightly, toward the common good. He writes:

Perhaps most critically, thinking of power as coercive force and fraud blinds us to its pervasiveness in our daily lives and the fact that it shapes our every interaction, from those between parents and children to those between work colleagues.

[...]

Power defines the waking life of every human being. It is found not only in extraordinary acts but also in quotidian acts, indeed in every interaction and every relationship, be it an attempt to get a two-year-old to eat green vegetables or to inspire a stubborn colleague to do her best work. It lies in providing an opportunity to someone, or asking a friend the right question to stir creative thought, or calming a colleague's rattled nerves, or directing resources to a young person trying to make it in society. Power dynamics, patterns of mutual influence, define the ongoing interactions between fetus and mother, infant and parent, between romantic partners, childhood friends, teens, people at work, and groups in conflict. Power is the medium through which we relate to one another. Power is about making a difference in the world by influencing others.

In a sentiment that parallels Thoreau's wisdom on silence and shouting, Keltner adds:

A new wave of thinking about power reveals that it is given to us by others rather than grabbed. We gain power by acting in ways that improve the lives of other people in our social networks.

One key consequence of the fact that power is given to us by others is its reputational nature -- an insight both disquieting to the ego and comforting to the soul, for we are inescapably social creatures. Keltner observes:

Our influence, the lasting difference that we make in the world, is ultimately only as good as what others think of us. Having enduring power is a privilege that depends on other people continuing to give it to us.

"Enduring" is an operative word in Keltner's premise. The "power paradox" is paradoxical precisely because those who manage to wrest power forcibly by the Machiavellian model may have power, or perceived power, for a certain amount of time, but that amount is finite. Its finitude springs from the attrition of the person's reputation. But the most troubling aspect of the power paradox is that even if a person rises to power by counter-Machiavellian means -- kindness, generosity, concern with the common good -- power itself will eventually warp her priorities and render her less kind, less generous, less concerned with the common good, which will in turn erode her power as her reputation for these counter-qualities grows.

Keltner cites a number of studies demonstrating these tendencies empirically -- poor people give to charity a greater portion of their income than rich people, those in positions of power exhibit more entitled behaviors, people who drive expensive cars are significantly crueler to pedestrians at crosswalks, and so forth.

But in reading these alarmingly consistent studies, I had to wonder about one crucial confound that remains unaddressed: People in positions of power also tend to be busier -- that is, they tend to have greater demands on their time. We know from the now-iconic 1970s Good Samaritan study that the single greatest predictor of uncaring, unkind, and uncompassionate behavior, even among people who have devoted their lives to the welfare of others, is a perceived lack of time -- a feeling of being rushed. The sense of urgency seems to consume all of our other concerns -- it is the razor's blade that severs our connection to anything outside ourselves, anything beyond the task at hand, and turns our laser-sharp focus of concern onto the the immediacy of the self alone.

Art from Anne Sexton's little-known children's book .

We know this empirically, and we know its anecdotal truth intimately -- I doubt I'm alone in the awareness that despite a deep commitment to kindness, I find myself most likely to, say, be impatient with a fellow cyclist when I feel pressed for time, when I know I'm running late. Even Keltner's famous and tragicomical study, which found that drivers of expensive cars are most inconsiderate to pedestrians, might suffer from the same confound -- those who can afford expensive cars are typically people we would deem "successful," who also typically have far greater demands on their time. So could it be that a scarcity of time -- that inescapable hum of consciousness -- rather than an excess of power is the true corrupting agent of the psyche?

And so another paradox lives inside the power paradox -- the more powerful a person becomes, the busier and more rushed she is, which cuts her off from the very qualities that define the truly powerful. What would the studies Keltner cites look like if we controlled not only for power, but for time -- for the perception of being rushed and demand-strained beyond capacity? (Kierkegaard condemned the corrosive effect of busyness nearly two centuries ago.)

Still, Keltner's central point -- that power in the modern world is "gained and maintained through a focus on others" -- remains valid and important. He considers the conscious considerations we can make in order to bypass the perils of the power paradox:

Handling the power paradox depends on finding a balance between the gratification of your own desires and your focus on other people. As the most social of species, we evolved several other-focused, universal social practices that bring out the good in others and that make for strong social collectives. A thoughtful practitioner of these practices will not be misled by the rush of the experience of power down the path of self-gratification and abuse, but will choose instead to enjoy the deeper delights of making a lasting difference in the world. These social practices are fourfold: empathizing, giving, expressing gratitude, and telling stories. All four of these practices dignify and delight others. They constitute the basis of strong, mutually empowered ties. You can lean on them to enhance your power at any moment of the day by stirring others to effective action.

But "power" is one of those words -- like "love" and "happiness" -- to have become grab-bag terms for a constellation of behaviors, states, emotions, and phenomena. Noting that "a critical task of science is to provide clear nomenclature -- precise terms that sharpen our understanding of patterned phenomena in the outside world and inside the mind," Keltner offers elegant and necessary definitions of the distinct notions comprising the constellation of power in modern society:

POWER your capacity to make a difference in the world by influencing the states of other people.

STATUS the respect that you enjoy from other people in your social network; the esteem they direct to you. Status goes with power often but not always.

CONTROL your capacity to determine the outcomes in your life. You can have complete control over your life -- think of the reclusive hermit -- but have no power.

SOCIAL CLASS the mixture of family wealth, educational achievement, and occupational prestige that you enjoy; alternatively, the subjective sense you have of where you stand on a class ladder in society, high, middle, or low. Both forms of social class are societal forms of power.

In the remainder of The Power Paradox , Keltner goes on to examine, through a robust body of research bridged with intelligent insight, what we can do both as individuals and as a society to cultivate the qualities that empower us by empowering others and counter those that feed the most selfish and small-spirited tendencies of human nature. Complement it with Blaise Pascal's timeless 17th-century wisdom on the art of persuasion and philosopher Martha Nussbaum on human dignity and the nuanced relationship between agency and victimhood .

HT Shankar Vedantam / Hidden Brain

[Mar 05, 2020] Swamp russsiagators at work again: Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election, With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders Consortiumnews

Looks like Putin have always been eating CIA homework...
Notable quotes:
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Feb 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election, With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders

96 Comments

Without any proof, The New York Times and Washington Post run "Russia helping Sanders" stories, and Sanders responds by bashing Russia, writes Joe Lauria.

By Joe Lauria
Special to Consortium News

W ith Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders spooking the Democratic establishment, The Washington Post Friday reported damaging information from intelligence sources against Sanders by saying that Russia is trying to help his campaign.

If the story is true and if intelligence agencies are truly committed to protecting U.S. citizens, the Sanders campaign would have been quietly informed and shown evidence to back up the claims.

Instead the story wound up on the front page of the Post , "according to people familiar with the matter." Zero evidence was produced to back up the intelligence agencies' assertion.

"It is not clear what form that Russian assistance has taken," the Post reported. That would tell any traditional news editor that there was no story until it is known.

Instead major U.S. media are again playing the role of laundering totally unverified "information" just because it comes from an intelligence source. Reporting such assertions without proof amounts to an abdication of journalistic responsibility. It shows total trust in U.S. intelligence despite decades of deception and skullduggery from these agencies.

Centrist Democratic Party leaders have expressed extreme unease with Sanders leading the Democratic pack. Politico reported Friday that former New York Mayor Mike Bloomberg's entry into the race is explicitly to stop Sanders from winning on the first ballot at the party convention.

A day after The New York Times reported , also without evidence, that Russia is again trying to help Donald Trump win in November, the Post reports Moscow is trying to help Sanders too, again without substance. Both candidates whom the establishment loathes were smeared on successive days.

In a Tough Spot

The Times followed the Post report Friday by making it appear that Sanders himself had chosen to make public the intelligence assessment about "Russian interference" in his campaign.

But Sanders had known for a month about this assessment and only issued a statement after the Post asked him for comment before publishing its uncorroborated story based on anonymous sources.

Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, "Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me," he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin.

So politician that he is, and one who is trying to win the White House, Sanders told the Post :

"I don't care, frankly, who Putin wants to be president. My message to Putin is clear: Stay out of American elections, and as president I will make sure that you do. In 2016, Russia used Internet propaganda to sow division in our country, and my understanding is that they are doing it again in 2020."

The Times quoted Sanders as calling Russian President Vladimir Putin an "autocratic thug." The paper reported Sanders saying in a statement: "Let's be clear, the Russians want to undermine American democracy by dividing us up and, unlike the current president, I stand firmly against their efforts and any other foreign power that wants to interfere in our election."

Responding to a cacophony of criticism that Sanders' supporters are especially vicious online, as opposed to the millions of other vicious people online, Sanders attempted to use Russia as a scapegoat, the way the Clinton campaign did in 2016. He said: "Some of the ugly stuff on the Internet attributed to our campaign may well not be coming from real supporters."

But no matter how strong Sander's denunciations of Russia, his opponents will now target him as being a tool of the Kremlin.

Mission accomplished.

Joe Lauria is editor-in-chief of Consortium News and a former correspondent for T he Wall Street Journal, Boston Globe , Sunday Times of London and numerous other newspapers. He can be reached at joelauria@consortiumnews.com and followed on Twitter @unjoe .


Juan M Escobedo , February 24, 2020 at 10:55

Let`s face it,even though Bernie is a moderate Social Democrat,at best.He`s the only one capable of beating "the Orange"version of Hitler.But he sounds as if the DNC,big wigs,decide to deny him the nomination;he`d go along with it.Just like before;when he even campaigned for the"Crooked One(Hillary).I guess we`ll see.

Kim Dixon , February 24, 2020 at 04:31

The most-important element missed in this piece is this: Sanders is helping the DNC and the MIC gin up fear of, and hatred for, the only other nuclear superpower on earth.

If you were around during the McCarthy years, the Cuban Missile Crisis, the '73 Arab/Israeli war, and all the other almost-Armageddon crises of Cold War One, you know that nothing could be stupider and more-dangerous than that. The missiles still sit in their silos, waiting for the next early-warning misunderstanding or proxy-war miscalculation to send them flying.

Sanders lived through it all. He's supposed to be the furthest-Left pol in Congress. So how can he possibly advocate for anything but detente and disarmament?

SteveK9 , February 24, 2020 at 20:18

I would really like to support Bernie, but statements like this make me shake my head. It's more a reflection of America today I guess. Politicians believe to a man (or woman) that they must put the hate on Putin and Russia or they have no chance. It doesn't matter that the Russia garbage is 100% false. And, I don't mean they 'interfered' only a little there was nothing, nothing at all. Even Trump has to go along with this propaganda. I don't know how anyone can believe this idiotic (and incredibly dangerous, as you point out) rubbish at this point. But you can't call your friends blanking morons.

J Gray , February 25, 2020 at 02:55

I think he successfully dodged a bullet but set himself up to offer comprehensive election reform if he pulls out a victory .

or it is an early sign that he, the DNC & MIC are coming to terms. It doesn't have that ring to it to me, like when Trump called for regime-change war in Venezuela & defunding schools to build a space army. That was a clear on-the-record sell-out & got him off the Impeachment hook the next day. Similar to when the Clinton signed the Telecom Act to get off his.

They are still coming after Sanders too hard w/their McCarthiast attacks to feel like he is siding with them. I think he has to do this because they are bundling his movement, Venezuela and Russia into the new Red Scare.

Tony Kevin , February 23, 2020 at 21:49

"#JoeLauria's piece in #ConsortiumNews is excellent. He calmly sets out #Sanders' political dilemma. The latest line from US intelligence agency stenographer media like #NYTimes is that #Russians are helping both #Trump and Sanders because they simply want to sow discord and cynicism about US democracy , they do not care who wins. #CaitlinJohnstone neatly satirises this by writing a spoof article claiming that US intelligence agencies have discovered #Bloomberg is being helped by Russians because he has two Russian grandfathers.

It has reached the point , as Lauria shows, where any criticism of such US MSM nonsense leaves the speaker open to the allegation that he is soft on/ naive about/complicit in Russian election meddling. Without being a Trump supporter, one can understand Trump's rage and contempt for what is going on .

Justin Glyn. Consortium News. Joe Lauria. Tony Kevin"

Tony Kevin , February 23, 2020 at 21:32

Sanders and Trump will survive this Deep State manipulation and attempted blackmail . They will see off the Clintonistas and Deep State moles, and will go on to fight a tough but fair election. Americans are sick of Russophobia.

jack , February 24, 2020 at 15:25

agreed – the Russiagate psyop is past its shelf life – BUT Deep State will carry on – it's a global entity and they're into literally everything – no idea how any known, normal governing structure can deal with it

Susan J Leslie , February 23, 2020 at 10:40

Enough with the "Russia" BS already! It is clear to me the wealthy corporate Dems and the MSM are behind all of the smear tactics against Bernie and anyone else who serves the people

Susan J Leslie , February 23, 2020 at 10:40

Enough with the "Russia" BS already! It is clear to me the wealthy corporate Dems and the MSM are behind all of the smear tactics against Bernie and anyone else who serves the people

Dfnslblty , February 23, 2020 at 09:07

Front page drama plus zero evidence began long ago with 'anonymous sources said "!
Complete lack of accountability on the part of the sources and on the part of the reporters.
Thus we receive a "reality teevee " potus , and we are pleased to be hypnotised and titillated.
A true revolution would demand CN-quality reportage and reject msm pablum.

JohnDoe , February 23, 2020 at 03:43

It's enough to look at the news on mainstream media to understand who's, as usual, meddling in the elections. In the latest period for the first time I saw a lot of enthusiastic comments and articles about Bernie Sanders. It's clear they are pushing him. But why those who isolated him in during the primaries against Clinton are now supporting him? It's obvious, that they want to get rid of Elizabeth Warren, first push ahead the weaker candidates, then they'll switch their support towards another candidate, probably Bloomberg.

delia ruhe , February 23, 2020 at 00:14

Well, thank you Joe Lauria! I am in trouble in several comment threads for suggesting that the intel community is at it again, trying to ruin two campaigns by identifying the candidates with Putin and the Kremlin. Now I can quote you. Excellent piece, as usual.

Deniz , February 22, 2020 at 22:44

Imagine Sanders and Trump, putting their differences aside and declaring war on the deep state during a debate. They have the same enemies.

The same people who planted Steele's dirty dosier are going to try to steal Sanders election from him. It wont be Trump and the Republicans who rigs the election against Sanders.

SteveK9 , February 24, 2020 at 20:21

Trump actually seemed to want to help Bernie a bit (well, he keeps calling him 'Crazy Bernie as well). He put out some tweet calling this latest rubbish, Hoax #7. But Bernie would rather say something stupid, like 'I'm not a friend of Putin he is' talk about 5-year olds.

Deniz , February 25, 2020 at 00:49

Its disappointing. Sanders heart seems to be in the right place, but when it comes time to face the sinister forces that run the country for their own benefit, he will be absolutely crushed.

Linda Jean Doucett , February 22, 2020 at 21:32

This will never end.
No president will ever change anything.
The deep state tentacles will eventually kill us all.
I am going to go and enjoy what's left.

Marko , February 22, 2020 at 20:24

" But Sanders had known for a month about this assessment and only issued a statement after the Post asked him for comment before publishing its uncorroborated story based on anonymous sources Sanders was put in a difficult spot. If he said, "Show me the proof that Russia is trying to help me," he ran the risk of being attacked for disbelieving (even disloyalty to) U.S. intelligence, and, by default, defending the Kremlin. "

I suspect that Sanders was given a classified briefing a month ago , which he couldn't disclose to the public. If so , and given that he didn't make this clear immediately after being accused of withholding this information , he has only himself to blame for the resulting "bad look".

JWalters , February 22, 2020 at 19:06

The corporate media has revealed itself to be a monopoly behind the scenes, working in unison to trash Bernie Sanders and Tulsi Gabbard. Even though Gabbard is only at a few percent in the polls, her message is potentially devastating to the war profiteers who own America's Vichy MSM.

"Congressman Oscar Callaway lost his Congressional election for opposing US entry into WW 1. Before he left office, he demanded investigation into JP Morgan & Co for purchasing control over America's leading 25 newspapers in order to propagandize US public opinion in favor of his corporate and banking interests, including profits from US participation in the war."
war * profiteerstory. * blogspot. * com/p/war-profiteers-and-israels-bank.html

Thankfully, there is still a free American press, of which Consortium News is a stellar example.

elmerfudzie , February 22, 2020 at 13:25

The CIA and DIA (it has about a dozen agencies under it and is much larger than any other Intel agency) are supposed to monitor threats to our national security, that originate abroad. Aside from a few closed door sessions with a select group of congresspersons, our Intel agencies have practically no real democratic oversight and remain, for all intents and purposes, a parallel government(s) well hidden from public view. In particular how they are financed and what their actual annual budgets really are. How these agencies every managed to seep into any electioneering process what so ever, is beyond me, since they are all intentionally very surreptitious- by design. We ask questions and these Intel agencies are quick to tout the usual phrase; that subject area is secret and needs to be addressed in closed session, blah, blah, blah. Of course "secrecy" translates into, we do what we want when we want and use information any way we want because our parallel governments represent the best example(s) of a perpetual motion machine that does not require outside monitoring. The origins of these "parallel entities" can be traced to the Rockefeller brothers and their associated international corporations. There's the rub folks. Our citizens at large will never overtake for the purposes of real monitoring, this empire and elephant in the room, directly. However we do have one avenue left and it requires a rank and file demand from the people to their state representatives demanding two long standing issues, they remain unresolved and until a solution is found, will permit dark powers to side step every level of democratic governments-anywhere.

The first is true campaign finance reform and the second is assigning, or rather, removing the status of person-hood to corporate entities. The Rockefeller's used their corporate power and wealth to influence legislative, judicial and executive bodies. They cannot help but do as the puppet master commands! Be it some form of, corporatism, fascism, feudalism, monarchy, oligarchy, even bankster-ism or any other "ism We as citizens at large must make every effort to again, obtain true campaign finance reform and remove the lobbying presence inside the beltway. Today, the corporate entity has risen to a level that completely overtakes and smothers any authentic democratic representation, of and by the people. Originally (circa the early1800's) American corporations were permitted to exist and papers were drawn based on the specific duties they were about to perform, this for the benefit of the local community for example, building a bridge. Once the job was completed, the incorporation was either liquidated or remanded over to the relevant governing body for the purposes of reevaluating the necessity of re-certifying the original incorporation papers. Old man Rockefeller changed the governance and oversight privilege by forcing and promulgating legislation(s) such as limited liability clauses, strategies to oppose competition, tax evasion schemes and (eventually) assigning person-hood to corporate entities, thus creating a parallel government within the government. It all began in Delaware and until we clear our heads and assign names to the actual problems, as I've itemized here, our citizenry will never experience the freedom to fashion our destiny. Please visit TUC radio's two part expose' by Richard Grossman. It will help CONSORTIUMNEWS readers to understand just what a monumental task is ahead for all of us. Work for a fair and equitable future in America, demand campaign finance reform and kick the hustling lobbyists out of our government. Voters being choked to death with senseless debates and useless candidates.

Jeff Harrison , February 22, 2020 at 12:36

The real threats to our democracy are our unaccountable surveillance state and the craven politicians in Washington, DC. And, no, Ben, we can't keep our republic because we don't have a sufficient mass of critical thinkers to run it. If we did, this kind of BS, having been shot full of holes once, wouldn't get any air.

Alan Ross , February 22, 2020 at 10:37

Sanders may win the nomination and the election but he cannot get a break from some purists on the left. His reaction may have been quite astute. When Sanders says that we should station troops on the borders of Russia or arm the Ukrainians, then you can say he really is anti-Russian. I have not heard all that he has said, but what I have heard sounds so much like hot air put out by a left politician trying to deal with the ages-old establishment and right wing smear that he is a pawn of the commies, a fellow traveler, a pinko, and now an agent of a foreign power, a Russian asset and so on. There is real criticism of Sanders, but his statements about Putin and Russia do not add up to much.

Skip Scott , February 22, 2020 at 09:51

Anyone who is still under the influence of the MSM hypnosis of RussiaGate, led by Rachel Madcow, needs to think long and hard about this latest propaganda campaign. The real message here is unless you support corporate sponsored warmonger from column A or B, you are a tool of the "evil Rooskies". And the funny thing is, Sanders is "weak tea" when it comes to issues of war and peace, and the feeding of the war machine at the government trough with no limits.

The purpose of this BIG LIE of the "Intelligence" agencies is to make it impossible for someone to be against the Forever War without being tarred as a "Foreign Agent", or at least a "useful idiot", of the "EVIL ROOSKIES". To simply want peaceful coexistence on its own merits is impossible.

Imagine if Sanders dared to mention that Putin enjoys substantial majority support inside Russia, and seeks peaceful coexistence in a multi-polar world, instead of calling him an "autocratic thug". Often for politicians, speaking the truth is a "bridge too far". I wonder if Sanders (like Hillary) finds it necessary to hold "private" positions that differ from his "public" positions? Or does he really believe his own BS?

Jacquelynn Booth , February 22, 2020 at 09:19

I had not seen Mr Joe Lauria's article when I commented on Mr Ben Norton's story, but my reply could fit here as well.
The idiot American public dismays me. To them, the "MSM news" and "celebrity gossip reports" are equal and both to be wholeheartedly believed.
There is no point in trying to educate a resistant public in the differences between data and gossip -- public doesn't care.
I weep for what we have lost -- a Constitution, a nation of free thinkers. My heart breaks for the world's people, and what my country tries to do to them, with only a few resistant other countries confronting and challenging America.
It is so difficult to know the truth of a situation and yet to know that almost no one (statistically speaking) believes you.

Jim Hartz , February 23, 2020 at 12:04

A better distinction might be, concerning the intelligence of the American public, the one Chomsky has used, rooted in Ancient Greek culture, that between KNOWLEDGE and OPINION. Americans, of course, have OPINIONS about everything, but little KNOWLEDGE about much of anything. And it seems their idea of FREEDOM is related to, bound up with, their having OPINIONS about virtually EVERYTHING.

So much for our being a HIGHER life form.

We're in the process of destroying EVERYTHING, not just HIGHER LIFE FORMS [us], but all flora and fauna, water and air on the planet–as I said, EVERYTHING. To paraphrase from memory a citation by Perry Anderson from the work of heterodox Italian Marxist, Sebastiano Timpanaro, "What we are witnessing is not the triumph of man over history, but the victory of nature over man."

Tony , February 22, 2020 at 07:40

The Trump administration has pulled out of the INF missile treaty citing totally unproven claims of Russian violations.
It also looks like allowing the START treaty on strategic nuclear missiles to lapse if we do not stop it.

And so, in what sense would Putin want Trump to get re-elected?

Van Jones of CNN once described the original allegations of Russian meddling in US elections as a 'great big nothing burger'.

Sounds right to me.

Sam F , February 22, 2020 at 07:24

When the secret agencies and mass media stop manipulating public opinion, despite their oligarchy masters' ability to control election results anyway, we will know that they no longer need deception to control the People. Simple force will do the job, with a few marketing claims to assist in hiring goons to suppress any popular movement. Democracy is completely lost, and the pretense of democracy will soon follow.

michael , February 22, 2020 at 07:03

Another foray into domestic politics by the CIA, with anonymous sources and no evidence shown (as no evidence exists). Perhaps the CIA (which probably works for Putin, or Bloomberg, or anyone who pays them best, but they are loyal to the US dollar only; and maybe heroin?) is even now making up another Chris Steele/ Fusion GPS/ CrowdStrike dossier, getting that Russian caterer to the Kremlin to pump out clickbait and sink both Trump and Sanders. Because RUSSIANS!!! are "genetically driven" to interfere in American democracy. Next we'll have the DNC (CIA) pushing Superpredator tropes such as "this enormous cohort of black and Latino males" who "don't know how to behave in the workplace" and "don't have any prospects." With this Clintonian (and Biden and Bloomberg) mindset, America will be increasing incarceration once again. That $500,000 bribe the Clintons took from Putin in 2010 when Hillary was Secretary of State probably plays a role.
Meanwhile, the Pentagon and Defense Secretary Mark Esper have surprisingly noted that China, not Russia, is America's #1 concern: "America's concerns about Beijing's commercial and military expansion should be your concerns as well." Since Bill Clinton's Chinagate fiasco in 1996, Communist China, for a measly $million or so in illegal campaign donations, gained permanent trade status, took millions of American jobs, and suddenly were allowed access to advanced, even military technologies. This was the impetus for China's rise to be the strongest nation in the world. There are no doubt statues of the Clintons all over China, and soon to Hunter Biden, if his Chinese backed hedge funds do well. There are some rumors that Bloomberg has transacted business with China, although doubtful he tried to build a hotel in Beijing or Moscow, or the CIA would be all over it (for a cut)!

Realist , February 24, 2020 at 00:22

Esper is a dangerously deranged man who seems, at least to me, to be telegraphing his intent, and certainly his desire, to get into a kinetic war with both Russia and China (Washington already has most of the hybrid war tactics already fully operational), unless English usage has changed so drastically that insults, overt threats and unrestrained bombast are now part of calm, rational cordial diplomacy. I would not be surprised if neocon mouthpieces like Esper are not secretly honing their rhetorical style to emulate the exaggerated volume and enunciation of der ursprüngliche Führer.

Ma Laoshi , February 22, 2020 at 06:04

"So politician that he is" -- isn't this already on the slippery slope towards double standards, that is, would say Hillary get a similar pass for making McCarthyite statements like this? Isn't a dispassionate reading of the situation that Bernie is an inveterate liar , and moreover specializing in the particular brand of lies that could get us all into nuclear war? Whether it's character or merely age, haven't we seen enough to conclude that Mr. Sanders would be much weaker still vis-a-vis the Deep State than Donald Trump turned out to be?

For those without a dog in this fight, shouldn't it cause great merriment if the various RussiaGaters devour each other? Mr. Sanders has seen for years that the "muh Putin" hoax will be turned against him whenever needed. If he nonetheless persists, doesn't that show his resignation that his role in this election circus is a very temporary one, like in '16? How was that definition of insanity again?

If you want to fix America, then the Empire and Zionism are your enemies; so is the Dem party that is inextricably wedded to these forces. Play along with them and–well what can you expect.

aNanyMouse , February 22, 2020 at 13:29

Yeah, and Bernie sucked up to the Dem brass on the impeachment crap, even tho Tulsi had the stones to at least abstain. How sad.

GMCasey , February 21, 2020 at 22:33

Dear DNC:
KNOCK IT OFF! The only person I am voting for President is the only one who is capable -- and that is Bernie Sanders.
And really, with NATO breaking the agreement where they agreed to NOT go up to Russia's border : it is getting very sad and embarrassing to be an American because the elected ones make agreements and yet break so many. What with Turkey and Israel and Saudi Arabia trying to disrupt the area, I am sure that Russia is too busy to bother disrupting America . Lately America seems to disrupt itself for many ridiculous reasons. I am sorry that the gossip rags, which used to be important newspapers have failed in supporting their First Amendment right of Free speech . I just finished reading "ALL the Presidents Men. " What has happened to you, Washington Post, because as a newspaper, you really used to be somebody. Please review your past and become what you once were, a real genuine news source.

Sam F , February 23, 2020 at 09:18

Wikipedia: "In October 2013, the paper's longtime controlling family, the Graham family, sold the newspaper to Nash Holdings, a holding company established by Jeff Bezos, for $250 million in cash."

Jim Hartz , February 23, 2020 at 12:37

One of the craziest ongoing media phenomena, prevalent in the Impeachment Hearings, is the repeated claim that RUSSIA IS AT WAR WITH UKRAINE.

What kind of "Higher Life Form" enthusiastically EATS IT'S OWN SHIT?

Sam F , February 21, 2020 at 22:10

Mass media denouncing politicians based upon "information" from secret agencies are propaganda operations, and should be sued for proof of their claims. But of course the judiciary are tools of oligarchy as much as the mass media. No one has constitutional rights in the US under our utterly corrupt judiciary, only paid party privileges.

Eddie S , February 21, 2020 at 21:55

Hmmm.. so those oh-so-clever Russkies (I mean they MUST-BE if they were able to outwit ALL the US politicos -- who are immersed in the US political culture 24/7 as well as having grown-up in this country and having billions of $ to spend -- in 2016 with a mere $100k of Facebook ads) messed-up this time! They're supporting OPPOSING candidates, effectively canceling-out their efforts ? Kinda strange, unless that whole 'Russia meddling' thing was a vastly exaggerated distraction by a losing hawkish candidate and her party, further inflated by a sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community??

dale t hood , February 21, 2020 at 22:42

There is NO "intel"; plenty of un-intel, shameless mendacity from these info=dictators zionazi NYT and Wapoop drivel; hopefully the insouciant public is starting to see what a sham these rats are. Hearst outdistanced.

Daniel , February 22, 2020 at 10:45

"Kinda strange, unless that whole 'Russia meddling' thing was a vastly exaggerated distraction by a losing hawkish candidate and her party, further inflated by a sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community??"

Exactly. Shame on Hillary Clinton and all who view the electorate with such disdain as to have pushed this propaganda on us for the last three years, and continue to do so, obviously. If either Hillary Clinton or the "sensationalistic media and a predictably antagonistic military & intelligence community" had any integrity at all, they would have beaten Trump handily in 2016, just as they condescendingly told us they would. They did not, though, and have been outraged to have been exposed as the frauds they are ever since.

When your political party is nothing more than a marketing scheme designed to fool the population, that population will turn on you. Imagine that. And no amount of Russia-gating will save you. Shame on all who would continue this charade.

John Drake , February 21, 2020 at 21:33

Gosh I wish those so called intel people could make up their mind about whom the big bad Ruskies are trying to help. One week its Trump, the next it is Sanders. Frankly on the face, it sounds like bad intel to me.
But fortunately I am a regular reader of this site and Ray McGovern; and know it's all, to put it politely , disinformation; or less politely a pile of diarrhea invented by Hillarybots after a really really bad election day three years ago.
The only thing that disturbs me is the way Bernie buys into this Russiagate thing himself. Maybe you all could send him a trove of articles debunking the whole mess, especially Ray and Bill's forensics.

Fred Dean , February 23, 2020 at 03:52

When Durham starts indicting people and the story of the Deep State coup against the President becomes common knowledge, Bernie's statements on Russiagate will be a liability. Trump's people are digging up whatever videos they can of Bernie talking smack about Trump/Russia. It is a crack in Bernie's armor and we can expect Trump to exploit. Bernie has been such a toadie to the DNC. He cowers to the Democratic establishment because he fears they will pull his credentials to run as a Democrat.

OlyaPola , February 23, 2020 at 08:08

"Gosh I wish those so called intel people could make up their mind about whom the big bad Ruskies are trying to help."

Output is a function of framing and consequently the intelligence community/opponents are helping others including the Russians who encourage such help by doing nothing.

KiwiAntz , February 21, 2020 at 21:26

What a shambolic mess of a Nation that America is! Nothing more than a Billionaire's Banana Republic? A International laughingstock ruled by a Oligarchy, masquerading as a Democracy? And if all else fails to get rid of Bernie Saunders by vote rigging or gerrymandering or other nefarious acts of sabotage with Superdelegates stealing the nominations then resurrect the bogus Russiagate Conspiracy, a ridiculous failed & faked experiment to gaslight, spook & confuse the population again? Wouldn't it be delicious if Russiagate was actually TRUE, it would be payback for the USA, a Nation that meddles in the affairs & politics of every other Country on Earth, overthrowing & regime changing everyone who doesn't "bend the knee" to America, the most corrupt & evil Nation on Earth since Nazi Germany! I've never seen a more propagandised or mindf**ked People on Earth than the American people! It must be soul destroying to live in this Country & have to put up with this nonsense, day in, day out?

Ian , February 22, 2020 at 02:47

Yes, it is. Living with the infuriating unreality and militaristic worldview that is so cultivated here takes a personal emotional and intellectual toll. No place is perfect, but when I travel to Europe I feel a weight lifted.

Broompilot , February 22, 2020 at 03:50

Kiwi you may have a point.

ML , February 22, 2020 at 09:19

Yep. But for those of us with our critical thinking skills intact, we won't let it be soul destroying, Kiwi. Still, the daily crapload of bs we are fed in the "legacy" press is aggravating beyond the beyonds. Cheers, fellow Earthling.

Daniel , February 22, 2020 at 11:09

I hear you, KiwiAntz. It IS soul destroying to withstand this onslaught of disinformation each and every day. There is a rhythm to it that is undeniable, too. One can almost predict when the next propaganda hit will come, as here – after their latest would-be savior, Mike Bloomberg, imploded on live TV, and with Bernie looking more and more inevitable.

Our reality in the US today is that we have to fight against our own media to approach anything resembling a reasonable discussion about what is important to vast majorities (mean tweets and fake memes aren't it) or to champion candidates who display even the slightest integrity. But, of course, it is not 'our' media. It is 'theirs.' And they will continue to abuse us with it until we reject it completely.

robert e williamson jr , February 23, 2020 at 20:31

I see things pretty clearly for what they are and the billionaire democrats are heading for a train wreck and I hate to admit I cannot look away.

Trump is just another self serving U.S. president leaving a stain in America's underwear adding to the humongous pile of America's dirty laundry.

When the demographics finally dictate it change will come and likely not before. On that note I wold like to reach out here. Justin King, who goes as Beau on the net runs a site called the Fifth Column News and does a ton of informative and educational videos on many various topics. .

If you go to youtube, search and watch each of the videos I'm about to list here you stand to learn quite a lot about how Americans got screwed by the two party system without really realizing it. Plenty of blame to go around , no doubt though. You will also learn of the changing demographics in American politics. Many of the poor, minorities and youth of the country are coming into politics for they stand to lose everything if they don't change the status quo.

Feb 11 2020 runs 6:21 minutes and seconds- Search terms, Beau Lets talk about the parties switching and the party of trump

Feb 15 2020 runs 4:11 Search terms, Beau Lets talk about dancing left and dancing right

Feb 20 2020 runs 10:44 Search terms, Beau Lets talk about misunderstanding Bernie's supporters

This last video is a long video by Justin's standards. Most of his videos are under 7 minutes.

Much thanks to CN this site and the Fifth Column New site give me strength and bolster my courage by allowing me to know that there are those of us who know what gong on and know things must change.

[Mar 05, 2020] Who needs the Russians to meddle in the US elections when the DNC is much better at undermining the democratic process?

NY Times is citing "people familiar with the situation." How the mighty have fallen. What about Shadow, and the Iowa caucuses, and Buttigieg? That was real. This is absolute horseshit.
Mar 05, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

jmg , February 22, 2020 at 11:32

> Apparent US Intel Meddling in US Election With 'Report' Russia is Aiding Sanders

It looks like the CIA is short of ideas on how to meddle in the elections. Trump had a very similar briefing on January 6, 2017 -- with Brennan, Clapper, Rogers, and Comey -- on Russia allegedly aiding his campaign. As well without any evidence.

Charlene Richards , February 22, 2020 at 14:47

Russia couldn't possibly do the damage to Sanders that the DNC and Democrat Establishment elites are doing out in the open every day with the MSM as their prime propagandists.

As they say in wrestling, it's all "a work".

richard baker , February 22, 2020 at 10:55

Bart Hansen , February 22, 2020 at 18:27

Looking at the comments at the Post and Times, I'd say you are on target. Oh, for the Kool Aid contract at those organs of misinformation and omission.

[Mar 04, 2020] Russiagate should be viewed as classic, textbook case of gaslighting and projecting election interference

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference. ..."
"... Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn. ..."
Mar 04, 2020 | caucus99percent.com

MrWebster on Wed, 03/04/2020 - 1:00pm

What you describe is probably why Russiagate spread so easily to so many people. Nothing happened in previous elections? Everything you describe never happened as you point out. The American electoral system was and is pristine and virginal.

Until the Russians came and destroyed American democracy through social media themes, memes, and retweets.

The American electoral system was never brutally corrupted by rigged votes, voter suppression on the scale of hundreds of thousands, deliberately miscounted votes, voter fraud, etc. Americans never did to each other anything as bad as what the Russians did to Americans.

Of course, for me never worked as I worked in primaries of a democratic machine dominated city. I tried to sorta warm people on other sites that while they were looking for Russians at the front door, the gop was coming in the bad door for some rather nasty election interference.

Of course what we are seeing now is democrats cheating other democrats. But that reality will never be acknowledged because, hey, it never happened before. Just unintentional mistakes like in Iowa (farm folk cheating -- no way) or Brooklyn.

[Mar 04, 2020] Trump Slams 'SPOILER' Elizabeth Warren For Sinking Sanders

A pretty sharp political thinking from the President
Mar 04, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Democrat establishment came together and crushed Bernie Sanders, AGAIN! Even the fact that Elizabeth Warren stayed in the race was devastating to Bernie and allowed Sleepy Joe to unthinkably win Massachusetts. It was a perfect storm, with many good states remaining for Joe!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

20 minutes later, Trump tweeted that it was " So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race ," as she has "Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly."

"So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn't!"

So selfish for Elizabeth Warren to stay in the race. She has Zero chance of even coming close to winning, but hurts Bernie badly. So much for their wonderful liberal friendship. Will he ever speak to her again? She cost him Massachusetts (and came in third), he shouldn't!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

Three hours later, Trump tweeted: " Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn't in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas , not to mention various other states. Our modern day Pocahontas won't go down in history as a winner, but she may very well go down as the all time great SPOILER! "

Wow! If Elizabeth Warren wasn't in the race, Bernie Sanders would have EASILY won Massachusetts, Minnesota and Texas, not to mention various other states. Our modern day Pocahontas won't go down in history as a winner, but she may very well go down as the all time great SPOILER!

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) March 4, 2020

[Mar 03, 2020] The "Russian meddling" fraud: Tulsi Gabbard denounces election interference by US intelligence agencies by Patrick Martin

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... Washington Post, ..."
"... World Socialist Web Site ..."
"... The author also recommends: ..."
Mar 03, 2020 | www.wsws.org

In a remarkable statement that has gone virtually unreported in the American media, Representative Tulsi Gabbard of Hawaii, a candidate for the Democratic presidential nomination, publicly denounced US intelligence agencies for interfering in the presidential contest and attempting to sabotage the campaign of Democratic frontrunner Bernie Sanders.

In an opinion column published February 27 by the Hill , Gabbard attacked the article published by the Washington Post on February 21, the eve of the Nevada caucuses, which claimed that Russia was intervening in the US election to support Sanders. She also criticized the decision of billionaire Michael Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York City, to repeat the anti-Russia slander against Sanders during the February 25 Democratic presidential debate in South Carolina.

Gabbard is a military officer in a National Guard medical unit who has been deployed to Iraq and Kuwait and has continuing and close contact with the Pentagon. She is obviously familiar with the machinations of the US military-intelligence apparatus and knows whereof she speaks. Her harsh and uncompromising language is that much more significant.

She wrote:

Enough is enough. I am calling on all presidential candidates to stop playing these dangerous political games and immediately condemn any interference in our elections by out-of-control intelligence agencies. A "news article" published last week in the Washington Post, which set off yet another manufactured media firestorm, alleges that the goal of Russia is to trick people into criticizing establishment Democrats. This is a laughably obvious ploy to stifle legitimate criticism and cast aspersions on Americans who are rightly skeptical of the powerful forces exerting control over the primary election process.

We are told the aim of Russia is to "sow division," but the aim of corporate media and self-serving politicians pushing this narrative is clearly to sow division of their own -- by generating baseless suspicion against the Sanders campaign. It's extremely disingenuous for "journalists" and rival candidates to publicize a news article that merely asserts, without presenting any evidence, that Russia is "helping" Bernie Sanders -- but provides no information as to what that "help" allegedly consists of.

Gabbard continued:

If the CIA, FBI or any other intelligence agency is going to tell voters that "Russians" are interfering in this election to help certain candidates -- or simply "sow discord" -- then it needs to immediately provide us with the details of what exactly it's alleging.

After pointing out that the Democratic Party establishment and the corporate media have had little interest in measures to actually improve election security, such as requiring paper ballots or some other form of permanent record of how people vote, Gabbard demanded:

The FBI, CIA or any other intelligence agency should immediately stop smearing presidential candidates with innuendo and vague, evidence-free assertions. That is antithetical to the role those agencies play in a free democracy. The American people cannot have faith in our intelligence agencies if they are pushing an agenda to harm candidates they dislike.

As socialists, we do not share Gabbard's belief that the intelligence agencies have a positive role to play or that the American people need to have faith in them. As her military career demonstrates, she is a supporter of American imperialism and of the capitalist state. However, her opposition to the "dirty tricks" campaign against Sanders is entirely legitimate and puts the spotlight on a deeply anti-democratic operation by the military-intelligence apparatus.

Gabbard denounces this "new McCarthyism" and calls on her fellow candidate to rebuff the CIA smears and "defend the freedoms enshrined in our Constitution." Not a single one of the remaining candidates for the Democratic presidential nomination -- including Sanders himself -- has responded to her appeal.

Her statement concludes that the goal of the "mainstream corporate media and the warmongering political establishment" was either to block Sanders from winning the nomination, or, if he does become the nominee, to "force him to engage in inflammatory anti-Russia rhetoric and perpetuate the new Cold War and nuclear arms race, which are existential threats to our country and the world."

Despite Gabbard's appeal for the Democratic candidates not to be "manipulated and forced into a corner by overreaching intelligence agencies," the Democratic Party establishment has been working in lockstep with the intelligence agencies in the anti-Russia campaign against Trump, which began even before election day in 2016, metastasized into the Mueller investigation and then the effort to impeach Trump over his delay in the dispatch of military aid to Ukraine for its war with Russian-backed separatist forces.

Her comments are a complete vindication of what the World Socialist Web Site has written about the anti-Russia campaign and impeachment: these were efforts by the Democratic Party, acting as the representative of the military-intelligence apparatus, to block the emergence of genuine left-wing popular opposition to Trump, and to channel popular hostility to this administration in a right-wing and pro-imperialist direction.

Gabbard herself was the only House Democrat to abstain on impeachment, although she did not voice any principled grounds for her vote, such as opposition to the intelligence agencies. She has based her campaign for the Democratic presidential nomination largely on an appeal to antiwar sentiment, particularly opposing US intervention in Syria. She has also said that if elected, she would drop all charges against Julian Assange and pardon Edward Snowden.

These views led to a vicious attack by Hillary Clinton, the defeated Democratic presidential candidate in 2016, who last October called Gabbard "a Russian asset," claiming that she was being groomed by Russia to serve as a third-party candidate in 2020 who would take votes away from the Democratic nominee and help re-elect President Trump. "She's the favorite of the Russians," Clinton claimed.

Since Clinton's attack, the Democratic National Committee has excluded Gabbard from its monthly debates, manipulating the eligibility requirements so that billionaire Michael Bloomberg would qualify even for debates held in states where he was not on the ballot but Gabbard was, such as Nevada and South Carolina.

The author also recommends:

Democratic Party deploys Russian meddling smear against Sanders
[24 February 2020]

US intelligence agencies meddle in Nevada primary to sabotage Sanders
[22 February 2020]

Hillary Clinton slanders Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard, Green Party candidate Jill Stein as Russian spies

[Mar 03, 2020] Americans "must remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions

Is not this a direct attempt of intelligence agencies to influence election by delegitimizing Sanders and Tulsi ?
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , Mar 3 2020 22:20 utc | 57
NBC News:

JUST IN: State Dept., DOJ, FBI and others issue joint statement ahead of #SuperTuesday:

Americans "must remain aware that foreign actors continue to try to influence public sentiment and shape voter perceptions."

https://pbs.twimg.com/media/ESImtGRWoAYJyus.jpg

[Mar 03, 2020] "Predatory capitalism", which clearly describes what neoliberalism is.

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

chu teh , Mar 4 2020 0:50 utc | 80

Tonymike | Mar 3 2020 18:08 utc | 26

re ... Your house foreclosed upon by shady bank: naked capitalism, .0001% paid on interest savings: naked capitalism, poor wages: naked capitalism, dangerous workplace: naked capitalism, etc. ...

"naked capitalism" is not a clear description. Consider using "predatory capitalism", which clearly describes what it is.

Here's the Wiki dictionary definition:

Predatory--

1. relating to or denoting an animal or animals preying naturally on others.
synonyms: predacious, carnivorous, hunting, raptorial, ravening;
Example: "predatory birds".

2. seeking to exploit or oppress others.
synonyms: exploitative, wolfish, rapacious, greedy, acquisitive, avaricious
Example: "I could see a predatory gleam in his eyes"

Note where the word comes from:
The Latin "praedator", in English meaning "plunderer".

And "plunderer" helps the reader understand and perhaps recognize what is happening.

Every plunderer understands.

[Mar 03, 2020] Whacking Rich is a reminder to Sanders what the party establishmen is capable of

Highly recommended!
Mar 03, 2020 | www.unz.com

An alternative view that has been circulating for several years suggests that it was not a hack at all, that it was a deliberate whistleblower-style leak of information carried out by an as yet unknown party, possibly Rich, that may have been provided to WikiLeaks for possible political reasons, i.e. to express disgust with the DNC manipulation of the nominating process to damage Bernie Sanders and favor Hillary Clinton.

There are, of course, still other equally non-mainstream explanations for how the bundle of information got from point A to point B, including that the intrusion into the DNC server was carried out by the CIA which then made it look like it had been the Russians as perpetrators. And then there is the hybrid point of view, which is essentially that the Russians or a surrogate did indeed intrude into the DNC computers but it was all part of normal intelligence agency probing and did not lead to anything. Meanwhile and independently, someone else who had access to the server was downloading the information, which in some fashion made its way from there to WikiLeaks.

Both the hack vs. leak viewpoints have marshaled considerable technical analysis in the media to bolster their arguments, but the analysis suffers from the decidedly strange fact that the FBI never even examined the DNC servers that may have been involved. The hack school of thought has stressed that Russia had both the ability and motive to interfere in the election by exposing the stolen material while the leakers have recently asserted that the sheer volume of material downloaded indicates that something like a higher speed thumb drive was used, meaning that it had to be done by someone with actual physical direct access to the DNC system. Someone like Seth Rich.

... ... ...

Given all of that back story, it would be odd to find Trump making an offer that focuses only on one issue and does not actually refute the broader claims of Russian interference, which are based on a number of pieces of admittedly often dubious evidence, not just the Clinton and Podesta emails.

Which brings the tale back to Seth Rich. If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery, it most materially impacts on the Democratic Party as it reminds everyone of what the Clintons and their allies are capable of.

It will also serve as a warning of what might be coming at the Democratic National Convention in Milwaukee in July as the party establishment uses fair means or foul to stop Bernie Sanders. How this will all play out is anyone's guess, but many of those who pause to observe the process will be thinking of Seth Rich.


plantman , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 9:35 pm GMT

Excellent roundup.

I don't ascribe to the idea that the intel agencies kill American citizens without a great deal of thought, but in Rich's case, they probably felt like they had no choice. Think about it: The DNC had already rigged the primary against Bernie, the Podesta emails had already been sent to Wikileaks, and if Rich's cover was blown, then he would publicly identify himself as the culprit (which would undermine the Russiagate narrative) which would split the Democratic party in two leaving Hillary with no chance to win the election.

I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich but eventually realizing that there was no other way to deflect responsibility for the emails while paving the way for an election victory.

If Seth Rich went public, then Hillary would certainly lose.

I imagine this is what they were thinking when they decided there was really only one option.

james charles , says: Show Comment February 29, 2020 at 11:14 pm GMT
"I have watched incredulous as the CIA's blatant lie has grown and grown as a media story – blatant because the CIA has made no attempt whatsoever to substantiate it. There is no Russian involvement in the leaks of emails showing Clinton's corruption."
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/archives/2016/12/cias-absence-conviction/

"The FBI Has Been Lying About Seth Rich"
https://www.craigmurray.org.uk/

niteranger , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:08 am GMT
@plantman It's more than Hillary losing. It would have been easy to connect the dots of the entire plot to get Trump. Furthermore, it would have linked Obama and his cohorts in ways that the country might have exploded. This was the beginning of a Coup De'tat that would have shown the American political process is a complete joke.

... ... ...

Carlton Meyer , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 1:04 am GMT
To understand why the DNC mobsters and the Deep State hate him, watch this great 2016 interview where Assange calmly explains the massive corruption that patriotic FBI agents refer to as the "Clinton Crime Family." This gang is so powerful that it ordered federal agents to spy on the Trump political campaign, and indicted and imprisoned some participants in an attempt to pressure President Trump to step down. It seems Trump still fears this gang, otherwise he would order his attorney general to drop this bogus charge against Assange, then pardon him forever and invite him to speak at White House press conferences.

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

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:18 am GMT
Well, here was my own take on the controversy a couple of years ago, and I really haven't seen anything to change my mind:

Well, DC is still a pretty dangerous city, but how many middle-class whites were randomly murdered there that year while innocently walking the streets? I wouldn't be surprised if Seth Rich was just about the only one.

Julian Assange has strongly implied that Seth Rich was the source of the DNC emails that cost Hillary Clinton the presidency. So if Seth Rich died in a totally random street killing not long afterward, isn't that just the most astonishing coincidence in all of American history?

Consider that the leaks effectively nullified the investment of the $2 billion or so that her donors had provided, and foreclosed the flood of good jobs and appointments to her camp-followers, not to mention the oceans of future graft. Seems to me that's a pretty good motive for murder.

