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Demonization of Putin

Reuters/David W Cerny

PseudoScience > Who Rules America > Pathological Russophobia of the US elite

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Europe has manufactured an artificial "Russian enemy"
 in order to create an artificial "European identity"

Guy Mettan

Demonization of Putin is integral part of policy of the US and British elite toward Russia, designed to weaken, and, if possible, dismember the Russian state. It is also an instrument of increasing national unity by creating a demonized external enemy.

Russophobia of the US elite should be understood in the context of Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism as Russia represent an obstacle for complete domination of the globe by the US neoliberal empire. Nothing personal here, just business. Recent statements by Putin made at Valday club in Sochi (October 24, 2014) also do not produce any love to Putin from the global and first of all the USA neoliberal elite as well as London-based financial oligarchy. Not accidentally for both the US and GB elite Putin is a "Great Satan".

Like anti-Semitism, Russophobia is based on standard mechanism of Demonization (Wikipedia):

In colloquial usage, the term demonization is used metaphorically to refer to propaganda directed on delitimization of particular individual or group.

Delegitimization is the psychological process which undermines or marginalizes an individual or entity by presenting value judgments as facts which are construed to devalue legitimacy. The ultimate goal of justifying harm or war.

The concept applies to a wide spectrum of social contexts but generally means categorization of individual or groups into extreme social categories which are ultimately excluded from society. Delegitimization provides the moral and the discursive basis to harm the delegitimized group, even in the most inhumane ways.

It is related to stereotyping in a sense that it leads to prejudice when people emotionally react to the name of the person, ascribe evil intention and characteristic to the person or group without evaluating objective evidence.

As always in such cases three-letter agencies are in the vanguard of such complains (Is the CIA Running a Defamation Campaign Against Putin - Russia Insider)

A major topic in the Russian media is mystification with how Putin is portrayed in the Western media. Wildly popular at home, and seen as a decent, modest, an admirable person, and Russians don't understand how there can be such a disconnect with Western impressions.

Recently, leading Russian commentators and politicians have been suggesting that this can only be explained by a deliberate campaign to defame Putin, by governments or other groups.

Yesterday, at a briefing to foreign journalists, Sergey Ivanov, Putin's chief of staff, arguably the 2nd most powerful man in Russia, spoke of an "information war" consisting of "personal attacks" on Putin.

The western media hit a new low...
>The day before another member of Putin's inner circle, Vyasheslav Volodin, made similar remarks, telling foreign journalists "an attack on Putin is an attack on Russia."

The logic, they argue, is that by defaming the leader of a country, you weaken his power domestically by undermining popular support for him, and internationally, by rallying popular opinion to support policies against that country. The ultimate goal, they argue, is to weaken the country itself. They also talk about regime change.

They argue that if one looks at the facts, that there is evidence of ongoing character assassination which cannot be explained by a vague popular zeitgeist in the West, but is more likely the result of a dedicated effort to introduce this defamation into the news flow.

Newsweek has been one of the most virulent Putin-bashers for years

The issue of manipulation of news by intelligence services has been in the news recently with revelations that the CIA and German Secret Service (GSS) have long-running programs to influence how media executives and top journalists convey and interpret the news, including direct cash payments.

Here are some examples they point to:

RI sat down with The Saker, a leading analyst of Russia in international affairs, and asked him what he thinks:

So, is there any credence to this line of thinking, or is this conspiracy theorists running wild?

There is no doubt in my mind whatsoever that the US is waging a major psyop war against Russia, although not a shooting war, for now, and that what we are seeing is a targeted campaign to discredit Putin and achieve "regime change" in Russia or, should that fail, at the very least "regime weakening" and "Russia weakening".

And the Economist has been the very worst of them all...

So this is a US government program?

Yes, Putin is absolutely hated by certain factions in the US government two main reasons:

1. He partially, but not fully, restored Russia's sovereignty which under Gorbachev and Yeltsin had been totally lost … Russia then was a US colony like Ukraine is today … and,

2. He dared to openly defy the USA and its civilizational model.

… a free and sovereign Russia is perceived by the US "deep state" as an existential threat which has to be crushed. … this is a full-scale political assault on Russia and Putin personally.

So what the Russians are saying, that the constant personal attacks against Putin in the global media are partly the result of deliberate efforts by US intelligence services, … basically, planted stories…

Yes, absolutely

It seems like “Operation Mockingbird” all over again… Are you aware of other instances aimed at Putin?

(Editors Note: Operation Mockingbird was a CIA program started in the 1950s to influence the US media, which was gradually exposed by investigative journalists starting in the late 60s, culminating in sensational televised congressional hearings in 1975 which shocked the nation, forcing the program’s termination. Critics maintain that the same tactics have continued since, under different programs. Wikipedia)

Yes, of course. Since this defamation has very little traction with the Russian public … Putin's popularity is higher than ever before .., there is an organized campaign to convince them that Putin is "selling out" Novorussia, that he is a puppet of oligarchs who are making deals with Ukrainian oligarchs to back-stab the Novorussian resistance…

… So far, Putin's policies in the Ukraine have enjoyed very strong support from the Russian people who still oppose an overt military intervention…

… but if Kiev attacks Novorussia again - which appears very likely - and if such an attack is successful - which is less likely but always possible - then Putin will be blamed for having given the Ukrainians the time to regroup and reorganize.

Warm and fuzzy...

So you are saying that if the Ukrainian military strengthens its position enough to deliver a serious blow to the East Ukrainians, the US can use this as a method to strike at Putin’s support base…

Yes, that’s right ... there are a lot of "fake patriots" in Russia and abroad who will reject any negotiated solution and who will present any compromise as a "betrayal". They are the "useful idiots" used by western special services to smear and undermine Putin.

Is it limited to government special ops, or are there other groups who might have an interest in doing this?

Yes, well here is something that most people in the west don’t appreciate… there is a major behind-the scenes struggle among Russian elites between what I call the "Eurasian Sovereignists" (basically, those who support Putin) and what I call the "Atlantic Integrationists" (those whom Putin refers to as the "5th column).

The western media talks about this as the struggle between Russian liberals and conservatives, reformers and reactionaries, right?

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

The former see Russia's future in the Russian North and East and want to turn Russia towards Asia, Latin America and the rest of the world, while the latter want Russia to become part of the "North Atlantic" power configuration.

The Atlantic Integrationists are now too weak to openly challenge Putin - whose real power base is his immense popular support - but they are quietly sabotaging his efforts to reform Russia while supporting anti-Putin campaigns.

Regarding the revelations of CIA activities in Germany, do you think this is going on in other countries, in the US?

I am sure that this is happening in most countries worldwide. The very nature of the modern corporate media is such that it makes journalists corrupt.

As the French philosopher Alain Soral says "nowadays a reporter is either unemployed or a prostitute". There are, of course, a few exceptions, but by and large this is true.

This is not to say that most journalists are on the take. In the West this is mostly done in a more subtle way - by making it clear which ideas do or do not pass the editorial control, by lavishly rewarding those journalists who 'get it' and by quietly turning away those who don't.

If a journalist or reporter commits the crime of "crimethink" he or she will be sidelined and soon out of work.

There is no real pluralism in the West where the boundaries of what can be said or not are very strictly fixed.

Ok, but is it like what has been revealed in Germany, …similar specific operational programs in France, the UK, Italy, Latin America, etc.

Yes, one has to assume so – it is in their interests to have them and there is no reason for them not to.

As for the CIA, it de-facto controls enough of the corporate media to "set the tone". As somebody who in the past used to read the Soviet press for a living, I can sincerely say that it was far more honest and more pluralistic than the press in the USA or EU today.

Joseph Goebbels or Edward Bernays could not have imagined the degree of sophistication of modern propaganda machines.

If the US is doing it, can't one assume other governments are too? Are the Russians doing it against western leaders?

I think that all governments try to do that kind of stuff. However, what makes the US so unique it a combination of truly phenomenal arrogance and multi-billion dollar budgets.

The US "deep state" owns the western corporate media which is by far the most powerful media on the planet. Most governments can only do that inside their own country ... to smear a political opponent or discredit a public figure, but they simply do not have the resources to mount an international strategic psyop campaign. This is something only the US can do.

So foreign governments are at a great disadvantage in this arena vis-a-vis the US?

Absolutely.

Quotes from Putin speech and answers to the questions at the meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club

 


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Old News ;-)

[Oct 17, 2017] Google launches advanced Gmail security features for high-risk users

Notable quotes:
"... The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out. ..."
Oct 17, 2017 | www.msn.com

Alphabet's Google Inc said on Tuesday that it would roll out an advanced protection program in order to provide stronger security for some users such as government officials and journalists who are at a higher risk of being targeted by hackers.

The internet giant said that users of the program would have their account security continuously updated to deal with emerging threats.

The company said it would initially provide three defenses against security threats, which include blocking fraudulent account access and protection against phishing.

The program would include additional reviews and requests in the account recovery process to prevent fraudulent access by hackers who try to gain access by pretending they have been locked out.

... ... ...

[Oct 16, 2017] Intelligence Assessment of Russian Hacking or Collusion by Mike Whitney

Notable quotes:
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Greg Bacon, Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

liveload , October 13, 2017 7:07 PM

It just occurred to me that the perfect Halloween decoration this year would be a Russian flag. That is, unless someone comes out with a Zombie Putin, or Dracula Putin...

[Oct 16, 2017] The Unraveling of American-Russian Relations by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The military/security complex has an annual budget of one thousand billion dollars. This sum is larger than the Gross Domestic Products of all but a handful of countries on earth. Such an immense budget conveying such power desperately needs a dangerous enemy for its justification. Russia has been assigned this role. Given the power of the military/security complex, the role assigned to Russia cannot be mitigated by Russian diplomacy. Moreover, the interests of the military/security complex and the Neoconservatives are in agreement. ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.unz.com

Last March, General Viktor Poznikhir, the deputy commander of the Russian military's Operation Command expressed concern that Washington could be preparing a surprise nuclear attack on Russia. See https://dninews.com/article/moscow-us-missile-systems-europe-may-lead-sudden-nuclear-attack-russia and http://www.newsweek.com/russia-us-global-missile-defense-lead-nuclear-war-europe-591244 and https://www.yahoo.com/news/russian-officials-u-global-missile-192829855.html

Had any such statement from the Russian high command been issued anytime during the 20th century Cold War era, the President of the United States would have immediately contacted the Soviet leader and given every assurance that no such plan or intentions toward Russia existed. As far as I can tell, the Trump White House let this ominous announcement pass unremarked. If this is the case, it must have provided confirmation to the Russians' conclusion.

For some time I have pointed out that the entirety of the West, both the US and its vassal states, continue to ignore very clear Russian warnings. Gilbert Doctorow has made the same point. https://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2017/10/10/deaf-ear-dire-russian-warnings.html

Perhaps the most clear of all was Putin's public statement that "Russia will never again fight a war on its own territory." If Washington's EU vassals did not hear this clear warning that they are courting their nuclear destruction -- especially the Poles and Romanians who have mindlessly hosted US missile bases -- they are as deaf as they are stupid.

One Russian official told the idiot British government to its face that if the British threat to first use nuclear weapons is directed at Russia, if such an attempt is made, Great Britain will disappear from the face of the earth.

There is no doubt that that would be the case.

So why do Washington's impotent vassals talk tough to Russia, a government that only desires peace and has threatened Britain in no way. Nor has the Russian government threatened France, Germany, Italy, Belgium, Greece, Spain, Portugal, the Netherlands, Sweden, Norway, Denmark, Finland, or any of the former Eastern European vassals of the Soviet Union that exchanged their captivity to the Soviet Union for captivity to Washington. Russia has not even threatened Ukraine, which Russia could wipe out in a couple of minutes. Why are all of these countries, apparently led by mindless, gutless two-bit politicians, aligned with Washington's false propaganda against Russia?

The answer is money. The vassals are paid to go along with the lies. As Alain of Lille said as long ago as the 12th century, "not God, not Caesar, but money is all."

What are the forces driving Washington's provocation of Russia? There are three, and they comprise a vast conspiracy against life on earth.

One is the Neoconservatives. The Neoconservatives were convinced by the Soviet Collapse that History has chosen not the proletariat but American "democratic capitalism" as the socio-politico-economic system for the world, and that this choice by History conveys on America the status of the "indispensable, exceptional" country, a status that places America above all other countries and above international law and, indeed, America's own laws.

America is so exceptional that it can torture people in total violation of both US law and international law. The government in Washington can, on suspicion alone without presentation to a court of evidence and conviction, confine US citizens indefinitely, torturing them the entire time, and can assassinate them at will without due process of law. This is the definition of a total police state tyranny. Yet Washington represents America as a "great democracy," whose endless wars against humanity are "bringing democracy to the world."

America is so exceptional that it can bomb other countries indiscriminately without officially being at war with those countries.

America is so exceptional that the separation of powers prescribed in the American Constitution can be totally ignored by the executive branch as, the Neoconservatives claim, the President has "unique powers" not limited by the Constitution, which, of course, is just another lie.

Russia, China, and Iran are targets of the Neoconservatives, as were Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Somalia, Syria, Yemen, and provinces of Pakistan, because these countries have/had independent foreign policies and are/were not Washington's vassals.

The Neoconservative doctrine states that it is the "principal goal" of US foreign policy "to prevent the rise of Russia or any other state" that can serve as a constraint on Washington's unilateralism.

The New York Times under this headline on March 8, 1992, explains the Wolfowitz doctrine:

U.S. Strategy Plan Calls for Insuring No Rivals Develop
A One-Superpower World http://work.colum.edu/~amiller/wolfowitz1992.htm

Special to The New York Times

WASHINGTON, March 7 In a broad new policy statement that is in its final drafting phase, the Defense Department asserts that America's political and military mission in the post-cold-war era will be to ensure that no rival superpower is allowed to emerge in Western Europe, Asia or the territories of the former Soviet Union.

A 46-page document that has been circulating at the highest levels of the Pentagon for weeks, and which Defense Secretary Dick Cheney expects to release later this month, states that part of the American mission will be convincing potential competitors that they need not aspire to a greater role or pursue a more aggressive posture to protect their legitimate interests.

The classified document makes the case for a world dominated by one superpower whose position can be perpetuated by constructive behavior and sufficient military might to deter any nation or group of nations from challenging American primacy.

Every state with an independent foreign policy is a constraint on Washington, especially states with nuclear capabilities such as Russia and China.

A second interest with incentive to provoke Russia is the US military/security complex. President Eisenhower, a five-star general, warned Americans in 1961 that the "military-industrial complex" was a threat to American democracy. Today the military/security complex is much more than a mere threat to American democracy. It has already taken over the US government and the Trump administration, which is run by generals, and it now threatens all life on earth.

The military/security complex has an annual budget of one thousand billion dollars. This sum is larger than the Gross Domestic Products of all but a handful of countries on earth. Such an immense budget conveying such power desperately needs a dangerous enemy for its justification. Russia has been assigned this role. Given the power of the military/security complex, the role assigned to Russia cannot be mitigated by Russian diplomacy. Moreover, the interests of the military/security complex and the Neoconservatives are in agreement.

The third powerful interest group leading to conflict with Russia is the Israel Lobby. In Washington the Israel Lobby is extremely powerful. If the Israel Lobby puts legislation or a resolution before Congress, it usually passes almost unanimously, as anyone who votes against it is likely to be eliminated in the next election.

... ... ...

[Oct 16, 2017] Instead of blaming herself for selling herself to Wall Street and converting into yet another warmonger Hillary is still acusing the Kremlin. What a pathetic loser

It is so convenient to blame Russians ;-)
Notable quotes:
"... "We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress." ..."
"... She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times. ..."
"... Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said. ..."
"... "In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting." ..."
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Originally from: Cyber cold war is just getting started, claims Hillary Clinton

This power hungry woman are just plain vanilla incompetent: "The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said."

Democrats had urged her to be silent after her defeat to Trump but she was not going to go away, said Clinton. She vowed to play her part in an attempt to win back Democratic seats in the forthcoming midterm elections. She admitted she "just collapsed with real grief and disappointment" after her election defeat.

Clinton, who is touring the country to promote What Happened – her memoir reflecting on the election defeat, told the BBC's Andrew Marr: "Looking at the Brexit vote now, it was a precursor to some extent of what happened to us in the United States."

She decried the amount of fabricated information voters were given: "You know, the big lie is a very potent tool and we've somewhat kept it at bay in western democracies, partly because of the freedom of the press. There has to be some basic level of fact and evidence in all parts of our society."

She urged Britain to be cautious about striking a trade deal with Trump, saying he did not believe in free trade.

In other comments during the Cheltenham literary festival, she accused the Kremlin of waging an information war throughout the 2016 US election process. The tactics "were a clear and present danger to western democracy and it is right out of the Putin playbook", she said.

"We know Russian agents used Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and even Pinterest to place targeted attack ads and negative stories intended not to hurt just me but to fan the flames of division in our society. Russians posed as Americans pretending to be LGBT and gun rights activists, even Muslims, saying things they knew would cause distress."

She said some of the basics of the Russian interference in the 2016 election had been known, but "we were in the dark about the weaponisation of social media". She cited new research from Columbia University showing that attack ads on Facebook paid for in roubles were seen by 10 million people in crucial swing states and had been shared up to 340m times.

Clinton said the matter of whether Trump's campaign cooperated with Russian interference was a subject for congressional investigation. But she called for anyone found guilty of such cooperation with Moscow to be subject to civil and criminal law. "The Russians are still playing on anything and everything they can to turn Americans against each other," she said.

"In addition to hacking our elections, they are hacking our discourse and our unity. We are in the middle of a global struggle between liberal democracy and a rising tide of illiberalism and authoritarianism. This is a kind of new cold war and it is just getting starting."

The Russian campaign was leading to nationalism in Europe, democratic backsliding in Hungary and Poland, and a loss of faith in democracy, she said.

[Oct 16, 2017] Assange: It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen

Lady Makbeth of the USA?
Oct 16, 2017 | www.theguardian.com
In an interview with the ABC's Four Corners program, to air on Monday night, Clinton alleges that Assange cooperated with the Russian president, Vladimir Putin , to disrupt the US election and damage her campaign for president.

"WikiLeaks is unfortunately now practically a fully owned subsidiary of Russian intelligence," Clinton told the ABC's Sarah Ferguson .

Describing Putin as a "dictator", Clinton said the damaging email leaks that crippled her 2016 candidacy were part of a coordinated operation against her, directed by the Russian government.

Our intelligence community and other observers of Russia and Putin have said he held a grudge against me because as secretary of state, I stood up against some of his actions, his authoritarianism," Clinton told the ABC.

"But it's much bigger than that. He wants to destabilise democracy, he wants to undermine America, he wants to go after the Atlantic alliance, and we consider Australia an extension of that."

WikiLeaks received thousands of hacked emails from accounts connected to the Democratic campaign allegedly stolen by Russian operatives. The emails were released during a four-month period in the lead-up to the US election.

Emails from the Clinton campaign chairman, John Podesta, were leaked on the same day – 7 October 2016 – the director of national intelligence and the secretary of homeland security released a statement concluding the Russian government had been attempting to interfere in the election.

It was also the day the Washington Post published the 2005 Access Hollywood recording of Donald Trump's lewd comments about sexually harassing women .

Clinton told the ABC she believed the email leak was coordinated to disrupt the influence of the Access Hollywood tape.

"WikiLeaks, which in the world in which we find ourselves promised hidden information, promised some kind of secret that might be of influence, was a very clever, diabolical response to the Hollywood Access tape," she said. "And I've no doubt in my mind that there was some communication if not coordination to drop those the first time in response to the Hollywood Access tape."

Clinton is promoting her election memoir, What Happened, in which she details her thoughts on her unsuccessful campaign for president .

In September she told David Remnick from the New Yorker that she believed the Australian founder of WikiLeaks may be "on the payroll of the Kremlin" .

"I think he is part nihilist, part anarchist, part exhibitionist, part opportunist, who is either actually on the payroll of the Kremlin or in some way supporting their propaganda objectives, because of his resentment toward the United States, toward Europe," she said.

"He's like a lot of the voices that we're hearing now, which are expressing appreciation for the macho authoritarianism of a Putin. And they claim to be acting in furtherance of transparency, except they never go after the Kremlin or people on that side of the political ledger."

Assange has denied the emails came from the Russian government or any other "state parties".

In response to Clinton's comments, Assange said on Twitter there was "something wrong with Hillary Clinton".

"It is not just her constant lying," he wrote. "It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement.

"Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen."

Julian Assange 🔹 (@JulianAssange)

There's something wrong with Hillary Clinton. It is not just her constant lying. It is not just that she throws off menacing glares and seethes thwarted entitlement. Watch closely. Something much darker rides along with it. A cold creepiness rarely seen. https://t.co/JNw2dkXgdu

October 15, 2017

[Oct 15, 2017] Russiagate And The Decline Of Journalism – Ron Paul interviews Robert Parry

Oct 15, 2017 | www.antiwar.com

Nathan abu Nevada , October 12, 2017 11:00 PM

500 People shot in Las Vegas and 500 People missing in California fires at the same time all seems pretty bland compared to Stephanie Leigh Ruhle American combat journalist, and her highly captivating conspiracy theories that those Russian Thugs could possibly have had some how colluded with that Man Trump to defeat the First Woman US President in history Hillary.

This is not the death of the media, just the US media. RT is fantastic and does not make me yell violent obscenities at the TV like the CFR programming.

Watosh Nathan abu Nevada , October 14, 2017 8:45 AM

I watch RTon the internet every day and used to watch it on TV before Time warner dropped it, and I found it very reliable and objective. I recall when one of the top journalists there abby Martin severely criticized and denounced the Russian government for accepting Crimea back into Russia, yet she was not fired even though she often criticized that action.

Many programs had American journalists. And news involving Russia, while generally non-critical, usually was confined to presenting the Russian view on something, which is a legitimate thing to do if you are informing people.

I never heard anyone on RT who spread rumors or made unfounded accusations like I hear on MSNBC every day. and no one on RT denied that they were founded by the Russian government, they did not hide this from their listeners. Americans I believe are the most propagandized people on the earth because they believe the news they get is factually reported by an independent "free" press.

My fellow Americans while they brag about their independence nevertheless are easily stampeded into becoming a lynch mob.

Dennis Boylon Watosh , October 14, 2017 9:16 AM

Modern propaganda was invented in the US by Edward Bernays. It was copied by the Nazi's Joseph Goebbels who had every book Bernays ever wrote in his library.

liveload , October 13, 2017 7:07 PM

It just occurred to me that the perfect Halloween decoration this year would be a Russian flag. That is, unless someone comes out with a Zombie Putin, or Dracula Putin...

[Oct 15, 2017] Fake News and the New McCarthyism by John Buell

Dec 22, 2016 | www.commondreams.org

One of the most potent worries about the coming Trump presidency is concern about free speech. Trump's willingness to tolerate or even encourage violence against nonviolent critics of his agenda and personnel choices is alarming. The Washington Post recently carried a chilling cautionary tale about the fate of a young woman who challenged Trump's record on women's issues. Parallels with banana republic dictators tacitly encouraging or at least tolerating paramilitary forces seem not far- fetched. Though it is easy for the Washington Post to call attention to and criticize Trump's incitement to violence, the Post now practices its own more subtle efforts to police speech.

Behind the façade of a concern about fake news, the Post featured an article by Craig Timberg that cited -- without challenge -- an anonymous website, PropOrNot, listing numerous other sites purported to be purveyors of fake news. As Max Blumenthal reported for AlterNet , "the anonymous website argued that all of the named sites should be investigated by the federal government and potentially prosecuted under the Espionage Act as Russian spies. They were accused for wittingly or unwittingly spreading Russian propaganda."

This story especially caught my attention because one of the fingered websites -- Naked Capitalism -- has long been one of my favorite sources. In addition to meticulous coverage of finance, the site provides in depth analysis of both mainstream economics and contemporary and historic alternatives. All those upon whom economics 101 is being inflicted should consult entries by Philip Mirowski and Philip Pilkingotn. You will never think the same about simple supply and demand. Designating this site as a purveyor of fake -- even Russian supplied-- news while providing no evidence for the claim is surely libelous. Charges of Russian interference in our election -- thus far without any specific evidence beyond agency assertions -- should be investigated but ought not to become an occasion to harass domestic critics of US policy.

In any case, as numerous contributors to some of these libeled sites point out, the Post 's action is the digital equivalent of a McCarthyite blacklist. The Washington Post, which has "apologized" only by saying that it takes no responsibility for the factual accuracy of the claims made in Timberg's piece, is owned by Amazon billionaire Jeff Bezos, who also does contractual work for the CIA.

At the same time as this was happening, Congressional Democrats were getting involved in the blame Russia game. Norman Solomon reports:

A week ago, when the House approved by a 390-30 margin and sent to the Senate the Intelligence Authorization Act for fiscal 2017, Schiff praised "important provisions aimed at countering Russia's destabilizing efforts -- including those targeting our elections." One of those "important provisions," Section 501 , sets up in the executive branch "an interagency committee to counter active measures by the Russian Federation to exert covert influence.

While lacking public accountability, the committee is mandated to ferret out such ambiguous phenomena as Russian "media manipulation" and "disinformation." Along the way, the committee could target an array of activists, political opponents or irksome journalists. In any event, its power to fulfill "such other duties as the president may designate" would be ready-made for abuse.

What seems to be a common thread among many of the blacklisted groups is antagonism toward those critics of neoliberalism or of Obama/Clinton foreign policy who are seen as derailing the Clinton campaign. Solomon rightly makes a Cold War analogy, citing Democratic President Truman's issuing a loyalty act in order to toss a bone to the emerging Cold Warriors only to have it blow up into the full fledged fury of McCarthyism. I would, however, add another historical angle. As such International Relations scholars as David Campbell and James DerDerian have argued, the rhetoric of foreign affairs serves to discipline and support domestic identity as much as to fend off actual military threat. The Cold War was born as much of domestic anxiety as of Soviet military threat. The end of World War II saw contentious efforts by unions and liberals to establish a full employment politics coupled with a wave of strikes almost unprecedented in our history. Even key national security documents at the height of the Cold War indicated more worry about the political appeal of communism than its military might. That a cadre of Democratic centrists would strive to establish a top-secret surveillance committee targeting Russian links to dissident movements is an effort to escape blame for a failed campaign. Seen in broader perspective, however, it is also an effort to validate a badly wounded neoliberal agenda by tying left opponents of that agenda to a reviled foreign power.

Fake news is a real problem as is the violence it can incite. At the very least such violence should be identified and its perpetrators punished. Libel laws should be enforced with regard to innocents targeted by such mega giants as Bezos and his journalistic toy. The problems of fake news are not going to be resolved by establishing a private corporate cop or censor for the internet nor by establishing one more secretive watchdog. The Washington Post and the CIA are both propagators of fake news. This is one more argument for both net neutrality and a more robust anti-trust enforcement. The best answer to fake news is a more diverse media. This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 3.0 License John Buell lives in Southwest Harbor, Maine and writes on labor and environmental issues. His most recent book, published by Palgrave in August 2011, is "Politics, Religion, and Culture in an Anxious Age" . He may be reached at jbuell@acadia.net .

[Oct 15, 2017] New McCarthyism Targets Trump by John V. Walsh

I thought the same way as John in January 2017. We both were definitely wrong. As were many people who voted for Trump in a hope to block ascendance of neocon warmonger Hillary Clinton to power. Now it is unclear whether Hillary Clinton would be so disastrous in foreign policy as Trump or slightly less so.
The period when Trump was at least formally ant-war is firmly in the past now and probably ended with inauguration. In April Trump folded to neocons and destroyed his anti-war credentials with Tomahawk salvo in Syria. Instead of fighting "the Washington swap" as he promised to his voters, he became a part of the swamp. In August Trump himself emerged as a bona-fide warmonger stoking the tension with North Korea. And in October he decertified Iran deal.
Notable quotes:
"... The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia. ..."
"... If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet! ..."
"... As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers. ..."
Jan 04, 2017 | consortiumnews.com

... ... ...

When President Obama expelled Russian diplomats over the hysterical and unproven accusation of Russia "hacking the election," Russian President Vladimir Putin refused to be drawn into a petty squabble, saying he would delay any response until Donald Trump assumed office. Instead Putin invited American diplomats and their families in Moscow to join the official holiday celebrations in the Kremlin.

Then came the shock that shook Official Washington: President-elect Trump, in the form of a tweet heard round the world, wrote: "Great move on delay (by V. Putin) -- I always knew he was very smart!"

And just to be sure that everyone saw it, Trump "pinned" the tweet which means it is the first thing seen by viewers of his account. This was a first use of "pinning" for Trump. And to be doubly sure, he posted it on Instagram as well. This was no spontaneous midnight outburst but a very deliberate action taken on Friday noon, Dec. 30, the day after Obama had issued his retaliation order.

The implications of this move are, arguably, breathtaking. Trump treated Putin as his ally, not as a hated adversary. And he treated Obama and the bipartisan foreign policy elite of Washington as his adversaries, not his allies -- a move that makes perfect sense if Trump's desire is to rein in the War Party's New Cold War and to strive for a New Détente with Russia.

If the main enemy is those who are stoking the New Cold War and risking worse, then Trump has placed himself squarely against these war hawks. And stop to consider for a moment who these folks are. Besides President Obama and Hillary Clinton, they represent a full-blown armchair army: neocons, liberal interventionists, the mainstream media, various Soros-funded "non-governmental organizations," virtually all the important think tanks, the leadership of both major parties, and the CIA and the other U.S. intelligence agencies. This array of Official Washington's power elite has been working 24/7 at demonizing Putin and stoking tensions with nuclear-armed Russia. Trump took on all of them on with his tweet!

Putin as Ally Against the War Party

As Trump looks for new allies in pursuit of a New Détente and a relaxation of U.S.-Russian tensions, Putin is foremost among them. Thus, in the struggle for peace, Trump has drawn new lines, and they cross national borders. Not since Ronald Reagan embraced Mikhail Gorbachev or Richard Nixon went to China have we seen a development like this. In this new battle to reduce tensions between nuclear powers, Trump has shown considerable courage, taking on a wide range of attackers.

Later that afternoon, Maya Kosoff writing for Vanity Fair put out an article entitled "Twitter Melts Down over 'Treason' After Trump Praises Putin." The first batch of such tweets came from "journalists and other foreign policy experts," the next from Evan McMullin, the former CIA officer who tried to draw off Republican votes from Trump in the general election, who tweeted: "To be clear, @realDonaldTrump is siding with America's greatest adversary even as it attacks our democracy. Never grow desensitized to this."

Finally came the predictable rash of tweets calling Trump's words "treasonous" or "seditious." In response, Team Trump refused to issue a "clarification," saying instead that Trump's words spoke for themselves.

As stunning as Trump's tweet was in many ways, it was in other ways entirely predictable. Despite the mainstream media's scorn and Hillary Clinton's mocking him as Putin's "puppet," Trump has held firm to his promise that he will seek peace with Russia and look for areas of cooperation such as fighting terrorism.

So, even when Trump's Russia comments appeared to cost him politically, he stuck with them, suggesting that he believes that this détente is important. The rule of thumb is that if a politician says something that will win votes, you do not know whether it is conviction or opportunism. But if a politician says something that should lose her or him votes, then you can bet it is heartfelt.

Trump was bashed over his resistance to the New Cold War both during the Republican primaries when many GOP leaders were extremely hawkish on Russia and during the general election when the Clinton campaign sought to paint him as some sort of Manchurian Candidate. Even his vice presidential candidate Mike Pence staked out a more hawkish position than Trump.

Trump stood by his more dovish attitude though it presented few electoral advantages and many negatives. By that test, he appears to be sincere. So, his latest opening to Putin was entirely predictable.

A Choice of Peace or War

What is troubling, however, is that some Americans who favor peace hate Trump so much that they recoil from speaking out in his defense over his "treasonous" tweet though they may privately agree with it. Some progressives are uncomfortable with the mainstream's descent into crude McCarthyism but don't want to say anything favorable about Trump.

After all, a vote for President is either thumbs up or thumbs down -- nothing in between -- though voters may like or dislike some policy prescriptions of one candidate and other positions of another candidate. And progressives could list many reasons to not vote for Trump.

But a presidential administration is multi-issued -- not all or none. One can disagree with a president on some issues and agree on others. For instance, many progressives are outraged over Trump's harsh immigration policies but agree with him on scrapping the TPP trade deal.

In other words, there is no reason why those who claim to be for peace should not back Trump on his more peaceful approach toward Putin and Russia, even if they disdain his tough talk about fighting terrorism. That is the reality of politics.

What I've discovered is that many progressives -- as well as many on the Right -- who oppose endless war and disdain empire will tell you in whispers that they do support Trump's attempt at Détente 2.0, though they doubt he will succeed. In the meantime, they are keeping their heads down and staying quiet.

But clearly Trump's success depends on how much support he gets -- as weighed against how much grief he gets. By lacking the courage to defend Trump's "treasonous tweet," those who want to rein in the warmongers may be missing a rare opportunity. If those who agree with Trump on this issue stay silent, it may be a lost opportunity as well.

John V. Walsh, an anti-war activist, can be reached at John.Endwar@gmail.com

[Oct 15, 2017] A New McCarthyism in Hollywood by Stephen Galloway

Notable quotes:
"... Seventy years ago this week -- on March 21, 1947, to be exact -- President Truman issued an executive order that caught some of his most die-hard supporters by surprise. ..."
"... The order, wrote Robert Justin Goldstein in Prologue ..."
"... their summons sent waves of fear coursing through the industry, enough to paralyze even liberal supporters such as Humphrey Bogart, and certainly more conservative ones such as Gary Cooper. ..."
"... By the end of the hearings, 10 of the witnesses had been cited for contempt of court, and soon some of the top movie executives issued what became known as the Waldorf Statement, a two-page press release vowing that "We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ, and we will not re-employ any of the ten until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a Communist." ..."
"... The Hollywood Ten would serve time in prison and emerge to find themselves banished from the studios, forced to scrimp and scrape and use "fronts" just to survive. More than a decade would pass before they were able to work freely again. ..."
"... I've often wondered whether McCarthyism could ever find a foothold in Hollywood or America again. I didn't think so, until now. That possibility was always present in the minds of the blacklisted, some of whom I came to know when I arrived in Los Angeles in the 1980s, among them Martin Ritt, the director of such pictures as Hud, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Norma Rae. ..."
"... Marty was blacklisted for several years and later made a movie about the experience, 1976's comedy-drama The Front ..."
"... Edge of the City ..."
"... Tom, Dick and Harry ..."
"... More than careers were hurt: friendships were sundered, relationships broken, families destroyed, lives ruined. Even those who weren't victims of the blacklist lived in constant fear that they might become victims, too. ..."
"... Because fear is the most contagious of diseases. It spreads with a will of its own, infecting innocent and guilty alike, poisoning the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Those who instill fear are often afraid. And the more they inflict fear on others, the more likely they are to feel it themselves. ..."
Mar 20, 2017 | www.hollywoodreporter.com
It's been 70 years since President Truman ordered his loyalty tests. Now Hollywood has a loyalty test of its own.

Seventy years ago this week -- on March 21, 1947, to be exact -- President Truman issued an executive order that caught some of his most die-hard supporters by surprise.

The order, wrote Robert Justin Goldstein in Prologue magazine, "required that all federal civil service employees be screened for 'loyalty.' [It] specified that one criterion would be a finding of 'membership in, affiliation with or sympathetic association' with any organization determined by the attorney general to be 'totalitarian, Fascist, Communist or subversive' or advocating or approving the forceful denial of constitutional rights to other persons or seeking 'to alter the form of Government of the United States by unconstitutional means.'"

