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Demonization of Putin

‘Vladimir the Terrible’: the US Deep State desperately needs a Russian Villain to cover its tracks;
Unending series of neoliberal MSM witch hunt and false flag operations by Western intelligence agencies designed to weaken and discredit Russian leader

Reuters/David W Cerny

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

News Propaganda: Journalism Vacation from Truth Recommended Links Russiagate -- a color revolution against Trump by neocons and DemoRats as another Iraq WDM story Skripal poisoning Hillary Clinton email scandal: Timeline and summary  Who Shot down Malaysian flight MH17?
Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak NeoMcCartyism Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Putin-did-it fiasco: Obama repeat Bush's WMD fiasco Magnitsky case Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA UK Government, MI6 and "Integrity Initiative"
"Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Internet research agency story as fiasco of Russiagate Was Natalia Veselnitskaya meeting with Trump Jr. a trap? Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Russiagate as PsyOp -- the Deep state dagger into Trump back Adam Schiff Witch Hunt as replica of Iraq WDM fiasco by Bush II neocon gang MadCow desease of neoliberal MSM
Color revolutions Corruption smoke screen Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Miraculous metamorphosis of Russian crooks on crossing Western border FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and DNC leak saga DNC and Podesta emails leak and  subsequent false flag operation to  blame Vladimir Putin
US and British media are servants of security apparatus Pussi Riot Provocation MSM Sochi Bashing Rampage "Fuck the EU": neocons show EU its real place Robert Kagan Wolfowitz Doctrine Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton
Russian Doping Scandal Khodorkovsky case Boris Berezovsky Navalny's Saga Russian experience in "white Revolution" of 2011-2012 Underground millionaire Koreyko -- Navalny Humor MSM as attack dogs of color revolution
Hillary role in Syria bloodbath Hillary the warmonger Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Patterns of Propaganda Douma gas attack: Yet another false flag poisoning? Khan Sheikhoun gas attack White Helmets as a tool for false flag poisonings
British hypocrisy Soft propaganda The Real War on Reality Russophobic quotes from famous Russian Liberasts Judicial Imperialism Humor Etc

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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[May 24, 2020] Why Russiagate Still Matters by Rob Urie

The concept of managerial class liberals (PMC - abbrevation which probably means "project management class" ??? ) as the core of Clinton wing of the Democrtic Party is an interesting one.
Notable quotes:
"... At the height of the Russiagate hysteria, as charges were flying that the 'attack' was worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 rolled into one, the class that had filled military recruiting stations following these earlier events was notably quiet. The faction that believed the charges, managerial class liberals (PMC), still substantially believes them despite none of the evidence put forward to support them holding up under examination. ..."
"... The Iraq War and the Great Recession created political divisions that are unlikely to be resolved without a redistribution of political and economic power downward. ..."
"... By the time the Great Recession struck in 2007, the U.S. war against Iraq was widely understood to be a strategic and military blunder, murderous almost beyond comprehension, and based on lies from American officials. ..."
"... Prior to this -- in the early 1990s, the New Democrats had made a strategic decision to tie their lot to the 'new economy' of Wall Street. Recruiting suburban Republicans into the Democratic Party was old news by Bill Clinton's second term. The PMC was made the ideological core of the Party. This helps explain the substantial overlap between the 'liberal hawks' who would some years later support George W. Bush's war against Iraq and the Russiagate truthers who were tied through class interests to its orthodoxies. ..."
"... While Democrat versus Republican or left versus right are most often used to distinguish Russiagate proponents and believers from skeptics, it was the urban and suburban PMC that gets its news from the establishment press -- the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, that believed and supported the story. As it happens, the PMC and rich are the demographic that these news sources serve . Class connotes substantively different lived experience. The Russiagate true believers have benefitted from official connections and the skeptics and large majority of those disinterested in Russiagate haven't. ..."
"... As one who spent years using scientific methods to conduct empirical research, 1) it is as easy to lie with evidence as without it and 2) every source for the Russiagate charges that I followed tied back to the DNC, the CIA or its NGO affiliates like the Atlantic Council. These are political actors, not disinterested parties. The method of reporting is to state charges in the headline, and then to correctly state that official sources claim that the headline charges are true in the body of the article. This leaves the impression that evidence supports the headline charges with no actual evidence having been presented. Deference to authority isn't evidence. ..."
"... As I laid out in 2018 here , the role of the CIA in oil and gas geopolitics ties the motives for demonizing Russia to U.S. machinations in Ukraine and to weapons production and distribution as the business of U.S. based corporations. Further back, while the George W. Bush administration's war against Iraq was a strategic, military, moral and humanitarian disaster, oligarchs and corporate executives made personal fortunes from it. This 'model' of the modern state acting on behalf of business interests ties all the way back to the alleged pre-capitalism of mercantilism. ..."
"... The PMC is the service class of this state-capitalism, with corporate lawyers, tech workers, Wall Street traders and middle managers whose livelihoods and identities are tied to their class position through these jobs. ..."
"... This difference in lived experience explains why the PMC saw the Wall Street bailouts as both necessary and effective, while much of the rest of the country didn't. Wall Street is the functional core of the PMC economy through the process of financialization. ..."
"... The tendency to vote rises with family income. The well to do elected Donald Trump, as they do every president. As the machinations to make Joe Biden the Democrat's candidate in 2020 suggest, the poor can vote for their choice to represent the interests of the rich, but not their own ..."
"... Russiagate was and is defense of a class realm, of the power of the rich and the PMC to do as they please without the political chatter of the 'little people' or the populist pretensions of Donald Trump. ..."
"... While it seems evident now that Trump was never more than a minor inconvenience in the CIA's plans for murder, mayhem, and world domination, this wasn't evident at the outset of his tenure in the White House. John Brennan and James Clapper have demonstrated over long careers that the well-behaved fascism of corporate political control, for profit militarism, targeted and occasionally brutal repression of the 'little people' and democracy in name only, are fine with them. ..."
"... That none of the Russiagate charges turned out to have merit has had no determinable political impact to date. Its central protagonists knew they were telling lies (links above) all along. Not considered by the Russiagate acolytes is that those telling lies weren't lying to the marginally literate 'fascists' who should in elite theory have been the easiest to fool. Those people don't spend their days reading the New York Times and listening to NPR. They were lying to the educated elite. And lest this elite imagine that it was in on the lies -- they quite conspicuously believed every word of them. ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.counterpunch.org

A thought experiment with a purpose is to ask: if a group of former Directors of the CIA, NSA and FBI put forward a story about a malevolent foreign power acting against the U.S. without providing evidence that their story is true, who would believe them? While this wasn't precisely the setup for Russiagate, all of the former Directors came forward as former Directors of intelligence agencies, not as private citizens. And the information they presented was compiled as opposition research for a political campaign. It might have (did) provided a basis for further inquiry, but it wasn't evidence as it was presented.