Here's my own plausible speculation from a couple of months ago:

Incidentally, I'd guess that DC is a very easy place to arrange a killing, given that until the heavy gentrification of the last dozen years or so, it was one of America's street-murder capitals. It seems perfectly plausible that some junior DNC staffer was at dinner somewhere, endlessly cursing Seth Rich for having betrayed his party and endangered Hillary's election, when one of his friends said he knew somebody who'd be willing to "take care of the problem" for a thousand bucks

https://www.unz.com/announcement/new-software-releaseopen-thread/#comment-1959442

https://www.unz.com/isteve/was-seth-rich-murdered-by-the-russians-the-democratic-elite-or-the-democratic-base/#comment-2069185

Let's say a couple of hundred thousand middle-class whites lived in DC around then, and Seth Rich was about the only one that year who died in a random street-killing, occurring not long after the leak.

Wouldn't that seem like a pretty unlikely coincidence?

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:45 am GMT
"If Rich was indeed responsible for the theft of the information and was possibly killed for his treachery ."

Heroism is the proper term for what Seth Rich did. He saw the real treachery, against Bernie Sanders and the democratic faithful who expect at least a modicum of integrity from their Party leaders (even if that expectation is utterly fanciful, wishful thinking), and he decided to act. He paid for it with his life. A young, noble life.

In every picture I've seen of him, he looks like a nice guy, a guy who cared. And now he's dead. And the assholes at the DNC simply gave him a small plaque over a bike rack, as I understand it.

Seth Rich: American Hero. A Truth-Teller who paid the ultimate price.

Great reporting, Phil. Another home run.

(And thanks to Ron for chiming in. Couldn't agree more. As a Truth-Teller extraordinaire, please watch your back, Bro. And Phil, too. You both know what these murderous scum are capable of.)

Biff , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:46 am GMT
When the FBI doesn't fully investigate a crime(DNC-emails/9-11/JFK-murder) the only conclusion is " coverup ".
John Chuckman , says: Website Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 7:31 am GMT
I suppose American security services could have been involved.

That would explain the poor police investigation and lack of information and questions answered.

But Hillary and her dirty associates were quite capable of hiring a hit.

That would also explain the lack of information, since DC, unlike any other city, is literally controlled by the Federal government.

This is a very vicious woman despite her clownishly made-up face.

Her words after Gaddafi's murder were chilling.

She is said to have been responsible too for pressuring for the final push to get Waco out of the headlines. 80 folks incinerated.

She also joked about Assange, "can't we just drone him or something?"

And there was the dirty business at Benghazi.

She is indeed a woman capable of anything. A contemporary Borgia.

Daniel Rich , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 9:33 am GMT
Because the {real} killers of JFK, MLK and RFK were never detained and jailed/hanged, why would one expect a lesser known, more ordinary individual's murder [Seth] to be solved?
hobo , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:27 am GMT
Seymour Hersh, in a taped phone conversation, claimed to have access to an FBI report on the murder. According to Hersh, the report indicated tha FBI Cyber Unit examined Rich's computer and found he had contacted Wikileaks with the intention of selling the emails.

Seymour Hersh discussing Wikileaks DNC leaks Seth Rich & FBI report ( 7 min)

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

Antiwar7 , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 10:33 am GMT
Another reason Assange may not want to reveal it, if Seth Rich was a source for Wikileaks, could be that Seth Rich didn't act alone, and revealing Seth's involvement would compromise the other(s).

Or it could simply be that Wikileaks has promised to never reveal a source, even after that source's death, as a promise to future potential sources, who may never want their identities revealed, to avoid the thought of embarrassment or repercussions to their associates or families.

Incidentally, they only started really going after Assange after the Vault 7 leaks of the CIA's active bag of software tricks. I think, for Assange's sake, they should instead have held on to that, and made it the payload of a dead man's switch.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:05 am GMT
I'm not sure how credible the source is but Ellen Ratner, the sister of Assange's former lawyer and a journalist, told Ed Butowsky that Assange told her that it was Seth Rich. She asked Butowsky to contact Rich's parents. She confirms the Assange meeting in an interview, link below. Butowsky does not seem to be a credible source but Ratner does. If it was Seth Rich then I have no doubt that his brother knows the details and the family does not want to lose another son.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/_YyuWpjTbg0?feature=oembed

The story has gone nowhere.

Chet Roman , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 11:42 am GMT
"According to Assange's lawyers, Rohrabacher offered a pardon from President Trump if Assange were to provide information that would attribute the theft or hack of the Democratic National Committee emails to someone other than the Russians."

Not to quibble on semantics but Rohrabacher met with Assange to ask if he would be willing to reveal the source of the emails then Rohrabacher would contact Trump and try to make deal for Assange's freedom. Rohrabacher clarified that he never talked to Trump or that he was authorized by Trump to make any offer.

The MSM has been using the "amnesty if you say it was not the Russians" narrative to hint at a coverup by Russian agent Trump. Normal for the biased MSM.

Giraldi's link "Assange did not take the offer" has nothing to do with Rohrabacher's contact. It's just a general piece on Assange acting as a journalist should act.

https://www.rohrabacher.com/news/my-meeting-with-julian-assange

Alfred , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT
@plantman I can imagine Hillary and her intel connections looking for an alternative to whacking Rich

Have you never had to deal with a psychopath? That is not the way they reason.

She would have done it in the "national interest"

DaveE , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 2:21 pm GMT
I'm of the opinion Ron Unz seems to share, that Rich was not a particularly "big hitter" in the DNC hierarchy and that his murder was more likely the result of a very nasty inter-party squabble. I seem to recall a LOT of very nasty talk between the Jewish neocons in the Bush era and the decent, traditional "small-government" style Republicans who greatly resented the neocons' hijacking of the GOP for their demonic zionist agenda.

Common sense would suggest that the zionist types who have (obviously) hijacked the DNC are at least as nasty and ruthless as the neocons who destroyed any decency or fair-play within the GOP. It's not exactly hard to believe that these Murder, Inc. types (also lefties of their era) wouldn't hesitate to whack someone like Rich for merely uttering a criticism of Israel, for example.

Hell, Meyer Lansky ordered the hit-job on Bugsy Seigel for forgetting to bring bagels to a sit-down ! There was a great web-site by a mobster of that era, long since taken down, who described the story in detail. I forget the names .. but I'll see if I can't find a copy of some of the pieces posted at least a decade ago .

It's not exactly hard to imagine some very nasty words being exchanged between the Rahm Emmanuel types and decent Chicago citizens, for example, who genuinely cared for their city and weren't afraid of The Big Jew and his mobster cronies . to their detriment I'm sure.

We're talking about organized crime, here, folks. The zionists make the so-called (mostly fictitious) Sicilian Mafia look like newborn puppies. They wouldn't hesitate to whack a guy like Rich for taking their favorite space in the bicycle rack.

Rev. Spooner , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:27 pm GMT
@John Chuckman A long time ago I read in the London Guardian ( before it's reputation was in tatters) that the witch kept a list of all who pissed her off and updated it every night.
A quick search and here it is https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2014/jan/14/hillary-clinton-hitlist-spreadsheet-grudge
Altai , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:33 pm GMT
My only trouble with the Seth Rich thing is, it seems a bit extreme, they seem quite callous in murdering foreigners but US citizens in the US who are their staffers? If they really were prepared to go out and kill in this way, they're be a lot more suspicious deaths.

What makes the case most compelling is the very quick investigation by police that looks like they were told by somebody concerned about how the whole thing looked to close up the case nice and quickly. That and the fact that he was shot in the back, which doesn't make sense for an attempted robbery turned murder.

However, it may also be that as in so many cities in the US, murder clearance rates for street shootings (Little forensic evidence, can only go by witness accounts or through poor alibis from usual suspects and their associates. In this case there is also no connection between Rich and any possible shooter with no witnesses.) are just so very low that DC police don't bother and Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

But then maybe for the reasons above a place like DC is perfect to just murder somebody on the street and that's why they were so brazen about it.

Ron Unz , says: Show Comment March 1, 2020 at 3:47 pm GMT
@Altai

Seth Rich's death just happened to be one such case that attracted some scrutiny.

Well, upthread someone posted a recording of a Seymour Hersh phone call that confirmed Seth Rich was the fellow who leaked the DNC emails to Wikileaks, thereby possibly swinging the presidential election to Trump and overcoming $2 billion of Democratic campaign advertising.

Shortly afterwards, he probably became about the only middle-class white in DC who died in a "random street killing" that year. If you doubt this, see if you can find any other such cases that year.

I think it is *extraordinarily* unlikely that these two elements are unconnected and merely happened together by chance.

[Mar 01, 2020] Countering Nationalist Oligarchy by Ganesh Sitaraman

Highly recommended!
The article is mostly junk. But it contains some important insights into the rise of Trympism (aka "national neoliberalism") -- nationalist oligarchy. Including the following " the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist."
The real threat to liberal democracy isn't authoritarianism -- it's nationalist oligarchy. Here's how American foreign policy should change. The real threat to liberal democracy isn't authoritarianism -- it's nationalist oligarchy. Here's how American foreign policy should change.
Notable quotes:
"... Fascism: A Warning ..."
"... Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America ..."
"... the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist. ..."
"... The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy ..."
"... Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them. ..."
"... Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. ..."
"... Classical Greek Oligarchy ..."
"... Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand." ..."
"... We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. ..."
"... The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship. ..."
"... The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars ..."
"... The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic ..."
Dec 31, 2019 | democracyjournal.org
from Winter 2019, No. 51 – 31 MIN READ

Tagged Authoritarianism Democracy Foreign Policy Government nationalism oligarchy

Ever since the 2016 election, foreign policy commentators and practitioners have been engaged in a series of soul-searching exercises to understand the great transformations taking place in the world -- and to articulate a framework appropriate to the challenges of our time. Some have looked backwards, arguing that the liberal international order is collapsing, while others question whether it ever existed. Another group seems to hope the current messiness is simply a blip and that foreign policy will return to normalcy after it passes. Perhaps the most prominent group has identified today's great threat as the rise of authoritarianism, autocracy, and illiberal democracy. They fear that constitutional democracy is receding as norms are broken and institutions are under siege.

Unfortunately, this approach misunderstands the nature of the current crisis. The challenge we face today is not one of authoritarianism, as so many seem inclined to believe, but of nationalist oligarchy. This form of government feeds populism to the people, delivers special privileges to the rich and well-connected, and rigs politics to sustain its regime.

... ... ..

Authoritarianism or What?

Across the political spectrum, commentators and scholars have identified -- and warned of -- the global rise of autocracies and authoritarian governments. They cite Russia, Hungary, the Philippines, and Turkey, among others. Distinguished commentators are increasingly worried. Former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright recently published a book called Fascism: A Warning . Cass Sunstein gathered a variety of scholars for a collection titled, Can it Happen Here? Authoritarianism in America .

The authoritarian lens is familiar from the heroic narrative of democracy defeating autocracies in the twentieth century. But as a framework for understanding today's central geopolitical challenges, it is far too narrow. This is mainly because those who are worried about the rise of authoritarianism and the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics. Their emphasis is almost exclusively political and constitutional -- free speech, voting rights, equal treatment for minorities, independent courts, and the like. But politics and economics cannot be dissociated from each other, and neither are autonomous from social and cultural factors. Statesmen and philosophers used to call this "political economy." Political economy looks at economic and political relationships in concert, and it is attentive to how power is exercised. If authoritarianism is the future, there must be a story of its political economy -- how it uses politics and economics to gain and hold power. Yet the rise-of-authoritarianism theorists have less to say about these dynamics.

To be sure, many commentators have discussed populist movements throughout Europe and America, and there has been no shortage of debate on the extent to which a generation of widening economic inequality has been a contributing factor in their rise. But whatever the causes of popular discontent, the policy preferences of the people, and the bloviating rhetoric of leaders, the governments that have emerged from the new populist moment are, to date, not actually pursuing policies that are economically populist.

The better and more useful way to view these regimes -- and the threat to democracy emerging at home and abroad because of them -- is as nationalist oligarchies. Oligarchy means rule by a small number of rich people. In an oligarchy, wealthy elites seek to preserve and extend their wealth and power. In his definitive book titled Oligarchy , Jeffrey Winters calls it "wealth defense." Elites engage in "property defense," protecting what they already have, and "income defense," preserving and extending their ability to hoard more. Importantly, oligarchy as a governing strategy accounts for both politics and economics. Oligarchs use economic power to gain and hold political power and, in turn, use politics to expand their economic power.

Those who worry about the rise of authoritarianism and fear the crisis of democracy are insufficiently focused on economics.

The trouble for oligarchs is that their regime involves rule by a small number of wealthy elites. In even a nominally democratic society, and most countries around the world today are at least that, it should be possible for the much larger majority to overthrow the oligarchy with either the ballot or the bullet. So how can oligarchy persist? This is where both nationalism and authoritarianism come into play. Oligarchies remain in power through two strategies: first, using divide-and-conquer tactics to ensure that a majority doesn't coalesce, and second, by rigging the political system to make it harder for any emerging majority to overthrow them.

The divide-and-conquer strategy is an old one, and it works through a combination of coercion and co-optation. Nationalism -- whether statist, ethnic, religious, or racial -- serves both functions. It aligns a portion of ordinary people with the ruling oligarchy, mobilizing them to support the regime and sacrifice for it. At the same time, it divides society, ensuring that the nationalism-inspired will not join forces with everyone else to overthrow the oligarchs. We thus see fearmongering about minorities and immigrants, and claims that the country belongs only to its "true" people, whom the leaders represent. Activating these emotional, cultural, and political identities makes it harder for citizens in the country to unite across these divides and challenge the regime.

Rigging the system is, in some ways, a more obvious tactic. It means changing the legal rules of the game or shaping the political marketplace to preserve power. Voting restrictions and suppression, gerrymandering, and manipulation of the media are examples. The common theme is that they insulate the minority in power from democracy; they prevent the population from kicking the rulers out through ordinary political means. Tactics like these are not new. They have existed, as Matthew Simonton shows in his book Classical Greek Oligarchy , since at least the time of Pericles and Plato. The consequence, then as now, is that nationalist oligarchies can continue to deliver economic policies to benefit the wealthy and well-connected.

It is worth noting that even the generation that waged war against fascism in Europe understood that the challenge to democracy in their time was not just political, but economic and social as well. They believed that the rise of Nazism was tied to the concentration of economic power in Germany, and that cartels and monopolies not only cooperated with and served the Nazi state, but helped its rise and later sustained it. As New York Congressman Emanuel Celler, one of the authors of the Anti-Merger Act of 1950, said, quoting a report filed by Secretary of War Kenneth Royall, "Germany under the Nazi set-up built up a great series of industrial monopolies in steel, rubber, coal and other materials. The monopolies soon got control of Germany, brought Hitler to power, and forced virtually the whole world into war." After World War II, Marshall Plan experts not only rebuilt Europe but also exported aggressive American antitrust and competition laws to the continent because they believed political democracy was impossible without economic democracy.

Framing today's threat as nationalist oligarchy not only clarifies the challenge but also makes clear how democracy is different -- and what democracy requires. Democracy means more than elections, an independent judiciary, a free press, and various constitutional norms. For democracy to persist, there must also be relative economic equality. If society is deeply unequal economically, the wealthy will dominate politics and transform democracy into an oligarchy. And there must be some degree of social solidarity because, as Lincoln put it, "A house divided against itself cannot stand."

We see a number of disturbing signs the United States is breaking down along these dimensions. Electoral losers in places like North Carolina seek to entrench their power rather than accept defeat. The view that money is speech under the First Amendment has unleashed wealthy individuals and corporations to spend as much as they want to influence politics. The "doom loop of oligarchy," as Ezra Klein has called it, is an obvious consequence: The wealthy use their money to influence politics and rig policy to increase their wealth, which in turn increases their capacity to influence politics. Meanwhile, we're increasingly divided into like-minded enclaves, and the result is an ever-more toxic degree of partisanship.

Addressing our domestic economic and social crises is critical to defending democracy, and a grand strategy for America's future must incorporate both domestic and foreign policy. But while many have recognized that reviving America's middle class and re-stitching our social fabric are essential to saving democracy, less attention has been paid to how American foreign policy should be reformed in order to defend democracy from the threat of nationalist oligarchy.

The Varieties of Nationalist Oligarchy

Just as there are many variations on liberal democracy -- the Swedish model, the French model, the American model -- there are many varieties of nationalist oligarchy. The story is different in every country, but the elements of nationalist oligarchy are trending all over the world.

... ... ...

... the European Union funds Hungary's oligarchy, as Orbán draws on EU money to fund about 60 percent of the state projects that support "the new Fidesz-linked business elite." Nor do Orbán and his allies do much to hide the country's crony capitalist model. András Lánczi, president of a Fidesz-affiliated think tank, has boldly stated that "if something is done in the national interest, then it is not corruption." "The new capitalist ruling class," one Hungarian banker comments, "make their money from the government."

The commentator Jan-Werner Müller captures Orbán's Hungary this way: "Power is secured through wide-ranging control of the judiciary and the media; behind much talk of protecting hard-pressed families from multinational corporations, there is crony capitalism, in which one has to be on the right side politically to get ahead economically."

Crony capitalism, coupled with resurgent nationalism and central government control, is also an issue in China. While some commentators have emphasized "state capitalism" -- when government has a significant ownership stake in companies -- this phenomenon is not to be confused with crony capitalism. Some countries with state capitalism, like Norway, are widely seen as extremely non-corrupt and, indeed, are often held up as models of democracy. State capitalism itself is thus not necessarily a problem. Crony capitalism, in contrast, is an "instrumental union between capitalists and politicians designed to allow the former to acquire wealth, legally or otherwise, and the latter to seek and retain power." This is the key difference between state capitalism and oligarchy.

... ... ...

Ganesh Sitaraman is a professor of law and Chancellor's faculty fellow at Vanderbilt Law School, and the author of The Counterinsurgent's Constitution: Law in the Age of Small Wars and The Crisis of the Middle-Class Constitution: Why Economic Inequality Threatens our Republic .

[Mar 01, 2020] Hollywood Goes Full Blacklist and Fails to Grasp the Irony by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead. ..."
"... "Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm." ..."
"... Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both. ..."
"... Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation. ..."
Feb 14, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

In the wake of the latest Hollywood buffoonery displayed at the Oscars, I think it is time for the American public to denounce in the strongest possible terms the rampant hypocrisy of sanctimonious cretins who make their living pretending to be someone other than themselves. Brad Pitt, Joaquin Phoenix and Barbara Streisand pop to mind as representative examples. All three are eager to lecture the American public on the need for equality and non-discrimination. Yet, not one of the recipients of the Oscar gift bags worth $225,000 spoke out against that extraordinary excess nor demanded that the money spent purchasing these "gifts" be used to benefit the poor and the homeless. Nope, take the money and run.

It is especially galling to see how the Hollywood Community has embraced the era of red-baiting Joseph McCarthy as the new standard for what is acceptable. There was a time that a few brave souls in Hollywood (I am thinking Lucille Ball, Kirk Douglas and Gregory Peck), spoke out against the blacklisting of actors, writers and directors for their past political ties to the Soviet Union.

Now I have lived long enough to see the so-called liberals in Hollywood rail against Donald Trump and his supporters as "agents of Russia." Many in Hollywood, who weep crocodile tears over the abuses of the Hollywood Blacklist, are now doing the same damn thing without a hint of irony.

If you are a film buff (and I consider myself one) you should be familiar with these great movies that remind the viewer of the horrors visited upon actors, writers and directors during the Hollywood Blacklist:

This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America. It was a period of time fed by fear and ignorance. While it is true that there were Americans who identified as Communists and embraced the politics of the Soviet Union, we scared ourselves into believing that communist subversion was everywhere and that America was teetering on the brink of being submerged in a red tide.

Thirty years ago I reflected on this era and wondered how such mass hysteria could happen. Now I know. We have lived with the same kind of madness since Donald Trump was tagged as a Russian agent in the summer of 2016. And the irony is extraordinary. The very same Hollywood elite that heaped opprobrium on Director Elia Kazan for naming names in Hollywood in front of the House UnAmerican Activities Committee, are now leading the charge in labeling anyone who dares speak out against the failed coup as "stooges" of the Kremlin or Putin.

Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm. Clinton exemplifies the terrifying norm of the political and cultural elite in this country. Accusing political opponents of being controlled by foreign enemies, real or imagined, is an old political tactic. Makes me wonder what Edward R. Murrow or Dalton Trumbo would say if we could bring them back from the dead.


Bill H , 11 February 2020 at 10:20 AM

Very well said. And I would extend the same opprobrium to those who label as "racist" anyone who does not agree with their open border policies. Etc.
plantman , 11 February 2020 at 10:32 AM
Trump Derangement Syndrome is a vast understatement. You never could have convinced me 4 years ago that virtually all of my liberal friends would have completely lost touch with reality due to their visceral hatred of one man.

It no longer matters if you agree with people on social policy, entitlements, student loans, homelessness, drug addiction or even wealth distribution.

If you do not share their irrational hatred of Trump, you're going to be lambasted, shunned and treated like a pariah.

I've never seen anything like it. It's whacko!

Jim Henely , 11 February 2020 at 10:34 AM
Hillary Clinton has become the poster child for the corruption that has captured and paralyzed our political parties and government institutions. Why is she above prosecution? Is the corruption complete? Can we look to any individual or group to restore our Republic? Wake me when the prosecutions begin.
Flavius , 11 February 2020 at 11:35 AM
"Hillary Clinton's crazy rant accusing U.S. Army Major and Member of Congress, Tulsi Gabbard, as a Kremlin puppet is not a deviation from the norm."

Ms. President is the closest facsimile to Lady Macbeth that American politics has been able to produce. She'd have murdered her own husband if she had thought succession would have fallen to her. As it was, the only thing that kept him alive was that she needed him for the run she had in mind for herself. The debris that this woman has left in her wake boggles the mind. That she came within a whisker of the job where she would perhaps have left the country in that debris field is a sobering thought to think about what American presidential politics has become in the 21st c. Alas, what passes for her failure and the Country's good fortune, her loved ones in the Arts are still not over. And so they are left commiserating and caterwauling over the Donald this, and the Donald that, while all this good material and their celebrity goes down the tube. Good riddance to them both.

Dave Schuler , 11 February 2020 at 12:32 PM
I agree that HUAC's conduct was excessive but you really ought to show the other side of the coin as well.
  1. Communism was genuinely awful. To this day we don't know how many people died, murdered by their own governments, in Soviet Russia and Communist China.
  2. The U. S. government was infiltrated at the very pinnacle of government (as in presidential advisors) by Soviet agents. We know this from Kremlin documents.
  3. We now know (based on Kremlin documents) that the American Communist Party was run by knowing Soviet agents and was funded by the Soviet Union.
  4. The motion picture industry had been heavily infiltrated by Communists including some actual Soviet agents (while Reagan was head of SAG he rooted them out).

We resolved those issues the wrong way but they desperately needed to be resolved.

Vegetius , 11 February 2020 at 02:04 PM
>This was an ugly, awful and evil time in America

This is self-righteous baby boomer nonsense. It was a brief and slightly uncomfortable time for a handful of people in Hollywood, after which the subversion of American culture and institutions chugged along merrily along to the present day.

But this episode has been re-purposed and often reduced to caricature as part of a long ideological project aimed at convincing generations of otherwise intelligent white people that their past is a shameful parade of villains.

They don't call it 'programming' for nothing.

optimax , 11 February 2020 at 03:53 PM
Kirk Douglas bravely defied the blacklist by giving Dalton Trumbo credit on Spartacus under his real name, effectively breaking the blacklist.

I saw part of the Academy Awards and all I heard over and over again were the words race and gender, no female directors nominated.

On a side note, this being Black History month, teevee is usually filled with the appropriate programing. But because it is the 75th anniversary of the liberation of Aushwitz the Jews are stealing the Blacks thunder by hogging the programming. When the oppressed collide.

Fred , 11 February 2020 at 04:02 PM
Just how big is the carbon footprint on a $225,000 swag bag? So nice to see Hollywood integrity in action. I wonder what the Bernie Tax will be on them in 2021?
bjd , 11 February 2020 at 04:16 PM
Chills run down my spine that you start your list with 'The Front'.

Woody Allen's 'The Front', a 'film noir' about the beast and about courage in trying to slay it, is an absolute masterpiece, its end is unmeasurably spectacular and encouraging, and... somehow the movie never got the acclaim it deserves, and lives as one of those quiet orphans.

But it is highly actual, and that is why you must have come to place it first.

Thank you for naming it. Extremely recommended.

blue peacock , 11 February 2020 at 07:26 PM
Trump campaigned on Drain the Swamp in 2016. The Swamp attempted to take him down with the Russia Collusion hoax that included Spygate and the Mueller special counsel investigation.

Rep. Devin Nunes uncovered many of the shenanigans while he investigated the claims of Russian interference in the 2016 election. He implored Trump to use his prerogative as POTUS to declassify many documents and communications. Trump instead took the advice of Rod Rosenstein acting as AG who initiated the Mueller investigation and did not declassify. He then passed the buck to AG Barr, who has yet to declassify.

The question that needs to be asked in light of this: Is Trump a conman who has duped the electorate with Drain the Swamp as he has not used his exclusive powers of classification to present to the voter all the documents and communications about the actions of law enforcement and intelligence agencies relating to claims about Russian influence operations during the 2016 election?

Fred , 11 February 2020 at 08:13 PM
Blue,

Maybe Trump conned the swamp into outing themselves, which hasn't proven that hard since they have even bigger ego's than he.

D , 11 February 2020 at 09:39 PM
Blue Peacock, the question that needs to be asked is do you blow your wad all at once on one play. Or do you drip, drip, drip it out strategically. I suggest the latter in this endless game of gotcha politics. Yes, Trump is a con man. That is how he made his billions - selling sizzle. One quality that does translate well into the political arena. No one is surprised - his life has been on the front pages for decades.

The only newly revealed quality that I find remarkable is his remarkable staying power - the most welcome quality of all. It takes ego maniacs to play this game. Surprised anyone still thinks politics is an avocation for normal people. It isn't. And we the people are the ones that demand this to be the case.

Sol Invictus , 11 February 2020 at 10:30 PM
I left the american sh*thole a long time ago and my choice never felt better. I look forward to seeing 50% of americans trying to slaughter the other 50% over socialism. Here we're doing just fine with socialist medecine, and social programs for just about everyting. The Commons are still viable where common sense resides... Oligarchs love cartels, socialism and piratization: it's all about privatizing the gains and socializing the losses to the hoi polloi.
james , 12 February 2020 at 12:35 AM
blue peacock... does an alligator want to drain the swamp? the answer is no... that is just a lot of hokum for the naive or illiterate...
james , 12 February 2020 at 12:36 AM
@ sol... your first sentence is pretty harsh and more of a reflection on you then anything else..
anon , 12 February 2020 at 02:26 AM
Great movie "the front". As to draining the swamp, well trump has to finish the job and here lies the problem. Once done what do you put in its place.

Bernie of course.

Diana Croissant , 12 February 2020 at 10:11 AM
I wonder if Hollywood knows how small some of the audiences in actual movie theaters are now. It's always surprising to me that I am sitting in almost empty theaters now when I decide I want actual movie theater popcorn and so will pay to watch a movie that I have read about and heard about from friends who have already seen the movie. I don't attend unless I've heard good things from my friends about the movie.


I am constantly surprised that some people even consider watching the Oscars now. I feel the same about professional sports.

You would be surprised at how good high school plays are and how good high school bands, orchestras, choirs are. The tickets are cheap, and a person actually gets to greet the performers.

I feel the same about my local university (my Alma Mater). It's Performing Arts departments are excellent. As a student long ago, my student pass allowed me to attend wonderful performances.

The Glory Days of Hollywood are no more. The actors and directors need to be humbled by having to go to towns across the country to see how sparse the audience in a movie theater is now. It's not at all as I remember as a child when there were long lines at the ticket window.

[Feb 29, 2020] Secret Wars, Forgotten Betrayals, Global Tyranny. Who s Really In Charge Of The US Military by Cynthia Chung

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Thus, it should be no surprise to anyone in the world at this point in history, that the CIA holds no allegiance to any country. And it can be hardly expected that a President, who is actively under attack from all sides within his own country, is in a position to hold the CIA accountable for its past and future crimes ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

"There is a kind of character in thy life, That to the observer doth thy history, fully unfold."

– William Shakespeare

Once again we find ourselves in a situation of crisis, where the entire world holds its breath all at once and can only wait to see whether this volatile black cloud floating amongst us will breakout into a thunderstorm of nuclear war or harmlessly pass us by. The majority in the world seem to have the impression that this destructive fate totters back and forth at the whim of one man. It is only normal then, that during such times of crisis, we find ourselves trying to analyze and predict the thoughts and motives of just this one person. The assassination of Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen and undeniably an essential key figure in combating terrorism in Southwest Asia, was a terrible crime, an abhorrently repugnant provocation. It was meant to cause an apoplectic fervour, it was meant to make us who desire peace, lose our minds in indignation. And therefore, that is exactly what we should not do.

In order to assess such situations, we cannot lose sight of the whole picture, and righteous indignation unfortunately causes the opposite to occur. Our focus becomes narrower and narrower to the point where we can only see or react moment to moment with what is right in front of our face. We are reduced to an obsession of twitter feeds, news blips and the doublespeak of 'official government statements'.

Thus, before we may find firm ground to stand on regarding the situation of today, we must first have an understanding as to what caused the United States to enter into an endless campaign of regime-change warfare after WWII, or as former Chief of Special Operations for the Joint Chiefs of Staff Col. Prouty stated, three decades of the Indochina war.

An Internal Shifting of Chess Pieces in the Shadows

It is interesting timing that on Sept 2, 1945, the very day that WWII ended, Ho Chi Minh would announce the independence of Indochina. That on the very day that one of the most destructive wars to ever occur in history ended, another long war was declared at its doorstep. Churchill would announce his "Iron Curtain" against communism on March 5th, 1946, and there was no turning back at that point. The world had a mere 6 months to recover before it would be embroiled in another terrible war, except for the French, who would go to war against the Viet Minh opponents in French Indochina only days after WWII was over.

In a previous paper I wrote titled "On Churchill's Sinews of Peace" , I went over a major re-organisation of the American government and its foreign intelligence bureau on the onset of Truman's de facto presidency. Recall that there was an attempted military coup d'état, which was exposed by General Butler in a public address in 1933, against the Presidency of FDR who was only inaugurated that year. One could say that there was a very marked disapproval from shadowy corners for how Roosevelt would organise the government.

One key element to this reorganisation under Truman was the dismantling of the previously existing foreign intelligence bureau that was formed by FDR, the Office of Strategic Services (OSS) on Sept 20, 1945 only two weeks after WWII was officially declared over. The OSS would be replaced by the CIA officially on Sept 18, 1947, with two years of an American intelligence purge and the internal shifting of chess pieces in the shadows. In addition, de-facto President Truman would also found the United States National Security Council on Sept 18, 1947, the same day he founded the CIA. The NSC was a council whose intended function was to serve as the President's principal arm for coordinating national security, foreign policies and policies among various government agencies.

In Col. Prouty's book he states,

" In 1955, I was designated to establish an office of special operations in compliance with National Security Council (NSC) Directive #5412 of March 15, 1954. This NSC Directive for the first time in the history of the United States defined covert operations and assigned that role to the Central Intelligence Agency to perform such missions , provided they had been directed to do so by the NSC, and further ordered active-duty Armed Forces personnel to avoid such operations. At the same time, the Armed Forces were directed to "provide the military support of the clandestine operations of the CIA" as an official function . "

What this meant, was that there was to be an intermarriage of the foreign intelligence bureau with the military, and that the foreign intelligence bureau would act as top dog in the relationship, only taking orders from the NSC. Though the NSC includes the President, as we will see, the President is very far from being in the position of determining the NSC's policies.

An Inheritance of Secret Wars

" There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare. "

– Sun Tzu

On January 20th, 1961, John F. Kennedy was inaugurated as President of the United States. Along with inheriting the responsibility of the welfare of the country and its people, he was to also inherit a secret war with communist Cuba run by the CIA.

JFK was disliked from the onset by the CIA and certain corridors of the Pentagon, they knew where he stood on foreign matters and that it would be in direct conflict for what they had been working towards for nearly 15 years. Kennedy would inherit the CIA secret operation against Cuba, which Prouty confirms in his book, was quietly upgraded by the CIA from the Eisenhower administration's March 1960 approval of a modest Cuban-exile support program (which included small air drop and over-the-beach operations) to a 3,000 man invasion brigade just before Kennedy entered office.

This was a massive change in plans that was determined by neither President Eisenhower, who warned at the end of his term of the military industrial complex as a loose cannon, nor President Kennedy, but rather the foreign intelligence bureau who has never been subject to election or judgement by the people. It shows the level of hostility that Kennedy encountered as soon as he entered office, and the limitations of a President's power when he does not hold support from these intelligence and military quarters.

Within three months into JFK's term, Operation Bay of Pigs (April 17th to 20th 1961) was scheduled. As the popular revisionist history goes; JFK refused to provide air cover for the exiled Cuban brigade and the land invasion was a calamitous failure and a decisive victory for Castro's Cuba. It was indeed an embarrassment for President Kennedy who had to take public responsibility for the failure, however, it was not an embarrassment because of his questionable competence as a leader. It was an embarrassment because, had he not taken public responsibility, he would have had to explain the real reason why it failed. That the CIA and military were against him and that he did not have control over them. If Kennedy were to admit such a thing, he would have lost all credibility as a President in his own country and internationally, and would have put the people of the United States in immediate danger amidst a Cold War.

What really occurred was that there was a cancellation of the essential pre-dawn airstrike, by the Cuban Exile Brigade bombers from Nicaragua, to destroy Castro's last three combat jets. This airstrike was ordered by Kennedy himself. Kennedy was always against an American invasion of Cuba, and striking Castro's last jets by the Cuban Exile Brigade would have limited Castro's threat, without the U.S. directly supporting a regime change operation within Cuba. This went fully against the CIA's plan for Cuba.

Kennedy's order for the airstrike on Castro's jets would be cancelled by Special Assistant for National Security Affairs McGeorge Bundy, four hours before the Exile Brigade's B-26s were to take off from Nicaragua, Kennedy was not brought into this decision. In addition, the Director of Central Intelligence Allen Dulles, the man in charge of the Bay of Pigs operation was unbelievably out of the country on the day of the landings.

Col. Prouty, who was Chief of Special Operations during this time, elaborates on this situation:

" Everyone connected with the planning of the Bay of Pigs invasion knew that the policy dictated by NSC 5412, positively prohibited the utilization of active-duty military personnel in covert operations. At no time was an "air cover" position written into the official invasion plan The "air cover" story that has been created is incorrect. "

As a result, JFK who well understood the source of this fiasco, set up a Cuban Study Group the day after and charged it with the responsibility of determining the cause for the failure of the operation. The study group, consisting of Allen Dulles, Gen. Maxwell Taylor, Adm. Arleigh Burke and Attorney General Robert Kennedy (the only member JFK could trust), concluded that the failure was due to Bundy's telephone call to General Cabell (who was also CIA Deputy Director) that cancelled the President's air strike order.

Kennedy had them.

Humiliatingly, CIA Director Allen Dulles was part of formulating the conclusion that the Bay of Pigs op was a failure because of the CIA's intervention into the President's orders. This allowed for Kennedy to issue the National Security Action Memorandum #55 on June 28th, 1961, which began the process of changing the responsibility from the CIA to the Joint Chiefs of Staff. As Prouty states,

" When fully implemented, as Kennedy had planned, after his reelection in 1964, it would have taken the CIA out of the covert operation business. This proved to be one of the first nails in John F. Kennedy's coffin. "

If this was not enough of a slap in the face to the CIA, Kennedy forced the resignation of CIA Director Allen Dulles, CIA Deputy Director for Plans Richard M. Bissell Jr. and CIA Deputy Director Charles Cabell.

In Oct 1962, Kennedy was informed that Cuba had offensive Soviet missiles 90 miles from American shores. Soviet ships with more missiles were on their way towards Cuba but ended up turning around last minute. Rumours started to abound that JFK had cut a secret deal with Russian Premier Khrushchev, which was that the U.S. would not invade Cuba if the Soviets withdrew their missiles. Criticisms of JFK being soft on communism began to stir.

NSAM #263, closely overseen by Kennedy, was released on Oct 11th, 1963, and outlined a policy decision " to withdraw 1,000 military personnel [from Vietnam] by the end of 1963 " and further stated that " It should be possible to withdraw the bulk of U.S. personnel [including the CIA and military] by 1965. " The Armed Forces newspaper Stars and Stripes had the headline U.S. TROOPS SEEN OUT OF VIET BY '65. Kennedy was winning the game and the American people.

This was to be the final nail in Kennedy's coffin.

Kennedy was brutally shot down only one month later, on Nov, 22nd 1963. His death should not just be seen as a tragic loss but, more importantly, it should be recognised for the successful military coup d'état that it was and is . The CIA showed what lengths it was ready to go to if a President stood in its way. (For more information on this coup refer to District Attorney of New Orleans at the time, Jim Garrison's book . And the excellently researched Oliver Stone movie "JFK")

Through the Looking Glass

On Nov. 26th 1963, a full four days after Kennedy's murder, de facto President Johnson signed NSAM #273 to begin the change of Kennedy's policy under #263. And on March 4th, 1964, Johnson signed NSAM #288 that marked the full escalation of the Vietnam War and involved 2,709,918 Americans directly serving in Vietnam, with 9,087,000 serving with the U.S. Armed Forces during this period.

The Vietnam War, or more accurately the Indochina War, would continue for another 12 years after Kennedy's death, lasting a total of 20 years for Americans.

Scattered black ops wars continued, but the next large scale-never ending war that would involve the world would begin full force on Sept 11, 2001 under the laughable title War on Terror, which is basically another Iron Curtain, a continuation of a 74 year Cold War. A war that is not meant to end until the ultimate regime changes are accomplished and the world sees the toppling of Russia and China. Iraq was destined for invasion long before the vague Gulf War of 1990 and even before Saddam Hussein was being backed by the Americans in the Iraq-Iran war in the 1980s. Iran already suffered a CIA backed regime change in 1979.

It had been understood far in advance by the CIA and US military that the toppling of sovereignty in Iraq, Libya, Syria and Iran needed to occur before Russia and China could be taken over. Such war tactics were formulaic after 3 decades of counterinsurgency against the CIA fueled "communist-insurgency" of Indochina. This is how today's terrorist-inspired insurgency functions, as a perfect CIA formula for an endless bloodbath.

Former CIA Deputy Director (2010-2013) Michael Morell, who was supporting Hillary Clinton during the presidential election campaign and vehemently against the election of Trump, whom he claimed was being manipulated by Putin, said in a 2016 interview with Charlie Rose that Russians and Iranians in Syria should be killed covertly to 'pay the price' .

Therefore, when a drone stroke occurs assassinating an Iranian Maj. Gen., even if the U.S. President takes onus on it, I would not be so quick as to believe that that is necessarily the case, or the full story. Just as I would not take the statements of President Rouhani accepting responsibility for the Iranian military shooting down 'by accident' the Boeing 737-800 plane which contained 176 civilians, who were mostly Iranian, as something that can be relegated to criminal negligence, but rather that there is very likely something else going on here.

I would also not be quick to dismiss the timely release, or better described as leaked, draft letter from the US Command in Baghdad to the Iraqi government that suggests a removal of American forces from the country. Its timing certainly puts the President in a compromised situation. Though the decision to keep the American forces within Iraq or not is hardly a simple matter that the President alone can determine. In fact there is no reason why, after reviewing the case of JFK, we should think such a thing.

One could speculate that the President was set up, with the official designation of the IRGC as "terrorist" occurring in April 2019 by the US State Department, a decision that was strongly supported by both Bolton and Pompeo, who were both members of the NSC at the time. This made it legal for a US military drone strike to occur against Soleimani under the 2001 AUMF, where the US military can attack any armed group deemed to be a terrorist threat. Both Bolton and Pompeo made no secret that they were overjoyed by Soleimani's assassination and Bolton went so far as to tweet "Hope this is the first step to regime change in Tehran." Bolton has also made it no secret that he is eager to testify against Trump in his possible impeachment trial.

Former CIA Director Mike Pompeo was recorded at an unknown conference recently, but judging from the gross laughter of the audience it consists of wannabe CIA agents, where he admits that though West Points' cadet motto is "You will not lie, cheat, or steal, or tolerate those who do.", his training under the CIA was the very opposite, stating " I was the CIA Director. We lied, we cheated, we stole. It was like we had entire training courses. (long pause) It reminds you of the glory of the American experiment. "

Thus, it should be no surprise to anyone in the world at this point in history, that the CIA holds no allegiance to any country. And it can be hardly expected that a President, who is actively under attack from all sides within his own country, is in a position to hold the CIA accountable for its past and future crimes .

Tags Politics War Conflict


ThomasChase1776 , 3 minutes ago link

General Smedley Butler had an answer. Read his book.

https://www.americanswhotellthetruth.org/portraits/major-general-smedley-butler

Is-Be , 8 minutes ago link

Maj. Gen. Qasem Soleimani, a true hero for his fellow countrymen

All his countrymen?

Element , 15 minutes ago link

Who's Really In Charge Of The US Military? - Cynthia Chung via The Strategic Culture Foundation

Donald Trump, you stupid time-wasting twat .

ThomasChase1776 , 5 minutes ago link

LOL. That's a good one.

Assuming Trump is doing what he said he would, why isn't our military guarding our border?
Why hasn't our military left the middle east already?

Who really runs our government?

InTheLandOfTheBlind , 1 hour ago link

As much as I hate the CIA, mi6 had more of hand in overthrowing iran than Langley did

ThomasChase1776 , 4 minutes ago link

Is that supposed to be an excuse?

GRDguy , 1 hour ago link

". . . the CIA holds no allegiance to any country." But they sure kiss the *** of the financial sociopaths who write their paychecks and finance the black ops.

ThomasChase1776 , 4 minutes ago link

and Mossad

Slaytheist , 1 hour ago link

Does this bitch not know that the CIA is the currency mafia police....ffs, that's a **** ton of words.

oneno , 1 hour ago link

She knows ...

SRV , 1 hour ago link

Fletcher Prouty's book The Secret Team is a must read... he was on the inside and watched the formation of the permanent team established in the late 50s that assumed the power of the president.

JFK fought that team...

cynicalskeptic , 1 hour ago link

Look at who the OSS recruited - Ivy League Skull and Bones types from rich families that made their fortunes in often questionable ventures.

If you're the patriarch of some super wealthy family wouldn't you be thrilled to have younger family members working for the nation's intelligence agencies? Sort of the ultimate in 'inside information'. Plus these families had experience in things like drug smuggling, human trafficking and anything else you can imagine..... While the Brits started the opium trade with China, Americans jumped right in bringing opium from Turkey.

Didn't take long before the now CIA became owned by the families whose members staffed it.

InTheLandOfTheBlind , 43 minutes ago link

Again ignoring the British influence. The CIA does not have a monopoly on intelligence

Spiritual Anunnaki , 2 hours ago link

One major aspect pertaining American involvment in Veitnam was something like 90% of the rubber produced Globally came from the region.

It is more diverse now, being 3rd, with the association revealing that in 2017, Vietnam earned US$2.3 billion from export of 1.4 million tonnes of natural rubber, up 36% in value and 11.4% in volume year on year.

Haboob , 2 hours ago link

Fighting for rubber monopoly in Vietnam,fighting for oil monopoly in the middle east.

That's life.

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

Gunboat diplomacy is nothing new. War is and always has been a racket.

InTheLandOfTheBlind , 38 minutes ago link

Unfortunately it is a winning racket.

Art_Vandelay , 2 hours ago link

Betrayals, secrets, tyranny? Who's in charge? **** Cheney & Co.

Benito_Camela , 1 hour ago link

Mike Pimpeo. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DPt-zXn05ac

InTheLandOfTheBlind , 36 minutes ago link

The British crown

Kan , 2 hours ago link

Rockfellers formed the OSS then the CIA which is the brute force for the CFR which they also run and own. The bankers run y our country and bought and blackmailed all your politicians... Only buttplug and pedo's get to be in charge now folks.... and some 9th circle witches of course...

TeethVillage88s , 1 hour ago link

OSS & CIA were formed from Ivy League Schools/Uni's... who turned out to be Traitors to England & USSR... Same today I

[Feb 29, 2020] A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. ..."
"... The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not. ..."
Feb 29, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 29, 2020 7:38 pm

A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvILLCbOFo4

I think this would be very informative for anybody seriously interested in the USA foreign policy. Listening to him is so sad to realize that instead of person of his caliber we have Pompous Pompeo, who forever is frozen on the level of a tank repair mechanical engineer, as the Secretary of State.

Published on Feb 24, 2020

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior.

The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.

He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

He is the author of several books including the most recent

Interesting times: China, America, and the shifting balance of prestige (2013)

[Feb 28, 2020] "Abort operation! Russian agent Bernie Sanders has been compromised!"

Notable quotes:
"... I would suggest amending this to: Official D policy: "no candidate who intends to govern in the interest of the entirety of the citizenry should seek the nomination of this Party" ..."
Feb 28, 2020 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

clarky90 , , February 27, 2020 at 5:04 pm

"Abort operation! Russian agent Bernie Sanders has been compromised!"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=71&v=4xQTr14WMMs&feature=emb_logo

RT admits that Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump are both Russian Agents!

USAian Patriot, Michael Bloomberg has uncovered the truth and heroically, "pulled aside the curtain". (sarc)

Mel , , February 27, 2020 at 5:13 pm

A candidate should not be trying to win the nomination.

LET'S give medals to EVERYbody!

Samuel Conner , , February 27, 2020 at 8:16 pm

I would suggest amending this to: Official D policy: "no candidate who intends to govern in the interest of the entirety of the citizenry should seek the nomination of this Party"

[Feb 27, 2020] An interesting view on Russian "intelligencia" by the scientist and writer Zinoviev expressed during "perestroika" in 1991

Highly recommended!
Feb 27, 2020 | en.wikipedia.org

If intellectuals replace the current professional politicians as the leaders of society the situation would become much worse. Because they have neither the sense of reality, nor common sense. For them, the words and speeches are more important than the actual social laws and the dominant trends, the dominant social dynamics of the society. The psychological principle of the intellectuals is that we could organize everything much better, but we are not allowed to do it.

But the actual situation is as following: they could organize the life of society as they wish and plan, in the way they view is the best only if under conditions that are not present now are not feasible in the future. Therefore they are not able to act even at the level of current leaders of the society, which they despise. The actual leaders are influenced by social pressures, by the current social situation, but at least they doing something. Intellectuals are unhappy that the real stream of life they are living in. They consider it wrong. that makes them very dangerous, because they look really smart, while in reality being sophisticated professional idiots.

[Feb 27, 2020] The Obama Administration Wrecked Libya for a Generation by Doug Bandow

Jan 10, 2020 | The American Conservative
Foreign Affairs

'We came, we saw, he died' -- Hillary Clinton smirked when she said it. She had no idea how many people that would apply to. A fighter loyal to the Libyan internationally-recognised Government of National Accord (GNA) fires a heavy machine gun. (MAHMUD TURKIA/AFP via Getty Images)

Libya's ongoing destruction belongs to Hillary Clinton more than anyone else. It was she who pushed President Barack Obama to launch his splendid little war, backing the overthrow of Moammar Gaddafi in the name of protecting Libya's civilians. When later asked about Gaddafi's death, she cackled and exclaimed: "We came, we saw, he died."

Alas, his was not the last death in that conflict, which has flared anew, turning Libya into a real-life Game of Thrones . An artificial country already suffering from deep regional divisions, Libya has been further torn apart by political and religious differences. One commander fighting on behalf of the Government of National Accord (GNA), Salem Bin Ismail, told the BBC: "We have had chaos since 2011."

Arrayed against the weak unity government is the former Gaddafi general, U.S. citizen, and one-time CIA adjunct Khalifa Haftar. For years, the two sides have appeared to be in relative military balance, but a who's who of meddlesome outsiders has turned the conflict into an international affair. The latest playbook features Egypt, France, Jordan, Saudi Arabia, the United Arab Emirates, and Russia supporting Haftar, while Italy, Qatar, and Turkey are with the unity government.

In April, Haftar launched an offensive to seize Tripoli. It faltered until Russian mercenaries made an appearance in September, bringing Haftar to the gates of Tripoli. He apparently is also employing Sudanese mercenaries, though not with their nation's backing. Now Turkey plans to introduce troops to bolster the official government.

Washington's position is at best confused. It officially recognizes the GNA. When Haftar started his offensive, Secretary of State Mike Pompeo issued a statement urging "the immediate halt to these military operations." However, President Donald Trump then initiated a friendly phone call to Haftar "to discuss ongoing counterterrorism efforts and the need to achieve peace and stability in Libya," according to the White House. More incongruously, "The president recognized Field Marshal Haftar's significant role in fighting terrorism and securing Libya's oil resources, and the two discussed a shared vision for Libya's transition to a stable, democratic political system." The State Department recently urged both sides to step back. However, Haftar continues to advance, and just days ago captured the coastal city of Sirte.

In recent years, Libya had been of little concern to the U.S. It was an oil producer, but Gaddafi had as much incentive to sell the oil as did King Idris I, whom Gaddafi and other members of the "Free Officers Movement" ousted. Gaddafi carefully balanced interests in Libya's complex tribal society and kept the military weak over fears of another coup. He was a geopolitical troublemaker, supporting a variety of insurgent and terrorist groups. But he steadily lost influence, alienating virtually every African and Middle Eastern government.