Two and a half years before Sen. Joseph McCarthy raised his ugly head and alleged massive Communist infiltration of the government, the "red scare" was underway. It would have a devastating impact on Hollywood.

Months after Truman's order, several dozen members of the film industry were summoned to appear as witnesses before the House Un-American Activities Committee. Nineteen of them, known as the "Unfriendly Nineteen" -- a term coined by the then-red-baiting Hollywood Reporter -- were left-wingers, hostile to the committee. Billy Wilder mordantly quipped that "only two of them have talent. The rest are just unfriendly." But their summons sent waves of fear coursing through the industry, enough to paralyze even liberal supporters such as Humphrey Bogart, and certainly more conservative ones such as Gary Cooper.

By the end of the hearings, 10 of the witnesses had been cited for contempt of court, and soon some of the top movie executives issued what became known as the Waldorf Statement, a two-page press release vowing that "We will forthwith discharge or suspend without compensation those in our employ, and we will not re-employ any of the ten until such time as he is acquitted or has purged himself of contempt and declares under oath that he is not a Communist."

The Hollywood Ten would serve time in prison and emerge to find themselves banished from the studios, forced to scrimp and scrape and use "fronts" just to survive. More than a decade would pass before they were able to work freely again.

***

I've often wondered whether McCarthyism could ever find a foothold in Hollywood or America again. I didn't think so, until now. That possibility was always present in the minds of the blacklisted, some of whom I came to know when I arrived in Los Angeles in the 1980s, among them Martin Ritt, the director of such pictures as Hud, The Spy Who Came in From the Cold and Norma Rae.

Marty was blacklisted for several years and later made a movie about the experience, 1976's comedy-drama The Front , starring Woody Allen and Zero Mostel. He was a man of enormous integrity, who was blackballed without explanation, though he insisted he had never been a member of the Communist Party. Overnight, his work dried up and he was forced to return to his roots in the theater -- along with the racetrack, where he made his real money. He could have named names to get himself off the hook, but he didn't, in contrast to his close friend Elia Kazan, whose betrayal stung him to the quick.

Ritt was relatively lucky; he was allowed back into the Hollywood fold sooner than most, when he got to direct the low-budget feature Edge of the City (1957), the first of the 20-plus films he would make over the following three decades. Others were less fortunate. Paul Jarrico, a writer whom I also was privileged to meet and who'd been Oscar-nominated in his mid-20s for Tom, Dick and Harry (1941), fled to Paris, his career never to bounce back to the heights it had reached before.

More than careers were hurt: friendships were sundered, relationships broken, families destroyed, lives ruined. Even those who weren't victims of the blacklist lived in constant fear that they might become victims, too.

Because fear is the most contagious of diseases. It spreads with a will of its own, infecting innocent and guilty alike, poisoning the oppressor as well as the oppressed. Those who instill fear are often afraid. And the more they inflict fear on others, the more likely they are to feel it themselves.

[Oct 15, 2017] The New McCarthyism by Michael Rivero

Notable quotes:
"... in actuality the US Government was concerned that Hollywood was no longer as blindly supportive of government policy as it had been only a few years earlier at the height of WW2. In particular, J. Edgar Hoover had long held the opinion that the entertainment industry should be the propaganda arm for the government in peace time as well as war. ..."
"... However, as WW2 had ended, the defense establishment had lobbied for the creation of a "Cold" war against the Soviet Union, a war not actually to be fought, but constantly to be prepared for at huge cost to the taxpayers. This cost was the visible manifestation of the "Military Industrial Complex" President Eisenhower referred to in his farewell address, and many in Hollywood openly wondered just why so much more money had to be thrown into the war machine during a time of peace, and more to the point, just why we were supposed to be so afraid of the communists. ..."
"... In later years, FBI informants became permanent fixtures at movie studios, and spied for the FBI. ..."
"... While Senator Joseph McCarthy grabbed headlines with his shouts of "Communist", Hoover set about his self-appointed task of purging Hollywood of any he viewed as "disloyal" to the United States, which meant anyone unwilling to make the movies they were told to make, when and how they were told to make them. ..."
"... Stars such as Larry Parks were destroyed because they refused to "name names" of other actors who were party members. Actor Philip Loeb committed suicide. Edward G. Robinson, never a communist, was put on a "grey list," and spent the rest of his life making B movies (except for his final role opposite Charlton Heston in "Soylent Green"). Sam Jaffe, formerly a well-known actor and Oscar winner in 1950 was registered on the black list because he refused to cooperate with the committee. He spent the next 6 years working as a math teacher and living at his sister's until he was able to return to films in 1957. ..."
"... Of course, what was really involved was money. War is good for business. Business had been great during WW2 and the newly created "Cold War" was just a way to keep business good. The Military Industrial Complex NEEDED Hollywood to demonize the Soviets. Otherwise, too many people were going to ask why we were being told to be so afraid of them, and few in the government had a really convincing answer for that question. So, in order to perpetuate the Cold War, those in Hollywood who might sympathize with the designated villains had to be removed; their ruined lives a small price to pay for unending access to the taxpayers' wallets. ..."
"... But the Soviet Union has gone out of business. The word "communist" doesn't carry the same psychological impact it used to, so the war hawk smear squad has come up with a new one, "Anti-Semite." Like "Communist", "Anti-Semite" is used to ruin the lives of people who have not actually done anything wrong other than to challenge the war profiteers. It is a new word for an old trick, and I am amazed that they are still playing the same old game, but I guess the FBI can always find some dumb-assed idiot to fall for it and do their dirty work of wrecking a career for them. ..."
"... Charles Lindbergh the famous aviator commented in a speech in Des Moines in 1941... ..."
"... Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms "fifth columnist," "traitor," "Nazi," "anti-Semitic" were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak. ..."
"... If there is a difference today it is that the American people are better educated. No longer dependent on the state schools, or controlled media, the public understands the tactics used to silence those who speak out. As a result, those who speak out are more and more not only accorded the sympathetic ear that their message deserves, but the effects of the smearing are far less ruinous than in times past. ..."
"... While people like Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard (and to step out of entertainment, former President Jimmy Carter) will be remembered and honored for their courage, history will lump the smear artists together with Stalin's "Useful idiots", little more than no-talent opportunists for whom ratting out someone was the fastest path to advancement. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.whatreallyhappened.com

Back in the year 1947, the House Select Committee began an investigation into the Motion Picture Industry. Ostensibly the goal was to ferret out communists working in the film industry. But in actuality the US Government was concerned that Hollywood was no longer as blindly supportive of government policy as it had been only a few years earlier at the height of WW2. In particular, J. Edgar Hoover had long held the opinion that the entertainment industry should be the propaganda arm for the government in peace time as well as war.

However, as WW2 had ended, the defense establishment had lobbied for the creation of a "Cold" war against the Soviet Union, a war not actually to be fought, but constantly to be prepared for at huge cost to the taxpayers. This cost was the visible manifestation of the "Military Industrial Complex" President Eisenhower referred to in his farewell address, and many in Hollywood openly wondered just why so much more money had to be thrown into the war machine during a time of peace, and more to the point, just why we were supposed to be so afraid of the communists.

Hoover's desire to remake Hollywood into a gigantic propaganda machine had started at the end of WW1 when Hoover tried to persuade Charlie Chaplin to cease making films that portrayed authority figures as oafish buffoons. Chaplin refused, laughed at Hoover. Years later, as head of the FBI, Hoover was instrumental in having Charlie Chaplin's citizenship revoked in retaliation.

Hoover's mania with Hollywood was a seldom reported but constant factor in show business. The 1959 film, "The FBI Story" starring Air Force General Jimmy Stewart was reportedly directed by Mervyn LeRoy, but in actuality J. Edgar Hoover was personally supervising the film (and briefly appears in it, shown only from the back) to make certain the "correct" image of the FBI was shown.

In later years, FBI informants became permanent fixtures at movie studios, and spied for the FBI. When Disney Studios made "That Darned Cat", a pre-production copy of the screenplay "somehow" made its way to the FBI, which promptly sent Disney a memo expressing concern at how the FBI was to be portrayed.

[That Darned Cat]Click for full sized page. [That Darned Cat]Click for full sized page.

Likewise, when Paramount Pictures produced, "Skidoo", starring Jackie Gleason, it featured a single scene in which Gleason's character is seen fleeing a building marked, "FBI" carrying a file cabinet on his back. That one single scene prompted the following four page memo.

[Skidoo page 1]Click for full sized page. [Skidoo page 2]Click for full sized page.
[Skidoo page 3]Click for full sized page. [Skidoo page 4]Click for full sized page.

Along with "nudging" the film studios to portray certain things certain ways, the FBI did not hesitate to wreck the careers of those people it felt posed a dangerous threat to the government's public image. During the height of the FBI's COINTELPRO program, the FBI destroyed the career of actress Jean Seberg

Jean Seberg was considered a threat to the US Government because of her public support for civil rights at a time when the Civil Rights movement was starting to point out the racial bias in the draft system that placed a disproportionate percentage of black kids on the front lines of Vietnam. Seberg was also a supporter of the Black Panthers in their pre-militant days when their agenda was breakfasts for the ghetto kids, local control of school curriculum, and ending the draft.

Jean Seberg, a well known actress in the 60s, became pregnant and the FBI sent out letters to the gossip columnists identifying the baby's father as a Black Panther, in order to cheapen Seberg's image. Keep in mind that the 60s was an era in which sexual relations between blacks and whites was still considered taboo by most Americans.

The scans below are of the official FBI letter from Los Angeles to Washington D.C. asking permission for the scam.

[Seberg Letter Page 1]letter requesting permission for the smearing of Jean Seberg.

[Seberg Letter Page 2]page two of request for permission to smear of Jean Seberg

The text of the letter:

"Bureau permission is requested to publicize the pregnancy of Jean Seberg, well-known movie actress by (name deleted) Black Panther (BPP) (deleted) by advising Hollywood "Gossip-Columnists" in the Los Angeles area of the situation. It is felt that the possible publication of Seberg's plight could cause her embarrassment and serve to cheapen her image with the general public.

" 'It is proposed that the following letter from a fictitious person be sent to local columnists:

"I was just thinking about you and remembered I still owe you a favor. So ---- I was in Paris last week and ran into Jean Seberg, who was heavy with baby. I thought she and Romaine [sic] had gotten together again, but she confided the child belonged to (deleted) of the Black Panthers, one (deleted). The dear girl is getting around!

" 'Anyway, I thought you might get a scoop on the others. Be good and I'll see you soon.

'Love,
" 'Sol.,

"Usual precautions would be taken by the Los Angeles Division to preclude identification of the Bureau as the source of the letter if approval is granted."

Permission to use the fake letter was granted, but with the suggestion that the smear be delayed until Jean Seberg's pregnancy was in a very obvious condition.

[Seberg Letter Page 1] letter granting permission for the smearing of Jean Seberg.

The story was then run by Los Angeles Times propagandist Joyce Haber.

[Seberg Letter Page 2]Click for full size picture of the Haber Article that launched the smear.

The story was picked up by Newsweek and the international press. The shock of the story was so severe that Jean Seberg suffered a miscarriage. The funeral for the child was held with an open casket, so that the lie stood revealed in its most tragic form. Jean Seberg, her baby dead and her career shattered by this outright lie, attempted suicide several times, finally succeeding in a French Hotel.

[Seberg Letter Page 1] memo that accompanied copy of the Haber story sent to FBI files.

(The name which was redacted from the memo during the FOIA process is thought by many to have been Raymond Hewit, a Black Panther leader. His "outright lie" was far more direct. The FBI typed up a letter on official FBI stationary identifying Hewit as an informant and planted it where other Black Panthers would find it in the hopes that Hewit would then be killed.)

Following Seberg's death, the Los Angeles Times, the key instrument of her torment, issued a statement by the FBI.

"The days when the FBI used derogatory information to combat advocates of unpopular causes have long since passed. We are out of that business forever."

The Senate committee that looked into COINTELPRO disagreed, however.

"Cointelpro activities may continue today under the rubric of 'investigation.'

Finally, no single celebrity filled the government with more fear than did ex-Beatle John Lennon. Lennon's popularity, and hence his ability to influence popular opinion, coupled with his strong anti-war stance, made him a real threat in the event the United States decided it had to go to war. For this reason, Lennon was one of the most watched celebrities, and according to Lennon's youngest son, the victim of a government assassination plot.

[Lennon 1]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 2]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 3]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 4]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 5]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 6]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 7]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 8]Click for full sized page.
[Lennon 9]Click for full sized page. [Lennon 10]Click for full sized page.

Having documented the FBI's willingness to destroy anyone they feel represents a threat to the government, let us return to the days of the House Select Committee on UnAmerican Activities.

While Senator Joseph McCarthy grabbed headlines with his shouts of "Communist", Hoover set about his self-appointed task of purging Hollywood of any he viewed as "disloyal" to the United States, which meant anyone unwilling to make the movies they were told to make, when and how they were told to make them. Senator McCarthy's screed of "Communist" provided Hoover with a bludgeon he could and did use with impunity on Hollywood's creative talents. Careers were ruined. Some 400 people, mostly innocent of any actual wrongdoing, were destroyed. Some, like Jean Seberg would later do, committed suicide. Ten men (the famous Hollywood Ten), Alvah Bessie, Herbert Biberman, Lester Cole, Ring Lardner jr., John Howard Lawson, Albert Maltz, Samuel Ornitz, Adrian Scott, Dalton Trumbo, and eminent director Edward Dmytryk were jailed for contempt of Congress.

Others punished for refusing to cooperate included Larry Adler, Stella Adler, Leonard Bernstein, Marc Blitzstein, Joseph Bromberg, Charlie Chaplin, Aaron Copland, Hanns Eisler, Carl Foreman, John Garfield, Howard Da Silva, Dashiell Hammett, E. Y. Harburg, Lillian Hellman, Burl Ives, Arthur Miller, Dorothy Parker, Philip Loeb, Joseph Losey, Anne Revere, Pete Seeger, Gale Sondergaard, Louis Untermeyer, Josh White, Clifford Odets, Michael Wilson, Paul Jarrico, Jeff Corey, John Randolph, Canada Lee, Orson Welles, Paul Green, Sidney Kingsley, Paul Robeson, Richard Wright and Abraham Polonsky. Lee Grant was registered on the black list because she refused to give evidence against her husband Arnold Manoff.

Stars such as Larry Parks were destroyed because they refused to "name names" of other actors who were party members. Actor Philip Loeb committed suicide. Edward G. Robinson, never a communist, was put on a "grey list," and spent the rest of his life making B movies (except for his final role opposite Charlton Heston in "Soylent Green"). Sam Jaffe, formerly a well-known actor and Oscar winner in 1950 was registered on the black list because he refused to cooperate with the committee. He spent the next 6 years working as a math teacher and living at his sister's until he was able to return to films in 1957.

Of course, what was really involved was money. War is good for business. Business had been great during WW2 and the newly created "Cold War" was just a way to keep business good. The Military Industrial Complex NEEDED Hollywood to demonize the Soviets. Otherwise, too many people were going to ask why we were being told to be so afraid of them, and few in the government had a really convincing answer for that question. So, in order to perpetuate the Cold War, those in Hollywood who might sympathize with the designated villains had to be removed; their ruined lives a small price to pay for unending access to the taxpayers' wallets.

But that was then and this is now.

Once again vast sums of money are being spent on a war, this time a hot one and getting hotter. Once again parties with a vested interest are out to smear and destroy anyone who dares ask if the wars are worth the sacrifice of our young people (not to mention the money), indeed if there really is any point at all to the wars aside from justifying the flow of money to defense contractors.

But the Soviet Union has gone out of business. The word "communist" doesn't carry the same psychological impact it used to, so the war hawk smear squad has come up with a new one, "Anti-Semite." Like "Communist", "Anti-Semite" is used to ruin the lives of people who have not actually done anything wrong other than to challenge the war profiteers. It is a new word for an old trick, and I am amazed that they are still playing the same old game, but I guess the FBI can always find some dumb-assed idiot to fall for it and do their dirty work of wrecking a career for them.

Of course, it really isn't that new a word. Oddly enough, Charles Lindbergh the famous aviator commented in a speech in Des Moines in 1941...

Our theaters soon became filled with plays portraying the glory of war. Newsreels lost all semblance of objectivity. Newspapers and magazines began to lose advertising if they carried anti-war articles. A smear campaign was instituted against individuals who opposed intervention. The terms "fifth columnist," "traitor," "Nazi," "anti-Semitic" were thrown ceaselessly at any one who dared to suggest that it was not to the best interests of the United States to enter the war. Men lost their jobs if they were frankly anti-war. Many others dared no longer speak.

Today we are seeing once again the heavy hand of the war profiteers trying to reshape the film industry into a tool to propagandize the public into a high war-fever such that they will gladly trade their own blood for gold to line the pockets of the defense establishment. And those individuals who have the courage to speak out are attacked, and once again they are smeared to silence them. In the 1940s it was "Communist", today it is "Anti-Semite", but aside from the particular label used, the methods, goals, and morality are little changed from the days of Joseph McCarthy.

If there is a difference today it is that the American people are better educated. No longer dependent on the state schools, or controlled media, the public understands the tactics used to silence those who speak out. As a result, those who speak out are more and more not only accorded the sympathetic ear that their message deserves, but the effects of the smearing are far less ruinous than in times past.

Thus, when we see people like Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard speak out and survive, or when people like Tom Shadyac (or myself) voluntarily walk away from Hollywood because speaking the truth matters more to them, it sends a message that it is now permissible, indeed imperative to speak out. This is not to say that there are not risks. Rosie O'Donnell lost her spot on "The View", but the majority of Americans understand exactly why, and understand that Rosie sacrificed a great deal trying to get the truth out. Rosie is and will be remembered as a hero for truth long after her co-hosts on "The View" are properly forgotten.

In contrast, of course, we look back at those who aided the "Commie" witch-hunts of the 1940s with deserved contempt. No doubt many aided Hoover purely to rid themselves of competition, and then tried to lull themselves to sleep with the idea that in some way they had actually done something good for the nation by wrecking their neighbors' careers. I have no doubt strong liquor played a role in this grossest of self-deception. But if the informants and smear artists of the 1940s are remembered in a poor light, that should serve as a reminder to the informants and smear artists of today. It does not matter what you do with the rest of your life, aiding the new version of McCarthyism is how history will remember you. While people like Charlie Sheen, Willie Nelson, Sean Penn, and Marion Cotillard (and to step out of entertainment, former President Jimmy Carter) will be remembered and honored for their courage, history will lump the smear artists together with Stalin's "Useful idiots", little more than no-talent opportunists for whom ratting out someone was the fastest path to advancement.

They say that history repeats itself, and indeed that is the major thing wrong with history. We are seeing history repeat itself again. We have been down this path before, in the 1940s. Whether the word is "Communist" or "Anti-Semite", Hollywood is making the same mistake all over again. And Hollywood will have to live with that image in the coming decades.

[Oct 15, 2017] Could we reverse a hacked presidential election by Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart

Those two "propaganda solders" from Yale release outright lies about "stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. " as it this is a fact. Looks like those students learned quickly from their Yale "color revolution" teachers ;-)
The USA perfected election interference technique in dozen of color revolution in xUSSR republics and other areas of the globe. Actually the first color revolution was organized in 1974.
Now DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) and elements of intelligence agencies and MS who support them simply can not quit... Now quitting involved potential significant PR damage... McCarthyism has its own internal dynamics. The danger for DemoRats (neoliberal Democrats of Clinton wing of the party) now is that if Russian were investigated why Israelis and Saudies (along with other Gulf monarchies) were not.
Please note that Yale is the main US educational institution that teaches foreign students color revolution theory and practice... See, for example Sott.net and Kerry Re-writes History of U.S. Support for Color Revolutions
Notable quotes:
"... Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation? ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

In the past few weeks, we have learned that the Russian government reached more than 10 million Americans with a misinformation campaign on Facebook, and that hackers targeted 21 state election systems , stealing information from 90,000 voting records in the state of Illinois alone. These are just the latest of many revelations about Russia's unprecedented interference in the election.

It is cold comfort that we have no evidence so far that Moscow actually manipulated vote tallies to change the election's outcome.

But what if it emerges that Russian operatives were successful on that front as well? Setting Trump aside, what if a foreign government succeeds in the future in electing an American president through active vote manipulation?

The Constitution offers no clear way to remedy such a disaster.

Any evidence that the Trump campaign colluded with Russia raises its own set of important issues -- now being assiduously investigated by special counsel Robert Mueller. But the disturbing scenario in which hackers manipulate election results, conceivably rendering the true vote tally unrecoverable, would pose a unique threat to a foundational principle of our democracy: rule by the consent of the governed. We would in no sense have a government "by the people."

Although such a constitutional crisis now seems all too plausible, we have yet to seriously consider provisions that might protect our democracy -- measures that could allow us to reverse such a result.

... ... ...

Vinay Nayak and Samuel Breidbart are students at Yale Law School.

[Oct 15, 2017] The Mysterious World of Social Media Manipulation by Samuel Earle

When people stop to trust MSM, rumor mill emerges as a substitute. Neoliberal MSM lost people trust. Now what ?
Notable quotes:
"... But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes. ..."
"... The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post ..."
"... There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views. ..."
Oct 15, 2017 | www.msn.com

Now the focus is less on Trump's extensive personal social media following and more on the roles that Facebook and Twitter may have played in alleged Russian interference in the election. Congress is calling on Facebook and Twitter to disclose details about how they may have been used by Russia-linked entities to try to influence the election in favor of Trump.

But despite the much-publicized case in the U.S., the pervasiveness of these political strategies on social media, from the distribution of disinformation to organized attacks on opponents, the tactics remain largely unknown to the public, as invisible as they are invasive. Citizens are exposed to them the world over, often without ever realizing it.

Drawing on two recent reports by the Oxford Internet Institute (OII) and independent research, Newsweek has outlined the covert ways in which states and other political actors use social media to manipulate public opinion around the world, focusing on six illustrative examples: the U.S., Azerbaijan, Israel, China, Russia and the U.K.

It reveals how "Cyber-troops" -- the name given to this new political force by the OII -- are enlisted by states, militaries and parties to secure power and undermine opponents, through a combination of public funding, private contracts and volunteers, and how bots -- fake accounts that purport to be real people -- can produce as many as 1,000 social media posts a day.

By generating an illusion of support for an idea or candidate in this way, bots drive up actual support by sparking a bandwagon effect -- making something or someone seem normal and like a palatable, common-sense option. As the director of the OII, Philip Howard, argues : "If you use enough of them, of bots and people, and cleverly link them together, you are what's legitimate. You are creating truth."

On social media, the consensus goes to whoever has the strongest set of resources to make it.

The U.S.: Rise of the bots

America sees a wider range of actors attempting to shape and manipulate public opinion online than any country -- with governments, political parties, and individual organizations all involved.

In its report, the OII describes 2016's Trump vs. Hillary Clinton presidential contest as a " watershed moment " when social media manipulation was "at an all-time high."

Many of the forces at play have been well-reported: whether the hundreds of thousands of bots or the right-wing sites like Breitbart distributing divisive stories. In Michigan, in the days before the election, fake news was shared as widely as professional journalism . Meanwhile firms like Cambridge Analytica, self-described specialists in "election management," worked for Trump to target swing voters, mainly on Facebook.

While Hillary Clinton's campaign also engaged in such tactics, with big-data and pro-Clinton bots multiplying in number as her campaign progressed, Trump's team proved the most effective. Overall, pro-Trump bots generated five times as much activity at key moments of the campaign as pro-Clinton ones. These Twitter bots -- which often had zero followers -- copied each other's messages and sent out advertisements alongside political content. They regularly retweeted Dan Scavino, Trump's social media director.

One high-ranking Republican Party figure told OII that campaigning on social media was like "the Wild West." "Anything goes as long as your candidate is getting the most attention," he said. And it worked: A Harvard study concluded that overall Trump received 15 percent more media coverage than Clinton.

Targeted advertising to specific demographics was also central to Trump's strategy. Clinton spent two and a half times more than Trump on television adverts and had a 73% share of nationally focused digital ads.

But Trump's team, led by Cambridge Analytica for the final months, focused on sub-groups. In one famous example, an anti-Clinton ad that repeated her notorious speech from 1996 describing so-called "super-predators" was shown exclusively to African-American voters on Facebook in areas where the Republicans hoped to suppress the Democrat vote -- and again, it worked.

"It's well known that President Obama's campaign pioneered the use of microtargeting in 2012," a spokesperson for Cambridge Analytica tells Newsweek . "But big data and new ad tech are now revolutionizing communications and marketing, and Cambridge Analytica is at the forefront of this paradigm shift."

"Communication enhances democracy, not endangers it. We enable voters to have their concerns heard, and we help political candidates communicate their policy positions."

The firm argues that its partnership with American right-wing candidates -- first Ted Cruz and then Trump -- is purely circumstantial. "We work in politics, but we're not political," the spokesperson said.

The company is part-owned by the family of Robert Mercer, which was one of Trump's major donors, while Stephen K. Bannon sat on the company's board until he was appointed White House chief strategist (he was dismissed from his post seven months later). According to Bannon's March federal financial disclosure, he held shares worth as much as $5 million in the company . On October 11, it was also revealed that the House Intelligence Committee has asked the company to provide information for its ongoing probe into Russian interference.

But social media manipulation did not begin or end with the election. As early as 2011, the US government hired a public relations firm to develop a " persona management tool " that would develop and control fake profiles on social media for political purposes.

The British parent company of Cambridge Analytica, Strategic Communications Laboratories (SCL), has been a client of the government for years, working with the Department of Defense, and The Washington Post reports that it recently secured work with the State Department.

There is also growing awareness of hundreds of thousands of so-called "sleeper" bots: Accounts that have tweeted only once or twice for Trump, and which now sit silently, waiting for a trigger -- a key political moment -- to spread disinformation and drown out opposing views.

Emilio Ferrara, an Assistant Research Professor at the University of Southern California Computer Science department, even suggests the possibility of "a black-market for reusable political disinformation bots," ready to be utilitized wherever they are needed, the world over. These fears appeared to be confirmed by reports that the same bots used to back Trump were then deployed against eventual winner Emmanuel Macron in this year's French presidential election.

[Oct 14, 2017] The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished by Mike Whitney

Anybody who subscript of NYT, or WaPo after this fiasco is simply paying money for state propaganda.
Notable quotes:
"... Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. " ..."
"... Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. ..."
"... This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. ..."
"... The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. ..."
"... How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any." ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
"... If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact. ..."
"... This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome. ..."
"... In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves. ..."
"... But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us. ..."
"... Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater. ..."
"... The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished. ..."
"... The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years. ..."
"... Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying. ..."
"... So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London ..."
"... Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff. ..."
"... If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco? ..."
Oct 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The Senate Intelligence Committee Finds No Evidence of Russian Hacking or Collusion

The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said: "We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee. "

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point? Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy. From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts -- who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security -- would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: "There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

Beckow > , October 13, 2017 at 11:00 pm GMT

Where is this going? At some point in the next few years there will be a 'damning' report that will regurgitate what has already been endlessly publicised: VIP's meet each other (the horror!), somehow DNC emails got published, Facebook sold ads to 'Russia-linked' users, and Pokemon Go, whatever. That will be described in sinister terms and RT will be thrown in. How dare RT not to have the same views as CNN?

But what then? Let's even say that Trump is removed – he is at this point so emasculated that keeping him in the White House is the most stabilising thing the establishment could do. Is Congress going to declare a war on Russia? Or more sanctions? Are they going to ban RT? Break diplomatic relations? None of that makes sense because any of those moves would be more costly than beneficial, some dramatically so. Therefore nothing will happen.

All that will remain is permanent bitterness towards Russia, and vice-versa. And much reduced ability to do what the West has done for 75 years: heavy interference and media campaigns inside foreign countries to influence elections. If 'meddling' is so bad, the biggest meddlers – by far – will be less able to meddle. So how is this hysteria helping?

Sanity in public life is a precious thing. Once abandoned, all kinds of strange things start happening. Yeah, Pokemon GO – Putin was personally naming the characters to 'sow division'. It sounds like something Stalin would accuse his 'cosmopolitan' enemies of doing. This is really embarrassing.

utu > , October 14, 2017 at 4:35 am GMT

Incorrect parsing of reality. It was not about getting Trump but it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration.

Greg Bacon > , Website October 14, 2017 at 9:59 am GMT

If the Senate can 'assess,' so can I! I assess that Hollywood hottie Jenifer Lawrence is secretly in love with me! Although I can't prove this, all of my assessments point to this as being fact.

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 11:45 am GMT

@Johnny Rico

I have been convinced of the ridiculousness of the Russian-hacking/collusion narrative/scandal since it was created in 2016.

I, too, smelled a rat and figured that it was all BS right from the get go. So much so that I haven't followed it a bit. In fact it's so ridiculous on its face, that I have not and probably will not, waste time reading the article even though MW is a good guy, an unimpeachable source, a true journalist, and a fine writer.

Bless you, Mr Whitney, for having the energy to document what is no doubt a pack of lies from the usual suspects.

I stumbled on this yesterday, and it suggests, to no one's surprise, that it's always deja vu all over again. You'd think our "high IQ" masters would show a little originality once in a while, and that we, "Low IQ" as we are, would finally learn that it's all BS from the get-go.

Note the date.:

THESE books all belong to that literature of Katzenjammer which now flourishes so amazingly in the United States t hey all embody attempts to find out what is the matter with the Republic. I wish I could add that one or another of them solves the problem, or at least contributes something to its illumination , but that would be going somewhat beyond the facts.

-H.L. Mencken, Autopsy (4 Reviews), , September 1927 , pp. 123-125 – PDF

http://www.unz.org/Pub/AmMercury-1927sep-00123

jacques sheete > , October 14, 2017 at 12:21 pm GMT

@Thorfinnsson

This makes me suspect that Mike Whitney is a censorious coward on the model of Razib Khan (thankfully expelled from unz.com) or even worse Paul Craig Roberts (who prohibits comments entirely).

While I agree with you about the latter two, and have written them off accordingly, along with Mercer, who I suspect "edits" (really, "purges" ) her comments too, I highly doubt that MW falls into the same categories as those mentioned. At least MW doesn't use the word, "insouciant" 3 or 4 times in every article!

If I am wrong and this article is simply strangely unpopular please let me know and I will apologize.

The article isn't so much unpopular as the subject is wearying. It's the same crud all over again,obviously false, and I suspect virtually everyone knows it. It's utterly boring and I give MW a lot of credit for having the persistence to even face the mindless mess, let alone think and write about it. He really is to be admired for that.

I've always thought it was a distraction as usual from other much more more important things but utu has a better take on it.

it was about making Trump administration to severe relations with Russia. It began with having Gen. Flynn fired. This mission was accomplished. We have now worse relations with Russia than at the end of Obama administration. [ed note:And Flynn is gone too.]

I think that's a "Bingo!" and I also think you better formulate an apology and plan on getting on yer knees to deliver it!

PS: I'm curious as to why you think this is of much interest at all. (Aside from utu's take.)

Michael Kenny > , October 14, 2017 at 1:24 pm GMT

We don't know who this author really is but, once again, what's interesting is that so many people are still so scared of an investigation which is supposedly producing "no evidence" (leaving aside Trump Junior's evidence, of course). If all this was a load of nonsense, why make such a fuss about it? If there's nothing to this, an "effort to support a theory", however "determined" will come up with nothing. The frantic attempts to kill off Russiagate suggest that those who are making such attempts know, or believe, that there actually is something to it which has not yet come to light. Probably something pretty dirty by the sound of it. What if some part of the US intelligence services took part in the manipulation of the election, either in collusion with the Russians or posing as Russians, and Putin can prove it? That would certainly explain the plethora of retired intelligence agents who are so assiduously defending a foreign government. If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course.

Captain Nemo > , October 14, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia.

Really? Only "now"?! I thought it was pretty much clear from the beginning.

Ludwig Watzal > , Website October 14, 2017 at 1:59 pm GMT

This report is as bogus as the "9/11 Commission Report". Both commissions members were hand-picked by those guys that have a vested interest in the right outcome.

In the end, Robert Mueller, an Obama/Clinton/Comey/Brennan stooge, will produce some "evidence" about so-called Russian meddling as far-fetched this may be. And the fawning media will go for it. The American public will get the report, which it deserves.

TG > , October 14, 2017 at 2:33 pm GMT

Indeed, well said. But what is missing is that this "Russian Hacking" story was not nonsense, it worked. After Trump was elected, the establishment panicked and went into full attack mode. The headlines were screaming, thought went out the window, it looked like Trump was going to be hounded out of office by force majeure. Then Trump buckled, and shot those missiles at the Syrian air base, and we are back on track throwing away trillions of dollars on endless pointless winless foreign wars in places of zero strategic interest to us.

Having served its purpose, the Russian 'hacking' stories are tapering off, being continued more out of momentum and habit than true focused intent. Oh sure, the corporate press still publicly despises Trump, but the intensity is gone. They are just going through the motions, it is no longer important, just political theater.

The people who came up with the Russian hacking story were not stupid. The logical weakness of the claim was never relevant. Unlike Dubya in Iraq, they got what they wanted. Mission accomplished.

Flavius > , October 14, 2017 at 2:37 pm GMT

Mike – good article. The inaptly named Intelligence Community just never busts out. However much it has gotten flat out wrong and however much it has flat out missed over the years, however much its blunders and mistakes have cost us and our victims in treasure and blood, it just never busts out. There is always an excuse. The closest the Borg ever came to any gesture towards accountability was the Church committee post Watergate, ancient history, lessons purposefully buried and lost to the legions of bureaucrats blundering their way through the last 40 years.

If it can be gotten wrong, the Borg will get it wrong; it will be gotten wrong at the worst possible time; it will move on to get it wrong again. These are three things that you can absolutely count on.

Joe Hide > , October 14, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

Good article on something everyone who is well researched and truth seeking already knows; the Russian Collusion story is a hatchet job by incompetent political hacks. The only power they USED to have is an obsessive never give up faith in the power of lying.

jilles dykstra > , October 14, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

So what ? Truth is no longer an issue in USA politics: Christopher Lasch, 'The Culture of Narcissism, American Life in an Age of Diminishing Expectations', 1979, 1980, London

Pericles > , October 14, 2017 at 6:42 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Russia collusion does lack credibility, but you're still doing us a great service by following the twists and turns of this beheaded snake. The details are worth reading about, even if there isn't much to argue about regarding the conclusion. So thanks for that.

Biff > , October 14, 2017 at 7:36 pm GMT

Even today there was another AP hit piece about those 201 Russian Twitter handles, and zero perspective about the kind of math that renders 201 out of 24 billion a speck of dust. You really have to depend on a dumbed down population to get them to buy this stuff.

Beckow > , October 14, 2017 at 7:49 pm GMT

@Michael Kenny

"If Putin really is innocent, the common sense way to prove it is to let Russiagate take its natural course."

Innocent of what? What is it exactly that Russia supposedly did? Let me list a few things that are still perfectly legal in our world (that would include US, I hope):

None of the above is either unusual or illegal. It might not look good to some people, but it is what international life has consisted for at least 200 years. If you call that 'meddling', you just might be too naive for the world as it is.