Oddly, ironically even, the part of the population that in earlier history would have taken former government officials at their word and been ready to fight, kill, or die to right this alleged wrong, was circumspect in the case of Russiagate. At the height of the Russiagate hysteria, as charges were flying that the 'attack' was worse than Pearl Harbor and 9/11 rolled into one, the class that had filled military recruiting stations following these earlier events was notably quiet. The faction that believed the charges, managerial class liberals (PMC), still substantially believes them despite none of the evidence put forward to support them holding up under examination.

This seeming role reversal of managerial class liberals being whipped into a nationalistic fervor while the rest of the country looked away was a long time coming. Trump loathing explains why liberals want Donald Trump gone from office, but not the nationalistic fervor or the studied disinterest of the rest of the country in the 'attack' by a foreign power. The receptivity, or lack thereof, of these political factions (classes) to official proclamations is the result of lived history. The Iraq War and the Great Recession created political divisions that are unlikely to be resolved without a redistribution of political and economic power downward.

Graph: As was much reported at the time, the Great Recession was orders of magnitude more economically destructive than prior post-WWII recessions. Both the severity and persistence of unemployment were far outside of the post-War experience. At the time of the 2016 election, long-term unemployment had still not returned to pre-recession levels. Its levels and impact were differentiated by class, with employment amongst the PMC, composed largely of liberal Democrats, quickly returning to pre-recession levels. while working class employment permanently disappeared or was turned into gig jobs. Source: St. Louis Federal Reserve.

Up through the U.S. war against Iraq, working class men joined the military and fought American wars while the rich and professional classes got educational deferments or a doctor's note claiming one or another exemption-worthy malady to do the hard work of 'changing the system from within.' Even with the class-blind farce of a 'volunteer' military, there came a time around 2006 when the intersection of official lies and body bags accumulated to the point where a righteous rebellion against official power took hold amongst the 'lesser' classes. Barack Obama won election in 2008 based in part on his carefully worded rejection of wars of choice.

By the time the Great Recession struck in 2007, the U.S. war against Iraq was widely understood to be a strategic and military blunder, murderous almost beyond comprehension, and based on lies from American officials. And it was far from being resolved. For structural reasons including three-plus decades of planned deindustrialization, the systematic weakening of labor's power and the social safety net, and the partitioning of the economy into financialized and not financialized sectors, the bailouts of Wall Street produced different outcomes by class, with the PMC seeing its fortunes quickly restored while the working class was left to languish.

Prior to this -- in the early 1990s, the New Democrats had made a strategic decision to tie their lot to the 'new economy' of Wall Street. Recruiting suburban Republicans into the Democratic Party was old news by Bill Clinton's second term. The PMC was made the ideological core of the Party. This helps explain the substantial overlap between the 'liberal hawks' who would some years later support George W. Bush's war against Iraq and the Russiagate truthers who were tied through class interests to its orthodoxies.

To tie this together, the Americans who died, were permanently disabled or who lost family members and friends in the U.S. war against Iraq, also found themselves on the wrong side of the class war that began in the 1980s with deindustrialization. By the time of the Great Recession, working class labor was forced to contend with long-term unemployment (graph above) or with the perpetual insecurity of the gig economy. Contrariwise, those whose class position meant that they had 'better things to do' than to volunteer to serve in Iraq had their fortunes quickly restored in the Great Recession through government bailouts.

While Democrat versus Republican or left versus right are most often used to distinguish Russiagate proponents and believers from skeptics, it was the urban and suburban PMC that gets its news from the establishment press -- the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, that believed and supported the story. As it happens, the PMC and rich are the demographic that these news sources serve . Class connotes substantively different lived experience. The Russiagate true believers have benefitted from official connections and the skeptics and large majority of those disinterested in Russiagate haven't.

Referred to, but not yet addressed, is the complete failure of the Russiagate evidence to match the DNC / establishment press / national security state storylines. From collusion between the Russian government and Donald Trump to emails leaked to, and then published by, Wikileaks to the Russian troll farm and its ties to the GRU (Russian intelligence), none of these theories have been supported by the evidence offered. And most of the political actors who spent years promoting them knew they weren't true before Donald Trump even took office.

As one who spent years using scientific methods to conduct empirical research, 1) it is as easy to lie with evidence as without it and 2) every source for the Russiagate charges that I followed tied back to the DNC, the CIA or its NGO affiliates like the Atlantic Council. These are political actors, not disinterested parties. The method of reporting is to state charges in the headline, and then to correctly state that official sources claim that the headline charges are true in the body of the article. This leaves the impression that evidence supports the headline charges with no actual evidence having been presented. Deference to authority isn't evidence.

This kind of journalism isn't just poor reporting. It is either naively trusting of official sources or it is intended to deceive. Given how little follow-up has been done on the serial failures of the evidence, the most probable answer is that it is straight-up propaganda. But the conception of propaganda that the facts support requires something like a unified state interest, as well as an explanation of how and why the establishment press serves as a permanent conduit for official disinformation. Given that an elected President was the target of the Russiagate campaign, the unified state interest theory doesn't work.

More broadly, the neoliberal project seems to have been modeled on the Marxist / Leninist conception of the state as existing to promote the interests of prominent capitalists. Beginning around the time of Bill Clinton's election to the presidency, the privatization of government services led to the creation of a public-private amalgam composed of PMC workers who perform state functions like domestic spying for the CIA and the NSA. Russiagate certainly appears from its motives, sources, 'facts' and constituency, to have been carried out by functionaries in this public-private amalgam who saw it as their right to reverse the outcome of the 2016 election.

As I laid out in 2018 here , the role of the CIA in oil and gas geopolitics ties the motives for demonizing Russia to U.S. machinations in Ukraine and to weapons production and distribution as the business of U.S. based corporations. Further back, while the George W. Bush administration's war against Iraq was a strategic, military, moral and humanitarian disaster, oligarchs and corporate executives made personal fortunes from it. This 'model' of the modern state acting on behalf of business interests ties all the way back to the alleged pre-capitalism of mercantilism.

The PMC is the service class of this state-capitalism, with corporate lawyers, tech workers, Wall Street traders and middle managers whose livelihoods and identities are tied to their class position through these jobs. Through the social partitions of class, they are free to have self-flattering politics that have no bearing on how their lives are lived. Identity politics like 'ending racism' have no bearing on who their co-workers are, who their neighbors are or who their children attend school with. Class determines these. This largely explains why beliefs, rather than acts, are the currency of this politics. Class is invisible for those who never encounter, or more precisely see, the economic and social consequences of capitalism on different classes.