Of greatest concern to Washington, Libyan agents organized terrorist attacks against the U.S. -- bombing an American airliner and a Berlin disco frequented by American soldiers -- leading to economic sanctions and military retaliation. However, those days were long over by 2011. Eight years before, in the aftermath of the U.S. invasion of Iraq, Gaddafi repudiated terrorism and ended his missile and nuclear programs in a deal with the U.S. and Europe. He was feted in European capitals. His government served as a non-permanent member of the UN Security Council from 2008 to 2009. American officials congratulated him for his assistance against terrorism and discussed possible assistance in return. All seemed forgiven.

Then in 2011, the Arab Spring engulfed Libya, as people rose against Gaddafi's rule. He responded with force to reestablish control. However, Western advocates of regime change warned that genocide was possible and pushed for intervention under United Nations auspices. In explaining his decision to intervene, Obama stated: "We knew that if we waited one more day, Benghazi could suffer a massacre that would have reverberated across the region and stained the conscience of the world." Russia and China went along with a resolution authorizing "all necessary measures to prevent the killing of civilians."

In fact, the fears were fraudulent. Gaddafi was no angel, but he hadn't targeted civilians, and his florid rhetoric, cited by critics, only attacked those who had taken up arms. He even promised amnesty to those who abandoned their weapons. With no civilians to protect, NATO, led by the U.S., bombed Libyan government forces and installations and backed the insurgents' offensive. It was not a humanitarian intervention, but a lengthy, costly, low-tech, regime-change war, mostly at Libyan expense. Obama claimed: "We had a unique ability to stop the violence." Instead his administration ensured that the initial civil war would drag on for months -- and the larger struggle ultimately for years.

On October 20, 2011, Gaddafi was discovered hiding in a culvert in Sirte. He was beaten, sodomized with a bayonet, shot, and killed. That essentially ended the first phase of the extended Libyan civil war. Gaddafi had done much to earn his fate, but his death led to an entirely new set of problems.

A low level insurgency continued, led by former Gaddafi followers. Proposals either to disband militia forces or integrate them into the National Transitional Council (NTC) military went unfulfilled, and this developed into the conflict's second phase. Elections delivered fragmented results, as ideological, religious, and other divisions ran deep. Militias were accused of misusing government funds, employing violence, and kidnapping and assassinating their opponents. Islamist groups increasingly attempted to impose religious rule. Violence and insecurity worsened.

In February 2014, Haftar challenged the General National Congress (GNC). Hostilities broadly evolved between the GNC/GNA, backed by several militias, which controlled Tripoli and much of the country's west, and the Tobruk-based House of Representatives, which was supported by Haftar and his Libyan National Army. Multiple domestic factions, forces, and militias also were involved. Among them was the Islamic State, which murdered Egyptian Coptic (Christian) laborers.

The African Union and the United Nations promoted various peace initiatives. However, other governments fueled hostilities. Most notable now is the potential entry of Turkish troops.

In mid-December, Turkey's parliament approved an agreement to provide equipment, military training, technical aid, and intelligence. (The Erdogan government also controversially set maritime boundaries with Libya that conflict with other claims, most notably from Cyprus, Egypt, Greece, and Israel.) Ankara introduced some members of the dwindling Syrian insurgents once aligned against the Assad regime to Libya and raised the possibility of adding its "quick reaction force" to the fight.

At the end of last month, the Erdogan government introduced, and parliament approved, legislation to authorize the deployment of combat forces. President Erdogan criticized nations that backed a "putschist general" and "warlord" and promised to support the GNA "much more effectively." While noting that Turkey doesn't "go where we are not invited" (except, apparently, Syria), Erdogan added that "since now there is an invitation [from the GNA], we will accept it."

But Haftar refused to back down. Last week, he called on "men and women, soldiers and civilians, to defend our land and our honor." He continued: "We accept the challenge and declare jihad and a call to arms."

Turkish legislator Ismet Yilmaz supported the intervention and warned that the conflict might "spread instability to Turkey." More likely the intervention is a grab for energy, since Ankara has devoted significant resources of late to exploring the Eastern Mediterranean for oil and gas. Libya has oil deposits, of course, which could be exploited under a friendly government. Perhaps most important, Ankara wants to ensure that its interests are respected in the Eastern Mediterranean.

However, direct intervention is an extraordinarily dangerous step. It puts Turkey in the line of fire, as in Syria. Ankara's forces could clash with those of Russia, which maintains the merest veneer of deniability over its role in Libya. And other powers -- Egypt, perhaps, or the UAE -- might ramp up their involvement in an effort to thwart Erdogan's plans.

In response, the U.S. attempted to warn Turkey against intervening. "External military intervention threatens prospects for resolving the conflict," said State Department spokeswoman Morgan Ortagus with no hint of irony. Congress might go further: some of its members have already proposed sanctioning Russia for the introduction of mercenaries, and Ankara has few friends left on Capitol Hill. Nevertheless it is rather late for Washington to cry foul. Its claim to essentially a monopoly on Mideast meddling can only be seen as risible by other powers.

The Arab League has also criticized "foreign interference." In a resolution passed in late December, the group expressed "serious concern over the military escalation further aggravating the situation in Libya and which threatens the security and stability of neighboring countries and the entire region." However, Arab League is no less hypocritical. Egypt, the UAE, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia, all deeply involved in the conflict, are members of the league. And no one would be surprised if some or all of them decided to expand their participation in the fighting. Egyptian president Abdel Fatah al-Sisi insisted: "We will not allow anyone to control Libya. It is a matter of Egyptian national security."

Although the fighting is less intense than in, say, Syria, combat has gone high-tech. According to the Washington Post : "Eight months into Libya's worst spasm of violence in eight years, the conflict is being fought increasingly by weaponized drones." ISIS is one of the few beneficiaries of these years of fighting. GNA-allied militias that once cooperated with the U.S. and other states in counterterrorism are now focused on Haftar, allowing militants to revive, set up desert camps, and organize attacks. Washington still employs drones, but they rely on accurate intelligence, best gathered on the ground, and even then well-directed hits are no substitute for local ground operations.

The losers are the Libyan people. The fighting has resulted in thousands of deaths and tens of thousands of refugees. Divisions, even among tribes, are growing. The future looks ever dimmer. Fathi Bashagha, the GNA interior minister, lamented: "Every day we are burying young people who should be helping us build Libya." Absent a major change, many more will be buried in the future.

Yet the air of unreality surrounding the conflict remains. In late December, President Trump met with al-Sisi and, according to the White House, the two "rejected foreign exploitation and agreed that parties must take urgent steps to resolve the conflict before Libyans lose control to foreign actors." However, the latter already happened -- nine years ago when America first intervened.

The Obama administration did not plan to ruin Libya for a generation. But its decision to take on another people's fight has resulted in catastrophe. Hillary Clinton's malignant gift keeps on giving. Such is the cost of America's promiscuous war-making.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and the author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Feb 23, 2020] Previously oppressed group, given a lucky chance, most often strive for dominance and oppression of other groups including and especially former dominant group. This is an eternal damnation of ethno/cultural nationalism

Highly recommended!
Dec 29, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.28.19 at 9:17 am

Peter T 12.28.19 at 5:50 am @38

I'm finding it hard to think of examples where the formerly norm-giving group becomes derided or humiliated.

You can probably try to look at the situation in (now independent) republics of the former USSR. Simplifying previously oppressed group, given a lucky chance, most often strive for dominance and oppression of other groups including and especially former dominant group. This is an eternal damnation of ethno/cultural nationalism.

And not only it (look at Mutual Help and The State in Shantytowns.) In them ethnic comminutes often own protection markets, offer services that hire people and replace the state, pay off gang leaders. they also provide some community support for particular ethnic group, enforce the rules of trade within themselves, etc. In GB the abuse of children by ethnic gangs was sickening ( https://www.theguardian.com/uk/2012/sep/30/abuse-children-asian-communities )

In many cases of ethnic/cultural nationalism this looks more like a competition for resources with the smoke screen of noble intentions/human rights/past oppression/ humiliations/etc

Or you can look at the language policy in the USA and the actual situation in some areas/institutions of Florida and California and how English speakers feel in those areas/institutions. Or in some areas of Quebec in Canada.

That actually suggests another meaning of famous Randolph Bourne quote " War is the health of the state " (said in the midst of the First World War.) It bring the unity unachievable in peace time or by any other methods, albeit temporarily (from Ch 14. Howard Zinn book A People's History of the United States ):

the governments flourished, patriotism bloomed, class struggle was stilled, and young men died in frightful numbers on the battlefields-often for a hundred yards of land, a line of trenches.

In the United States, not yet in the war, there was worry about the health of the state. Socialism was growing. The IWW seemed to be everywhere. Class conflict was intense. In the summer of 1916, during a Preparedness Day parade in San Francisco, a bomb exploded, killing nine people; two local radicals, Tom Mooney and Warren Billings, were arrested and would spend twenty years in prison. Shortly after that Senator James Wadsworth of New York suggested compulsory military training for all males to avert the danger that "these people of ours shall be divided into classes." Rather: "We must let our young men know that they owe some responsibility to this country."

The supreme fulfillment of that responsibility was taking place in Europe. Ten million were to die on the battlefield; 20 million were to die of hunger and disease related to the war. And no one since that day has been able to show that the war brought any gain for humanity that would be worth one human life. The rhetoric of the socialists, that it was an "imperialist war," now seems moderate and hardly arguable. The advanced capitalist countries of Europe were fighting over boundaries, colonies, spheres of influence; they were competing for Alsace-Lorraine, the Balkans, Africa, the Middle East.

Neo-McCarthyism now serves a somewhat similar purpose in the USA. Among other thing (like absolving Hillary from her fiasco to "deux ex machine" trick instead of real reason -- the crisis and rejection of neoliberalism by the sizable strata of the USA population) it is an attempt to unify the nation after 2016.

[Feb 23, 2020] Where Have You Gone, Smedley Butler The Last General To Criticize US Imperialism by Danny Sjursen

Here's a link to a free online copy of War is a Racket if anyone wants to read it. It's a short read. Pretty good too. https://www.ratical.org/ratville/CAH/warisaracket.html
From comments (Is the USA government now a "regime"): In 2018, Republicans (AND Democrats) voted to cut $23 billion dollars from the budget for food stamps (42 million Americans currently receive them). Regimes disobey international law. Like America's habit of blowing up wedding parties with drones or the illegal presence of its troops in Syria, Iraq and God knows where else. Regimes carry out illegal assassination programs – I need say no more here than Qasem Soleimani. Regimes use their economic power to bully and impose their will – sanctioning countries even when they know those sanctions will, for example, be responsible for the death of 500,000 Iraqi children (the 'price worth paying', remember?). Regimes renege on international treaties – like Iran nuclear treaty, for example. Regimes imprison and hound whistle-blowers – like Chelsea manning and Julian Assange. Regimes imprison people. America is the world leader in incarceration. It has 2.2 million people in its prisons (more than China which has 5 times the US's population), that's 25% of the world's prison population for 5% of the world's population, Why does America need so many prisoners? Because it has a massive, prison-based, slave labour business that is hugely profitable for the oligarchy.
Regimes censor free speech. Just recently, we've seen numerous non-narrative following journalists and organisations kicked off numerous social media platforms. I didn't see lots of US senators standing up and saying 'I disagree completely with what you say but I will fight to the death to preserve your right to say it'. Did you?
Regimes are ruled by cliques. I don't need to tell you that America is kakistocratic Oligarchy ruled by a tiny group of evil, rich, Old Men, do I?
Regimes keep bad company. Their allies are other 'regimes', and they're often lumped together by using another favourite presstitute term – 'axis of evil'. America has its own little axis of evil. It's two main allies are Saudi Arabia – a homophobic, women hating, head chopping, terrorist financing state currently engaged in a war of genocide (assisted by the US) in Yemen – and the racist, genocidal undeclared nuclear power state of Israel.
Regimes commit human rights abuses. Here we could talk about…ooh…let's think. Last year's treatment of child refugees from Latin America, the execution of African Americans for 'walking whilst black' by America's militarized, criminal police force or the millions of dollars in cash and property seized from entirely innocent Americans by that same police force under 'civil forfeiture' laws or maybe we could mention huge American corporations getting tax refunds whilst ordinary Americans can't afford decent, effective healthcare.
Regimes finance terrorism. Mmmm….just like America financed terrorists to help destroy Syria and Libya and invested $5 billion dollars to install another regime – the one of anti-Semites and Nazis in Ukraine…
Highly recommended!
Some comments edited for clarity...
Notable quotes:
"... But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. ..."
"... "I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers." ..."
"... Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests. ..."
"... When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars. ..."
"... The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques. ..."
"... Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star. ..."
"... At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had. ..."
"... One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day. ..."
"... That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington. ..."
"... Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity... ..."
"... Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads. ..."
"... Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw). ..."
"... Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended! ..."
"... "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels ..."
"... The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti: ..."
"... The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power. ..."
"... If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort. ..."
Feb 23, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Danny Sjursen via TomDispatch.com,

There once lived an odd little man - five feet nine inches tall and barely 140 pounds sopping wet - who rocked the lecture circuit and the nation itself. For all but a few activist insiders and scholars, U.S. Marine Corps Major General Smedley Darlington Butler is now lost to history. Yet more than a century ago, this strange contradiction of a man would become a national war hero, celebrated in pulp adventure novels, and then, 30 years later, as one of this country's most prominent antiwar and anti-imperialist dissidents.

Raised in West Chester, Pennsylvania, and educated in Quaker (pacifist) schools, the son of an influential congressman, he would end up serving in nearly all of America's " Banana Wars " from 1898 to 1931. Wounded in combat and a rare recipient of two Congressional Medals of Honor, he would retire as the youngest, most decorated major general in the Marines.

A teenage officer and a certified hero during an international intervention in the Chinese Boxer Rebellion of 1900, he would later become a constabulary leader of the Haitian gendarme, the police chief of Philadelphia (while on an approved absence from the military), and a proponent of Marine Corps football. In more standard fashion, he would serve in battle as well as in what might today be labeled peacekeeping , counterinsurgency , and advise-and-assist missions in Cuba, China, the Philippines, Panama, Nicaragua, Mexico, Haiti, France, and China (again). While he showed early signs of skepticism about some of those imperial campaigns or, as they were sardonically called by critics at the time, " Dollar Diplomacy " operations -- that is, military campaigns waged on behalf of U.S. corporate business interests -- until he retired he remained the prototypical loyal Marine.

But after retirement, Smedley Butler changed his tune. He began to blast the imperialist foreign policy and interventionist bullying in which he'd only recently played such a prominent part. Eventually, in 1935 during the Great Depression, in what became a classic passage in his memoir, which he titled "War Is a Racket," he wrote:

"I spent thirty-three years and four months in active military service... And during that period, I spent most of my time being a high class muscle-man for Big Business, for Wall Street, and for the Bankers."

Seemingly overnight, the famous war hero transformed himself into an equally acclaimed antiwar speaker and activist in a politically turbulent era. Those were, admittedly, uncommonly anti-interventionist years, in which veterans and politicians alike promoted what (for America, at least) had been fringe ideas. This was, after all, the height of what later pro-war interventionists would pejoratively label American " isolationism ."

Nonetheless, Butler was unique (for that moment and certainly for our own) in his unapologetic amenability to left-wing domestic politics and materialist critiques of American militarism. In the last years of his life, he would face increasing criticism from his former admirer, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, the military establishment, and the interventionist press. This was particularly true after Adolf Hitler's Nazi Germany invaded Poland and later France. Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind, hindsight undoubtedly proved Butler's virulent opposition to U.S. intervention in World War II wrong.

Nevertheless, the long-term erasure of his decade of antiwar and anti-imperialist activism and the assumption that all his assertions were irrelevant has proven historically deeply misguided. In the wake of America's brief but bloody entry into the First World War, the skepticism of Butler (and a significant part of an entire generation of veterans) about intervention in a new European bloodbath should have been understandable. Above all, however, his critique of American militarism of an earlier imperial era in the Pacific and in Latin America remains prescient and all too timely today, especially coming as it did from one of the most decorated and high-ranking general officers of his time. (In the era of the never-ending war on terror, such a phenomenon is quite literally inconceivable.)

Smedley Butler's Marine Corps and the military of his day was, in certain ways, a different sort of organization than today's highly professionalized armed forces. History rarely repeats itself, not in a literal sense anyway. Still, there are some disturbing similarities between the careers of Butler and today's generation of forever-war fighters. All of them served repeated tours of duty in (mostly) unsanctioned wars around the world. Butler's conflicts may have stretched west from Haiti across the oceans to China, whereas today's generals mostly lead missions from West Africa east to Central Asia, but both sets of conflicts seemed perpetual in their day and were motivated by barely concealed economic and imperial interests.

Nonetheless, whereas this country's imperial campaigns of the first third of the twentieth century generated a Smedley Butler, the hyper-interventionism of the first decades of this century hasn't produced a single even faintly comparable figure. Not one. Zero. Zilch. Why that is matters and illustrates much about the U.S. military establishment and contemporary national culture, none of it particularly encouraging.

Why No Antiwar Generals

When Smedley Butler retired in 1931, he was one of three Marine Corps major generals holding a rank just below that of only the Marine commandant and the Army chief of staff. Today, with about 900 generals and admirals currently serving on active duty, including 24 major generals in the Marine Corps alone, and with scores of flag officers retiring annually, not a single one has offered genuine public opposition to almost 19 years worth of ill-advised, remarkably unsuccessful American wars . As for the most senior officers, the 40 four-star generals and admirals whose vocal antimilitarism might make the biggest splash, there are more of them today than there were even at the height of the Vietnam War, although the active military is now about half the size it was then. Adulated as many of them may be, however, not one qualifies as a public critic of today's failing wars.

Instead, the principal patriotic dissent against those terror wars has come from retired colonels, lieutenant colonels, and occasionally more junior officers (like me), as well as enlisted service members. Not that there are many of us to speak of either. I consider it disturbing (and so should you) that I personally know just about every one of the retired military figures who has spoken out against America's forever wars.

The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; Vietnam veteran and onetime West Point history instructor, retired Colonel Andrew Bacevich ; and Iraq veteran and Afghan War whistleblower , retired Lieutenant Colonel Danny Davis . All three have proven to be genuine public servants, poignant voices, and -- on some level -- cherished personal mentors. For better or worse, however, none carry the potential clout of a retired senior theater commander or prominent four-star general offering the same critiques.

Something must account for veteran dissenters topping out at the level of colonel. Obviously, there are personal reasons why individual officers chose early retirement or didn't make general or admiral. Still, the system for selecting flag officers should raise at least a few questions when it comes to the lack of antiwar voices among retired commanders. In fact, a selection committee of top generals and admirals is appointed each year to choose the next colonels to earn their first star. And perhaps you won't be surprised to learn that, according to numerous reports , "the members of this board are inclined, if not explicitly motivated, to seek candidates in their own image -- officers whose careers look like theirs." At a minimal level, such a system is hardly built to foster free thinkers, no less breed potential dissidents.

Consider it an irony of sorts that this system first received criticism in our era of forever wars when General David Petraeus, then commanding the highly publicized " surge " in Iraq, had to leave that theater of war in 2007 to serve as the chair of that selection committee. The reason: he wanted to ensure that a twice passed-over colonel, a protégé of his -- future Trump National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster -- earned his star.

Mainstream national security analysts reported on this affair at the time as if it were a major scandal, since most of them were convinced that Petraeus and his vaunted counterinsurgency or " COINdinista " protégés and their " new " war-fighting doctrine had the magic touch that would turn around the failing wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. In fact, Petraeus tried to apply those very tactics twice -- once in each country -- as did acolytes of his later, and you know the results of that.

But here's the point: it took an eleventh-hour intervention by America's most acclaimed general of that moment to get new stars handed out to prominent colonels who had, until then, been stonewalled by Cold War-bred flag officers because they were promoting different (but also strangely familiar) tactics in this country's wars. Imagine, then, how likely it would be for such a leadership system to produce genuine dissenters with stars of any serious sort, no less a crew of future Smedley Butlers.

At the roots of this system lay the obsession of the American officer corps with " professionalization " after the Vietnam War debacle. This first manifested itself in a decision to ditch the citizen-soldier tradition, end the draft, and create an "all-volunteer force." The elimination of conscription, as predicted by critics at the time, created an ever-growing civil-military divide, even as it increased public apathy regarding America's wars by erasing whatever " skin in the game " most citizens had.

More than just helping to squelch civilian antiwar activism, though, the professionalization of the military, and of the officer corps in particular, ensured that any future Smedley Butlers would be left in the dust (or in retirement at the level of lieutenant colonel or colonel) by a system geared to producing faux warrior-monks. Typical of such figures is current chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Army General Mark Milley. He may speak gruffly and look like a man with a head of his own, but typically he's turned out to be just another yes-man for another war-power -hungry president.

One group of generals, however, reportedly now does have it out for President Trump -- but not because they're opposed to endless war. Rather, they reportedly think that The Donald doesn't "listen enough to military advice" on, you know, how to wage war forever and a day.

What Would Smedley Butler Think Today?

In his years of retirement, Smedley Butler regularly focused on the economic component of America's imperial war policies. He saw clearly that the conflicts he had fought in, the elections he had helped rig, the coups he had supported, and the constabularies he had formed and empowered in faraway lands had all served the interests of U.S. corporate investors. Though less overtly the case today, this still remains a reality in America's post-9/11 conflicts, even on occasion embarrassingly so (as when the Iraqi ministry of oil was essentially the only public building protected by American troops as looters tore apart the Iraqi capital, Baghdad, in the post-invasion chaos of April 2003). Mostly, however, such influence plays out far more subtly than that, both abroad and here at home where those wars help maintain the record profits of the top weapons makers of the military-industrial complex.

That beast, first identified by President Dwight D. Eisenhower, is now on steroids as American commanders in retirement regularly move directly from the military onto the boards of the giant defense contractors, a reality which only contributes to the dearth of Butlers in the military retiree community. For all the corruption of his time, the Pentagon didn't yet exist and the path from the military to, say, United Fruit Company, Standard Oil, or other typical corporate giants of that moment had yet to be normalized for retiring generals and admirals. Imagine what Butler would have had to say about the modern phenomenon of the " revolving door " in Washington.

Of course, he served in a very different moment, one in which military funding and troop levels were still contested in Congress. As a longtime critic of capitalist excesses who wrote for leftist publications and supported the Socialist Party candidate in the 1936 presidential elections, Butler would have found today's nearly trillion-dollar annual defense budgets beyond belief. What the grizzled former Marine long ago identified as a treacherous nexus between warfare and capital "in which the profits are reckoned in dollars and the losses in lives" seems to have reached its natural end point in the twenty-first century. Case in point: the record (and still rising ) "defense" spending of the present moment, including -- to please a president -- the creation of a whole new military service aimed at the full-scale militarization of space .

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

Of course, Butler didn't exactly end his life triumphantly. In late May 1940, having lost 25 pounds due to illness and exhaustion -- and demonized as a leftist, isolationist crank but still maintaining a whirlwind speaking schedule -- he checked himself into the Philadelphia Navy Yard Hospital for a "rest." He died there, probably of some sort of cancer, four weeks later. Working himself to death in his 10-year retirement and second career as a born-again antiwar activist, however, might just have constituted the very best service that the two-time Medal of Honor winner could have given the nation he loved to the very end.

Someone of his credibility, character, and candor is needed more than ever today. Unfortunately, this military generation is unlikely to produce such a figure. In retirement, Butler himself boldly confessed that, "like all the members of the military profession, I never had a thought of my own until I left the service. My mental faculties remained in suspended animation while I obeyed the orders of higher-ups. This is typical..."

Today, generals don't seem to have a thought of their own even in retirement. And more's the pity...

2 minutes ago
Am I the only one to notice that Hollywood and it's film distributors have gone full bore on "war" productions, glorifying these historical events while using poetic license to rewrite history. Prepping the numbheads.
14 minutes ago
TULSI GABBARD.

Forget rank. As Mr Sjursen implies, dissidents are no longer allowed in the higher ranks. "They" made sure to fix this as Mr Butler had too much of a mind of his own (US education system also programmed against creative, charismatic thinkers, btw).

The US Space Force has been created as part of a plan to disclose the deep state's Secret Space Program (SSP), which has been active for decades, and which has utilized, and repressed, advanced technologies that would provide free, unlimited renewable energy, and thus eliminate hunger and poverty on a planetary scale.

14 minutes ago
14 minutes ago

ALL wars are EVIL. Period .

29 minutes ago

Sadly enough, in the age of Trump, as numerous polls demonstrate, the U.S. military is the only public institution Americans still truly trust. Under the circumstances, how useful it would be to have a high-ranking, highly decorated, charismatic retired general in the Butler mold galvanize an apathetic public around those forever wars of ours. Unfortunately, the likelihood of that is practically nil, given the military system of our moment.

This is why I feel an oath keeping constitutionally oriented American general is what we need in power, clear out all 545 criminals in office now, review their finances (and most of them will roll over on the others) and punish accordingly, then the lobbyist, how many of them worked against the country? You know what we do with those.

And then, finally, Hollywood, oh yes I long to see that **** hole burn with everyone in it.

30 minutes ago
Republicrat: the two faces of the moar war whore.
32 minutes ago

Given the severity of the Nazi threat to mankind

Do tell, from what I've read the Nazis were really only a threat to a few groups, the rest of us didn't need to worry.

35 minutes ago
Today, the "Masters of the Permawars" refer to the international extortion, MIC, racket as "Defending American Interests"! .....With never any explanation to the public/American taxpayer just what "American Interests" the incredible expenditures of American lives, blood, and treasure are being defended!

Why are we sending our children out into the hellholes of the world to be maimed and killed in the fauxjew banksters' quest for world domination.

How stupid can we be!

41 minutes ago
(Edited) "Smedley Butler"... The last time the UCMJ was actually used before being permanently turned into a "door stop"!
49 minutes ago
He was correct about our staying out of WWII. Which, BTW, would have never happened if we had stayed out of WWI.
22 minutes ago
(Edited) Both wars were about the international fauxjew imposition of debt-money central bankstering.

Both wars were promulgated by the Financial oligarchyof New York. The communist Red Army of Russia was funded and supplied by the Financial oligarchyof New York. It was American Financial oligarchythat built the Russian Red Army that vexed the world and created the Cold War. How many hundreds of millions of goyim were sacrificed to create both the Russian and the Chinese Satanic behemoths.......and the communist horror that is now embedded in American academia, publishing, American politics, so-called news, entertainment, The worldwide Catholic religion, the Pentagon, and the American deep state.......and more!

How stupid can we be. Every generation has the be dragged, kicking and screaming, out of the eternal maw of historical ignorance to avoid falling back into the myriad dark hellholes of history. As we all should know, people who forget their own history are doomed to repeat it.

53 minutes ago
Today's General is a robot with with a DNA.
54 minutes ago
All the General Staff is a bunch of #asskissinglittlechickenshits
57 minutes ago
want to stop senseless Empire wars>>well do this

War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit.. If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start? 1 hour ago

Here is a simple straightforward trading maxim that might apply here: if it works or is working keep doing it, but if it doesn't work or stops working, then STOP doing it. There are plenty of people, now poorer, for not adhering to that simple principle. Where is the Taxpayer's return on investment from the Combat taking place on their behalf around the globe? 'Nuff said - it isn't working. It is making a microscopic few richer & all others poorer so STOP doing it. 36 seconds ago We don't have to look far to figure out who they are that are getting rich off the fauxjew permawars.

How can we be so stupid???

1 hour ago

See also:

TULSI GABBARD

1 hour ago

The main reason you don't see the generals criticizing is that the current crop have not been in actual long term direct combat with the enemy and have mostly been bureaucratic paper pushers.

Take the Marine Major General who is the current commander of CENTCOM. By the time he got into the Iraq/Afghanistan war he was already a Lieutenant Colonel and far removed from direct action.

He was only there on and off for a few years. Here are some of his other career highlights aft as they appear on his official bio:

In short, these top guys aren't warriors they're bureaucrats so why would we expect them to be honest brokers of the truth?

51 minutes ago

are U saying Chesty Puller he's NOT? 1 hour ago
(Edited) The purpose of war is to ensure that the Federal Reserve Note remains the world reserve paper currency of choice by keeping it relevant and in demand across the globe by forcing pesky energy producing nations to trade with it exclusively.

It is a 49 year old policy created by the private owners of quasi public institutions called central banks to ensure they remain the Wizards of Oz doing gods work conjuring magic paper into existence with a secret spell known as issuing credit.

How else is a technologically advanced society of billions of people supposed to function w/out this divinely inspired paper?

1 hour ago

Goebbels in "Churchill's Lie Factory" where he said: "The Americans follow the principle that when one lies, one should lie big, and stick to it. They keep up their lies, even at the risk of looking ridiculous." - Jospeh Goebbels, "Aus Churchills Lügenfabrik," 12. january 1941, Die Zeit ohne Beispiel

1 hour ago

The greatest anti-imperialist of our times is Michael Parenti:

Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders. When not ignored outright, the subject of imperialism has been sanitized, so that empires become "commonwealths," and colonies become "territories" or "dominions" (or, as in the case of Puerto Rico, "commonwealths" too). Imperialist military interventions become matters of "national defense," "national security," and maintaining "stability" in one or another region. In this book I want to look at imperialism for what it really is.

https://www.historyisaweapon.com/defcon1/imperialism.html

49 minutes ago
"Imperialism has been the most powerful force in world history over the last four or five centuries, carving up whole continents while oppressing indigenous peoples and obliterating entire civilizations. Yet, it is seldom accorded any serious attention by our academics, media commentators, and political leaders."

Why would it when they who control academia, media and most of our politicians are our enemies.

1 hour ago

"The big three are Secretary of State Colin Powell's former chief of staff, retired Colonel Lawrence Wilkerson ; ..."

Yep, Wilkerson, who leaked Valerie Plame's name, not that it was a leak, to Novak, and then stood by to watch the grand jury fry Scooter Libby. Wilkerson, that paragon of moral rectitude. Wilkerson the silent, that *******.

sheesh,

1 hour ago
(Edited)

" A standing military force, with an overgrown Executive will not long be safe companions to liberty. The means of defence against foreign danger, have been always the instruments of tyranny at home. Among the Romans it was a standing maxim to excite a war, whenever a revolt was apprehended. Throughout all Europe, the armies kept up under the pretext of defending, have enslaved the people."

James Madison Friday June 29, 1787

https://avalon.law.yale.edu/18th_century/debates_629.asp

"What, Sir, is the use of a militia? It is to prevent the establishment of a standing army, the bane of liberty.... Whenever Governments mean to invade the rights and liberties of the people, they always attempt to destroy the militia, in order to raise an army upon their ruins." (Rep. Elbridge Gerry of Massachusetts, spoken during floor debate over the Second Amendment [I Annals of Congress at 750, August 17, 1789])

http://press-pubs.uchicago.edu/founders/documents/amendIIs6.html

1 hour ago

A particularly pernicious example of intra-European imperialism was the Nazi aggression during World War II, which gave the German business cartels and the Nazi state an opportunity to plunder the resources and exploit the labor of occupied Europe, including the slave labor of concentration camps. - M. PARENTI, Against empire

See Alexander Parvus

1 hour ago

Collapse is the cure. It's too far gone.

1 hour ago

Russia Wants to 'Jam' F-22 and F-35s in the Middle East: Report

https://nationalinterest.org/blog/buzz/russia-wants-jam-f-22-and-f-35s-middle-east-report-121041

1 hour ago

ZH retards think that the American mic is bad and all other mics are good or don't exist. That's the power of brainwashing. Humans understand that war in general is bad, but humans are becoming increasingly rare in this world.

1 hour ago

The obvious types of American fascists are dealt with on the air and in the press. These demagogues and stooges are fronts for others. Dangerous as these people may be, they are not so significant as thousands of other people who have never been mentioned. The really dangerous American fascists are not those who are hooked up directly or indirectly with the Axis. The FBI has its finger on those. The dangerous American fascist is the man who wants to do in the United States in an American way what Hitler did in Germany in a Prussian way. The American fascist would prefer not to use violence. His method is to poison the channels of public information. With a fascist the problem is never how best to present the truth to the public but how best to use the news to deceive the public into giving the fascist and his group more money or more power.

If we define an American fascist as one who in case of conflict puts money and power ahead of human beings, then there are undoubtedly several million fascists in the United States. There are probably several hundred thousand if we narrow the definition to include only those who in their search for money and power are ruthless and deceitful. Most American fascists are enthusiastically supporting the war effort.

https://truthout.org/articles/the-dangers-of-american-fascism/

2 hours ago
The swamp is bigger than the military alone. Substitute Bureaucrat, Statesman, or Beltway Bandit for General and Colonel in your writing above and you've got a whole new article to post that is just as true.
2 hours ago
(Edited) War = jobs and profit..we get work "THEY" get the profit..If we taxed all war related profit at 99% how many wars would our rulers start?
2 hours ago [edited for clarity]
War is a racket. And nobody loves a racket more than Financial oligarchy. Americans come close though, that's why Financial oligarchy use them to project their own rackets and provide protection reprisals.

[Feb 08, 2020] Is Iraq About To Switch From US to Russia

Highly recommended!
Feb 08, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 8, 2020 8:56 pm

NSC Russia expert freshly appointed Andrew Peek, who was walked out like Vindman, with him only freshly appointed after Fiona Hill and the Tim Morrioson resigned.

There is a big problems with "experts" in NSC -- often they represent interests of the particular agency, or a think tank, not that of the country.

Look at former NSC staffer Fiona Hill. She can be called "threat inflation" specialist.

NSC tries to usurp the role of the State Department and overly militarize the USA foreign policy, while having much lower class specialists. It is a kind of CIA backdoor into defining the USA foreign policy.

I would advocate creating "shadow NSC" by the party who is in opposition, so that it can somehow provide countervailing opinions. But with both parties being now war parties, this is no that effective.

Cutting NSC staff to the bones, so that such second rate personalities like Fiona Hill and Vindman are automatically excluded might also help a little bit.

The size above a dozen or two is probably excessive, as like any bureaucracy, it will try to control the President, not so much help him/her.
( https://docs.house.gov/meetings/FA/FA00/20160908/105276/HHRG-114-FA00-Transcript-20160908.pdf ):

One common explanation is that the NSC mission creep results from the NSC staff growing too large and the easy solution is to limit the size of the staff. I am sympathetic to that feeling because we don't want it to
be too large and we don't want it to be usurping things that the State Department or the Agency should do.

[Feb 07, 2020] How They Sold the Iraq War by Jeffrey St. Clair

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon. ..."
"... This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception." ..."
"... During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted. ..."
"... When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. ..."
"... Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war." ..."
"... The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. ..."
"... Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. ..."
Mar 20, 2018 | www.counterpunch.org

The war on Iraq won't be remembered for how it was waged so much as for how it was sold. It was a propaganda war, a war of perception management, where loaded phrases, such as "weapons of mass destruction" and "rogue state" were hurled like precision weapons at the target audience: us.

To understand the Iraq war you don't need to consult generals, but the spin doctors and PR flacks who stage-managed the countdown to war from the murky corridors of Washington where politics, corporate spin and psy-ops spooks cohabit.

Consider the picaresque journey of Tony Blair's plagiarized dossier on Iraq, from a grad student's website to a cut-and-paste job in the prime minister's bombastic speech to the House of Commons. Blair, stubborn and verbose, paid a price for his grandiose puffery. Bush, who looted whole passages from Blair's speech for his own clumsy presentations, has skated freely through the tempest. Why?

Unlike Blair, the Bush team never wanted to present a legal case for war. They had no interest in making any of their allegations about Iraq hold up to a standard of proof. The real effort was aimed at amping up the mood for war by using the psychology of fear.

Facts were never important to the Bush team. They were disposable nuggets that could be discarded at will and replaced by whatever new rationale that played favorably with their polls and focus groups. The war was about weapons of mass destruction one week, al-Qaeda the next. When neither allegation could be substantiated on the ground, the fall back position became the mass graves (many from the Iran/Iraq war where the U.S.A. backed Iraq) proving that Saddam was an evil thug who deserved to be toppled. The motto of the Bush PR machine was: Move on. Don't explain. Say anything to conceal the perfidy behind the real motives for war. Never look back. Accuse the questioners of harboring unpatriotic sensibilities. Eventually, even the cagey Wolfowitz admitted that the official case for war was made mainly to make the invasion palatable, not to justify it.

The Bush claque of neocon hawks viewed the Iraq war as a product and, just like a new pair of Nikes, it required a roll-out campaign to soften up the consumers. The same techniques (and often the same PR gurus) that have been used to hawk cigarettes, SUVs and nuclear waste dumps were deployed to retail the Iraq war. To peddle the invasion, Donald Rumsfeld and Colin Powell and company recruited public relations gurus into top-level jobs at the Pentagon and the State Department. These spinmeisters soon had more say over how the rationale for war on Iraq should be presented than intelligence agencies and career diplomats. If the intelligence didn't fit the script, it was shaded, retooled or junked.

Take Charlotte Beers whom Powell picked as undersecretary of state in the post-9/11 world. Beers wasn't a diplomat. She wasn't even a politician. She was a grand diva of spin, known on the business and gossip pages as "the queen of Madison Avenue." On the strength of two advertising campaigns, one for Uncle Ben's Rice and another for Head and Shoulder's dandruff shampoo, Beers rocketed to the top of the heap in the PR world, heading two giant PR houses: Ogilvy and Mathers as well as J. Walter Thompson.

At the State Department Beers, who had met Powell in 1995 when they both served on the board of Gulf Airstream, worked at, in Powell's words, "the branding of U.S. foreign policy." She extracted more than $500 million from Congress for her Brand America campaign, which largely focused on beaming U.S. propaganda into the Muslim world, much of it directed at teens.

"Public diplomacy is a vital new arm in what will combat terrorism over time," said Beers. "All of a sudden we are in this position of redefining who America is, not only for ourselves, but for the outside world." Note the rapt attention Beers pays to the manipulation of perception, as opposed, say, to alterations of U.S. policy.

Old-fashioned diplomacy involves direct communication between representatives of nations, a conversational give and take, often fraught with deception (see April Glaspie), but an exchange nonetheless. Public diplomacy, as defined by Beers, is something else entirely. It's a one-way street, a unilateral broadcast of American propaganda directly to the public, domestic and international, a kind of informational carpet-bombing.

The themes of her campaigns were as simplistic and flimsy as a Bush press conference. The American incursions into Afghanistan and Iraq were all about bringing the balm of "freedom" to oppressed peoples. Hence, the title of the U.S. war: Operation Iraqi Freedom, where cruise missiles were depicted as instruments of liberation. Bush himself distilled the Beers equation to its bizarre essence: "This war is about peace."

Beers quietly resigned her post a few weeks before the first volley of tomahawk missiles battered Baghdad. From her point of view, the war itself was already won, the fireworks of shock and awe were all after play.

Over at the Pentagon, Donald Rumsfeld drafted Victoria "Torie" Clarke as his director of public affairs. Clarke knew the ropes inside the Beltway. Before becoming Rumsfeld's mouthpiece, she had commanded one of the world's great parlors for powerbrokers: Hill and Knowlton's D.C. office.

Almost immediately upon taking up her new gig, Clarke convened regular meetings with a select group of Washington's top private PR specialists and lobbyists to develop a marketing plan for the Pentagon's forthcoming terror wars. The group was filled with heavy-hitters and was strikingly bipartisan in composition. She called it the Rumsfeld Group and it included PR executive Sheila Tate, columnist Rich Lowry, and Republican political consultant Rich Galen.

The brain trust also boasted top Democratic fixer Tommy Boggs, brother of NPR's Cokie Roberts and son of the late Congressman Hale Boggs of Louisiana. At the very time Boggs was conferring with top Pentagon brass on how to frame the war on terror, he was also working feverishly for the royal family of Saudi Arabia. In 2002 alone, the Saudis paid his Qorvis PR firm $20.2 million to protect its interests in Washington. In the wake of hostile press coverage following the exposure of Saudi links to the 9/11 hijackers, the royal family needed all the well-placed help it could buy. They seem to have gotten their money's worth. Boggs' felicitous influence-peddling may help to explain why the references to Saudi funding of al-Qaeda were dropped from the recent congressional report on the investigation into intelligence failures and 9/11.

According to the trade publication PR Week, the Rumsfeld Group sent "messaging advice" to the Pentagon. The group told Clarke and Rumsfeld that in order to get the American public to buy into the war on terrorism, they needed to suggest a link to nation states, not just nebulous groups such as al-Qaeda. In other words, there needed to be a fixed target for the military campaigns, some distant place to drop cruise missiles and cluster bombs. They suggested the notion (already embedded in Rumsfeld's mind) of playing up the notion of so-called rogue states as the real masters of terrorism. Thus was born the Axis of Evil, which, of course, wasn't an "axis" at all, since two of the states, Iran and Iraq, hated each other, and neither had anything at all to do with the third, North Korea.

Tens of millions in federal money were poured into private public relations and media firms working to craft and broadcast the Bush dictat that Saddam had to be taken out before the Iraqi dictator blew up the world by dropping chemical and nuclear bombs from long-range drones. Many of these PR executives and image consultants were old friends of the high priests in the Bush inner sanctum. Indeed, they were veterans, like Cheney and Powell, of the previous war against Iraq, another engagement that was more spin than combat .

At the top of the list was John Rendon, head of the D.C. firm, the Rendon Group. Rendon is one of Washington's heaviest hitters, a Beltway fixer who never let political affiliation stand in the way of an assignment. Rendon served as a media consultant for Michael Dukakis and Jimmy Carter, as well as Reagan and George H.W. Bush. Whenever the Pentagon wanted to go to war, he offered his services at a price. During Desert Storm, Rendon pulled in $100,000 a month from the Kuwaiti royal family. He followed this up with a $23 million contract from the CIA to produce anti-Saddam propaganda in the region.

As part of this CIA project, Rendon created and named the Iraqi National Congress and tapped his friend Ahmed Chalabi, the shady financier, to head the organization.

Shortly after 9/11, the Pentagon handed the Rendon Group another big assignment: public relations for the U.S. bombing of Afghanistan. Rendon was also deeply involved in the planning and public relations for the pre-emptive war on Iraq, though both Rendon and the Pentagon refuse to disclose the details of the group's work there.

But it's not hard to detect the manipulative hand of Rendon behind many of the Iraq war's signature events, including the toppling of the Saddam statue (by U.S. troops and Chalabi associates) and videotape of jubilant Iraqis waving American flags as the Third Infantry rolled by them. Rendon had pulled off the same stunt in the first Gulf War, handing out American flags to Kuwaitis and herding the media to the orchestrated demonstration. "Where do you think they got those American flags?" clucked Rendon in 1991. "That was my assignment."

The Rendon Group may also have had played a role in pushing the phony intelligence that has now come back to haunt the Bush administration. In December of 2002, Robert Dreyfuss reported that the inner circle of the Bush White House preferred the intelligence coming from Chalabi and his associates to that being proffered by analysts at the CIA.

So Rendon and his circle represented a new kind of off-the-shelf PSYOPs , the privatization of official propaganda. "I am not a national security strategist or a military tactician," said Rendon. "I am a politician, and a person who uses communication to meet public policy or corporate policy objectives. In fact, I am an information warrior and a perception manager."

What exactly, is perception management? The Pentagon defines it this way: "actions to convey and/or deny selected information and indicators to foreign audiences to influence their emotions, motives and objective reasoning." In other words, lying about the intentions of the U.S. government. In a rare display of public frankness, the Pentagon actually let slip its plan (developed by Rendon) to establish a high-level den inside the Department Defense for perception management. They called it the Office of Strategic Influence and among its many missions was to plant false stories in the press.

Nothing stirs the corporate media into outbursts of pious outrage like an official government memo bragging about how the media are manipulated for political objectives. So the New York Times and Washington Post threw indignant fits about the Office of Strategic Influence; the Pentagon shut down the operation, and the press gloated with satisfaction on its victory. Yet, Rumsfeld told the Pentagon press corps that while he was killing the office, the same devious work would continue. "You can have the corpse," said Rumsfeld. "You can have the name. But I'm going to keep doing every single thing that needs to be done. And I have."

At a diplomatic level, despite the hired guns and the planted stories, this image war was lost. It failed to convince even America's most fervent allies and dependent client states that Iraq posed much of a threat. It failed to win the blessing of the U.N. and even NATO, a wholly owned subsidiary of Washington. At the end of the day, the vaunted coalition of the willing consisted of Britain, Spain, Italy, Australia, and a cohort of former Soviet bloc nations. Even so, the citizens of the nations that cast their lot with the U.S.A. overwhelmingly opposed the war.

Domestically, it was a different story. A population traumatized by terror threats and shattered economy became easy prey for the saturation bombing of the Bush message that Iraq was a terrorist state linked to al-Qaeda that was only minutes away from launching attacks on America with weapons of mass destruction.

Americans were the victims of an elaborate con job, pelted with a daily barrage of threat inflation, distortions, deceptions and lies, not about tactics or strategy or war plans, but about justifications for war. The lies were aimed not at confusing Saddam's regime, but the American people. By the start of the war, 66 per cent of Americans thought Saddam Hussein was behind 9/11 and 79 per cent thought he was close to having a nuclear weapon.

Of course, the closest Saddam came to possessing a nuke was a rusting gas centrifuge buried for 13 years in the garden of Mahdi Obeidi, a retired Iraqi scientist. Iraq didn't have any functional chemical or biological weapons. In fact, it didn't even possess any SCUD missiles, despite erroneous reports fed by Pentagon PR flacks alleging that it had fired SCUDs into Kuwait.

This charade wouldn't have worked without a gullible or a complicit press corps. Victoria Clarke, who developed the Pentagon plan for embedded reports, put it succinctly a few weeks before the war began: "Media coverage of any future operation will to a large extent shape public perception."

During the Vietnam War, TV images of maimed GIs and napalmed villages suburbanized opposition to the war and helped hasten the U.S. withdrawal. The Bush gang meant to turn the Vietnam phenomenon on its head by using TV as a force to propel the U.S.A. into a war that no one really wanted.

What the Pentagon sought was a new kind of living room war, where instead of photos of mangled soldiers and dead Iraqi kids, they could control the images Americans viewed and to a large extent the content of the stories. By embedding reporters inside selected divisions, Clarke believed the Pentagon could count on the reporters to build relationships with the troops and to feel dependent on them for their own safety. It worked, naturally. One reporter for a national network trembled on camera that the U.S. Army functioned as "our protectors." The late David Bloom of NBC confessed on the air that he was willing to do "anything and everything they can ask of us."

When the Pentagon needed a heroic story, the press obliged. Jessica Lynch became the war's first instant celebrity. Here was a neo-gothic tale of a steely young woman wounded in a fierce battle, captured and tortured by ruthless enemies, and dramatically saved from certain death by a team of selfless rescuers, knights in camo and night-vision goggles. Of course, nearly every detail of her heroic adventure proved to be as fictive and maudlin as any made-for-TV-movie. But the ordeal of Private Lynch, which dominated the news for more than a week, served its purpose: to distract attention from a stalled campaign that was beginning to look at lot riskier than the American public had been hoodwinked into believing.

The Lynch story was fed to the eager press by a Pentagon operation called Combat Camera, the Army network of photographers, videographers and editors that sends 800 photos and 25 video clips a day to the media. The editors at Combat Camera carefully culled the footage to present the Pentagon's montage of the war, eliding such unsettling images as collateral damage, cluster bombs, dead children and U.S. soldiers, napalm strikes and disgruntled troops.

"A lot of our imagery will have a big impact on world opinion," predicted Lt. Jane Larogue, director of Combat Camera in Iraq. She was right. But as the hot war turned into an even hotter occupation, the Pentagon, despite airy rhetoric from occupation supremo Paul Bremer about installing democratic institutions such as a free press, moved to tighten its monopoly on the flow images out of Iraq. First, it tried to shut down Al Jazeera, the Arab news channel. Then the Pentagon intimated that it would like to see all foreign TV news crews banished from Baghdad.

Few newspapers fanned the hysteria about the threat posed by Saddam's weapons of mass destruction as sedulously as did the Washington Post. In the months leading up to the war, the Post's pro-war op-eds outnumbered the anti-war columns by a 3-to-1 margin.

Back in 1988, the Post felt much differently about Saddam and his weapons of mass destruction. When reports trickled out about the gassing of Iranian troops, the Washington Post's editorial page shrugged off the massacres, calling the mass poisonings "a quirk of war."

The Bush team displayed a similar amnesia. When Iraq used chemical weapons in grisly attacks on Iran, the U.S. government not only didn't object, it encouraged Saddam. Anything to punish Iran was the message coming from the White House. Donald Rumsfeld himself was sent as President Ronald Reagan's personal envoy to Baghdad. Rumsfeld conveyed the bold message than an Iraq defeat would be viewed as a "strategic setback for the United States." This sleazy alliance was sealed with a handshake caught on videotape. When CNN reporter Jamie McIntyre replayed the footage for Rumsfeld in the spring of 2003, the secretary of defense snapped, "Where'd you get that? Iraqi television?"

The current crop of Iraq hawks also saw Saddam much differently then. Take the writer Laura Mylroie, sometime colleague of the New York Times' Judy Miller, who persists in peddling the ludicrous conspiracy that Iraq was behind the 1993 bombing of the World Trade Center.