What is the 'natural course' for the investigation? If all we hear are endless allusions to what are just opinions, meetings, plans, criticism, etc what is being investigated? This is literally suggesting that some in Washington and US media are not mature enough, smart enough, or sane enough to be taken seriously. How are they planning to recover the basic level of rationality after this fiasco?

Putin named Pokemon GO characters after BLM victims to stir up racial hatreds in US. How does one answer that? Where would you even start dealing with people who are capable of this level of nonsense?

[Oct 13, 2017] Sympathy for the Corporatocracy by C. J. Hopkins

Highly recommended!
Biting satire...
Notable quotes:
"... The Tonight Show ..."
"... Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook. ..."
"... No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that. ..."
"... a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without ..."
"... Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'. ..."
"... A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. ..."
"... "Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories. ..."
Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Well all right, let's review what happened, or at least the official version of what happened. Not Hillary Clinton's version of what happened, which Jeffrey St. Clair so incisively skewered , but the Corporatocracy's version of what happened, which overlaps with but is even more ridiculous than Clinton's ridiculous version. To do that, we need to harken back to the peaceful Summer of 2016, (a/k/a the "Summer of Fear" ), when the United States of America was still a shiny city upon a hill whose beacon light guided freedom-loving people, the Nazis were still just a bunch of ass clowns meeting in each other's mother's garages, and Russia was, well Russia was Russia.

Back then, as I'm sure you'll recall, Western democracy, was still primarily being menaced by the lone wolf terrorists, for absolutely no conceivable reason, apart from the terrorists' fanatical desire to brutally murder all non-believers. The global Russo-Nazi Axis had not yet reared its ugly head. President Obama, who, during his tenure, had single-handedly restored America to the peaceful, prosperous, progressive paradise it had been before George W. Bush screwed it up, was on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon slow jamming home the TPP . The Wall Street banks had risen from the ashes of the 2008 financial crisis, and were buying back all the foreclosed homes of the people they had fleeced with subprime mortgages. American workers were enjoying the freedom and flexibility of the new gig economy. Electioneering in the United States was underway, but it was early days. It was already clear that Donald Trump was literally the Second Coming of Hitler , but no one was terribly worried about him yet. The Republican Party was in a shambles. Neither Trump nor any of the other contenders had any chance of winning in November. Nor did Sanders, who had been defeated, fair and square, in the Democratic primaries, mostly because of his racist statements and crazy, quasi-Communist ideas. Basically, everything was hunky dory. Yes, it was going to be terribly sad to have to bid farewell to Obama, who had bailed out all those bankrupt Americans the Wall Street banks had taken to the cleaners, ended all of Bush and Cheney's wars, closed down Guantanamo, and just generally served as a multicultural messiah figure to affluent consumers throughout the free world, but Hope-and-Change was going to continue. The talking heads were all in agreement Hillary Clinton was going to be President, and there was nothing anyone could do about it.

Little did we know at the time that an epidemic of Russo-Nazism had been festering just beneath the surface of freedom-loving Western societies like some neo-fascist sebaceous cyst. Apparently, millions of theretofore more or less normal citizens throughout the West had been infected with a virulent strain of Russo-Nazi-engineered virus, because they simultaneously began exhibiting the hallmark symptoms of what we now know as White Supremacist Behavioral Disorder, or Fascist Oppositional Disorder (the folks who update the DSM are still arguing over the official name). It started with the Brexit referendum, spread to America with the election of Trump, and there have been a rash of outbreaks in Europe, like the one we're currently experiencing in Germany . These fascistic symptoms have mostly manifest as people refusing to vote as instructed, and expressing oppressive views on the Internet, but there have also been more serious crimes, including several assaults and murders perpetrated by white supremacists (which, of course, never happened when Obama was President, because the Nazis hadn't been "emboldened" yet).

Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook.

No, this discontent with the political establishment, corporate elites, and the mainstream media has nothing to do with any of that. It's not like global Capitalism, following the collapse of the U.S.S.R. (its last external ideological adversary), has been restructuring the entire planet in accordance with its geopolitical interests, or doing away with national sovereignty, and other nationalistic concepts that no longer serve a useful purpose in a world where a single ideological system (one backed by the most fearsome military in history) reigns completely unopposed. If that were the case, well, it might behoove us to question whether this outbreak of Nazism, racism, and other forms of "hate," was somehow connected to that historical development and maybe even try to articulate some sort of leftist analysis of that.

This hypothetical leftist analysis might want to focus on how Capitalism is fundamentally opposed to Despotism, and is essentially a value-decoding machine which renders everything and everyone it touches essentially valueless interchangeable commodities whose worth is determined by market forces, rather than by societies and cultures, or religions, or other despotic systems (wherein values are established and enforced arbitrarily, by the despot, the church, or the ruling party, or by a group of people who share an affinity and decide they want to live a certain way). This is where it would get sort of tricky, because it (i.e., this hypothetical analysis) would have to delve into the history of Capitalism, and how it evolved out of medieval Despotism, and how it has been decoding despotic values for something like five hundred years. This historical delving (which would probably be too long for people to read on their phones) would demonstrate how Capitalism has been an essentially progressive force in terms of getting us out of Despotism (which, for most folks, wasn't very much fun) by fomenting bourgeois revolutions and imposing some semblance of democracy on societies. It would follow Capitalism's inexorable advance all the way up to the Twentieth Century, in which its final external ideological adversary, fake Communism, suddenly imploded, delivering us to the world we now live in a world where a single ideology rules the planet unopposed from without , and where any opposition to that global ideology can only be internal, or insurgent, in nature (e.g, terrorism, extremism, and so on). Being a hypothetical leftist analysis, it would, at this point, need to stress that, despite the fact that Capitalism helped deliver us from Despotism, and improved the state of society generally (compared to most societies that preceded it), we nonetheless would like to transcend it, or evolve out of it toward some type of society where people, and everything else, including the biosphere we live in, are not interchangeable, valueless commodities exchanged by members of a global corporatocracy who have no essential values, or beliefs, or principles, other than the worship of money. After having covered all that, we might want to offer more a nuanced view of the current neo-nationalist reaction to the Corporatocracy's ongoing efforts to restructure and privatize the rest of the planet. Not that we would support this reaction, or in any way refrain from calling neo-nationalism what it is (i.e., reactionary, despotic, and doomed), but this nuanced view we'd hypothetically offer, by analyzing the larger sociopolitical and historical forces at play, might help us to see the way forward more clearly, and who knows, maybe eventually propose some kind of credible leftist alternative to the "global neoliberalism vs. neo-nationalism" double bind we appear to be hopelessly stuck in at the moment.

Luckily, we don't have to do that (i.e., articulate such a leftist analysis of any such larger historical forces). Because there is no corporatocracy not really. That's just a fake word the Russians made up and are spreading around on the Internet to distract us while the Nazis take over. No, the logical explanation for Trump, Brexit, and anything else that threatens the expansion of global Capitalism, and the freedom, democracy, and prosperity it offers, is that millions of people across the world, all at once, for no apparent reason, woke up one day full-blown fascists and started looking around for repulsive demagogues to swear fanatical allegiance to. Yes, that makes a lot more sense than all that complicated stuff about history and hegemonic ideological systems, which is probably just Russian propaganda anyway, in which case there is absolutely no reason to read any boring year-old pieces, like this one in The European Financial Review , or this report by Corporate Watch , from way back in the year 2000, about the rise of global corporate power.

So, apologies for wasting your time with all that pseudo-Marxian gobbledygook. Let's just pretend this never happened, and get back to more important matters, like statistically proving that Donald Trump got elected President because of racism, misogyny, transphobia, xenophobia, or some other type of behavioral disorder, and pulling down Confederate statues, or kneeling during the National Anthem, or whatever happens to be trending this week. Oh, yeah, and debating punching Nazis, or people wearing MAGA hats. We definitely need to sort all that out before we can move ahead with helping the Corporatocracy remove Trump from office, or at least ensure he remains surrounded by their loyal generals, CEOs, and Goldman Sachs guys until the next election. Whatever we do, let's not get distracted by that stuff I just distracted you with. I know, it's tempting, but, given what's at stake, we need to maintain our laser focus on issues related to identity politics, or else well, you know, the Nazis win.

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

jilles dykstra, October 13, 2017 at 3:15 pm GMT

Yesterday evening on RT a USA lady, as usual forgot the name, spoke about the USA. In a matter of fact tone she said things like 'they (Deep State) have got him (Trump) in the box'.

They, Deep State again, are now wondering if they will continue to try to control the world, or if they should stop the attempt, and retreat into the USA.
Also as matter of fact she said 'the CIA has always been the instrument of Deep State, from Kenndy to Nine Eleven'.

Another statement was 'no president ever was in control'.

How USA citizens continue to believe they live in a democracy, I cannot understand.

Yesterday the intentions of the new Dutch government were made public, alas most Dutch also dot not see that the Netherlands since 2005 no longer is a democracy, just a province of Brussels.

You can fool all people .

Che Guava, October 13, 2017 at 4:22 pm GMT

@jilles dykstra

Jilles,

I am thinking you take the article too literally.

jacques sheete, October 13, 2017 at 4:30 pm GMT

Brexit is about Britons who want their country back, a movement indeed getting stronger and stronger in EU member states, but ignored by the ruling 'elites'.

No doubt many do want their country back, but what concerns me is that all of a sudden we have the concept of "independence" plastered all over the place. Such concepts don't get promoted unless the ruling elites see ways to turn those sentiments to their favor.

A lot of these so called "revolutions" are fomented by the elite only to be subverted and perverted by them in the end. They've had a lot of practice co-opting revolutions and independence movements. (And everything else.)

"Independence" is now so fashionable (as was Communism among the "elite" back in the '30s), that they are even teaching and fostering independence to kids in kindergarten here in the US. That strikes me as most amusing. Imagine "learning" independence in state run brainwashing factories.

Does anyone else smell a rat or two?

Anon-og , October 13, 2017 at 5:16 pm GMT

"Now, despite what the Russian propagandists will tell you, this recent outbreak of fascistic behavior has nothing whatsoever to do with these people's frustration with neoliberalism or the supranational Corporatocracy that has been expanding its global empire with total impunity for twenty-five years. And it definitely has nothing at all to do with supranational political unions, or the supersession of national sovereignty by corporate-concocted "free trade" agreements, or the relentless privatization of everything, or the fear that a lot of people have that their cultures are being gradually erased and replaced with a globalized, corporate-friendly, multicultural, market-based culture, which is merely a simulation of culture, and which contains no actual cultural values (because exchange value is its only operative value), but which sells the empty signifiers of their eviscerated cultural values back to them so they can wear their "identities" like designer brands as they hunch together in silence at Starbucks posting pictures of themselves on Facebook."

Very impressed with this article, never really paid attention to CJ's articles but that is now changing!

[Oct 13, 2017] The Middle East Pivot by James Petras

Oct 13, 2017 | www.unz.com

Introduction

Multiple wars ravage the Middle East. Turkey has inserted itself into the middle of most of these regional conflicts and ended up a loser.

Under President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan, Turkey has intervened and formed alliances with a rogue's gallery of imperial warlords, terrorists-mercenaries, Zionist expansionists, feudal potentates and obscure tribal chiefs, with disastrous economic, political and military consequences for the Turkish nation.

In this paper we will discuss Turkey's domestic and foreign policies and behavior over the past decade. We will conclude with lessons for middle range powers, which might help in future decisions

President Erdogan's Domestic Disasters

Throughout the early decade of the 21st century, Erdoğan made a strategic alliance with an influential semi-clandestine organization led by a cult-leading cleric, Fethullah Gülen, who was conveniently self-exiled in the US and under the protection of the US intelligence apparatus. This marriage of convenience was formed in order to weaken the leftist, secular and Ataturk nationalist influenced opposition. Armed with the Gülenists' treasure trove of forged documents, Erdoğan purged the military of its Ataturk nationalist leadership. He proceeded to marginalize the secular Republican Party and repressed leftist trade union, social movements and prominent academics, journalists, writers and student activists. With support from the Gülenists movement, 'Hizmet' , Erdoğan celebrated his successes and won multiple election and re-election victories!

Initially, Erdoğan failed to recognize that the Gülenists/Hizmet operated as a subversive political organization, which permeated the state apparatus through a dense network of bureaucratic, military, judicial, police, and civil society organizations, with ties to the US military/CIA and friendly relations with Israeli policy makers.

By 2013, Erdoğan felt intense pressure from the Gülenists/Hizmet which sought to discredit and oust his regime by revealing multi-million dollar corrupt practices involving him and his family in a 'Turquoise Color Revolution' – remake of other 'regime changes'.

Having discovered his internal vulnerability, Erdoğan moved to curtail the power and reach of the Gülenists/Hizmet controlled media. He was not yet prepared to deal with the immense scope and depth of the elite links to Gülenists/Hizmet. A Gülenists-led military coup was launched in July 2016, with the tacit support of the US military stationed in Turkey. This was foiled by a major popular mobilization with the support of the armed forces.

Erdoğan then moved to thoroughly purge the followers of Hizmet from the military, public administration, schools, business, the press and public and private institutions. He extended his purge to include secular and nationalist political leaders who had always opposed the Gülenists and their attempted coup d'état.

As a result of the coup attempt and the subsequent purge, Erdoğan weakened and fractured every aspect of the state and civil society. Erdoğan ended up securing control of a weakened state with a degraded business, educational and cultural world.

The Gülenists coup was authored and led by its supremo Fethullah Gülen, ensconced in his 'secret' private estate in the United States. Clearly the US was implicated in the coup and they rejected Erdoğan's demands to extradite him.

Erdoğan's subservience to the US/NATO leadership have undermined his attempts to strike at the roots of the coup and its internal and external power structure. The US/NATO military bases still operate in Turkey and retain influence over its military.

In the aftermath of the coup, the decline of Gülenist influence in the economy contributed to economic reversals in investments and growth. The purge of the military and civil society reduced Turkey's military preparedness and alienated the democratic electorate. Erdoğan had already nearly lost his bid to the presidency after his earlier purges in 2014.

Erdoğan's Foreign Policy Disasters

Perversity is when a ruler weakens its military and represses its citizens and launches a series of risky foreign adventures: This is exactly what Erdoğan has done over the past several years.

First Erdoğan backed a terrorist uprising in Syria, providing arms, recruiting overseas 'volunteers' and providing them with unrestricted passage across the Turkish border. Many of the terrorists proceeded to join forces with Syrian, Iraqi and Turkish Kurds in establishing military bases on Ankara's borders.

Secondly, Erdoğan ran a scurrilous electoral campaign among the millions of ethnic Turks living in Germany – violating that powerful nation's sovereignty. As a result, Erdoğan increased tensions and animosity with what had been its closest ally in its quest for EU membership – effectively terminating the process.

Thirdly, Erdoğan backed NATO's invasion and bombing of Libya, killing President Gadhafi, who had been an independent voice, capable of serving as a possible ally against imperial intervention in North Africa.

Fourthly, Erdoğan backed the brief government of Mohammed Morsi and the Muslim Brotherhood after its electoral victory in 2012 following the 'Arab Spring' uprising in Egypt of 2011. He backed a formula similar to his own Turkish policy of excluding the secular, democratic opposition. This led to a bloody US-backed military coup led by General Abdel Sisi in July 2013 – a lesson not lost on Erdoğan.

Fifth, Erdoğan's de facto friendly relations with Israel – despite verbal criticism – in the face of Tel Aviv's assassination of nine non-violent Turkish protestors trying to break the starvation blockade of Gaza – undermined relations with the pro-Palestine Arab world and nationalists in Turkey.

Sixth, Erdoğan developed lucrative ties with Iraqi Kurd dictator-warlord, Masoud Barzani, facilitating the flow of oil to Israel. Erdoğan's own illicit oil deals with Barzani strengthened the cause of Kurdish separatism and exposed the widespread corruption of Erdoğan's family dealings.

Seventh, Erdoğan provoked military tensions with Russia by shooting down a warplane in Syria. This led to an economic boycott, which reduced export earnings, devastated the tourism sector and added Moscow to his list of adversaries, (Iraq, Syria, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, US, Germany, Hezbollah and Iran).

Eighth, Erdoğan backed the tiny oil-state of Qatar, sending supplies and soldiers to oppose a threat from Saudi Arabia, the other royal oil statelets and Egypt, US allies and followers.

Despite his many disastrous domestic and foreign policies, Erdoğan learned nothing and forgot nothing. When the Israelis backed the Iraqi Kurds in organizing an independence 'referendum' aiming to ultimately annex the rich oil fields of Northern Iraq, Erdoğan took no action despite this threat to Turkish national security. He merely made verbal threats to cut off the Kurd's access to Ankara's oil pipelines. He took no concrete steps. Erdoğan preferred to pocket transit taxes from the oil, antagonizing Iraq and Syria and strengthening the links between Kurdish Iraq and its secessionist counterparts in Syria and Turkey.

Because of Erdoğan failure to close down the US military base following its support of the Gülenist-led coup, the Turkish army is still heavily under US influence, opening the possibility of another uprising.

Erdoğan's lip-service to 'nationalism' has served mainly as a political tool to repress domestic democratic political parties and trade unions and the Kurdish and Alevi communities. Erdoğan's initial support and subsequent opposition to the jihadi terrorist groups seeking to oust the secular-nationalist government in Damascus has caused 'blowback' – with ISIS terrorist cells bombing civilian targets Istanbul and Ankara with mass casualties.

Conclusion

Erdoğan's unprincipled, opportunistic and pro-imperialist NATO alliance demonstrates the inability of an aspiring regional power to find a niche in the US Empire. Erdoğan believed that being a loyal 'ally' of the US would protect Turkey from a coup d'état. He failed to realize that he had become a disposable pawn in US plans to instill more servile rulers (like the Gülenist) in the Middle East.

Erdoğan's belief that Turkey's collaboration with the US to overthrow Syria's President Bashar Assad would lead to a successful territorial grab of Northern Syria: instead Erdoğan ended up serving the US-backed Syrian Kurds tied to the Turkish Kurds .By working to break up Syria and destroy its state and government, Erdoğan strengthened Kurdish cross border expansionism.

Erdoğan failed to recognize the most basic rule of imperial policy: There are no permanent allies there are only permanent interests. Erdoğan thought Turkey would be 'rewarded' by acting as a US surrogate with a share of power, wealth and territory in the Middle East. Instead, as a 'normal' imperial power, the US used Turkey when it was convenient and would then dispose of Erdoğan – like a used condom.

Anti-imperialism is not just an ideal and moral/ethical principle – it is a realistic approach to safeguarding sovereignty, democratic politics and meaningful alliances. (Republished from The James Petras Website by permission of author or representative)

[Oct 13, 2017] Lunatic Russia-Hating in Washington Is 70 Years Old by John Helmer

Why he calls its lunatic. It's pretty rations. Russia now represent an obstacle for global neoliberal empire and being the weakest link in Russia-China alliance it is only logical to attack it first
Notable quotes:
"... Russia-hating was an American upper-class phenomenon, cultivated in the offices, cocktail parties, clubs, and mansions of the deep state, as it emerged out of World War II. It needed a new enemy to thrive; it fastened on Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the enemy. ..."
"... McCarthyism was an American lower-class phenomenon. It focused on the loyalty or disloyalty of the upper-class deep-staters. That wasn't the same thing as Russia-hating; Wall Street bankers, Boston lawyers, homosexuals, Jews, communists, were all the enemy. As the Senator from Wisconsin characterized it himself in 1952, "McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled." He implied – without a middle-class tie; certainly not an upper-class bow-tie. ..."
"... In covering the period from 1946 to 1975, Herken's research does repeat much of the history of the Cold War which has been told elsewhere. It starts on February 22, 1946, the date of the "Long Telegram", No. 511 -- Kennan's despatch from the US Embassy in Moscow to the State Department, setting out his strategy of so-called containment and much more besides. Read it in the declassified original . Most of the war-fighting and other war crimes which the telegram set in motion under Kennan's 1948 rubrics, "organized political warfare" and "preventive direct action", are reported in Herken's book; so too are Kennan's frequent funks, failures of conviction, reversals of judgment, and pleas for help. ..."
"... "Interestingly enough, the term "Russophobia" was first used by Fyodor Tyutchev (1803 -- 1873), famous Russian poet, diplomat and politician in reference to growing Western hostilities against Russia on the "eve" of the Crimean War (1854-56) between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia. ..."
"... Historians elaborate that the so-called "Russophobia campaign" actually started as early as the 1820s -- instigated by Britain -- following Russia's glorious victory over Napoleonic France in 1812-13. ..."
"... "British hostility towards Russia had recurred periodically ever since the late eighteenth century. In had become increasingly apparent, albeit in a gradual and evolutionary fashion, in the years after Waterloo Fear of Russia's aims in Europe and Asia surfaced as early as 1817," American historian Edward M. Spiers wrote in his book "Radical General: Sir George de Lacy Evans, 1787-1870." ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | russia-insider.com
Joseph Alsop (lead image, centre) and George Kennan (right) started the kind of Russia-hating in Washington which, today, President Vladimir Putin, like the businessmen around him, think of as a novelty that cannot last for long.

Alsop was a fake news fabricator, and such a narcissist as to give the bow-ties he wore a bad name. Kennan was a psychopath who alternated bouts of aggression to prove himself with bouts of depression over his cowardice. For them, Russia was a suitable target. The Washington Post was the newspaper which gave their lunacy public asylum. This, according to a fresh history by a university professor from California, started in 1947, long before the arrival in Washington of the anti-communist phobia known after the name of Senator Joseph McCarthy.

Russia-hating was an American upper-class phenomenon, cultivated in the offices, cocktail parties, clubs, and mansions of the deep state, as it emerged out of World War II. It needed a new enemy to thrive; it fastened on Russia (aka the Soviet Union) as the enemy.

McCarthyism was an American lower-class phenomenon. It focused on the loyalty or disloyalty of the upper-class deep-staters. That wasn't the same thing as Russia-hating; Wall Street bankers, Boston lawyers, homosexuals, Jews, communists, were all the enemy. As the Senator from Wisconsin characterized it himself in 1952, "McCarthyism is Americanism with its sleeves rolled." He implied – without a middle-class tie; certainly not an upper-class bow-tie.

Russia was not an enemy which united the two American lunacies, for they hated each other much more than they hated the Russians. The Soviet Politburo understood this better then than the Kremlin does now.

Gregg Herken's The Georgetown Set , is so named because it records the activities of Alsop, Kennan and several other State Department, Central Intelligence Agency and White House officials who lived as neighbours in the Georgetown district of the capital city, together with Katharine (Kay) and Philip Graham, proprietor managers of the Washington Post. The district – once a chartered city of Maryland and river port, which was absorbed into the federal District of Columbia in 1871 -- was expensive, relatively speaking then; more so now. The richest of the set, including Alsop, had town houses in Georgetown, and rural retreats in Virginia, Maryland, Pennsylvania, and Connecticut.

They were a set because because, as Herken said succinctly to an interviewer , "they got together every Sunday for supper and, basically, they ran the country from those meetings." As the book elaborates, they thought they were running the world. With a longer time lapse in which to view the evidence, they were also losing it.

Newspapers exposed in the book for collaborating in all the deceits, failures and war crimes of the history have reacted by calling Herken's effort a "provincial corner". The New Yorker opined that the Russia-hating and Russia war-making which Herken retells are dead and gone. "The guests at the Sunday soirées no doubt felt that they were in the cockpit of history. But the United States is a democracy, not a Wasp Ascendancy There was once an atmosphere of willingness that made a system of bribes and information exchanges seem, to the people involved, simply a way of working together for a common cause in a climate of public opinion that, unfortunately, required secrecy. No one got rich from the arrangement. People just lost track of what was inside their bubble and what was outside, as people tend to do. Vietnam was the reality check. 'I've Seen the Best of It' was the title Alsop gave to his memoirs. Things hadn't been the same since, he felt. He was right about that, and we should be thankful." In the New York media business these days it's possible to publish a selfie of pulling your own leg.

The Washington Post has deflected the indictment against itself by describing Herken's work as "a very strange book (A) a rehash of the history of the Cold War as experienced in certain Washington circles and (B) an almost obsessive recapitulation of the life and journalism of Joseph Alsop." Alsop is dismissed as unworthy of a history at all because he was "utterly repellent: arrogant, patronizing, imperious, uninterested in anyone except himself."

That's the truth about Alsop. The truth about the Washington Post is buried in this line by the Post's books editor about the hand that fed him: "it must be very hard for people who did not live through the '50s and '60s to understand how obsessed the American people were with the threat from Moscow." That line appeared in print on November 7, 2014. It was already history, that's to say, a misjudgment. How monumentally mistaken is obvious now.

In covering the period from 1946 to 1975, Herken's research does repeat much of the history of the Cold War which has been told elsewhere. It starts on February 22, 1946, the date of the "Long Telegram", No. 511 -- Kennan's despatch from the US Embassy in Moscow to the State Department, setting out his strategy of so-called containment and much more besides. Read it in the declassified original . Most of the war-fighting and other war crimes which the telegram set in motion under Kennan's 1948 rubrics, "organized political warfare" and "preventive direct action", are reported in Herken's book; so too are Kennan's frequent funks, failures of conviction, reversals of judgment, and pleas for help.

The book ends on December 30, 1974, the date of Alsop's last column. Alsop concluded with the line: "I have never known the American people to be really badly wrong, if only they were correctly and fully informed."

Herken shows how self-deluded and professionally delusional that was -- not because of Alsop's character but because of his sources. Herken documents that they ran upwards from foot-soldiers (also lubricious sailors) to presidents and cabinet secretaries. Herken doesn't think the same of Kennan, who gets to walk off stage, aged 101, sounding more sceptical of overthrowing Saddam Hussein than he ever was in his prime and in power to direct schemes of what we call state terrorism today.


Left to right: Kennan died in 2005, aged 101; Alsop died in 1989 aged 78; Frank Wisner died in 1965 aged 56. The deeper Herken gets into the private papers, the more he refers to his subjects by their diminutives and nicknames – Joe, Oppie, Beetle, Dickie, the Crocodile, Wig, Jack, Wiz, Soozle, Vangie, et al.

What is fresh about the sources is that Herken has had access to the private notes, letters and diaries of the Alsop family; the Kennan diaries and letters; and the private papers of Frank Wisner, the first director of covert operations against Russia. Wisner went mad and killed himself, as did Graham. There's no doubt about the suicide outcome of their madness.

In the case of the mad ex-Defence Secretary James Forrestal his fatal jump from the window of the Navy hospital in Bethesda, Maryland, in May 1949 might have been a homicidal push. Herken concludes that Forrestal's death was "the first senior-ranking American casualty of the Cold War." Herken thinks of their madness as anomalies. The history shows they were normalities.

Missing from this history is any reference to official documents, now declassified; press reporting of the time; or interviews with veterans of the same events but on other sides – Russian and Soviet; British; German; French; Polish; Vietnamese; Chinese. This isn't so much a fatal flaw in Herken's (right) book as the reason why his history is repeating itself today. Call this a variation on Karl's Marx's apothegm that history starts as tragedy and repeats itself as farce. Herken's blindness to this is as revealing as the Washington Post's madness, not yet as suicidal as its former proprietor's, today.

So mesmerized is Herken by the moneyed backgrounds of his subjects and sources, and by the amount of black cash from the US Government they spent on operations, he forgets to report what they did to fill their own pockets. The claim by the New Yorker that "no one got rich from the arrangement" – Alsop's fake news fabrications – is false, but Herken touches only in passing on how they made (or kept) their money. Alsop's column, for example, was sold to 200 newspapers, and at one time claimed a readership of 25 million. His family inheritance is recorded, but not its annual revenue value. Alsop's payola included silk shirts from Alfred Kohlberg, a textile importer from China who backed Chiang Kai-shek against Mao Tse-tung, as did Alsop. Alsop's patrons included Convair (General Dynamics), the company building the US Air Force Atlas missile for procurement of which Alsop reported fictions about Soviet missile strength.

In the US power which Alsop, Kennan and Wisner believed without hesitation, Herken is not less a believer. "Anything could be achieved", Herken quotes a New York Times reporter quoting Wisner. When the US force multiple changed, however, and US allies or agents were outgunned, outspent, outnumbered, or outwitted, they were unable to acknowledge miscalculation, attributing defeat instead to the superior force or guile of their adversaries, especially the Russians.

This is madness, and there is good reason for recognizing the symptoms again. In 1958, when Herken says Wisner's paranoid manias were becoming obvious to his friends and colleagues, "Frank put forward a theory that the careless comment which had gotten George Kennan kicked out of the Soviet Union was evidence the Soviets had succeeded in an area where the CIA's own scientists had failed: mind control. Some agency hands alleged that Wisner attributed his own increasingly bizarre behaviour to the Kremlin's sly manipulation."

A cell from the comic "Is This Tomorrow? America Under Communism"(1947). Test your mind, read more: https://archive.org/details/IsThisTomorrowAmericaUnderCommunismCatecheticalGuild

From Washington in 1958, fast forward to Washington in 2017; for mind control and sly manipulation, read Russian hacking and cyber warfare. From Wisner's and Kennan's balloon drops of leaflets and broadcasts by Radio Free Europe, fast forward to Russia Today Television and Russian infiltrations of Twitter, Google, the Democratic National Committee, and the Trump organization.

It stands to reason (ahem!) that if you think what the US Government and its journalists were doing then was mad, you are might conclude that what they is doing now is just as mad – and not very different. When the incumbent president and his Secretary of State publicly call for IQ tests on each other, all reason has failed. "The nation," as Alsop had written, "had simply taken leave of all sense of proportion." That was in March 1954.

If you fast forward to now, there's one difference. Today the lunatic Russia warfighters don't retire. They also don't fade away. Today's sleek successors to mad Wisner and mad Graham sleep easily in their beds a-nights. For what they've done and do, they wouldn't dream of taking shotguns to their heads.

Herken retells the story of the campaign Alsop waged against McCarthyism at the State Department, against McCarthy himself, and the vulnerability Alsop himself presented until the Boston lawyer Joseph Welch put an end to McCarthy on June 9, 1954 : "Have you no sense of decency, sir, at long last?" Welch famously said. "Have you left no sense of decency?" The recurring history reveals why, even if there are plenty of people to say the same thing today to the Washington Post, New York Times, Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump, the madness will continue repeating itself.

Source: Dances With Bears

Tommy Jensen , October 12, 2017 8:47 AM

..and what happened exactly 70 years ago? You said it, not me.....you said Israel!

Slick Tommy Jensen , October 12, 2017 6:52 PM

Wisner has a son named Frank, who is a pro-Kosovo Albanian/anti-Serb/anti-Russian fiend. Kennan later became a responsibly more calming voice on Russia. Concerning the Capitol Hill establishment -

https://www.strategic-cultu...

Be hard pressed to find a better article on the subject.

Carlo - , October 12, 2017 11:18 AM

Nonetheless, I remember that Kennan was a strong opponent against NATO expansion in the 90's, after the collapse of the USSR. I think there were good reasons to make an alliance against the spread of communism, but after this ended in Europe, of course, NATO should have dissolved just like the Warsaw Pact.

Kjell Hasthi Edward Mercer , October 13, 2017 2:35 PM

Wages are low in Estonia compared to Sweden. So the Swedish corporations will move some factories to Estonia to make more money. That is the "powerhouse". The Estonians will not see much to the money. But they get what is wages in Estonia of course.

Koroviev,Behemoth&Woland LLP , October 13, 2017 8:39 AM

Why did the Warburg Brothers and Jacob Schiff finance the Bolsheviks when the rest of America was instructed to hate the Russians?

Just another one of those unexplained oddities of history.

Gonzogal , October 12, 2017 4:25 PM

It is MUCH older than 70 years!

"The Cold War, I would remind readers, started in November 1917 when the Bolsheviks took power in Russia Undiscouraged and terrified of a socialist revolution in Russia, the so-called Entente [Great Britain and France] tossed fat rolls of banknotes to anyone who said he would fight the Soviets. The Entente sent its own forces to the four distant corners of Russia to do the job themselves. This was the 'Allied' intervention which continued until the beginning of 1921 in the west and until 1922 in Eastern Siberia," ~ Professor Michael Jabara Carley of the University of Montreal

"Interestingly enough, the term "Russophobia" was first used by Fyodor Tyutchev (1803 -- 1873), famous Russian poet, diplomat and politician in reference to growing Western hostilities against Russia on the "eve" of the Crimean War (1854-56) between the Russian Empire and an alliance of France, Britain, the Ottoman Empire, and Sardinia.

Historians elaborate that the so-called "Russophobia campaign" actually started as early as the 1820s -- instigated by Britain -- following Russia's glorious victory over Napoleonic France in 1812-13.

"British hostility towards Russia had recurred periodically ever since the late eighteenth century. In had become increasingly apparent, albeit in a gradual and evolutionary fashion, in the years after Waterloo Fear of Russia's aims in Europe and Asia surfaced as early as 1817," American historian Edward M. Spiers wrote in his book "Radical General: Sir George de Lacy Evans, 1787-1870."

"Britons were especially concerned about their dominance in Central Asia and the "Russian threat" to their hegemonic ambitions in the region. According British diplomat Sir Martin Ewans, in the 1820s-30s London deemed that it would be "unwise" to allow the Russian Empire to extend its influence over Caucasus, Persia and Afghanistan. "That Russophobia existed is undeniable," Sir Ewans remarked in his book "Conflict in Afghanistan: Studies in Asymmetric Warfare."

"Remarkably, in the 1860s, Russian ethnologist, philosopher and historian Nikolai Danilevsky slammed the Western propaganda machine for spreading distorted information and blatant lies about the "Russian threat" and imaginary "expansionist ambitions" of the Russian Empire in his book "Russia and Europe." https://sputniknews.com/pol...

Tommy Jensen Gonzogal , October 13, 2017 5:05 AM

Its incredible one country can sit half the planet away "not allowing" another country "to spread its influence" to its neighbours. When this is the case, this country´s culture is pervercy and sick.

[Oct 12, 2017] The House of Saud Bows to the House of Putin by Pepe Escobar

Oct 12, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

The deal may certainly be seen as a purely strategic/economic measure to stabilize the oil market – with no geopolitical overtones. And yet OPEC is geared to become a brand new animal – with Russia and Saudi Arabia de facto deciding where the global oil markets go, and then telling the other OPEC players. It's open to question what Iran, Algeria, Nigeria, Venezuela, among others, will have to say about this. The barely disguised aim is to bring oil prices up to a band of $60-75 a barrel by the middle of next year. Certainly a good deal for the Aramco IPO.

There were a rash of other deals clinched in Moscow – such as Aramco and the Russian Direct Investment Fund (RDIF) $1 billion fund for oil-services projects in Russia, plus another $1 billion for a technology fund.

[Oct 12, 2017] Wheres the Beef The Senate Intel Committee and Russia by Mike Whitney

Neocons already poisoned the well of US-Russian cooperation. They already unleashes witch hunt in best McCarthyism traditions. What else do they want ? Why they continue to waive this dead chicken?
Notable quotes:
"... people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem: ..."
"... Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story? ..."
"... Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple. ..."
"... That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype? ..."
"... It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok. ..."
"... Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war. ..."
Oct 12, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The Senate Intelligence Committee has made it clear that it is not conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russian hacking, but making a determined effort to support a theory that was presented in the January 6, 2017 Intelligence Community Assessment. Committee Chairman Senator Richard Burr (R-N.C.) admitted as much in a press conference last Wednesday when he said:

We feel very confident that the ICA's accuracy is going to be supported by our committee.