This difference in lived experience explains why the PMC saw the Wall Street bailouts as both necessary and effective, while much of the rest of the country didn't. Wall Street is the functional core of the PMC economy through the process of financialization. That the vast majority of the country works and lives far from this functional core makes it the center of the PMC economy, not of the broader economy. And the bailouts 'worked' in the sense that they quickly restored PMC jobs and bonuses. That they topped off four decades of declining fortunes for working class workers (graph above) was hidden behind economic aggregates.

The endless reading of the political tea leaves over Donald Trump's electoral victory, over whether it was a dispossessed working class or Republican plutocrats that brought him to victory, is the analytical equivalent of the debate over the economic impact of the bailouts. Rich people vote, poor people don't (graph below). Electoral politics is a struggle that takes place amongst the rich and the PMC. The visceral disdain the PMC has shown for the 'little people' throughout Russiagate is the product of four decades of class warfare launched from above, not the start of it.

Graph: The tendency to vote rises with family income. The well to do elected Donald Trump, as they do every president. As the machinations to make Joe Biden the Democrat's candidate in 2020 suggest, the poor can vote for their choice to represent the interests of the rich, but not their own. This gives credence to Thomas Ferguson's 'investment theory' of politics. The rich vote to protect their investment in political outcomes. Source: econofact.org.

Russiagate was and is defense of a class realm, of the power of the rich and the PMC to do as they please without the political chatter of the 'little people' or the populist pretensions of Donald Trump.

While it seems evident now that Trump was never more than a minor inconvenience in the CIA's plans for murder, mayhem, and world domination, this wasn't evident at the outset of his tenure in the White House. John Brennan and James Clapper have demonstrated over long careers that the well-behaved fascism of corporate political control, for profit militarism, targeted and occasionally brutal repression of the 'little people' and democracy in name only, are fine with them.

What they and the PMC do object to is any notion of democracy that doesn't leave them in control of everything that it allegedly exists to determine. If elected leaders believe they have a legitimate reason for taking military action, why do they resort to using political and psychological coercion (like Russiagate) rather than taking their case to the people? If other, much poorer, countries can run free and fair elections, why can't the U.S.? And why are corporate representatives allowed to craft public policies when their interests diverge from the public's?

That none of the Russiagate charges turned out to have merit has had no determinable political impact to date. Its central protagonists knew they were telling lies (links above) all along. Not considered by the Russiagate acolytes is that those telling lies weren't lying to the marginally literate 'fascists' who should in elite theory have been the easiest to fool. Those people don't spend their days reading the New York Times and listening to NPR. They were lying to the educated elite. And lest this elite imagine that it was in on the lies -- they quite conspicuously believed every word of them.

That Brennan, Clapper and company are everything that liberals claim to hate about Donald Trump -- tacky talk show hosts who spout whatever bullshit comes to mind if they think it will close the deal, suggests that Trump himself would be a #Resistance hero if he had run as a Democrat. Otherwise, bright lights on the left can't seem to get past the notion that the establishment press always reports bullshit when doing so is politically convenient. Reporting what power says rather than what it does is to be a mouthpiece for power. That is what the establishment press does, and that is why it is considered the 'legitimate' source.

As befits this moment in history, there are no generally applicable lessons to be drawn from Russiagate. Its central protagonists have already moved on to the 'restoring integrity to the White House' grift. By making the election a choice between getting ass cancer or shingles, Biden or Trump -- you decide which is which, the nation has reached a zenith of sorts.

This type of moment produced punk rock in an earlier age. Again, as befits the age, we now have the moment without the punk rock. As the existential philosophers had it, despair is our friend. At least that's what Putin tells me.

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

[May 24, 2020] Trial by Blockhead by Mark Chapman

Notable quotes:
"... Enter the Buk system, with the 9K37 SA-11 missile. It's got the range, it's got the altitude, the Russians have it in active service. Oooo problem. It's got the range, but only if it was fired from inside Ukraine. ..."
"... Anyway, back to the Buk system. And not a moment before time, either – I just re-read that sanctimonious stab above, again; " having armed the militants without due thought as to the consequences " What, exactly, is the ridiculous nature of the accusation being presented here? That the Russians gave an anti-aircraft system to the 'militants' without considering they might use it to shoot down an aircraft? How did they not see that coming? The Ukrainian Army shot down a civilian airliner in October of 2001 , and lied about it for as long as it could – interestingly, it took place during joint Ukrainian-Russian air defense exercises on the Crimean peninsula, and Russia tried hard to avoid assigning blame to Ukraine, while at least one Israeli television station claimed the Russians had shot down their own aircraft. This disaster and subsequent lying did not prevent the USA from giving the Javelin missile to Ukraine – did it not occur to them that they might use it to shoot tanks? No due thought to the consequences, obviously. ..."
"... The Buk air-defense system normally consists of at least 4 TELAR launchers , each with 4 missiles on the launch rails, a self-propelled acquisition radar designated by NATO nomenclature as Snow Drift (the radar on the nose of the TELAR unit itself is designated Fire Dome), and a self-propelled command post, for a minimum of 6 vehicles. Also usually part of the system is a mobile crane, to reload the launchers. If you were going to supply an air-defense system to militant rebels, why wouldn't you give them the whole system? In a pinch, you might be able to get away without the command post vehicle, although it is the station that collates all the input from the sensors and makes the decision to assign targets for acquisition, tracking and engagement. If you didn't give them the crane vehicle, and perhaps a logistics truck with some reloads, they would be limited to the missiles that came already mounted – once those were fired, they'd have to abandon the system, because they couldn't reload it. Seems a little wasteful, don't you think? ..."
"... I'm going a little further with my inexpert opinion, to say that the Buk system was selected as the 'murder weapon', because it provides a limited autonomous capability. To be clear, the Fire Dome radar on the nose of the TELAR does have a limited search capability, and once the radar is locked on to a target, the TELAR vehicle is completely autonomous. The purpose of the surveillance radar is to detect the target from far beyond the Fire Dome's range, assign it to a TELAR and thereby direct it to the elevation and bearing of the target so that the TELAR's radar knows exactly where to look, and continue to update its position until the TELAR to which it was assigned has locked on to the target. ..."
"... The Fire Dome radar mounted on the TELAR can search a 120-degree sector in 4 seconds, at an elevation of 6 to 7 degrees. Its search function is maximized for defense against ground attack aircraft, and a single launcher is not looking at 240 degrees of potential air threat axis during each sweep. It is not looking high enough to see an airliner at 30,000 ft+. More importantly for a system which was not designed to shoot down helpless airliners, it leaves two-thirds of a circle unobserved all the time it is searching for a target. And the Russians provided this to the 'militants' for air defense? They should be shot. ..."
"... There is no telling what kind of ordnance might be found in the wreckage itself, as the Ukrainian Army continued to shell the site for days after the crash; doubtless various artillery shells could be found at the crash site, as well, but it would be quite a leap of faith to suggest a Boeing 777 was shot down by artillery. What you would not find is pieces of the SAM that shot it down. ..."
"... Nor is that by any means all. The Dutch investigation which concluded with the preliminary report implied that nothing of any investigative value was found on the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) or the Flight Data Recorder (FDR). Nothing to indicate what might have happened to the aircraft – just that it was flying along, and suddenly it wasn't. How likely is that? No transcript was provided, and I guess that would be expected if there was no information at all. Funny how often that happens with Malaysian airliners; they really need to look at their quality control. Oh; except they don't build the aircraft. Boeing does. I could see there not being any information after the plane began to break up, because both the CVR and the FDR are in the tail , and that broke off before the fuselage hit. But the microphones are in the ceiling of the cockpit and in the microphone and earpiece of the pilots' headsets, which they wear at all times while in flight. The last audio claimed to have been recorded was a course alteration sent by Ukrainian ATC. ..."
"... According to the Malaysian government, there was an early plan by NATO for a military operation involving some 9000 troops to 'secure the crash site', which was forestalled by a covert Malaysian operation which recovered the 'black boxes' and blocked the plan. I have to say that given the many, many other unorthodox and bizarre happenings in the conduct of what was supposed to be a transparent and impartial international investigation, it's getting so nothing much is unbelievable. The Malaysian Prime Minister went on record as believing that the western powers had already concluded that Russia was responsible, and were mostly just going through the motions of investigating. ..."
"... The telephone recordings presented by the SBU as demonstrating Russian culpability were analyzed by OG IT Forensic Services, a Malaysian firm specializing in forensic analysis of audio, video and digital materials for court proceedings, which concluded the recordings were cut, edited and fabricated . Yet they are relied upon as important evidence of guilt by the Dutch and the JIT. ..."
May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