How times have changed! In 1987, Mylroie felt downright cuddly toward Saddam. She wrote an article for the New Republic titled "Back Iraq: Time for a U.S. Tilt in the Mideast," arguing that the U.S. should publicly embrace Saddam's secular regime as a bulwark against the Islamic fundamentalists in Iran. The co-author of this mesmerizing weave of wonkery was none other than Daniel Pipes, perhaps the nation's most bellicose Islamophobe. "The American weapons that Iraq could make good use of include remotely scatterable and anti-personnel mines and counterartillery radar," wrote Mylroie and Pipes. "The United States might also consider upgrading intelligence it is supplying Baghdad."

In the rollout for the war, Mylroie seemed to be everywhere hawking the invasion of Iraq. She would often appear on two or three different networks in the same day. How did the reporter manage this feat? She had help in the form of Eleana Benador, the media placement guru who runs Benador Associates. Born in Peru, Benador parlayed her skills as a linguist into a lucrative career as media relations whiz for the Washington foreign policy elite. She also oversees the Middle East Forum, a fanatically pro-Zionist white paper mill. Her clients include some of the nation's most fervid hawks, including Michael Ledeen, Charles Krauthammer, Al Haig, Max Boot, Daniel Pipes, Richard Perle, and Judy Miller. During the Iraq war, Benador's assignment was to embed this squadron of pro-war zealots into the national media, on talk shows, and op-ed pages.

Benador not only got them the gigs, she also crafted the theme and made sure they all stayed on message. "There are some things, you just have to state them in a different way, in a slightly different way," said Benador. "If not, people get scared." Scared of intentions of their own government.

It could have been different. All of the holes in the Bush administration's gossamer case for war were right there for the mainstream press to expose. Instead, the U.S. press, just like the oil companies, sought to commercialize the Iraq war and profit from the invasions. They didn't want to deal with uncomfortable facts or present voices of dissent.

Nothing sums up this unctuous approach more brazenly than MSNBC's firing of liberal talk show host Phil Donahue on the eve of the war. The network replaced the Donahue Show with a running segment called Countdown: Iraq, featuring the usual nightly coterie of retired generals, security flacks, and other cheerleaders for invasion. The network's executives blamed the cancellation on sagging ratings. In fact, during its run Donahue's show attracted more viewers than any other program on the network. The real reason for the pre-emptive strike on Donahue was spelled out in an internal memo from anxious executives at NBC. Donahue, the memo said, offered "a difficult face for NBC in a time of war. He seems to delight in presenting guests who are anti-war, anti-Bush and skeptical of the administration's motives."

The memo warned that Donahue's show risked tarring MSNBC as an unpatriotic network, "a home for liberal anti-war agenda at the same time that our competitors are waving the flag at every opportunity." So, with scarcely a second thought, the honchos at MSNBC gave Donahue the boot and hoisted the battle flag.

It's war that sells.

There's a helluva caveat, of course. Once you buy it, the merchants of war accept no returns.

This essay is adapted from Grand Theft Pentagon.

[Feb 03, 2020] Amazon.com Customer reviews White House Warriors How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War

Highly recommended!
This book sheds some light into the story of how Administrative assistants to Present became independent heavily influenced by CIA body controlling the USA foreign policy and to a large extent controlling the President. Recent revolt of NSC (Aka Ukrainegate) shows that the servant became the master
The books contains some interesting information about forming NSC by Truman --- the father of the US National Security State. And bureaucratic turf war the preceded it. It wwas actually Eisenhower who created forma position of a "special assistant to the president for national security affairs"
The author also cover a little bit disastrous decision to launch a "surge" (ironically by the female chickenhawk Meghan O'Sullivan), -- which attests neocon nature of current NSC and level of indoctrination of staffers in "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine quite clearly. That's why a faction of NSC launched a coup d'état against Trump in t he form of Ukrainegate and probably was instrumental in Russiagate as well.
Notable quotes:
"... Starting in the 1960s, the NSC dethroned the State Department in providing analysis, intelligence, and even some diplomacy to the diplomat in chief. In the years after September 11th, the staff also began to take greater responsibility, especially for planning, from the military and the rest of the Pentagon. Both departments have struggled and often failed to reclaim lost ground and influence in Washington. ..."
"... Yet war is a hard thing to try to manage from the Executive Office Building. Thousands of miles from the frontlines and far from harm, the NSC make recommendations based on what they come to know from intelligence reports, news sources, phone calls, video-teleconferences, and visits to the front. Even with advice based only on this limited and limiting view, the NSC staff has transformed how the United States fights its wars. ..."
"... Although presidents bear the ultimate responsibilities for these decisions, the NSC staff played an essential, and increasing, role in the thinking behind each bold move. In conflict after conflict, a more powerful NSC staff has fundamentally altered the American way of war. It is now far less informed by the perspective of the military and the view from the frontlines. It is less patient for progress and more dependent on the clocks in the Executive Office Building and Washington than those in theater. It is far more combative, less able to accept defeat, and more willing to risk a change of course. ..."
"... The NSC common law's kept the peace in Washington for years after Iran-Contra. The restrictions against outright advocacy and outsized operational responsibilities were accepted by those at the White House as well as in the agencies during Republican and Democratic administrations. Yet as many in Washington believed the world grew more interconnected and the national security stakes increased, especially after September 11th, a more powerful NSC has given staffers the opportunity to bend, and occasionally break, the common laws, as they have been expected to and allowed to take on more responsibilities for developing strategies and new r ideas from those in the bureaucracy and military. ..."
"... ...Meanwhile, others, including the anonymous author of the infamous September 2018 New York Times opinion piece, believe government officials who comprise a "steady state" amid Trump's chaotic presidency are "unsung heroes" resisting his worst instincts and overreaches. 13 Thus, it is no surprise that more and more Americans are concerned: a 2018 poll found that 74 percent of Americans feel a group of officials arc able to control government policy without accountability. ..."
"... it is no wonder some Americans have taken to assuming the worst of their public servants. ..."
"... Each member of the NSC staff needs to remember that their growing, unaccountable power has helped give evidence to the worries about a deep state. Although no one in Washington gives up influence voluntarily, the staff, even its warriors, need to remember it is not just what they fight for but whether a fight is necessary at all. ..."
"... ... Too many in Washington, including at the Executive Office Building, have forgotten that public service is a privilege that bestows on them great responsibility. Although the NSC has long justified its actions in the name of national security, the means with which its members have pursued that objective have made for a more aggressive American way of war, a more fractious Washington, and more conspiracies about government. ..."
"... The question is for what and for whom they will fight in the years and wars ahead. ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The men and women walking the hushed corridors of the Executive Office Building do not look like warriors. Most are middle-aged professionals with penchants for dark business suits and prestigious graduate degrees, who have spent their lives serving their country in windowless offices, on far-off battle-fields, or at embassies abroad. Before arriving at the NSC, many joined the military or the nation's diplomatic corps, some dedicated themselves to teaching and writing about national security, and others spent their days working for the types of politicians who become presidents. By the time they joined the staff, each had shown the pluck -- and the good fortune -- required to end up staffing a president.

When each NSC staffer first walks up the steps to the Executive Office Building, he or she joins an institution like no other in government. Compared to the Pentagon and other bureaucracies, the staff is small, hierarchically flat with only a few titles like directors and senior directors reporting to the national security advisor and his or her deputies. Compared to all those at the agencies, even most cabinet secretaries, the staff are also given unparalleled access to the president and the discussions about the biggest decisions in national security.

Yet despite their access, the NSC staff was created as a political, legal, and bureaucratic afterthought. The National Security Council was established both
to better coordinate foreign policy after World War II and as part of a deal to create what became known as the Defense Department. Since the army and navy only agreed to be unified under a single department and a civilian cabinet secretary if each still had a seat at the table where decisions about war were expected to be made, establishing the National Security Council was critical to ensuring passage of the National Security Act of 1947. The law, as well as its amendments two years later, unified the armed forces while also establishing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as the CIA.

... ... ...

Fans of television's the West Wing would be forgiven for expecting that once in the Oval Office, all a staffer needs to do to change policy is to deliver a well-timed whisper in the president's car or a rousing speech in his company. It is not that such dramatic moments never occur, but real change in government requires not just speaking up but the grinding policy work required to have something new to say.

A staffer, alone or with NSC and agency colleagues, must develop an idea until feasible and defend it from opposition driven by personal pique, bureaucratic jealousy, or substantive disagreement, and often all three.

Granted none of these fights are over particularly new ideas, as few proposals in war are truly novel. If anything, the staffs history is a reminder of how little new there is under the guise of national security. Alter all, escalations, ultimatums, and counterinsurgency are only innovative in the context of the latest conflicts. The NSC staff is usually proposing old ideas, some as old as war itself like a surge of troops, to new circumstances and a critical moment.

Yet even an old idea can have real power in the right hands at the right time, so it is worth considering how much more influence the NSC brings to its fights today.

... ... ...

A larger staff can do even more thanks to technology. With the establishment of the Situation Room in 1961 and its subsequent upgrades, as well as the widespread adoption of email in the 1980s, the classified email system during the 2000s, and desktop video teleconferencing systems in the 2010s, White House technology upgrades have been justified because the president deserves the latest and the fastest. These same advances give each member of the staff global reach, including to war zones half a world away, from the safety of the Executive Office Building.

The NSC has also grown more powerful along with the presidency it serves. The White House, even in the hands of an inexperienced and disorganized president like Trump, drives the government's agenda, the news media's coverage, and the American public's attention. The NSC staff can, if skilled enough, leverage the office's influence for their own ideas and purposes. Presidents have also explicitly empowered the staff in big ways -- like putting them in the middle of the policymaking process -- and small -- like granting them ranks that put them on the same level as other agency officials.

Recent staffers have also had the president's ear nearly every day, and sometimes more often, while secretaries of state and defense rarely have that much face time in the Oval Office. Each has a department with tens of thousands (and in the Pentagon's case millions) of employees to manage. Most significantly, both also answer not just to the president but to Congress, which has oversight authority for their departments and an expectation for regular updates. There are few more consequential power differences between the NSC and the departments than to whom each must answer.

Even more, the NSC staff get to work and fight in anonymity. Members of Congress, journalists, and historians are usually too busy keeping track of the National Security Council principals to focus on the guys and gals behind the national security advisors, who are themselves behind the president. Few in Washington, and fewer still across the country, know the names of the staff advising the president let alone what they arc saying in their memos and moments with him.

Today, there arc too many unnamed NSC staffers for anyone's good, including their own. Even with the recent congressional limit on policy staffers, the NSC is too big to be thoroughly managed or effective. National security advisors and their deputies are so busy during their days that it is hard to keep up with all their own emails, calls, and reading, let alone ensure each member of the staff is doing their own work or doing it well. The common law and a de tacto honor system has also struggled to keep staff in check as they try to handle every issue from war to women's rights and every to-do list item from drafting talking points to doing secret diplomacy.

Although many factors contribute to the NSC's success, history suggests they do best with the right-size job. The answer to better national security policy and process is not a bigger staff but smaller writs. The NSC should focus on fewer issues, and then only on the smaller stuff, like what the president needs for calls and meetings, and the big, what some call grand strategic, questions about the nation's interests, ambitions, and capacities that should be asked and answered before any major decision.

... ... ...

Along the way, the staff has taken on greater responsibilities from agencies like the departments of state and defense as each has grown more bureaucratic and sclerotic. Starting in the 1960s, the NSC dethroned the State Department in providing analysis, intelligence, and even some diplomacy to the diplomat in chief. In the years after September 11th, the staff also began to take greater responsibility, especially for planning, from the military and the rest of the Pentagon. Both departments have struggled and often failed to reclaim lost ground and influence in Washington.

As a result, today the NSC has, regretfully, become the strategic engine of the government's national security policymaking. The staff, along with the national security advisor, determine which issues -- large and small -- require attention, develop the plans for most of them, and try to manage day-to-day the implementation of each strategy. That is too sweeping a remit for a couple hundred unaccountable staffers sitting at the Executive Office Building thousands of miles from war zones and foreign capitals. Such immense responsibility also docs not make the best use of talent in government, leaving the military and the nation's diplomats fighting with the White House over policies while trying to execute plans they have less and less ownership over.

... ... ...

Although protocol still requires members of the NSC to sit on the backbench in National Security Council meetings, the staff s voice and advice can carry as much weight as those of the principals sitting at the table, just as the staff has taken on more of each department's responsibilities, the NSC arc expected to be advisors to the president, even on military strategy. With that charge, the staff has taken to spending more time and effort developing their own policy ideas -- and fighting for them.

Yet war is a hard thing to try to manage from the Executive Office Building. Thousands of miles from the frontlines and far from harm, the NSC make recommendations based on what they come to know from intelligence reports, news sources, phone calls, video-teleconferences, and visits to the front. Even with advice based only on this limited and limiting view, the NSC staff has transformed how the United States fights its wars.

The American way of war, developed over decades of thinking and fighting, informs how and why the nation goes to battle. Over the course of American history and, most relevantly, since the end of World War II, the US military and other national security professionals have developed, often through great turmoil, strategic preferences and habits, like deploying the latest technology possible instead of the largest number of troops. Despite the tremendous planning that goes into these most serious of undertakings, each new conflict tests the prevailing way of war and often finds it wanting.

Even knowing how dangerous it is to relight the last war, it is still not easy to find the right course for a new one. Government in general and national security specifically are risk-averse enterprises where it is often simpler to rely on standard operating procedures and stay on a chosen course, regardless of whether progress is slow and the sense of drift is severe. Even then, many in the military, who often react to even the mildest of suggestions and inquiries as unnecessary or even dangerous micromanagement, defend the prevailing approach with its defining doctrine and syndrome.

As Machiavelli recommended long ago, there is a need for hard questions in government and war in particular. He wrote that a leader "ought to be a great askcr, and a patient hearer of the truth." 7 From the Executive Office Building, the NSC staff, who are more distanced from the action as well as the fog of war, have tried to fill this role for a busy and often distracted president. They are, however, not nearly as patient as Machiavelli recommended: they have proven more willing, indeed too willing at times, to ask about what is working and what is not.

Warfighters are not alone in being frustrated by questions: everyone from architects to zookeepers believes they know how best to do their job and that with a bit more time, they will get it right. Without any of the responsibility for the doing, the NSC staff not only asks hard questions but, by avoiding implementation bias, is willing to admit, often long before those in the field, that the current plan is failing. A more technologically advanced NSC, with the ability to reach deep into the chain of command and war zones for updates, has also given the staff the intelligence to back up its impatience.

Most times in history, the NSC staff has correctly predicted that time is running against a chosen strategy. Halperin. and others on the Nixon NSC, were accurate in their assessments of Vietnam. Dur and his Reagan NSC colleagues were right to worry that diplomacy was moving too slowly in Lebanon. Haass and Vershbow were correct when they were concerned with how windows of opportunity for action were shrinking in the Gulf and Balkans respectively, just as O'Sullivan was right that things needed to change relatively soon in Iraq.

Yet an impatient NSC staff has a worse track record giving the president answers to what should come next. The NSC staff naturally have opinions and ideas about what can be done when events and war feel out of control, but ideas about what can be done when events and war feel out of control, but the very distance and disengagement that allow' the NSC to be so effective at measuring progress make its ideas less grounded in operational realities and more clouded by the fog of Washington. The NSC, often stridently, wants to do something more, to "go big when wc can," as one recent staffer encouraged his president, to fix a failing policy or win a w r ar, but that is not a strategy, nor does that ambition make the staff the best equipped to figure out the next steps."

With their proposals for a new plan, deployment, or initiative, the staff has made more bad recommendations than good. The Diem coup and the Beirut mission are two examples, and particularly tragic ones at that, of NSC staff recommendations gone awry. The Iraq surge was certainly a courageous decision, but by committing so many troops to that country, the manpower w r as not available for a war in Afghanistan that was falling off track. Even the more successful NSC recommendations for changes in US strategy in the Gulf War and in Bosnia did not end up exactly as planned, in part because even good ideas in war rarely do.

Although presidents bear the ultimate responsibilities for these decisions, the NSC staff played an essential, and increasing, role in the thinking behind each bold move. In conflict after conflict, a more powerful NSC staff has fundamentally altered the American way of war. It is now far less informed by the perspective of the military and the view from the frontlines. It is less patient for progress and more dependent on the clocks in the Executive Office Building and Washington than those in theater. It is far more combative, less able to accept defeat, and more willing to risk a change of course.

And it is characterized by more frequent and counterproductive friction between the civilian and military leaders.

... ... ...

Through it all, as the NSC's voice has grown louder in the nation's war rooms, the staff has transformed how Washington works, and more often does not work. The NSC's fights to change course have had another casualty: the ugly collapse of the common law' that has governed Washington policymaking for more than a generation. The result today is a government that trusts less, fights more, and decides much slower.

National security policy- and decision-making was never supposed to be a fair fight. Eliot Cohen, a civil-military scholar with high-level government experience, has called the give-and-take of the interagency process an "unequal" dialogue -- one in which presidents are entitled to not just make the ultimate decision but also to ask questions, often with the NSC's help, at any time and about any topic.* Everyone else, from the secretaries of state and defense in Washington dow r n to the commanders and ambassadors abroad, has to expect and tolerate such presidential interventions and then carry out his orders.

Even an unfair fight can have rules, however. The NSC common law's kept the peace in Washington for years after Iran-Contra. The restrictions against outright advocacy and outsized operational responsibilities were accepted by those at the White House as well as in the agencies during Republican and Democratic administrations. Yet as many in Washington believed the world grew more interconnected and the national security stakes increased, especially after September 11th, a more powerful NSC has given staffers the opportunity to bend, and occasionally break, the common laws, as they have been expected to and allowed to take on more responsibilities for developing strategies and new r ideas from those in the bureaucracy and military.

... ... ...

...Meanwhile, others, including the anonymous author of the infamous September 2018 New York Times opinion piece, believe government officials who comprise a "steady state" amid Trump's chaotic presidency are "unsung heroes" resisting his worst instincts and overreaches. 13 Thus, it is no surprise that more and more Americans are concerned: a 2018 poll found that 74 percent of Americans feel a group of officials arc able to control government policy without accountability.

In an era when Americans can see on reality television how their fish are caught, meals arc cooked, and businesses are financed, it is strange that few have ever heard the voice of an NSC staffer. The Executive Office Building is not the only building out of reach: most of the government taxpayers' fund is hard, and getting harder, to see. With bigger security blockades, longer waits on declassification, and more severe crackdowns on leaks, it is no wonder some Americans have taken to assuming the worst of their public servants.

The American people need to know the NSC's war stories if for no other reason than each makes clear that there is no organized deep state in Washington. If one existed, there would be little need for the NSC to fight so hard to coordinate the government's various players and parts. However, this history also makes plain that though the United States can overcome bad decisions and survive military disasters, a belief in a deep state is a threat to the NSC and so much more.

... ... ...

Each member of the NSC staff needs to remember that their growing, unaccountable power has helped give evidence to the worries about a deep state. Although no one in Washington gives up influence voluntarily, the staff, even its warriors, need to remember it is not just what they fight for but whether a fight is necessary at all. Shortcuts and squabbles may make sense when every second feels like it counts, but the best public servants do what is necessary for the president even as they protect, for years to come, the health of the institutions and the very democracy in which they serve. As hard as that can be to remember when the clock in the Oval Office is ticking, doing things the right way is even more important than the latest crises, war, or meeting with the president.

... ... ...

... Too many in Washington, including at the Executive Office Building, have forgotten that public service is a privilege that bestows on them great responsibility. Although the NSC has long justified its actions in the name of national security, the means with which its members have pursued that objective have made for a more aggressive American way of war, a more fractious Washington, and more conspiracies about government.

Centuries ago, Plato argued that civilians must hope for warriors who could be trusted to be both "gentle to their own and cruel to their enemies." At a time when many doubt government and those who serve in it, the NSC staff s history demonstrates just what White House warriors arc capable of. The question is for what and for whom they will fight in the years and wars ahead.

... ... ...

The legendary British double agent Kim Philby wrote: "just because a document is a document it has a glamour which tempts the reader to give it more weight than it deserves An hour of a serious discussion with a trustworthy informant is often more valuable than any number of original documents. Of course, it is best to have both."

Alexandra Jones , September 15, 2019

The Untold History of the NSC

A must-read for anyone interested in history or foreign policy. Gans pulls back the curtain on arguably the most powerful yet opaque body in foreign policy decision-making, the National Security Council. Each chapter recounts a different administration -- as told through the work of an NSC staffer. Through these beautifully-written portraits of largely unknown staffers, Gans reveals the chilling, outsized influence of this small, unelected institution on American war and peace. From this perspective, even the policy success stories seem more luck than skill -- leaving readers concerned about the NSC's continued unchecked power.

[Feb 02, 2020] The most interesting issue is the role of NSC in this impeachment story

Highly recommended!
Edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... Currently they can wrap themselves into constitution defenders flag and be pretty safe from any criticism. Because charges that Schiff brought to the floor are bogus, and probably were created out of thin air by NSC plotters. Senators on both sides understand this, creating a classic Kabuki theater environment. ..."
"... In any case, it is clear that Trump is just a marionette of more powerful forces behind him, and his impeachment does not means much, if those forces are untouchable. Impeachment Kabuki theatre is an attempt of restoration of NSC (read neocons) favored foreign policy from which Trump slightly deviated. ..."
Feb 02, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 2, 2020 10:40 pm

Far more interesting issue is the role of NSC in this impeachment story.

Potential whistleblower (actually CIA informant) was from NSC as were Fiona Hill, Alex Vindman and a couple of other major Ukrainegate players.

In this NSC coup d'état against the President or what ? About earlier role of NSC see

https://off-guardian.org/2020/02/01/secret-wars-forgotten-betrayals-global-tyranny-who-is-really-in-charge-of-the-u-s-military/

As for "evil republican senators", they would be viewed as evil by electorate if and only only if actual crimes of Trump regime like Douma false flag, Suleimani assassination (actually here Trump was set up By Bolton and Pompeo) and other were discussed.

Currently they can wrap themselves into constitution defenders flag and be pretty safe from any criticism. Because charges that Schiff brought to the floor are bogus, and probably were created out of thin air by NSC plotters. Senators on both sides understand this, creating a classic Kabuki theater environment.

Both sides are afraid to discuss real issues, real Trump regime crimes.

Schiff proved to be patently inept in this whole story even taking into account limitations put by Kabuki theater on him, and in case of Trump acquittal *which is "highly probable" borrowing May government terminology in Skripals case :-) to resign would be a honest thing for him to do.

Assuming that he has some honestly left. Which is highly doubtful with statements like:

"The United States aids Ukraine and her people so that we can fight Russia over there so we don't have to fight Russia here."

And

"More than 15,000 Ukrainians have died fighting Russian forces and their proxies. 15,000."

Actually it was the USA interference in Ukraine (aka Nulandgate) that killed 15K Ukrainians, mainly Donbas residents and badly trained recruits of the Ukrainian army sent to fight them, as well as volunteers of paramilitary "death squads" like Asov battalion financed by oligarch Igor Kolomyskiy

In any case, it is clear that Trump is just a marionette of more powerful forces behind him, and his impeachment does not means much, if those forces are untouchable. Impeachment Kabuki theatre is an attempt of restoration of NSC (read neocons) favored foreign policy from which Trump slightly deviated.

[Jan 20, 2020] Fake Investigations... Designed To Fool by Bryce Buchanan

Highly recommended!
Money quote: "The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance."
Notable quotes:
"... For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence. ..."
"... When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that. ..."
"... The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want. ..."
"... Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election ..."
"... Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing. ..."
Jan 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Bryce Buchanan via The Burning Platform blog,

Many government officials with long entrenched power are unwilling to give up any of that power. In their minds, they have a right to control our lives as they see fit, with complete indifference to our wishes. To avoid rebellion, they need to hide this fact as much as possible. They want the citizens to believe the lie that we are a nation of laws with equal justice under the law. To advance this lie, they have staged many theatrical productions that they call "investigations". They try to give us the impression that they want to expose the facts and punish wrongdoing.

Most of the big 'investigations' in the news in recent years have not been at all what they pretended to be. The sham investigations of Hillary's email, or the Clinton Foundation, or Weiner's laptop, or Uranium One, or Mueller's witch hunt, or Huber's big nothing, or the IG's whitewash, or the Schiff-Pelosi charades, have all been premeditated deceptions.

There are three types of investigations that call for different deceptions by the Deep State.
  1. The first type is the rare honest investigation . Examples would be the attempt to find the truth about Fast and Furious (Obama's gunrunning operation), or the IRS scandal (Obama's weaponizing of government). In response to real investigations, the criminals do two things lie and hide evidence. Key evidence, even if it is under subpoena, just disappears. In the IRS case, Lois Lerner's relevant email and the email of 6 others involved in the scheme was just "lost". The IRS "worked tirelessly" to find the email, but hard drives had been destroyed and back-up drives were missing, so the subpoenaed evidence could not be provided.

    For the Deep State, hiding and destroying evidence of guilt is standard operating procedure. They simply report a "glitch" that destroyed the key evidence and that's the end of it. Or, they simply redact the portions of the record that would expose the truth. To my memory, no one ever suffers any consequences for this. Even now, Director Wray and others are tenaciously withholding evidence.

  2. The second type of 'investigation' is when the Deep State pretends to investigate the Deep State . In these 'investigations' the outcome is known in advance, but the script calls for pretending, sometimes for years, that it an honest investigation is underway.

    There was nothing about the Hillary investigations that had anything to do with finding facts. The purpose from the beginning was exoneration. Key witnesses were given immunity and many were allowed to attend each other's interviews. There were no early morning swat team raids to gather evidence. Evidence was destroyed with no consequences.

    When Anthony Weiner's laptop was found to contain over 340,000 Hillary emails in a file named "insurance", the FBI did not rejoice about finally getting the 'lost' email. No, they hid the discovery for weeks until a New York agent threatened to go public. Then, quite miraculously, Peter Strzok found a way to very quickly examine 340,000 messages and found that there was nothing at all that was incriminating. No rational person would believe that.

    The dirty cops are so comfortable about getting away with lies like this that Huber can announce that he found no corruption, when it is readily apparent that he did not interview key witnesses . He even turned away whistleblowers who wanted to submit evidence. A real investigator, Charles Ortel, could have given Huber a long list of Clinton Foundation crimes . Like the Weiner laptop fake investigation, you don't find crimes if you don't really look for them.

    The dirty cops are so confident in their ability to deceive the public that they just announced that the FISA court reforms will be managed by David Kris. Kris has been a defender of FBI misconduct and he attacked Devin Nunes for telling the truth about the FISA court. They don't even care about the appearance of fairness. They do what they want.

    IG investigations have proven to be flimsy exonerations of Deep State criminality. Any honest observer can see that there was a carefully organized plan by top officials to control the outcome of the Presidential election. This corrupt plan involved lying to the FISA court, illegal surveillance and unmasking of citizens and conspiring with media partners to make sure lies were widely circulated to voters. The government conspirators and the majority of the media were functioning as nothing more than a branch of Hillary's campaign. That's a lot of power aimed at destroying Trump.

    To an IG investigator, this monumental scandal was presented to us as nothing to be very concerned about. Yes, a few minor rules were inadvertently broken and there did appear to be some bias, but there was no reason at all to think that bias effected any actions. If the agencies involved make a training video and set aside a day for a training meeting, then that should satisfy us completely.

  3. The third type of investigation involves investigating an imaginary crime for political reasons . The Mueller investigation and the impeachment investigation are two examples of this. Probably as a justification for illegal surveillance they were already doing, the conspirators pretended that there was powerful evidence that Trump was colluding with Putin to win the election. Lies about this issue propelled the country into 3 years of stories about nothing stories and investigations about something that never happened. Never in the history of nothing has nothing been so thoroughly covered.

    Because there was nothing, and because it was known from the start that, " there is no big there, there ", the Mueller Team used several irrelevant legal actions to prolong the belief that they were closing in on Trump. Mueller arranged for their media partner, CNN, to film the early morning swat team raid on 67 year old Roger Stone's home. It was very dramatic and very un-necessary. Also, some small-time Russian troll farms were indicted so that the word "Russia" could fill the news, prolonging the desired myth. One of the indicted firms did not even exist. The others did not appear to favor any one candidate and much of their activity was after the election .

    Mueller led a 40 million dollar investigation looking for a crime. That effort failed at finding any collusion, but it did play a role in the Democrats winning a majority in the House of Representatives. That then enabled another investigation of an imaginary crime for political purposes. A scripted hearsay 'whistleblower' submitted lies that allowed Adam Schiff to continue his own campaign of lies. You know the rest of the story. Trump is being falsely charged for doing what Biden bragged about doing.

The Deep State and the media appear to believe that we are fooled by these fraudulent investigations. We are not fooled. We are tired of the lies and the arrogance.

We are increasingly angry that there is a double standard of justice in this country. There is a protected class of people who are not prosecuted for their crimes. This needs to end.


insanelysane , 9 minutes ago link

The sheeple are easily led including the opposition sheeple. Two quick examples:

1. In the email scandal, Hillary was guilty, beyond a shadow of a doubt, of violating the FOIA by conducting all State Department business via a personal email She was guilty. Yet her team, listen up sheeple, her team made it about whether or not classified information was transmitted. This is a gray area which could be defended. She knew she was guilty of the FOIA violation because it was the whole reason the server was set up in the first place. Yet she got away with it because everyone focused on the classifications of emails which was a gray area.

2. In the Weiner / Abedin laptop matter, it is and was illegal for any of these emails to be on a personal computer. Again, guilty beyond a shadow of a doubt. Yet again everyone focused on what was in the emails and not the fact that just possessing the emails was illegal. So the FBI was able to say nothing new here and let it drop. If another group such as the US Marshals was in charge of this investigation, Weiner / Abedin would have been fully charged with possessing these emails. They would have been pressured to reveal why it was named Insurance and have been asked to cut a deal.

DonGenaro , 10 minutes ago link

Assange rots in jail, and Maxwell walks free, while Trump is busy pleasuring every Zionist in sight

East Indian , 23 minutes ago link

A comment in 'The Gateway Pundit':

"Andy McCabe admits lying to the FBI and nothing happens. The FBI lies to Gen. Flynn and he faces jail time. Justice in Deep State America."

- reader ricocat1

hardmedicine , 38 minutes ago link

his name was Seth Rich!

hoffstetter , 40 minutes ago link

The purpose of show trials is to fool those that don't pay attention. There are millions of US citizens that get their news from their neighbor or a narrow set of information that is disseminated by media that parrot their providers verbatim without challenge. Such people are quite regularly fooled and some vote.

buckboy , 57 minutes ago link

We, the People are free to bitch and moan.

marlin2009 , 1 hour ago link

The double standard justice system in America is appalling and even worse than communists. Americans really don’t have any credit to criticize communist countries. The ruling class is no better than them.

The media and ruling classes have tried decades to brainwashed the mass to believe that the less or even not corrupted.

Deep Snorkeler , 1 hour ago link

Trump's Non-Crimes

Trump University Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Taj Mahal Casino Money Laundering: Trump paid fine

Trump Foundation Fraud: Trump paid fine

Trump Campaign Law Violations: pending

Trump Obstruction:

Trump Abuse of Power:

Trump...

Old Hippie Patriot , 1 hour ago link

They could have never pulled off the JFK assassination had the internet existed back in 1963. Time for the Epstein *********** to be posted on the internet. Even the asleep would realize the unimaginable evil that has been controlling this world for millenia.

HANGTHEOWL , 1 hour ago link

I am not sure about that,,we have the net now,,and although there are many of us that pay attention and figure out their crimes and hoax's,,,,they still get away with them,,,,,,NASA still gets 59 million a day to fake the space program,,,

monty42 , 1 hour ago link

Why not? They pulled off 9/11. And what do we have? The same as with the JFK murder. People still arguing over how it was done, and ignoring the obvious, historically established now, of who benefited and why. Grassy knoll, 2nd shooter, or directed energy weapons or explosives, internet or not, still chasing the tail.

HANGTHEOWL , 57 minutes ago link

True, they murdered 3,000 of us on 9-11,,right on TV, using plainly obvious controlled demolitions, and to date they have still gotten away with it...

[Jan 17, 2020] Ukraine is a deeply sick patient. The destiny of ordinary Ukrainians is deeply tragic. Diaspora is greedy and want a piece of cake immediately

Highly recommended!
Edited for clarity
Notable quotes:
"... The infrastructure they inherited from the USSR mostly is now fully amortized. For example railway park in in complete ruin. Central heating pipeline communications in cities like Kiev are in ruins too. In the USSR they tried to reuse the heat from electric stations and have elaborate hot water delivery networks from each, which provided heat to a large city blocks. Now pipes are completely rusted (which in 30 years is no surprise) and are in the state of constant repair. ..."
"... But when the standard of living dropped to such extent as it dropped after 2014 sentiments toward even slightly different ethnic groups turn hostile too. This is the case in Ukraine. In this sense you are wrong. There is no more unity now then existed before 2014. I would say there is less unity now. ..."
"... Sentiments turned against both Donbass dwellers and Ukrainians from Western Ukraine. In Kiev the derogatory term for both categories is "ponaekhali" ("come to overcrowd the place and displace us", or something along those lines; it's difficult to translate, but the term carries strong derogatory meaning) ..."
"... The nationalistic hysteria of 2014-2017 now mostly changed into deep depression: how a tiny group of far right nationalist and football hooligan gangs managed to get to power against the will of the majority of the country and destroy its economy. That's why Zelensky was elected and most far right parliamentarians lost their seats. Most of Western Ukraine voted for him, which is telling you something. ..."
"... The problem for Ukraine is that with the cut of economic ties with Russia the natural path for economics is probably down. De-industrialization, Baltic style, is raining supreme. Many enterprises survived the period from 1991 to 2014 only due to orders from Russia. Especially remnants of military industrial complex and manufacturing industry. Now what? Selling land (like Zelensky is trying to do) ? ..."
Jan 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

likbez says:January 17, 2020 at 8:35 am GMT • 1,500 Words @AP AP,

I agree with JPM:

I feel like robber barons in Kyiv have harmed you more through their looting of the country than impoverished Eastern Ukrainians, who were the biggest losers in the post-Soviet deindustrilization, have harmed you by existing and dying of diseases of poverty and despair.

It reminds me of how coastal shit-libs in America talk about "fly-over" country and want all the poor whites in Appalachia to die. I'm living in a country whose soul is totally poisoned. A country that is dying. While all this is happening, whites have split themselves into little factions focused on political point scoring.

I doubt people like Zelensky, Kolomoisky, Poroshenko and all the rest are going to turn Ukraine into an earthly paradise. They're more likely to be Neros playing harps, while Ukraine burns.

Looks like your understanding of Ukraine is mostly based of a short trip to Lvov and reading neoliberal MSM and forums. That's not enough, unless you want to be the next Max Boot.

Ukraine is a deeply sick patient, which surprisingly still stands despite all hardships (Ukrainians demonstrated amazing, superhuman resilience in the crisis that hit them, which greatly surprised all experts).

The infrastructure they inherited from the USSR mostly is now fully amortized. For example railway park in in complete ruin. Central heating pipeline communications in cities like Kiev are in ruins too. In the USSR they tried to reuse the heat from electric stations and have elaborate hot water delivery networks from each, which provided heat to a large city blocks. Now pipes are completely rusted (which in 30 years is no surprise) and are in the state of constant repair.

And, what is really tragic Ukraine now it is a debt state. Usually the latter is the capital sentence for the county. Few managed to escape even in more favorable conditions (South Korea is one.) So chances of economic recovery are slim: with such level of parasitic rent to the West the natural path is down and down. Don't cry for me Argentina.

And there is no money to replace already destroyed due to bad maintenance infrastructure, but surprisingly large parts of Soviets era infrastructure still somehow hold. For example, electrical networks, subway cars. But other part are already crumbling.

For example, in Kiev that means in some buildings you have winter without central heating, you have elevators in 16-storey buildings that work one or two weeks in month, you have no hot water, sometimes you have no water at all for a week or more, etc). Pensioners have problem with paying heating bills, so some of them are forced to live in non-heated apartments.

And that's in Kiev/Kyiv (Western Ukrainians love to change established names, much like communists) . In provincial cities it is a real horror show when even electricity supply became a problem. The countryside dwellers at least has its own food, but the situation for them is also very very difficult.

Other big problem -- few jobs and almost no well paid job, unless you are young, know English and have a university education (and are lucky). Before 2014 approximately 70% of Ukrainian labor migrants (in total a couple of million) came from the western part of the country, in which migration had become a widespread method of coping with poverty, the absence of jobs and low salaries.

Now this practice spread to the whole county. That destroyed many families.

The USA plays its usual games selling vassals crap at inflated prices (arms, uranium rods, coal, locomotives, cars, etc) , which Ukrainians can't refuse. Trump is simply a typical gangster in this respect, running a protection racket.

The rate of emigration and shrinking population is another fundamental problem. Mass emigration ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Demographics_of_Ukraine ) is continuing even after Zelensky election. Looting by the West also continues unabated. This is disaster capitalism in action.

Add to those problems inflated military expenses to fight the civil war in Donbass which deprives other sectors of necessary funds (with the main affect of completely alienating Russia) and "Huston, we have a problem."

May be this is a natural path for xUSSR countries after the dissolution of the USSR, I don't know.

But the destiny of ordinary Ukrainians is deeply tragic: they wanted better life and got a really harsh one. Especially pensioners (typical pension is something like $60-$70) a month in Kiev, much less outside of Kiev. How they physically survive I do not fully understand.

There are still pro-Russian areas but being free of Crimea and Donbass means Ukraine can no longer be characterized as "split."

I agree that there is a substantial growth of anti-Russian sentiments. It is really noticeable. As well as growth of the usage of the Ukrainian language (previously Kiev, unlike Lvov was completely Russian-language city).

And in Western Ukraine Russiphobia was actually always a part of "national identity". The negative definition of national identity, if you wish. See popular slogan "Hto ne skache toi moskal" ("those who do not jump are Moskal" -- where Moskal is the derogatory name for a Russian). Here is this slogan in action: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M6rfqr9afMc ;-)

But when the standard of living dropped to such extent as it dropped after 2014 sentiments toward even slightly different ethnic groups turn hostile too. This is the case in Ukraine. In this sense you are wrong. There is no more unity now then existed before 2014. I would say there is less unity now.

Sentiments turned against both Donbass dwellers and Ukrainians from Western Ukraine. In Kiev the derogatory term for both categories is "ponaekhali" ("come to overcrowd the place and displace us", or something along those lines; it's difficult to translate, but the term carries strong derogatory meaning) .

"Donetskie" (former Donbass dwellers, often displaced by the war) are generally strongly resented and luxury cars, villas, etc and other excesses of neoliberal elite are attributed mostly to them (Donbass neoliberal elite did moved to Kiev, not Moscow) , while "zapadentsi" are also, albeit less strongly, resented because they often use clan politics within institutions, and often do not put enough effort (or are outright incompetent), as they rely on its own clan ties for survival.

This sentiment is stronger to the south of Kiev where the resentment is directed mainly against Western Ukrainians, not against "Donetskie" like in Kiev. And I am talking not only about Odessa. Western Ukrainians are now strongly associated with corrupt ways of getting lucrative positions (via family, clan or political connections), being incompetent and doing nothing useful.

What surprise me is that this resentment against "zapadentsi" and "Poloshenko clan" is shared by many people from Western Ukraine. The target is often slightly more narrow, for example Hutsuls in Lviv ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hutsuls )

The nationalistic hysteria of 2014-2017 now mostly changed into deep depression: how a tiny group of far right nationalist and football hooligan gangs managed to get to power against the will of the majority of the country and destroy its economy. That's why Zelensky was elected and most far right parliamentarians lost their seats. Most of Western Ukraine voted for him, which is telling you something.

The problem for Ukraine is that with the cut of economic ties with Russia the natural path for economics is probably down. De-industrialization, Baltic style, is raining supreme. Many enterprises survived the period from 1991 to 2014 only due to orders from Russia. Especially remnants of military industrial complex and manufacturing industry. Now what? Selling land (like Zelensky is trying to do) ?

Ukraine will probably eventually lose a large part of its chemical industry because without subsidies for gas it just can't complete even taking into account low labor costs. And manufacturing because without Russian market it is difficult to find a place for their production in already established markets, competing only in price and suffering in quality (I remember something about Iraq returning Ukrainians all ordered armored carriers due to defect is the the armor https://sputniknews.com/military/201705221053859853-armored-vehicles-defects-extent /). Although at least for the Ukrainian arm industry there is place on the market in countries which are used to old Soviet armaments, because those are rehashed Soviet products.

Add to this corrupt and greedy diaspora (all those Jaresko, Chalupas, Freelands, Vindmans, etc ) from the USA and Canada (and not only diaspora -- look at Biden, Kerry, etc) who want their piece of the pie after 2014 "Revolution of dignity" (what a sad joke) and you will see the problems more clearly. Not that much changed from the period 1991-2014 where Ukraine was also royally fleeced by own oligarchs allied with Western banksers, simply now this leads to quicker deterioration of the standard of living.

None of Eastern European countries benefited from a color revolution staged by the USA. This is about opening the country not only to multinationals (while they loot the county they at least behave within a certain legal bounds, demonstrating at least decency of gangsters like in Godfather), but to petty foreign criminals from diaspora and outside of it who allies with the local oligarchs and smaller nouveau riche and are siphoning all the county wealth to western banks as soon as possible. Greed of the disapora is simply unbounded. https://neweasterneurope.eu/2016/08/26/the-ukrainian-diaspora-as-a-recipient-of-oligarchic-cash/

Of course, Ukrainian diaspora is not uniform. Still, outside well-know types from the tiny Mid-Eastern country, the most dangerous people for Ukraine are probably Ukrainians from diaspora with dual citizenship

[Jan 12, 2020] MIC along with Wall Street controls the government and the country

Highly recommended!
Jan 12, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
  1. likbez , January 12, 2020 5:30 pm

    Everyone keeps dancing around it: Iraqi PM Abdul-Mahdi has reported that Soleimani was on the way to see him with a reply to a Saudi peace proposal. Who profits from Peace? Who does not?

    The killing of Soleimani, while a tragic even with far reaching consequences, is just an illustration of the general rule: MIC does not profit from peace. And MIC dominates any national security state, into which the USA was transformed by the technological revolution on computers and communications, as well as the events of 9/11.

    The USA government can be viewed as just a public relations center for MIC. That's why Trump/Pompeo/Esper/Pence gang position themselves as rabid neocons, which means MIC lobbyists in order to hold their respective positions. There is no way out of this situation. This is a classic Catch 22 trap.

    The fact that a couple of them are also "Rapture" obsessed religious bigots means that the principle of separation of church and state does no matter when MIC interests are involved.

    The health of MIC requires maintaining an inflated defense budget at all costs. Which, in turn, drives foreign wars and the drive to capture other nations' resources to compensate for MIC appetite. The drive which is of course closely allied with Wall Street interests (disaster capitalism.)

    In such conditions fake "imminent threat" assassinations necessarily start happening. Although the personality of Pompeo and the fact that he is a big friend of the current head of Mossad probably played some role.

    It's really funny that Trump (probably with the help of his "reference group," which includes Adelson and Kushner), managed to appoint as the top US diplomat a person who was trained as a mechanic engineer and specialized as a tank repair mechanic. And who was a long-time military contractor. So it is quite natural that he represents interests of MIC.

    IMHO under Trump/Pompeo/Esper trio some kind of additional skirmishes with Iran are a real possibility: they are necessary to maintain the current inflated level of defense spending.

    State of the US infrastructure, the actual level of unemployment (U6 is ~7% which some neolibs call full employment ;-), and the level of poverty of the bottom 33% of the USA population be damned. Essentially the bottom 33% is the third world country within the USA.

    "If you make more than $15,000 (roughly the annual salary of a minimum-wage employee working 40 hours per week), you earn more than 32.2% of Americans

    The 894 people that earn more than $20 million make more than 99.99989% of Americans, and are compensated a cumulative $37,009,979,568 per year. "

    ( https://www.huffpost.com/entry/income-inequality-crisis_n_4221012 )

[Jan 04, 2020] American Meddling in the Ukraine by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Ukraine is now a pawn in a big geopolitical game against Russia. Which somehow survived 90th when everybody including myself has written it off.
That's why the USA, EU (Germany) and Russia pulling the country in different directions. But the victory of Ukrainian nationalists is not surprising and is not solely based on the US interferences (although the USA did lot in this direction) pursuit its geopolitical game against Russia. Distancing themselves from Russa is a universal trend in Post-Soviet space. And it often takes ugly forms.
So Ukraine in not an exception here. It is part of the "rule". Essentially the dissolution of the USSR revised the result on WWII. And while the author correctly calls Ukrainian leader US stooges, they moved in this direction because they feel that it is necessary for maintaining the independence. In other words anti-Russian stance is considered by the Ukrainian elite as a a pre-condition for mainlining independence. Otherwise people like Parubiy would be in jail very soon. They are tolerated and even promoted because they are useful.
It repeats the story of Baltic Republics, albeit with a significant time delay. There should be some social group that secure independence of the country and Ukrainian nationalists happen to be such a group. That's why Yanukovich supported them and Svoboda party (with predictable results).
Notable quotes:
"... The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations. ..."
"... Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort? ..."
"... The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine. ..."
"... US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts. ..."
"... US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS. ..."
"... This is : ..."
"... Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11. ..."
"... There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom. ..."
"... A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list. ..."
"... An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west. ..."
"... The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them. ..."
"... I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties. ..."
"... "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". ..."
"... But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy? ..."
"... A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression. ..."
"... I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption. ..."
"... What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base. ..."
"... Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis. ..."
Feb 23, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The ideological fissures that are growing in the United States are beginning to resemble the warring camps that characterize the Ukrainian political world. The divide in Ukraine pits groups who are described as "right wing" and many are ideological descendants of real Nazis and Nazi sympathizers against groups with a strong affinity to Russia. This kind of gap cannot be bridged through conventional negotiations.

Who is the United States government and media supporting? The Nazis . You think I'm joking. Here are the facts, but we must go back to World War II :

When World War II began a large part of western Ukraine welcomed the German soldiers as liberators from the recently enforced Soviet rule and openly collaborated with the Germans. The Soviet leader, Stalin, imposed policies that caused the deaths of almost 7 million Ukrainians in the 1930s--an era known as the Holomodor).

Ukrainian divisions, regiments and battalions were formed, such as SS Galizien, Nachtigal and Roland, and served under German leadership. In the first few weeks of the war, more than 80 thousand people from the Galizien region volunteered for the SS Galizien, which later known for its extreme cruelty towards Polish, Jewish and Russian people on the territory of Ukraine.

Members of these military groups came mostly from the organization of Ukrainian nationalists aka the OUN, which was founded in 1929. It's leader was Stepan Bandera, known then and today for his extreme anti-semitic and anti-communist views.

CIA documents just recently declassified show strong ties between US intelligence and Ukrainian nationalists since 1946.

Jump ahead now to the April 2014 "uprising" of anti-Russian forces in the Ukraine (Maidan 2). The US was firmly on the side of the protesters, who ultimately succeeded in ousting the elected President. And who were helping lead this effort?

Secretary of the Ukrainian National Security and Defence Council is Andriy Parubiy. Parubiy was the founder of the Social National Party of Ukraine, a fascist party styled on Hitler's Nazis, with membership restricted to ethnic Ukrainians.

The Social National Party would go on to become Svoboda, the far-right nationalist party whose leader, Oleh Tyahnybok was one of the three most high profile leaders of the Euromaidan protests. . . .

Overseeing the armed forces alongside Parubiy as the Deputy Secretary of National Security is Dmytro Yarosh , the leader of the Right Sector – a group of hardline nationalist streetfighters, who previously boasted they were ready for armed struggle to free Ukraine.

The US support, both overt and covert, for Ukrainian politicians is grounded in an anti-Soviet (now anti-Russian) ideology. We have convinced ourselves that Russia is hell bent on world domination. Therefore we must do whatever is necessary to stop Russia, which includes uncritical, blind support for elements in Ukraine that also detest the Russians. But in doing so we have closed our eyes to the filthy underbelly of the virulent anti-Semitism that lurks in western Ukraine.

US meddling in the Ukraine is astonishing in its breadth. It ranges from the fact that the wife of former President Viktor Yuschenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department. Do you think there would be no complaints if Melania Trump was born in Russia and had served in the Russian Foreign Ministry? Yet, most Americans are happily ignorant of such facts.

But Viktor Yushchenko is not an American who speaks a foreign language. He is very much a Ukrainian nationalist and steeped in the anti-Semitism that dominates the ideology of western Ukraine. During the final months of his Presidency, Yushchenko made the following declaration:

In conclusion I would like to say something that is long awaited by the Ukrainian patriots for many years I have signed a decree for the unbroken spirit and standing for the idea of fighting for independent Ukraine. I declare Stepan Bandera a national hero of Ukraine.

Without hesitation or shame, Yushchenko endorsed the legacy of Bandera, who had happily aligned with the Nazis in pursuit of his own nationalist goals. Those goals, however, did not include Jews. And here is the ultimate irony--Bandera was born in Austria, not the Ukraine. So much for ideological consistency.

US interference was not confined to serendipitous relationships, such as the Yushchenko marriage. It also included the open and active funding of certain political groups and media outlets. The US State Department sent money through a variety of outlets. One of these was the Consortium for Elections and Political Process Strengthening aka CEPPS.

This is : a USAID program with other National Endowment for Democracy-affiliated groups: the National Democratic Institute for International Affairs, the International Republican Institute and the International Foundation for Electoral Systems. In 2010, the reported disbursement for CEPPS in Ukraine was nearly $5 million.