Burr's statement is an example of "confirmation bias" which is the tendency to interpret information in a way that confirms one's own preexisting beliefs. In this case, Burr and his co-chair, Senator Mark Warner have already accepted the findings of a hastily slapped-together Intelligence report that was the work of "hand-picked" analysts who were likely chosen to produce conclusions that jibed with a particular political agenda. In other words, the intelligence was fixed to fit the policy. Burr of course has tried to conceal his prejudice by pointing to the number of witnesses the Committee has interviewed and the volume of work that's been produced. This is from an article at The Nation:

Since January 23, the committee and its staff have conducted more than 100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts, and reviewed more than 100,000 documents relevant to Russiagate. The staff, said Warner, has collectively spent a total of 57 hours per day, seven days a week, since the committee opened its inquiry, going through documents and transcripts, interviewing witnesses, and analyzing both classified and unclassified material.

It all sounds very impressive, but if the goal is merely to lend credibility to unverified assumptions, then what's the point?

Let's take a look at a few excerpts from the report and see whether Burr and Warner are justified in "feeling confident" in the ICA's accuracy.

From the Intelligence Community Assessment:

We assess Russian President Vladimir Putin ordered an influence campaign in 2016 aimed at the US presidential election. Russia's goals were to undermine public faith in the US democratic process, denigrate Secretary Clinton, and harm her electability and potential presidency. We further assess Putin and the Russian Government developed a clear preference for President-elect Trump. We have high confidence in these judgments.

This is the basic claim of Russia meddling that has yet to be proved. As you can see, the charge is mixed with liberal doses of mind-reading mumbo-jumbo that reveal the authors' lack of objectivity. There's a considerable amount of speculation about Putin's motives and preferences which are based on pure conjecture. It's a bit shocking that professional analysts– who are charged with providing our leaders with rock-solid intelligence related to matters of national security– would indulge in this type of opinionated blather and psycho-babble. It's also shocking that Burr and Warner think this gibberish should be taken seriously.

Here's more from the ICA:

Putin most likely wanted to discredit Secretary Clinton because he has publicly blamed her since 2011 for inciting mass protests against his regime in late 2011 and early 2012, and because he holds a grudge for comments he almost certainly saw as disparaging him.

More mind-reading, more groundless speculation, more guessing what Putin thinks or doesn't think. The ICA reads more like the text from a morning talk show than an Intelligence report. And what is it about this report that Burr finds so persuasive? It's beyond me. The report's greatest strength seems to be that no one has ever read it. If they had, they'd realize that it's nonsense. Also, it would have been better if the ICA's authors had avoided the amateur psychoanalysis and stuck to the point, Russia hacking. Dabbling in the former seriously impacts the report's credibility.

To their credit, however, Burr and Warner have questioned all of the analysts who contributed to the report. Check out this excerpt from The Nation:

"We have interviewed everybody who had a hand or a voice in the creation of the ICA," said Burr. "We've spent nine times the amount of time that the IC [intelligence community] spent putting the ICA together. We have reviewed all the supporting evidence that went into it and, in addition to that, the things that went on the cutting-room floor that they may not have found appropriate for the ICA, but we may have found relevant to our investigation." Burr added that the committee's review included "highly classified intelligence reporting," and they've interviewed every official in the Obama administration who had anything to do with putting it together. ("Democrats and Republicans in Congress Agree: Russia Did It", The Nation)

That's great, but where' the beef? How can the committee conduct "100 interviews, comprising 250 hours of testimony and resulting in 4,000 pages of transcripts" without producing a shred of evidence that Russia meddled in the elections? How is that possible? The Committee's job is to prove its case not to merely pour over the minutia related to the investigation. No one really cares how many people testified or how much paperwork was involved. What people want is proof that Russia interfered with the elections or that members of the Trump campaign colluded with Moscow. That's the whole point of this exercise. And, on the collusion matter, at least we have something new to report. In a rare moment of candor, Burr blurted out this gem:

"There are concerns that we continue to pursue. Collusion? The committee continues to look into all evidence to see if there was any hint of collusion. Now, I'm not going to even discuss any initial findings because we haven't any."

Think about that. After "100 interviews, 250 hours of testimony, and 4000 transcript pages" there's not the slightest hint of collusion. It's mindboggling. Why isn't this front page news? Why haven't the New York Times or Washington Post run this in their headlines, after all, they've hyped every other part of this story?

Could it be that Burr's admission doesn't mesh with the media's "Russia did it" narrative so they decided to scrub the story altogether?

But it's not just collusion we're talking about here, there's also the broader issue of Russia meddling. And what was striking about the press conference is that –after all the interviews, all the testimony, and all the stacks of transcripts– the Committee has come up with nothing; no eyewitness testimony supporting the original claims, no smoking gun, no proof of domestic espionage, no evidence of Russian complicity, nothing. One big goose egg.

So here's a question for critical minded readers:

If the Senate Intelligence Committee has not found any proof that Russia hacked the 2016 elections, then why do senators' Burr and Warner still believe the ICA is reliable? It doesn't really make sense, does it? Don't they require evidence to draw their conclusions? And doesn't the burden of truth fall on the prosecution (or the investigators in this case)? Isn't a man innocent until proven guilty or doesn't that rule apply to Russia?

Let's cut to the chase: The committee is not getting to the bottom of the Russia hacking matter, because they don't want to get to the bottom of it. It's that simple.

That's why they have excluded any witnesses that may upset their preconceived theory of what happened. Why, for example, would the committee chose to interview former CIA Director John Brennan rather than WikiLeaks founder, Julian Assange? Brennan not only helped select the hand-picked analysts who authored the ICA, he also clearly has an animus towards Russia due to his frustrated attempt to overthrow Syrian President Bashar al Assad which was thwarted by Putin. In other words, Brennan has a motive to mislead the Committee. He's biased. He has an ax to grind. In contrast, Assange has firsthand knowledge of what actually transpired with the DNC emails because he was the recipient of those emails. Has Assange been contacted by the Committee or asked to testify via Skype?

Don't bet on it.

What about former UK ambassador Craig Murray, a WikiLeaks colleague, who has repeatedly admitted that he knows the source of the DNC emails. Murray hasn't been asked to testify nor has he even been contacted by the FBI on the matter. Apparently, the FBI has no interest in a credible witness who can disprove the politically-motivated theory expounded in the ICA.

Then there's 30-year CIA analyst Ray McGovern and his group of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). McGovern has done extensive research on the topic and has produced solid evidence that the DNC emails were "leaked" by an insider, not "hacked" by a foreign government. McGovern's work squares with Assange and Murray's claim that Russia did not hack the 2016 elections. Has McGovern been invited to testify?

How about Skip Folden, retired IBM Program Manager and Information Technology expert, whose excellent report titled "Non-Existent Foundation for Russian Hacking Charge" also disproves the hacking theory, as does The Nation's Patrick Lawrence whose riveting article at The Nation titled "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack" which thoroughly obliterates the central claims of the ICA.

Finally, there's California Congressman Dana Rohrabacher who met with Assange in August at the Ecuadorian embassy in London and who was assured that Assange would provide hard evidence (in the form of "a computer drive or other data-storage device") that the Russians were not involved in the DNC email scandal.

Wouldn't you think that senate investigators would want to talk to a trusted colleague and credible witness like Rohrabacher who said he could produce solid proof that the scandal, that has dominated the headlines and roiled Washington for the better part of a year, was bogus?

Apparently not. Apparently Burr and his colleagues would rather avoid any witness or evidence that conflicts with their increasingly-threadbare thesis.

So what conclusions can we draw from the Committee's behavior? Are Burr and Warner really conducting an open and independent investigation of alleged Russia hacking or is this just a witch hunt?

It should be obvious by now that the real intention of the briefing was not to provide the public with more information, facts or evidence of Russian hacking, but to use the prestigious setting as a platform for disseminating more disinformation aimed at vilifying an emerging rival (Russia) that has blocked Washington's aggression in Ukraine and Syria, and threatens to unite the most populous and prosperous region in the world (Eurasia) into one massive free trade zone spanning from Lisbon to Vladivostok.

Reasonable people must now consider the possibility that the Russia hacking narrative is an Information Operation (IO) devoid of any real substance which is designed to poison the publics perception of Russia. It is a domestic propaganda campaign that fits perfectly with the "Full Spectrum Dominance" theory of weaponizing media in a way that best achieves one's geopolitical objectives. The American people are again being manipulated so that powerful elites can lead the country to war.

[Oct 11, 2017] Russia may demand U.S. cut diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 or below RIA by Maria Kiselyova

Oct 11, 2017 | www.msn.com

Russia's Foreign Ministry does not rule out ordering the United States to cut its diplomatic staff in Russia to 300 people or below, the RIA news agency cited Georgy Borisenko, the head of the ministry's North America Department, as saying on Wednesday.

In July, Moscow ordered the United States to cut the number of its diplomatic and technical staff working in Russia by around 60 percent, to 455, part of a diplomatic row.

The figure of 455 was meant to mirror the total number of Russian diplomats working in the United States, but also included Russian nationals working at the United Nations in New York, Borisenko told the agency.

"The fact that in the summer we took into account the people working for Russia's mission at the UN, this was good will," Borisenko told RIA.

"If they haven't appreciated this, we have the full right to reduce ... the number of U.S. diplomats," he said, saying Moscow could stop taking Russian U.N. staff into account when calculating what parity between the two countries meant.

"In this case, the number of American personnel in Russia should decline to a level of 300 or below."

(Reporting ; Writing by Dmitry Solovyov; Editing by Andrew Osborn)

[Oct 11, 2017] Russia witch hunt is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working class

Highly recommended!
Chris Hedges, who is doubtless a courageous journalist and an intelligent commentator, suggests that if we are to discuss the anti-Russia campaign realistically, as baseless in fact, and as contrived for an effect and to further/protect some particular interests, we can hardly avoid the question: Who or what interest is served by the anti-Russia campaign?
An interesting observation "The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out."
The other relevant observation is that there is no American left. It was destroyed as a political movement. The USA is a right wing country.
Notable quotes:
"... This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. ..."
"... It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country. ..."
"... The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions. ..."
"... Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. ..."
"... The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater. ..."
"... These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes. ..."
"... The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced. ..."
"... The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left." ..."
"... Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease. ..."
"... For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch. ..."
"... The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down. ..."
"... The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. ..."
"... The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison! ..."
"... Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Originally from: The elites "have no credibility left" by Chris Hedges

But the whole idea that the Russians swung the election to Trump is absurd. It's really premised on the unproven claim that Russia gave the Podesta emails to WikiLeaks, and the release of these emails turned tens, or hundreds of thousands, of Clinton supporters towards Trump. This doesn't make any sense. Either that, or, according to the director of national intelligence, RT America, where I have a show, got everyone to vote for the Green Party.

This obsession with Russia is a tactic used by the ruling elite, and in particular the Democratic Party, to avoid facing a very unpleasant reality: that their unpopularity is the outcome of their policies of deindustrialization and the assault against working men and women and poor people of color. It is the result of disastrous trade agreements like NAFTA that abolished good-paying union jobs and shipped them to places like Mexico, where workers without benefits are paid $3.00 an hour. It is the result of the explosion of a system of mass incarceration, begun by Bill Clinton with the 1994 omnibus crime bill, and the tripling and quadrupling of prison sentences. It is the result of the slashing of basic government services, including, of course, welfare, that Clinton gutted; deregulation, a decaying infrastructure, including public schools, and the de facto tax boycott by corporations. It is the result of the transformation of the country into an oligarchy. The nativist revolt on the right, and the aborted insurgency within the Democratic Party, makes sense when you see what they have done to the country.

Police forces have been turned into quasi-military entities that terrorize marginal communities, where people have been stripped of all of their rights and can be shot with impunity; in fact over three are killed a day. The state shoots and locks up poor people of color as a form of social control. They are quite willing to employ the same form of social control on any other segment of the population that becomes restive.

The Democratic Party, in particular, is driving this whole Russia witch-hunt. It cannot face its complicity in the destruction of our civil liberties -- and remember, Barack Obama's assault on civil liberties was worse than those carried out by George W. Bush -- and the destruction of our economy and our democratic institutions.

Politicians like the Clintons, Pelosi and Schumer are creations of Wall Street. That is why they are so virulent about pushing back against the Sanders wing of the Democratic Party. Without Wall Street money, they would not hold political power. The Democratic Party doesn't actually function as a political party. It's about perpetual mass mobilization and a hyperventilating public relations arm, all paid for by corporate donors. The base of the party has no real say in the leadership or the policies of the party, as Bernie Sanders and his followers found out. They are props in the sterile political theater.

These party elites, consumed by greed, myopia and a deep cynicism, have a death grip on the political process. They're not going to let it go, even if it all implodes.

... ... ...

DN: Let's come back to this question of the Russian hacking news story. You raised the ability to generate a story, which has absolutely no factual foundation, nothing but assertions by various intelligence agencies, presented as an assessment that is beyond question. What is your evaluation of this?

CH: The commercial broadcast networks, and that includes CNN and MSNBC, are not in the business of journalism. They hardly do any. Their celebrity correspondents are courtiers to the elite. They speculate about and amplify court gossip, which is all the accusations about Russia, and they repeat what they are told to repeat. They sacrifice journalism and truth for ratings and profit. These cable news shows are one of many revenue streams in a corporate structure. They compete against other revenue streams. The head of CNN, Jeff Zucker, who helped create the fictional persona of Donald Trump on "Celebrity Apprentice," has turned politics on CNN into a 24-hour reality show. All nuance, ambiguity, meaning and depth, along with verifiable fact, are sacrificed for salacious entertainment. Lying, racism, bigotry and conspiracy theories are given platforms and considered newsworthy, often espoused by people whose sole quality is that they are unhinged. It is news as burlesque.

I was on the investigative team at the New York Times during the lead-up to the Iraq War. I was based in Paris and covered Al Qaeda in Europe and the Middle East. Lewis Scooter Libby, Dick Cheney, Richard Perle and maybe somebody in an intelligence agency, would confirm whatever story the administration was attempting to pitch. Journalistic rules at the Times say you can't go with a one-source story. But if you have three or four supposedly independent sources confirming the same narrative, then you can go with it, which is how they did it. The paper did not break any rules taught at Columbia journalism school, but everything they wrote was a lie.

The whole exercise was farcical. The White House would leak some bogus story to Judy Miller or Michael Gordon, and then go on the talk shows to say, 'as the Times reported .' It gave these lies the veneer of independence and reputable journalism. This was a massive institutional failing, and one the paper has never faced.

DN: The CIA pitches the story, and then the Times gets the verification from those who pitch it to them.

CH: It's not always pitched. And not much of this came from the CIA. The CIA wasn't buying the "weapons of mass destruction" hysteria.

DN: It goes the other way too?

CH: Sure. Because if you're trying to have access to a senior official, you'll constantly be putting in requests, and those officials will decide when they want to see you. And when they want to see you, it's usually because they have something to sell you.

DN: The media's anti-Russia narrative has been embraced by large portions of what presents itself as the "left."

CH: Well, don't get me started on the American left. First of all, there is no American left -- not a left that has any kind of seriousness, that understands political or revolutionary theories, that's steeped in economic study, that understands how systems of power work, especially corporate and imperial power. The left is caught up in the same kind of cults of personality that plague the rest of society. It focuses on Trump, as if Trump is the central problem. Trump is a product, a symptom of a failed system and dysfunctional democracy, not the disease.

If you attempt to debate most of those on the supposedly left, they reduce discussion to this cartoonish vision of politics.

The serious left in this country was decimated. It started with the suppression of radical movements under Woodrow Wilson, then the "Red Scares" in the 1920s, when they virtually destroyed our labor movement and our radical press, and then all of the purges in the 1950s. For good measure, they purged the liberal class -- look at what they did to Henry Wallace -- so that Cold War "liberals" equated capitalism with democracy, and imperialism with freedom and liberty. I lived in Switzerland and France. There are still residues of a militant left in Europe, which gives Europeans something to build upon. But here we almost have to begin from scratch.

I've battled continuously with Antifa and the Black Bloc. I think they're kind of poster children for what I would consider phenomenal political immaturity. Resistance is not a form of personal catharsis. We are not fighting the rise of fascism in the 1930s. The corporate elites we have to overthrow already hold power. And unless we build a broad, popular resistance movement, which takes a lot of patient organizing among working men and women, we are going to be steadily ground down.

So Trump's not the problem. But just that sentence alone is going to kill most discussions with people who consider themselves part of the left.

The corporate state has made it very hard to make a living if you hold fast to this radical critique. You will never get tenure. You probably won't get academic appointments. You won't win prizes. You won't get grants. The New York Times , if they review your book, will turn it over to a dutiful mandarin like George Packer to trash it -- as he did with my last book. The elite schools, and I have taught as a visiting professor at a few of them, such as Princeton and Columbia, replicate the structure and goals of corporations. If you want to even get through a doctoral committee, much less a tenure committee, you must play it really, really safe. You must not challenge the corporate-friendly stance that permeates the institution and is imposed through corporate donations and the dictates of wealthy alumni. Half of the members of most of these trustee boards should be in prison!

Speculation in the 17th century in Britain was a crime. Speculators were hanged. And today they run the economy and the country. They have used the capturing of wealth to destroy the intellectual, cultural and artistic life in the country and snuff out our democracy. There is a word for these people: traitors.

[Oct 11, 2017] The Sordid Double Life of Washingtons Most Powerful Ambassador

Something about real foreign influence in Washington corridors of power ... Bankrolling think tanks is pretty slick idea.
Notable quotes:
"... Close with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top national security officials, Otaiba has bankrolled nearly every major think tank in Washington. ..."
"... The diplomat has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to push Washington's defense and foreign policy establishment to adopt MBZ's hawkish ideas on Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other contentious policy areas. Otaiba has been a leading voice in Washington for the war in Yemen, where the UAE operates torture warehouses and funds death squads. The conflict has left more than 10,000 dead and countless more starving and stricken with a cholera epidemic of historic proportions. ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | theintercept.com

Otaiba has become one of the most powerful and well-connected men in Washington, reportedly in touch with Jared Kushner, President Donald Trump's son-in-law and adviser, on a weekly basis. His spending on galas, hospital wings, dinner parties, and birthday bashes has become legendary. Close with CIA Director Mike Pompeo and other top national security officials, Otaiba has bankrolled nearly every major think tank in Washington.

The Emirati envoy's cachet stems in part from his close relationship with Mohammed bin Zayed al-Nahyan, who is widely considered to be the effective ruler of the UAE. The crown prince of Abu Dhabi, he is known in the region and in Washington by his initials MBZ. Since 2000, Otaiba has reported directly to MBZ as his head of international affairs, and then as the ambassador in Washington. "Before I was introduced to him, the way he was described to me was the guy MBZ trusts most on foreign issues and one of the smartest people in the UAE," said Kristofer Harrison, a former Bush administration official who worked closely with Otaiba.

The diplomat has worked tirelessly for nearly two decades to push Washington's defense and foreign policy establishment to adopt MBZ's hawkish ideas on Iran, the Muslim Brotherhood, and other contentious policy areas. Otaiba has been a leading voice in Washington for the war in Yemen, where the UAE operates torture warehouses and funds death squads. The conflict has left more than 10,000 dead and countless more starving and stricken with a cholera epidemic of historic proportions.

A fixture among Washington society, Otaiba spent much of the last decade carefully constructing the image of an enlightened Persian Gulf diplomat -- forward-thinking on women's rights, secularism, and embracing the modern world. On International Women's Day this year, he published an open letter to his young daughter to drive the point home.

Otaiba's homeland, meanwhile, does not often live up to such values. The UAE has some of the most draconian sex crime laws of any place in the world. Just last week, a man and a woman were arrested for having a conversation in a car while being unrelated and unmarried. This week, two defendants were spared prison time for the crime of " indecent attire ," but fined and deported nonetheless.

[Oct 11, 2017] An Al Jazeera Reporter Went Undercover with the Pro-Israel Lobby In Washington

Oct 11, 2017 | theintercept.com

Swisher wouldn't confirm or deny the identity of the American operative, but he said that with the American political class focused on foreign intervention in the affairs of the United States, now is an appropriate time to run the follow-up investigation. "I hear the U.S. is having problems with foreign interference these days, so I see no reason why the U.S. establishment won't take our findings in America as seriously as the British did, unless of course Israel is somehow off limits from that debate," he said.

[Oct 11, 2017] A documentary focused on Israeli influence in the US, the existence of which has previously been suspected but had yet to be made public.

Notable quotes:
"... Is not all this noise about Rooskies has one and only one goal – to divert attention from the "gorilla" and her "struggle for survival" in the Middle East and in the US Congress? https://theintercept.com/2017/10/09/an-al-jazeera-reporter-went-undercover-with-the-pro-israel-lobby-in-washington/ ..."
Oct 11, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anon , Disclaimer October 11, 2017 at 4:33 pm GMT

@Johnny F. Ive

They need Russia to be an enemy to justify their actions and the Europeans want to use the US to threaten Russia. Its a shame this can't be generalized against all foreign agents of influence. The US Mainstream Media is basically an arm of the Hasbara. Their guest from think tanks are foreign agents of influence. Its not fun watching a bunch of foreigners and their domestic owned Americans run the US Empire into the ground.

Is not all this noise about Rooskies has one and only one goal – to divert attention from the "gorilla" and her "struggle for survival" in the Middle East and in the US Congress? https://theintercept.com/2017/10/09/an-al-jazeera-reporter-went-undercover-with-the-pro-israel-lobby-in-washington/

" a documentary focused on Israeli influence in the U.S., the existence of which has previously been suspected but had yet to be made public. The four-part series, "The Lobby," dug into the Israeli embassy in London, as well as several other pro-Israel lobby groups, and their campaign to "take down" British Foreign Office Minister Sir Alan Duncan.

The investigation led to the resignation of a top Israeli official in London, as well as a high-profile complaint that Al Jazeera had broken broadcasting regulations in the United Kingdom. One of the complaints charged the investigation with anti-Semitism, but the government board ruled that imputing such a motive to a film critical of Israel would be akin to calling a series on gang violence racist.

Ofcom received complaints about the series from pro-Israel British activists and a former Israel embassy employee. It dismissed all charges, which included anti-Semitism, bias, unfair editing, and the infringement of privacy. It ruled that as per the International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance's guidance: "It did not consider that such a critical analysis of the actions of a foreign state constituted anti-Semitism, particularly as the overall focus of the programme was to examine whether the State of Israel was acting in a manner that would be expected of other democratic nations."

[Oct 10, 2017] Sputnik and RT are too small, especially Sputnik. They are forced to be on the defensive all the time and have no ability to created successful memes or "fake news" that would put the western MSM on the defensive

Notable quotes:
"... According to SimilarWeb, it only gets a total of 2.5 million monthly visitors from the US. That's almost an Unz.com like level of visitorship even though Ron's budget and attention of social media/advertising crap is many orders of magnitude lower than Sputniks. Russian taxpayers don't deserve this. ..."
"... What was made clear by Mr. Lincoln and his Civil War was that the WASP Elites, the Yankee rich and powerful, saw the 1st Amendment as meaning all speech they supported would be actively promoted by Government while all speech they opposed would be shut down. ..."
"... It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game. ..."
"... Without Russia the US Army would have no real reason to exist, ..."
"... the US Army is a large political force with many bases, half a million people, and a huge budget. ..."
"... The big corps are using their bought government to eliminate competition to their concentrated domestic media oligarchy. They can buy up all the domestic outlets, those outside have to be banned. It is ludicrous to blame foreigners for all your ills, when the vast majority of your country is itself made up of foreigners and their descendants, except for the tiny remainder of American Indians. Which identifies properly another way to identify the enemy destroying your nation: look in the mirror first. ..."
"... I think the big issue is that money runs the show. Big media, which is where many people still get their information is just rotten at the core. How to fix it? I don't know – maybe the internet (which is still relatively young) will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses. ..."
"... "Russiagate" has been a farce from the very beginning, an attempt by that fat-ass witch to divert attention from the 30K emails–which is where the REAL scandal lies!! And where do we stand on that issue anyway? I won't hold my breath waiting. ..."
"... Propaganda? Our political class is going to protect us from Propaganda? Our bureaucracies, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, are going to protect us from Propaganda? If it doesn't jibe with what our media organs of record are putting out, they're going to stamp it Propaganda? Don't make me laugh! The Propaganda is that those clowns wouldn't call a pig a duck for a dime's worth of advantage. ..."
"... This action on the part of the Sessions DOJ is hypocritical in light of the fact that we routinely undermine governments and institutions in Ukraine and Russia via our NGO's and in any nation whose foreign policy is deemed an impediment to the goals Israel and their American vassal state. ..."
"... Every banned political speech has always been banned because it was deemed 'subversive' or 'divisive'. Or the new 20th century term 'propaganda'. This has been the case for thousands of years, the censors always say that. No censor ever just banned free expression or said that it has to be banned because it is true. The banning is also often done by admin harassment, 'foreign agent' label, cutting access, etc.. ..."
"... So the latest hysteria about banning RT/Sputnik is squarely in the mainstream of censorship. It meets all the usual criteria: foreign influence, trying to stir up discord, undermining the system (that would be 'democracy' in US). And the methods are also the usual one: registration, harassment, restriction on distribution, etc ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Anatoly Karlin , Website October 10, 2017 at 1:00 pm GMT

To be quite frank I hope that the US declares RT/Sputnik foreign agents (or bans them outright).

1. They are more interested in Putin hagiography and idiotic conspiracy theories than intelligent propaganda anyway.

2. They are ineffective, especially Sputnik. According to SimilarWeb, it only gets a total of 2.5 million monthly visitors from the US. That's almost an Unz.com like level of visitorship even though Ron's budget and attention of social media/advertising crap is many orders of magnitude lower than Sputniks. Russian taxpayers don't deserve this.

3. Gives Russia a great excuse to kick out dishonest Western journalists (about 75% of them).

Andrei Martyanov , Website October 10, 2017 at 1:08 pm GMT

@Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften

The Europeans don't want to have American military bases there.

Not true. Some Europeans may not want that, but many others are perfectly content with the state of the affairs. As per Eastern Europe–majority of them want US military bases.

Jake , October 10, 2017 at 1:10 pm GMT

What was made clear by Mr. Lincoln and his Civil War was that the WASP Elites, the Yankee rich and powerful, saw the 1st Amendment as meaning all speech they supported would be actively promoted by Government while all speech they opposed would be shut down.

That was in keeping with the culture's source: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. Puritans spouted Free Speech all day and all of the night, and if you dared speak against Cromwell or the Revolution, you paid dearly.

Hypocrisy about free speech is deep in the WASP DNA.

Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes. WASP culture is Germanic. Germanics have always seen Slavs as inferior peoples they should war against perpetually, to steal their best land and make serfs of the survivors. This obsession with screwing with Russia is simply the contemporary manifestation of that part of the problem of unrestrained Germanic culture.

iffen , October 10, 2017 at 1:17 pm GMT

we are allowed to air views that are essentially banned on the mainstream media to include critique of maladroit policies in places like Syria and Afghanistan and biting critiques of the war on terror.

It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game.

Almost! Almost made it!

Jake , October 10, 2017 at 1:20 pm GMT

@Anonymous

I don't trust Russia any more than you do. I have even less, much less, trust, for the UK, Germany, France, the EU, as well as America's Democrats and Neocons.

JoaoAlfaiate , October 10, 2017 at 1:22 pm GMT

Russia: White and Christian, sounds like an ideal ally for the United States.

John Fitzgerald , October 10, 2017 at 1:40 pm GMT

If the Feds are going to make RT register as a foreign agent due to foreign funding, where does it stop? On the same basis, all nationally owned news outlets must be forced to register, e.g., BBC, Al Jezeera, etc. And what about nominally non-government owned news entities that a home government renders financial assistance, eg, the London Times, if it needed government loans to survive? Would it be a British foreign agent?

And what about the New York Times, which in its perilous financial state appears to be substantially supported by loans from a Mexican National, Carlos Slim who in turn must be assumed to work hand-in-hand with the Mexican government, since most of his wealth comes from Mexican government-granted franchises.

Should the New York Times be registered as a Mexican foreign agent (its news coverage and editorials regarding immigration certainly would be evidence it is acting in that capacity)?

Wade , October 10, 2017 at 2:04 pm GMT

OT If anyone wants to catch a nice laid back interview with Phil Geraldi they can do so here:

A lengthy discussion about his sacking at TAC and AIPAC is had with Ryan Dawson. Both put in nice plugs for unz.com. I was really happy to see Phil being interviewed by Ryan. I hope they do this again sometime.

I came to Unz for Steve Sailer but Geraldi is slowly becoming my favorite author here. Thanks for sticking with things Phil. You're doing great work.

Sam Shama , October 10, 2017 at 2:05 pm GMT

@Priss Factor Priss, your comments are really funny. "Clown Streicher is a 'gypsy nazi'" Is Anglin a violent fruitboy like Streicher?

SolontoCroesus , October 10, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

@Jake

That was in keeping with the culture's source: Anglo-Saxon Puritanism. Puritans spouted Free Speech all dan and all of the night, and if you dared speak against Cromwell or the Revolution, you paid dearly.

Hypocrisy about free speech is deep in the WASP DNA.

Angles and Saxons were Germanic tribes. WASP culture is Germanic. Germanics have always seen Slavs as inferior peoples they should war against perpetually, to steal their best land and make serfs of the survivors. This obsession with screwing with Russia is simply the contemporary manifestation of that part of the problem of unrestrained Germanic culture.

What of King Arthur? How did Britain go from Arthur to Cromwell? What role Henry VIII, and Dutch banking/ Bank of England?

How did Russia go from Tolstoy to Trotsky? What role Jacob Schiff and atheist Bolshevism/Communism?

How did Germany go from Wagner to Merkel( after a brief Hitler Interruptus )? What role Rothschild, Marx/Zinoviev and Zionism?

FDR and Churchill were determined to keep organizationally strong Germany and resource-rich Russia -- Christian Russia -- from uniting; Cromwell's England and Morgenthau's USA wanted to control German skill and Russian resources; their heirs want the same today.

Arthur's Britain and Wagner's Germany are natural allies of Tolstoy's Russia (and also of Virgil's Italy and Ferdowsi's Persia, btw).

Toss over this White nonsense, it tells no story, moves no souls.

... ... ...

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 2:21 pm GMT

"Sputnik ..has been under investigation due to the accusations made by a fired broadcaster named Andrew Feinberg."

The amazing thing is that Feinberg ever had the job. In this painful interview, he readily admits to little knowledge and less interest in the particulars of Ukrainian/Crimean/Russian history, politics and recent events. Despite this inadequacy, he's managed to use his dismissal for self-promotion.

Talking to ex-Sputnik employee Andrew Feinberg about "Russian propaganda"

anon , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 2:36 pm GMT

And on the flip side maybe all the Jewish/Israeli news organizations will register too, maybe even AIPAC. Foreign is foreign and fighting wars for foreign interests is no virtue.

It's no wonder we are able to make so many new frands and they just moving into the west everywhere. Spending taxpayer money in foreign countries is helping the US taxpayer. I guess moving a quarter of the population that said foreign country can't take care of and dumping them on the US taxpayer and their children is our gift. Then give them jobs here too.

This lovely idea was signed initially during the Clinton admin with the UN, and put into place during the Bush admin. Dems just hate corps except when they are their own. (Hegelian Dialectic at play everywhere) 20 Rillion in Debt. Millennium Challenge Corporation

MCC forms partnerships with some of the world's poorest countries, but only those committed to: good governance, economic freedom, and investments in their citizens."

https://www.mcc.gov/about

Anon , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 2:41 pm GMT

@Wade Interesting interview. Kind of disappointed not to see any evidence of Christianity in Giraldi's home, or at least not in that camera shot. Maybe his naïveté in approaching the issue, which brought on the artillary barrage, is due to his being oblivious to the larger spiritual, civilizational, battle going on. Forest/trees.

"Accumulating knowledge is a form of avarice and lends itself to another version of the Midas story man is so avid for knowledge that everything that he touches turns to facts; his faith becomes theology; his love becomes lechery; his wisdom becomes science; pursuing meaning, he ignores truth." -Malcolm Muggeridge

Don Bacon , October 10, 2017 at 2:46 pm GMT

@Johnny F. Ive

Without Russia the US Army would have no real reason to exist, Canada and Mexico being benign, because we all know that the US taxpayers are on the hook to defend Europe against the nasty powerful Russians which (mainly) defeated Germany in the last big one, and the US Army is a large political force with many bases, half a million people, and a huge budget.

Talha , October 10, 2017 at 2:47 pm GMT

@Andrei Martyanov

As per Eastern Europe–majority of them want US military bases.

"Let's you and him fight!" Peace.

Fran Macadam , October 10, 2017 at 3:17 pm GMT

The big corps are using their bought government to eliminate competition to their concentrated domestic media oligarchy. They can buy up all the domestic outlets, those outside have to be banned. It is ludicrous to blame foreigners for all your ills, when the vast majority of your country is itself made up of foreigners and their descendants, except for the tiny remainder of American Indians. Which identifies properly another way to identify the enemy destroying your nation: look in the mirror first.

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 3:25 pm GMT

@Wade Thank you for posting. Not only is this a great interview with Phil, it's (for me) a much appreciated introduction to Ryan Dawson.

Fran Macadam , Website October 10, 2017 at 3:28 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin What you hope for is not in the interest of those of us who believe in free and unfettered discourse, which principle is one of the core reasons to believe in ideals that are supposed to define America.

It's fine to question foreign funded media, but it's against everything we are supposed to stand for to ban them.

As the famous jurist wrote, the answer to bad speech is more speech.

Let's debate what's said by foreigners, and their advocates, whether Russian, British, Israeli or any other. Our own government is not famous for truthfulness to the public, either. Let our own government answer them, if they question it, and let us determine where the truth lies, instead of being lied to.

John Jeremiah Smith , October 10, 2017 at 3:42 pm GMT

I watch programs on RT fairly frequently, and moreso with the arrival of the current crop of sitcoms, mindlessly insane 'dramas', firemen and cops shows, etc. Lotsa good stuff on RT. If you read the credits, you will find that most of the specials and magazines are not Russian productions. It's a good place to learn that much of the rest of world journalism bears no resemblance to the propaganda machines of the US networks.

US TV and radio production is a vast web of fabrications designed for social control, to manipulate public opinion, and to reinforce the will of the wealthy and powerful. The US government is corrupt throughout; the purpose of US media is to turn the public eye away from that corruption.

The Alarmist , October 10, 2017 at 3:49 pm GMT

@Der Mann ohne Eigenschaften A decade or so ago, when we still had a number of US bases in Germany, my German colleagues and neighbors used to ask why most of the GIs never left the base and only used Dollars for most of their commerce, again mostly on base, though a few merchants took Dollars on a rather good exchange basis that a local could arbitrage if he was paying attention. I experienced some of that a few decades ago myself when on TDY in Europe. The US might want bases there, but a non-trivial number of the troops can't be bothered to wander outside the gates very often, and may as well be in Nebraska or South Dakota for all their interest in being there.

As for the Europeans, a lot of the local merchants did want the bases there, and a lot of the locals welcomed the Amis. There were also places where the Amis represented a big payoff for the smallest things; you would be surprised how productive egg-layers Portuguese chickens were after you ran over one and found yourself compensating the farmer for all the eggs it would have laid in its life.

Anon , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 3:55 pm GMT

I'm not sure why it is but we always seem to be on the Muslims side, everywhere to the detriment of our own societies.