>Uncle Volodya says, "We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN."

"The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan."

– Adolf Hitler

We're going to do something just a bit different today; the event I want to talk about is current – in the future, actually – but the reference which is the subject of the discussion is almost a year old. and the event it discusses is coming up to its sixth anniversary. The past event was the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine, the future event is the trial in absentia of persons accused by the west of having perpetrated that disaster, and the reference is this piece, by Mark Galeotti, for the Moscow Times: "Russia's Roadmap Out of the MH17 Crisis" .

You all know Mr. Galeotti, I'm sure. Here's his bio, for Amazon:

"Professor Mark Galeotti is a senior researcher at UMV, the Institute of International Relations Prague, and coordinator of its Centre for European Security. Formerly, he was Professor of Global Affairs at New York University and head of History at Keele University. Educated at Cambridge University and the LSE, he is a specialist in modern Russian politics and security and transnational organized crime. And he writes other things for fun, too "

Yes, yes, he certainly does, as you will see. But this bio is extremely modest, albeit he most likely wrote it himself. Mr. Galeotti also authored an excellent blog, In Moscow's Shadows , which was once a go-to reference for crime and legal issues in Russia, a subject in which he seems very well-informed. The blog is still active, although he seems mostly to use it now to advertise podcasts and sell books. That's understandable – it's evident from the blur of titles appended to his name that he's a very busy man. Always has been, really; either as a student or an educator. He also speaks with confidence on the details of military affairs and equipment despite never having been in the military or studied engineering; his education has pretty much all been in history, law or political science.

I know what you will say – many of the greatest reference works on pivotal battles, overall military campaigns and affairs were written by those who had no personal military experience themselves. Mr. Galeotti studied under Dominic Lieven, whose "Russia Against Napoleon" was perhaps the greatest work of military history, rich with detail and insight, that I have ever read. It won him the Wolfson prize for History for 2010, a well-deserved honour. Yet so far as I could make out, Mr. Lieven never served a day in uniform, and if you handed him an AK-47 and said "Here; field-strip this", your likely response would be a blank look. He most certainly was not a witness to the subject military campaign. No; his epic work on Napoleon's invasion of Russia was informed by research, reading the accounts of others who were there at the time, poring over reams of old documents and matching references to get the best picture we have been afforded to date of Napoleon's ignominious defeat through a combination of imperial overreach, a poor grasp of logistics and, most of all, resistance by an adversary who refused to be drawn into playing to Napoleon's strength – the decisive, crushing battle in which the enemy could not retreat, and in which Napoleon would commit all the reserves and crush his enemy to dust.

So it is perfectly possible for an inquisitive mind with no military experience to put together an excellent reference on military happenings which already took place, even if the owner of that mind was not present for the actual event. Given human nature and the capabilities afforded by modern military equipment, it is even possible to forecast future military events with a fair degree of accuracy, going merely by political ambitions and enabling factors, without any personal military experience. After all, the decision-makers who give the orders that send their military forces into battle are often not military men themselves.

Returning for a moment to Mr. Galeotti, it is quite believable that an author with no military background could compose such works as "Armies of the Russian-Ukrainian War" , although there is no serious evidence that Russia is a part of such a conflict in any real military strength. You could write such a book entirely from media references and documentation, which in this case would come almost entirely from the side which claims it is under constant attack by the other – Ukraine. Likewise "Kulikovo 1380; the Battle that Made Russia" . None of us were around in 1380, so we all have to go by historical references, and whoever collects them all into a book first is likely to be regarded as an expert.

No, it's more when we get into how stuff works that I have an issue with it. Like " Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces ". Or " The Modern Russian Army ". I'm kind of skeptical about how someone could claim to know the actual internal workings of either organization simply from reading about them in popular references, considering that more than half the material on Russia written in English in western references is rubbish heavily influenced by politics and policy. We would not have to look very far to find examples in which ridiculous overconfidence by one side that it had the other side's number resulted in a horrible surprise. In fact, we would not have to look very far to find an example of this particular author confidently averring to know something inside-out, only to find that version of reality could not be sustained . And I would no more turn to a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague for expert analysis of the "Combat Vehicles of Russia's Special Forces" than I would ask a house painter to cut my hair. Unless I see some recollections of a college-age Galeotti tinkering with drivetrains and differentials until the sun went down from a pure love of mechanics, I am going to go ahead and assume that he knows what the vast majority of us knows about military vehicles – he could pick one out of a lineup which included a melon, a goat and an Armored Personnel Carrier, and if it had a flat tire he could probably fix it given time and the essential equipment.