The program's efforts are described on the USAID website as providing "training for political party activists and locally elected officials to improve communication with civic groups and citizens, and the development of NGO-led advocacy campaigns on electoral and political process issues."

Anyone prepared to argue that it would be okay for Russia, through its Foreign Ministry, to contribute several million dollars for training party activists in the United States?

What we do not know is how much money was being spent on covert activities directed and managed by the CIA. During the political upheaval in April 2014 (Maidan 2), there was this news item:

Over the weekend, CIA director John Brennan travelled to Kiev, nobody knows exactly why, but some speculate that he intends to open US intelligence resources to Ukrainian leaders about real-time Russian military maneuvers. The US has, thus far, refrained from sharing such knowledge because Moscow is believed to have penetrated much of Ukraine's communications systems – and Washington isn't about to hand over its surveillance secrets to the Russians.

Do you think Americans would be outraged if the head of Russia's version of the CIA, the SVR or FSB, traveled quietly to the United States to meet with Donald Trump prior to his election? I think that would qualify as meddling.

Count me as one of the people who is outraged by the hypocrisy and stupidity now on display in the United States. I am not talking about Trump. I am referring to the Republicans and Democrats and pundits and media mouthpieces who are fuming about Russian citizens writing on Facebook as one of the worst catastrophes since Pearl Harbor or 9-11.

There clearly is meddling going on in America's political landscape. But it isn't the Russian Government. No. There are foreign and domestic forces aligned who are keen on portraying Russia as a threat to world order that must be opposed by more defense spending and tougher sanctions. That is the propaganda that dominates the media in the United States these days. And that is truly dangerous to our nation's safety and freedom.

Posted at 01:24 PM in Publius Tacitus , Russiagate | Permalink


james , 23 February 2018 at 02:11 PM

Good post pt.. thanks... i never knew ''the wife of former President Viktor Yushchenko was an American citizen and former senior official in the US State Department.'' That is informative.. i recall following this closely back in 2014.. the hypocrisy on display in the usa at present is truly amazing and frightening at the same time.. it appears that the public can be cowed very easily..
Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , 23 February 2018 at 02:29 PM
good points well made.

On the twitters, you would be accused of "whatabouttism" - which is the crime of excusing Putin's diabolism by pointing out American interference with the internal politics an elections of other nations. A CIA guy recently said the US only interferes to 'promote democracy' - tell that to Australia, Vietnam, Mexico, Chile, Congo, Russia, Ukraine...it's a long long list.

An independent Ukraine was also a project of German foreign policy after the Brest-Litowsk Treaty (the equivalent of the Versailles Treaty, only aimed at Russia) SO I have o wonder how much of the enthusiasm for Vicky Nuland's Israel friendly Nazi state-let (oh what irony!) is a product of Germany wanting to reassert itself in the east, using NATO solidarity as a fig leaf. Maybe they will make Ukraine import a lot o Africans "refugees" so that Soros' project of creating a brown Europe will be advanced in the Slavic sphere as well as the west.

Adrestia , 23 February 2018 at 02:39 PM
It's not only the US. The EU borg are also meddling. In my country we had a referendum about Ukraine. The population voted "Against" on the question: "Are you for or against the Approval Act of the Association Agreement between the European Union and Ukraine?"

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dutch_Ukraine%E2%80%93European_Union_Association_Agreement_referendum,_2016

This was the only referendum that was done since it was implemented in 2015. A second one is being organized on the Intelligence and Security Services which has controversial parts with regard to access to internet traffic.

This referendum will take place on March 21, 2018 and will probably be voted against because of the controversial elements (in part because there is still living memory of our Eastern neighbors in the second world war)

https://nl.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wet_op_de_inlichtingen-_en_veiligheidsdiensten_2017

These 2 will probably be the last. Our house of representatives have voted yesterday to end the referendum law (with a majority vote of 76 out of 150 representatives!)

So much for democracy. The reason stated that the referendum was controversial (probably because they voted against the EU borg). Interesting is that the proposal was done by the party that wanted the referendum as a principal point. This will almost certainly ensure that the little respect left for traditional parties is gone and they will not be able to get a majority next elections.

The liberal party - who provides the prime-minister - EU leader Hans van Baalen and Belgian ex-prime minister Guy Verhostad held a controversial speech on the Maidan square in support of the protesters that the EU will support them.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cIL1FWCIlu8

Tom , 23 February 2018 at 03:22 PM

I wouldn't put to much stress on Bandera having been a bad guy. His enemies were no better. They just won the war and the victors write history. The deeper problem of Ukraine is the fact that in the East of the country (and maybe even the majority of the country) Bandera is indeed regarded as a villain. But in the West he is a hero to this day. Even in Soviet times people from Western Ukraine were regarded as "fascists" by much of the rest of the country. No wonder as there were anti soviet partisans until late in the fifties.

Even in the nineties anybody who travelled in Ukraine could feel the tension between East and West. The Russians were certainly aware of it and mindful not to rip the country apart they cut the Ukrainians an enormous amount of slack. Of course they supported "their" candidates and shoveled money into their insatiable throats. Only to be disappointed time and again. "Prorussian" Kutshma turned into a Ukrainian "patriot" (such is the logic of statehood) and the same thing happened with Yanukovich. People forget that he would have signed an association agreement with Europe had Europe not refused because he was insufficiently "democratic". Really the West should have been content with things as they were.

But the West wanted it all. They wanted Ukraine firmly in the "Western" camp. Thereby they ripped the country apart. As a good friend of mine who has studied in Kiev in Soviet times remarked: to ask Ukraine to choose between East and West is like asking a child in divorce proceedings who it liked more: daddy or mummy?

Really the West (not only the US -the Eu is also guilty) is to blame. It is long past time to get down from the high horse and stop spreading chaos and mayhem in the name of democracy,

Jony Kanuck , 23 February 2018 at 03:27 PM
Publius,

An informative column. The coup & later developments soured me on the MSMedia. I'm an initiate into modern Russian history: NATO in the Ukraine = WW3!

Some additional history:

A Ukrainian nation did not exist until after WW1; one piece was Russian, another Polish and another Austrian. The Holodomor is exaggerated for political purposes; the actual number dead from famine appears to be 'only' 2M. It wasn't Soviet bloody mindedness, it was Soviet agricultural mismanagement; collectivizing agriculture drops production.

They did this right before the great drought of the 1930s - remember the dustbowl. There was a famine in Kazakestan at the same time; 1.5M died.

The Nazis raised 5 SS divisions out of the Ukraine. As the Germans were pushed back they ran night drops of ordnance into the Ukraine as long as they could. The Soviets had to carry on divisional level counter insurgency until 1956. After the war, Gehlen, Nazi intelligence czar, kept himself out of jail by turning over his files, routes & agents to the US. He also stoked anti Soviet paranoia.

The Brits ended up with a whole Ukr SS division that they didn't want, so they gave it to Canada. Which is why Canada has such cranky policy around the Ukraine!

bluetonga , 23 February 2018 at 03:28 PM
A very interesting conversation between Victoria Nulland and ambassador Geoffrey Pyatt, caught at picking the future rulers of liberated Ukraine : https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2QxZ8t3V_bk This is not meddling. This is a defensive (preemptive?) action against Russian agression.
Publius Tacitus -> Tom... , 23 February 2018 at 03:31 PM
Tom,

I'm sure you'd like us to ignore Bandera. I bet he liked children and dogs. Just like Hitler. Bandera was a genuine bad guy. There is no rehabilitating that scourge on society. Nice try though.

Publius Tacitus -> bluetonga... , 23 February 2018 at 03:36 PM
I am giving you the benefit of the doubt that your final comment is sarcasm. When you have two senior US Government officials who will and will not constitute a foreign government, you have gone beyond meddling. It is worse.
VietnamVet , 23 February 2018 at 03:57 PM
PT

The media is hysterical. Today, Putin's Facebook Bot Collaborator contacted the Kremlin before his mercenaries attacked Americans in Syria.

I've never seen such an intense barrage of propaganda before in my life. America is fracturing apart like Ukraine. This is no coincidence. In both countries, oligarchs have seized power, the rule of law abandoned and there is a rush of corruption.

A World War is near. The realists are gone. The Moguls are pushing Donald Trump pull the trigger. Either in Syria with an assault to destroy Hezbollah (Iran) for good or American trainers going over the top of trenches in Donbass in a centennial attack of the dead.

The Twisted Genius , 23 February 2018 at 03:59 PM
Publius Tacitus,

Hallelujah and jubilation! We're in full agreement on this subject. What we did to Ukraine is shameful in every way. A remember a video of a pallet of money being unloaded from a USG place at Kiev during Maidan 2. That's in addition to Nuland's bag of cookies. I always thought that one of the objectives of our meddling in Ukraine was to make Sevastopol into a NATO naval base.

I would definitely want to see a full account of what support we provided to the nazi thugs of Svoboda and Pravy Sektor. We have a long history of meddling, at least twice as long as the Soviet Union/Russia. But that does not mean we should stop investigating the Russian interference in our 2016 election. Just stop hyperventilating over it. It no more deserves risking a war than our continuing mutual espionage.

TimmyB , 23 February 2018 at 04:08 PM
Our leaders are the biggest hypocrites on the planet. The Ukraine was almost evenly divided between pro-Western and pro-Russian sides. Our government, rather than waiting for an election, assisted an armed rebellion against the elected pro-Russian government. Among the groups our government allied with in this endeavor were out and out Nazis.

As a result of this rebellion, the Russian majority in Crimea overwhelming voted to leave the Ukraine and rejoin Russia, which they had been part of for over 150-years. While our government continues to provide military aid to Israel, which used force of arms take over the West Bank, it imposed sanctions against Russia when the people of Crimea voted to join their former countrymen. Mind boggling.

[Dec 28, 2019] Identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") to counter the defection of trade union members from the party

Highly recommended!
divide and conquer 1. To gain or maintain power by generating tension among others, especially those less powerful, so that they cannot unite in opposition.
Dec 28, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

likbez 12.27.19 at 10:21 pm

John,

I've been thinking about the various versions of and critiques of identity politics that are around at the moment. In its most general form, identity politics involves (i) a claim that a particular group is not being treated fairly and (ii) a claim that members of that group should place political priority on the demand for fairer treatment. But "fairer" can mean lots of different things. I'm trying to think about this using contrasts between the set of terms in the post title. A lot of this is unoriginal, but I'm hoping I can say something new.

You missed one important line of critique -- identity politics as a dirty political strategy of soft neoliberals.

See discussion of this issue by Professor Ganesh Sitaraman in his recent article (based on his excellent book The Great Democracy ) https://newrepublic.com/article/155970/collapse-neoliberalism

To be sure, race, gender, culture, and other aspects of social life have always been important to politics. But neoliberalism's radical individualism has increasingly raised two interlocking problems. First, when taken to an extreme, social fracturing into identity groups can be used to divide people and prevent the creation of a shared civic identity. Self-government requires uniting through our commonalities and aspiring to achieve a shared future.

When individuals fall back onto clans, tribes, and us-versus-them identities, the political community gets fragmented. It becomes harder for people to see each other as part of that same shared future.

Demagogues [more correctly neoliberals -- likbez] rely on this fracturing to inflame racial, nationalist, and religious antagonism, which only further fuels the divisions within society. Neoliberalism's war on "society," by pushing toward the privatization and marketization of everything, thus indirectly facilitates a retreat into tribalism that further undermines the preconditions for a free and democratic society.

The second problem is that neoliberals on right and left sometimes use identity as a shield to protect neoliberal policies. As one commentator has argued, "Without the bedrock of class politics, identity politics has become an agenda of inclusionary neoliberalism in which individuals can be accommodated but addressing structural inequalities cannot." What this means is that some neoliberals hold high the banner of inclusiveness on gender and race and thus claim to be progressive reformers, but they then turn a blind eye to systemic changes in politics and the economy.

Critics argue that this is "neoliberal identity politics," and it gives its proponents the space to perpetuate the policies of deregulation, privatization, liberalization, and austerity.

Of course, the result is to leave in place political and economic structures that harm the very groups that inclusionary neoliberals claim to support. The foreign policy adventures of the neoconservatives and liberal internationalists haven't fared much better than economic policy or cultural politics. The U.S. and its coalition partners have been bogged down in the war in Afghanistan for 18 years and counting. Neither Afghanistan nor Iraq is a liberal democracy, nor did the attempt to establish democracy in Iraq lead to a domino effect that swept the Middle East and reformed its governments for the better. Instead, power in Iraq has shifted from American occupiers to sectarian militias, to the Iraqi government, to Islamic State terrorists, and back to the Iraqi government -- and more than 100,000 Iraqis are dead.

Or take the liberal internationalist 2011 intervention in Libya. The result was not a peaceful transition to stable democracy but instead civil war and instability, with thousands dead as the country splintered and portions were overrun by terrorist groups. On the grounds of democracy promotion, it is hard to say these interventions were a success. And for those motivated to expand human rights around the world, it is hard to justify these wars as humanitarian victories -- on the civilian death count alone.

Indeed, the central anchoring assumptions of the American foreign policy establishment have been proven wrong. Foreign policymakers largely assumed that all good things would go together -- democracy, markets, and human rights -- and so they thought opening China to trade would inexorably lead to it becoming a liberal democracy. They were wrong. They thought Russia would become liberal through swift democratization and privatization. They were wrong.

They thought globalization was inevitable and that ever-expanding trade liberalization was desirable even if the political system never corrected for trade's winners and losers. They were wrong. These aren't minor mistakes. And to be clear, Donald Trump had nothing to do with them. All of these failures were evident prior to the 2016 election.

If we assume that identity politics is, first and foremost, a dirty and shrewd political strategy developed by the Clinton wing of the Democratic Party ("soft neoliberals") many things became much more clear.

Along with Neo-McCarthyism it represent a mechanism to compensate for the loss of their primary voting block: trade union members, who in 2016 "en mass" defected to Trump.

Initially Clinton calculation was that trade union voters has nowhere to go anyways, and it was correct for first decade or so of his betrayal. But gradually trade union members and lower middle class started to leave Dems in droves (Demexit, compare with Brexit) and that where identity politics was invented to compensate for this loss.

So in addition to issues that you mention we also need to view the role of identity politics as the political strategy of the "soft neoliberals " directed at discrediting and the suppression of nationalism.

The resurgence of nationalism is the inevitable byproduct of the dominance of neoliberalism, resurgence which I think is capable to bury neoliberalism as it lost popular support (which now is limited to financial oligarchy and high income professional groups, such as we can find in corporate and military brass, (shrinking) IT sector, upper strata of academy, upper strata of medical professionals, etc)

That means that the structure of the current system isn't just flawed which imply that most problems are relatively minor and can be fixed by making some tweaks. It is unfixable, because the "Identity wars" reflect a deep moral contradictions within neoliberal ideology. And they can't be solved within this framework.

[Dec 21, 2019] The ruthless neo-colonialists of 21st century

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya. ..."
"... Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed. ..."
"... Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. ..."
"... We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact. ..."
Apr 09, 2019 | failedevolution.blogspot.com

The start of current decade revealed the most ruthless face of a global neo-colonialism. From Syria and Libya to Europe and Latin America, the old colonial powers of the West tried to rebound against an oncoming rival bloc led by Russia and China, which starts to threaten their global domination.

Inside a multi-polar, complex terrain of geopolitical games, the big players start to abandon the old-fashioned, inefficient direct wars. They use today other, various methods like brutal proxy wars , economic wars, financial and constitutional coups, provocative operations, 'color revolutions', etc. In this highly complex and unstable situation, when even traditional allies turn against each other as the global balances change rapidly, the forces unleashed are absolutely destructive. Inevitably, the results are more than evident.

Proxy Wars - Syria/Libya

After the US invasion in Iraq, the gates of hell had opened in the Middle East. Obama continued the Bush legacy of US endless interventions, but he had to change tactics because a direct war would be inefficient, costly and extremely unpopular to the American people and the rest of the world.
The result, however, appeared to be equally (if not more) devastating with the failed US invasions in Iraq and Afghanistan. The US had lost total control of the armed groups directly linked with the ISIS terrorists, failed to topple Assad, and, moreover, instead of eliminating the Russian and Iranian influence in the region, actually managed to increase it. As a result, the US and its allies failed to secure their geopolitical interests around the various pipeline games.

In addition, the US sees Turkey, one of its most important ally, changing direction dangerously, away from the Western bloc. Probably the strongest indication for this, is that Turkey, Iran and Russia decided very recently to proceed in an agreement on Syria without the presence of the US.

Yet, the list of US failures does not end here. The destruction of Syria and Libya created massive refugee flows which have proved that the European Union was totally unprepared to deal with such a major issue. On top of that, the latest years, we have witnessed a rapid rise of various terrorist attacks in Western soil, also as a result of the devastating wars in Syria and Libya.

Evidence from WikiLeaks has shown that the old colonial powers have started a new round of ruthless competition on Libya's resources. The usual story propagated by the Western media, about another tyrant who had to be removed, has now completely collapsed. They don't care neither to topple an 'authoritarian' regime, nor to spread Democracy. All they care about is to secure each country's resources for their big companies.
The Gaddafi case is quite interesting because it shows that the Western hypocrites were using him according to their interests .

Whenever they wanted to blame someone for some serious terrorist attacks, they had a scapegoat ready for them, even if they had evidence that Libya was not behind these attacks. When Gaddafi falsely admitted that he had weapons of mass destruction in order to gain some relief from the Western sanctions, they presented him as a responsible leader who, was ready to cooperate. Of course, his last role was to play again the 'bad guy' who had to be removed.

Economic Wars, Financial Coups – Greece/Eurozone

It would be unthinkable for the neo-colonialists to conduct proxy wars inside European soil, especially against countries which belong to Western institutions like NATO, EU, eurozone, etc. The wave of the US-made major economic crisis hit Greece and Europe at the start of the decade, almost simultaneously with the eruption of the Arab Spring revolutionary wave and the subsequent disaster in Middle East and Libya.

Greece was the easy victim for the global neoliberal dictatorship to impose catastrophic measures in favor of the plutocracy. The Greek experiment enters its seventh year and the plan is to be used as a model for the whole eurozone. Greece has become also the model for the looting of public property, as happened in the past with the East Germany and the Treuhand Operation after the fall of the Berlin Wall.

While Greece was the major victim of an economic war, Germany used its economic power and control of the European Central Bank to impose unprecedented austerity, sado-monetarism and neoliberal destruction through silent financial coups in Ireland , Italy and Cyprus . The Greek political establishment collapsed with the rise of SYRIZA in power, and the ECB was forced to proceed in an open financial coup against Greece when the current PM, Alexis Tsipras, decided to conduct a referendum on the catastrophic measures imposed by the ECB, IMF and the European Commission, through which the Greek people clearly rejected these measures, despite the propaganda of terror inside and outside Greece. Due to the direct threat from Mario Draghi and the ECB, who actually threatened to cut liquidity sinking Greece into a financial chaos, Tsipras finally forced to retreat, signing another catastrophic memorandum.

Through similar financial and political pressure, the Brussels bureaufascists and the German sado-monetarists along with the IMF economic hitmen, imposed neoliberal disaster to other eurozone countries like Portugal, Spain etc. It is remarkable that even the second eurozone economy, France, rushed to impose anti-labor measures midst terrorist attacks, succumbing to a - pre-designed by the elites - neo-Feudalism, under the 'Socialist' François Hollande, despite the intense protests in many French cities.

Germany would never let the United States to lead the neo-colonization in Europe, as it tries (again) to become a major power with its own sphere of influence, expanding throughout eurozone and beyond. As the situation in Europe becomes more and more critical with the ongoing economic and refugee crisis and the rise of the Far-Right and the nationalists, the economic war mostly between the US and the German big capital, creates an even more complicated situation.

The decline of the US-German relations has been exposed initially with the NSA interceptions scandal , yet, progressively, the big picture came on surface, revealing a transatlantic economic war between banking and corporate giants. In times of huge multilevel crises, the big capital always intensifies its efforts to eliminate competitors too. As a consequence, the US has seen another key ally, Germany, trying to gain a certain degree of independence in order to form its own agenda, separate from the US interests.

Note that, both Germany and Turkey are medium powers that, historically, always trying to expand and create their own spheres of influence, seeking independence from the traditional big powers.

Economic Wars, Constitutional Coups, Provocative Operations – Argentina/Brazil/Venezuela

A wave of neoliberal onslaught shakes currently Latin America. While in Argentina, Mauricio Macri allegedly took the power normally, the constitutional coup against Dilma Rousseff in Brazil, as well as, the usual actions of the Right opposition in Venezuela against Nicolás Maduro with the help of the US finger, are far more obvious.
The special weight of these three countries in Latin America is extremely important for the US imperialism to regain ground in the global geopolitical arena. Especially the last ten to fifteen years, each of them developed increasingly autonomous policies away from the US close custody, under Leftist governments, and this was something that alarmed the US imperialism components.

Brazil appears to be the most important among the three, not only due to its size, but also as a member of the BRICS, the team of fast growing economies who threaten the US and generally the Western global dominance. The constitutional coup against Rousseff was rather a sloppy action and reveals the anxiety of the US establishment to regain control through puppet regimes. This is a well-known situation from the past through which the establishment attempts to secure absolute dominance in the US backyard.

The importance of Venezuela due to its oil reserves is also significant. When Maduro tried to approach Russia in order to strengthen the economic cooperation between the two countries, he must had set the alarm for the neocons in the US. Venezuela could find an alternative in Russia and BRICS, in order to breathe from the multiple economic war that was set off by the US. It is characteristic that the economic war against Russia by the US and the Saudis, by keeping the oil prices in historically low levels, had significant impact on the Venezuelan economy too. It is also known that the US organizations are funding the opposition since Chávez era, in order to proceed in provocative operations that could overthrow the Leftist governments.

The case of Venezuela is really interesting. The US imperialists were fiercely trying to overthrow the Leftist governments since Chávez administration. They found now a weaker president, Nicolás Maduro - who certainly does not have the strength and personality of Hugo Chávez - to achieve their goal.

The Western media mouthpieces are doing their job, which is propaganda as usual. The recipe is known. You present the half truth, with a big overdose of exaggeration. The establishment parrots are demonizing Socialism , but they won't ever tell you about the money that the US is spending, feeding the Right-Wing groups and opposition to proceed in provocative operations, in order to create instability. They won't tell you about the financial war conducted through the oil prices, manipulated by the Saudis, the close US ally.

Regarding Argentina, former president, Cristina Kirchner, had also made some important moves towards the stronger cooperation with Russia, which was something unacceptable for Washington's hawks. Not only for geopolitical reasons, but also because Argentina could escape from the vulture funds that sucking its blood since its default. This would give the country an alternative to the neoliberal monopoly of destruction. The US big banks and corporations would never accept such a perspective because the debt-enslaved Argentina is a golden opportunity for a new round of huge profits. It's happening right now in eurozone's debt colony, Greece.

'Color Revolutions' - Ukraine

The events in Ukraine have shown that, the big capital has no hesitation to ally even with the neo-nazis, in order to impose the new world order. This is not something new of course. The connection of Hitler with the German economic oligarchs, but also with other major Western companies, before and during the WWII, is well known.

The most terrifying of all however, is not that the West has silenced in front of the decrees of the new Ukrainian leadership, through which is targeting the minorities, but the fact that the West allied with the neo-nazis, while according to some information has also funded their actions as well as other extreme nationalist groups during the riots in Kiev.

Plenty of indications show that US organizations have 'put their finger' on Ukraine. A video , for example, concerning the situation in Ukraine has been directed by Ben Moses (creator of the movie "Good Morning, Vietnam"), who is connected with American government executives and organizations like National Endowment for Democracy, funded by the US Congress. This video shows a beautiful young female Ukrainian who characterizes the government of the country as "dictatorship" and praise some protesters with the neo-nazi symbols of the fascist Ukranian party Svoboda on them.

The same organizations are behind 'color revolutions' elsewhere, as well as, provocative operations against Leftist governments in Venezuela and other countries.

Ukraine is the perfect place to provoke Putin and tight the noose around Russia. Of course the huge hypocrisy of the West can also be identified in the case of Crimea. While in other cases, the Western officials were 'screaming' for the right of self-determination (like Kosovo, for example), after they destroyed Yugoslavia in a bloodbath, they can't recognize the will of the majority of Crimeans to join Russia.

The war will become wilder

The Western neo-colonial powers are trying to counterattack against the geopolitical upgrade of Russia and the Chinese economic expansionism.

Despite the rise of Donald Trump in power, the neoliberal forces will push further for the expansion of the neoliberal doctrine in the rival field of the Sino-Russian alliance. Besides, Trump has already shown his hostile feelings against China, despite his friendly approach to Russia and Putin.

We see, however, that the Western alliances are entering a period of severe crisis. The US has failed to control the situation in Middle East and Libya. The ruthless neo-colonialists will not hesitate to confront Russia and China directly, if they see that they continue to lose control in the global geopolitical arena. The accumulation of military presence of NATO next to the Russian borders, as well as, the accumulation of military presence of the US in Asia-Pacific, show that this is an undeniable fact.

[Dec 20, 2019] Did John Brennan's CIA Create Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks by Larry C Johnson

Highly recommended!
Gossufer2.0 and CrowdStrike are the weakest links in this sordid story. CrowdStrike was nothing but FBI/CIA contractor.
So the hypothesis that CrowdStrike employees implanted malware to implicate Russians and created fake Gussifer 2.0 personality is pretty logical.
Notable quotes:
"... Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU--Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com. Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan ..."
"... In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA . As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate--DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to "manipulate digital footprints." In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust. ..."
"... We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents : ..."
"... Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name "Феликс Эдмундович." That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, "Феликс Эдмундович" is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.) ..."
"... Why would the CIA do this? The CIA knew that Podesta's emails had been hacked and were circulating on the internet. But they had no evidence about the identity of the culprit. If they had such evidence, they would have cited it in the 2017 ICA. ..."
"... The U.S. intelligence community became aware around May 26, 2016 that someone with access to the DNC network was offering those emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian Assange and people who spoke to him indicate that the person was Seth Rich. Whether or not it was Seth, the Trump Task Force at CIA was aware that the emails, which would be embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, would be released at some time in the future. Hence the motive to create Guccifer 2.0 and pin the blame on Russia. ..."
"... The only source for the claim that Russia hacked the DNC is a private cyber security firm, CrowdStrike. ..."
"... Time for the common sense standard again. Crowdstrike detected the Russians on the 6th of May, according to CEO Dimitri Alperovitch, but took no steps to shutdown the network, eliminate the malware and clean the computers until 34 days later, i.e., the 10th of June. That is 34 days of inexcusable inaction. ..."
"... The actions attributed to DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 should be priority investigative targets for U.S. Attorney John Durham's team of investigators. This potential use of a known CIA tool, developed under Brennan with the sole purpose to obfuscate the source of intrusions, pointing to another nation, as a false flag operation, is one of the actions and issues that U.S. Attorney John Durham should be looking into as a potential act of "Seditious conspiracy. It needs to be done. To quote the CIA, I strongly assess that the only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU. ..."
"... LJ bottom line: "The only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU." ..."
"... ICA which seemed to have been framed to allow journalists or the unwary to link the ICA with more rigorous standards used by more authentic assessments? ..."
"... With the Russians not having the advantages that the NSA does (back doors in all US-designed network hardware/software and taps all over the internet), would Russia reveal anything unless it involved an immediate major national security threat. I doubt that would cover Trump. ..."
Dec 20, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report insists that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Russia's military intelligence organization, the GRU, as part of a Russian plot to meddle in the U.S. 2016 Presidential Election. But this is a lie. Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were created by Brennan's CIA and this action by the CIA should be a target of U.S. Attorney John Durham's investigation. Let me explain why.

Let us start with the January 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment aka ICA. Only three agencies of the 17 in the U.S. intelligence community contributed to and coordinated on the ICA--the FBI, the CIA and NSA. In the preamble to the ICA, you can read the following explanation about methodology:

When Intelligence Community analysts use words such as "we assess" or "we judge," they are conveying an analytic assessment or judgment

To be clear, the phrase,"We assess", is intel community jargon for "opinion". If there was actual evidence or source material for a judgment the writer of the assessment would state, "According to a reliable source" or "knowledgeable source" or "documentary evidence."

Pay close attention to what the analysts writing the ICA stated about the GRU and Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks:

We assess with high confidence that the GRU used the Guccifer 2.0 persona, DCLeaks.com, and WikiLeaks to release US victim data obtained in cyber operations publicly and in exclusives to media outlets.

We assess with high confidence that the GRU relayed material it acquired from the DNC and senior Democratic officials to WikiLeaks. Moscow most likely chose WikiLeaks because of its self-proclaimed reputation for authenticity. Disclosures through WikiLeaks did not contain any evident forgeries.

Not one piece of corroborating intelligence. It is all based on opinion and strong belief. There was no human source report or electronic intercept pointing to a relationship between the GRU and the two alleged creations of the GRU--Guccifer 2.0 persona and DCLeaks.com. Now consider the spin that Robert Mueller put on this opinion in his report on possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians. Mueller bluffs the unsuspecting reader into believing that it is a proven fact that Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks were Russian assets. But he is relying on a mere opinion from a handpicked group of intel analysts working under the direction of then CIA Director John Brennan.

Here's Mueller's take (I apologize for the lengthy quote but it is important that you read how the Mueller team presents this):

DCLeaks

"The GRU began planning the releases at least as early as April 19, 2016, when Unit 26165 registered the domain dcleaks.com through a service that anonymized the registrant.137 Unit 26165 paid for the registration using a pool of bitcoin that it had mined.138 The dcleaks.com landing page pointed to different tranches of stolen documents, arranged by victim or subject matter. Other dcleaks.com pages contained indexes of the stolen emails that were being released (bearing the sender, recipient, and date of the email). To control access and the timing of releases, pages were sometimes password-protected for a period of time and later made unrestricted to the public.


Starting in June 2016, the GRU posted stolen documents onto the website dcleaks.com, including documents stolen from a number of individuals associated with the Clinton Campaign. These documents appeared to have originated from personal email accounts (in particular, Google and Microsoft accounts), rather than the DNC and DCCC computer networks. DCLeaks victims included an advisor to the Clinton Campaign, a former DNC employee and Clinton Campaign employee, and four other campaign volunteers.139 The GRU released through dcleaks.com thousands of documents, including personal identifying and financial information, internal correspondence related to the"Clinton Campaign and prior political jobs, and fundraising files and information.140


GRU officers operated a Facebook page under the DCLeaks moniker, which they primarily used to promote releases of materials.141 The Facebook page was administered through a small number of preexisting GRU-controlled Facebook accounts.142


GRU officers also used the DCLeaks Facebook account, the Twitter account @dcleaks__, and the email account dcleaksproject@gmail.com to communicate privately with reporters and other U.S. persons. GRU officers using the DCLeaks persona gave certain reporters early access to archives of leaked files by sending them links and passwords to pages on the dcleaks.com website that had not yet become public. For example, on July 14, 2016, GRU officers operating under the DCLeaks persona sent a link and password for a non-public DCLeaks webpage to a U.S. reporter via the Facebook account.143 Similarly, on September 14, 2016, GRU officers sent reporters Twitter direct messages from @dcleaks_, with a password to another non-public part of the dcleaks.com website.144


The dcleaks.com website remained operational and public until March 2017."

Guccifer 2.0

On June 14, 2016, the DNC and its cyber-response team announced the breach of the DNC network and suspected theft of DNC documents. In the statements, the cyber-response team alleged that Russian state-sponsored actors (which they referred to as "Fancy Bear") were responsible for the breach.145 Apparently in response to that announcement, on June 15, 2016, GRU officers using the persona Guccifer 2.0 created a WordPress blog. In the hours leading up to the launch of that WordPress blog, GRU officers logged into a Moscow-based server used and managed by Unit 74455 and searched for a number of specific words and phrases in English, including "some hundred sheets," "illuminati," and "worldwide known." Approximately two hours after the last of those searches, Guccifer 2.0 published its first post, attributing the DNC server hack to a lone Romanian hacker and using several of the unique English words and phrases that the GRU officers had searched for that day.146

That same day, June 15, 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 WordPress blog to begin releasing to the public documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC computer networks.

The Guccifer 2.0 persona ultimately released thousands of documents stolen from the DNC and DCCC in a series of blog posts between June 15, 2016 and October 18, 2016.147 Released documents included opposition research performed by the DNC (including a memorandum analyzing potential criticisms of candidate Trump), internal policy documents (such as recommendations on how to address politically sensitive issues), analyses of specific congressional races, and fundraising documents. Releases were organized around thematic issues, such as specific states (e.g., Florida and Pennsylvania) that were perceived as competitive in the 2016 U.S. presidential election.

Beginning in late June 2016, the GRU also used the Guccifer 2.0 persona to release documents directly to reporters and other interested individuals. Specifically, on June 27, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to the news outlet The Smoking Gun offering to provide "exclusive access to some leaked emails linked [to] Hillary Clinton's staff."148 The GRU later sent the reporter a password and link to a locked portion of the dcleaks.com website that contained an archive of emails stolen by Unit 26165 from a Clinton Campaign volunteer in March 2016.149 "That the Guccifer 2.0 persona provided reporters access to a restricted portion of the DCLeaks website tends to indicate that both personas were operated by the same or a closely-related group of people.150

The GRU continued its release efforts through Guccifer 2.0 into August 2016. For example, on August 15, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a candidate for the U.S. Congress documents related to the candidate's opponent.151 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona transferred approximately 2.5 gigabytes of Florida-related data stolen from the DCCC to a U.S. blogger covering Florida politics.152 On August 22, 2016, the Guccifer 2.0 persona sent a U.S. reporter documents stolen from the DCCC pertaining to the Black Lives Matter movement.153"

Wow. Sounds pretty convincing. The documents referencing communications by DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 with Wikileaks are real. What is not true is that these entities were GRU assets.

In October 2015 John Brennan reorganized the CIA . As part of that reorganization he created a new directorate--DIRECTORATE OF DIGITAL INNOVATION. Its mission was to "manipulate digital footprints." In other words, this was the Directorate that did the work of creating Guccifer 2.0 and DCLeaks. One of their specialties, creating Digital Dust.

We also know, thanks to Wikileaks, that the CIA was using software specifically designed to mask CIA activity and make it appear like it was done by a foreign entity. Wikipedia describes the Vault 7 documents :

Vault 7 is a series of documents that WikiLeaks began to publish on 7 March 2017, that detail activities and capabilities of the United States' Central Intelligence Agency to perform electronic surveillance and cyber warfare. The files, dated from 2013–2016, include details on the agency's software capabilities, such as the ability to compromise cars, smart TVs,[1] web browsers (including Google Chrome, Microsoft Edge, Mozilla Firefox, and Opera Software ASA),[2][3][4] and the operating systems of most smartphones (including Apple's iOS and Google's Android), as well as other operating systems such as Microsoft Windows, macOS, and Linux[5][6

One of the tools in Vault 7 carries the innocuous name, MARBLE. Hackernews explains the purpose and function of MARBLE:

Dubbed "Marble," the part 3 of CIA files contains 676 source code files of a secret anti-forensic Marble Framework, which is basically an obfuscator or a packer used to hide the true source of CIA malware.
The CIA's Marble Framework tool includes a variety of different algorithm with foreign language text intentionally inserted into the malware source code to fool security analysts and falsely attribute attacks to the wrong nation.

Marble is used to hamper[ing] forensic investigators and anti-virus companies from attributing viruses, trojans and hacking attacks to the CIA," says the whistleblowing site.

"...for example by pretending that the spoken language of the malware creator was not American English, but Chinese, but then showing attempts to conceal the use of Chinese, drawing forensic investigators even more strongly to the wrong conclusion," WikiLeaks explains.

So guess what gullible techies "discovered" in mid-June 2016? The meta data in the Guccifer 2.0 communications had "Russian fingerprints."

We still don't know who he is or whether he works for the Russian government, but one thing is for sure: Guccifer 2.0 -- the nom de guerre of the person claiming he hacked the Democratic National Committee and published hundreds of pages that appeared to prove it -- left behind fingerprints implicating a Russian-speaking person with a nostalgia for the country's lost Soviet era.

Exhibit A in the case is this document created and later edited in the ubiquitous Microsoft Word format. Metadata left inside the file shows it was last edited by someone using the computer name "Феликс Эдмундович." That means the computer was configured to use the Russian language and that it was connected to a Russian-language keyboard. More intriguing still, "Феликс Эдмундович" is the colloquial name that translates to Felix Dzerzhinsky, the 20th Century Russian statesman who is best known for founding the Soviet secret police. (The metadata also shows that the purported DNC strategy memo was originally created by someone named Warren Flood, which happens to be the name of a LinkedIn user claiming to provide strategy and data analytics services to Democratic candidates.)

Just use your common sense. If the Russians were really trying to carry out a covert cyberattack, do you really think they are so sloppy and incompetent to insert the name of the creator of the Soviet secret police in the metadata? No. The Russians are not clowns. This was a clumsy attempt to frame the Russians.

Why would the CIA do this? The CIA knew that Podesta's emails had been hacked and were circulating on the internet. But they had no evidence about the identity of the culprit. If they had such evidence, they would have cited it in the 2017 ICA.

The U.S. intelligence community became aware around May 26, 2016 that someone with access to the DNC network was offering those emails to Julian Assange and Wikileaks. Julian Assange and people who spoke to him indicate that the person was Seth Rich. Whether or not it was Seth, the Trump Task Force at CIA was aware that the emails, which would be embarrassing to the Clinton campaign, would be released at some time in the future. Hence the motive to create Guccifer 2.0 and pin the blame on Russia.

It is essential to recall the timeline of the alleged Russian intrusion into the DNC network. The only source for the claim that Russia hacked the DNC is a private cyber security firm, CrowdStrike. Here is the timeline for the DNC "hack."

Here are the facts on the public record. They are at odds with the claims of the Intelligence Community:

  1. It was 29 April 2016 , when the DNC claims it became aware its servers had been penetrated. No claim yet about who was responsible. And no claim that there had been a prior warning by the FBI of a penetration of the DNC by Russian military intelligence.
  2. According to CrowdStrike founder , Dimitri Alperovitch, his company first supposedly detected the Russians mucking around inside the DNC server on 6 May 2016. A CrowdStrike intelligence analyst reportedly told Alperovitch that:
    • Falcon had identified not one but two Russian intruders: Cozy Bear, a group CrowdStrike's experts believed was affiliated with the FSB, Russia's answer to the CIA; and Fancy Bear, which they had linked to the GRU, Russian military intelligence.
  3. The Wikileaks data shows that the last message copied from the DNC network is dated Wed, 25 May 2016 08:48:35.
  4. 10 June 2016 --CrowdStrike waited until 10 June 2016 to take concrete steps to clean up the DNC network. Alperovitch told Esquire's Vicky Ward that: 'Ultimately, the teams decided it was necessary to replace the software on every computer at the DNC. Until the network was clean, secrecy was vital. On the afternoon of Friday, June 10, all DNC employees were instructed to leave their laptops in the office."
  5. On June 14, 2016 , Ellen Nakamura, a Washington Post reporter who had been briefed by computer security company hired by the DNC -- Crowdstrike--, wrote:
    • Russian government hackers penetrated the computer network of the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the entire database of opposition research on GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump, according to committee officials and security experts who responded to the breach.
    • The intruders so thoroughly compromised the DNC's system that they also were able to read all email and chat traffic, said DNC officials and the security experts.
    • The intrusion into the DNC was one of several targeting American political organizations. The networks of presidential candidates Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump were also targeted by Russian spies, as were the computers of some Republican political action committees, U.S. officials said. But details on those cases were not available.
  6. 15 June, 2016 , an internet "personality" self-described as Guccifer 2.0 surfaces and claims to be responsible for the hacks but denies being Russian. The people/entity behind Guccifer 2.0:

The only thing that the Guccifer 2.0 character did not do to declare its Russian heritage was to take out full page ads in the New York Times and Washington Post. But the "forensic" fingerprints that Guccifer 2.0 was leaving behind is not the only inexplicable event.

Time for the common sense standard again. Crowdstrike detected the Russians on the 6th of May, according to CEO Dimitri Alperovitch, but took no steps to shutdown the network, eliminate the malware and clean the computers until 34 days later, i.e., the 10th of June. That is 34 days of inexcusable inaction.

It is only AFTER Julian Assange announces on 12 June 2016 that WikiLeaks has emails relating to Hillary Clinton that DCLeaks or Guccifer 2.0 try to contact Assange.

The actions attributed to DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 should be priority investigative targets for U.S. Attorney John Durham's team of investigators. This potential use of a known CIA tool, developed under Brennan with the sole purpose to obfuscate the source of intrusions, pointing to another nation, as a false flag operation, is one of the actions and issues that U.S. Attorney John Durham should be looking into as a potential act of "Seditious conspiracy. It needs to be done. To quote the CIA, I strongly assess that the only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU.

Posted at 02:13 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 20 December 2019 at 02:45 PM

LJ bottom line: "The only intelligence agency that evidence indicates was meddling via cyber attacks in the 2016 Presidential election was the CIA, not the GRU."
Paul Damascene , 20 December 2019 at 02:54 PM
Larry, thanks -- vital clarifications and reminders. In your earlier presentation of this material did you not also distinguish between the way actually interagency assessments are titled, and ICA which seemed to have been framed to allow journalists or the unwary to link the ICA with more rigorous standards used by more authentic assessments?
walrus , 20 December 2019 at 03:51 PM
Thank you Larry. You have discovered one more vital key to the conspiracy. We now need the evidence of Julian Assange. He is kept incommunicado and He is being tortured by the British in jail and will be murdered by the American judicial system if he lasts long enough to be extradited.

You can be sure he will be "Epsteined" before he appears in open court because he knows the source of what Wikileaks published. Once he is gone, mother Clinton is in the clear.

Ghost Ship , 20 December 2019 at 04:04 PM
I can understand the GRU or SVR hacking the DNC and other e-mail servers because as intelligence services that is their job, but can anyone think of any examples of Russia (or the Soviet Union) using such information to take overt action?

With the Russians not having the advantages that the NSA does (back doors in all US-designed network hardware/software and taps all over the internet), would Russia reveal anything unless it involved an immediate major national security threat. I doubt that would cover Trump.

[Dec 19, 2019] A the core of color revolution against Trump is Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Ukrainegate is preemptive political tactics. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Lk , Dec 18 2019 22:19 utc | 26

The House impeachment is driven by several factors:
  1. After Russiagate, when Trump began to investigate its fraudulent origins, the Dems feared the exposure of Obama-era corruption if not high crimes. Hence Ukrainegate is preemptive political tactics.
  2. The investigation into Russiagate led right to Ukraine, and thus to Biden. In the context of Sanders' campaign, Ukrainegate became an imperative for the factions of the capitalist class that dominates the DNC. If Biden falls on Ukraine issues, then Sanders is inevitable; an anathema to Wall Street and Big Tech DNC donors.
  3. 3. While 1 and 2 dominate DNC machinations, foreign policy is also a factor. The foreign policy establishment is absolutely against any hesitation with respect to confronting Russia as part of a regional and global strategy for primacy. Trump's limited prevarications on Russia might threaten the long established strategy to expand Nato to Ukraine and thereby to encircle Russia and maintain US dominance over Europe. So, even though Trump names great power rivalry as the name of the game today, his inclination for making nice with Putin threatens to weaken the US hold over Europe, which Trump wants to label as an economic competitor.

    It is with these points that the strategic differences become apparent: Trump is raising a realist, neo-mercantalist strategy against ALL potential competitors; the DNC and the deep state hold a strategy of liberal hegemony: globalization and US primacy through dominating regional alliances, and impregnating US hegemony INSIDE the vassal States of the empire.

All of this, however, is bound to fail for the DNC, and down the road for Trump himself.

The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones.

[Dec 19, 2019] A joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

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

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 1:49 utc | 56

My apologies if this has been posted before, but here is a news conference broadcast by Interfax a few days ago detailing a joint French-Ukrainian journalistic investigation into a huge money laundering scheme using various shadow banking organizations in Austria and Switzerland, benefiting Clinton friendly Ukrainian oligarchs and of course the Clinton Foundation.

The link is short enough to not require re-formatting:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4309z--JcGk&feature=

Lurker in the Dark , Dec 19 2019 2:00 utc | 59

Forgive me for the somewhat redundant post, and again I hope this is not a waste of anyone's time, but this is the source of the Interfax report I posted just above currently at #56. It is relevant to the Ukrainegate impeachment fiasco.

https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/press-conference/631034.html (again, link brief enough not to require re-format).

The U.S. and lapdog EU/UK media will not touch this with a 10 foot pole.

KYIV. Dec 17 (Interfax-Ukraine) – Ukraine and the United States should investigate the transfer of $29 million by businessman Victor Pinchuk from Ukraine to the Clinton Foundation, Ukrainian Member of Parliament (independent) Andriy Derkach has said. According to him, the investigation should check and establish how the Pinchuk Foundation's activities were funded; it, among other projects, made a contribution of $29 million to the Clinton Foundation. "Yesterday, Ukrainian law enforcement agencies registered criminal proceeding number 12019000000001138. As part of this proceeding, I provided facts that should be verified and established by the investigation. Establishing these facts will also help the American side to conduct its own investigation and establish the origin of the money received by [Hillary] Clinton," Derkach said at a press conferences at Interfax-Ukraine in Kyiv on Tuesday, December 17.

According to him, it was the independent French online publication Mediapart that first drew attention to the money withdrawal scheme from Ukraine and Pinchuk's financing of the Clinton Foundation.

"The general scheme is as follows. The International Monetary Fund (IMF) lent money to Ukraine in 2015. The same year, Victor Pinchuk's Credit Dnepr [Bank] received UAH 357 million in a National Bank stabilization loan from the IMF's disbursement. Delta Bank was given a total of UAH 5.110 billion in loans. The banks siphoned the money through Austria's Meinl Bank into offshore accounts, and further into [the accounts of] the Pinchuk Foundation. The money siphoning scam was confirmed by a May 2016 ruling by [Kyiv's] Pechersky court. The total damage from this scam involving other banks is estimated at $800 million. The Pinchuk Foundation transferred $29 million to the Foundation of Clinton, a future U.S. presidential candidate from the Democratic Party," Derkach said.

[Dec 19, 2019] Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well. ..."
"... Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world. ..."
Dec 19, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Russ , Dec 18 2019 22:00 utc | 19

Historically the ability of unelected, unaccountable, secretive bureaucracies (aka the "Deep State") to exercise their own policy without regard for the public or elected officials, often in defiance of these, has always been the hallmark of the destruction of democracy and incipient tyranny.

Today's Deep State most resembles the colonial administrations during the heyday of European imperialism. These too worked to run their own secret foreign policy, and to bring their power to bear on domestic policy as well.

Although both halves of the One-Party really want the effective tyranny of state and corporate bureaucracies, it's not surprising that it's the Democrats (along with the MSM) taking the lead in openly defending the tyrannical proposition that the CIA should be running its own foreign (and implicitly domestic) policy, and that the president should be just a figurehead which follows orders. That goes with the Democrats' more avowedly technocratic style, and it goes with the ratchet effect whereby it's usually Democrats which push the policy envelope toward ever greater inequality, ecocide and tyranny.

Now is a time of rising irredentism and the decline of all the ideas of globalization and technocracy, though the reality is likely to hang on for awhile. The whole Deep State-Zionist-Russia-Deranged-Trump-Deranged-MSM-social media censorship campaign is globalization trying to maintain its monopoly of ideas by force, since it knows it can never win in a free clash of ideas.

Impeachment, and the pro-bureaucracy anti-democracy campaign related to it, besides its more petty purposes (distraction from real social problems; forestalling Sanders), is the culmination of technocracy's attempted coup against a president who, even though he agrees with this cabal on all policy matters, is considered too unreliable, too undisciplined, too damn honest about the evil of the US empire. If they can take him down, they think they can restore the full business-as-usual status quo including the compliance of the rest of the world.

Since impeachment's going to fail, we can expect the system to try other ways.

james , Dec 19 2019 1:51 utc | 57

hey b... i like your title - "How The Deep State Sunk The Democratic Party" ... could change it to" How the Deep State Sunk the USA" could work just as well...

Seven of the 11 security state representatives who had joined the Democrats in 2018 gave the impulse for impeachment.

is this intentional?? it sort of looks like it...

good quote from @ 26 lk - "The contradictions of US empire and global capitalism cannot be mitigated by either more liberal strategies or realist ones."

ptb , Dec 19 2019 2:07 utc | 62
@babyl-on 35
yes that is about right. The top power networks are all a tight mix of names from govt, MIC, and private equity (incl. top 2-3 investment banks). With the latter group naturally paying the salaries of the whole policy making ecosystem, and holding the positions that select future generations who will eventually take their place.

They want the security of knowing noone in the world will mess with them. This necessitates that noone in the world *can* mess with them. Pretty straightforward from there.

[Dec 18, 2019] Rudy Giuliani Yovanovitch Was Part Of The Cover-Up, She Had To Be Ousted

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that's not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion." ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via SaraACarter.com,

"Trump was simply asking new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky -- in a July phone call -- to investigate crimes at the "highest levels" of both Kiev and Washington," Rudy Giuliani, a personal attorney for President Trump, told Laura Ingraham on "The Ingraham Angle."

"So, he is being impeached for doing the right thing as president of the United States," he said.

Giuliani told Laura Ingraham on "The Ingraham Angle" that he helped forced out Yovanovitch because she was corrupt and obstructing the investigation into Ukraine and the Bidens.