"Russia may be tightening its grip on Crimea, with little resistance to date, but they have yet to face the Crimean Tatar factor.

There are 266,000 Crimean Tatars in Crimea, over 13% of the local population. They are Sunni Muslim, traditionally pro-Ukrainian, and much better organized than the local Ukrainians, who make up 23% of the population."

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/mar/05/tartar-ukraine-sunni-muslims-threat-russian-rule-crimea

"For more than a year, Chechens, Muslims from southwestern Russia, have been fighting on both sides of Ukraine's struggle against Russian occupation.

The undeniably frank reason one anti-Russia militiaman recently gave The New York Times? "We always fight the Russians."

The Chechens have had a long and tense relationship with Russia's central government, alternatively fighting for independence and courting special favor from the rulers in Moscow. When Russia annexed the Ukrainian territory of Crimea in March 2014, it once again gave Chechens a reason to push back against Russian overreach"

http://dailycaller.com/2015/07/22/russian-muslims-traveling-to-fight-against-russias-ukraine-invasion/

We have plenty of Muslims in Congress to represent their people. I'm sure our alphabet agencies have plenty too. According to Wikipedia almost no one likes Russia.

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-Russian_sentiment

"Widespread ethnic cleansing accompanied the war in Bosnia and Herzegovina (1992–95), as large numbers of Bosnian Muslims (Bosniaks) and Bosnian Croats were forced to flee their homes and were expelled by Bosnian Serbs;[1] and some Bosnian Croats also carried out similar campaign against Bosniaks and Serbs. Also, Bosnian Muslims conducted similar acts against Croats, especially in Central Bosnia.[2]"

https://search.yahoo.com/search?ei=UTF-8&fr=crmas&p=ethnic+cleansing+in+bosnia

Fought for these in Afghanistan. Ex president made a home at the UN.
"The Afghan Northern Alliance, officially known as the United Islamic Front for the Salvation of Afghanistan (Persian: جبهه متحد اسلامی ملی برای نجات افغانستان‎‎ Jabha-yi Muttahid-i Islāmi-yi Millī barāyi Nijāt-i Afghānistān), was a military front that came to formation in late 1996 after the Islamic Emirate of Afghanistan (Taliban) took over Kabul. The United Front was assembled by key leaders of the Islamic State of Afghanistan, particularly president Burhanuddin Rabbani and former Defense Minister Ahmad Shah Massoud. Initially it included mostly Tajiks but by 2000, leaders of other ethnic groups had joined the Northern Alliance. This included Abdul Rashid Dostum, Mohammad Mohaqiq, Abdul Qadir, Asif Mohseni and others."

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

"The Afghan-Bosnian Mujahideen Network in Europe By Evan F. Kohlman" http://www.aina.org/reports/tabmnie.pdf Wow it just goes on.

Talha , October 10, 2017 at 4:01 pm GMT

@Fran Macadam

Hey Fran,

I like what you're bringing to the table here. I think the big issue is that money runs the show. Big media, which is where many people still get their information is just rotten at the core. How to fix it? I don't know – maybe the internet (which is still relatively young) will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses.

But that is also a big IF – since there is so much on the internet which is just trash and lacks any sort of serious vetting. Peace.

Paranam Kid , October 10, 2017 at 4:03 pm GMT

@animalogic

The huge lumbering predator, as it's strength slowly, slowly fades lashes out at the flies & mozzies that encircle it .

That is a nice succinct way of describing the failing Empire

anonymous , Disclaimer October 10, 2017 at 4:16 pm GMT

"Russiagate" has been a farce from the very beginning, an attempt by that fat-ass witch to divert attention from the 30K emails–which is where the REAL scandal lies!! And where do we stand on that issue anyway? I won't hold my breath waiting.

iffen , October 10, 2017 at 4:23 pm GMT

@Talha will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses

Whose truth?

Plus, there is a difference between discourse and propaganda.

The 88s here are not confounded so much by not being allowed free discourse as they are whinging about the fact that their propaganda and motivated opinion pieces are not carried 24/7 by every available outlet.

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 4:37 pm GMT

@Talha Hi Talha,

Here's an articulate source. Until the web gets outright censored, beyond the select eliminating and demonetizing that's happening now. See also Ryan Dawson's interview of Phil at comment #28.

War for Oil? (((Whose oil?)))

RobinG , October 10, 2017 at 4:42 pm GMT

@iffen Thanks for volunteering to give us a review. I just watched a minute. (((Don't know how I missed this.)))

Decades of Deception

Reality Checker , October 10, 2017 at 4:51 pm GMT

@Anonymous I don't trust Russia one bit . . .

And why is that? Because your government and their MSM sycophants have brainwashed you to think that way? It's time people like you that have this inherent distrust of Russia get a grip and start using some critical thinking skills. I know that's really hard but give it a try, o.k.?

Talha , October 10, 2017 at 5:01 pm GMT

@iffen will be the new frontier for bring truth to the masses

Whose truth? Plus, there is a difference between discourse and propaganda. The 88s here are not confounded so much by not being allowed free discourse as they are whinging about the fact that their propaganda and motivated opinion pieces are not carried 24/7 by every available outlet.

Whose truth?

I'll just be happy to get facts at this point. Most can't be bothered to get that part straight. The MSM dropped the baton big time. Now people all over the internet are picking it up – the problem I see is information glut. How does one sift through the incredible amount of information.

Peace.

Sloopyjoe , October 10, 2017 at 5:58 pm GMT

Sputnik and RT are targeted in order to keep the "Boogey Man" alive by the following parties:

1) Globalist Banksters – They desperately need continued wars to distract the global peasants from the banker-caused multi-hundred trillion $ coming derivatives time-bomb and to keep their drug wash flow going. Also, its getting more and more difficult to keep under wraps the Dual-Financing of the "Official" Govts and "Deep State (SSP)" Govts. "Gotta keep those Kabbalistic Blood Sacrifices going or our Invisible Sky Daddy will be mad at us and won't let us on the Space Ship".

2) Big Pharma Slime (Vaccines/Viruses), GMO Sickos, Trans-Humanist Psychos, and Fascist Neo-Cons – "Just trying to get that Agenda21 Borg World going". 500 million micro-chipped global population is the goal.

3) The MIC – "We need more wars so we can keep force feeding our over-priced pieces of crap to our satellite colonies" and multi-trillion $ financial redirect to the SSP.

4) Israel – Russia and Iran (Persia) are the perennial enemies of the Talmudic Terrorists for kicking the Fake Jewish Khazarians/AshkeNAZIs out of their Western Asian homelands around 1250 AD. The psychotic and retarded (613 Talmudic Commandments, REALLY?) Clan Circumcision has a thing for blood feuds. Did you lose another Dolphin-Class Submarine?

5) The dying USSA Empire of Tampons and associated prostitute Politicos – Former colonies are fleeing East faster than Barry from his wife Michael er, I meant Michelle. Petro-Dollar going poof. USSA economy heading for the big flush regardless of the jiggered Plunge Protection Team numbers. "Must keep distracting our willfully-gullible peasant masses with more False Flags and Wars else they wise up and HANG US ALL".

And lastly

6) Hillawi Bin-Gazi Dykehar – Former candidate with continued delusional desires for Puppet Pres. of the USSA and current Jihadi commandante of Al-Shiksa. Al-Shiksa was last seen campaigning at Costco. This terrorist group is populated by fat ill-tempered donut-bumping Psycho Wenches and Cucked Eunuchs. Their battle cry is rumored to be "We love chocolate cake!!!" or "Damn those Weiner Tapes!!!". Sorry, my Shiksanese is not up to speed.

Did I miss anybody? Thanks for viewing.

polskijoe , October 10, 2017 at 6:15 pm GMT

RT talks about mass immigration problems, shows more inside of Israel including their nasty policies, questions neocons and liberals. For an English speaking forum that is rare. The comment section.. sometimes its okay, sometimes bad.

You will find conservative/traditional posters majority. Go to BBC, CNN, etc its liberal/"progressive" dominated. In the West Neocons and Liberals dominate the media. RT obviously has an agenda, probably divide. Sometimes comments get deleted.

nsa , October 10, 2017 at 6:22 pm GMT

A "reporter" named Feinberg turns out to be a traitorous rat actually working for the DOJ (Dept of Joostice). Who woulda thunk?

Flavius , October 10, 2017 at 7:01 pm GMT

Propaganda? Our political class is going to protect us from Propaganda? Our bureaucracies, the Pentagon, the CIA, the FBI, are going to protect us from Propaganda? If it doesn't jibe with what our media organs of record are putting out, they're going to stamp it Propaganda? Don't make me laugh! The Propaganda is that those clowns wouldn't call a pig a duck for a dime's worth of advantage.

"The Russians tried to influence our election" taken at face value and removed from the context of 65 years of American Foreign Policy is probably the most pernicious little bit of self serving swamp propaganda that I've ever seen. It appears to be the factoid that the Uniparty and its legions have chosen upon which to make their last stand and to hell with the American people.

utu , October 10, 2017 at 7:15 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

To be quite frank I hope that the US declares RT/Sputnik foreign agents (or bans them outright). – I hope you wrote this thoughtlessly because you were exasperated or upset or something. You should perhaps take it back. There is no question that Russia is better off with RT and Sputnik than w/o them. Any child understands it.

Vidi , October 10, 2017 at 9:02 pm GMT

This assault on the First Amendment shows that the driving force behind the neocons is not American. A real American would tend to value the Constitution more.

KenH , October 10, 2017 at 9:09 pm GMT

As Priss Factor mentioned, RT and Sputnik do tend to be left of center on many issues, but they do appear to be sincere and independent leftists in contrast to the American prog establishment which has become just a dog and pony show controlled and directed by Jewish billionaires like Soros. RT especially is no friend of white nationalism although they have given figures on the racialist right air time on occasion.

I do find they are more objective in foreign policy matters whereas the U.S. media , including, FOX, all sing from the same song sheet on foreign policy matters and only differ slightly in degree. But they rarely seem to criticize Israel.

This action on the part of the Sessions DOJ is hypocritical in light of the fact that we routinely undermine governments and institutions in Ukraine and Russia via our NGO's and in any nation whose foreign policy is deemed an impediment to the goals Israel and their American vassal state.

Beckow , October 10, 2017 at 9:32 pm GMT

Every banned political speech has always been banned because it was deemed 'subversive' or 'divisive'. Or the new 20th century term 'propaganda'. This has been the case for thousands of years, the censors always say that. No censor ever just banned free expression or said that it has to be banned because it is true. The banning is also often done by admin harassment, 'foreign agent' label, cutting access, etc..

So the latest hysteria about banning RT/Sputnik is squarely in the mainstream of censorship. It meets all the usual criteria: foreign influence, trying to stir up discord, undermining the system (that would be 'democracy' in US). And the methods are also the usual one: registration, harassment, restriction on distribution, etc

It is a minor issue and mainly matters symbolically. But it is going to give US democracy and freedom of speech reputation a black eye. How does recover once speech is banned because it is causing 'division in the society'? The problem is that the ruling class simply doesn't understand what classical liberal values are – they talk a lot, they 'lawyer' a lot, but have no understanding of what a free society looks like.

Priss Factor , Website October 10, 2017 at 10:17 pm GMT

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=D5854-qAqkM

Vinteuil , October 10, 2017 at 11:12 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin Never even knew Sputnik existed. RT I knew about – but it's got about the same profile as Al Jazeera in the USA: i.e., next to none.

Avery , October 10, 2017 at 11:45 pm GMT

@Anatoly Karlin

{3. Gives Russia a great excuse to kick out dishonest Western journalists (about 75% of them).}

Interesting perspective.

Seamus Padraig , October 10, 2017 at 11:55 pm GMT

At least the Russians have a sense of humor about the whole thing. Here's their new ad campaign for RT UK: https://www.facebook.com/photo.php?fbid=1438856412889207&set=a.117074591734069.21731.100002945854869&type=3&theater

[Oct 10, 2017] Sputnik and RT Under Investigation

FARA was a powerful tool against attempts to stage a color revolution in the particular county. But it can't save decaying neolineraim. which by now probably exceeed useful shelf life. The only thing that is keeping it afoot is there is no political force capable to provide viable alternative. That's it. Bastard neoliberalism of Trump is essentially the acceptance of the defeat.
The charge "Intended to discredit the United States government and its institutions" is too broad change and if applied indiscriminately no other entity other then government controlled press can operate in the country.
As a short term measure it definitely will be effective (although it increase popularity of RT.uk or RT.ca) as this essentially shut down both in the USA. RT can operate much like Guardian . But in a longer term, blacklisting RT (Sputnik is not that important) is a sign of weakness, not strength.
But eventually the boomerang might return and not necessary for entities like "Voice of America" (which after the collapse of the USA became a zombie for the xUSSR audiences). While influence of Voice of America on foreign audience now is minuscule and this is mostly money wasted due to decline of neoliberal ideology (and with it prestige and influence of the USA) , they can now be shut down with impunity, by any foreign government inclined to do so.
So in a way, the US actions engager crown jewels of its propaganda machine. also any such action is a sign of weakness not strength by definition. It just signify that the tratment of neoliberalism in RT can't be fought by directly.
And not only Voice of America but also similar, potentially more effective propaganda entities. In effect that is the acceptable of the fact that neoliberal MSM are losing grip on the population and require coercive measures against competitors.
Notable quotes:
"... The apparent line of inquiry that the Bureau is pursuing is that both are agencies of the Russian government and that both have been spreading disinformation ..."
"... This alleged action would make them, in the DOJ view, a propaganda arm of a foreign government rather than a news service. It also makes them subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938. ..."
"... Feinberg, the former Sputnik White House correspondent, reportedly took with him a thumb drive containing some thousands of internal business files when he left his office. ..."
"... News organizations are normally considered to be exempt from the requirements of FARA. ..."
"... The DOJ is in effect saying that RT and Sputnik are nothing more than propaganda organs and do not qualify as journalism. I would have to disagree if one goes by the standards of contemporary journalism in the United States. ..."
"... they have been as often as not leading propaganda organs for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, pushing a particular agenda and denigrating Donald Trump. They differ little from the admittedly biased television news reporting provided by Fox News and MSNBC. ..."
"... Regarding Sputnik, Feinberg claimed inter alia ..."
"... Voice of America ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.unz.com

Somehow everything keeps coming back around to Russia. In one of its recent initiatives, the Justice Department (DOJ) appears to be attacking the First Amendment as part of the apparent bipartisan program to make Vladimir Putin the fall guy for everything that goes wrong in Washington. In the past month, the DOJ has revealed that the FBI is investigating Russian owned news outlets Sputnik News and RT International and has sent letters to the latter demanding that one of its business affiliates register as a foreign agent by October 17 th . The apparent line of inquiry that the Bureau is pursuing is that both are agencies of the Russian government and that both have been spreading disinformation that is intended to discredit the United States government and its institutions.

This alleged action would make them, in the DOJ view, a propaganda arm of a foreign government rather than a news service. It also makes them subject to Department of the Treasury oversight under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938.

Sputnik , which is owned by a Russian government media group headed by Putin consigliere Dimitri Kiselyov, has been under investigation due to the accusations made by a fired broadcaster named Andrew Feinberg. Feinberg, the former Sputnik White House correspondent, reportedly took with him a thumb drive containing some thousands of internal business files when he left his office. He has been interviewed by the FBI, has turned over his documents, and has claimed that much of the direction over what the network covered came from Moscow.

RT America , more television oriented than Sputnik, operates through two business entities : RTTV America and RTTV Studios. The Department of Justice has refused to identify which of the businesses has been targeted by a letter calling for registration under FARA, but it is believed to be RTTV America, which provides both operational support of the broadcasting as well as the production facilities. Both companies are actually owned by Russian-American businessman Alex Yazlovsky, though the funding for them presumably comes from the Russian government.

I have noticed very little pushback in the U.S. mainstream and alternative media regarding the Department of Justice moves, presumably because there is a broad consensus that the Russians have been interfering in our "democracy" and have had it coming. If that assumption on my part is correct, the silence over the issue reflects a certain naïvete while also constituting a near perfect example of a pervasive tunnel vision that obscures the significant collateral damage that might be forthcoming.

News organizations are normally considered to be exempt from the requirements of FARA. The Department of Justice action against the two Russian major media outlets is unprecedented insofar as I could determine. Even Qatar owned al-Jazeera, which was so vilified during the early stages of the Afghan War that it had its Kabul offices bombed by the U.S., did not have to register under FARA, was permitted to operate freely, and was even allowed to buy a television channel license for its American operations.

The DOJ is in effect saying that RT and Sputnik are nothing more than propaganda organs and do not qualify as journalism. I would have to disagree if one goes by the standards of contemporary journalism in the United States. America's self-described "newspapers of record" the New York Times and the Washington Post pretend that they have a lock on stories that are "true." The Post has adopted the slogan "Democracy Dies in Darkness" while the Times proclaims "The truth is more important now than ever," but anyone who has read either paper regularly for the past year knows perfectly well that they have been as often as not leading propaganda organs for Hillary Clinton and the Democratic Party, pushing a particular agenda and denigrating Donald Trump. They differ little from the admittedly biased television news reporting provided by Fox News and MSNBC.

What exactly did the Russians do? According to last January's report signed off on by the FBI, CIA and NSA, which may have motivated the DOJ to take action, RT and Sputnik "consistently cast President-elect Trump as the target of unfair coverage from traditional U.S. media outlets that they claimed were subservient to a corrupt political establishment." Well, they certainly got that one right and did better in their reporting of what was going on among the American public than either the Washington Post or New York Times .

Regarding Sputnik, Feinberg claimed inter alia that he was "pushed" to ask questions at White House press briefings suggesting that Syria's Bashar al-Assad was not responsible for some of the chemical attacks that had taken place. One wonders at Feinberg's reluctance as Sputnik and RT were not the only ones expressing skepticism over the claims of Syrian involvement, which have been widely debunked. And why is expressing a credible alternative view on an event in Syria even regarded as propaganda damaging to the American public?

There is a difficult to distinguish line between FARA restricted "trying to influence opinion" using what is regarded a fake news and propaganda and legitimate journalism reporting stories where the "facts" have been challenged. Even real journalists choose to cover stories selectively, inevitably producing a certain narrative for the viewer, listener or reader. All news services do that to a greater or lesser extent.

I have considerable personal experience of RT in particular and, to a lesser extent, with Sputnik. I also know many others who have been interviewed by one or both. No one who has done so has ever been coached or urged to follow a particular line or support a specific position insofar as I know. Nor do I know anyone who has actually been paid to appear. Most of us who are interviewed are appreciative of the fact that we are allowed to air views that are essentially banned on the mainstream media to include critique of maladroit policies in places like Syria and Afghanistan and biting critiques of the war on terror.

Sputnik, in my opinion, does, however, lean heavily towards stories that are critical of the United States and its policies, while RT has a global reach and is much more balanced in what it covers. For sure, it too criticizes U.S. policies and is protective of the Russian government, but it does not substantially differ from other national news services that I have had done interviews for. I find as much uniquely generated negative reporting about the U.S. (usually linked to violence or guns) on BBC World News, France24 and Deutsche Welle as I do on RT International . To describe it as part of an "influence campaign" driven by a "state-run propaganda machine" has a kernel of truth but it is nevertheless a bit of a stretch since one could make the same claims about any government financed news service, including Voice of America . Governments only get into broadcasting to promote their points of view, not to inform the public.

There is a serious problem in the threats to use FARA as it could advance the ongoing erosion of freedom of the press in the United States by establishing the precedent that a foreign news services that is critical of the U.S. will no longer be tolerated. It is also hypocritical in that countries like Israel that interfere regularly in American politics are exempt from FARA registration because no one dares to take such a step, while Russia is fair game.

Going after news outlets also invites retaliation against U.S. media operating in Russia and, eventually, elsewhere. Currently Western media reports from Russia pretty much without being censored or pressured to avoid certain stories. I would note a recent series that appeared on CBS featuring the repulsive Stephen Colbert spending a week in Russia which mercilessly lampooned both the country and its government. No one arrested him or made him stop filming. No one claimed that he was trying to undermine the Russian government or discredit the country's institutions, even though that is precisely what he was doing.

And then there is the issue of the "threat" posed by news media outlets like RT and Sputnik. Even combined the two services have limited access to the U.S. market, with a 2014 study suggesting that they have only 2.8 million actual weekly viewers . RT did not make the cut and is not included on the list of 100 most popular television channels in the U.S. and it has far less market penetration than other foreign news services like the BBC. It can be found on only a limited number of cable networks in a few, mostly urban areas. It does better in Europe, but its profile in the U.S. market is miniscule. As even bad news is good news in terms of selling a product, it probably did receive higher ratings when the intelligence agency report slamming it came out on it in January. Everyone probably wanted to learn what RT was all about.

So it seems to me that the United States' moves against RT and Sputnik are little more than lashing out at a problem that is not really a problem in a bid to again promote the Russian "threat" to explain the ongoing dysfunction that prevails in America's democratic process. One keeps reading or hearing how the American government has "indisputable" proof of Moscow's intentions to subvert democracy in the U.S. as well as in Europe but the actual evidence is still elusive. Will Russiagate end with a bang or a whimper? No one seems to know.

Priss Factor > , Website October 10, 2017 at 4:52 am GMT

The irony is RT news is pretty much dominated by Progs and Leftists. It's not Russian Nationalist or Conservative. But it features the kinds of Progs who do question and challenge Globalist Oligarchs of the West.

Johnny F. Ive > , October 10, 2017 at 5:43 am GMT

They need Russia to be an enemy to justify their actions and the Europeans want to use the US to threaten Russia. Its a shame this can't be generalized against all foreign agents of influence. The US Mainstream Media is basically an arm of the Hasbara. Their guest from think tanks are foreign agents of influence. Its not fun watching a bunch of foreigners and their domestic owned Americans run the US Empire into the ground.

Backwoods Bob > , October 10, 2017 at 5:59 am GMT

As psychopaths lose their grip over the target, they change from cool, calm, lie-to-your face con men to pathetic, shrieking cartoons of themselves.

The shredders were working overtime, bleach bit, hammers, cell phones wiped, people bumped off, closing up all of the criminal gangster operations of the government before Trump got in.

They can't get rid of him, not suing for re-counts, not getting him declared incompetent, not stage-managed riots of Soros stooges, not a fake dossier with Russian whores peeing on the Donald's bed, not screeching about Russia

Eventually, if our Republic is worth a shit at all, these crimes will finally be acknowledged and the hysteria over Russia will subside.

Ronald Thomas West > , Website October 10, 2017 at 6:26 am GMT

What the Russians appear to have clearly recognized is how to take advantage of the corrupt nature of the western 'mainstream' press, an institution which has been co-opted by western intelligence agencies for a very long time.

The Russian method? It could not be more simple; report the actual facts in the geopolitical contest and when this is inconvenient, practice lies by omission

Depending on the geopolitical reality of the day, for instance whether the paranoid ego-maniac Sultan Erdogan of Turkey is behaving well or not, the stories by western dissident journalists that will withstand a close scrutiny are run in Russian or Russia friendly media outlets. The result? Odds are 100:1 you'll get more reliable information from Russian state TV or Russian sponsored websites than from ABC, CBS, CNN or NBC

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2016/12/03/propaganda-spy-vs-spy/

My take from 10 or so months ago. I don't really think much has changed except for the 'Russia hacked the election' story is clearly more false than ever; with narcissism queen Julian Assange holding the story hostage:

https://ronaldthomaswest.com/2017/09/16/incompetent-espionage-wikileaks-iii/

Verymuchalive > , October 10, 2017 at 6:46 am GMT

Russia has been remarkably restrained in its counteractions. But retaliate fully it will. China is getting its retaliation in first, with plans for an oil futures market, trading in yuan, in Shanghai already near completion. The days of the Petro-dollar seem numbered. Will American hegemony collapse with a bang or a whimper? No one seems to know.
Either way, ten years from now, " Russiagate ", a fake scandal, will be almost completely forgotten, rather like major real scandals earlier this century like Enron. The latter seems to have been pushed right down the memory hole.

exiled off mainstreet > , October 10, 2017 at 7:51 am GMT

This is further evidence that the yankee regime walks and talks like a fascist duck. Its deep state and its media acolytes, Carlos Slim's New York Times, CIA contractor Bezos' Washington Post, PBS, the corporate parasite broadcast system, CNN, the Clinton News Network, NBC, home of professional lesbian deepstate lackey Rachel Maddow, CBS and ABC (along with government owned satellite state medias like BBC, CBC and Australia's ABC are quintessential propaganda outlets. While the Russian outlets are naturally pro-Russian, they are less openly propagandistic than the US-controlled propaganda press, which is on the side of barbarism in its attitudes toward the middle east and NATO issues.

LondonBob > , October 10, 2017 at 8:10 am GMT

I actually find the quality of guests on RT to be far superior to what the British news channels offer, embarrassingly so really as these guests seem easy enough to find whilst the likes of the BBC believe the ill informed opinions of journalists is only of interest. RT UK is also a lot more politically balanced with most of the media seemingly having ditched the old ethos that they should at least make some vague attempt at balance. RT's coverage of the migrant crisis was in stark contrast to the British media's cheer leading. In addition in the past few years Palestine has completely disappeared from British screens however RT still covers the occupation as well as matters such as the USS Liberty.

Anyway this does seem like part and parcel of the attempt to increasingly suppress the press and free speech in the West, whether that is driven by lefty ideologues, zionists, an unthinking security apparatus or a military with no purpose.

[Oct 10, 2017] MoA - Russia Interfered! - By Purchasing Anti-Trump Ads

Notable quotes:
"... Russia is for and against Trump, and is thus destroying American democracy! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Freedom is slavery! ..."
"... The dangerous projection from the US elites where anyone and anything can be turned into something "evil" through the mere suggestion of any connection to Russia is no longer shocking--but that makes it no less disturbing and insidious. ..."
"... the whole thing is quite laughable, if it wasn't taken so seriously by so many doorknobs... ..."
"... b you are right to continue to focus on this issue. The Russia hysteria is beginning to burn itself out. However the msn and the Democrats are now beginning to focus on Google, Twitter and Facebook instead. Hillary last week gave a talk at Stanford calling for those companies to censure false news reports. If her plan was put into effect one of its targets would obviously be MoA along with hundreds of other outlets on both the left and the right that challenge the usual deep state "news" promoted by the mainstream news monopolies. ..."
"... Identifying all of the ways in which it was rigged is still open to debate, but we know for sure that during the primary the DNC manipulated the schedule for "Super Tuesday" so as to pad Clinton's lead with meaningless red states which would never turn out for her in the general, that numerous states also executed suspect purges of their voter roles in precincts leaning heavily toward Bernie Sanders, and that Clinton fraudulently secured the electoral votes of some 400 so-called "super delegates" in order to create the illusion she had popular support. ..."
"... Furthermore, we know that the DNC itself promoted Trump because they wrongly believed that he would be easier to beat in the general election. If anyone really adulterated our democracy during this election, it was the DNC and, as usual, the corporate media apparatus. But as with any large-scale CYA operation, the first order of business is to distract attention away from the domestic perpetrators by hyping up an external threat and projecting all manner of crimes to this shadowy enemy. ..."
"... If one looks at the recent history of which bills pass in congress, and how close the votes lie, it is very easy to see the BIG LIE that these people represent anything other than the corporate interests that pay them the most money. ..."
"... Trump is a symptom, not the disease. Hillary was the same, and I fully expect the next bunch of politicians to show even more stark symptoms. To expect the MSM to do other than purvey the lies and obfuscate and distract is simply an illogical and fallacious expectation - an expectation that money will never allow to be met. ..."
"... This entire Russiagate thing is a distraction, canard, red herring - pick your noun for falsity. It's purpose is to obfuscate other things the corporations and governments are doing elsewhere. Caveat emptor ..."
Oct 10, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

After the ludicrous "Russian hacking" claims have died down for lack of evidence, the attention was moved to even more ludicrous claims of "Russian ads influenced the elections". Some readers are upset that continue to debunk the nonsense the media spreads around this. But lies should not stand without response. If only to blame the reporters and media who push this dreck.

As evidence is also lacking for any "Russian interference" claims the media outlets have started to push deceiving headlines. These make claims that are not covered at all by the content of the related pieces. The headlines are effective because less than 20% of the viewers ever read beyond them.

On the NYT Homepage today we find another one of these: Google Finds Russia Bought Ads to Interfere in Election .

Google has found no ads that "Russia", the state or nation, has bought. There is also no evidence that the ads in question interfered in any way with the election. There is evidence that any of the ads in questions aimed to achieve that. The opener of the piece repeats the false headline claims. But now we have "Russian agents", not "Russia", which allegedly did something.

Google has found evidence that Russian agents bought ads on its wide-ranging networks in an effort to interfere with the 2016 presidential campaign.

The term "Russian agents" is not defined at all. Where these "secret agents" or Public Relation professionals in Washington DC hired by some Russian entity?

Using accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government, the agents purchased $4,700 worth of search ads and more traditional display ads, according to a person familiar with the company's inquiry ...

"Accounts believed to be connected to the Russian government." Believed by whom? And how is "connected" defined? Isn't any citizen "connected" to his or her government?

Those believed , connected accounts bought a whopping $4,700 of ads? Googles 2016 revenue was $89,000,000,000. The total campaign expenditures in 2016 were some $6,000,000,000. The Clinton campaign spent some $480,000 on social network ads alone. But something "Russian" spending $4,700 was "interference"?

But wait. There is more:

Google found a separate $53,000 worth of ads with political material that were purchased from Russian internet addresses, building addresses or with Russian currency. It is not clear whether any of those were connected to the Russian government, and they may have been purchased by Russian citizens, the person said.

So now we are on to something. A full $53,000 worth of ads. But ....

The messages of those ads spanned the political spectrum. One account spent $7,000 on ads to promote a documentary called "You've Been Trumped," a film about Donald J. Trump's efforts to build a golf course in Scotland along an environmentally sensitive coastline. Another spent $36,000 on ads questioning whether President Barack Obama needed to resign. Yet another bought ads to promote political merchandise for Mr. Obama.

The film is anti-Trump. Obama not resigning would have been anti-Trump. Selling Obama merchandise may have been good business, but is certainly not pro-Trump. So at least $43,000 of a total of $53,000 mentioned above was spent by believed , connected "Russians" on ads that promoted anti-Trump material. How does that fit with the claims that "Russia" wished to get Trump elected? Putin pushed the wrong button?

The allegedly "Russian" Facebook ads were just a click-bait scheme by some people trying to make money. The allegedly "Russian" Goggle ads were of a volume that is unlikely to have made any difference in anything. They were also anti-Trump.

Clinton lost because people on all sides had learned to dislike her policies throughout the years. She was unelectable. Her party was and is acting against the interest of the common people. No claim of anything "Russian" can change those facts.

Yul | Oct 10, 2017 11:59:10 AM | 1

But, But, But
It is OK when the US of A ( via NED, USAID aka CIA covert ops) does it in Iran, some African countries, South American and even in Western Europe circa the '60's, to elect puppets
steven t johnson | Oct 10, 2017 12:24:54 PM | 2
Clinton won the election. Trump winning the Electoral College doesn't change that. If anybody has been repudiated by popular vote, it is Trump. It wasn't a huge win because the Democratic Party platform of how great the economy is is not going to win big for the good and simply reason it's BS. And black voters weren't going to turn out for a white candidate. If winning the election is a moral endorsement and losing is conviction of sin, then it is Clinton who was the angel and Trump who was the devil in the judgment of the American people. Seeing Clinton supporters as demons serving evil just means you hate the American people.

Either the Trumpists are getting exactly what they wanted, which exposes them as shameful. Or they got blindly picked the biggest liar because, stupid. It's a lose/lose situation. Since the Electoral College has made the election moot, what is the point of savaging Clinton except a desperate effort to apologize for Trump?

WorldBLee | Oct 10, 2017 12:33:02 PM | 3
Russia is for and against Trump, and is thus destroying American democracy! We have always been at war with Eurasia! Freedom is slavery!

The dangerous projection from the US elites where anyone and anything can be turned into something "evil" through the mere suggestion of any connection to Russia is no longer shocking--but that makes it no less disturbing and insidious.

anon | Oct 10, 2017 12:40:38 PM | 4
if the Dems wanted to campaign for the NEXT election rather than the LAST one, they could try opposing Trump on an actual issue... but I don't see Clinton doing squat for Puerto Rico, EPA standards, Black Lives, health care, Yemen, education, etc. The truth is, she and her party don't oppose Trump on anything except who won the last election and which country to threaten next.

I stopped listening to Amy Goodman over a year ago when I got sick of hearing nothing but this partisan BS, though once in a while I turn it on for a few minutes, and Goodman is STILL going on and on about Trump v Clinton! but today I got to hear Julian Assange tell her off, so it was worth it.

james | Oct 10, 2017 12:41:08 PM | 5
thanks b.. this highlights the pettiness of the american press, and people like steven @2 as well..

the whole thing is quite laughable, if it wasn't taken so seriously by so many doorknobs...

ToivoS | Oct 10, 2017 1:07:57 PM | 6
b you are right to continue to focus on this issue. The Russia hysteria is beginning to burn itself out. However the msn and the Democrats are now beginning to focus on Google, Twitter and Facebook instead. Hillary last week gave a talk at Stanford calling for those companies to censure false news reports. If her plan was put into effect one of its targets would obviously be MoA along with hundreds of other outlets on both the left and the right that challenge the usual deep state "news" promoted by the mainstream news monopolies.

Johnson #2. You obviously do not understand the US constitution. It was crafted to distribute political power to all of the States, not to just those with the largest populations. That was done deliberately and carefully in order to get the 13 former colonies to agree to joining a united states. That is why we have the electoral college and why each of the states have exactly two US senators irrespective of their population. So you want to abolish the electoral college? Well then change the US constitution. Of course keep in mind that the constitution has a rule for that process too -- it requires that 2/3 of the states agree. Good luck with trying that! Well you loyal Hillary sycophants should just go back and continue to cry in your beers like the pathetic losers that you all are.

SlapHappy | Oct 10, 2017 1:12:19 PM | 7
The 2016 election, as with every federal election since at least 2000, was rigged.

Identifying all of the ways in which it was rigged is still open to debate, but we know for sure that during the primary the DNC manipulated the schedule for "Super Tuesday" so as to pad Clinton's lead with meaningless red states which would never turn out for her in the general, that numerous states also executed suspect purges of their voter roles in precincts leaning heavily toward Bernie Sanders, and that Clinton fraudulently secured the electoral votes of some 400 so-called "super delegates" in order to create the illusion she had popular support.

Furthermore, we know that the DNC itself promoted Trump because they wrongly believed that he would be easier to beat in the general election. If anyone really adulterated our democracy during this election, it was the DNC and, as usual, the corporate media apparatus. But as with any large-scale CYA operation, the first order of business is to distract attention away from the domestic perpetrators by hyping up an external threat and projecting all manner of crimes to this shadowy enemy.

It's been the same tired song and dance in this country since forever, and I don't think it'll ever change, especially not with almost universal control of the government, media, finance, and industry by the money-printing fifth column.

/div
/div
Oilman2 | Oct 10, 2017 1:50:54 PM | 9
If one looks at the recent history of which bills pass in congress, and how close the votes lie, it is very easy to see the BIG LIE that these people represent anything other than the corporate interests that pay them the most money.

The 'differences' they postulate and promulgate across media are of things inconsequential, or of things that can never be wholly resolved with laws and regulations. When important things arise, they are locked away in committee or alleged 'deadlock'. What bills do pass are always, not sometimes, but always those that enrich their own pockets in some way.