Just before we move on, the future event: the MH-17 'trial' has been postponed until June 8th , to give defense attorneys more time to prepare after the amazingly fortuitous capture of a 'key witness' in Eastern Ukraine. I'm not going to elaborate here on what a kicking-the-can-down-the-road crock this is; we'll pick that up later. The whole MH-17 'investigation' has been such a ridiculous exercise in funneling the pursuit to a single inescapable conclusion – that Russia shot it down – irrespective of how many points have to be bent to fit the curve that no matter how it comes out, it will stand as perhaps the greatest example of absurd western self-justification ever recorded.

There are a couple of ways of solving a mystery crime. One is to collect evidence, and follow where it takes you. Another is to decide who you want to have been responsible, and then construct a sequence of events in which they might have done it. To do that, especially in this case, we will have to throw out a few assumptions, such as all that stuff about means, motive and opportunity. In the absence of a believable scenario, that is. Let's look at what we have, and what we need, and see how we get from there to here.

First, we need for Ukraine not to have been responsible. That's going to be awkward, because it looks as if the aircraft was shot down by a missile, but the missile had to have come from inside Ukraine, because the aircraft was too far from the nearest point in Russia at the moment it was stricken for the missile to have come from there. But we need Russia to have been responsible, and not Ukraine. Therefore we need a sequence of events in which a Russian missile launcher capable of shooting down an airliner at cruising altitude was inside Ukraine, in a position from which it could have taken the shot.

You know what? We are going to have to look at means, motive and opportunity, just for a second. My purpose in doing so is to illustrate just how improbable the western narrative is, starting from square one. The coup in Ukraine – and anyone who believes it was a 'grass-roots revolution' might as well stop reading right here, because we are going to just get further apart in our impressions of events – followed by the triumphant promise from the revolutionaries to repeal Yanukovych's language laws and make Ukrainian the law of the land touched off the return of Crimea to its ancestral home in the Russian Federation. Crimea was about 65% ethnic Russian by population at the time, and only about 15% Ukrainian, and Crimea had made several attempts to break free of Ukraine before that yet for some reason the west refused steadfastly to accept the results of a referendum which voted in favour of Crimea becoming a part of the Russian Federation, as if it were more believable that a huge ethnic-Russian majority preferred to learn Ukrainian and be governed by Kiev.

Be that as it may, Washington reacted very angrily; much more so than Europe, considering the distance between the United States and Ukraine versus its proximity to Europe. Perhaps that is owed simply to Washington's assumption that every corner of the world looks to it for leadership, and that it must have a position ready on any given situation, regardless how distant. So Washington insisted there must be sanctions against Russia, for stealing Crimea from its rightful owner, Ukraine. We're not really going to get into struggles for freedom and the right to self-determination right now, except to state that the USA considers nothing more important in some cases, while in others it is completely irrelevant. Washington demanded sanctions but much of Europe was reluctant .

"It is notoriously difficult to secure EU agreement on sanctions anywhere because they require unanimity from the 28 member states. There were wide differences over the numbers of Russians and Crimeans to be punished, with countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Spain reluctant to penalise Moscow for fear of closing down channels of dialogue. The 21 named were on an original list that ran to about 120 people Expanding the numbers on the sanctions list is almost certain to be discussed at the EU summit on Thursday and Friday. Some EU states are torn about taking punitive measures against Russia for fear of undoing years of patient attempts to establish closer ties with Moscow as well as increase trade. The EU has already suspended talks with Russia on an economic pact and a visa agreement The German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said any measure must leave "ways and possibilities open to prevent a further escalation that could lead to the division of Europe" .

The original list of those to be sanctioned was 120 people. The haggling reduced that to 21. Only 7 of those were Russians. Putin was not included. That was pretty plainly not the United Front That Speaks With One Voice that Washington had envisioned, and the notion that Europe would buy into sanctions that might really do some damage to Russia, albeit there would be economic costs to Europe as well, was a dim prospect.

Gosh – you know what we need? An atrocity which can be quickly tied to Russia, and which will so appall the EU member states that resistance to far-reaching sanctions will collapse. That's called 'motive'. It's just not a motive for Russia. Having just gone far out on a limb and taken back Crimea, to the obvious and vocal fury of the United States, it is a bit of a stretch that Russia was looking for what else it could do that would stir up the world against it.

Means, now. That presents its own dilemma. Because Russia could have shot down an airliner from its own territory. Just not with the weapon chosen. The S-400 could have done it; it has the range, easily. But if you were setting up a scenario in which something happened that you wanted to blame on Russia, but they didn't really do it, you must have the weapon to do it yourself, or access to it. By any reasonable construct, Ukraine must be a suspect as well – there was a hot war going on in Ukraine, Ukraine controlled both the airspace and the aircraft that was lost, and the aircraft was lost over Ukrainian territory. But Ukraine doesn't have the S-400. You could use a variety of western systems, but it would quickly be established that the plane was shot down with a weapon that Russia does not have. In order for the narrative to be believable, Russia must have the weapon – but if it wasn't Russia, then whoever did it must have the weapon, too.

Enter the Buk system, with the 9K37 SA-11 missile. It's got the range, it's got the altitude, the Russians have it in active service. Oooo problem. It's got the range, but only if it was fired from inside Ukraine.

Which brings us back to Mr. Galeotti, an expert in Russian combat systems; enough of an expert to write books on them, anyway. And he plainly believes it was an SA-11 missile fired from a single Buk TELAR (Transporter/Erector/Launcher and Radar) which brought down the Boeing; he says that's what the evidence demonstrates, although by this time (2019) most of the world has backed away from saying Putin showed up with no shirt on to close the firing switch personally (cue the instant British-press screaming headlines before the dust had even settled, "PUTIN'S MISSILE!!!" "PUTIN KILLED MY SON!!!"). Now the story is that the disgraceful deed was done by 'Ukrainian anti-government militants', using a weapon supplied by Russia.

"In this context, a full reversal of policy seems near-enough impossible. The evidence suggests that while the fateful missile was fired by Ukrainian anti-government militants, it was supplied by the Russian 53rd Air Defense Brigade under orders from Moscow and in a process managed by Russian military intelligence.

To admit this would not only be to acknowledge a share in the unlawful killing of 298 innocents, but also an unpicking of the whole Kremlin narrative over the Donbass. It would mean admitting to having been an active participant in this bloody compound of civil war and foreign intervention, to having armed the militants without due thought as to the consequences, and to having lied to the world and the Russian people for half a decade."