Dem's impeachment for innocent conduct is intended to obstruct the below investigations of Obama-era corruption:

- Billions of laundered $
- Billions, mostly US $, widely misused
- Extortion
- Bribery
- DNC collusion w/ Ukraine to destroy candidate Trump

Much more to come.

-- Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 15, 2019

He told Ingraham that he needed her out of the way because she was corrupt. Giuliani said he was not the first person to go to the president with concerns about the diplomat.

In more tweets Tuesday, Giuliani elaborated:

Yovanovitch needed to be removed for many reasons most critical she was denying visas to Ukrainians who wanted to come to US and explain Dem corruption in Ukraine. She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that's not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion.

-- Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 17, 2019

" Yovanovitch needed to be removed for many reasons most critical she was denying visas to Ukrainians who wanted to come to US and explain Dem corruption in Ukraine.

She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that's not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion."

https://youtu.be/qFCeznGIXKs


G. Wally , 2 hours ago link

Here is why she had to go:

"

Dirty Money: George Soros' Corrupt Ties to Ukraine

https://100percentfedup.com/dirty-money-george-soros-corrupt-ties-to-ukraine/

Marie Yovanovitch was dismissed in March after Trump's allies said she was blocking the probe of Joe Biden and bad-mouthing the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko said that she gave him a "do not prosecute list", that included Ukraine MPs and the exact same Sorosfunded NGO president.

George Soros, Marie Yovanovitch, Democrats & Ukraine: How the ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O51qzCacd-o

Nov 19, 2019Several sources claim former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, instructed Ukraine officials to keep their hands off investigating the NGO in Ukraine founded by George Soros. Why?"

Any questions? As Putin warned the US: "ask about the 5th floor of the State Department." (where Soros held court!). No wonder the US Commies hate Putin.

American_Buffalo , 3 hours ago link

In case you're wondering where this is headed.....all roads lead to Bill Clinton - the most corrupt man who ever set foot in the White House.

LEEPERMAX , 5 hours ago link

Wow

ONE AMERICA NEWS EXCLUSIVE:

"GUILIANI UKRAINE DOCUMENTARY"

(Part 1) https://youtu.be/Fn4weTY-2zE

(Part 2) https://youtu.be/BK2coiDHLZ4

(Part 3) https://youtu.be/wRFtijtoV6I

Lucifer's Chosen People , 7 hours ago link

MUST READ!!! THOSE US CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS THAT HAVE DUAL US/ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP

https://conservative-headlines.org/89-of-our-senators-and-congress-hold-dual-citizenship-with-israel/

AlexTheCat3741 , 7 hours ago link

What the Shiffhead Impeachment hearings demonstrated with the appearances of Ms. Yankonitbitch, Bowtie George, and the other "Dindunuffin/Donnonuffin Clowns" is just how much American Taxpayers' money is being wasted employing a bunch of sanctimonious drones who do nothing but get in the way of progress. Successful Corporations remove dead wood like that with downsizing and shakeups. But the Federal Government seems immune to efficiency because our elected officials NEVER DO THEIR JOBS BY USING ZERO BASE BUDGETING TO JUSTIFY EVERY ******* DOLLAR. And so, we now hear of yet another Omnibus Budget being foisted onto American Taxpayers and more wasteful spending that never, never, never, gets reduced. We need a Taxpayer's Revolution in this Country to stop the corrupt theft.

And one more thing: What the Ukrainian Matter reveals is how Foreign Aid is dispensed, handed out by the foreign recipient, and the funds are laundered and kicked back to the corrupt politicians and Deep State Operatives like the Bidens. If $400 Million in palletized untraceable cash can be delivered via a clandestine unmarked airplane at night to Iran supposedly for ransom as the Socialist Media Complex would have us believe in a way that is not consistent with long practiced methods for funds transfer, can we imagine all the billions that have quietly been stolen from us to enrich scum like Barack Obola, Quid Pro Joe, The Clintons, and so many others? IN THE MEANTIME, PRESIDENT TRUMP CAN'T GET A DIME TO SPEND ON BUILDING A WALL TO STOP THE ILLEGAL ALIEN COCKROACH INVASION.

MauiJeff , 7 hours ago link

Yovanovitch pulled the "poor me federal" employee act. I worked for the Feds for 31 years most as a manger and Yovanovitch victim act is what all federal employees pull when they get in trouble. Blah Blah my 30 years of service, my awards, my appraisals blah blah. She said that she had no concern about Hunter Biden while being hailed as a corruption fighter. Blah blah.

DaiRR , 8 hours ago link

It's a crime that State Department people and ambassadors can have the same ethnic origin as the countries they serve in. It's a recipe for personal/family agendas, corruption and not representing the best interests of the United States. Of course if you're a DemoRat, you're always corrupt, as they have proven it is a given.

wdg , 9 hours ago link

Rudy Giuliani: Yovanovitch Was Part Of The Cover-Up, She Had To Be Ousted.

"Ousted"? I thought the penalty for high treason was hanging. What are they waiting for? Hang the lot and in a public square near Congress so that all the traitors who reside in Congress and the highest levels of government and banking get a sense of what awaits them.

peippe , 9 hours ago link

she acted in the best interests of the former WH.

she was a good little bitch, just didn't notice the chess board had changed hands.

That's why Trump removed her. Can't punish an ignorant former ambassador any more that that.

chubbar , 10 hours ago link

I sure hope Trump wakes the **** up and stops this nonsense in NY!!!!

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/trump-must-go-new-yorks-violation-federal-immigration-law/

"At the end of the month, almost all criminals arrested for state crimes in New York, including sex crimes , will be released without posting bail. It is a suicidal policy, but it is nonetheless the state’s prerogative to engage in such suicide. What is not its prerogative is the New York law that took effect this week granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and blocking ICE access to criminal enforcement information. We have a national union with a federal government controlling immigration for a reason, and it’s time for the Trump administration to show state officials who has the final say over this issue.

Beginning this week, the NY state government is inviting any and all illegal aliens , with or without criminal records, to apply for driver’s licenses. As documentation , they can offer consular ID cards, which are fraught with fraud, expired work permits, or foreign birth certificates. They can even offer Border Crossing Cards, which are only valid for 72 hours and for a stay in the country near the border area! The state law further prohibits state and county officials from disclosing any information to ICE and bars ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from accessing N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV) records and information.

Rocco Vertuccio@RoccoNY1

This is the line outside a @nysdmv office in #Queens . About a 100 most #undocumentedimmigrants applying for a drivers license for the first time bc #greenlightlaw is now in effect.

656

7:52 AM - Dec 16, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

1,237 people are talking about this

It’s truly hard to overstate the enormity of the public safety crisis this law, dubbed “the green light law,” will spawn. There are currently 3.3 million aliens in the ICE non-detained docket who remain at large in this country. Just in one year, ICE put detainers on aliens criminally charged with 2,500 homicides. Given that New York has the fourth largest illegal alien population in the country, it is virtually certain that a large number of criminal aliens reside in the state and will now be offered legal resident documents to shield them from removal.

Some might suggest that this is the problem of New York’s residents and that it is their job and their responsibility alone to overturn these laws. But the difference between this law and their general pro-criminal laws is that when it comes to immigration, they simply lack the power to enact such a policy. Rather than the DHS and DOJ bemoaning these laws, it’s time for the Trump administration to actually stop them in their tracks. Otherwise the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is nothing but ink on parchment.

A violation of federal law and the Constitution

8 U.S.C. § 1324 makes a felon of anyone who “knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place.” That statute also makes a criminal of anyone who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law” or anyone who “engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts.” Some form of this law has been on the books since 1891.

NY’s new law not only harbors illegal aliens but actually calls on the DMV to notify illegal aliens of any ICE interest in their files. There is only one purpose of this law: to tip off criminal alien fugitives that ICE is looking for them, the most literal violation of the law against shielding them from detection. Would we allow state officials to block information to the FBI, ATF, or DEA?

Moreover, New York’s Green Light law violates the entire purpose of the infamous 1986 amnesty bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which was “to combat the employment of illegal aliens.” The law specifically makes it “illegal for employers to knowingly hire, recruit, refer, or continue to employ unauthorized workers.” Yet the rationale for the Green Light Law, according to supporters , was “getting to work” and “ensure that our industries have the labor they need to keep our economy moving.” That directly conflicts with federal law.

Finally, 8 U.S.C. 1373 prohibits state and local government from “in any way restrict[ing]

, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.” The entire purpose of this bill is to restrict all New York government entities from sending information on citizenship status to ICE.

Whether one disagrees with immigration laws or not, nobody can argue that the federal government lacks the power to enforce them. Immigration law is one of the core jobs of the federal government. People are free to go to any state once they are in the country, which is why the Founders transferred immigration policy from the states under the Articles of Confederation to the federal government under the Constitution.

This is why James Madison in Federalist #42 bemoaned that, under the Articles of Confederation, there was a “very serious embarrassment” whereby “an alien therefore legally incapacitated for certain rights in the [one state], may by previous residence only in [another state], elude his incapacity; and thus the law of one State, be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another, within the jurisdiction of the other.” He feared that without the Constitution’s new idea of giving the federal Congress power “to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” “certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious” would choose states with weak immigration laws as entry points into the union and then move to any other state as legal residents or citizens.

As for immigration without naturalization, because of the issue of the slave trade, the first clause of Article I, Section 9 bars Congress from prohibiting “the Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit” until the year 1808. Well, Congress has long exercised that power to exclude over the past 200 years. New York has lacked the ability to maintain its own separate immigration scheme for quite some time.

When did the federal government become weak in the face of state rebellion?"

Serapis , 10 hours ago link

The diplomatic service made a big mistake when they abandoned the practice of preventing people from serving in countries where they have an ethnic connection

jovanivic is part of a rabid Ukrainian diaspora, chased out of the country by the Red Army for collaboration with the Nazis.

these people have a vicious, insatiable desire for revenge ...and the US does not need these kind of biases mucking things up

cuba is a similar sit

[Dec 17, 2019] Neocons like car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility because ther profession is to lie in order to sell weapons to the publin, much like used car saleme lie to sell cars

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

karlof1 , Dec 16 2019 20:51 utc | 22

Neocons lie should properly be called "threat inflation"

The underlying critical point-at-issue is credibility as I noted in my comment on b's 2017 article. I've since linked to tweets and other items by that trio; the one major change seems to have been the epiphany by them that they needed to go to where the action is and report it from there to regain their credibility.

The fact remains that used car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility sans a confession as to why they feel the need to lie to sell cars.

Their actions belie the guilt they feel for their choices, but a confession works much better at assuaging the soul while helping convince the audience that the change in heart's genuine. And that's the point as b notes--genuineness, whose first predicate is credibility.

[Dec 17, 2019] Judge Denies Flynn's Requests For Exculpatory Information, Case Dismissal by Peter Svab

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "The sworn statements of Mr. Flynn and his former counsel belie his new claims of innocence and his new assertions that he was pressured into pleading guilty," Sullivan said in his Dec. 16 opinion ( pdf ). ..."
"... In June, he fired his lawyers and hired former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell , who has since accused the government of misconduct, particularly of withholding exculpatory information or providing it late. ..."
"... Powell has argued that Flynn's previous lawyers had a conflict of interest because they testified in a related case against Flynn's former business partner. Flynn had previously told the court he would keep the lawyers despite the conflict, but Powell said prosecutors should have asked the judge to dismiss the lawyers anyway. Sullivan disagreed, saying Flynn failed to show a precedent that the prosecutors had that obligation. ..."
"... Powell also said the government had no proper reason to investigate Flynn in the first place and that it had set up an "ambush interview" with the intention of making Flynn say something it could allege was false. ..."
"... Sullivan disagreed again and said that previously, with the advice of his former lawyers, Flynn never "challenged the conditions of his FBI interview." ..."
"... Powell said Flynn's answers to the agents weren't "material," meaning relevant to the FBI investigation of election meddling. ..."
"... Sounds like Flynn got bad advice from his previous lawyers, and the judge is requiring Flynn to live with the consequences. In other words, it is as if the judge is prohibiting Flynn from changing legal representation because Flynn cannot do anything different than what his first team of "counselors" advised. ..."
"... Flynn is as deep state as it gets. He would throw the book at any one of you. Make no mistake. Being a general is a political appointment. ..."
"... Flynn was also a ******* lobbyist for foreign governments, including Turkey,...without disclosing his advise was paid for. He sold himself out like a whore. ..."
"... "Michael Flynn reportedly filed paperwork on Tuesday for the $530,000 worth of work he did last year that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/08/michael-flynn-admits-turkey-lobbying ..."
"... NATO Alliance member Turkey? How about a list of Israel friends with benefits. MIC grifters and aipac. Bloated orange imbecile can not fight only tweet. ..."
"... They say Dems and other psychos always accuse others of what they themselves are doing. Ever heard of the Clinton Foundation? Operating expenses: 95%.Benevolent aid: 5%. Suck on that for awhile. ..."
"... Flynn did nothing wrong. Was framed setup and then blackmailed to plead. Who will pay a price. Brennan Comey Strzok? Those who stood with Trump were ruined under false pretenses. ..."
"... Oh how soon you forget that Flynn commited war crimes in Grenada. ..."
"... Then bring him up on those charges. In court those kinds of leaps are inaddmissable. ..."
"... Hahahaha Grenada. Reagan's signature military victory. Flynn should be a super hero. Grenada and Panama are the only victories the Pentagon clowns have managed. What should we expect they only get $1,000,000,000,000.00 a year ..."
"... Remember that Michael Flynn waived his right to appeal this judge's decision when he plead guilty. This won't be going to a higher court. He's going down and the judge who is sentencing him is PISSED. ..."
"... Flynn is going to prison. Hillary is not. The sooner you jackoffs accept that, the sooner you'll be able to move on with your lives instead of living out your pitiful existence in bitterness and regret. And no, you won't be doing any civil war. You'll just be angry, your anger will turn inward, and you'll poison yourselves with resentment, living out your days alone. Don't say you weren't warned. ..."
"... They threatened his son if he did not plead guilty. Of course, to you Dems the means justifies the end. He will be pardoned, and deservedly so. ..."
"... I don't expect Clinton to go to jail ... committing crimes or not she is untouchable. People may wish it but it will never ever happen she has too much on all the other criminals. ..."
Dec 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Peter Svab via The Epoch Times,

A federal judge has denied requests by Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn to prompt the government to give him information he deems exculpatory and to dismiss the case against him .

District Court Judge Emmet Sullivan sided with the government in arguing that Flynn was already given all the information to which he was entitled. The judge also dismissed Flynn's allegations of government misconduct, noting that Flynn already pleaded guilty to his crime and failed to raise his objections earlier when some of the issues he now complains about were brought to his attention.

"The sworn statements of Mr. Flynn and his former counsel belie his new claims of innocence and his new assertions that he was pressured into pleading guilty," Sullivan said in his Dec. 16 opinion ( pdf ).

Flynn, former head of the Defense Intelligence Agency, pleaded guilty on Nov. 30, 2017, to one count of lying to the FBI. He's been expected to receive a light sentence, including no prison time, after extensively cooperating with the government on multiple investigations.

In June, he fired his lawyers and hired former federal prosecutor Sidney Powell , who has since accused the government of misconduct, particularly of withholding exculpatory information or providing it late.

Powell has argued that Flynn's previous lawyers had a conflict of interest because they testified in a related case against Flynn's former business partner. Flynn had previously told the court he would keep the lawyers despite the conflict, but Powell said prosecutors should have asked the judge to dismiss the lawyers anyway. Sullivan disagreed, saying Flynn failed to show a precedent that the prosecutors had that obligation.

Powell also said the government had no proper reason to investigate Flynn in the first place and that it had set up an "ambush interview" with the intention of making Flynn say something it could allege was false.

Sullivan disagreed again and said that previously, with the advice of his former lawyers, Flynn never "challenged the conditions of his FBI interview."

Flynn was interviewed by two FBI agents, Joe Pientka and Peter Strzok, on Jan. 24, 2017, two days after he was sworn in as President Donald Trump's national security adviser.

The prosecutors argued that the FBI had a "sufficient and appropriate basis" for the interview because Flynn days earlier told members of the Trump campaign, including soon-to-be Vice President Mike Pence, that he didn't discuss with the Russian ambassador the expulsion of Russian diplomats in late December 2016 by then-President Barack Obama.

Flynn later admitted in his statement of offense that he asked, via Russian Ambassador to the U.S. Sergei Kislyak, for Russia to only respond to the sanctions in a reciprocal manner and not escalate the situation.

The FBI was at the time investigating whether Trump campaign aides coordinated with Russian 2016 election meddling. No such coordination was established by the probe, which concluded more than two years later under then-special counsel Robert Mueller.

Powell argued that whatever Flynn told Pence and others in the transition team was none of the FBI's business.

"The Executive Branch has different reasons for saying different things publicly and privately, and not everyone is told the details of every conversation," she said in a previous court filing .

"If the FBI is charged with investigating discrepancies in statements made by government officials to the public, the entirety of its resources would be consumed in a week."

Powell said Flynn's answers to the agents weren't "material," meaning relevant to the FBI investigation of election meddling.

Sullivan, however, thought otherwise, using a broader description of the investigation. The bureau, he said, probed the "nature of any links between individuals associated with the [Trump] Campaign and Russia" and what Flynn said was material to it. The description Sullivan used appears to omit the context of the probe, which focused specifically on the Russian election meddling.


Lord Raglan , 1 minute ago link

Powell was dealt a bad hand by Flynn's previous corrupt and incompetent attorneys. The judge has an obligation to honor the new views of new counsel. He can't assume that Flynn had been well advised by former counsel. There's no evidence or history of that. They sold him out.

thebigunit , 22 minutes ago link

Not sure what's going on.

Sounds like Flynn got bad advice from his previous lawyers, and the judge is requiring Flynn to live with the consequences. In other words, it is as if the judge is prohibiting Flynn from changing legal representation because Flynn cannot do anything different than what his first team of "counselors" advised.

hairlessBalls , 30 minutes ago link

Flynn is as deep state as it gets. He would throw the book at any one of you. Make no mistake. Being a general is a political appointment.

benb , 11 minutes ago link

He's so Deep State that Brennen and Clapper went to Soetoro to get him fired after the election. Flynn was going to rat them out on the treasonous Iran deal. When Obama said no because it was too close to the end of his presidency they then criminally framed Flynn.

You're talking out your butt.

spoonful , 8 minutes ago link

concurrr

https://brassballs.blog/home/four-lies-impeach-flynn-testimony-judges-jessie-liu-mike-flynn-mariia-maria-buina-imran-awan-spygate-in-congress-elijah-cummings-justice-department-doj-fbi-mueller-morrison-foerster-john-carlin-anthony-trenga-emmett-sullivan

VideoEng_NC , 30 minutes ago link

We're witnessing a judge being compromised. His actions & bold off-topic statements in court earlier this year seems to be the sign. DS Strikes Back.

peippe , 46 minutes ago link

never speak to leo without a lawyer representing you.

poor flynn.

socialist chum , 43 minutes ago link

Flynn was lied to. Flynn was a 30 year veteran and General. Flynn couldn't imagine his country turning against him like this. None of us could. But with the cabal running our country, it could and did happen. Now we have to stamp out the cockroaches before it's too late.

AHBL , 41 minutes ago link

Flynn was also a ******* lobbyist for foreign governments, including Turkey,...without disclosing his advise was paid for. He sold himself out like a whore.

peippe , 39 minutes ago link

he had a dinner, at a gala, where foreigners were indeed present. (actually invited & not by Flynn)

Crime? You decide

AHBL , 36 minutes ago link

The **** are you talking about?

"Michael Flynn reportedly filed paperwork on Tuesday for the $530,000 worth of work he did last year that "could be construed to have principally benefited the Republic of Turkey." https://www.thedailybeast.com/cheats/2017/03/08/michael-flynn-admits-turkey-lobbying

peippe , 33 minutes ago link

thought Turkey was our, umm, friend. Also, I did not know the cash disbursements had to be 15 million + ('Biden Sized')

to be forgiven.....or overlooked.

Interesting.

Anthraxed , 33 minutes ago link

Tony Pedoesta did the same thing. Yet, somehow was not prosecuted for it...

sbin , 24 minutes ago link

NATO Alliance member Turkey? How about a list of Israel friends with benefits. MIC grifters and aipac. Bloated orange imbecile can not fight only tweet.

Impotence on parade

Soloamber , 48 minutes ago link

This ***** judge will give him a mouse sentence to protect his own *** . We don't know the half of it . How close is the judge to Obama ? I think we are going to find out .

leodogma1 , 50 minutes ago link

President Trump should step in now and Pardon Gen.Flynn and Roger Stone both trial were fixed unethical and not based on fact and law. In Stones case a radical jury of Demon Rat-Brains were assembled to hand down a guilty verdict.

dibiase , 41 minutes ago link

Stone was bragging he had dirt on Clinton from Assange and when the government called his bs, he lied to them.

Stone is a piece of ****.

PrideOfMammon , 7 minutes ago link

They say Dems and other psychos always accuse others of what they themselves are doing. Ever heard of the Clinton Foundation? Operating expenses: 95%.Benevolent aid: 5%. Suck on that for awhile.

sbin , 56 minutes ago link

Flynn did nothing wrong. Was framed setup and then blackmailed to plead. Who will pay a price. Brennan Comey Strzok? Those who stood with Trump were ruined under false pretenses.

Those who violated the constitution and rule of law are media pundants and undisturbed.

Orange dotard please divert some of your swamp creatures from destroying Iran, Venezuela and Bolivia.

America needs the secret police smashed and held accountable for sedition and treason.

hairlessBalls , 35 minutes ago link

Oh how soon you forget that Flynn commited war crimes in Grenada.

VideoEng_NC , 28 minutes ago link

Then bring him up on those charges. In court those kinds of leaps are inaddmissable.

sbin , 12 minutes ago link

Hahahaha Grenada. Reagan's signature military victory. Flynn should be a super hero. Grenada and Panama are the only victories the Pentagon clowns have managed. What should we expect they only get $1,000,000,000,000.00 a year

Soloamber , 59 minutes ago link

The minute they let Flynn off he talks and they sure as hell don't want that. They want to drag this out as long as possible and hope for a miracle (Trump gets beat ) or at least time enough for them to bugger off. FISA has known for years they were lied to by the FBI and now it has been confirmed . So why didn't they do anything then or now ? Were they in on it ? How do you draw any other conclusion ?

PopeRatzo , 1 hour ago link

Remember that Michael Flynn waived his right to appeal this judge's decision when he plead guilty. This won't be going to a higher court. He's going down and the judge who is sentencing him is PISSED.

Flynn is going to prison. Hillary is not. The sooner you jackoffs accept that, the sooner you'll be able to move on with your lives instead of living out your pitiful existence in bitterness and regret. And no, you won't be doing any civil war. You'll just be angry, your anger will turn inward, and you'll poison yourselves with resentment, living out your days alone. Don't say you weren't warned.

Spetzco , 28 minutes ago link

They threatened his son if he did not plead guilty. Of course, to you Dems the means justifies the end. He will be pardoned, and deservedly so.

GreatUncle , 15 minutes ago link

I don't expect Clinton to go to jail ... committing crimes or not she is untouchable. People may wish it but it will never ever happen she has too much on all the other criminals.

MurderNeverWasLove , 55 minutes ago link

Flynn can ask to withdraw plea, but he's turned down that opportunity three times, so judge might not allow it. Then everything Powell has been doing becomes relevant. Up to this point it's just a bunch of noise, unfortunately.

sowhat1929 , 55 minutes ago link

The house cleaning this country needs is truly astounding. This ******* judge can be swept out with all the other worthless trash

lwilland1012 , 1 hour ago link

So let me just be sure I understand this: he is being denied evidence that could prove innocence on a trial related to a guilty plea, which was largely the result of persecution by the FBI and we ALLOW this to happen in America? What has happened to this country?

GoldenDonuts , 1 hour ago link

And the same old same old continues. I really hope that all of these people receive the judgement that they so richly deserve.

[Dec 17, 2019] History Doesn t Repeat, But It Often Rhymes: Wilson in UK was subjected to the similar attack by rogue elements in MI5 as Trump in the USA

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... an inquiry by cabinet secretary Lord Hunt in 1996 concluded that "a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5" had "spread damaging malicious stories". ..."
"... Well, if a cabinet secretary says that it must be true. MI5, not MI6 - I think MI5's the heavy mob - but I just wondered if our spooks had passed these tricks on to the lads who put the Steele dossier about. ..."
Dec 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

English Outsider

Massive win, Colonel, that as far as I know nobody predicted. Not the polls, not the political blogs. But I didn't follow it that closely so that's just a general impression.

My man, Nigel Farage, got squeezed mercilessly. I was looking around the BBC site to find out how mercilessly when I came across a picture of the bete noir of my father's time, Harold Wilson. Wilson was convinced that MI something was out to get him - bugged his office, spread smear stories about him around the press, even a possible coup.

The odd rumour of all this had spread to my corner of the English provinces and I'd always wondered if there was anything in it. So I clicked on the BBC article -

https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/stories-49939123

- and came across this -

" .. A 1987 inquiry concluded the allegations of a security service plot against Wilson were untrue. However, an inquiry by cabinet secretary Lord Hunt in 1996 concluded that "a few, a very few, malcontents in MI5" had "spread damaging malicious stories".

Well, if a cabinet secretary says that it must be true. MI5, not MI6 - I think MI5's the heavy mob - but I just wondered if our spooks had passed these tricks on to the lads who put the Steele dossier about.

On another security matter I note with concern above - "Those are Jacobite tribesmen at the top. Some of my ancestors were such as they." I thought so. '15 and '45 caused us a lot of trouble and just in case the tradition remained in your family I'm opening a file. We're very happy with our present Queen, thank you, and we don't want you replacing her with some Stuart relic you might happen to have dug up.

Though I suppose it would only be poetic justice. We've just had a go at toppling your President so why shouldn't you return the compliment and topple Her Majesty.

14 December 2019 at 07:07 AM

[Dec 14, 2019] Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation

Highly recommended!
Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview: done in "bad faith" = SEDITION !!!! Deep State operatives...ie, Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Stork, Lisa, McCabe, should be held accountable. Obama should probably be impeached.
The hard fact is, that the top of the FBI knew, in advance, that the "dossier" was just bs invented by Russian liars, for money, to be used as political lies for kilary's campaign. It Wasn't evidence and Comey knew far in advance of crossfire hurricane. I can't see less than 20 years in comey's future. That same includes barak, brennan and clapper, who were all informed, willing accomplices in this crime.
10:30 Whoever in FBI that intentionally misled the court using the Steele dossier knowing that the dossier was "total rubbish" as Barr states, needs to be inditing immediately. Why we are continuing to investigate instead of inditimg while continuing to investigate. Until these people are held accountable I don't think our country will begin to heal and media and others apologize to the country for the damage they have done.
7:49 - "Comey refused to sign back up for his security clearance, and therefore couldn't be questioned about classified matters." Well now, isn't that interesting. Haven't heard that one before.
Dec 14, 2019 | www.youtube.com

In an exclusive interview, Attorney General William Barr spoke to NBC News' Pete Williams about the findings on the Justice Department Inspector General's report on the Russia investigation and his criticisms of the FBI.


grabir01 , 3 days ago

It appears that none of AG Barr's answers were what Pete Williams wanted to hear.

Gary Ellis , 2 days ago

I sincerely hope that the Durham investigation brings people to justice for what they have done to our country.

greg j , 2 days ago

The man just admitted "this may be the biggest conspiracy in U.S Political History." Ouch!

Jeremy Elice , 3 days ago

Shame we didn't get to see Pete William's face during Barr's answer accusing "an irresponsible press of fanning the flames."

JOHN DRUMHELLER , 2 days ago

Here's the adult in the room. Look out children.

Hart , 1 day ago

This is like if Watergate was on steroids and then some. Everyone involved should be prosecuted including the person who bought the dossier

Russell McAfee , 1 day ago (edited)

The FBI never got the actual DNC server. Crowdstrike has it. The FBI got a 'forensic copy'

Richard McLeod , 1 day ago

The FBI has now been proven to be corrupt at its' highest levels.

King Eris , 1 day ago

I could listen to AG Barr talk for hours. He's so calm and professional.

Noble Victory , 1 day ago

Barr is so intelligent and just. He's smoothe like the way he plays the Bagpipes. Pretty amazing! 🇺🇸👍

Nolan Gleason , 3 days ago

Death to the swamp

ctafrance , 1 day ago

The press is hopelessly corrupt. If we didn't know it already, this interview proves it.

Roman King , 1 day ago (edited)

I'm So glade we have a competent attorney General pushing back on the massive disinformation narrative that comes from Giant News outlets of which are used to being unchallenged, unchecked by today's "journalistic standards"

Clarion Call , 2 days ago

I so respect and admire this man's brain and logical thinking. His vocabulary is great as well.

wkcw1 , 2 days ago

NBC realizing they need to take a bath on this whole thing. Probably a bit too late now.

barbandrob1 , 1 day ago

Barr just basically clarified and justified Fox news reporting over the last 2 years.. Thanks NBC

Faris Hamarneh , 3 days ago

I love Barr's nonchalant style. But this is real big and heads are going to roll

Craig Bigelow , 2 days ago

Obama spied on Trump. Obama should have known about the FISA warrant!

Luis Santiago , 1 day ago

so this guy really asked Bahr"why not open an investigation even with little evidence?" because is a violation of civil liberties to invade the privacy of law abiding citizens. You need compelling evidence for something so huge

macfan128 , 1 day ago

17:44 "Why should the Attorney General care that the FBI was spying on a presidential candidate?" LOLOLOLOL Our media is a jooooooooke.

David , 3 days ago

NBC did a straight up interview??? This is shocking. Who told them that they could start doing journalism again?

Bill the Cat , 2 days ago

Clapper and Brennan will be shaking in their boots after watching Barr's interview.

Alan Sullivan , 1 day ago

Horowitz should be instructed to edit or update his Report to discuss The Question of Bias and Evidence of Bias. He has clearly misguided Americans with his choice of words and has omitted important facts underpinning bias.

MegaTrucker65 , 1 day ago

I haven't looked into Ukraine YET.

Gamer John3:18 , 1 day ago

AG Barr is an outstanding role model, a man of integrity and wisdom, calm in a raging political storm. I have full confidence he will make those who fabricated evidence and hid exculpatory evidence finally face justice. AG Barr for President 2024!

Yo Mama , 2 days ago

Barr is a straight shooter and I love it. It sounds like we will get to the real truth eventually through Durhams investigation I just hope it doesnt take another year to get to the prosecutions.


Direbear Coat , 1 day ago

So, I watched the interview... The video is called, "Full Interview: Barr Criticizes Inspector General Report On The Russia Investigation." Not once did I hear him criticize the I.G.'s report. In fact, A.G. Barr clarified that the I.G.'s report was limited in scope because of the limitations put on the I.G. He said that the report was appropriate.

Wolverines Fight , 1 day ago

It's scary to see how powerful the corruption of the Democratic Party has grown. It represents a serious threat to all our personal freedom. The Democratic Party has to be stopped.

Benny .Burmeister Jørgensen , 3 days ago

Ok after watching this interview its quite clear that Barr and Durham is going after these criminals and people are going to jail. Maybe there is hope for US yet becuase this dane consider US atm a banana republic. Spying on political candidates? Forging documents? You FBI behaving like Stalins secret police. Lets see what happen.

Mike Dorsey , 1 day ago

God Bless Bill Barr. I'm glad there's still some adults in government that will speak their mind intelligently, rationally and unabashedly.

protochris , 1 day ago

This guy is brilliant; he's clearly exposing the FBI and the barking dogs on the alphabet networks.

Dan Kuo , 1 day ago

Amazing for the AG to go in deep into enemy territory at the heart of the opposition media to lay out a case for the criminal activities that undermined our country prior to and after the 2016 election. The deep state is trembling at the prospect of being held accountable after all the facts are laid out to the american people that these activities cannot be brushed aside or swept under the carpet if we are to continue as a country.

Jbyrd Texas , 2 days ago

The corrupt media is trying to act like they have not been involved in this treasonous scam since the beginning working directly with the treasonous cabal. The media has been lying and pushing fake news for 3 years calling Trump a Russia agent and called him treasonous. I knew the whole time that they were lying there was evidence from day one that this was all lies and if I can see that from the public then they can definitely see that from the inside they are purposefully lying.

Stephan Coutts , 1 day ago

I dare anyone on here to research Barr's History back to his involvement in the assignation of JFK, the cover up, defending Nixon, Epstein, and many other illegal and immoral activities. After reviewing the evidence, I walked away believing that Barr is trying to cover up his tracks so he does do jail time. No need to reply. Either take my dare or not. God Bless America and ALL her people, Stephan

Worlds Best Metal Detectorist , 2 days ago

The public are sick of waiting . I find myself skipping through a half hour news show in 5 minutes flat looking for arrests ,whereas before I was rivited to every minute of the half hour show but it goes on and on and at the there is Nothiing .The Democrats are the masters , it's obvious . If they break the law they get off scott free . If you are republican wave bye bye , you will be in jail for years . America is not the free and fair country it is all cracked up to be . It is corrupted by the democrats who have peoiple in high places that thwart real justice.

Right Thinking , 3 days ago

Mifsud approached George! Who was Mifsud working for (western asset) and why did he approach George? He’s the one who offered George dirt on Hill. Then invited him to meet the fake “niece”, of Putin, in England! What about this information? Someone set George up to make this happen outside the US, because of EO 12333. It had to happen outside the US so they could go to the fisa court!

dethtrk Jones , 3 days ago

I dont trust Christopher Wrey. He keeps slow-walking all the FBI documents and declassifications. He also fights judicial watch and judges that rule in their favor and continue not giving over what is ordered! This last judge was ready to hold him in contempt for refusing to cooperate with court ordered documents.

Brad Brown , 2 days ago

Why did the FBI continue to investigate Trump after January when the case collapsed? To try and find a way to impeach Trump. Remember the Washington Post headlined article right after the inauguration "The effort to impeach President Donald John Trump is already underway." The FBI "insurance" policy was essential!

[Dec 12, 2019] The FBI - Pushed By John Brennan - Lied To The Court Seven Times To Spy On The Trump Campaign

Highly recommended!
And behind Brennan we can can see the Nobel Peace Price winner.
Notable quotes:
"... A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA. ..."
"... One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign. ..."
"... The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with. ..."
"... The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors. ..."
"... That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published ..."
"... That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs. ..."
"... (This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .) ..."
"... Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism. ..."
"... "Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted." ..."
"... ... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ... ..."
"... It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed. ..."
"... Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story). ..."
"... Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others. ..."
"... physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns. ..."
"... So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice. ..."
Dec 11, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

On January 6 2017 this author concluded :

When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump.

The ultimate aim of the cabal is to kick him out of office and have a reliable replacement, like the Vice-President elect Pence, take over. Should that not be possible it is hoped that the delegitimization will make it impossible for Trump to change major policy trajectories especially in foreign policy. A main issue here is the reorientation of the U.S. military complex and its NATO proxies from the war of terror towards a direct confrontation with main powers like Russia and China.

...

A major role in directing the plot has fallen to Obama's consigliere John Brennan, the current director of the CIA.

One part of the still ongoing deligitimization campaign was the FBI investigation of alleged Russian connections of four members of the Trump election campaign.

The Inspector General of the U.S. Justice Department Michael Horowitz has investigated the FBI operation against the election campaign of Donald Trump. Yesterday he published his report, Review of Four FISA Applications and Other Aspects of the FBI's Crossfire Hurricane Investigation (pdf). It is 480 pages long and quite thorough but unfortunately very limited in its scope.

Horowitz finds that the FBI was within the law when it opened the investigation but that the FBI's applications to the FISA court, which decides if the FBI can spy on someone's communications, were based on lies and utterly flawed.

Your host unfortunately lacked the time so far to read more than the executive summary. But others have pointed out some essential findings.

Matt Taibbi remarks :

The Guardian headline reads: " DOJ Internal watchdog report clears FBI of illegal surveillance of Trump adviser ."

If the report released Monday by Justice Department Inspector General Michael Horowitz constitutes a "clearing" of the FBI, never clear me of anything. ...

Much of the press is concentrating on Horowitz's conclusion that there was no evidence of "political bias or improper motivation" in the FBI's probe of Donald Trump's Russia contacts, an investigation Horowitz says the bureau had "authorized purpose" to conduct.

...

However, Horowitz describes at great length an FBI whose "serious" procedural problems and omissions of "significant information" in pursuit of surveillance authority all fell in the direction of expanding the unprecedented investigation of a presidential candidate (later, a president).

...

There are too many to list in one column, but the Horowitz report show years of breathless headlines were wrong. Some key points:

The so-called "Steele dossier" was, actually, crucial to the FBI's decision to seek secret surveillance of Page. ...

...

The "Steele dossier" was "Internet rumor," and corroboration for the pee tape story was "zero." ...

John Solomon finds :

Appendix 1 identifies the total violations by the FBI of the so-called Woods Procedures, the process by which the bureau verifies information and assures the FISA court its evidence is true.

The Appendix identifies a total of 51 Woods procedure violations from the FISA application the FBI submitted to the court authorizing surveillance of former Trump campaign aide Carter Page starting in October 2016.

A whopping nine of those violations fell into the category called: "Supporting document shows that the factual assertion is inaccurate."

For those who don't speak IG parlance, it means the FBI made nine false assertions to the FISA court. In short, what the bureau said was contradicted by the evidence in its official file.

The FBI agents and lawyers intentionally lied to the court. Their violations were not mistakes. All 51 of them were in favor of further spying on members of the Trump campaign and on everyone they communicated with.

The FBI has used the Steele dossier to gain further FISA application even after it had talked with Steele's 'primary source' (who probably was the later 'buzzed' Sergei Skripal ) and after it had learned that the allegations in the dossier were no more than unconfirmed rumors.

That the dossier was mere dreck was quite obvious to any sober person who read it when it was first published . Here is what we wrote about it at that time:

The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous compatriot that two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claimed to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin.

They assert that Trump was supported and directed by Putin himself five years ago while even a year ago no one would have bet a penny on Trump gaining any political significant position or even the presidency.

There is a lot more of such nonsense in these new Hitler diaries. It is bonkers from a to z.

Those who thought otherwise should question their judgment.

It is now claimed that the FBI is exculpated because the Horowitz report did not find "political bias or improper motivation". But that omits the fact that at least four high ranking people in the FBI and Justice Department who were involved in the case were found to be politically biased and were removed from their positions.

It also omits that the scope of Horowitz's investigation was limited to the Justice Department. He was not able to investigate the CIA and its former director John Brennan who was alleging Russia-Trump connections months before the FBI investigation started:

Contrary to a general impression that the FBI launched the Trump-Russia conspiracy probe, Brennan pushed it to the bureau – breaking with CIA tradition by intruding into domestic politics: the 2016 presidential election. He also supplied suggestive but ultimately false information to counterintelligence investigators and other U.S. officials.

The current CIA director Gina Haspel was CIA station chief in London during that time and while several of the entrapment attempts of Trump campaign staff by the FBI investigation happened. Horowitz spoke with neither of them.

Peter Van Buren concludes :

The current Horowitz Report, read alongside his previous report on how the FBI played inside the 2016 election vis-a-vis Clinton, should leave no doubt that the Bureau tried to influence the election of a president and then delegitimize him when he won. It wasn't the Russians; it was us.

That is correct, but the whole conspiracy was even deeper. It was not the FBI which initiated the case.

My hunch is still that the FBI investigation was a case of parallel construction which is often used to build a legitimate case after a suspicion was found by illegitimate means. In this case it was John Brennan who in early 2016 contacted the head of the British GCHQ electronic interception service and asked him to spy on the Trump campaign. GHCQ then claimed that something was found that was deemed suspicious :

That summer, GCHQ's then head, Robert Hannigan, flew to the US to personally brief CIA chief John Brennan. The matter was deemed so important that it was handled at "director level", face-to-face between the two agency chiefs.

The FBI was tipped off on the issue and on July 31 2016 started an investigation to construct a parallel legal case. It send out British and U.S. agents to entrap Trump campaign members. It used the obviously fake Steele dossier to gain FISA court judgments that allowed it to spy on the campaign. Downing Street was informed throughout the whole affair. A day after Trump's inauguration the UK's then Prime Minister Theresa May fired GHCQ chief Robert Hannigan.

One still open question is to what extend then President Barack Obama was involved in the affair.

There is another ongoing investigation by U.S. Prosecutor John Durham. That investigation is not limited to the Justice Department but will involve all agencies and domestic as well as foreign sources. Durham has the legal rights to declassify whatever is needed and he can indict persons should he find that they committed a crime. His report will hopefully go much deeper than the already horrendous stuff Horowitz delivered.

(This is a Moon of Alabama fundraiser week. Please consider to support our work .)

Posted by b on December 11, 2019 at 16:16 UTC | Permalink


Antoinetta III , Dec 11 2019 16:27 utc | 1

Do we have any idea when the Durham report will be coming out?

Antoinetta III

casey , Dec 11 2019 16:30 utc | 2
Anyone taking bets on Durham/Barr making indictments in this mess? My guess is a whole lot of horse trading is going on behind the scenes now, as in, "I'll trade you a censure for all potential indictments going down the memory hole."
Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 16:54 utc | 3
Typical dog and pony show which will change nothing relating to interventionist foreign policy and the new cold war with Russia. Too many saw benefits from the corruption in Ukraine to dig deep there; the Bidens were just the most blatant, Lindsey Graham and others from both parties were involved so don't expect much from the Senate hearings. The bipartisan major goals are a fait accompli; universal acceptance that Russia worked to undermine our elections (and to destroy our "Democracy") and are thus an enemy we must fight, and it's universally accepted by all that we MUST provide Ukraine with Javelin missiles and other lethal aid to fight "Russian Aggression" (with little mention that even Obama balked at that reckless option). All of these proceedings are great distractions, but the weapons of war will not be diminished.
c1ue , Dec 11 2019 17:08 utc | 4
@Kabobyak #3

Very possibly, but the Afghanistan papers have made an impact on some people: American Conservative editor is outraged, including militating against his children serving in the military and taxpayers funding it

jayc , Dec 11 2019 17:10 utc | 5
Another candidate for Steele's "primary source" is Stefan Halper. Svetlana Lhokova suggested that this past Sunday.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 17:12 utc | 6
Unfortuneately, few will question the findings of these investigations or consider the possibility that the investigations themselves are misdirection/cover-up.

Repeating my comment from yesterday on the Open Thread :

IMO the Lavrov-Pompeo presser is notable mostly for Lavrov's discussion of Russiagate (about 6 minutes in).

Lavrov tells us that the Russian's repeatedly sought to clarify their noninterference by publishing correspondence - which the Trump Administration didn't respond to. And he actual mentions McCarthyism!

Wait, wot?

Yeah, during the worst of the Russiagate accusations, Trump wouldn't do things that would've helped to prove that Russiagate was a farce!!

So, during the election, Trump called on Putin to publish Hillary's emails (the very act of making such a request is likely illegal because at the time it was known that her emails contained highly classified info) but he wouldn't accept Russia's publication of exculpatory info about Russiagate?!?!

This would cause cognitive dissonance galore in an Americans that hear it - so one can be sure that it will not be reported.

Occam's razor: CIA-MI6, with approval of US Deep State (Clintons, Bush, McCain, Brennan, Mueller, etc.), meddled to elect Trump and pointed fingers at Russia to initiate a new McCarthyism.

Meanwhile in bizarroland (aka USA), Barr says Russiagate is a fantasy based on FBI "bad faith" - yet Pompeo still presses on with the "Russia meddled" bullshit.

!!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:24 utc | 7
thanks b... i like your example in the comment - ''those who thought otherwise should question their judgment''.. good example!

i am a bit concerned like @ 2 casey, that most of this is going to go down the memory hole and there will be that made in america stamp on it - ''no accountability''... i wish i was wrong, but getting worked up at the idea anyone is going to be held accountable for any actions of the usa, or the insiders playing the usa, is clearly a fools game at this point.. all i mostly see is the needed collapse and waiting for that to happen..

Kabobyak , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 8
@c1ue #4

Thanks for that, there are definitely cracks in the armor and we should promote that narrative as you do in your link. Tulsi Gabbard has also expanded the awareness, hopefully she will make the upcoming debates despite strong efforts to silence her. I'll try more to focus on the positive!

james , Dec 11 2019 17:27 utc | 9
@ 6 jr.. there is a press release on all what was said here for anyone interested..

lavrov quote and etc. etc.. "We suggested to our colleagues that in order to dispel all suspicions that are baseless, let us publish this closed-channel correspondence starting from October 2016 till November 2017 so it would all become very clear to many people. However, regrettably, this administration refused to do so. But I'd like to repeat once again we are prepared to do that, and to publish the correspondence that took place through that channel would clear many matters up, I believe. Nevertheless, we hope that the turbulence that appeared out of thin air will die down, just like in 1950s McCarthyism came to naught, and there'll be an opportunity to go back to a more constructive cooperation."

evilempire , Dec 11 2019 17:44 utc | 10
I continue to believe that the FBI and Horowitz perjured themselves in the FISA report. To correct a mistake in a previous post I made, I believe they lied when the claimed the Steele Dossier was not a predicate for opening crossfire hurricane. How can the Steele dossier not be instrumental in the opening of the investigation when bruce ohr's wife nellie ohr was working at fusion gps when bruce ohr met with steele to discuss the dirty dossier.

In other words, the FBI was concocting Operation Crossfire Hurricane prior to the time they had any knowledge of the phony Papadopoulus predicate that the russians were proferring the clinton emails to the trump campaign.

The FISA report claim that Operation Crossfire Hurricane was predicated solely on the Papadopolous allegations is therefore a lie. There was, in fact, no real predicate for Operation Crossfire Hurricane. The predications cited were all fictions and inventions fabricated in a conspiracy between MI6(the FFC or

friendly foreign country cited in the Horowitz report), the DOJ and the FBI. Operation Crossfire Hurricane was a massive Psyop from its inception.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 18:19 utc | 12
james @9

What major publications have picked up this info from the State Dept PR? Which of them are questioning why Trump didn't agree to let the Russians publish the exonerating information? And how many of those are linking this strange fact to other strange facts and thus raising troubling questions about the 2016 election?

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

It's not just that Trump refused to publish exculpatory material. Anyone that's been reading my comments (and/or my blog) knows that Trump also:

- hired Manafort - whose work for pro-Russian candidates in Ukraine had drawn the ire of CIA - despite Manafort's having no recent experience with US elections;

- helped Pelosi to be elected Speaker of the House by inviting her to attend a White House meeting about his border wall (along with Chuck Schumer) prior to the House vote to elect a Speaker.

- initiated Ukrainegate by talking with Ukraine's President about investigating an announced candidate - he didn't have to do this(!) he could've let subordinates work behind the scenes .

And then there's a set of suspicious activity that is difficult to explain, such as: ...

- Kissinger's having called for MAGA in August 2014 (Trump announced his campaign 10 months later and he was the ONLY MAGA candidate and the ONLY populist in the Republican primary) ;

- London as a nexus for the US 2016 campaign (Cambridge Analytica; GPS Fusion; Halper, etc.) ;

- Hillary's making mistakes in the 2016 campaign that no seasoned politician would make;

- the settling of scores via entrapments of Flynn, Manafort, and Wikileaks/Assange (painted as a hostile intelligence agency and Russian agent).

All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate.

!!

Piotr Berman , Dec 11 2019 18:28 utc | 13
The anonymous former British operator hears from an anonymous asserted compatriot what two anonymous sources, asserted to have access to inner Russian circles, claim to have heard somewhere that something happened in the Kremlin. <-- Perhaps it is too much to add that the entire conversation happen in a pub, like an eyewitness account of a trout caught by an angler that was larger than a tiger shark [the trout was so large, not the angler].

Really?? , Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14
James #11

I am a great fan of Dmitri Orlov and have just read a large portion of his linked post.

What I do not see Orlov doing is taking into account--in his takedown of "scientific" models---evidence of global warming/change such as *actual* observations of *actual, current* phenomena that are being measured today, such as the condition of the world's coral reefs; the rate of melting of permafrost and release of methane gas; the melting of Greenland (and other) glaciers and release of fresh water into the oceans; acidification of oceans; and quite a lot of evidence for sea level rise, such as saltwater intrusion into freshwater swamps, aquifers, etc.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 18:38 utc | 15
More can be gleaned by the manner in which BigLie Media spin the investigation's results. At The Hill , Jonathon Turley makes that clear in the first paragraph:

"The analysis of the report by Justice Department inspector general Michael Horowitz greatly depends, as is often the case, on which cable news channel you watch. Indeed, many people might be excused for concluding that Horowitz spent 476 pages to primarily conclude one thing, which is that the Justice Department acted within its guidelines in starting its investigation into the 2016 campaign of President Trump."