Those that believe in either cause, Democrat or Republican, are avoiding the truth staring them in the face. They prefer the old reality we lived in where news could be controlled via 5 or 6 media outlets. They prefer The Matrix to the reality of where we exist today.

The truth is slowly oozing out, even as these parasitic creatures shovel and shove it back under rocks and into overflowing waste bins. The result of this is apathy in extremis. This will continue until a disaster or collapse of some part of the existing system forces people to act for change.

Trump is a symptom, not the disease. Hillary was the same, and I fully expect the next bunch of politicians to show even more stark symptoms. To expect the MSM to do other than purvey the lies and obfuscate and distract is simply an illogical and fallacious expectation - an expectation that money will never allow to be met.

This entire Russiagate thing is a distraction, canard, red herring - pick your noun for falsity. It's purpose is to obfuscate other things the corporations and governments are doing elsewhere. Caveat emptor

[Oct 10, 2017] DECAMERON NEO-CON RESET

Oct 10, 2017 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Last week saw the Senate Intelligence Committee going after Russia's influence in the "free market places of ideas": Twitter, Facebook, etc. Senators fulminated over Twitter's failure to appreciate the magnitude of the danger of Russia's interference in free elections. Cartoonists lampooned Russia with caricatures of the famous Russian military parades showing the Facebook and Twitter logos as displays in the parade along with tanks and missiles.

Suddenly the Senate was all atwitter over, well, Twitter. Who's feeding this sudden awareness?

The recently created Alliance for Securing Democracy, housed (at least for now) at the German Marshall Fund--USA is one of the core anti-Putin, anti-Russia operations that merits keeping an eye on, especially as it impacts Congressional hearings, resolutions, and media. It's an alliance of hard core neo-cons who were in the thick of promoting the 2003 Iraq war and the "axis of evil" attacks on Iran-Iraq-North Korea during Bush 43 administration, with the hillary-cons.

They're determined to turn up the heat against Moscow, not just in the United States, but to spread the Cold War mania to Europe through its GMF network.

For now, the Alliance's money seems to be limited, but it is a clear move to migrate the "Never Trump" Republicans into alliance with the Democratic Party, even further polluting and destroying that party on the foreign policy front.

With a network of some 2 dozen operatives in the USA and Europe (including former Assistant Secretary of Defense under Obama, Derek Chollet) the Alliance for Securing Democray blog is churning out steady stream of articles about Russian interference in elections (including big focus on the latest German elections) and demanding that Congress take action to further investigate/stop Russian interference in said elections. They claim to be monitoring 600 Russian twitter accounts that they think are threatening democracy.

A significant part of the apparatus comes from the group, Foreign Policy Initiative which went belly up in August, 2017, when it ceased operations. According to The Nation, FPI's demise was largely due to the dropping off of funds in 2017 after the Trump election. The FPI was led by William Kristol and Robert Kagan. These "never Trump'ers" were apparently an albatross after the 2016 elections for some Republican and conservative deep pockets who always want to keep a path open to the White House, no matter who they preferred.

Now Kristol has a new home on the Advisory Board of the Alliance for Securing Democracy along with Michael Chertoff, and the anti-Putin ex-Ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul. Also on the Board is Jake Sullivan, a top Hillary operative at the State Dept. Chertoff recently landed a Wall Street Journal article on September 6 th , headlined, Congress Can Help Prevent Election Hacking. I expect there will be a lot of Congressional action on this front if the "Alliance for Securing Democracy" has its way.

Securing democracy? The crowd that brought us Iraq in 2003, Libya in 2011?

Investigative journalist Glenn Greenwald did an impressive first expose of this outfit in July of this year, identifying the alliance between the war party neo-cons and the Democratic Party, but there's a lot more to watch in its continuing operations to promote its Cold War agenda, especially in Congress.

james , 08 October 2017 at 07:13 PM

these neo con bloodsuckers are becoming irrelevant.. sure, they continue to suck on the blood of a number of countries, but it is going to come to an end. if fact, it looks like the end is in motion at present.. they want their war where-ever, and the corporations are all in tow on this.. meanwhile ordinary people can see it for what it is..

i saw an article in fox news from kagan.. what was interesting were the comments in response to his drivel... it gave me hope that people who are crazy enough to even read something on fox news, can see bullshit when they see it and are willing to call it as such.. people aren't beholden to the western msm as much as some would like to think..

tpcelt , 08 October 2017 at 09:40 PM
How can ordinary people, like me, be informed and make sound decisions? Common sense with a strong bu****t meter helps. But there's so much going on and cross currents.
1664RM , 08 October 2017 at 10:03 PM
Are sure you have the title correct? 'Reset'

- Personally I don't think there has ever been a 'reset'.

It's the same as it ever was - they are still there operating in plain sight & pulling the strings & levers of power in both the US Senate & Congress, of course the influence of the AIPAC 'bloc' cannot be overlooked.

HRC was their candidate, as was BHO, as was Bush the younger, as was WJC et al.

PNAC is alive & well, the plan is still to destroy any nation which can independently produce/supply hydrocarbons outside of the control of the US/Saudi hydrocarbon cartel, or act as a third party transit corridor to China or Europe.

These nations typically fall foul of 'coloured revolutions', or ethinc minorities within them - normally Sunni Muslims suddenly become the victims of 'ethnic cleansing' by State Govt forces, no proof of this (pictures, moving images etc is ever provided by the MSM). The issue is presented to the world as an 'uman rights issue. Often local Sunni extremists (sometime in neighbouring states) then wage 'Jihad' & thus the state in question is totally destroyed & 'Balkanised in the process.

Coupled with this is the ongoing operation to isolate Russian geopolitical & economic influence over Festung Europa whilst drawing an ever more 'Balkanized 'Europa' into more reliance on US influenced sources of hydrocarbons.

Simultaneous to this is the encirclement of Russia on 3 sides with THAAD style weapons & conventional military forces to create a preemptive Nuclear/Conventional Strike Scenario a reality.

In the Asia Pacific region its also a similar plan directed against China.

All of this is directly linked to maintaining the economic hegemony of the US 'Empire' into the 21st Century.

Its not that simple to work out or follow.

Just my vacant ramblings this fine Monday morning 'downunder' feel free to rip it apart as you wish.

Linda , 08 October 2017 at 11:08 PM
And now Possibly Iran in 2017
1664RM -> Linda... , 09 October 2017 at 10:16 AM
Myanmar - shaping up to become a new hydrocarbon overland transit route from the Gulf for China (avoiding the Malacca Straights maritime chokepoint) in exchange for an invitation into the OBOR Project - Well it was until -

All of a sudden the Royhingas have been murdered en masse & driven into exile into neighbouring Bangladesh (incidentally has anybody actually seen ANY pictorial moving footage evidence of ANY of this?)

Bangladesh ... where the 'jihad' to avenge the Royhinga pogrom will be launched into Myanmar ... has just 'accepted' an offer from the Kingdom of Saudi to construct hundreds of new Mosques & Madrassas ... the perfect breeding ground to hatch a new generation of Jihadis in SE Asia. Bangladesh will be in a perfect geographic position to threaten neighbouring Indian provinces too. India has the largest Muslim population outside of the Muslim world. There several million Bangladeshi migrant workers inside The Gulf states working for a pittance ... who knows what some of them are up too.

Catlonia ... is/was setting itself up as a major LNG entry point into the EU from North Africa ... primarily Algeria, since the predicted US 'Shale Boom' has not actually materialised in sufficient volume to 'wean' the EU away from Russian Gas supplies.

Syria & now the likely formation of this quasi Kurdish state straddling the Shia Crescent ... it really IS all about the Gas ... how can the Syrian state access its hydrocarbons & move them abroad to the foreign market if somebody else has been encouraged to create a quasi state right on top of them?

The Phillipines ... the southern half of the Island chain is predominantly Muslim & since Duterte began making friendly overtures to regional players i.e. China they now have a full blown 'insurgency' in the south despite plenty of US Military hardware in the very local region (or is id direcly BECAUSE of the proximity of US Military forces?).

The Ukraine ... I could go on ....

Pacifica Advocate -> 1664RM ... , 09 October 2017 at 12:36 PM
>>>The Ukraine ... I could go on ....

Nah. You couldn't've, because you were running on empty why you started your screed.

>>>The Phillipines ... the southern half of the Island chain is predominantly Muslim & since Duterte began making friendly overtures to regional players i.e. China they now have a full blown 'insurgency' in the south ...

A) Mindanao is the locus of the insurgency, and it has been that way ever since Spain annexed it into its "The Philippines" administrative region.

B) The Muslim population of Mindanao is hardly the "southern half" of the Philippines; at best, they are the "Southern sixteenth."

C) The Muslim portion of the "Southern Half of the Island Chain" makes up a total of about 6% of the total population of the Philippines. How you jump from there to "the southern half of the Island chain is predominantly Muslim" is beyond me. That's simply factually false.

D) Duterte's overtures towards China have been overwhelmingly supported by the local population, a vast number of whom have relatives who are overseas laborers working in Shanghai, Hong Kong, Taiwan, Canton/Guangdong, etc. In fact, the local Muslims in Mindanao were trained by the US, and those currently financed by the Saudis (and, in the 70s, trained by the U.S.) are staunchly opposed to Duterte's campaign to open up the Philippines to Chinese investment.

Long-story-short: you're wrong on pretty much everything I am in a position to criticize you on, and I suspect the rest of your screed can be similarly debunked.

Serge -> Pacifica Advocate... , 09 October 2017 at 11:15 PM

Pacifica Advocate,

Yep, the usual economic determinism mumbo jumbo from this guy, an epidemic in amateur and professional poli sci circles conducting analysis on US geopolitical actions since 2003. Cast aside the wide scope of history into the dustbin and focus on the US as some omnipotent robot machine that runs on plundered oil. If the Colonel is reading this, what got me hooked on SST was a comment of his back in 2014 in which he shot down that economic determinism crap as it related to Iraq

Tim B. , 08 October 2017 at 11:24 PM
This is a great read from the left wing Nation magazine. https://www.thenation.com/article/russiagate-is-more-fiction-than-fact/
The Porkchop Express , 09 October 2017 at 01:00 AM
It is just beyond belief that the majority of these clowns continue to be treated as if they have a shred of credibility left or that their ideas carry ANY weight when it comes to their outrageously incompetent foreign policy decisions/actions. That their ideological ideas have any value at all, particularly when there has been no admission of a mistake or a reorientation of their ideas, is just astounding. To be wrong so repeatedly and so publicly should have engendered a least some, however small, sense of shame or humility.

On the other hand, it says something about our polity, too, that we continue to tolerate this bullshit.

semiconscious -> The Porkchop Express... , 09 October 2017 at 09:20 AM
'On the other hand, it says something about our polity, too, that we continue to tolerate this bullshit.'

absolutely. that these clowns, along with the various members of the pundit class (friedman, krugman) who, after being repeatedly wrong about any number of things, continue to be provided their bully pulpits tells you all you really need to know...

Yeah, Right , 09 October 2017 at 06:50 AM
Every time I read about William Kristol's latest career move I am reminded of those old Hammer Horror movies with Christopher Lee.

The dude comes to a grisly end in every movie, yet there he is in the next one, back from the grave and - inevitably - none the wiser for the experience.

Ol' Dracula never once stops to think: Ya' know what, these always end badly. Maybe I should sit this one out?

Neither does Kristol, apparently.

LeaNder , 09 October 2017 at 08:57 AM
Good article by Glenn, he is one of the best.
Matthew , 09 October 2017 at 09:42 AM
I just finished Simon Montefiore's two books on Stalin (Young Stalin and The Court of the Red Czar).

With every passing day, the Neo-Cons and their fellow travelers are introducing the Soviet method into American politics: Denunciations, Conspiracies, and the Never-Ending Search for Wreckers.

LeaNder , 09 October 2017 at 11:37 AM
Jacob Heilbrunn, via, I know, I know, the NYT. But, Heilbrunn, JULY 5, 2014

WASHINGTON -- AFTER nearly a decade in the political wilderness, the neoconservative movement is back, using the turmoil in Iraq and Ukraine to claim that it is President Obama, not the movement's interventionist foreign policy that dominated early George W. Bush-era Washington, that bears responsibility for the current round of global crises.

Does anyone remember the curious renaissance of the neocons? Quite a time before the election officially started or heated up?

Iraq, looked at in hindsight with the appropriate and needed distance in time, may not have been that wrong after all? At least once there was someone else to blame? The appropriate public period of repentance seemed to be over. New servants available, that might escape the probling public eye?

Now the Americans may not have chosen the right "cherry blossom king" (Tyler) in their opinion, or backed the right horse in the race. But does that matter? Strictly, hadn't the winner delivered the new meme variant quite dutifully?

One has to keep open to twists of fate, seize the day, I would assume Trump knows that too. Let's see. ...

******

Yes, now I remember a tale in Boccaccio's The Decameron, Sixth Day, Tenth Tale, Friar Cipolla and a Feather of the Angel Gabriel. Which might fit. One of my favorites really.

http://sites.fas.harvard.edu/~chaucer/special/authors/boccaccio/boc-6-10.html

SmoothieX12 , 09 October 2017 at 04:29 PM
I just finished Simon Montefiore's two books on Stalin (Young Stalin and The Court of the Red Czar).

Judging by the "level" of Western historic narrative (granted with some notable exceptions) on Russian/Soviet history of the 20th Century, I would be very cautious when reading anything from Great Britain, especially from people with Montefiore's background. Not to mention people who praise him--from WSJ, NYT etc. Western awareness of actual, real Russian history is extremely low.

Joseph Moroco , 09 October 2017 at 05:43 PM
This is the first I've heard of the German Marshall Fund other than on The Ministry of Information, I mean NPR, they are occasionally mentioned as providing money for some of the propaganda uh, programming. I thought it was a fund to thank us for lending Les Boches a helping hand after we were done bombing them to smithereens.

Here is a link to Der Spiegel that is a tribute to the founder, but is also a history of the GMF. http://www.spiegel.de/international/europe/founder-of-german-marshall-fund-guido-goldman-retires-a-834696.html

It appears to be Neocon safe space. Can there be too many.

Virginia Slim , 09 October 2017 at 05:43 PM
Forgive me, but "Alliance for Securing Democracy" sounds like a Münzenberg-era front organization.

[Oct 10, 2017] Facebook must 'follow the money' to uncover extent of Russian meddling by Diana Pilipenko

Oct 10, 2017 | www.theguardian.com

Robzview2 -> BaronVonAmericano , 9 Oct 2017 21:51

100% with you my rational thinking brother. I have another post here somewhere, Facebook excecs had to be asked 3 times before they "found" these alleged Russian election changing ads- just writing that makes me laugh- and stated that approximately 56% of these ads only ran after the election. I mean we no those evil Russians are ultra cunning and highly sophisticated but even so that takes some doing.
Principleagentprob -> Cato1836 , 9 Oct 2017 19:50
And the NSA, GCHQ, CIA does not have trolls apparently despite their massive budgets? Bear in mind lefty news outlets are favourite covers for western security services. An example of this is Kim Philby who while ostensibly working for MI6 was posted to the middle east working for the Sunday edition. You know before the collapse of the Soviet Union. Indeed the wall to wall anti-Russian propaganda and the extremely close relationship between the Clinton campaign and the US media indicates the trolls are running mainstream media in the US and the UK.
It's the sense of entitlement that gets me, candidates throw as much questionable campaign contributions at an election (such as Singer) and believe the electorate has a duty to vote for them, and if the dont then the it must of been because of the opposition corruption and the stupidity of the lower orders rather than incompetence or policy failure such as representing wall St. rather than main St. on their part.

https://www.theguardian.com/world/2013/jul/28/kim-philby-david-astor-observer

Robzview2 -> Cato1836 , 9 Oct 2017 18:49
I'll do that English course when I have time, at the moment - and for the foreseeable- future I'm flat out ridiculing the Russia-gate nonsense and the fools who are eager to champion any old nonsense, no matter how ludicrous and continue to do so even when it is comprehensively demolished.
anonym101 , 9 Oct 2017 18:48
There is tonnes of more proof that refugee numbers in Europe and the illegal bombing of Libya and arming of 'rebels' in Syria are connected, yet everyone avoids that question.
There is also video proof that McCain and Nuland had incited the violent overthrow of the elected government in Ukraine a few years ago. Before accusing me of being a Russian troll, I am Hungarian.
multilis , 9 Oct 2017 18:45
Hilary Clinton election spending $581m. Donald Trump election spending $340 million according to https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2016/dec/09/trump-and-clintons-final-campaign-spending-revealed

Facebook spending by "russia" $100,000, unclear that was russian government.

Presidential salary of Bill Clinton $400,000/year. Clinton's at start had little net worth according to them, now they have estimated net worth of $110 million+, much of it comes from speeches, including to groups in places like Saudi Arabia.

Clinton foundation charity received donations from foreign governments and individuals, including millions from some in saudi arabia. Not possible to see exact amounts.

US spending in ukraine over 20 years according to politfacts.com: About $2.4 billion went to programs promoting peace and security, which could include military assistance, border security, human trafficking issues, international narcotics abatement and law enforcement interdiction, Thompson said. More money went to categories with the objectives of "governing justly and democratically" ($800 million), "investing in people" ($400 million), economic growth ($1.1 billion), and humanitarian assistance ($300 million).... of course not all money by CIA may be disclosed here.

I suspect Russia, US, and many other countries do spend on influencing other countries, small potatoes though compared to how much Hillary and Trump spent, and those hundreds of millions of dollars given to Hillary and Trump were probably partially to influence/bribe them for later government decisions.

Principleagentprob , 9 Oct 2017 18:41
Are you not embarrassed writing this?
McCarthy is dead, the 50s are over, the Soviet Union no longer exists, The Billion Dollar Brain and Dr Strangelove was not advice on how to run a successful US foreign policy, nobody believes this nonsense anymore.

Quite honestly it is articles like this make me wish the Guardian would hurry up and go bankrupt, although I hope your more reputable Journalists (such as Larry Elliot) continue their journalism in another form. You are dragging a paper with a proud history from Manchester radicalism into the mud and besmirching real journalists trying to carry out real journalism.

To quote another 'article' in the Guardian (I use the word loosely) that does not have comments "Russian operatives spent thousands of dollars on Google ads, source claims". Really $1000s of Dollars, there are pet food ad campaigns that spend more than this.
Is the Guardian world news just run out of somebody else's office?

Yes, lets follow the money, using facts who made campaign contributions to the Democratic and Republican party.

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/2016-election/campaign-finance /

Hilary Clinton campaign $1.4Bn
Trump $957.6 M

And who contributed a little more than $1000s to the democratic campaign?

https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/politics/superpac-donors-2016 /

https://www.opensecrets.org/orgs/list.php

https://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2016/us/elections/top-presidential-donors-campaign-money.html

http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/wall-street-is-putting-money-behind-these-presidential-candidates_us_55b143e7e4b08f57d5d414ad

Yes, there is a conspiracy all right, it's the old one of the plutocrats conspiring against the poor. To ensure their man or woman would represent wall street not the electorate such as by ensuring Sanders was blocked by the super delegates. Then trying to ensure the more finance friendly candidate became president, such as by google working closely with the Clinton campaign. And no this is not misogyny as Bill Clinton was Americas worst domestic president in history. 3 strikes and you're out, workfare mass incarceration of black people, deregulation of finance. George W gets the crown as worst US president in foreign affairs due to Iraq.

https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2016/oct/31/the-podesta-emails-show-who-runs-america-and-how-they-do-it

https://www.washingtonpost.com/news/post-politics/wp/2015/04/08/hillary-clinton-hires-google-executive-to-be-chief-technology-officer /

https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/hillary-clinton-was-paid-millions-by-tech-industry-for-speeches/2015/05/18/f149d598-fd86-11e4-805c-c3f407e5a9e9_story.html

https://www.vanityfair.com/news/2017/08/zuckerberg-hires-clintons-chief-strategist

Yes, lets follow the money.

And the Russians according to evidence free speculation spent $1000s and were successful? You are aware that $1.4bn is larger than $1000s? The US are obviously not very good at advertising or capatalism or democracy, and if you want a cost-effective ad campaign go to Russia, as nobody in history has run such a cost effective ad campaign where 1000s can be more effective than Bns.

Quite frankly I am insulted this article is being presented in what used to be a reputable newspaper.

Robzview2 , 9 Oct 2017 18:31
For a good laugh go to Consotiumnews. com, read the article headed The mystery of the Russiagate puppies. There is a lot there but essentially Clinton's desperate losers would have us believe that a page set up for puppy lovers was Trojan horse to start slipping in anti Clinton stuff. Those evil evil Rooskies, is there no end to their perfidy! puppies! is nothing sacred?! A line that got a laugh for me is:' if some fact, like the puppies page doesn't seem to fit the sinister conspiracy theory you simply pound it into place until it does
technotherapy , 9 Oct 2017 18:25
If we can only fully understand something by following the money Diana, why does your organisation, the Center for American Progress Action Fund - which Politico says 'openly runs political advocacy campaigns, and plays a central role in the Democratic Party's infrastructure' - refuse to disclose who its donors are?
Robzview2 -> Sutir Comed , 9 Oct 2017 18:17
There's a mountain of pig flop, most of the alleged "evidence" has collapsed under relatively mild scrutiny. Remember the "hacked" voting machines and electric utility computer system? not only not the evil Russians, just didn't happen at all and there are other tissue thin bits of "evidence". No convincing any of Clinton's sore loser bleaters of course but I assume you are aware that 25% of the alleged Russian ads were not viewed by anyone and that many were not run til AFTER the election. Is there no end to those devilish Rooskies that they can impact an election result AFTERWARDS!
GriseldaLamington -> Sutir Comed , 9 Oct 2017 17:51
It wasn't the entire US intelligence community - it was hand picked representatives from four agencies. By the way, how are you going with all those weapons of mass destruction that the entire US intelligence community was so sure of?
GriseldaLamington , 9 Oct 2017 16:45
Let me get this straight. The USA, which holds the modern record for interfering in other people's elections, for engineering coups, for doing dodgy deals with cocaine and heroin merchants to fund death squads, which BOASTED (on the front cover of Time no less) of fixing the 1996 election in Russia, has now got it's tits in a tangle because some maybe, might be, could possibly be if you hold them edge on against a red light, Russians bought some Facebook ads. Seriously?

Those whom the gods would destroy they first make mad

Robert Furst , 9 Oct 2017 16:36
In previous elections China has been linked to helping Democrats I don't see anyone complaining, perhaps because the Democrats won. The USA, under a Democratic Preisdent spent nearly $100 million dollars on an attempt to affect the election of an ally Israel in a vain attempt to get rid of Netanyahu as Prime Minister. Welcome to politics.
freeandfair -> Landish , 9 Oct 2017 16:20
> So, it's not Facebook's problem that they are aiding and abetting treason?

So, if the let's say an entity connected to the US government pays for an article/ advert that could be linked to some protests or a controversial issue in a foreign country, then the entity who sold the media space is guilty of treason?
Be careful what you wish for.

The reason you don't even see how wrong you points to the fact that the US is a semi-totalitarian state already.

jackrousseau , 9 Oct 2017 16:14
So wait, I'm trying to follow the logic of continuing to beat the Russia drum after it's so clearly jumped the shark. Let me see if I understand...

What you're now telling me is that Clinton and her cadre of policy wonks and election experts had the entire media behind them (including the owners of Google, Facebook, Twitter, etc.) and spent $1,200,000,000 to win the election.

Nevertheless, they still lost against *Donald Trump*. ...Because...because the Russians "hacked the election" with $150,000 and a few online trolls. Is this what it's come to? Say it ain't so.

Also, why isn't the actual content of these election-changing ads being disclosed? What did they say? What propaganda did "The Russians" use that was so effective on the American public?

So far I've only seen that the Russians supported BLM and created various "blacktivist", feminist, and LGBTI accounts promoting the same brand of identity politics peddled by The Guardian for clicks. https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2017/sep/30/blacktivist-facebook-account-russia-us-election

I mean, did "The Russians" promote any ideas that were actually *more* offensive than what the Guardian publishes on a daily basis? I'd like to see the Russian identity politics ads to compare...

BaronVonAmericano -> Durangotang , 9 Oct 2017 16:08
The only trolls are the ones claiming that unproven allegations of Russians buying a handful of ads on facebook are somehow more important than the fact that both our political parties are owned and operated by private corporate interests.
freeandfair , 9 Oct 2017 16:05
> Only through this method can we fully understand the Russian corporate hydra behind the ad buys

Lol. I am here with my popcorn to be entertained. Bring it on.

American politicians spend billions on their campaigns , but, sure, facebook has to investigate those few allegedly Russian linked ads. They are just a drop in a sea of political propagandizing and manipulation that goes on daily.

Also, how does this align with the freedom of speech? The way I look at it - as long as information is truthful, it doesn't matter what source it is coming from, friendly or unfriendly. Going after the source just because you don't like what being said seems to be the old method of killing the messenger.

And who is the author of this article? "Diana Pilipenko is a principal investigator for the Moscow Project at the Center for American Progress Action Fund."

It figures. Someone who works for whatever "Center for American Progress Action Fund" is. She is basically a lobbyist.

furryandrew -> Gunsarecivilrights , 9 Oct 2017 15:55
Whats truly laughable is this whole "was Russia involved" witch-hunt particularly in light of all the US involvement in swinging Latin American elections etc for DECADES! We are basically encouraging the people who live in glass houses to throw as many stones as possible and get away with it!

Much as I don't like Trump that whole "was Russia involved in the Hillary-wikileaks" was also purely a diversionary tactic. Don't talk about the content talk about who might have provided it. Personally I don't care whether it was North Korea who dug it up, what should have been THE story was the appalling corrupt stuff that was in those shocking leaks, and it surely would have been front-page news for months had the target been Sanders or Trump and not Wall Streets chosen favourite! IMHO we the public are being taken for mugs!

WalterCronkiteBot , 9 Oct 2017 15:03
During the Cold War you had "Team B" looking for non-existent nefarious Russian schemes. It was staffed by the now infamous Rumsfeld and Wolfowitz.

At least they looked into matters of import such as nuclear missiles and submarines, this is more like "Team Z".

Ironically the people devoting the most effort to investigating Russiagate are Wolofowitz/Rumsfeld's brothers in arms from the Iraq days, like Bill Kristol.

TheWindsOfWinter93 -> EAlbee , 9 Oct 2017 14:32
The FSB chief and Putin must be having a right laugh. Western journos who are still sore over HRC losing the American Presidential Election are making for the best unpaid shills to extol Russian intelligence and political power.
TheWindsOfWinter93 , 9 Oct 2017 14:30
It seems to me that pundits like the one that wrote this risible article are doing far more to promote KGB and Russian propaganda around the world and in the West than the Russians themselves, through their screaming of "BIG BAD RUSSIAN BEAR!!!!!" from every soap box they can find.

Putin should invite them to the Kremlin and decorate them for service to the Motherland. Even CIA couldn't dream of such mythologising by the mass media.

kasprowy , 9 Oct 2017 14:12
"Some have argued that $150,000 is an insignificant fraction of the total spent on political ads in 2016 ..."

0.00153% to be exact. Same proportion of total voters who voted for anybody would be 2000 people. Or 0.115 cents per voter. Yeah, this is a big news story.

I cannot resist another analogy. A Super Bowl commercial (and we all know what big fans of the NFL the Left is) goes for $5 million per 30 seconds. The amount mentioned in this article would buy a 900 millisecond ad (that's 0.9 seconds for those who missed it). Need some good subliminal flash advertising to get your money's worth.

Pete green , 9 Oct 2017 13:53
Let me know when the investigation reveals that the $150,000 spent on Facebook ads by the Russians starts to be significant compared to the $9.8 billion spent on the campaign adverts.

Clinton vastly outspent Trump and still lost because she was a deplorable candidate.

http://adage.com/article/media/2016-political-broadcast-tv-spend-20-cable-52/307346 /

Romka Stomka -> Supermind , 9 Oct 2017 13:48
The ads could have been easily paid by pro-Ukrainians living in Russia,to try and put Russia in the spotlight.
LiviaDrusilla , 9 Oct 2017 13:30

Some have argued that $150,000 is an insignificant fraction of the total spent on political ads

And they would be correct. Out of the $7 billion or so spent on the American elections, it's a piddling amount. However, you are clinging to it for dear life because, almost a year on, you can't accept that Clinton was a horrible candidate, so much so that even someone as obscene as Trump could beat her (and yes I know she got more votes thank you very much).

You're really coming across as desperate now. Not a good look.

Supermind , 9 Oct 2017 13:29
Most of these ads look more like click bait than any kind active measures campaign. As usual, there is no evidence that the ads are in anyway connected to the Russian government. Even if they were, $150,000 worth of ads are insignificant in an election where over $1billion was spent on digital advertising. American elites should spend more time pondering how their policy failures contributed to Trump's election and less chasing the chimera of Russian interference.
JJ139 , 9 Oct 2017 13:22
This whole Russian meddling is getting more and more absurd. Clinton spent billions on advertising and lost. Some supposed Russian investors spent thousands on puppy photo sites as part of a cunning plan to suck Americans in. Russia is behind black lives matter, Russia is behind taking the knee at american football matches, Russia is behind the Catalan referendum, Russia is behind Brexit, Russia is probably behind the Dove advert. And anyone who finds the whole farrago of mudslinging at Russia is obviously a Putinbot from a troll farm somewhere in St Petersburg. The lunatics have very definitely taken over the asylum in America.
Laplace_Transforms , 9 Oct 2017 13:12
Roy Greenslade wrote an excellent column today on fake news. The hysteria regarding Russian involvement in US politics could well be a prime example of which Roy writes. The Nation, in an article titled Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact details exactly how this tale of innuendo, supposition but very little evidence has been pushed. The Nation examines in detail the Facebook accusations, and records:

Then there is Facebook's disclosure that fake accounts "likely operated out of Russia" paid $100,000 for 3,000 ads starting in June 2015. The New York Times editorial board described it as "further evidence of what amounted to unprecedented foreign invasion of American democracy." A $100,000 Facebook ad buy seems unlikely to have had much impact in a $6.8 billion election. According to Facebook, "the vast majority of ads didn't specifically reference the US presidential election, voting or a particular candidate" but rather focused "on amplifying divisive social and political messages across the ideological spectrum -- touching on topics from LGBT matters to race issues to immigration to gun rights." Facebook also says the majority of ads, 56 percent, were seen "after the election." The ads have not been released publicly. But by all indications, if they were used to try to elect Trump, their sponsors took a very curious route.

The ads are commonly described as "Russian disinformation," but in the most extensive reporting on the story to date, The Washington Post adds multiple qualifiers in noting that the ads "appear to have come from accounts associated with the Internet Research Agency," itself a Kremlin-linked firm (emphasis added).

The Post also reveals that an initial Facebook review of the suspected Russian accounts found that they "had clear financial motives, which suggested that they weren't working for a foreign government." Furthermore, "the security team did not find clear evidence of Russian disinformation or ad purchases by Russian-linked accounts." But Russiagate logic requires a unique response to absent evidence: "The sophistication of the Russian tactics caught Facebook off-guard."

Would it be too much to ask for actual evidence of Russian interference, rather than this leap to conviction?

[Oct 09, 2017] SHOCKING!!! Google discovers ads placed on its site from Russia, proving America's democracy was hacked by

Oct 09, 2017 | theduran.com

It was only a matter of time before Google and its subsidiaries (most notably
YouTube) would jump on the "Russia hacked the election" narrative concocted by

Hillary Clinton and John Podesta.

Executive Chairman of Alphabet, Inc., (Google's parent company), Eric Schmidt
was after all advising the Hillary Clinton campaign.

What took Schmidt and Google execs so long to join in on the never ending
litigation of the US presidential election, that Hillary lost almost one year ago?

Via The Daily Caller...

Eric Schmidt, executive chairman of Google's parent company
Alphabet, wanted to be "head outside advisor" to the Hillary
Clinton campaign, according to Clinton campaign chairman
John Podesta in an email released by WikiLeaks.

WikiLeaks has continued to reveal Schmidt's cozy relationship with
the Clinton campaign. In a previously leaked email,
a memo showed that Schmidt was working directly with the Clinton
campaign on setting up various backend features to their website.

[Oct 09, 2017] A Visit to Russia Can Relations Be Improved

The official US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. that excludes any friendship. The best that can be done is to avoid WWIII. And due to Putin patience that might be possible. After Putin is gone, who knows. If nationalist come to power, the neocon might really feel the depth of Russian anger at the US imperial policies.
Bunch of neocons travel to Moscow to test waters for rapprochement. After then pissed Russia and launched neo-McCarthyism campaign for the last two years... such a great diplomats.
Those neocons completely poisoned the well and now want to drink clean water. No way.
Notable quotes:
"... President Vladimir Putin's recent hint that the Kremlin could cut another 155 people from the number permitted to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow. ..."
"... because Mr. Putin does not seem to feel real pressure from U.S. sanctions, he is unlikely to be disposed to offer major concessions to the United States simply to reach agreement, especially in the runup to Russia's 2018 presidential elections ..."
"... Keep pretending that Russia has hacked your elections. There is zero interest from the US side in improving relations and we know this quite well here. There is no question that the fat defense and intelligence budgets and all the extra power that the spooks now got is a direct outcome of destroyed Russia-US relations. The democrats sour grapes and election rigging cover up with Russiagate is also undeniable. Keep living the lie ..."
"... It is sad that the media, the Democratic party, and the "deep state" are all working together to try to keep the phony Trump-Russia collusion story alive - but it has almost run its course and less and less people believe it. ..."
"... The US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. That is a very foolish and self defeating way in the 21st century. The West would have been better off when the bankers did not have such controls and the American congress grew real courage and paid down the national debt. ..."
"... I don't know to what degree the author of this article and those he went with have real influence on either side, but we, the American public, have yet to be presented with any real proof that Russia (and specifically its government, directly) actually did anything significant with regard to the election. To the degree that we've been shown any evidence, it appears completely inconsequential, extremely minor dabbling at most. The latest is that "Russia" (nebulously defined) spent $100,000 on Facebook ads... Meanwhile the Clinton campaign spent $1 BILLION. This is a joke. ..."
"... The situation in Ukraine is a million times more of a significant obstacle to improved relations. ..."
"... Russia and US have all the reasons to be adversaries. Because US seeks global domination but will never be able to achieve it as long as Russia exists as subject of global politics. US invests huge resources into making harm to Russia in every possible way. And it been this way at least since Truman administration. ..."
"... NATO cannot save a non-existent failed state. There are at least three different and geographically separate Ukraines. Catholic Galicia has nothing to do with the rest of the country. And the East wants to separate. It is another case of former Yugoslavia. ..."
"... trump was given a choice by the deep state of you either work with us or else... so he has become a puppet of the swamp ..."
"... Swamp Puppet! That's catchy! ..."
www.theamericanconservative.com
Russian officials were largely dismissive of U.S. and European economic sanctions, which some indirectly credit with significantly strengthening Russia's agricultural sector -- to such an extent that they claimed Russian products may fiercely compete in Europe if and when the European Union eases it sanctions and Russia lifts its protectionist counter-sanctions. Indeed, the U.S. Department of State itself asserted in 2016 that a loss of "at most 1 percent of GDP can be potentially explained by sanctions" as opposed to declining global energy prices. The combination of "at most" and "potentially" in this sentence suggests that there is little empirical evidence that sanctions have caused real damage to Russia's economy. Moreover, since U.S. sanctions could account for only a small part of this -- because Europe's economic relationship with Russia is far larger than America's -- there is no reason to think that new U.S. sanctions, which have yet to be fully implemented, will make a material difference at the macroeconomic level. (The State Department did find that sanctioned companies appeared to lose significant revenue and assets.) Still, some officials did privately admit that the sanctions undermine Russia's investment climate, especially among foreign investors.