We don't really have the scope in this piece to broaden the discussion to Russia's probable actual involvement. Suffice it to say that despite non-stop allegations by Poroshenko throughout his presidency of entire battalions of active-service Russian Army soldiers inside Ukraine, zero evidence has ever been provided of any such presence, although there have been some clumsy attempts to fabricate it . To argue that the Russian Army has been trying to overrun Ukraine for six years now, but has been unable to do so because of the combat prowess of the Ukrainian Army is to imply a belief in leprechauns. This is only my own inexpert opinion, but it seems likely to me the complete extent of Russia's involvement, militarily, is the minimum which prevents Eastern Ukraine from being overrun by the Ukrainian military, and including the rebel areas' own far-from-inconsequential military forces. I'm always ready to entertain competing theories, though; be sure to bring your evidence. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Constitution prohibits using the country's military forces against its own citizens. The logic of 'Have cake, and eat it" cannot apply here – either the Ukrainian state is in direct and obvious violation of its own constitution or the people of the breakaway regions are not Ukrainian citizens.

Anyway, back to the Buk system. And not a moment before time, either – I just re-read that sanctimonious stab above, again; " having armed the militants without due thought as to the consequences " What, exactly, is the ridiculous nature of the accusation being presented here? That the Russians gave an anti-aircraft system to the 'militants' without considering they might use it to shoot down an aircraft? How did they not see that coming? The Ukrainian Army shot down a civilian airliner in October of 2001 , and lied about it for as long as it could – interestingly, it took place during joint Ukrainian-Russian air defense exercises on the Crimean peninsula, and Russia tried hard to avoid assigning blame to Ukraine, while at least one Israeli television station claimed the Russians had shot down their own aircraft. This disaster and subsequent lying did not prevent the USA from giving the Javelin missile to Ukraine – did it not occur to them that they might use it to shoot tanks? No due thought to the consequences, obviously.

The Buk air-defense system normally consists of at least 4 TELAR launchers , each with 4 missiles on the launch rails, a self-propelled acquisition radar designated by NATO nomenclature as Snow Drift (the radar on the nose of the TELAR unit itself is designated Fire Dome), and a self-propelled command post, for a minimum of 6 vehicles. Also usually part of the system is a mobile crane, to reload the launchers. If you were going to supply an air-defense system to militant rebels, why wouldn't you give them the whole system? In a pinch, you might be able to get away without the command post vehicle, although it is the station that collates all the input from the sensors and makes the decision to assign targets for acquisition, tracking and engagement. If you didn't give them the crane vehicle, and perhaps a logistics truck with some reloads, they would be limited to the missiles that came already mounted – once those were fired, they'd have to abandon the system, because they couldn't reload it. Seems a little wasteful, don't you think?

What about the acquisition radar? Because acquiring targets is all about scanning capability and situational awareness. We're going to assume for a moment that you don't use an air defense system exclusively to hunt for airliners, but that you want to defend yourself against ground-attack aircraft like the Sukhoi SU-25. Because, when you think about it, who is more likely to be trying to kill you ? A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, or an SU-25? The latter is not quite as fast as an airliner at its cruising height of 30,000 ft+, but it is very agile and will be nearly down in the treetops if it is attacking you. You need to be able to search all around, all the time.

That's where the acquisition radar comes in. A centimetric waveband search radar, the Snow Drift (called the 9S18M1 by its designer) has 360-degree coverage and from 0 to 40 degrees of height in a 6-second sweep in anti-aircraft mode, with a 160 km detection range, obviously dependent on target altitude. An airliner, being a large target not attempting to evade detection, and at a high altitude, would quite possibly be detected at the maximum range of which the system is capable. But then the operators would certainly know it was an airliner. And the narrative says whoever shot it down probably did so by accident.

Maybe if it was his first day on the job. Let's talk for a minute about air-defense deconfliction. It would be nice if your Command parked you somewhere that there was nothing around you but enemies. Well, not as nice as parking you across the street from a pulled-pork barbecue joint with strippers and cold beer, but from a defense standpoint, it'd be nice to know that anything you detected, you could shoot. Know something? It's never like that. Your own aircraft are flying around as if they didn't even know you are dangerous, and as everyone now knows, civilian airliners continue their transport enterprises irrespective of war except in rare instances in which high-flying aircraft have been shot down by long-range missiles. That rarely happens. Why? Because an aircraft flying a steady course, at 30,000 ft+ and not descending, is no threat to you on the ground. From that altitude it can't even see you in the ground clutter, and it'd be quite a bombardier that could hit a target the size of a two-car garage with a bomb dropped from 30,000 ft while flying at 400 knots.

And unless you are an idiot, you know it is an airliner. When you are deployed into the field in an air-defense role, you know where the commercial airlanes are that are going to be active. You know what a commercial-aviation profile looks like – aircraft at 30,000 ft+ altitude, flying at ≥400 knots on a steady course, squawking Mode 3 and Charlie = airliner. Might as well take a moment here to talk about IFF ; Identification Friend or Foe. This is a coded pulse signal transmitted by all commercial aircraft whenever they are in flight unless their equipment is non-functional, and you are not allowed to take off with it in that state. Mode C provides the aircraft's altitude, taken automatically from its barometric altimeter. All modern air search radars have IFF capability, and a dashed line just below the raw video of the air track can be interrogated with a light-pen to provide the readout. You already know how high the plane is if you have a solid radar track, but Mode C provides a confirmation.

Military aircraft have IFF transponders, too; in fact, most of the modes are reserved for military use. But military aircraft often turn off their IFF equipment, because it provides a giveaway who and where they are. In Ukraine, which uses mostly Soviet military aircraft, both sides are capable of reading each other's IFF, so all the more reason not to transmit. Foreign nations typically cannot read each other's IFF except for the modes which are for both military and civilian use, other than those nations who are allies. Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that the Snow Drift acquisition radar has IFF, and if it detected an airliner-like target at 160 km., the operator would have that much more time to interrogate it and determine it was an airliner. Just to reiterate, the western narrative holds that the destruction of the airliner was a mistake.

I'm going a little further with my inexpert opinion, to say that the Buk system was selected as the 'murder weapon', because it provides a limited autonomous capability. To be clear, the Fire Dome radar on the nose of the TELAR does have a limited search capability, and once the radar is locked on to a target, the TELAR vehicle is completely autonomous. The purpose of the surveillance radar is to detect the target from far beyond the Fire Dome's range, assign it to a TELAR and thereby direct it to the elevation and bearing of the target so that the TELAR's radar knows exactly where to look, and continue to update its position until the TELAR to which it was assigned has locked on to the target.