The further he goes the worse it gets for the Ds. And he's 100% correct about the biases present in reporting about the Report. Remarks made by Lavrov at the presser were likely done prior to anyone from Russia's delegation having digested any of the Report. What I found important was the following revelation by Lavrov:

"Let me remind you that at the time of the first statements on this topic, which was on the eve of the 2016 US presidential election, we used the communications channel that linked back then Moscow and the Obama administration in Washington to ask our US partners on numerous occasions whether these allegations that emerged in October 2016 and persisted until Donald Trump's inauguration could be addressed. The reply never came. There was no response whatsoever to all our proposals when we said: look, if you suspect us, let's sit down and talk, just put your facts on the table. All this continued after President Trump's inauguration and the appointment of a new administration. We proposed releasing the correspondence through this closed communications channel for the period from October 2016 until January 2017 in order to dispel all this groundless suspicion. This would have clarified the situation for many. Unfortunately, this time it was the current administration that refused to do so. Let me reiterate that we are ready to disclose to the public the exchanges we had through this channel . I think that this would set many things straight. Nevertheless we expect the turbulence that appeared out of thin air to calm down little by little, just as McCarthyism waned in the 1950s, so that we can place our cooperation on a more constructive footing." [My Emphasis]

Lavrov on Mueller Report: "It contains no confirmation of any collusion." End of story. But we do have all this compiled evidence within our communications we're ready to publish is the USA

agrees.

The Fairness and Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR) organization has yet to publish anything about the report. However, Matt Taibbi often writes for that outlet, so his reporting at Rolling Stone ought to be seen as a proxy FAIR report.

Michael Droy , Dec 11 2019 18:42 utc | 16
Great stuff as ever. How useful is it that Skripal is Unavailable but not Dead? For example does it affect redaction of material linked to him?
Jon Carter , Dec 11 2019 18:59 utc | 17
Now that we know Carter Page was working for the CIA as an informant in 2016, is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?
GeorgeV , Dec 11 2019 19:11 utc | 18
The Inspector General of the Department of Justice, Micheal Horowitz's report on the move to delegitimize the election of Donald Trump to the Presidency is clear proof of the massive rot that lies at the heart of the US' political system. If this matter is whitewashed over by the MSM, then one more step will have been taken to a violent and bloody revolution in the US of A.
JR , Dec 11 2019 19:41 utc | 20
By now Steele's credibility is zero. Time to revisit Steele's involvement with the debunked "Russia bought the soccer World Champion games", the Litvinenko polonium poisening and the Skripal novichok poisening. The timing of the Skripal matter deserves some scrutiny in relation to Skripal possibly being Steele's source for the infamous Trump dossier. There might be a motive hidden there.
Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 19:44 utc | 21
Jon Carter @17:
... is it reasonable to speculate that Page was planted in the Trump campaign by the CIA?

And then there's Simon Bracey Lane in the Sanders campaign as described here: British Spies Infiltrated Bernie Sanders' Campaign?

Plus we have the strange goings-on of Halper and Mifsud as well as Gina Haspel in London also.

!!

uncle tungsten , Dec 11 2019 20:04 utc | 22
karlof1 #15

Thank you for posting Lavrov's words. Between those words and the IG report the kabuki farce is revealed. Why was Trump ignoring the Russian offer you might ask. Because it suited him to have this nonsense dominate the news cycle, you might conclude. Trump and Comey and Brennan deserve each other.

Lavrov's words condemn the three of them.

S , Dec 11 2019 20:25 utc | 24
Twitter account @Techno_Fog lists MSM shills who assured the public the FISA warrant on Page was not based on Steele dossier (h/t Zero Hedge).
james , Dec 11 2019 20:26 utc | 25
just like 9-11... this is an inside job... does anyone really think the truth is going to come to light in any of it?? i'm still with @ 2 caseys view...
karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 20:48 utc | 27
uncle tungsten @22--

Thanks for your reply! Yes, agreed, and I'd add Obama and Clinton. Lavrov also held another presser at the conclusion of his visit that provides additional info not covered in the first. The following is one I thought important:

"Question: The day before, US Congress agreed on a draft military budget, which includes possible sanctions against Nord Stream-2 and Turkish Stream. Have you covered this topic? The Congress sounds very determined. How seriously will the new restrictions affect the completion of our projects?

"Sergey Lavrov: In my opinion, Congress sounds rather obsessed with destroying our relations. It continues pursuing the policy started by the Obama administration. As I mentioned, we are used to this kind of attack. We know how to respond to them. I assure you that neither Nord Stream-2 nor Turkish Stream will be halted."

I must emphatically agree with Lavrov's opinion and was very pleased he answered forthrightly. What seems quite clear is the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate, with bipartisan Congressional backing. That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned. So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance made reality by that policy goal. That a supermajority in Congress remain deluded is clearly a huge problem, and those continuing to vote for the War Budget need to be removed.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:03 utc | 28
b posted, in part;"When Hillary Clinton was defeated in the U.S. presidential election the relevant powers launched a campaign to delegitimize the President elect Donald Trump."

It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
This tweet sums up things nicely in ways BigLie Media won't:

With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:18 utc | 30
Jrabbit @ 12 said; "All of these and more support the conclusion that CIA-MI6 elected MAGA Trump and initiated Russiagate."

YEP!!!!!

Paul Damascene , Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

Karlof1 @ 29--

Are you aware of any means by which a member of congress or of a congressional committee can be impeached or otherwise censured for the misconduct of official duties? That would at least be Schiff...

Posted by: Paul Damascene | Dec 11 2019 21:24 utc | 32

james , Dec 11 2019 21:25 utc | 33
@ 31 john.. i didn't know i had to read the orlov article to say what i did to you!! your post @11 never make any internet link to orlov... what am i missing? does this mean i can only speak with you after i have read another orlov article? lol...
james , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 34
i see it now.. my comment still stands though... people seem especially pugnacious today..
William Gruff , Dec 11 2019 21:27 utc | 35
"It doesn't take HRC and her resident scum-bag sycophants to deligitimize DJT, his sorry life-style, and his past record do that quite nicely, IMO." --ben @28

Ah, but that would be legitimate deligitimization, like attacking his actual policies. Those are rocks that would break the Democrats' own windows as well as Trump's.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:30 utc | 36
29 Cont'd--

And Congress continues to alienate allies :

"So far on Dec 11:

1. Senate Foreign Relations Comm passed Turkey sanctions bill

2. Pentagon Chief warned Turkey moving away NATO

3. U.S. lawmakers introduce legislation to curb Turkey's nuclear weapon obtainment"

Finally, the pretense of being nice to Turkey has come to an end. It will now intensify its looking East, and pursue its national interests. IMO, the Eastern Med's energy issues will now become a major headache.

ben , Dec 11 2019 21:40 utc | 37
karlof @ 29: The head Dems know their pushing the " Russia did it"meme is weak, but the PTB

insist on it, to keep the MIC funds flowing.

The "no-brainer" charges should be; "Obstruction" and "Emoluments" violations. Charges the public can grasp.

What happens if you, or any average person, ignores a summons to appear? They are arrested.

Funneling govt. funds for personal gain is a violation of law, if you are POTUS.

These are violations average Americans can grasp, not the current circus of he said, she said, going on in D.C. lately.

Guess my point is, this hearings are built to fail, because most of our so-called leaders like things the way they are. The rape of the workings classes will continue.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 21:41 utc | 38
Paul Damascene @32--

Yes. The impeachment process is the same as for Trump. Censuring is much easier but doubt it will occur as too many are deserving. We're seeing the reason Congressional elections are held every two years--vote 'em out if they're no good!

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 22:01 utc | 40
karlof1 @27:

... the current anti-Russian idiocy was started by Obama's team and was designed for Clinton to escalate ...

I don't agree that the baton would be passed to Clinton. The Deep State uses the two-party system as a device. It's not tied to partisan concerns. If the Deep State and the establishment really wanted Clinton elected, they would've made that happen. Few expected Trump to win and few would've been outraged if he had lost. Yet he won. Against all odds. Furthermore, Clinton wasn't the MAGA candidate as called for by Kissinger - Trump was. And he was from the beginning of his candidacy.

Russiagate was based on suspicions of a populist that was compromised by Russia. Hillary has too much baggage to play populist or nationalist - including Bill's involvement with Epstein.

Also, you're forgetting the set ups of Manafort, Flynn, and Wikileaks/Assange - which were important parts of Russiagate and also a convenient way of settling scores. These set-ups required the Russiagate-tainted candidate (Trump) to win.

And Trump's beating Hillary makes him the classic come-from-behind hero - giving Trump a certain legitimacy that an establishment candidate wouldn't have. That's important when contemplating taking the country to war in the near future.

It's strange to me that people can think that Hillary was the 'chosen candidate', and be OK with that but find a possible selection of a different candidate (Trump, as it turns out) to be outrageous and inconceivable.

=

... with bipartisan Congressional backing . That she lost didn't stop the anti-Russian wheel from being turned.

Since the Deep State and the Establishment desired an effort to restore the Empire, they would turn to whomever could most effectively accomplish that task.

Once again: It didn't have to be Hillary that was selected. In fact, for many reasons (that I've previously expressed) Hillary would have been a poor choice.

=

So, logic tells us to discover the reason for Obama to alter policy. Over the years I've written here why I think that was done--to continue the #1 policy goal of attaining Full Spectrum Dominance over the planet and its people ...

FSD is US Mil policy, not a political goal. It states that US Mil will strive to have superiority in weapons and capability in every sphere of combat.

Politically, FSD is just one of several means to an end. IMO that end is the maintenance and expansion of the Anglo-Zionist Empire (aka New World Order).

Also, your dominance theory doesn't answer the question of WHY NOW? (more on that below)

... regardless of its impossibility given the Sino-Russo Alliance ...

Firstly, US Deep State believes that it is possible. And I personally don't buy the notion that Russia and China are fated to prevail. If that were obvious, then the moa bar would have no patrons.

Secondly (and again), WHY NOW? The Sino-Russo Alliance was long in the making. Why did USA suddenly take note?

It's Kissinger's WSJ Op-Ed of August 2014 that provides the answer. In this Op-Ed, Kissinger calls for a restored US Empire that is essentially Trump's MAGA. Kissinger is writing immediately after the Donbas rebels have won. The Russians refused to heed Kissinger's advice (to back down) and it has become apparent that Russia's joining the West is no longer an inevitability as the US elite had assumed.

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

I've written many times of Kissinger's Op-Ed and of indications that the Deep State selected MAGA Trump to be President while also initiating a new McCarthyism. Why is it STILL so difficult to believe a theory that makes so much sense?

!!

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:08 utc | 41
ben @37--

Yes, the status quo is very generous to the Current Oligarchy and its tools, but not so for the vast public majority which is clamoring for change. IMO, much can be learned from the UK election tomorrow, of which there's been very little discussion here despite its importance. I suggest following the very important developments from the past few days at Criag Murray's Twitter and at his website , the linked article being a scoop of sorts.

Also harder to follow but important as well are ballot initiatives within the states. This site has current listing . I just looked over those for California where there are a few good ones, but the threshold for signatures is getting higher, close to one million are now needed in CA.

Cortes , Dec 11 2019 22:34 utc | 43
Lavrov's comments about the offers to open up normally closed communications really only highlight two obvious issues:
AshenLight , Dec 11 2019 22:38 utc | 44
@ Posted by: karlof1 | Dec 11 2019 21:07 utc | 29
With only 9% approval, it ought to be easy to toss out most Congresscritters, excepting that part of the Senate not up for reelection.

You'd think so, but somehow the numbers pretty much reverse when these same people consider their own rep, and the incumbency reelection rate is shockingly high (haven't looked recently but IIRC it has hovered around 90% for decades). Apparently it is amazingly easy to convince the masses that their guy is the one good apple in the bunch.

karlof1 , Dec 11 2019 22:39 utc | 45
Jon Schwartz reminds me why I don't stop and peruse magazine stands anymore. Seeing the words and this picture would've sparked lots of unpleasant language:

"The best part of Michelle Obama explaining she shares the same values as George W. Bush is she was being interviewed on network TV by Bush's daughter. There's nothing more American than our ruling class making us watch them discuss how great they all are."

And the escalation wasn't rigged for Clinton to initiate--yeah, sure, whatever the rabbit says.

steven t johnson , Dec 11 2019 22:42 utc | 46
Until there is some comparison of how the FISA court usually works, none of this chatter means a thing. Violations of Woods procedures and assertions not supported by documents are SOP. The FISA court is always a joke.

Delgeitimizing Trump, reversing the election, all simple-minded drviel, as only nitwits see Trump as anything but the loser.

Jackrabbit , Dec 11 2019 23:08 utc | 48
Jen, that's a really interesting post. Thanks.

Skripal knows something that US-UK either 1) don't want the Russians to know OR 2) don't want ANYONE to know.

What could that be? 1) That Steele dossier is bullshit? We know that. 2) That Steele dossier was meant to be bullshit ? Well, that raises a whole host of questions, doesn't it?

!!

Kabobyak , Dec 12 2019 0:45 utc | 51
Good chance Steele had little to do with writing the Dossier. "Simpson-Ohr Dossier", anyone? Steele was needed as a credible looking intelligence officer with Russia ties and a past working relationship with US Intel, as cover to sell to FBI, FISA Court, and the public (meeting with Isikoff, Yahoo News story).

Glenn Simpson and wife Mary Jacoby had written articles for the WSJ in 2007 and 2008 with a script and language similar to the Dossier. Devin Nunes seems to believe this scenario, and it is discussed in detail in books by Dan Bongino and Lee Smith, among others.

daffyDuct , Dec 12 2019 2:26 utc | 56
c1ue @4

The Afghanistan report outlines a *massive fraud*. $14 billion/month, 90% of the world's opium, no "progress", oh, and lying to Congress for two decades.

ben , Dec 12 2019 3:24 utc | 59
OT, but this seems to be going around..Eh?

https://thegrayzone.com/2019/12/11/jeremy-corbyn-faces-russiagate-smear-campaign-before-uk-vote/#more-17822

ben , Dec 12 2019 4:47 utc | 62
physchoh @ 60; The difference, at least in my mind, is that, the "Russia did it" meme, is the weakest of all cases against DJT. Corbyn, on the other hand, may actually be hurt by the bogus charges. IMO, what this shows is coordination between the elites to bring down a progressive in the UK, who fancies public control over major finances instead of private concerns.
Piotr Berman , Dec 12 2019 5:03 utc | 63
Fox News, now: Biden blames staff, says nobody 'warned' him son's Ukraine job could raise conflict. In a TV comedy Seinfeld, one of the main characters, George, is a compulsive liar with a knack of getting in trouble. Sometimes he has a job. Final scene of one of those jobs:
evilempire , Dec 12 2019 5:34 utc | 64
I have theory about why Horowitz did not bias in the FBI. The definition of bias is to harbor a deeply negative feeling that clouds one's judgement about a person or subject. However, the conspirators' judgement was not clouded in this case. Their negative feelings focused their intent to destroy the object of

their feeling. The precise term for this is malice.

So Horowitz was technically correct when he did not find bias. What he might have been reluctant to spell out is that he did find malice.

Perimetr , Dec 12 2019 6:03 utc | 65
Re Really?? | Dec 11 2019 18:31 utc | 14 and AshenLight | Dec 11 2019 19:36 utc | 19

I agree with you. Orlov is a brilliant, insightful analyst, who is also very funny. But he is off the mark with his dismissal of global warming and also with his endorsement of nuclear power. The immense amounts of waste from uranium mining all the way to hundreds of thousands of tons of high-level waste in spent fuel pools pose a huge threat to current and future generations . . . like the next 3000 generations of humans (and all other forms of life) that will have to deal with this. Mankind has never built anything that has lasted a fraction of the 100,000 years required for the isolation of high-level wastes from the biosphere. Take a look at Into Eternity which is a great documentary on the disposal of nuclear waste in Finland.

Orlov's analysis is superficial, unfortunately, in these areas.

[Dec 10, 2019] The level of Neo-McCarthyism and the number of lunitics this NYT forums is just astonishing: When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

Highly recommended!
The tread is reproduced as is. And out 100 posts available in NYT "all view mode 90% can be classified as plain vanilla Neo-McCarthyism
If they are representative sample of the country, the country is crazy.
This editorial can also be classified as lunatic. But in reality it is much worse: the paper became completely subservant to intelligence agencies. Should probably be renamed the Voice of the CIA. .
Dec 10, 2019 | www.nytimes.com
Opinion With Trump, All Roads Lead to Moscow

Monday's congressional hearing and the inspector general's report tell a similar story.

By Jesse Wegman Mr. Wegman is a member of the editorial board.

When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected.

That's the most important lesson from the two big events that played out Monday on Capitol Hill -- the House Judiciary Committee's hearings on President Trump's impeachment and the release of the report on the origins of the F.B.I.'s investigation into ties between the Trump campaign and the Russian government.

One of these involved the 2016 election. The other involves the 2020 election. Both tell versions of the same story: Mr. Trump depends on, and welcomes, Russian interference to help him win the presidency. That was bad enough when he did it in 2016, openly calling for Russia to hack into his opponent's emails -- which Russians tried to do that same day . But he was only a candidate then. Now that Mr. Trump is president, he is wielding the immense powers of his office to achieve the same end.

That is precisely the type of abuse of power that the founders were most concerned about when they created the impeachment power, and it's why Democratic leaders in the House are pressing ahead with such urgency on their inquiry. They are trying to ensure that the 2020 election, now less than a year away, is not corrupted by the president of the United States, acting in league with a foreign power. "The integrity of our next election is at stake," said Representative Jerry Nadler, the chairman of the Judiciary Committee. "Nothing could be more urgent."

On Monday morning, lawyers for the Democrats on the House Judiciary and Intelligence committees presented the clearest and most comprehensive narrative yet of President Trump's monthslong shakedown of the new Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelensky, for Mr. Trump's personal political benefit. They explained in methodical detail how the president withheld a White House meeting and hundreds of millions of dollars in crucial, congressionally authorized military aid to Ukraine, all in an effort to get Mr. Zelensky to announce two investigations -- one into Mr. Trump's political rival, Joe Biden, and his son, Hunter, and another into Ukraine's supposed interference in the 2016 election.

David Leonhardt helps you make sense of the news -- and offers reading suggestions from around the web -- with commentary every weekday morning.

Who would benefit from these announcements? Mr. Trump, who believes his re-election prospects are threatened most by Mr. Biden, and Vladimir Putin, the president of Russia, who has been working for years to make Ukraine the fall guy for his own interference in the 2016 election. Mr. Putin has not fooled serious people, like those in the American intelligence community who determined that his government alone was responsible for meddling on Mr. Trump's behalf . But he has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press.

... ... ...


sdavidc9 Cornwall Bridge, Connecticut 12m ago

Republicans are in lawyer mode, advocating for Trump as if he were their client. Lawyers make the best case they can for their clients. It helps if they believe in the case, but it also helps to know the case's weaknesses so they can avoid them. The best lawyers can do both at the same time. Republicans are called on by the Constitution to exit lawyer mode and enter juror mode (which is, or should be, similar to why-did-this-aircraft-crash mode). So far, they are not heeding this call. From all appearances, they are mouthing the words of the Constitution while avoiding or refusing to hear or understand them. They took an oath to support the Constitution, but they are deaf to its call, or have moved to a place beyond understanding it.
Mark Larsen Cambria, CA 26m ago
The issue of whether to impeach was made by the President when he engaged in an abuse of his office for personal gain and then obstructed Congress' oversight function. We all understand the political downside arising from an acquittal in the Senate but that interest needs to be secondary to doing the right thing. On these facts, the decision representatives must make of whether to impeach really is no decision at all. Just do the right thing.
Twg NV 26m ago
When Senator John McCain died, he scripted his own funeral as a full bore defense against Trumpian Nationalism, and as an admonishment against a GOP too willing to sell the soul of our nation out to a cultist repudiation of objective fact, truth, and Constitutional order. McCain was a controversial maverick –a person I both admired and disliked in equal proportion. But there is one thing I will always admire him for: his final letter to the nation. It was a warning! He blew a golden bugle to sound the alarm against those entities both within and without our nation who wish to do our democratic republic harm. McCain, whether you agreed with the premise of the Vietnam war or not, was an American hero who served his country and his fellow soldiers with incontrovertible valor and love. President Donald Trump has no concept of what that dedication and sacrifice entails – and sadly, neither do many of the GOP members who continue to lie and make excuses for a president who is clearly abusing his office for personal gain. McCain characterized Trump's actions in Helsinki as an unfathomable 'abasement of the U.S. presidency.' All I can say is the GOP sure ain't the party of my father who fought in WWII against fascism and autocracy. It aggrieves me to no end to witness what too many members of Congress have become: tyrants toward the very meaning of American democracy. God save us from our own duplicity.
Jagmont Rousel Fresburg, Ca. 12m ago
@Twg Well said, and though I sometimes did not agree with McCain on matters of policy, I wish he were still with us, hopefully to show his fellow republicans what integrity looks like, and what America is supposed to be about. The Republican party I have known and respected is alas, like Senator McCain, no longer with us.
Consiglieri NYC 34m ago
Americans have to realize that the whole world is mocking us, and that doesn't necesarily inspire respect. That cold be dangerous. Many medical professionals have noticed a decay in the mental abilities of the president, and certain abnormalities. It would be wise to suggest to the family that maybe the best way forward, with minimal losses would be to motivate a retirement. That would be face saving for them, and save the country from a bitter impeachment spectacle that would not be positive for the USA.
Jennifer Francois Holland, Michigan 1h ago
I'm waiting for Trump's financial info to be released. There's something in there he doesn't even want his base to know . I think the logical conclusion is that whatever financials DJT has hidden do indeed lead to Moscow. Actually, all of this is very, very alarming. Does Putin have a political asset planted here? Y or N I wish the answer was no and that we had a different President. Can we as a nation hold things together when our leader wants to tear us apart?
AL NY 1h ago
All roads lead to the highest bidder(s). 21st century America in the era of Citizens United. Market pricing and the government is open for transactional business domestic and international. Alternate realities per GRU/FOX/GOP misinformation. Combine foreign money carefully grooming an in-need Trump, and a party worshipping money and you have a perfect storm removing any sense of civic duty. Hundreds of years to build and unwound in a few decades, the breathtaking and tragic fall of greatness and hope in our lifetime. It's not fiction, and every day I have to check if it's really happening, and shockingly it is.
DO5 Minneapolis 1h ago
There was no Russian meddling, only Ukraine who meddled in 2016 and they are still at it. Listening to the Judiciary Committee hearings, it seems that the Russians have hacked into the Republican Party servers and are sending talking points to Republicans who are defending the indefensible president.
We'll always have Paris Sydney, Australia 1h ago
At some point, Republicans have to ask themselves which is better for their party and the country. Slavish devotion to Trump, or losing an election and leaving Democrats a mess to clean up, as in 1932 and 2008?
Mike S. Eugene, OR 2h ago
Block witnesses from testifying, then say that the hearing is incomplete. Romney told America at the Republican Convention in 2012 that Russia was our biggest enemy, DJT wanted them to help Republicans win in 2016, said he believed Putin in 2018, and wants to convince us that it was really the Ukraine in 2019. The House has to impeach, even if politically it may be a bad move, because it is the right thing to do; indeed, the very actions I've seen in the past several weeks has given me glimmers of hope for the country.
Federalist California 2h ago
Trump will be reelected for the reason that the Russian intelligence agencies are still able to hack our election results, because Trump has blocked fixing the weaknesses. That is what happens when a Manchurian candidate is elected and then allowed to obstruct justice. It is not clear the US will survive Trump. One key thing he did was arrange to have the teams at DHS that watch for smuggled nuclear bombs were stood down and disbanded. See the report in the LA Times last July "Trump administration has gutted programs aimed at detecting weapons of mass destruction".
David Rochester 2h ago
I don't suppose a constructed transcript of Trump's meeting with Foreign Minister Sergei Lavrov tomorrow will be offered up as a token of our leader's transparency.
Markymark San Francisco 2h ago
It's clear now that AG William Barr isn't interested in enforcing the rule of law with fellow republicans, and especially the president. How can there be no recourse when an attorney general completely sells out to a criminal president? Can the employees of the Justice Dept hold a vote of no confidence in the AG? Can 10,000 attorneys nationwide express the same? The prospect of Trump and Barr running roughshod over the rule of law for another year is truly frightening.
Aluetian Contemplation 2h ago
65,845,063 voters knew clearly who this man was from the beginning and voted for what would have been a better now and future. It was never any secret. 62,980,160 voters also knew clearly who this man was and voted for him anyway. If the Democrats can ensure that we have a fair election in 2020. I'm confident they will win the majority in the house and senate and retake the White House and the end game for Trump will be jail. The problem is, he might not be the only one who's crimes come to light and I suspect a good lot of the GOP are threatening and blackmailing each other to hold the line. If there's any good men or women left in the GOP, your country and history are calling you.
Edwin a physician, scientist and realist 2h ago
It has easy to predict Trump's next move for the last 3 years. Just ask, "What would both benefit Trump, and benefit Putin?" Trump supporters = Putin supporters.
Kevin CO 2h ago
Do you know the American people are fed up with the discourse of all politicians. The republicans are fed up with any decency for the republic. The democrats are fed up with the republicans not facing the common sense of a exec not capable of being the President of the United states. I as a person am fed up with a political system that is not working for all people, just a select few. It's time too have term limits for all positions in gov't. That means all people that serve the people whether it be judges, senators or congressmen/women. It's time to find common sense again in our society as a whole society. We on this earth are all HUMAN.
Eben Spinoza 2h ago
Unfortunately their are serious problems with term limits. Just consider yourself in the role of a Congressional Representative limited to 4 terms. You know that in 8 years, you'll be be back on the job market. You can selflessly work for the public and damage your ability to get a job or tend to people who can hire you after you leave office. You're rational. Which future would you pick?
REBCO FORT LAUDERDALE FL 2h ago
Trump needs to keep Putin happy lest he unleash with all the damaging info he has collected on Trump and his financial crooked deals with Russians over decades. THe Russian mob reports to Putin as a former KGB agent he knows how to collect compromat on a politician and how to use it to get Trump to break into a giddy smile when he sees Putin his master it's obvious to most keen observers.
M. Barsoum Philadelphia 2h ago
Folks it is simple. Can we hear what Trump and Putin said to each other a few months ago. It is recored and on a server it should not be on. I am not sure why nobody is talking about these transcripts.
Nelly Half Moon Bay 2h ago
Finally! We get someone stating the obvious fact of Trump/Putin. Why are the Dems not talking about this all the time? Why are Congressmen and women not asking the witnesses about this? This is the ONE thing the Republicans are afraid of, so it is the one thing Democrats should do. I have been disappointed that the Russian asset thing hasn't been brought up....It's as if it is purposely bold. Trump is a Russian asset, either witting or unwitting. I doubt if there is one upper Intelligence Official that wouldn't say this. So find the right one and have them sit as a witness for this inquiry. And now the Russian big wig Diplomat and KGb spy, Lavarov, is visiting tomorrow. Good grief! Everyone is thinking this, so get out and say it Dems! Dr. Fiona Hill tried to lead into this direction but still the Dem Committee would take it up and aske her what she thought. Say it: All of Trump's Roads Lead to Russia.
Ro Laren Santa Monica 2h ago
Any American adult who has made an effort to educate himself or herself about Mr. Mueller's investigation or these impeachment proceedings understands that yes, with Trump all roads lead to Russia. Now if the poll numbers mean anything, Trump's crimes and Russia's involvement only matter to about 60% of us. As Trump's poll numbers remain steady, some 40% of Americans don't care what lawbreaking he is involved with or whether other nations now control our elections. Stop and think about this for a minute. Trump supporters know but literally do not care that Russia is tampering with our elections (2016 and 2020). Their cult-like support for Trump is why the Republican Senate will not remove him. There is no other reason Trump will remain in office. Trump has mesmerized his supporters like a modern day Rasputin. They will do literally anything for him, and Senate Republicans know this. Trump voters do not mind that Putin controls our nation at the highest levels of decision making. Again - think about this - they know he does, and they do not care. So I ask the rest of us. Is this the America we want to live in? To raise our families in? Where a large, rabid minority is in thrall to a lunatic puppet whose strings are firmly in Putin's hands? Because this is very much the America we live in now. The time will come, though, when we, the majority, will no longer tolerate the Trump/Putin regime. But the longer we wait, the harder it will be oust these tyrants.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
In 2008, Donald Trump Jr. said Russia was an important source of funding for the Trump businesses. American banks wouldn't lend him money. Saudi Arabia likely bailed out Jared's disastrous real estate investment in NYC. Follow. The. Money.
Huge Grizzly Seattle 2h ago
You say that Mr. Putin "has fooled Republicans in Congress, who have degraded themselves and their offices by faithfully parroting Mr. Putin's propaganda in the mainstream press." You are correct on all counts, except that the Republicans have not been fooled by Putin. They have gone along, headlong and absolutely willingly, in a complete sellout of personal and national principle and integrity. They should not be forgiven for this conduct, any more than Mr. Trump should be forgiven for his sellout of America.
Look Ahead WA 2h ago
For Republicans who believe so fervently in their counterfactual narrative, there is an immediate remedy. Bring facts and evidence to the Committees and testify under oath. Without witnesses and evidence presented under oath, all of the GOP antics simply look foolish and very much like they are defending the guilty. It is unfortunate that there is no penalty for elected officials who share unfounded conspiracy theories, engage in innuendo and obstruct process in official Committee hearings. It is also regretable that this President is not held accountable for trying to intimidate witnesses in real time during testimony. And it is a sad reality that one of the most corrupt rulers in the world, who rules a hostile power, has managed to entirely win over one of our major parties.
Gerard PA 2h ago
The strangest defense advanced today was the idea that the alleged state of the economy was reason not to impeach the President: the Republicans assert that America, the Constitution, the principle of our government are for sale to be bought by the rising stock market and a plethora of low-wage jobs. We are Faust, and the smell of sulphur is nauseating.
richard wiesner oregon 2h ago
If the IG's report on the 2016 Russia investigation had found the only problem was that two of the agents involved had horrible hangnails, Barr and Trump would have condemned it.
Asian Philosopher Germany 2h ago
Whatever Trump is doing, he always care about his main benefactors, Putin and MBS. This is the first time I have witnessed in history that an American president became a Russian puppet with all his Republican followers at the Congress and Senate. American constitutional crisis happening right in front of the world. I heard the cries of James Madison, John Adams and Benjamin Franklin from their graves.
trudds sierra madre, CA 2h ago Times Pick
Sir, do you honestly think that House Republicans have been "fooled" by Mr. Putin? On the contrary, it's pretty obvious they understand and believe the conclusions from our Intel community. These are instead willful lies for political gain. And while some Americans may actually be misled by the theater presented as rebuttal to the impeachment, it's hard to imagine for most it's once again, not conviction but convenience that places such "patriots" solidly in Russia's back pocket.
Michele Seattle 2h ago Times Pick
The pattern of behavior is clear and compelling: Trump is selling out this country, its national security, its integrity and sovereignty, in order to keep power and avoid his own prosecution, and protect his financial interests. We must get the truth about his relationships and indebtedness to Putin, the Saudis, and Erdogan. Our country has been hijacked and Trump will continue to corrupt the US and turn it into an autocracy if he is not stopped and held accountable under the law.
Linus Internet 2h ago
The country voted for this President knowing he is a flawed man in many ways. I don't think anything changes here - the Senate will speedily acquit him and the voters in the swing states will have to decide if they want to give Mr. Trump a second chance while the rest of the country impotently watches.
David CT 2h ago
If one looks at all of his actions as "How could this benefit Russia?" most of it makes sense. Why start a trade war with China and Western allies? Why withdraw from Syria? Why try to polarize the American public? Effectively showing this to the public is critical.
Mark New York 2h ago
Excellent piece. We all know Trump, Inc. turned to Russian oligarchs after '08 for condo sales. It just so happened that those same oligarchs (read as kleptocrats) were laundering money through Deutsche Bank, who was the only bank willing to lend to Trump. Trump's loan officer amazingly was SC Justice Anthony Kennedy's son. Trump was and is a desperate man in need of cash/ Putin is a desperate man who knows that the geyser of oil money that funds his national budget, and has done so since the 1920's, is coming to an end. Russia has no large material economic exports other than oil and gas, but it does still have a large military, hence the military incursions into Moldova, Ossetia, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria. Desperate men do desperate things, and desperately try to project power with weak hands.
turbot philadelphia 2h ago
The Republicans in Congress were not fooled by the Russians. They believe in Trump no matter what the Russians do. The bottom line is - What does Putin have on Trump
stan continople brooklyn 2h ago
I don't understand why there hasn't been more of a pushback by the military. They went heavily for Trump in 20116, with many bases in the South and many recruits from economically devastated areas, but in the interim, they have seen his reckless, lurching foreign policy, worship of Putin, and clear evidence that somehow everything he does benefits Russia. A commander's first obligation is to their troops, so knowing the man in charge considers their lives subject to both Trump's whims, and Putin's whispers should provoke some reaction. No?
Steven Auckland 3h ago
Unfortunately - to put it mildly - impeachment will have no effect on the conduct of the 2020 election. The wheels are already turning, everyone knows their part, and only a massive commitment by an honest intelligence apparatus (if there is one) can stop it. One can only hope that, in 2020, the American people make a statement so overwhelming that there can be no doubt as to their intent, despite whatever meddling there may have been. It is entirely possible that there will never be a truly credible election again as long as there are bad actors who are power hungry or bent on destabilizing democratic governments. And make no mistake, these threats are coming from right wing autocracies, and they are in the ascendancy all over the world. American centrists and liberals are the only force that can change that. Are those stakes big enough for you?
Michael Kittle Vaison la Romaine, France 3h ago
We may finally have the answer as to why Trump is so accommodating to Putin. Trump has so many investments in Russia dependent on Putin's support. Trump financial reports will reveal this collusion between Trump and Putin. This should not come as a surprise to attentive Americans. Think of the worst an American president can do and that will bring you close to understanding Trump.
Ray Haining Hot Springs, AR 3h ago
Nobody's saying how Trump withholding military aid to Ukraine would benefit Putin and Russia in their WAR against Ukraine. It was, indeed, MILITARY aid he was withholding, was it not? I understand that this is not the impeachable offense of attempting to enlist a foreign government to win an election, but I believe this aspect of the situation should be brought out.
Socrates Downtown Verona. NJ 3h ago
The Republican Party has been officially reduced to a giant miasma of fraud, fiction, fantasy, conspiracy theory, deflection, misdirection and prevarication. After tax cuts for rich people and rich corporations...the GOP has no other public policy ideas (except for bankrupting the government). A civilized country needs little things like infrastructure, education, technology, voting rights, law and order, regulations, fair taxation and facts to move forward. But none of those things are ever mentioned by the Republican Party; conspiracy-mongering and tax cuts are now the official governing planks of the Grand Old Propaganda/Grand One Percent party. This is no way to manage a nation anywhere except into the ground. Americans need to hit the Trump-GOP eject button before these Lord of the Fly Republicans take us over a very steep right-wing cliff of insanity.
Bob Hudson Valley 3h ago
The Republican Party is now Trump's party and the Republicans know it and are acting accordingly. You could call them opportunists following the way the political winds are blowing. The Constitution is based on members of Congress caring about the Constitution and searching for the truth. Since this is now not the case when if comes to the Republicans the Constitution has no remedy for this situation. The only remedy is an election and if Trump can manipulate elections to his advantage using foreign powers then there is no remedy and the system of government set up by the founders will be no more. The new system replacing it will be controlled by Trump. Putin figured out how to control Russian elections so he always wins and it is likely that Trump has a goal of imitating Putin. Ultimately this would mean taking over the press as Putin did. Trump cannot declare total victory as long as the there is a free press which he has labeled the enemy of the people.
DAWGPOUND HAR NYC 3h ago
From an acute perspective ..indeed shocking to say the least of the nature of this peculiar relationship. But looking at the big picture as evidence by all that has occurred in his or during this eye opening period for all the world to see....not so much so...For me, this dynamic is much expected.
James Ricciardi Panama, Panama 3h ago
"The witness has used language which impugns the motives of the president and suggests he's disloyal to his country, and those words should be stricken from the record and taken down," Mr. Johnson said. The Johnson rule effectively reads the impeachment power out of the constitution. How can you impeach a president if no one can say anything bad about him/her?
Bruce Rozenblit Kansas City, MO 3h ago
We have yet to plow the most fertile road yet. What does Trump care about over all else? Trump. How does Trump gauge his progress? His money. Where does his money come from? Good question. We all know he has filed for bankruptcy 6 times. We all know that because of those bankruptcies, American banks will not loan him any money. We all know he has significant financial dealings with Deutsche Bank. Now, who put the money in Deutsche Bank that ended up financing Trump's business.? That is the two billion dollar question. We also know that Russian oligarchs deal in billions of dollars. We also know that Trump has close relations with Russian business interests. We also know that Trump kowtows to Putin like Pence kowtows to him. We also know that Trump is doing everything possible to conceal his financial dealings from everyone and everything. So, we know that one billion plus one billion equals two billion. But does it also equal Trump? This money road is one we should take a ride on. Will it also take us to Putin?
Mark New York 2h ago
@Bruce Rozenblit No, but it will take us to those who are surrogates for him. Those whose wealth only continues because of Vova's "good will."
Gluscabi Dartmouth, MA 3h ago
The first Democratic candidate who labels Trump a "Russian agent" will own the simplest and most effective tag line going into the general election, provided of course that that candidate does his best to channel his inner Trump by never backing down but instead doubling down every chance he or she gets. Is Trump a Russian agent, paid for and accounted for? Not easy to say without some doubt, but that doesn't really matter because he sure as shoottin' acts like one. And when have the facts ever stopped Trump from going on the attack? The more Trump denies the label, the more he'll be digging his own grave. The real crime here is not so much the strong arming of Zelenskyy for a Biden investigation. That's small potatoes compared to Trump's withholding congressionally designated US military aid from a country engaged in a hot war with Russia, the same cast of characters who starved anywhere from one to eleven million Ukrainians during the 1930's. The Russian agent must go.
Alan Columbus OH 3h ago
I would not say Trump's lying "is effective", I would say it "has been effective". At some point, the public and his party may have had it with the thuggery and we do not know when that breaking point is.
abigail49 georgia 3h ago
For the sake of protecting our 2020 elections from Russian hackers and disinformation, the House is justified in moving forward fast, over the process howls of Republicans, with the compelling evidence they have surrounding Ukraine. But they need to continue investigating his business and financial ties to Russia and any other autocratic governments and their oligarchs, e.g. Turkey and Saudi Arabia. Especially if he is not convicted and removed by the Senate and stands for re-election, Americans need to know what conflicts of interest he has in making foreign policy and military decisions because American soldiers' lives are at stake. The Mueller investigation did not go down that road. Any businessman with global interests is automatically compromised, even more than a vice president whose son sits on a foreign corporation's board of director. Trump's own children continue to do business in foreign countries and we have no idea what Ivanka and Jared, sitting in the White House with top security clearances, are doing. In short, Ukraine should not be the only concern of congressional oversight committees. There's a lot more.
Peter Portland OR 3h ago
Trump must believe that Russian help in 2016 did help him to win. He must feel that fake evidence presented by an "independent" investigator such as a foreign government appears to carry more weight that the same fake evidence from a partisan investigator. Otherwise why would he be taking such chances to duplicate via Ukraine what he got from the Russians in 2016. But now that the Russian connection is outed, he can't go back to that well.
NA Wilson Massachusetts 3h ago
I worry it's all for naught. Dems in the House vote to impeach, GOP in the Senate vote to acquit. Trump remains highly competitive in 2020 election, Russia and other adversaries interfere, Trump stays put. Then what?
Rafael SC 3h ago
@NA Wilson Think of this situation differently. To have all possible scope to defeat him, we must support everything we can to undermine him. Lack of impeachment would have been business as usual. At some point his finances will get out and then all bets are off.
Tracy Washington DC 2h ago
@NA Wilson: It's all Hands on deck to save the country. Don't just vote, donate what money you can, work for candidates, knock doors, make calls. It's the only way out of this nightmare.
N. Smith New York City 3h ago
The Impeachment hearings weren't really necessary to prove what most everyone who's been paying attention knows. With Trump, all roads lead to Moscow. In fact, he's already acting very Putin-esque in his own way by forbidding anyone in the White House to respond to subpoena, by installing the fear of God in those who do, by punishing anyone who dares to think or act on their own, and then there's the act of holding a foreign country ransom until they agree to do his bidding -- not to mention inviting outside interference in our presidential elections. All the signs are not only there but they are ominous. By holding himself above the U.S. Constitution, Trump has declared war on this country and all the laws that govern it. And while entertainment-starved Americans laugh and cheer at his rallies, he and the Republicans drain our right to vote, and with it our Democracy. Today wasn't an epiphany. It was a warning.
bl rochester 3h ago
There seems to be no discussion of the financial backing trump received after '08-09 from sources inside Russia and how these actors would have expressed their support (or conditions for their silence) to the trump campaign during '15-16. Did the FBI not identify and investigate the funders behind trump and their interactions with the campaign during 2016? Would this not have been reasonable for an investigation to look into when its entire raison d'etre was to detect sources of Russian influence?
Jim TX 3h ago
I wonder if Mr. Wegman believes that this editorial will change anyone's mind or influence how anyone votes in the upcoming presidential election. Basically, this is classic preaching to the choir and sadly mostly a wasted effort. I would like to read articles with proven ideas that worked to change the minds of Republicans and other like them. Such articles might give me some better ideas to convince my pro-Trump friends and neighbors to Vote for America next November.
Kingfish52 Rocky Mountains 3h ago
"When it comes to Donald Trump and Russia, everything is connected." This! This is the central fact of all the things Trump has done (so far), and yet, the Democrats have failed to make this the central focus of the case against him. Instead, they've focused on one incident, and not even the most egregious one, to justify impeachment and removal from office. This was a terrible miscalculation. No, there is no doubt that Trump attempted to coerce Ukraine into helping with his re-election by announcing a bogus investigation of the Bidens. Nor any doubt that this constituted "high crimes and misdemeanors". But this was not the highest of crimes he's committed, nor have the Dems been able to convince any Republicans, or many independents, that this deserves Trump's removal. Moreover, they failed to produce the "smoking gun" of one witness or document in Trump's own words directing the quid pro quo. They gave plenty of room for the Republican attack machine to cast enough doubt and confusion that all but ensures Trump's acquittal in the Senate. Instead of focusing only on this one incident, the Democrats should have built their case around the theme that "with Trump, all roads lead to Russia". That is a crime that even the most skeptical doubter can grasp, and when linked together, all of his crimes can be shown to be of a pattern of serving Putin, and not the people of the United States. All roads lead to Putin, but the Democrats chose to follow a dead end.
DW Philly 2h ago
@Kingfish52 I completely agree with you and truly don't understand why the Democrats have not been shouting this from the rooftops. For mercy's sake! The problem is not just that the president solicited help from a foreign power for his own personal gain! That's bad enough, but isn't the point that he did this because he is beholden to Russia? Russia. is. not. our. friend. Why aren't the Democrats explaining this clearly to the American people? Trump is Putin's puppet and it could not be more obvious! Don't people understand that it doesn't just happen to be Ukraine that Trump took a notion to squeeze for his "personal gain"? He doesn't just want to win because it is so nice to win elections. He has to do what Putin tells him. Obviously, every last Republican in Congress understands this clearly. Why can't the Democrats explain it to the American people clearly?
Mike Republic Of Texas 4h ago
Obama did not provide lethal aid to Ukraine, after the Russians invaded Crimea. Obama did not Russia prevent the Iranian nuclear deal. Trump cancelled the Iranian nuclear deal, then provided lethal aid to Ukraine. Now I get it. Trump is working for Putin.
Mick Montclair 3h ago
By March 2015, the US had committed more than $120 million in security assistance for Ukraine and had pledged an additional $75 million worth of equipment including UAVs, counter-mortar radars, night vision devices and medical supplies, according to the Pentagon's Defense Security Cooperation Agency. That assistance also included some 230 armored Humvee vehicles. Trump appears to be echoing a critique leveled at the Obama administration by the late Republican Sen. John McCain. "The Ukrainians are being slaughtered and we're sending blankets and meals," McCain said in 2015. "Blankets don't do well against Russian tanks." While it never provided lethal aid, many of the items that the Obama administration did provide were seen as critical to Ukraine's military. Part of the $250 million assistance package that the Trump administration announced (then froze and later unfroze) included many of the same items that were provided under Obama, including medical equipment, night vision gear and counter-artillery radar. The Trump administration did approve the provision of arms to Ukraine, including sniper rifles, rocket launchers and Javelin anti-tank missiles, something long sought by Kiev.
Ivan Memphis, TN 2h ago
@Mike Trump was not the one providing lethal aid to Ukraine. It was the house and senate that proposed and forced this aid into an appropriation bill - against the wishes of the Trump administration. After Trump realized he could not block this funding he did the second best thing - he used it to blackmail the Ukraine government to provide him with dirt on Biden and support for Putin's favorite narrative (that it was Ukraine not Russia that interfered in the 2016 election).
Mark New York 2h ago
@Mike It also took two acts of Congress to get the aid to Ukraine. Trump had nothing to do with it. Only the Impound Inclusion Act for foreign aid allows the President to time the release of the funds, which Trump did not follow. The Act was created because Nixon, like Trump, was playing fast and loose with our tax dollars. Who was the last President who asked for help from a foreign intelligence agency? Which President favored foregn intelligence agencies over his own? Answer no one other than Trump. If that doesn't show he's in someone's pocket, nothing does.

[Dec 06, 2019] The USA is an occupied by neocon country

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Wellsir, I'm old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, "We fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here." Seriously, young folks, look it up online. ..."
"... And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger ..."
"... The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq ..."
"... On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point). ..."
"... Trump will never beat an actually decent candidate, he occupies the White House because Clinton was the worst candidate in American history. He's (probably) going to win again because his opponents are even more unpopular and incompetent than he is. ..."
"... No, they are only using the mendacious phrase "spreading democracy" as a cover for what they really want to spread: globalist neoliberalism. ..."
"... The left is shameless, duplicitous and disingenous in the extreme when it comes to Russia (and frankly anything else). To be honest it was my collegiate experiences in the 1980s, comparing the handwaving garbage with what my own eyes saw in the East Bloc, that made me a lifetime, permanent rightist. The left is bankrupt, full of liars and dissemblers and needs to be stopped at any cost. ..."
"... I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014). ..."
"... NATO should have been moth-balled c. 1992. Instead it is hell-bent on aggressive expansion and antagonizing Russia, for no reason (other than to line the pockets of corrupt US and other officials, "business-men" i.e. oligarchs, etc.). ..."
"... The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | theamericanconservative.com

In the Year of Our Lord 2019, sixteen years after this nation launched the catastrophic Iraq War, the following words were spoken on Capitol Hill this week:

We have become the shining city on a hill. We have become the nation that leads the world in understanding what democracy is. And one of the things we understand most profoundly is it's not a real democracy, it's not a mature democracy, if the party in power uses the criminal process to go after its enemies. And I think you heard testimony - the Intelligence Committee heard testimony about how it isn't just our national interest in protecting our own elections. It's not just our national interest in making sure that the Ukraine remains strong and on the front line so they fight the Russians there and we don't have to fight them here, but it's also our national interest in promoting democracy worldwide.

This was not the second coming of the Wolfowitz-Cheney-Bolton brigade. This was Pamela Karlan, a Stanford law professor and Democrat called by her party to testify in this week's House Judiciary Committee impeachment hearing.

Wellsir, I'm old enough to remember 2002, when the Bush administration and its allies built a case for the Iraq War, using the often-heard line, "We fight the terrorists over there so we don't have to fight them here." Seriously, young folks, look it up online.

And I'm old enough to remember these lines from President Bush's second inaugural address, in 2005:

There is only one force of history that can break the reign of hatred and resentment, and expose the pretensions of tyrants, and reward the hopes of the decent and tolerant, and that is the force of human freedom.

We are led, by events and common sense, to one conclusion: The survival of liberty in our land increasingly depends on the success of liberty in other lands. The best hope for peace in our world is the expansion of freedom in all the world.

America's vital interests and our deepest beliefs are now one. From the day of our Founding, we have proclaimed that every man and woman on this earth has rights, and dignity, and matchless value, because they bear the image of the Maker of Heaven and earth. Across the generations we have proclaimed the imperative of self-government, because no one is fit to be a master, and no one deserves to be a slave. Advancing these ideals is the mission that created our Nation. It is the honorable achievement of our fathers. Now it is the urgent requirement of our nation's security, and the calling of our time.

So it is the policy of the United States to seek and support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture, with the ultimate goal of ending tyranny in our world.

That didn't work out too well for us, for Iraq, or for the Middle East.

And now comes Prof. Karlan, using the same rhetoric to characterize the conflict between the US and Russia in Ukraine. She was there to talk about the legal aspects of impeachment, but she bizarrely tipped her hand by trashing Trump because he failed to play his part as a warmonger.


Loetzen 9 hours ago • edited ,
The American elites didn't learn a damn thing from Iraq

On the contrary. They learned that, via deceptive rhetoric and on false pretenses, they could easily manoeuver the U.S. into fighting a war on behalf of another nation's interests rather than its own, and face no repercussions for committing such treason, no matter how many lives it costs and how much it impoverishes the U.S. (to say nothing of what bloodshed and chaos it will cause in the targeted nation -- because after all, destabilization is the point).

The same thing will happen here. Lesson learned.

Fran Macadam Rod Dreher 8 hours ago ,

There are, as Victoria Nuland put it, 5 billion reasons for backing the CIA-led coup that overthrew an elected government and replaced it with leaders that the she and the rest of the Obama/Clinton State Department chose. It was the Democrats, since the nineties under another Clinton, that decided to move the American military right up to Russia's borders, interfere in the 1996 election to keep the puppet Yeltsin in power, and with Wall Street leaders to pillage the Russian economy with the stated end to break up Russia into smaller satrapies with governments appointed by the IMF.