At the same time, however, some officials reacted quite strongly to the Trump administration's decision to close Russia's consulate in San Francisco, the latest move in an escalating diplomatic spat that began with the Obama administration's expulsion of thirty-five Russian diplomats and seizure of two diplomatic properties in December, following a widely publicized intelligence community report on Russia's election interference.

Even in this area, however, our interlocutors seemed to prefer curtailing the dispute over extending it -- notwithstanding President Vladimir Putin's recent hint that the Kremlin could cut another 155 people from the number permitted to work at the U.S. Embassy in Moscow.

Yet containing this battle between the State Department and Russian Foreign Ministry bureaucracies may well be the easiest step in working toward a functional U.S.-Russia relationship. Far more important and more challenging will be addressing Russia's election interference, which has poisoned the relationship to an extent that Russian officials -- who describe the matter strictly as a U.S. partisan slugfest brought on by sour-grapes Democrats -- did not seem to appreciate....

... Russia's diplomatic, economic, military and security officials will each seek to pursue their own objectives, sometimes contradicting one another. Also, because Mr. Putin does not seem to feel real pressure from U.S. sanctions, he is unlikely to be disposed to offer major concessions to the United States simply to reach agreement, especially in the runup to Russia's 2018 presidential elections .

Thus "getting to yes" on these or other issues will take persistence and creativity.

Paul J. Saunders, associate publisher of the National Interest, is executive director of the Center for the National Interest.

pavel , October 7, 2017 3:36 AM

Keep pretending that Russia has hacked your elections. There is zero interest from the US side in improving relations and we know this quite well here. There is no question that the fat defense and intelligence budgets and all the extra power that the spooks now got is a direct outcome of destroyed Russia-US relations. The democrats sour grapes and election rigging cover up with Russiagate is also undeniable. Keep living the lie

dannyboy116 -> pavel , October 7, 2017 9:52 AM

I agree with you that Russia probably did not hack the US elections. Julian Assange, head of WikiLeaks, has made it quite clear that he received the Clinton campaign emails from elsewhere. (and he has a 100% history of being truthful with regard to what he releases) But I would say to Russia to not give up on better relations with America. It is true that the "deep state" and the Military Industrial Complex make a lot of money from "bad relations" with Russia, but I think Trump understands that improving relations will be good for both sides and potentially save a lot of money for America's citizens. Give it some time.....

sergey_hv -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 2:34 PM

It's not the time he needs, but an adequate congress and fewer idiots of Russophobes who rule the US foreign policy, twisting Trump's hands.

pavel -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 3:49 PM

Wow, good to hear a sober voice! I have felt some backlash personally in the commercial world, and it really feels nasty (basically just like racism), especially since I feel like 1/2 American, having lived in the US for 11 years. So this has gone very deep even in private sector.

Not too sure about good prospects coming up soon. I'm following both the foreign and domestic policies of the current government in Washington and its a bit scary - Cuba, Nicaragua, Venezuela, NK, China, Iran - all are becoming enemies, sanctions reintroduced, and all the ultra-right wing stuff home like getting rid of health insurance, removing all regulations, now 20% poverty rate in CA, I don't recognize the country I used to live a couple decades ago!

dannyboy116 -> pavel , October 9, 2017 7:38 PM

It is sad that the media, the Democratic party, and the "deep state" are all working together to try to keep the phony Trump-Russia collusion story alive - but it has almost run its course and less and less people believe it. It is now looking like it was the Obama Admin's justice department that actually paid for the phony "Trump Dossier" that was used as an excuse to wiretap the Trump campaign. Once that story blows up (Senator Grassley has subpoenaed the background docs) I think you will see a rapid improvement in relations.

KlingOn2K -> pavel , October 8, 2017 9:46 PM

pavel , Russia made its choices. The onus is not on the US to pacify Russia with any standard of proof that it may find convincing. Its up to the US authorities to interpret the Russian actions as being either confrontational or friendly. Russia has no say over it.

cvxxx -> KlingOn2K , October 9, 2017 3:38 PM

The US doctrine is and has been containment of Russia. That is a very foolish and self defeating way in the 21st century. The West would have been better off when the bankers did not have such controls and the American congress grew real courage and paid down the national debt.

bscook111 , October 7, 2017 10:57 AM

It is testimony to the gross malfeasance of American media and pols (both sides but especially Ds like both idiotic Clintons) that America has no working relationship with Russia. The good news, once again in time Trump will be proved right.

JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:09 PM

I don't know to what degree the author of this article and those he went with have real influence on either side, but we, the American public, have yet to be presented with any real proof that Russia (and specifically its government, directly) actually did anything significant with regard to the election. To the degree that we've been shown any evidence, it appears completely inconsequential, extremely minor dabbling at most. The latest is that "Russia" (nebulously defined) spent $100,000 on Facebook ads... Meanwhile the Clinton campaign spent $1 BILLION. This is a joke.

But apparently this group went over there and acted as if the American people are outraged. No, dishonest Democrat hacks and never-Trump Republicans inside the Beltway are obsessed with it, because they hate the outcome of the election and want to discredit Trump. But they've been fishing for a year and a half and can't find anything, despite furiously leaking every innuendo they can, that turns out to be a false smear against Trump and completely falls apart on inspection.

The situation in Ukraine is a million times more of a significant obstacle to improved relations.

... ... ...

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:31 PM

"If Russia can't be trusted to respect the borders of its neighbors, we can't have good relations."

Says who? Citizen of a country which invaded 100+ countries since 1890, including Russia twice? Learn how to respect borders and sovereignity or others yourself. Otherwise it is not going to end well for you.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 10:41 PM

Given your namesake, I'm not sure what point you think you're making. My point is that now, today, the US and Russia have no reason to be adversaries. The past is the past. This is just practical reality. We have allies in Europe who are worried about Russian expansionism. Again, because of your namesake. If Russia makes moves to its west, relations cannot improve.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 10:52 PM

"My point is that now, today, the US and Russia have no reason to be adversaries."

Russia and US have all the reasons to be adversaries. Because US seeks global domination but will never be able to achieve it as long as Russia exists as subject of global politics. US invests huge resources into making harm to Russia in every possible way. And it been this way at least since Truman administration.

'This is just practical reality."

Exactly. And reality is that US stirs up troubles all over the world, including sphere of vital interests of Russia like Ukraine.

"We have allies in Europe who are worried about Russian expansionism."

Russian expansionism? Oh please, there never was any at all. Its been EXACTLY Europe which hundreds of times tried to expand into Russia. The only way Russia expanded over centuries was by defeating and absorbing those who tried to conquer Russia first. If western degenerate elites will not learn this important lesson, of cource Russia will defeat and absorb the west. It will be civilizational self defense.
You better leave Russia alone, and stop meddling in its business.

" If Russia makes moves to its west, relations cannot improve."

Russia does not need any improvement in relations with the west. At all. Over centuries we learned that force is only language you barbarians do understand. You can not be reasoned with. That is why we will always keep you at the gunpoint. And out gun will always be bigger than yours.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 10:59 PM

If you are, presumably, Russian, it doesn't sound as if your government shares your mindset. Which is good. I can tell you that the American people do not "seek global domination". And European nations basically have no military to speak of, so the idea that they would expand into Russia is ridiculous. You are very much stuck far in the past. In the modern world, with the threat of Islamic terrorism and the rising economic power of China, the US and Russia, as allies, would be an insurmountable bulwark. To the extent there would be "global domination", it would be mutual.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:20 PM

"government shares your mindset."

As imperfect as our goverment is, it still orders of magnitude more intelligent and competent than yours. Especialy when it comes to geopolitics. Russia always plays chess, while your nations can`t handle checkers nowadays.

"American people do not "seek global domination""

Every people has government which it deserves. So do not try to shift blame to your government as if you are not responsible for it. You gave them mandate.

"European nations basically have no military to speak of"

Nice excuse to expand NATO east it was, wasn`t it? So much for this "Russian expansionism" B-S.

"so the idea that they would expand into Russia is ridiculous"

Sorry, but we are not buying that. NATO heavily expanded east breaking all past promises. NATO now tries to sиck in even Ukraine. So please, we are not going to just sit idle and watch how your goverments loom another 1812 or 1941.

" You are very much stuck far in the past"

Because we have memory. Do not take us for idlots who was born yesterday.

" In the modern world, with the threat of Islamic terrorism "

Which your goverment created and keeps massively supporting. Oh yes we know that better than you can imagine.

"rising economic power of China"

Nothing wrong with rising economic power of China.

", the US and Russia, as allies,"

US and Russia are not allies.

"To the extent the would be "global domination", it would be mutual."

Russia seeks no global domination. It just wants to be left completely alone on its backyard and mainland which has size of a planet.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:24 PM

You have plenty of knowledge of history, but no wisdom. I did not say the US is blameless in the continued conflicts. What I said is that both governments have shown short sightedness, and are stuck in the past - and you provide an extreme example of someone stuck in the past.

You have also said numerous things that are not true, but it's not worth the time to argue. You should go out for a walk, breathe some fresh air and relax.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:28 PM

"both governments have shown short sightedness"

Yes. Our government used to be naive enough to trust west and expect it to live up their promises. And yours by poking the Bear in every possible way. When you poking sleeping Bear with a short sight and shorter stick, do not complain whole situation exploding into your face.

"and are stuck in the past "

No. Only your government stuck in its past, past dreams about "the end of history" and unrestrained global domination. Russia exactly learned from the past and moved on, that is why your elites are panicking trying to hold on to their sweet illusions.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:34 PM

If you had more wisdom and less hostility, you would see that what I'm saying is more favorable to you than you think. The ideal outcome, ultimately, would be for Russia to join NATO. Putin has voiced that idea himself, as have past US presidents. But the continual back and forth of spats been the US, Europe and Russia prevents it. I'm talking about a bigger, more positive vision of the future, and you can only see small bitterness about the past.

Sane people want peace and prosperity. You do not seem to be one of them.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:40 PM

"The ideal outcome, ultimately, world be for Russia to join NATO."

The ideal outcome, ultimately, would be for NATO to join Russia. Perfectly without Russia making it the hard way.

"Putin has voiced that idea himself, as have past US presidents. "

Look up what does sarcasm means.

"more positive vision of the future"

Russia has only two allies, its army and fleet. - Tsar Alexander III.

Today its also RuASF and SRF. We do not need any more allies than that. You choose if you want to be or enemy. It was not Russia who started all this mess.

JoeS54 -> Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:43 PM

I've seen Putin talk about this, on video. He was not being sarcastic. You are an extreme example of the mindset I'm criticizing, on both sides. The people of both of our countries are not served by it, at all. It's a useless waste of energy and resources.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:47 PM

" He was not being sarcastic."

For any native Russian speaker who has even slightest idea on what happening during historic period he was talking about his sarcasm was clear and transparent. The very idea of "Russia joining NATO" is an insult.

" The people of both of our countries are not served by it, at all."

We had no choice but to arm ourselves. You however always had. Russia and the USSR used to lend you a hand with an olive branch many times. You choosen to spit on it.

JoeS54 Stalinist , October 7, 2017 11:49 PM

What is the ultimate outcome of your mindset? Nuclear war, wiping out both countries? You can't see any better solution?

Your namesake was a mass murderer, of his own people. I'm not sure why I'm arguing with you. If you actually cared about the Russian people, you would not use that name.

Stalinist -> JoeS54 , October 7, 2017 11:55 PM

" Nuclear war, wiping out both countries? "

We will not fire it first, but if it will ever come to this, Russia has all means it needs to win it.

"You can't see any better solution?"

Yes, accept the idea that we are simply not interested in playing your ball. And we are against you playing your ball on our lawn too. So figuratively speaking, we need you to get lost from our horizon and never come back without an invitation. Your "civilization" reminds me of jehovah`s whitness preachers annoying everybody with their nonsense. With the difference that you tend to kill those who not agree to listen to your gospel.

"Your namesake was a mass murderer, of his own people."

See? Jehova's whitness mode on again. Sorry but he was not any kind of mass murderer, he is ultimate hero for us Russians, and we do not need you to lecture us on our own history. We can figure it out ourselves.

JoeS54 -> KlingOn2K , October 9, 2017 12:35 AM

" Russia is attempting to subvert the process that stands at the very heart of the US democratic system"

Still waiting for any real evidence, much less actual proof. As the calendar flips by.

What we've been told so far is that Hillary's $1B campaign was apparently helpless against a few internet memes, which we're told were sponsored by the Russian government, without any proof.

WTF -> JoeS54 , October 9, 2017 12:51 AM

Proof? Its too inconvenient. Get on with the times. We don't need proof in the 21st century.

MAGA Big League , October 7, 2017 11:43 AM

Russia is not going to unilaterally apologize for perceived influence in the US election. Quite the contrary. Their tiny amount of influence will simply continue with tiny Facebook purchases and commenters as well as RT coverage etc. becoming a permanent fixture of US politics (if it wasn't before, which it likely was, but as long as Democrats were winning no one in the media cared).

It shouldn't be hard for a US politician to win an election going up against this small degree of influence which is probably less influential than that of other foreign countries in America (Israel, Saudi and China come to mind). Hillary Clinton, however, was just that awful of a candidate that she needed the whole system rigged for her just to get close. If even one world power center was against her she couldn't win. One wasn't and she didn't.

Meanwhile Donald Trump's foreign policy is dangerous without Russian rapprochement. We are antagonizing other rivals that in the past we have had to keep isolated from cooperating with Russia (Iran, China).

This is what the Russians are waiting for Washington to realize. No current American policy goal in the world can be achieved cheaply (less than an Iraq War level of engagement and cost) without a working relationship with Russia. Our strategy becomes a binary trade off- do we sacrifice our interests everywhere but Europe (Russia) or do we sacrifice them in Europe for everywhere else?

My sense is that the Trump policy is a natural consequence of the Asian continent becoming equal to Europe in economic might by 2020 (it already nearly is). We can no longer treat the rest of the globe as ancillary to our objectives in Europe (although that is certainly our habit now).

Whoever follows Trump will fall into this same strategic trap. Hemming in Russia is now quite painful for Washington to accomplish. Ham fisted half measures don't work and bringing to bear the full measure of our influence entails great sacrifice in areas equally or more important.

Primavera Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 3:41 AM

None of the recent terror attacks in Europe and US have been traced to Iran. Please stop beating the war drum against this country, chances are you will lose again.

siberiankitten Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 7:09 PM

Iran is a #1 perceived threat to Israel, and a sponsor to Hezbollah. Beyond Hezbollah support there is nothing that qualifies Iran as a sponsor of terrorism

VadimKharichkov Allie Youpe , October 9, 2017 4:11 AM

Allie, is your worldview formed solely by mainstream media? Have you tried independent media? You sure you get the other side's story? You know, you can't really claim you comprehend the situation without hearing both sides?

Edward Easterling Allie Youpe , October 8, 2017 2:26 PM

How is the Syrian government a "genocidal regime"?

Edward Easterling Allie Youpe , October 8, 2017 9:24 PM

I can't recall which one it was, but one of the chemical attacks has been proven to be carried out by rebels. Also, a chemical attack has been proven to be a hoax. Like I said, I can't recall all the details. If you are interested you are free to look them up.

Primavera Edward Easterling , October 9, 2017 3:42 AM

Ghouta attack I think

siberiankitten Primavera , October 9, 2017 7:11 PM

Read what Seymour Hersh and Theodore Postol had to say about this attack

Sascha Gruss , October 9, 2017 4:15 PM

Russia will never support the imperial ambitions of the USA. The current situation is a result of a long chain of anti-Russian decisions by the US. The USA tries to assault the Russian economy, its harming the people, destroying families and futures. No Russian citizen should forget that.

enoch arden -> timmay timmy , October 8, 2017 9:43 AM

NATO cannot save a non-existent failed state. There are at least three different and geographically separate Ukraines. Catholic Galicia has nothing to do with the rest of the country. And the East wants to separate. It is another case of former Yugoslavia.

Stalinist -> timmay timmy , October 7, 2017 11:17 PM

"We have American and NATO boots on the Ground. "

I have bad news for ya http://freetexthost.com/m6b ... NATO can not stop Russia from doing whatever it wants.

" Our NATO training base we are setting up in Ukraine will ensure the Russians do not encroach. "

Adolf Hitler told something like that around 1944 when the Red Army was steam rolling his goons and his Ostwall. You are even more deluded than him if you believe that few twirpy little bases where your deуenerate men will get drunk and do local рrostitutes can scare RussiaLOL

"Any drain on the Russian economy such as supporting the Crimea is less money for the military."

Russian economy is booming since 2014. Russian reserves are growing. And Russian average living standards are higher than US has it. But whatever makes you sleep at nights, keep dwelling in russophrenic fantasies induced by your elites.

CB -> Stalinist , October 8, 2017 7:06 PM

You are deluded if you think living standards in Russia are higher than the USA. It's not even close. I guess you are spoon fed a steady diet of propaganda. The USA is by far the most professional military in the world, and this military constantly foils Russian plans at expansion.

Stalinist -> CB , October 8, 2017 7:17 PM

"You are deluded if you think living standards in Russia are higher than the USA. "

No, i just well informed. http://freetexthost.com/nyy...

"The USA is by far the most professional military in the world"

US has most expensive military in the world. And most inept. US never won any major war at all and can not even deal with cave dwellers in Afganistan for 16 long years.

"and this military constantly foils Russian plans at expansion."

Russia has no plans for expansion. And if it ever will get one, nobody on this planet can stop Russia from successfuly completing it.

CB -> Stalinist , October 9, 2017 9:19 AM

Misinformed. Not a verifiable source. The USA has won plenty of wars, including the war to topple the taliban in Afghanistan. Saying otherwise is nothing more than a talking point of Russian propaganda. I've seen you say in other posts Russia will eventually reclaim Kiev Rus, so which one is it? Try not contradicting yourself when debating educated people. You will lose credibility. Russia literally just expanded to take the Crimea. They tried to expand into Afghanistan, so you'd think you would have more respect for the USA effort there. Hightailed it out of there after those goat herders whooped that @ss huh?

WTF -> CB , October 9, 2017 12:08 PM

You won over the all powerful state of Grenada. Give you that.

Whooped the Taliban? After 16 years you're still stuck there and Trump adding more troops to America's longest war to date. How long more to beat the goat herders, in your honest opinion?

CB -> WTF , October 9, 2017 6:21 PM

Stuck there? We could leave anytime we wanted. If the taliban took control of the country again we could topple them again. Reconstructing a tribal society is not the same as fighting a war. The war was over before it started. Unfortunately some people from our side are benefiting from the status quo, and so allow it to persist. It is a drain on the country, but not to the point that I'd call it losing a war. Not even close. Would you rather be in some skyscraper in NYC or some cave in Baluchistan?

JoeS54 timmay timmy , October 7, 2017 11:08 PM

This guy is a nut. His name is proof enough. You shouldn't assume he speaks for Russia.

bakbaklazhan , October 7, 2017 9:30 AM

"President Donald Trump will succeed in overcoming political opposition"

trump was given a choice by the deep state of you either work with us or else... so he has become a puppet of the swamp

ScratInTheHat bakbaklazhan , October 7, 2017 9:51 AM

Swamp Puppet! That's catchy!

enoch arden -> PERICLES--- , October 7, 2017 4:18 PM

The development and production of new weapon systems is the most efficient way to advance the technology and, in this way, the economic productivity. All the technological breakthroughs which provided the current prosperity were financed by the governments with absolutely non-commercial purpose. Therefore, the fact that Russia finally started developing new weapon systems is quite promising for its future economic progress.

PERICLES--- enoch arden , October 7, 2017 4:47 PM

They are spending about 5% of GDP on their military, not counting intelligence agencies and secret police and the money going towards the "rebels" in Ukraine. For a nation with the domestic issues of Russia, it's quite a lot. Russia's oligarchs aren't spending that money because it's a good use of the budget, they're doing it because they need the military to distract the Russian public abroad and crush opposition at home. It's a sign of weakness, not strength.

enoch arden -> PERICLES--- , October 7, 2017 5:15 PM

You don't seem to disagree with my point. Developing new weapon system is much more useful for the economic development than production of consumer goods.

PERICLES--- enoch arden , October 7, 2017 6:07 PM

Who's buying? Russia's list of allies is small, many of their new weapon systems are quite pricey, and that's all technology the US had years ago. And when it comes to low quality, high quantity guns they are now competing with China.

enoch arden -> PERICLES--- , October 7, 2017 7:14 PM

I don't think you understand what you are talking about. Technological development is a strategic project, it is ridiculous to discuss it commercially. Private business would have never paid for the development of jet engines, laser, computer, nuclear reactor and internet. They are parasites using the technology developed on the taxpayers money for commercial purpose.

Concerning the customers: the US are still buying the Russian rockets. The Saudis and Turkey have recently bought anti-aircraft defence systems. Avoid discussing what is beyond you competence scope.

PERICLES--- enoch arden , October 7, 2017 8:06 PM

My, my, someone is feeling tense. Technological development is certainly helpful. It's less helpful, however, if your competitors are there a few years before you. No enterprise exists in a vacuum. If the primary strategic objective in Russia's development of technology is in order to sell it, they will have to arrive there ahead of the US and others. Given Russia's current situation, that seems... unlikely.

VadimKharichkov PERICLES--- , October 9, 2017 4:19 AM

Hmm... I once read a Stratfor's report on the subject I actually know - it was about business development in Islamic republics of Russia, and at the time I was one of the analysts in Investment Promotion Agency of Bashkortostan.

The report was strait idiotic - a crazy mince of facts and fiction. I'm pretty sure now these dudes are in business of making propaganda and have nothing to do with the truth but to turn it into half-truths.

bakbaklazhan -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 9:30 AM

"Hacking the US elections was way below the belt and will not be readily forgotten."

ahahaha. any solid proof of that?

dannyboy116 -> bakbaklazhan , October 7, 2017 9:55 AM

There is no proof because it didn't happen. The US media was heavily invested in trying to get Hillary elected (they were even sending her debate questions in advance) - and needed a scapegoat (the terrible Russians) for her loss. I think the truth will eventually come out.

pavel -> dannyboy116 , October 7, 2017 3:58 PM

The truth has come out - besides having zero evidence of Russian government involvement, there was no internet transfer of data from the DNC servers, its was a local leak. As you probably know, DNC didn't allow FBI access to the servers, and instead hired a private firm to conclude that it was Russian hacking (the zero-evidence conclusions of this private firm were later used in intelligence agencie's reports). But nobody is listening to this, because Russiagate is just so beneficial to so many actors.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 3:48 AM

"Hacking the election". Could you define what that means and present a single shred of evidence of it? Or we simply follow the Goebelsian "A lie you keep repeating becomes the truth.."

SurfaceUnits -> Drinas , October 7, 2017 12:01 PM

In the mid 70s, Vladimir Putin and the Russians began the systematic depopulation of Detroit so that 40 years later Donald J Trump would win Michigan. It's true, ask a Dimocrat.

KlingOn2K -> Drinas , October 8, 2017 2:36 AM

Maybe you might want to take a gander at this: https://www.nytimes.com/201...
But I guess when you're in total denial, any amount of "proof" will be insufficient. All I'd say to the Russians is, keep it going.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 8, 2017 3:48 AM

bahaha That's the proof?! That's the best you can come up with? You fail to see that it is people like you because of your toxic hatred and dogmatism that jump on any crazy theory to support your hacking claims. The most probable underlying reason-excluding racist russophobia? You just can't fathom why Trump won. That's the side-effect of reading the coastal elites narratives instead of focusing on what has been happening on "fly-over country" for a couple of decades. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

CB -> Drinas , October 8, 2017 7:23 PM

Are you serious? You ask for proof, it is provided, and then you just go on pretending it wasn't? You do realize that with all the resources and technology at the disposal of our government, the notion of tracking the origins of certain content on the web is not at all far fetched. And why would any American patriot not be alarmed at the fact that the Russian government, the offspring of the USSR, our rival from the Cold War period, was involved in a concerted effort to target voters with information that was proven to be false. This is information warfare, and you would respond by rewarding the culprit. I hope you don't have kids. Maybe you Greeks ought to learn how to run your country before commenting on international affairs.

Drinas -> CB , October 9, 2017 3:56 AM

"You ask for proof, it is provided" Ahh..No, it wasn't. The only thing provided was a report by US intelligence services-the last entity one could call a neutral party to this-that basically said, "Trust us, we tell you the truth".

Again, until a shred of evidence is provided, the whole "russiagate" is BS of the first order. A fact that even mainstream commentators in the US reluctantly begin to accept. e.g.- "Russiagate Is More Fiction Than Fact" https://www.thenation.com/a...

As for Greece, thank you for your advice considering us running our country. If you adhered to the same principle of not being involved in the affairs of our nation-you helped install a junta in Greece in 1967, you still interfere in our politics-we would refrain from criticising your foreign policy that has a bad habit of sticking its dirty fingers everywhere.

CB -> Drinas , October 9, 2017 9:26 AM

I see you buy into the conspiracy theories. In terms of global development, peace and prosperity, Russia is not on the same page as the USA. One simply has more credibility than the other. This is for historical reasons which you needlessly discard. Either way, it is not just an intelligence report. Try browsing the web a bit. Finding Russian misinformation is not difficult at all. Facebook, a private entity with no dog in this fight, has verified Russian interference.

I'm sorry about the junta. A part of history I'm not familiar enough with. My understanding was this was part of the fight against communism. The ends don't justify the means, but our interests must be protected. Sometimes that means others go under the boot. We are able to do that because our house is in order, and we are the most powerful country there ever was. You may hate the fact, but it's the simple truth. No other nation has the same ability to project power. Intelligent minds wouldn't disagree.

Drinas -> CB , October 9, 2017 4:07 PM

Lol..You simply cherish raw power-just like the naz.s did for that matter. Of course the US is powerful, the most powerful country in terms of power projection. But being powerful does not make one right. Your founding fathers remembered that but you have long forgotten it, corrupted by power.
You actually believe your own megalomanic and delusional propaganda about being morally "exceptional" with a mandate to do as you like. You are as exceptional as the other empires before you were and headed to the same direction-decline and fall.

We Greeks have been around for a few millennia. We had our fair share of fights and helped destroy some empires as well-the Persians, the Ottomans. We also had the distinction of having our own empire twice-a feat very very few people can claim.

Today on your struggle with Russia no matter what the power balance might look (and it keeps shifting on Russia's favor), Russia is morally right. But even excluding morality and Russia and what not, and looking at the raw facts the fate of your Empire seems sealed.

A favorite metric of your money-obsessed society is GDP. In 1945 the US GDP was equal to almost 50% of the World GDP. In 1990 it was about 25%. Today it is close to 16% and in relation to the World GDP it keeps falling. Your military is in need of modernization but more importantly it simply cannot bare the costs of maintaining a global presence, much less engage in numerous conflicts.

But I think you already know those facts, that is why you shield your argument behind the "we are the most powerful blah, blah, blah".

As I said, all this is not knew, even the creation of scapegoats-Russia, N.Korea, Iran ,China etc are typical of every failing Empire, we 've seen this before.

I have a nice Greek term for you, it is a fundamental pillar of our way of viewing the world. It's called Hubris and the US is so full of it it can't see past its own nose.

CB -> Drinas , October 9, 2017 7:54 PM

I don't cherish power, just understand and respect it. And the USA is full of it, and admittedly full of hubris too. I wouldn't be quite so certain that the empire is over, but agreed overstretched. Adjustments are being made, though only time will tell if it is too little too late. Your reading of history is accurate, but history doesn't predict the future. It simply provides proper context for discussion. Your entire comment seems more ideological than logical. Where did I claim exceptionalism? I apologized about the junta, said it wasn't justified, but acknowledged the underlying dynamics. Your response was to compare me to the nazis? Wow. I will say this. You think Russia is "right". Good for you. I think it's quite a bit more complicated. I certainly think the socioeconomic and political systems in be USA are far superior to that of Russia, not inherently, but because of the institutions that have been created. Russia has chosen to emphasize nationalism versus the USA where individualism is still the prevailing ideological force. Nationalism was what the nazis promoted. Luckily I don't share your assessment about the global balance of power. The USA, land of the free and home of the brave, will continue to promote its interests abroad for quite some time to come.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 8, 2017 4:34 PM

I don't know about "us Russians" because no matter how unfathomable it might seem to you, not everyone even mildly supportive of Russia is a Russian. I am Greek and I consider Russia a friendly state, with ties going back 1000 years, a state which is wrongfully demonized by the Western elites. You claim that everyone speaking vs Putin is targeted somehow. Obivously you have never been to Russia or spoke to Russians or have the vaguest clue of public discourse in Russia both online and on the street.

Oh, and in case you missed it, I asked for a single proof of "Russia hacking the election". Or anyone "hacking the election" for that matter. I did not ask any proof about Russia's internal politics or whether it conforms to your hypocritical and selective notions of democracy, ones that you care not apply to a host of tyranical nations you openly support.

Drinas -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 9:34 AM

Oh, what a brilliant idea you got there..The one accused being responsible for providing evidence of his innocence while the accuser having no need to present evidence to support his case. Just relying on-"but it's Russia! It's evil and all that s..t!"

And neither Putin nor any Russian official ever made such an admission. Hillary lost because she was a terrible candidate whose own actions fueled a populist backlash against her and the Washington consensus policies she espoused.

kelly bako -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 9:38 AM

So, you presume that russia is guilty because you don't have any proof of its innocence or culpability when it comes to assert if there were any interference in America's elections?

Andrew -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 10:20 AM

When was it caught, doing what?

Mrm Penumathy -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 1:02 PM

KingOn2K your assertion and the greatest press in the universe repeating continuously that Russians did it without providing any shred of evidence after more than one and half year of investigations (Sorry I forgot, they the press do mention that our $100 Billion + intelligence agencies say so the same guys who got us in the mess in Iraq good luck believing these guys). In the meanwhile we have an opioid epidemic and crumbling infrastructure.

KlingOn2K -> Mrm Penumathy , October 8, 2017 11:12 PM

Mrm Penumathy maybe, just maybe, it might dawn on Russia that the US is not in any way hinged to Russia. The status quo would do just fine. Apart from denials and raising a non-sequitur like Iraq the arguments for a reset don't look convincing. It is always amusing to see arguments on relative economic strengths coming from Russians when 68% of their exports come from oil !!

SurfaceUnits -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 12:24 PM

The reason Hillarity was stumbling and falling during the campaign is because Vladimir Putin and the Russians spiked her GERITOL(R)(TM). It's true, ask a Dimocrat.

Midnight -> KlingOn2K , October 7, 2017 4:59 AM

In order to become a successful economy as the US needs to have 20 trillion foreign debt? The Russian economy is not so dependent on oil as it is told on CNN ..

Russia is not bad at earning rocket engines for the USA (rd180) and delivering American astronauts to the ISS ;) Economy of Russia - GDP rank 12th (nominal) / 6th (PPP) (2017) https://en.wikipedia.org/wi...

[Oct 09, 2017] US Missile Defense Not as Effective As We Think by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
The main problem with systems like THAAD is that it costly. Maintaining the global neoliberal empire is also costly. this financial overextension and deterioration of domestic economy and the standard of living tend to put limits on the imperial power. And such overextension is much more dangerous that lack of some cutting edge military capabilities. The USA managed to force some kind of military alliance of Russia and China in a sense that attack on one means the attack on both. China also warned the USA against unilateral military strike on North Korea.
As Ivan Eland noted in May 15, 2016, Obama "is opening missile defenses in Europe, quadrupling U.S. military spending there, and deploying more military forces near Russia-all of which will have the effect of continuing to provoke that already insecure country. Also, Obama has failed to withdraw U.S. ground forces from Afghanistan, inserted them into Iraq and Syria to battle the terror group ISIS, and continued his accelerated air wars over Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Pakistan, Somalia, Yemen, and Libya." The U.S. Military Needs to Defend the Country, Not Undermine American Security HuffPost
Which means the end of the USA military supremacy as now the USA needs to take into account the possibility of join counterstrike of both China and Russia. . End of cheap oil also means end of multiple expeditionary wars that the USA managed to fight simultaneously (mostly against rag-tag gueella forces like in Afghanistan) as the costs would escalate very quickly.
Notable quotes:
"... the fact remains that, at the time of the Gulf War, the Patriot was a largely untested system which failed to perform as needed. Had Iraq had better missiles, or if they had been tipped with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads, this failure could have been catastrophic. ..."
"... Like the Patriot missile of 1991, the THAAD has only been tested under carefully scripted peacetime conditions, with launch crews having the advantage of long flight times (easy to track) and medium speed closure rates (easy to kill) involving single missile launches. ..."
"... The THAAD has not been tested under realistic wartime conditions, involving large salvos of missiles possessing high-closure rates of speed. In war, it is the unexpected that trips you up. ..."
"... the North Koreans have demonstrated a high-loft launch profile, which would have the missile closing in on its target at a far steeper angle, and at much higher speeds, than the conventional ballistic trajectories the THAAD has trained against. ..."
"... The need to justify the acquisition of military hardware always interferes with the rigor of testing. Test results are published and must show success or the Military has egg on its wasteful face. Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems, however many improvements may have been made. ..."
"... There is another issue that those who depend on missile defenses are overlooking. North Korea could easily pre-position multiple nuclear weapons on non-descript boats, that then sail into the major ports of their foes during or after a war and destroy them. Such weapon delivery systems are very hard to detect and stop. So those who advocate attacking North Korea and feel we can stop their weapons with missiles are fooling themselves. This is one of the reasons that non-combat options to stop North Korea are still the best choice. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Sometime after midnight on the night of January 21, 1991, I was awoken by the sound of an air raid siren. At the time, I was sleeping in an apartment in Eskhan Village, an abandoned suburban housing area outside Riyadh that served as a barracks facility for thousands of American service members deployed to Saudi Arabia as part of Operation Desert Storm. Following protocol, I quickly donned my chemical protective ensemble, inclusive of gas mask; not following protocol, I headed up to the flat roof of the two-story building to see what was happening.

As it turned out, we were under attack. Iraq had launched four of its extended-range SCUD missile derivatives toward Riyadh. The flight paths of two of these missiles were visible to the naked eye, where residual fuel burned from the nozzle of the rocket. As part of a team of SCUD missile analysts assigned to the intelligence section of Central Command headquarters, I was fascinated by this first-hand opportunity to see the SCUD in action. The irony of being on the receiving end of the very missiles I was working to destroy barely registered before I was stunned by the sound of Patriot anti-missile batteries, staged in close proximity to the housing area, firing multiple salvos of interceptors at the incoming SCUDs. Each of the interceptors homed in on their target, their S-shaped trajectories reflecting the in-flight corrections provided by the Patriot's target acquisition radar as it tracked the flight path of the SCUDs. With dramatic effect, the Patriot interceptors exploded along the flight path of the SCUDs, which continued on their ballistic arc before impacting somewhere on the horizon with a bright yellow-green explosion.