That autonomous capability is probably what made it attractive to those building the scenario; consider. A complete Buk system of 6, maybe 7 vehicles could hardly get all the way inside Ukraine to the firing position without being noticed and perhaps recorded. But perhaps a single TELAR could do it. The aircraft could be shot down by an SA-11 missile and blamed on Russia – Ukraine has access to plenty of SA-11's. But it is a weapon in the Russian active-service inventory. Further, Galeotti's commitment to the allegation that the single TELAR was provided by Russia's 53rd Air Defense Brigade tells us he supports the crackpot narrative offered by Bellingcat, the loopy citizen-journalist website headed by failed financial clerk Eliot Higgins. Bellingcat claims the Buk TELAR was trucked into Ukraine on the back of a flatbed, took the shot that slew MH-17, and was immediately withdrawn back to Russia.

Ummm .how was that an accident? The Russians gave the Ukrainian militants a single launcher with no crane or reload missiles, so it was limited to a maximum of four shots. Its ability to defend itself from ground attack was almost nil, since the design purpose of mounting a Fire Dome radar on each TELAR is not to make the launcher units autonomous; it is to permit concurrent engagements by several launchers, all coordinated by the acquisition radar and command post. Without a radar of its own on the launcher, the firing unit would have to wait until each engagement was completed before it could switch to a new target, but with a fire-control guidance radar on each TELAR, multiple targets can be assigned to multiple launchers, while the search radar limits itself to acquisition and target assignment.

The Fire Dome radar mounted on the TELAR can search a 120-degree sector in 4 seconds, at an elevation of 6 to 7 degrees. Its search function is maximized for defense against ground attack aircraft, and a single launcher is not looking at 240 degrees of potential air threat axis during each sweep. It is not looking high enough to see an airliner at 30,000 ft+. More importantly for a system which was not designed to shoot down helpless airliners, it leaves two-thirds of a circle unobserved all the time it is searching for a target. And the Russians provided this to the 'militants' for air defense? They should be shot.

A single TELAR with no reloads and no acquisition radar would have to be looking directly at the target when it was activated in order to even see it; it takes 15 seconds for the launcher to swing into line and elevation even when that information is transmitted to it from the acquisition radar. It takes 4 seconds for a scan to be completed when there is a whole two-thirds of a circle that it is not even looking at, and you have to manually force it to search above 7 degrees because it is not designed to shoot down airliners. All this time, the target is crossing the acquisition scope at 400 knots+. Fire Dome has integrated IFF, so if it did by some miracle pick up an airliner in its search, the operator would know from transmitted IFF that he was looking at an airliner. A single TELAR with no reload capability sent on an air-defense mission would have its ass ripped in half by ground-attack aircraft that it never saw – if the autonomous capability is so good, why don't the Ukrainians use them as a single unit? Think of how much air-defense coverage they could provide! Do you see the Ukrainian air-defense units employing the Buk that way? Never. Not once. Four TELARS, acquisition radar vehicle, command vehicle, just the way the system was designed to operate.

Just because it has a limited capability to function in a given capacity should not suggest you would employ it that way. You can use a hockey stick to turn off the bedroom light, and you won't even have to get out of bed. Would you do that? I hope not.

A one-third effective capacity in the air defense role together with the covert delivery and immediate withdrawal suggests that the Russians provided the 'militants' with a single TELAR for the express purpose of shooting down a defenseless airliner. Except nobody is saying that. It was a mistake. Well, except for Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, who claimed "Terrorists and militants have planned a cynical terrorist attack on a civilian aircraft Aeroflot AFL-2074 Moscow-Larnaka that was flying at that time above the territory of Ukraine." He further claimed that this was motivated by a desire to 'justify an invasion'. I'm pretty sure if any western authority could prove anything even close to that, we would not have had to wait 6 years for a trial.

Which brings us to the covert delivery and extraction. As part of his personal investigation, Max van der Werff drove the route Bellingcat claimed was the extraction route by which the single TELAR, on its flatbed, was returned to Russia. He verified that there is a highway overpass on the route which is too low for a load that tall to pass underneath. When he pointed this out to Higgins, he was told there is a bypass spur which goes around it, which would allow the flatbed to regain the road beyond without having gone through the overpass. Max drew his attention to the concrete barriers which blocked that road at the top of the hill, and which locals claimed had been in place long before the destruction of MH-17. And that was the end of that conversation. I cannot say enough about the quality of Max's work and his diligent, patient dissection of the evidence . His diagrams of the entry and egress routes as provided by Bellingcat illustrate how little sense they make. It was imperative the guilty Russians get the fuck out of Dodge with the greatest possible dispatch so they drove 100 kilometers out of their way? Don't even terrorist murderers have GPS now?

Similarly, the simpleminded flailing of the Ukrainian investigators suggests they do not even have much of a grasp of how Surface-To-Air missiles work. In excited posts like this one , the BBC discloses that an exhaust vent from the tail section of a 'Buk missile' (the missile is actually the SA-11, while Buk is the entire system) was found in the wreckage of the crashed plane, while this one even shows terminally-stunned head prosecutor Fred Westerbeke standing next to what is allegedly part of the rocket body of an SA-11, including legible inventory markings, also 'found at the crash scene'.

Do tell.

Let me review for you how an SA-11 missile shoots down an aircraft. Does it pierce it like a harpoon, blow up in a thunderous explosion, and ride the doomed aircraft down to the crash site? It certainly does not. The missile blasts out of the launcher and flies to the target via semiactive homing, which means it has an onboard seeker that updates the missile trajectory, while the radar on the launcher also communicates with it and the missile and the target are brought together in intercept. When the proximity fuse of the missile – this is the important part – senses that the missile's warhead is close to the target, the internal explosive detonates, and a shower of prefragmented shrapnel pierces the area of the plane near where the missile detonated, usually the front, because the missile is constantly adjusting to make sure it stays with the target until intercept.

MH-17 traveled on, mostly intact, for miles before it crashed into the ground; the crash site was some 13 miles from where the plane was hit. The missile self-destructed miles away from the crash site, and the only parts of it which accompanied the plane to its impact point were the shrapnel bits of the exploded warhead. The body of the missile, together with the exhaust vent, fell back to the ground somewhere quite close to where the plane was hit, not where it fell. Once the missile's fuel is exhausted, either because it ran out or because it was consumed in the explosion triggered by the proximity fuse, the missile parts do not fly around in formation, seeking out the wreckage and coming gently to rest in it where they can later be found by investigators. I don't know how many times I have to say this, because this is certainly not the first, but there would not be any missile parts in the wreckage of MH-17 because the missile would have blown up in front of the plane without ever touching it. The missile does not hit the plane. The pieces of the warhead do. But reality has to take a back seat to making out an airtight case.