Did Joe Biden brag about a quid proof not releasing funds to the Ukraine until it ended the probe into Burisma, which was paying son Hunter millions, and dismiss the investigators altogether? Does it turn out Ukrainian power brokers favored under Obama then sought to influence the American elections against Trump, viewed as wanting to make peace with Russia? Yes, and yes.

Augustine 9 hours ago ,

The US are not a democracy, since the people do not rule. Rather, it's an oligarchy, since a few influential groups do get their way all the time. Pamela is just shilling for one of these groups, the war party.

It does not matter who you vote for, you always get John McCain.

GoDawgs912 Rod Dreher 6 hours ago ,

Agreed, I hope the Republicans agree to impeach him immediately after Election Day if he does win (which I think he will due to the opposition candidates). I'd much prefer Mike Pence to represent us than freaking Trump. I voted third party last time, but even as bad as Trump is, he's not nearly as bad as every democratic front runner.

Why the Democratic Party doesn't back Tulsi Gabard is insane, she's the only candidate who everyone could be somewhat happy with.

Taking a "Unity-Party" angle this election and nominating an anti-war military Veteran who's also a super patriotic minority women would absolutely destroy Trump. She's also a religious conservative while simultaneously being a sane social liberal, she satisfies some of the concerns of literally every part of the electorate. A Tulsi Gabard/ Joe Manchin ticket would be an 84 level blowout. A Joe Biden/ Kamala Harris ticket is literally the best thing that has ever happened to Trump. Trump will never beat an actually decent candidate, he occupies the White House because Clinton was the worst candidate in American history. He's (probably) going to win again because his opponents are even more unpopular and incompetent than he is.

ask zippy Rod Dreher 5 hours ago ,

An article from someone I trust on that evidence which is not hearsay would be useful, any chance you would write one? I ask because impeachment is either political or legal. If it's political then it's just the normal noise from D.C., if it's legal then I want legal standards of evidence. The times I've paid attention the "evidence" has been at the level of someone told me they overhead a phone conversation or we all believed this, but Trump directly told me the opposite of what we all believed.

I'm looking for something like saying "I did not have sex with that woman" under oath as evidence of committing perjury.

TomD Rabiner 7 hours ago • edited ,

...OTOH, Trump's move against Hunter Biden could possibly be a "high crime and misdemeanor" worthy of impeachment, but given the existence of Acts of Congress against foreign corrupt practices and the New York Times investigation of Hunter Biden, it becomes hard to untangle Trump's motives. It would seem to be difficult to prove that an impeachable "high crime and misdemeanor" occurred if probable cause for a Hunter Biden investigation existed. If we prove (NOT assume, as the Dems currently are doing) that probable cause did not exist then impeachment would be a slam dunk. If we don't prove that then Trump's impeachment will not be seen as legitimate by large segments of the public. We really are teetering on the edge of something deep here.

Mitch Young Rabiner 6 hours ago ,

You think that finding out what the son of a sitting vice President, a VP who was also 'point man' for Ukraine, was doing getting millions from a corrupt Ukrainian entity is strictly 'personal gain'? You think that looking into Ukrainian influence into our election is 'personal gain'?

Max Rockatansky 9 hours ago ,

Oh the spreading of democracy worldwide nonsense again! Democracies are earned not given, that lesson cost us trillions and in blood! This sycophant also brought up Pres. Trumps son Baron into the proceedings for no good reason but to score points at tea time back at Stanford. What a demagogue.

Loetzen Max Rockatansky 7 hours ago • edited ,

It's always such a lie too, because it's never really about spreading "democracy" -- that is, they don't at all like the spread of true democracy when the people genuinely prefer and vote for Putin, Assad, Orban, etc., to say nothing of when democracy demonstrates the true will of the people in cases such as Brexit.

No, they are only using the mendacious phrase "spreading democracy" as a cover for what they really want to spread: globalist neoliberalism.

Seoulite Max Rockatansky 6 hours ago ,

Democracies are earned not given, that lesson cost us trillions and in blood!

Yes please give us more democracy, so the uniparty can sell our jobs to global capital and our children's future to foreigners. Nations have survived tyranny, despots, and brutal civil wars. It is not at all clear whether the nations of the West will survive your beloved democracy.

Jerry 8 hours ago ,

...Of course, anyone with a brain knows it's not about Ukraine, a country having no bearing at all on the vital interests of the United States. Rather, Ukraine is a handy pretext serving the interests of America's military-industrial complex and the enrichment of our Ruling Class.

... ... ...

sb • 8 hours ago ,

If Trump wanted to prove a really great president, he could forge a peace with Russia (which would entail getting a settlement with Ukraine). It is insane, and only to the benefit of woke liberal capitalists to frame Russia as a permanent enemy. Carving developed nations into 'us vs them', so the liberal elite can divide and rule us. They use this strategy on multiple fronts, to ensure success:

Pragmatically, we will need an alliance with Russia (and possibly with a post-communist China) to stave off the invading colonisers looking to grift a free lunch in the 'rich' west (its only the 1% wealthy in the west who are really rich, not the >90% peasant class), not to mention the ideologically/religiously motivated muslims planning to implement the global sharia subjugation of the pseudo-Christian west demanded in the Koran.

Sadly, Trump does seem to be proving he lacks the organisational skills to drain the swamp - a virtually impossible task for any one person. A 'friendship pact' with Russia (perhaps swapping trade access to US for human rights, democratic and media freedoms in Russia) would be a big step forward to building a united free west. Perhaps bring Poland and Hungary in to to reassure Russia, and strengthen the protections for Christians and traditional family life. But for this to happen Trump needs to have a Secretary of State he trusts heavily.

Fun times to look forward to anyway...

Stefan • 8 hours ago ,

... Signify... whatever, anything, but please not too much thinking. Same with Washington's foreign policy blob. What matters is that the world's is forced to take America's opinions into account, no matter how bone-headed they are. If they put the world on fire that's called collateral damage (Ledeen Doctrine).

jeremyjanson 7 hours ago ,

What I find funniest about this whole "impeachment" shenanigan is how the Democrats honestly think anyone doesn't believe they're guilty of exactly what they're accusing Trump of. All Trump has to do is reveal seven such cases to the American people after this whole shenanigan is over and turn their own words against them and they are THROUGH! This might honestly be the biggest political mistake in the history of our Republic.

Brendan • 7 hours ago ,

The whole thing is nonsense. Democracy is particular to the West, and is frankly innately fragile and dying a proper death -- slowly, mind you, but dying it is, and thankfully so.

The whole Russia situation is hilarious and a thousand percent ideological. I sat next to these same assholes in college in the 1980s as they blithely handwaved "no true Scotsman" type arguments about the Soviet Union, and moral equivalency and so on, and then of course without their precious hearts skipping one single beat, they switched immediately to "Russia is evil and must be stopped at all costs" when Russia emerged with a nationalist/rightist government.

The left is shameless, duplicitous and disingenous in the extreme when it comes to Russia (and frankly anything else). To be honest it was my collegiate experiences in the 1980s, comparing the handwaving garbage with what my own eyes saw in the East Bloc, that made me a lifetime, permanent rightist. The left is bankrupt, full of liars and dissemblers and needs to be stopped at any cost.

Disqus10021 7 hours ago ,

My guess is that Russia has enough nuclear weapons and the capability to launch them at every major city in the US. Vladimir is no drunkard like Boris Yeltsin was. We should not provoke the Russian bear into lashing out at the US. The old Soviet Union lost some 20 million of its citizens in WWII and did the heavy lifting in defeating the Nazis. Hands up if you want to send your 19 year old son to fight the Russians in Sevastopol. Does the average American even know where Sevastopol is? More than likely, a war with Russia would result in the nuclear bombing of New York, Silicon Valley, Los Angeles, Chicago, Dallas and Houston for starters.

SatirevFlesti 7 hours ago ,

I'd highly recommend the films "Ukraine on Fire" and "Revealing Ukraine" (available on Amazon Prime w/o extra rental $) for a good basic primer on the Ukraine over the last 15 years, particularly of US interference and malfeasance in promoting the coup in 2014. And if anyone "interfered" in the 2016 election it wasn't Russia, but the Ukraine, particularly its very pro-Hilary President Poroshenko (illegitimate though he was and remains after the unconstitutional US-backed coup in against Yanukovich in 2014).

NATO should have been moth-balled c. 1992. Instead it is hell-bent on aggressive expansion and antagonizing Russia, for no reason (other than to line the pockets of corrupt US and other officials, "business-men" i.e. oligarchs, etc.).

GoDawgs912 7 hours ago ,

I'm halfway cheering for Russia in their conflict with Ukraine. That's Russia's sphere of influence, Ukraine has no business in the EU or in NATO. Any sane American government would be courting Russia in the new Cold War that's obviously coming with The Chinese Communist Party. Instead we pulled all of the former European countries in the USSR into our sphere of influence. The whole conflict was completely avoidable and is 100% due to America's and Western Europe's dumb actions since the fall of the USSR.

[Dec 02, 2019] A Think Tank Dedicated to Peace and Restraint

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. ..."
"... I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out. ..."
Jul 01, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Stephen Kinzer comments on the creation of a new think tank, The Quincy Institute, committed to promoting a foreign policy of restraint and non-interventionism:

Since peaceful foreign policy was a founding principle of the United States, it's appropriate that the name of this think tank harken back to history. It will be called the Quincy Institute, an homage to John Quincy Adams, who in a seminal speech on Independence Day in 1821 declared that the United States "goes not abroad in search of monsters to destroy. She is the well-wisher to the freedom and independence of all. She is the champion and vindicator only of her own." The Quincy Institute will promote a foreign policy based on that live-and-let-live principle.

The creation of a think tank dedicated to "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing" is very welcome news. Other than the Cato Institute, there has been nothing like this in Washington, and this tank's focus will be entirely on foreign policy. The lack of institutional support has put advocates of peace and restraint at a disadvantage for a very long time, so it is encouraging to see that there is an effort underway to change that. The Quincy Institute represents another example of how antiwar progressives and conservatives can and should work together to change U.S. foreign policy for the better. The coalition opposed to the war on Yemen showed what Americans opposed to illegal and unnecessary war can do when they work towards a shared goal of peace and non-intervention, and this institute promises to be an important part of such efforts in the future. Considering how long the U.S. has been waging war without end , there couldn't be a better time for this.

TAC readers and especially readers of this blog will be familiar with the people involved in creating the think tank:

The institute plans to open its doors in September and hold an official inauguration later in the autumn. Its founding donors -- Soros's Open Society Foundation and the Charles Koch Foundation -- have each contributed half a million dollars to fund its takeoff. A handful of individual donors have joined to add another $800,000. By next year the institute hopes to have a $3.5 million budget and a staff of policy experts who will churn out material for use in Congress and in public debates. Hiring is underway. Among Parsi's co-founders are several well-known critics of American foreign policy, including Suzanne DiMaggio, who has spent decades promoting negotiated alternatives to conflict with China, Iran and North Korea; the historian and essayist Stephen Wertheim; and the anti-militarist author and retired Army colonel Andrew Bacevich.

"The Quincy Institute will invite both progressives and anti-interventionist conservatives to consider a new, less militarized approach to policy," Bacevich said, when asked why he signed up. "We oppose endless, counterproductive war. We want to restore the pursuit of peace to the nation's foreign policy agenda."

Trita Parsi and Andrew Bacevich are both TAC contributors and have participated in our foreign policy conferences in recent years. Parsi and I were on the same panel last fall at our most recent conference. I have also cited and learned from arguments made by Suzanne DiMaggio and Stephen Wertheim in my posts here . Their involvement is a very good sign, and it shows both the political breadth and intellectual depth of this new institution. I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck.


chris chuba 9 hours ago
Good luck. I hope you will be invited on cable shows. I am tired of seeing the beard from the Foundation of the Defense of Democracies and his clones.

Once in a while the hosts mess up and they interview someone who doesn't give the correct answer about the M.E., or somewhere else and I see the blank look on their face as they thank the guess as since it is obvious they cannot process the information. I generally do not see those guests ever again.

The guidelines are, the world is divided into those who crave U.S. leadership and the evildoers who are constantly testing our leadership. We must always be vigilant against the latter. It is inconceivable that anyone merely act in their own interest. It is all about us.

Jonathan Dillard Lester 17 hours ago
Might be a few kindred souls put off by the Soros money, but nothing wrong with taking it!
SFBay1949 20 hours ago
I also am looking forward to reading their thoughts and ideas about a foreign policy that doesn't include the US invading yet another country under the ridiculous notion that we are somehow being threatened by them. We have the largest military on earth. It's also telling that we pick on and invade countries that can't actually hurt us. That makes us all the more the bully on the block. It's to our shame that we even consider these shameful actions.
Paul a day ago
Exciting news. An early endeavor , if not already accomplished, should be consideration of relevant theoretical models for understanding competition and cooperation. Since the Cold War and to the present day, variants of the Prisoners Dilemma serve this function. Prior to that, misconceptions of survival of the fittest led to the disasters of eugenics and WW2. Maybe the new think tank will outline or draw inspiration from a new theory.
SteveM a day ago
Re: "I look forward to seeing what they do, and I wish them luck."

So do I. Very much so. However, the most prominent realist Washington Think Tank is the Cato Institute. It has well spoken advocates of realism and restraint including Christopher Preble, Doug Bandow and Ted Galen Carpenter. Unfortunately, the thoughtful Cato scribes get very little exposure on the MSM compared to the atrocious Heritage, AEI and Brookings nests of go along to get along Neocon / Neoliberal lackeys. It's not clear to me how and why the Quincy Institute will generate any more leverage.

I've argued many times before that the linchpin of the busted U.S. Global Cop foreign policy model is the Pentagon. As long as the Pentagon hacks are considered the paragons of Olympian insight and wisdom by the political class and the MSM, nothing will change.

Related to that though, there actually was a hopeful article in the Atlantic about the newest Pentagon Big Mouth, CENTCOM Commander General General Kenneth McKenzie:

https://bit.ly/2Lyel6p

Hopefully, that is a crack in the wall of Military Exceptionalism. The sooner others start taking a 2x4 to the sanctified occupants of the 5-Sided Pleasure Palace, knocking them off of their pedestals, the better.

BTW, the new Acting Defense Secretary and MIC Parasite Mark Esper is no friend of the taxpayers. Expect that failed Pentagon audit that was deep-sixed by Mad Dog Mattis to stay deep-sixed with Esper in the Big Seat.

Taras77 a day ago
I am quite amazed that Soros and Koch bro are involved. We will wait to see how this plays out.

Jeez, who can believe this amongst the "think" tanks: "an approach to the world based on diplomacy and restraint rather than threats, sanctions, and bombing"

[Dec 02, 2019] Ghouta is Arabic for Reichstag Fire by Publius Tacitus

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The White Helmets' leadership is driven by a pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them. Anyone who visits the group's website -- which is operated by an opposition-funded PR company known as the Syria Campaign -- will be immediately directed to a request to sign a petition for a no-fly zone to "stop the bombs" in Syria. These sorts of communiques highlight the dual role the White Helmets play as a civil defense organization saving lives while lobbying for a US military campaign that will almost inevitably result in the collapse of Syria's government. ..."
"... While members of the White Helmets have been implicated in atrocities carried out by jihadist rebel groups, the names of many of the firms that supposedly monitor and evaluate their work have been kept secret by USAID on unspecified security grounds. ..."
"... That "Russia will "never be America's friend" is not disputed. What is missing is that "US and Russia cannot afford to be enemies". Nixon understood all of that 30 years ago. ..."
"... I agree that the uncritical and unwavering acceptance of the notion of Assad's chemical attacks on his people is ignorant and dangerous. It shows a true lack of imagination among the jihadis and their supporters. Not one of these attacks have been convincingly attributed to Assad's forces. To the contrary, the propaganda put out by the jihadis appears blatantly staged and bogus. The sooner we're out of Syria, the better. And the sooner Trump realizes unwavering support of the current Israeli regime is a cost center, the better. ..."
Apr 09, 2018 | turcopolier.typepad.com

The dominant propaganda meme of the day, as already noted by Colonel Lang, is that Bashar al Assad unleashed chemical weapons on "innocent women and children" in rebel held territory and that Russia and Iran, along with Syria, are responsible. We MUST take action (or so we are told emphatically by morons pretending to be news anchors on the various cable outlets). Few media outlets are willing to report that this information is not only uncorroborated but originates with established liars and rebel partisans--i .e., the White Helmets. Oh, and did you know that the White Helmets are funded largely by the Governments of the UK and the United States?

It is critical to keep the source of funds in mind if you are to understand the true nature of these Islamic scam artists. Ironically, Max Blumenthal, son of the infamous Sid, has been a leader in exposing these fraudsters. Blumenthal wrote, more than three years ago, that :

The White Helmets' leadership is driven by a pro-interventionist agenda conceived by the Western governments and public relations groups that back them. Anyone who visits the group's website -- which is operated by an opposition-funded PR company known as the Syria Campaign -- will be immediately directed to a request to sign a petition for a no-fly zone to "stop the bombs" in Syria. These sorts of communiques highlight the dual role the White Helmets play as a civil defense organization saving lives while lobbying for a US military campaign that will almost inevitably result in the collapse of Syria's government. . . .

The White Helmets were founded in collaboration with USAID's Office of Transitional Initiatives -- the wing that has promoted regime change around the world -- and have been provided with $23 million in funding from the department. USAID supplies the White Helmets through Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan.

While members of the White Helmets have been implicated in atrocities carried out by jihadist rebel groups, the names of many of the firms that supposedly monitor and evaluate their work have been kept secret by USAID on unspecified security grounds.


Anna , 12 hours ago

Nikki Haley: "Russia will "never be America's friend." Moscow can try to behave "like a regular country," but the US will "slap them when we need to," Haley said." ... "Everybody likes to listen to the words. I'm going to tell you – look at the actions," Haley urged. "We expelled 60 Russian diplomats/spies, we have armed Ukraine so that they can defend themselves..." https://www.rt.com/usa/423422-us-russia-stalemate-haley/

The UK has the pottery-boy Gavin Williamson as a Sec. of Defence and the US has a waste-management Nikki Haley as an US envoy to the United Nations. They both are ignoramuses and the eager ziocon tools.

Again, Israel's special relationships with anti-Assad forces and Israel's refusal to ratify the Chemical Arms Treaty make Israel the major suspect in the chemical attacks in Syria: https://www.haaretz.com/.premium-russia-links-syria-chemwar-to-israel-1.5333503

Babak Makkinejad Anna , 6 hours ago
That "Russia will "never be America's friend" is not disputed. What is missing is that "US and Russia cannot afford to be enemies". Nixon understood all of that 30 years ago.
Anna , a day ago
Yes. Has not Israel given orders? - https://www.fort-russ.com/2018/04/urgent-syria-under-attack/
Sid Finster , 2 hours ago
Sociopaths care nothing for logic or morality of they stabs in the way of something they want. Like the Reichstag fire.

I don't understand why people refuse to see that we are run by sociopaths, or, at a minimum, by people indistinguishable from sociopaths.

Kooshy , 9 hours ago
I think Colonel is absolutely right, all signs are, that everybody on both sides are getting ready for a war, how big, and who will participate, nobody knows yet would it be 2 oceans and 3 continents war or just concentrated on Eurasia? Unfortunately, I think DJT' canoe has sunken in the swamp he said he will drain, or IMO he didn't even know what he is talking about, or is dealing with.
TTG , 9 hours ago
I agree that the uncritical and unwavering acceptance of the notion of Assad's chemical attacks on his people is ignorant and dangerous. It shows a true lack of imagination among the jihadis and their supporters. Not one of these attacks have been convincingly attributed to Assad's forces. To the contrary, the propaganda put out by the jihadis appears blatantly staged and bogus. The sooner we're out of Syria, the better. And the sooner Trump realizes unwavering support of the current Israeli regime is a cost center, the better.
Terry , 11 hours ago
Thank you for reopening comments. I missed my tribe of non-conformists thinkers and all the various viewpoints. :-)

The insanity and distortion of reality and facts is getting extreme. Unfortunately tribalism with it's baggage of historical grievances, partisan loyalties, and mob mentalities are growing as our society returns to default human social behaviour while loyalty to the binding myths and ideas of the constitution and the founding of our republic fade. Truth is a casualty. Facts don't matter. Conformity to whatever tribal identity selected is the norm. Science show that there is a real decline in the higher brain functions when mobs form.

A good article on our decline into tribalism -

https://nymag.com/daily/intelligencer/2017/09/can-democracy-survive-tribalism.html

SmoothieX12 , 11 hours ago
If the Russians don't respond in some discrete but substantive way, their presence, efforts and international prestige will have vanished by tomorrow morning.

Your "grasp" of air-defense issues, including suggestion of shooting down aircraft in Lebanon's (international) airspace, among many other things clearly shows an armchair "strategist" (no offense, I am one myself) who played, unlike me--I don't play video games, too much video-games and thinks that he knows better than say Russian General Staff. Indeed, what do they know, really--what a bunch of amateurs who do not follow your highly professional suggestion.

robt willmann , 12 hours ago
The Russian Defense Ministry is now saying that 8 missiles were fired at the Syrian T4 airfield and airbase from Israeli airplanes flying inside Lebanon. The report says that 5 of the missiles were knocked down by antiaircraft / missile defense systems and that 3 of them hit the area of the airfield--

https://apnews.com/d965ed6a364f46fd9888acb9001de501/Israel-blamed-for-missile-strike-in-Syria;-14-reported-dead

https://www.rt.com/news/423545-israel-planes-syria-strike/

Anna , 12 hours ago
Agree.
The theater of absurd: Israelis "are shooting with live ammunition at people without guns:" Play Hide
james , 18 hours ago
israel to the rescue... they have to protect isis! and where would they be without regular support from the usa / uk.... white helmets are a pale imitation of israel at this point..
Hood Canal Gardner , 20 hours ago
PT .. thanks for the "outing" of Chemonics .. add Pakistan/HCG got a brick through his Islamabad bedroom window in the early1990s..tucked tail.

"Chemonics, a for-profit contractor based in Washington DC that has become notorious for wasteful aid imbroglios from Haiti to Afghanistan."

Karl Kolchak , 20 hours ago
"...a large number of supposedly intelligent Republicans and Democrats..."

There's no such thing any more. Both parties chased their intelligent leaders out a long time ago. Indeed, this is a repeat of the Cuban Missile Crisis with a bunch of emotional ten-year-olds in charge.

Kathy , 20 hours ago
Slightly OT, but in poking around the SCL/Cambridge Analytica web of intrigue, I found this tantalizing Wikipedia account of Vincent Tchenguiz, the largest shareholder in CA. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Vincent_Tchenguiz

Some people are truly not fit to walk on this earth.

blue peacock , 20 hours ago
PT

This is getting more and more ridiculous. From the ludicrous novichok caper that May and Boris have made into a Monty Python skit to the yet another theatrical chemical attack performance starring the perennial Syrian villain, Animal Assad and the increasingly heated rhetoric emanating from DC, London, Beijing and Moscow. Of course with all the bugles and trumpets blowing from the hysterical media with the Borg agenda trying to cajole a highly skeptical public.

What do you make of all this? Is the Borg getting really desperate that their gig may be up? That their deceit and duplicity will be uncovered.

We have Brennan, Holder, Yates busy tweeting along with Trump. There is McCabe and his GoFundMe. We have Comey's book tour and even Loretta Lynch is to hit the airwaves. All to spin tales that less people believe unless of course you are a card carrying partisan. Then there is Sessions making announcements of US Attorneys investigating and possibly convening grand juries and supervising document production to Congress around the conspiracy at the highest levels of law enforcement & intelligence in the Obama administration. Is this Reality TV at it's best putting Jerry Springer to shame??

What does your spidy sense tell you?

wisedupearly Ceo , 21 hours ago
I trust the Pentagon warned Israel not to launch cruise missiles from their submarines close to US surface fleet units.
Anna , 21 hours ago
"If the Russians don't respond... their international prestige will have vanished..."
-- What are you implying -- that only deception, perfidy, and bullying deserve "prestige?" Would not it be great if the decent people have finally explained the "prestigious" Nikki Haley that she is an ignoramus and warmonger? And how about sending Gavin Williamson to his familiar proper place where he could resume selling the fine pottery and ceramic countertops instead of being a mockery to his current post of Sec of Defence?

What is so prestigious about the opportunistic Theresa May and Boris Johnson, whose incompetent actions have been highly damaging to the UK reputation? And guess that the criminal (but very pious) Tony Blair fits the definition of "prestige."

There are people whose response is indeed important from the perspective of decency and competence and patriotism – these people are the US brass in the highest echelons of the US military. Do they serve the interests of the US or the interests of Israel? The question is very simple. The answer is yes or no.

Saker asks for patience: http://thesaker.is/missile-strikes-on-syria-tonight-do-not-rush-to-conclusions-please-post-here-what-you-hear/
Comment section: "The Lord Has Risen, and the forces of evil are rabid for more Death and Destruction."

Peter in Toronto , a day ago
Salvos underway.

If the Russians don't respond in some discrete but substantive way, their presence, efforts and international prestige will have vanished by tomorrow morning.

The Beaver , a day ago
T4 -East Homs being hit . Looks like the ISRAELIS are sending missiles
Anna , a day ago
"His master's voice (or how an obedient dog goes to war)": http://thesaker.is/his-masters-voice-or-how-an-obedient-dog-goes-to-war/
"Israeli officials: the "U.S. must strike in Syria" because "Assad is the angel of death, and the world would be better without him."
Ziomedia is willing to report the Skripal nonsense with a straight face After all, if the Russians could use "Novichok and buckwheat" in the UK, why would they not use chemical weapons in Syria? And, no, the fact that neither the Russians nor the Syrians actually have any chemical weapons (both were fully disarmed and certified as such) makes absolutely no difference! "
And what country does not want to declare her chemical weapon? – http://www.israelnationalnews.com/News/News.aspx/175032
"The head of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) on Tuesday called on Israel to renounce chemical weapons and join the convention banning them just like Syria did."
Not In Istanbul , a day ago
Cruise missile strikes are currently underway...
Anna , a day ago
"...Owen Matthews' article at The Spectator betrays the kind of factual sloppiness that is typical of the pundit-political-business classes in the West today."
-- In this case it is more than sloppiness: Owen Matthews is an opportunist loaded with the tribal grievances against Russia:
http://www.greanvillepost.com/2017/11/02/re-visiting-russian-counter-propaganda-methods/
"... in his book "Stalin's Children" Matthews clearly takes sides with, endorses and, possibly, even covers up for his Trotskyist Commissar grandfather and that makes him a fair target for criticism"
jjc , a day ago
The constant repetitive referral to "Obama's red line" has been effective in shaping a preferred response to these alleged attacks. Contrary to today's conventional wisdom, Obama did not "fail" to enforce his own line - the administration through its own State Department was quite prepared to rain bombs down on Damascus, but faced political opposition from Congress (as did Cameron's UK government fail to achieve support for the bombing in its Parliament). Congressional opposition was sparked by robust opposition from citizens/ constituents in the form of communications directed to their Congressional offices. This was all reported by the mainstream media at the time, yet a false recounting is predominant today. The "unrelenting information operation" is not possible without the witting collaboration of the supposed "free" media. The ownership and editorial staff of such are as fully responsible for this frightening state of affairs as anyone else.
blowback , a day ago
The SOHR has some pretty solid reporting on what is going on in Douma. They make no mention of any use of chemical weapons in Douma, but instead attribute the deaths to suffocation resulting from the destruction of cellars containing civilians:
And with the death of more citizens, it has increased to 96 at least including 27 children and 16 woman, the number of persons who have been killed since Friday, and the death toll is expected to rise because there are some people in critical situation, where reliable sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory that some of the casualties and wounded suffocated as a result of the demolition of home basements due to the heavy and intense shelling on Douma city, and the trusted sources confirmed to the Syrian Observatory of Rights that the number of injuries today has exceeds 500, including tens of children and tens of women, where more than 70 of them have suffered suffocation as a result of the demolition of home basements over them due to the heavy and intense shelling on the last area beyond the regime forces' control in the Eastern Ghouta , which is the stronghold of Jaysh al-Islam, and the Syrian Observatory published hours ago that 11 people at least including 5 children had suffocated, after bombardment by a warplane on an area near the old cemetery at the northern outskirts of Douma city in the Eastern Ghouta, also the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights published that violent clashes taking place between the regime forces and their allied militiamen of Syrian and non-Syrian nationalities against Jaish Al-Islam in areas in the vicinity of Douma area, where the regime forces continue their attempts to achieve more advancement in the area after they managed today morning to advance in the farms of Douma from the direction of Al-Raihan area. The regime forces managed to advance in 50 farms in the area following series of ongoing ground and aerial shelling of the regime forces and their warplanes and helicopters, which target the city and its vicinity.


http://www.syriahr.com/en/?p=88817
Recent articles from SOHR can be found here:
http://www.syriahr.com/en/?cat=26&paged=2
and here:
http://www.syriahr.com/en/?cat=26

Jaish al-Islam asked for quarter as the SAA appears to have broken Jaish al-Islam's defensive lines making their position in Douma untenable.

Imagine , a day ago
"Murder in the Sun Morgue" by Dr. Denis O'Brien (neuropharmacology expert):

"The primary conclusion of this study, based on a pharmacological analysis of the video and photographic evidence, is that the Ghouta Massacre near Damascus on Aug 21.2013 was not a sarin rocket attack carried out by Assad or his supporters. It was a false-flag stunt carried out by the insurgents using carbon monoxide or cyanide to murder children and use their corpses as bait to lure the Americans into attacking Assad."

288 pp. analysis. Also, some had slit throats:
https://www.scribd.com/document/230748990/Murder-in-the-SunMorgue

Swamp Yankee , a day ago
Thank you for this, Publius Tacitus -- and to you, Colonel Lang, re-opening the comments section here at SST.

I think it's notable that Owen Matthews' article at The Spectator betrays the kind of factual sloppiness that is typical of the pundit-political-business classes in the West today. For of course, "Arsenal of Democracy" is a phrase associated not with Truman but with Franklin Roosevelt.

I was the working-class scholarship kid at one of the elite educational institutions that forms a feeder-conduit to these echelons of media, political, and economic power, and one thing I have remarked is the utter mediocrity and laziness of so many members of our ruling class. As Corey Robin found out when he had an exchange with Chelsea Clinton over Hannah Arendt, and I discovered as an undergrad and in grad school, many of them simply never did the reading. They relied then, and still do today, on group-think and sheep-like intellectual conformity, which, of course, is then magnificently (and munificently!) rewarded. I also discovered that even when they did read something, it made no impression on them, not in any real way, they failed to keep the lessons taught thereby in their head once it was no longer needed for an exam or a paper.

To be led by fools such as these into a world war -- and why? -- is lunacy. That's why I'm grateful for places like this Committee to keep the home-fires of sanity burning. Thanks again, and let's hope that peace prevails, against the devoutly-hoped wishes of the Borg.

Patrick Armstrong , 10 hours ago
An excellent summary, I posted it on FB and VK.

[Nov 30, 2019] CrowdStrike: a Conspiracy Wrapped in a Conspiracy Inside a Conspiracy by Oleg Atbashian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Only a computer illiterate would think that CrowdStrike needed to take the physical DNC server to Ukraine in order to analyze it. Any computer can be cloned and its digital image can be sent within minutes anywhere on the planet in the form of ones and zeroes. It can also exist in multiple digital copies, carrying not just confidential archives, but also history logs and other content that can reveal to an expert whether the hacking occurred, and if so, by whom. ..."
"... The copies of the DNC server on CrowdStrike computers are likely to hold the key to understanding what really happened during the 2016 election, the origin of the anti-Trump witch hunt, and the toxic cloud of lies that had been hanging over the world and poisoning minds during the last three years. ..."
"... And now the new Ukrainian government might subpoena these copies from CrowdStrike and finally pass them to FBI experts, which should've been done three years ago. The danger of this happening is a much greater incentive for the Democrats to preemptively destroy Trump than all the dirt Joe Biden had been rolling in as Obama's vice president. ..."
"... I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation. ..."
"... The fraudulent "CrowdStrike conspiracy" deflection is not a show of the Democrats' strength. Instead, It betrays their desperation and panic, which tells us that Trump is squarely over the target. ..."
"... Yet DOJ Mueller conclusively signed off on the unsubtaniated fact the Russians had hacked the DNC computers in his final Weissman Report. Just one more part of the curious Mueller report that was far more a CYA hit piece against future claims of Obama crimes, than an investigation of past Trump ones. ..."
Nov 29, 2019 | www.frontpagemag.com

The conspiracy theory that exposes the Democrats' desperation and panic.

Fri Nov 29, 2019 Oleg Atbashian 133 In the last few days, media talking heads have been saying the word "CrowdStrike" a lot, defining it as a wild conspiracy theory originating in Moscow. They were joined by Chris Wallace at Fox News, who informed us that president Trump and his ill-informed fans believe in a crazy idea that the DNC wasn't hacked by the Russians but by some Ukrainian group named CrowdStrike that stole the DNC server and brought it to Ukraine , and that it was Ukraine that meddled in our 2016 election and not Russia.

A crazy idea indeed. Except that neither Trump nor his fans had ever heard of it until the Democrat-media complex condescendingly informed them that these are their beliefs.

Let's look at the facts:

None of these facts was ever disputed by anyone. The media largely ignored them except for the part about the Russian hackers, which boosted their own, now debunked, wild conspiracy theory that Trump was a Russian agent.

Now that Trump had asked the newly elected Ukrainian president Zelensky to look into CrowdStrike during that fateful July phone call, the media all at once started telling us that "CrowdStrike" is a code word for a conspiracy theory so insane that only Trump could believe in it, which is just more proof of how insane he is.

But if Trump had really said what Mr. Wallace and the media claim, Ukrainians would be the first to call him on it and the impeachment would've been over by now. Instead, Ukrainians back Trump every step of the way.

So where did this pretzel-shaped fake news come from, and why is it being peddled now ?

Note this is a classic case study of propaganda and media manipulation:

  1. Take an idea or a story that you wish to go away and make up an obviously bogus story with the same names and details as the real one.
  2. Start planting it simultaneously on media channels until the fake story supplants the real one, while claiming this is what your opponents really believe.
  3. Have various fact-checking outlets debunk your fake story as an absurd conspiracy theory. Ridicule those who allegedly believe in it. Better yet, have late night comedians do it for you.
  4. Once your opponent is brought down, mercilessly plant your boot on his face and never let up.

This mass manipulation technology had been tested and perfected by the Soviet propaganda machine, both domestically and overseas, where it was successfully deployed by the KGB. The Kremlin still uses it, although it can no longer afford it on the same grandiose scale. In this sense, the Democratic think tanks are the true successors of the KGB in deviousness, scope, and worldwide reach of fake narratives. How they inherited these methods from the KGB is a story for another day.

For a long time this technology was allowing the Democrats to delegitimize opposition by convincing large numbers of Americans that Republicans are

The Soviet communists had aptly named it "disinformation," which a cut above the English word "misinformation." It includes a variety of methods for a variety of needs, from bringing down an opponent to revising history to creating a new historical reality altogether. In this sense, most Hollywood movies on historical subjects today disinform us about history, supplanting it with a bogus "progressive" narrative. The Soviet term for such art was "socialist realism."

Long story short, the Democrat-media complex has successfully convinced one half of the world that Trump is a Russian agent. Now they're acting as if they'd spent the last three years in a coma, unaware of any bombshell stories about collusion. And bombshell stories without any continuation are a telltale sign of fake narratives. The only consequence of these bombshells is mass amnesia among the foot soldiers.

The Trump-Russian outrage is dead, long live the Trump-Ukraine outrage. And when that outrage is dead, the next outrage that will be just outrageous.

The current impeachment narrative alleges that Trump used military aid as leverage in asking Ukraine to dig up dirt on Joe Biden (which implies the Democrats know Biden is dirty, otherwise why bother?). What's not in this picture is CrowdStrike. Even though Trump mentioned it in the phone call, it has nothing to do with the Bidens nor the Javelin missiles. CrowdStrike has nothing to do with impeachment. We're told it's just a silly conspiracy theory in Trump's head, that it's a nonissue.

But then why fabricate fake news about it and plant blatant lies simultaneously in all media outlets from Mother Jones to Fox News? Why risk being exposed over such a nonissue? Perhaps because it's more important than the story suggests.

Only a computer illiterate would think that CrowdStrike needed to take the physical DNC server to Ukraine in order to analyze it. Any computer can be cloned and its digital image can be sent within minutes anywhere on the planet in the form of ones and zeroes. It can also exist in multiple digital copies, carrying not just confidential archives, but also history logs and other content that can reveal to an expert whether the hacking occurred, and if so, by whom.

The copies of the DNC server on CrowdStrike computers are likely to hold the key to understanding what really happened during the 2016 election, the origin of the anti-Trump witch hunt, and the toxic cloud of lies that had been hanging over the world and poisoning minds during the last three years.

And now the new Ukrainian government might subpoena these copies from CrowdStrike and finally pass them to FBI experts, which should've been done three years ago. The danger of this happening is a much greater incentive for the Democrats to preemptively destroy Trump than all the dirt Joe Biden had been rolling in as Obama's vice president.

This gives the supposedly innocuous reference to CrowdStrike during Trump's call a lot more gravity and the previously incoherent part of the transcript begins to make sense.

PRESIDENT TRUMP: I would like you to do us a favor though because our country has been through a lot and Ukraine knows a lot about it. I would like you to find out what happened with this whole situation with Ukraine, they say CrowdStrike... I guess you have one of your wealthy people... The server, they say Ukraine has it. There are a lot of things that went on, the whole situation.

If you read the transcript on the day it was released, you probably didn't understand what Trump was even talking about, let alone what had caused such a disproportionate outrage, complete with whistle blowing and calls for impeachment. What in that mild conversation could possibly terrify the Democrats so much? They were terrified because, unlike most Americans, the Democrats knew exactly what Trump was talking about. And now you know, too.

The fraudulent "CrowdStrike conspiracy" deflection is not a show of the Democrats' strength. Instead, It betrays their desperation and panic, which tells us that Trump is squarely over the target.

It also helps us to see who at Fox News can be trusted to tell us the truth. And it ain't Chris Wallace.


NAHALKIDES a day ago ,

Fine dissection of the CrowdStrike story. Of course if the DNC was serious about finding out who breached their security they would have allowed the FBI to investigate. They didn't - which means they're covering something up.

coolit10 NAHALKIDES a day ago ,

And who doesn't have at least one backup system running constantly, I have two and am just a home user and the DNC would not have been dumb enough not to have one on the premises and one off site for safety and preservation and the FBI could have gotten to either one if they wanted to. DWS was involved in something very similar and the FBI backed off again. I thought the DNC and the FBI were on the same page and would have liked to find out how the "transfer" happened?

🕊jr🕊 " Deep State Target " coolit10 13 hours ago ,

Let's be honest, that FBI made no attempt to investigate it in the first place as they were as culpable in this crime as the DNC.

Herman Young 🕊jr🕊 " Deep State Target " 12 hours ago ,

Yet DOJ Mueller conclusively signed off on the unsubtaniated fact the Russians had hacked the DNC computers in his final Weissman Report. Just one more part of the curious Mueller report that was far more a CYA hit piece against future claims of Obama crimes, than an investigation of past Trump ones.

SteveTn6b NAHALKIDES 16 hours ago ,

They know who breached their security. He'd dead!

Herman Young SteveTn6b 12 hours ago ,

Seth Rich - paper trail to Wikilinks needs to come out in any Senate impeachment trail since Democrats claim the Ukraine phone call was Trump's alleged downfall. CROWDSTRIKE was the only favor Trumps asked for.

Karen Herman Young 9 hours ago ,

We all know it was Seth Rich

Clasvi SteveTn6b 13 hours ago ,

you are spot on. it is amazing how they shut down the Seth Rich murder. The media was all to happy to shut it down.

Karen Clasvi 9 hours ago ,

Fox helped with that cover up

undrprsr Clasvi 6 hours ago ,

Yep, and Donna Brazile wrote in her book she feared for her life after Seth Rich was murdered, why's that if it was just a random attack?

El Cid NAHALKIDES 15 hours ago ,

There are two important facts to glean from this article:

1) Crowdstrike, the DNC contractor, is Ukrainian
2) that the famous server may have been backed up in Ukraine and not tampered with.

From the MSM we were given the 'interpretation' that Trump is an idiot who believes that the DNC shipped the server with no changes to the Ukraine. No folks. He 'gets' technology and security. He actual ran a business! (imagine).

I'd love to hear that in Hillary's own voice. :) You know, cleaned with a cloth?

Joe Clear NAHALKIDES 12 hours ago ,

They sure are, that being the killing of Seth Rich who copied the data to flash drive and gave it to Wikileaks.

stanley castleberry NAHALKIDES 12 hours ago ,

They found out right away. Hence Rich was assassinated.

Herman Young NAHALKIDES 12 hours ago • edited ,

That pretty much sums it up. MSM in total cahoots on this too since they put the entire topic of the CROWDSTRIKE part of the phone call into the cone of silence.

No Bread or Circuses a day ago ,

The Left and media (One and the same within the "Deep State") have been playing "Three Card Monte" with America for a while; it stops now!

The "Impeachment" media show being run by the Lefty tool cretins in the House has NOTHING to do with wrong doing by President Trump. It has EVERYTHING to do with the fear that President Trump will expose the depth of the swamp and bring the criminals on the Left down to Justice!

We are s close to getting to the bottom of the conspiracies that threaten our nation. Time to make the America haters pay for the harm they have done to our nation!

We need open and in depth prosecution of the criminal activities of the Left. There needs to be LONG prison sentences and, yes, even executions for those that seek to undermine our nation.

People need to know that there our GRAVE penalties for betraying our nation!

God Bless President Trump!
God Bless America!

Anacleto Mitraglia 21 hours ago • edited ,

In fact, when I first heard this story - that is: very recently - I was puzzled: why should a major party in the Country that invented IT and is still at its leading edge, ask an obscure firm of a crumbling, remote foreign State to do their IT security research? I'm not saying that Ukraine is a s++thole Country, but... you get me.

Either they have very much to hide, or they fear some closeted rightwing geek that works in any of the many leftist US technofirms. Or, CrowdStrike were involved from the beginning of the story, from the Steele dossier perhaps?

Herman Young Anacleto Mitraglia 12 hours ago ,

The whole Crowdstrike fiasco has been around for years - plus became a solid CYA part of the Mueller report too - just in case the Democrats needed to bury it later.

El Cid Anacleto Mitraglia 15 hours ago • edited ,

don't you get it? The DNC is completely infiltrated by Ukrainian graft. Even Joe Biden was on the take. Why won't they run their IT? (there is no Research in IT here, just office software)

Cynthia Campbell 19 hours ago ,

If you want to sell and deliver State Secrets and Intel to our enemies, then you (Obama, the Clintons, the DNC) simply make it easier for THEM to access. They have done this for years, and this is why they had to fill the DOJ, the FBI and the State Department with traitors and haters of America and American principles. Barack Hussein Obama, the Clintons, their evil administrations and even two-faced RINOS like McCain, Romney, and Jeff Sessions were actively involved. This is treason pure and simple, and all of the above could be legitimately and justifiably hung or shot without recourse, and rightly so!

doc_who_cuts 20 hours ago ,

not seizing the DNC and hillary servers is the clearest case of OBSTRUCTION OF JUSTICE I know of in the last few years.

Herman Young doc_who_cuts 12 hours ago ,

Isn't it ironic, the Dems accuse Trump of "obstruction of justice".

FRANCES LOUISE a day ago ,

I have known about "Crowdstrike" since Dec. 2017. Pres. Trump is just subtlety introducing background on what will be the biggest story of treachery, subversion, treason and corruption ever. QAnon that the fakenews tries to vilify as a LARP has been dropping crumbs about "Crowdstrike", Perkins Coir, Fusion GPS, FVEY and so much more! Crowdstrike mentioned 7x in the last 2 years. I can't urge people enough to actually investigate the Q posts for themselves! You will be stunned at what you have been missing. Q which says "future proves past" and "news will unlock" what I see in the media now is old news to those of us following Q. Q told us that "Senate was the prize" "Senate meant more" that the investigations started in the House would now move to the Senate and all this that the Dems and Rinos have been trying to hide is going to be exposed. Fakenews corporate media has litterally written hundreds of hit pieces against Q - me knows "they doth protest to much" - Recent Q post told "Chairman Graham its time. Senate was the target"

Keep up with the Q posts and Pres. Trump's tweets in once place: https://qmap.pub/ - And if you are still having a hard time believing this is legit Pres. Trump himself has confirmed Q posts by "Zero Delta" drops - if you think this is fake - try and tweet within 1 minute of when Pres. Trump does BUT your tweet has to anticipate his! YOU have to tweet first and HE has to follow you within 1 minute. MATHEMATICAL IMPOSSIBILITY UNLESS you are in the same immediate space or communicating at the time of the tweets! To all you doubters that think Q is just a by chance scam - NO WAY. There have been MANY, MANY of these ZERO DELTA PROOFS over the last 2 years. The most recent was Nov. 20th.

Link will show you how much attention has been given to "debunking" Q - gotta wonder why
https://cdn.qmap.pub/images...

elephant4life FRANCES LOUISE 19 hours ago ,

Perkins-Coie is the real-world Milton, Chadwick & Waters. I'm willing to bet their industrial-sized shredders are working overtime.

Herman Young elephant4life 12 hours ago ,

Unless Bleach-Bit got there first.

Herman Young FRANCES LOUISE 12 hours ago ,

Crowdstrike in the dog who did not bark. The Democrat cone of silence they put on even the mention of the word has been the most damning clue this is where the real action is.

Grant Hodges a day ago ,

The assertion that a digital image of the computer can be transmitted quickly all around the world is not necessarily correct in my experience as a cyber security analyst. I'm not an upper echelon type, but I am aware that it can take up to weeks to transmit such images depending on the hard disk, where it is, and the connections/network to your device creating the image. The FBI should have physically taken the device since there was a suspicion of wrong doing by Hillary Clinton. Had it been Donald Trump's computer I do not doubt the FBI would either have imaged it on the spot or taken the device.

coolit10 Grant Hodges a day ago ,

Last night I completely removed Catalina-Safari on my older Mac Book Air and re-installed Mohave-Safari from my backup to the day before I installed Catalina including the data and system just like it was before. It took around 5 hours and was cabled and not on Wi-Fi and it was perfect and reset the clock, my old e-mails and the newer ones as well. I can't believe being hooked into real broadband or fiber couldn't do the same in a relatively short period of time, but still significantly longer than a thumb drive or external hard drive.

Grant Hodges coolit10 a day ago ,

One variable is how big your hard drive is. If it is a big drive at a remote location, say somewhere in California to the Midwest, it can take weeks for a forensic backup. I only say that because . . . well, I'm not allowed to say. But you get it.

El Cid Grant Hodges 14 hours ago • edited ,

The assertion is a figure of speech. Today's IT infrastructure companies sell the service of maintaining clones in real-time in two or more locations for safety purposes. VMware and other off-the-shelf products makes this kind of setup easy to deploy. Did Crowdstrike offer that service and did the DNC buy it, that is the question? And, if so, did Crowdstrike keep the image on their backups in Ukraine?

(Note: it is not obvious that such a setup would preserve the forensic data the FBI would be looking for, but its a start).

[Nov 28, 2019] WSJ story reopens the claim Comey had a report there was an email exchange between Loretta Lynch and Clinton claiming Lynch promised her the DOJ would go easy on Clinton.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... does the author think this alleged Lynch-Clinton campaign exchange will be part of the upcoming Horowitz report? ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Factotum , 27 November 2019 at 11:57 AM

WSJ columnist today raises an old obscure issue today about the Clinton emails and Comey's calculated exoneration of Clinton's culpability.

This story reopens the claim Comey had a report there was an email exchange between Loretta Lynch and Clinton claiming Lynch promised her the DOJ would go easy on Clinton. Comey claimed when confronted with this memo, Lynch merely smiled like the Cheshire cat and nothing more was done.

This memo was later discredited as an alleged planted Russian hoax. Yet the memo story is again put in lead position on the opinion pages of the WSJ this very morning. Why was that? Not clear, but does the author think this alleged Lynch-Clinton campaign exchange will be part of the upcoming Horowitz report?

(WSJ: 11/27/19 - Holman Jenkins, Jr. - "Who will turn over the 2016 rocks")

[Nov 01, 2019] Viable Opposition The Legal Connection Between Washington and Kiev

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Note this key excerpt from the letter of transmittal: ..."
"... " Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state. " ..."
"... The Treaty was reported favourable by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 27, 2000, consented to ratification by the Senate on October 18, 2000 and ratified by the President of the United States on January 5, 2001. The Treaty was entered into force on February 27, 2001. Here are the title page of the Treaty and the signature page: ..."
"... With this background and while I don't want to appear to be pro- or anti-Trump, it is very, very clear that the current POTUS was within the law under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and Ukraine when it comes to asking Ukraine to investigate a potential criminal matter. ..."
October 15, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

With the Trump impeachment procedures ongoing and the connection to his conversation about the Biden family with Ukraine President Zelenskyy, there has been very little coverage of an important aspect of the relationship between Washington and Kiev. While none of us can speak to the actual intent of Donald Trump's remarks be it for personal gain or for other reasons, there is background information that may help illuminate the context of the discussion between the two world leaders.

In case you haven't read the pertinent section of the transcript of the conversation, here it is:

" President Zelenskyy : Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

President Trump : Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

President Zelenskyy : I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

President Trump : Well, she's going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is