This wasn't the first launch of SCUD missiles by Iraq against Saudi Arabia during the war. In the days prior, there had been several missile attacks targeting the sprawling military complex at Dhahran, all of which authorities claimed had been successfully intercepted by Patriot missiles. I had counted more than a dozen Patriot interceptor launches in the vicinity of Eskhan Village on the night of January 21, 1991; more than 35 interceptors in total had been fired in the Riyadh area that night. Reports that crossed my desk the next morning indicated that all four SCUDs targeting Riyadh had been successfully intercepted and destroyed by the Patriots, a finding which puzzled me -- the Patriot intercepts I had witnessed against the two SCUDs I was able to visually track seemed to be exploding behind the SCUDs, and none appeared to stop the SCUDs from detonating on the ground. Later, as part of a team of missile specialists assembled to evaluate the SCUD missile debris from the January 21 attack, I could find no evidence of any shrapnel having impacted the body of the SCUD missile.

After the war, while serving with the United Nations Special Commission charged with disarming Iraq's weapons of mass destruction (inclusive of its SCUD missiles), I read an article in International Security by MIT Professor Theodore Postol titled "Lessons of the Gulf War Patriot Experience." Postol questioned the Patriot's 96 percent success rate claimed by the Army during the Gulf War. Later, while working with Israeli intelligence on the Iraqi SCUD problem, I was able to speak with members of the Israeli Defense Force who were able to confirm Professor Postol's findings: The Patriot missile defense system successfully intercepted less that 10 percent of the SCUDs fired at Saudi Arabia and the Gulf Arab States during the Gulf War, and only 2 percent of those fired at Israel.

The failure of the Patriot missile defense system to perform during the Gulf War has been largely ignored. The reasons for this are many and varied. There was an extensive and intensive effort undertaken by the Raytheon Company (the manufacturer of the Patriot missile), the Army, and the Department of Defense to challenge Postol's findings, thereby muddying the waters. The fact that Iraq's SCUDs were inaccurate and did not carry WMD likewise skewed public opinion -- a dud warhead landing somewhere in the desert or ocean did not generate the kind of excitement of a chemical warhead landing in a densely populated area. In the quarter of a century that has passed since the Gulf War, the performance of the Patriot has improved, as has missile defense in general. (Witness the success of Israel's "Iron Dome" system.) But the fact remains that, at the time of the Gulf War, the Patriot was a largely untested system which failed to perform as needed. Had Iraq had better missiles, or if they had been tipped with chemical, biological, or nuclear warheads, this failure could have been catastrophic.

My experience with the Patriot missile during the Gulf War has colored my assessment of the deployment of America's new front-line missile defense weapon, the Terminal High Altitude Area Defense system (THAAD) to South Korea. The THAAD is intended to defend against the threat posed by North Korean short- and medium-range ballistic missiles. Like the Patriot missile of 1991, the THAAD has only been tested under carefully scripted peacetime conditions, with launch crews having the advantage of long flight times (easy to track) and medium speed closure rates (easy to kill) involving single missile launches.

The THAAD has not been tested under realistic wartime conditions, involving large salvos of missiles possessing high-closure rates of speed. In war, it is the unexpected that trips you up. During Desert Storm, the structural failure of Iraq's extended-range SCUDs caused the warhead to separate from the main body of the missile, creating multiple targets the Patriot radar was unable to discriminate against. This, combined with the higher-than-anticipated closure speeds of the longer-range missiles, contributed to the poor performance of the Patriot system.

North Korea has demonstrated the ability to conduct simultaneous launches of up to four ballistic missiles. Given their proximity to South Korea, these weapons would be tracked for a far shorter time with closure speeds greater than the missile targets the THAAD has been tested against to date. Moreover, the North Koreans have demonstrated a high-loft launch profile, which would have the missile closing in on its target at a far steeper angle, and at much higher speeds, than the conventional ballistic trajectories the THAAD has trained against. The THAAD interceptors are tied to the high-tech AN/TPY-2 target acquisition radar, which can cover a 120-degree frontage. North Korea's newly proven submarine-launched ballistic missile capability provides Pyongyang with a capability to maneuver behind the surveillance arc of the THAAD's radar. Such an attack presumes that neither the South Korean or U.S. naval forces would detect and destroy a North Korean submarine attempting such an attack, or that the U.S. Navy's Aegis missile defense system would fail to intercept a launched missile. The point here isn't the likelihood of North Korean success, but the reality that the THAAD is not omnipotent.

Perhaps the greatest threat facing the THAAD, or any defensive system currently deployed in the vicinity of South Korea, is that North Korea could employ a ballistic missile tipped with a nuclear warhead for the purpose of generating a massive electromagnetic pulse (EMP) that would knock out the THAAD's radar and electronics -- along with most, if not all, of South Korea's and America's electrical systems stationed in the region. The likelihood of such a scenario seems slim, given the consequences North Korea would endure in the aftermath of any use of nuclear weapons. However, the fact remains that the one attack the THAAD is specifically deployed to prevent -- that of a nuclear-tipped North Korean missile -- is the one attack that could be its undoing.

Missile defense has always been more theoretical than practical. The Anti-Ballistic Missile (ABM) systems of the Cold War were never used, and eventually mothballed. The Patriot failed miserably during the Gulf War, only to succeed a decade later during the 2003 invasion of Iraq by using a much-improved interceptor against a far less capable foe. The much-vaunted Israeli "Iron Dome" missile defense system performed well against the homemade rockets of Hamas, but has yet to be tested against the much more capable arsenal possessed by Hezbollah -- or, for that matter, Iran. The THAAD system is a 30-year-old technology untested in combat, under-tested in peacetime, and is our only line of defense against a North Korean ballistic missile threat that has taken the world by surprise in terms of its scope, breadth, and capability.

During the Gulf War, the Patriot's poor performance did not have any strategic consequences -- 28 Americans tragically lost their lives when a SCUD hit their barracks, and a few Israelis died of heart attacks. The absence of a tangible result wasn't from a lack of effort on the part of Iraq -- Israeli's Dimona nuclear reactor was targeted multiple times, and had any missile caused significant Israeli casualties, Israel would have entered the conflict, placing the delicate coalition President George W. Bush had built at risk, and perhaps changing the outcome of the war. There is little reason to believe that North Korea's missiles lack accuracy, that their targeting will lack purpose, or their warheads will be benign. Whether or not THAAD is up to the task of protecting the South Korean peninsula (or, for that matter, Guam, Japan, and Alaska) from any North Korean ballistic missile attack is still yet to be seen. However, if history is any indication, the likelihood is that the THAAD will significantly underperform -- a possible outcome American military and civilian planners should take into consideration when plotting their next moves against Pyongyang.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War (Clarity Press, 2017).

David , says: September 11, 2017 at 12:05 pm

Finally, Scott you are one of the few who speaks the shocking truth about US missile defense base on proportional navigation. BUT there is a solution you need to find out about – HIT Technology http://bit.ly/HIT-MissileDefense
Dennis J. Tuchler , says: September 11, 2017 at 5:09 pm
The need to justify the acquisition of military hardware always interferes with the rigor of testing. Test results are published and must show success or the Military has egg on its wasteful face. Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems, however many improvements may have been made.
James Drouin , says: September 11, 2017 at 6:57 pm
The author's failure to correctly detail the cause of the Patriot's failure, which has been indisputably diagnosed and corrected, brings into serious question any hypothesis he has on THAAD.

In brief, Patriot failed because of a drift in the timing between radar pulses, and the longer the system was online, the greater the drift, thus the greater the miss.

Further, the Israelis, operators of the Patriot system, had in fact, notified the US Army and the Patriot Project office of the flaw, and US military bureaucracy being what it is, the rest is history admit to screwing the pooch, or claim success where none existed.

Bottom line, WITHOUT the timing error, which could be fixed by simply re-booting the system every eight hours, Patriot functions perfectly as a missile killer.

SteveK9 , says: September 11, 2017 at 7:50 pm
Michael, IF N. Korea got rocket engines, the evidence presented in the NY Times suggests it was out-of-work Ukrainians, and N. Korea's oil comes from China.

You have Putin on the brain.

DrivingBy , says: September 12, 2017 at 12:14 am
"Therefore, it is always a mistake to believe what is said about our weapons systems"

The few strategic munitions tests that we know truly worked were those such as Ivy Mike. The people who built that were serious about their work, and there were remarkably few fizzles considering it was then new technology. Unfortunately, there were also a few side effects.

Were the Pentagon staffed by people motivated to defend the USA, we could probably invent a layered missile interceptor system that works pretty well.

Stephen Hubbard , says: September 13, 2017 at 5:53 pm
There is another issue that those who depend on missile defenses are overlooking. North Korea could easily pre-position multiple nuclear weapons on non-descript boats, that then sail into the major ports of their foes during or after a war and destroy them. Such weapon delivery systems are very hard to detect and stop. So those who advocate attacking North Korea and feel we can stop their weapons with missiles are fooling themselves. This is one of the reasons that non-combat options to stop North Korea are still the best choice.

[Oct 09, 2017] After Nine Months, Only Stale Crumbs in Russia Inquiry by Scott Ritter

Highly recommended!
US Congress allowed to drag itself into this propaganda swamp by politized Intelligence community, which became a major political player, that can dictate Congress what to do and what not to do. Now it is not that easy to get out of this "intelligence swamp"
Notable quotes:
"... The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from. ..."
"... This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts ..."
"... iven the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence. ..."
"... It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. ..."
"... One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard. ..."
"... purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level." ..."
"... No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs. ..."
"... the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy. ..."
"... There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall"). ..."
"... These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it. ..."
Oct 09, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The 'briefing' is just another exercise in preferred narrative boosting.

The co-chairmen of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence held a press briefing Thursday on the status of their ongoing investigation into Russian meddling in the American electoral process. Content-wise, the press briefing and the question and answer session were an exercise in information futility -- they provided little substance and nothing new. The investigation was still ongoing, the senators explained, and there was still work to be done.

Nine months into the Committee's work, the best Sens. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.), could offer was that there was "general consensus" among committee members and their staff that they trust the findings of the Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of January 2017, which gave high confidence to the charge that Russia meddled in the 2016 presidential election. The issue of possible collusion between Russia and members of the campaign of Donald Trump, however, "is still open."

Frankly speaking, this isn't good enough.

The 2017 ICA on Russia was conceived in an atmosphere of despair and denial, birthed by Democrats and Republicans alike who were stunned by Trump's surprise electoral victory in November 2016. To say that this issue was a political event would be a gross understatement; the 2017 Russian ICA will go down in history as one of the most politicized intelligence documents ever, regardless of the degree of accuracy eventually afforded its contents. The very fact that the document is given the sobriquet "Intelligence Community" is itself a political act, designed to impart a degree of scrutiny and community consensus that simply did not exist when it came to the production of that document, or the classified reports that it was derived from.

This was a report prepared by handpicked analysts from three of the Intelligence Community's sixteen agencies (the CIA, NSA, and FBI) who operated outside of the National Intelligence Council (the venue for the production of Intelligence Community products such as the Russian ICA), and void of the direction and supervision of a dedicated National Intelligence Officer. Overcoming this deficient family tree represents a high hurdle, even before the issue of the credibility of the sources and methods used to underpin the ICA's findings are discussed. Given the firestorm of political intrigue and controversy initiated by the publication of this document, the notion of a "general consensus" regarding the level of trust imparted to it by the Senate Select Intelligence Committee does not engender confidence.

It was this document that spawned the issue of "collusion." While Sens. Burr and Warner can state that "collusion" is still an open issue, the fact of the matter is that, in this regard, Trump and his campaign advisors have already been found guilty in the court of public opinion, especially among those members of the public and the media who were vehemently opposed to his candidacy and ultimate victory. Insofar as the committee's investigation serves as a legitimate search for truth, it does so as a post-conviction appeal. However, as the distinguished Supreme Court Justice Joseph McKenna noted in his opinion in Berger v. United States (1921):

The remedy by appeal is inadequate. It comes after the trial, and, if prejudice exist, it has worked its evil and a judgment of it in a reviewing tribunal is precarious. It goes there fortified by presumptions, and nothing can be more elusive of estimate or decision than a disposition of a mind in which there is a personal ingredient.

One need only review the comments of the various Democratic members of the Senate Select Committee, their counterparts serving on the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, as well as the various experts and pundits in the media, to underscore the degree to which prejudice has "worked its evil" when it comes to the issue of collusion and the Trump campaign in this regard.

The two senators proceeded to touch on a new angle recently introduced into their investigation, that of the purchase of advertisements on various social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, by the Russians or their proxies. With regard to these advertisements, Senator Burr painted a dire picture. "It seems," he declared, "that the overall theme of the Russian involvement in the US elections was to create chaos at every level."

No one wants to be told that they have been victims of a con; this is especially true when dealing with the sacred trust imparted to the American citizenry by the Constitution of the United States regarding the free and fair election of those who will represent us in higher office. American politics, for better or worse, is about the personal connection a given candidate has with the voter, a gut feeling that this person shares common values and beliefs.

Nevertheless, the percentage of Americans that participate in national elections is low. Those that do tend to be people who care enough about one or more issues to actually get out and vote. To categorize these dedicated citizens as brain-dead dupes who are susceptible to social media-based click advertisements is an insult to American democracy.

There is a world of difference between Russian intelligence services allegedly hacking politically sensitive emails and selectively releasing them for the sole purpose of undermining a given Presidential candidate's electoral prospects, and mimicking social media-based advertisements addressing issues that are already at play in an election. The Russians didn't invent the ongoing debate in the United States over gun control (i.e., the "Second Amendment" issue), race relations (the police shooting of Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri) or immigration ("The Wall").

These were, and remain, core issues that are at the heart of the American domestic political discourse, regardless of where one stands. You either know the issues, or you don't; it is an insult to the American voter to suggest that they are so malleable that $100,000 of targeted social media-based advertisements can swing their vote, even if 10 million of them viewed it.

The take away from the press briefing given by Senator's Burr and Warner was two-fold: One, the Russians meddled, and two, we don't know if Trump colluded with the Russians. The fact that America is nine months into this investigation with little more to show now than what could have been said at the start is, in and of itself, an American political tragedy. The Trump administration has been hobbled by the inertia of this and other investigations derived from the question of Russian meddling. That this process may yet vindicate President Trump isn't justification for the process itself; in such a case the delay will have hurt more than the truth. As William Penn, the founder of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, so eloquently noted:

Delays have been more injurious than direct Injustice. They too often starve those they dare not deny. The very Winner is made a Loser, because he pays twice for his own; like those who purchase Estates Mortgaged before to the full value.

Our law says that to delay Justice is Injustice. Not to have a Right, and not to come of it, differs little. Refuse or Dispatch is the Duty of a Good Officer.

Senators Burr and Warner, together with their fellow members of the Senate Select Committee on Intelligence and their respective staffs, would do well to heed those words.

Scott Ritter is a former Marine Corps intelligence officer who served in the former Soviet Union implementing arms control treaties, in the Persian Gulf during Operation Desert Storm, and in Iraq overseeing the disarmament of WMD. He is the author of "Deal of the Century: How Iran Blocked the West's Road to War" (Clarity Press, 2017).

[Oct 09, 2017] Imran Awan's Wife Accuses Him of Fraud

Oct 09, 2017 | dailycaller.com

The indicted husband-and-wife team of former IT aides to Democratic Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz sat directly across from each other at the defendants' table in federal court Friday in Washington, D.C., but refused to look at each other.

Even as they are co-defendants in a U.S. case, Imran Awan's own wife, Hina Alvi, has become the latest person to accuse him of fraud, filing papers against him in Pakistani court, according to Pakistani news channel ARY.

The couple were in U.S. court to face bank fraud charges related to sending money to Pakistan around the time they learned they were under investigation for abuses related to their work managing IT for members of Congress. Awan was arrested at Dulles Airport in July attempting to board a flight to Pakistan.

Wasserman Schultz, former chair of the Democratic National Committee, and other House Democrats have vigorously defended Awan, claiming the Capitol Police might be drumming up charges out of Islamaphobia .

Alvi was arraigned Friday on four felony counts, and Awan, who has already been arraigned, requested that his GPS monitoring bracelet be taken off -- citing the fact that his wife was in America as the reason he was not a flight risk.

Yet the couple entered and left the court separately, have different lawyers, and Awan's lawyer told the judge that the husband and wife are staying "in a one-bedroom apartment and then also a house."

Pakistani legal papers published by the news channel show Alvi recently accused Awan of illegally marrying another woman, and of fraud. "My husband Imran Awan son of Muhammad Ashraf Awan, committed fraud along with offence of polygamy," she charges in the papers.

Hina's U.S. lawyer, Nikki Lotze, did not dispute the account. "I don't see how that's newsworthy," Lotze told The Daily Caller News Foundation. The Pakistani legal petition named as the second wife is a woman who records show told Virginia police she felt like Awan was keeping her "like a slave."

Awan, his wife and two brothers -- all previously on the payroll of House Democrats -- became subjects of a Capitol Police investigation last year after investigators concluded they were submitting falsified invoices for equipment and had transferred "massive" data off a House server. After he was banned from the House network, Awan left a laptop with the username RepDWS in a Capitol Hill phone booth.

Although The Washington Post has reported that investigators found that Awan and his relatives made unauthorized access to a congressional server 5,400 times, Wasserman Schultz has said concern about the matter was the stuff of the "right-wing media circus fringe."

Awan and Alvi have been charged with bank fraud involving moving money to Pakistan, but they have not been charged with crimes related to their work, and the other family members have not been charged at all. Awan's attorney used Friday's hearing to argue that he "very strongly" wanted to block prosecutors from using evidence they found in the Capitol Hill phone booth.

The Pakistani legal motion filed by Alvi states: "A few months ago I got apprised of the fact that my husband has contracted second marriage secretly, fraudulently and without my consent with Mst. Sumaira Shehzadi Alias Sumaira Siddique Daughter of Muhammad Akram r/o Township, Lahore. The second marriage of my husband is illegal, unlawful and without justification."

"The court has recorded the testimonies of the applicant and other witnesses," the Pakistani news outlet reported.

... ... ...

The Awan family had access to the full digital files of 45 House members and their staffs, but Democrats have said they don't believe he would abuse that access, despite a host of financial red flags, including financial ties to an Iranian fugitive and money sent to a Pakistani police officer.

In a civil case this year, Awan's stepmother Samina Gilani accused Abid Awan, who was also on the House payroll, of stealing a $50,000 life insurance policy, and said Awan used his employment in Congress to intimidate people.

"Imran Awan introduces himself as someone from US Congress or someone from federal agencies," she charged. He "threatened that he is very powerful and if I ever call the police [he] will do harm to me and my family members back in Pakistan and one of my cousins here in Baltimore."

[Oct 09, 2017] SHOCKING!!! Google discovers ads placed on its site from Russia, proving America s democracy was hacked

Oct 09, 2017 | theduran.com

Menu

[Oct 08, 2017] The Dark History of Fear, Inc

Notable quotes:
"... None of this qualifies as your typical run-of-the-mill lunacy (scented candles cause cancer), over-the-top tripe (the recent solar eclipse marks the beginning of the apocalypse), or unbelievable baloney (that man-made pyramids have been discovered in Antarctica). Rather, the paranoid style is rooted in pernicious, but believable, political fears: that the nation is under threat from people or movements plotting to do it harm and is teetering, teetering, teetering on the edge of an abyss. The problem is not that this is patently false (The Germans! The Japanese! The Russians!), but that it's often exaggerated -- and, sometimes, purposely so. Then too, as Hofstadter implied, preying on these fears for political gain not only isn't new, it's tried, tested, and often successful. Scaring the dickens out of voters is as American as the 4th of July. ..."
"... The claims now are not only as breathless as anything the CIA said about East Germany in the 1980s, they're as suspect: Mexico is "on the verge of collapse" -- a claim made by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly -- that Russia is providing arms to the Taliban (retold by the recently retired commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr., and, just the other day by James Mattis), that the U.S. military will be "outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries in the future" (noted by national security adviser H.R. McMaster prior to his service at the White House) and that, as Donald Trump himself said during his address to the United Nations, large parts of the world " are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell ." ..."
"... The problem with the claims is that those who are asked to dismiss them are required to defend the opposite -- that Mexico is economically healthy (it isn't, but it's hardly on the verge of collapse), that Russian weapons haven't shown up in Afghanistan (they have, though not simply in the hands of the Taliban), that Russia and China aren't developing new and more sophisticated weapons (they are, but so what?), or that it's ridiculous not to believe that "major portions of the world are in conflict" (that's always been true). The other problem with disproving the claims is that doing so contains a whiff of weakness, or naiveté: that the skeptic favors open borders, supports Afghan terrorism, doesn't support a strong military, or is hopelessly misinformed. In fact, however, each of these claims have been made before -- and refuted by expert testimony. ..."
"... The same holds true for each of the other claims. Following Gen. Nicholson's statement that Russia was providing arms to the Taliban, his claim was given short shrift by both the Defense Intelligence Agency and by Jens Stoltenberg, the General Secretary of NATO. Stoltenberg acknowledged that he'd seen the reports, adding that the only thing they lacked was proof. ..."
"... That Russia is an antagonist is now widely accepted, and it is trivially true that Moscow's nuclear arsenal (with or without the help of China) could lay waste to the U.S. But outgunning us? Russia spends a fraction of what the U.S. spends on its military establishment (some 14 percent of what we spend, in fact) and so must pick and choose what weapons it will develop. ..."
"... So, yes, we're in deep, deep trouble -- just as we were when witches danced in Ipswich, when Samuel Morse claimed we were being subverted by papists, when Joe McCarthy saw a communist under every State Department memo -- and when the Russians were producing missiles like sausages. ..."
Oct 08, 2017 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Back in 1835, Samuel F.B. Morse (who went on to invent the telegraph and the Morse Code), wrote a book about a plot to overthrow the American republic. The conspiracy, Morse wrote, was well-funded, highly secretive, and hatched in Vienna by members of the The St. Leopold Foundation, which had dispatched cells of Jesuit missionaries to the U.S. to forcibly convert the nation to Roman Catholicism. This was no small intrigue: The plot's leaders, as Morse meticulously catalogued, were Austrian diplomat Klemens von Metternich, Ferdinand V of Hungary, and (of course) Pope Gregory XVI. "It is high time that we awakened to the apprehension of danger," Morse wrote .

What is shocking about this nonsense is not that Morse actually believed it, but that millions of other Americans did too. Morse's book seeded the rise of the nativist "Know-Nothing" party , whose goal was to curb immigration, root out Catholicism, and return America to its protestant ideals. In essence, they were the America-firsters of the nineteenth century. The Know-Nothings swept into office in Chicago, were strong in Massachusetts and, in 1856, nominated a national ticket (Millard Fillmore and Andrew Donelson), for the presidency; they tallied nearly 900,000 votes, one-quarter of those cast. "I know nothing but my country, my whole country and nothing but my country," they chanted.

Historians have since excavated the Morse plot with relish, if only as a way to better understand a nation that, from time to time, enjoys being scared witless.

Before the Know-Nothings there were the Anti-Masons, a political movement that warned of a takeover by secretive apron-wearing do-gooders who met for god-knows-why. And before that Americans were warned about witches named Dorothy, Rebecca, Martha, and Rachel, dancing in New England's forests. Some 120 years after Morse, in 1964, historian Richard Hofstadter dubbed this "the paranoid style in American politics" -- a paradigm-shifting essay that catalogued a raft of intrigues peopled by witches, Illuminati, Masons, Jesuits, Mormons, Jewish bankers, Bilderbergers and, in Hofstadter's time, communist dupes doing Moscow's bidding. America's enemies might be unseen, but they were everywhere.

"In the end, the real mystery, for one who reads the primary works of paranoid scholarship," Hofstadter wrote, "is not how the United States has been brought to its present dangerous position but how it managed to survive at all."

None of this qualifies as your typical run-of-the-mill lunacy (scented candles cause cancer), over-the-top tripe (the recent solar eclipse marks the beginning of the apocalypse), or unbelievable baloney (that man-made pyramids have been discovered in Antarctica). Rather, the paranoid style is rooted in pernicious, but believable, political fears: that the nation is under threat from people or movements plotting to do it harm and is teetering, teetering, teetering on the edge of an abyss. The problem is not that this is patently false (The Germans! The Japanese! The Russians!), but that it's often exaggerated -- and, sometimes, purposely so. Then too, as Hofstadter implied, preying on these fears for political gain not only isn't new, it's tried, tested, and often successful. Scaring the dickens out of voters is as American as the 4th of July.

The historical "for instance" in this is well-documented: during the 1960 presidential campaign, John Kennedy insisted that the Soviet Union had outstripped the U.S. in ballistic missile production. There was a growing and dangerous "missile gap" Kennedy claimed, placing the nation in great peril. Dwight Eisenhower, he said, had been derelict in not acknowledging the threat. An independent study commission issued a report that confirmed the fear and Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev gave it credence: We are "turning out missiles like sausages," he claimed. As it turns out, Kennedy was right: there was a missile gap, but not in a way that he thought -- we had plenty, while they had none (a later CIA report speculated that, actually, they might have had three, maybe). Years later, Kennedy's claim looked downright foolish: the problem for the Russians wasn't that they couldn't make missiles (they eventually did, and plenty of them), but that they couldn't make sausages -- which cost them their empire. The same kinds of claims were retailed by U.S. intelligence services about Russia's allies: a 1987 CIA fact book said that East Germany's GDP per capita was higher than West Germany's, a claim so ludicrous that Senator Daniel Patrick Moynihan dismissed it to a panel of CIA officers with a legendary quip: "I know a Berlin taxi driver who could have told you that wasn't true."

The claims now are not only as breathless as anything the CIA said about East Germany in the 1980s, they're as suspect: Mexico is "on the verge of collapse" -- a claim made by White House Chief of Staff John Kelly -- that Russia is providing arms to the Taliban (retold by the recently retired commander of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, Gen. John W. Nicholson, Jr., and, just the other day by James Mattis), that the U.S. military will be "outranged and outgunned by many potential adversaries in the future" (noted by national security adviser H.R. McMaster prior to his service at the White House) and that, as Donald Trump himself said during his address to the United Nations, large parts of the world " are in conflict and some, in fact, are going to hell ."

The problem with the claims is that those who are asked to dismiss them are required to defend the opposite -- that Mexico is economically healthy (it isn't, but it's hardly on the verge of collapse), that Russian weapons haven't shown up in Afghanistan (they have, though not simply in the hands of the Taliban), that Russia and China aren't developing new and more sophisticated weapons (they are, but so what?), or that it's ridiculous not to believe that "major portions of the world are in conflict" (that's always been true). The other problem with disproving the claims is that doing so contains a whiff of weakness, or naiveté: that the skeptic favors open borders, supports Afghan terrorism, doesn't support a strong military, or is hopelessly misinformed. In fact, however, each of these claims have been made before -- and refuted by expert testimony.

Gen. Barry McCaffrey said that Mexico was in a state of collapse back in 2009, a claim contradicted by then-Director of National Intelligence, Dennis Blair. More recently, and before the recent earthquake shook Mexico City, the collapsing Mexican government offered to help provide aid to Texans victimized by Hurricane Harvey. It's a wonder they would think of us as the walls were coming down around them. Then too, if Mexico is really on the verge of collapse, shouldn't the administration be doing something about it -- perhaps we should appeal to the international community to provide the Mexican government with low interest loans, or maybe we should deploy a U.S. aircraft carrier group to the Gulf of Mexico. Or perhaps, just perhaps, the claim is Morse-like: designed to frighten us, perhaps, into building a wall as a barrier to keep immigrants who are not pouring over the border from pouring over the border.

The same holds true for each of the other claims. Following Gen. Nicholson's statement that Russia was providing arms to the Taliban, his claim was given short shrift by both the Defense Intelligence Agency and by Jens Stoltenberg, the General Secretary of NATO. Stoltenberg acknowledged that he'd seen the reports, adding that the only thing they lacked was proof. But Stoltenberg went further, inviting Russia to be a part of the Afghanistan peace process -- a strange request to a nation that a top U.S. general claims is helping the enemy. Even so, the claim was repeated just this last week by Defense Secretary James Mattis, who added Iran to the growing list of Taliban allies. Of course, Nicholson and Mattis might be absolutely right, but they're saying so doesn't make it so. Then too (we shuffle our feet, look at our shoes, mumble to ourselves), the Taliban's best friend in Afghanistan isn't Russia or Iran, it's Pakistan -- our friend.

That Russia is an antagonist is now widely accepted, and it is trivially true that Moscow's nuclear arsenal (with or without the help of China) could lay waste to the U.S. But outgunning us? Russia spends a fraction of what the U.S. spends on its military establishment (some 14 percent of what we spend, in fact) and so must pick and choose what weapons it will develop. The result is that the Russian Federation continues technological advances in some weapons systems, but lacks significant technological depth elsewhere. During its 2015 May Day military parade, Russia showed off its new state-of-the-art T-14 main battle tank, complete with a new-fangled APS (active protection system) designed to defeat anti-armor weapons. Onlookers ogled the tank, oohing and ahhing at its shiny exterior, its impressive armament. But then, just as it was about to exit Red Square it broke down -- and had to be towed. Is Russia a threat? Sure, it's a threat. But Russia has many of the same problems now that it had at the end of the Cold War. It ranks 53rd in per capita GDP -- just behind Panama.

The world has problems, big problems but it is not going to hell. Here's what going to hell looks like. In the autumn of 1941, Europe was under the domination of a genocidal regime that had extended its murderous policies through all of Europe and whose armies were headed towards Moscow. In Asia, large swathes of China and all of Southeast Asia were occupied by Japanese militarists. The two, with Italy, had formed an axis and controlled significant portions of the globe. Their enemies were teetering on the edge of defeat. The world was going to hell, alright, but the U.S. had yet to get into the war.

But that's not the worst of it. During the early morning hours of September 26, 1983, Lt. Col. Stanislav Petrov was notified by his computer system that the U.S. had launched five intercontinental ballistic missiles at Russia. Petrov sat there for a moment, when he should have been on the telephone to his superiors. After several moments he concluded that the warning just didn't make sense. Why would the U.S. launch only five missiles at Russia, when everyone in the Soviet military supposed they would launch a barrage. "The siren howled, but I just sat there for a few seconds," he later told the BBC, "staring at the big, back-lit, red screen with the word 'launch' on it." Petrov ignored the warning -- and may well have prevented a nuclear holocaust.

So, yes, we're in deep, deep trouble -- just as we were when witches danced in Ipswich, when Samuel Morse claimed we were being subverted by papists, when Joe McCarthy saw a communist under every State Department memo -- and when the Russians were producing missiles like sausages.

Now, as then, we have two choices: we can either embrace our fears and shake in our boots, or we can tell the sky-is-falling crowd what Samuel F.B. Morse's friends told him all the way back in 1835.

Get a grip.

Mark Perry is a foreign policy analyst and the author of The Most Dangerous Man in America: The Making of Douglas MacArthur. His next book, The Pentagon's Wars, will be released in October. He tweets @markperrydc

[Oct 08, 2017] There is a Coup Underway Against President Trump

Oct 08, 2017 | steemit.com

2 months ago sgtreport 65 in politics by Harley Schlanger, LaRouchePac, SGTreport.com:

In a desperate attempt to defend its collapsing "Russiagate" narrative, the Washington Post launched an attack on The Nation magazine for its August 9 article by Patrick Lawrence, "A New Report Raises Big Questions About Last Year's DNC Hack." Lawrence's article, in the most prestigious left/progressive magazine in the U.S., broke the attempted media blackout of the memo sent by the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS) on July 24 to President Trump, which effectively refutes the claims of Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election, allegedly through "hacking" Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and releasing them to Wikileaks. Despite more than twelve months of non-stop charges against the Russians, and claims of Trump's collusion with Russia, not a shred of hard evidence has yet been presented to back these allegations, which are at the heart of the coup plot being run against the President.

The Nation article was followed by a prominent story in Bloomberg News and one in Salon magazine, which both reported on the Nation article, and the VIPS memo, and how it challenges the narrative that Trump owes his election victory to Putin and Russia. That story was concocted by leading figures in British intelligence, and leaked to the U.S. media by corrupt elements of Obama's intelligence team, led by the trio of Brennan, Clapper and Comey, as part of the "regime change" against Trump they launched after his November 2016 election victory. Brennan set up a task force to look into the Russian meddling charges after a former British Ambassador to Moscow, Sir Andrew Wood, delivered a fraudulent dossier, prepared by an "ex"-MI6 operative, to Brennan, through anti-Trump Senator John McCain.

The attack on The Nation was posted on the Post's "Eric Wemple Blog" on August 15, and is a blatant attempt to force The Nation's editors to not merely repudiate the Lawrence article, but to join the campaign against Trump's desire for cooperation with Russia. Wemple's attempt to dismiss the authoritative report of the VIPS has no substance, and is written to bludgeon the magazine's editors to adopt the talking points of the coup plotters. As such, it presents the same weak, sophistical argument presented by the DNC, which released a statement on the VIPS memo which simply reasserted the conclusion reached by "U.S. intelligence agencies" of Russian interference, adding, "Any suggestion otherwise is false, and is just another conspiracy theory like those pushed by Trump and his administration."

Such dangerous silliness was countered by Salon's Danielle Ryan, who wrote on August 15, "For the media and mainstream liberals to dismiss information presented in The Nation as lacking in evidence would be breathtakingly ironic, given how little evidence they required to build a narrative" against Trump and Putin. She concluded that if the VIPS memo is right, "those who pushed the Russia hacking narrative with little evidence have a lot to answer for."

[Oct 04, 2017] The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity Whose Bright Idea Was RussiaGate by Paul Craig Roberts

Notable quotes:
"... The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia. ..."
"... The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex. ..."
"... Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas. ..."
"... These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth ..."
"... Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org . ..."
Oct 03, 2017 | ronpaulinstitute.org

The answer to the question in the title of this article is that Russiagate was created by CIA director John Brennan. The CIA started what is called Russiagate in order to prevent Trump from being able to normalize relations with Russia. The CIA and the military/security complex need an enemy in order to justify their huge budgets and unaccountable power. Russia has been assigned that role. The Democrats joined in as a way of attacking Trump. They hoped to have him tarnished as cooperating with Russia to steal the presidential election from Hillary and to have him impeached. I don't think the Democrats have considered the consequence of further worsening the relations between the US and Russia.

Public Russia bashing pre-dates Trump. It has been going on privately in neoconservative circles for years, but appeared publicly during the Obama regime when Russia blocked Washington's plans to invade Syria and to bomb Iran.

Russia bashing became more intense when Washington's coup in Ukraine failed to deliver Crimea. Washington had intended for the new Ukrainian regime to evict the Russians from their naval base on the Black Sea. This goal was frustrated when Crimea voted to rejoin Russia.

The neoconservative ideology of US world hegemony requires the principal goal of US foreign policy to be to prevent the rise of other countries that can serve as a restraint on US unilateralism. This is the main basis for the hostility of US foreign policy toward Russia, and of course there also is the material interests of the military/security complex.

Russia bashing is much larger than merely Russiagate. The danger lies in Washington convincing Russia that Washington is planning a surprise attack on Russia. With US and NATO bases on Russia's borders, efforts to arm Ukraine and to include Ukraine and Georgia in NATO provide more evidence that Washington is surrounding Russia for attack. There is nothing more reckless and irresponsible than convincing a nuclear power that you are going to attack.

Washington is fully aware that there was no Russian interference in the presidential election or in the state elections. The military/security complex, the neoconservatives, and the Democratic Party are merely using the accusations to serve their own agendas.

These selfish agendas are a dire threat to life on earth .

Reprinted with permission from PaulCraigRoberts.org .

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