There is no telling what kind of ordnance might be found in the wreckage itself, as the Ukrainian Army continued to shell the site for days after the crash; doubtless various artillery shells could be found at the crash site, as well, but it would be quite a leap of faith to suggest a Boeing 777 was shot down by artillery. What you would not find is pieces of the SAM that shot it down.

Several witnesses claimed to have seen an SU-25 near the plane before it exploded. They quite possibly did – the Ukrainian Air Force was observed to be using civilian airliners as cover to allow them to get close to Eastern-Ukrainian villages which might be protected by hand-held launchers known as MANPADS (for Man-Portable Air Defense System), reasoning the defenders would not shoot if they were afraid they might hit a civil aircraft. Once they were close enough to the village or other target to make an attack run, they would then return to the vicinity of the airliner for protection while withdrawing; the rebel side complained about this illegal and immoral practice a month before the destruction of MH-17. But there is no evidence I am aware of linking the destruction of MH-17 to an attack by aircraft.

It may no longer be possible to look at the shooting-down of the Malaysian Boeing objectively; the event has become a partisan rush to judgment which was rendered immediately, after which an investigation began which plainly had as its goal proving the accusations already made. Means and motive clearly favour the accusers rather than the accused, and opportunity is mostly irrelevant as a consideration. Ukraine obviously had to be a suspect – the destruction of the aircraft occurred over Ukraine while Ukraine was in control of it and the airspace in which it traveled. Yet Ukraine was allowed to lead the investigation, and to gather and safeguard evidence, while the owner of the aircraft – Malaysia – was excluded until the investigation had been in progress for four months. Russia was not allowed any part in it save to yield whatever evidence the investigators demanded, while all its theories were widely mocked. Demonstrations set up by Almaz-Antey, the designers and builders of the SA-11, were unattended by any investigating nation – small wonder they do not have Clue One how the missile works, and believe they are going to find big chunks of it in the wreckage, perhaps with Putin's passport stuck to one of them. If any of these conditions prevailed in an investigation which favoured Russia, NATO would scream as if it were being run over with spiked wheels – if the Boeing had been shot down over Russia, who thinks Russia would have been heading the investigation, and custodian of the evidence?

Nor is that by any means all. The Dutch investigation which concluded with the preliminary report implied that nothing of any investigative value was found on the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) or the Flight Data Recorder (FDR). Nothing to indicate what might have happened to the aircraft – just that it was flying along, and suddenly it wasn't. How likely is that? No transcript was provided, and I guess that would be expected if there was no information at all. Funny how often that happens with Malaysian airliners; they really need to look at their quality control. Oh; except they don't build the aircraft. Boeing does. I could see there not being any information after the plane began to break up, because both the CVR and the FDR are in the tail , and that broke off before the fuselage hit. But the microphones are in the ceiling of the cockpit and in the microphone and earpiece of the pilots' headsets, which they wear at all times while in flight. The last audio claimed to have been recorded was a course alteration sent by Ukrainian ATC.

According to the Malaysian government, there was an early plan by NATO for a military operation involving some 9000 troops to 'secure the crash site', which was forestalled by a covert Malaysian operation which recovered the 'black boxes' and blocked the plan. I have to say that given the many, many other unorthodox and bizarre happenings in the conduct of what was supposed to be a transparent and impartial international investigation, it's getting so nothing much is unbelievable. The Malaysian Prime Minister went on record as believing that the western powers had already concluded that Russia was responsible, and were mostly just going through the motions of investigating.

The telephone recordings presented by the SBU as demonstrating Russian culpability were analyzed by OG IT Forensic Services, a Malaysian firm specializing in forensic analysis of audio, video and digital materials for court proceedings, which concluded the recordings were cut, edited and fabricated . Yet they are relied upon as important evidence of guilt by the Dutch and the JIT.

The conduct of the investigation has been all the way across town from transparent, and in fact seems to represent a clique of cronies getting their heads together to attempt nailing down a consistent narrative, which is in the judgment of forensic professionals based upon clumsy fabrications. The investigators plainly have no understanding of how the weapons systems involved perform, or they would not claim confidently to have discovered pieces of the very missile that destroyed the plane in the wreckage of it. But rather than take an objective look at how this flailing is perceived, they continue to rely on momentum and the appearance of getting things done while being scrupulously impartial, all the while that more mountains of evidence are collected, which they cannot disclose to the public, although it is all right to let the prime suspect keep it safe under wraps.

Make of that what you will.

" Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person's obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic exceed his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic. "

-Harry G. Frankfurt

[May 24, 2020] China diplomancy in action: Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets the Press conference

China diplomacy is trying to thread very carefully to avoid the fallout. The answer of RIA Novosti is good example here. Counterattacks are few (see the answer to CC question with the following money quote: "I respect your right to ask the question, but I'm afraid you're not framing the question in the right way. One has to have a sense of right and wrong. Without it, a person cannot be trusted, and a country cannot hold its own in the family of nations. " This is implicit slap in the face for the USA.
May 24, 2020 | fmprc.gov.cn

RIA Novosti: How do you assess China-Russia relations in the context of COVID-19? Do you agree with some people's characterization that China and Russia may join force to challenge US predominance?

Wang Yi: While closely following the COVID-19 response in Russia, we have done and will continue to do everything we can to support it. I believe under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the indomitable Russian people will defeat the virus and the great Russian nation will emerge from the challenge with renewed vigor and vitality.

Since the start of COVID-19, President Xi Jinping and President Putin have had several phone calls and kept the closest contact between two world leaders. Russia is the first country to have sent medical experts to China, and China has provided the most anti-epidemic assistance to Russia. Two-way trade has gone up despite COVID-19. Chinese imports from Russia have grown faster than imports from China's other major trading partners. The two countries have supported and defended each other against slanders and attacks coming from certain countries. Together, China and Russia have forged an impregnable fortress against the "political virus" and demonstrated the strength of China-Russia strategic coordination.

I have no doubt that the two countries' joint response to the virus will give a strong boost to China-Russia relations after COVID-19. China is working with Russia to turn the crisis into an opportunity. We will do so by maintaining stable cooperation in energy and other traditional fields, holding a China-Russia year of scientific and technological innovation, and accelerating collaboration in e-commerce, bio-medicine and the cloud economy to make them new engines of growth in our post-COVID-19 economic recovery. China and Russia will also enhance strategic coordination. By marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, we stand ready to firmly protect our victory in WWII, uphold the UN Charter and basic norms of international relations, and oppose any form of unilateralism and bullying. We will enhance cooperation and coordination in the UN, SCO, BRICS and G20 to prepare ourselves for a new round of the once-in-a-century change shaping today's world.

I believe that with China and Russia standing shoulder-to-shoulder and working back-to-back, the world will be a safer and more stable place where justice and fairness are truly upheld.

Cable News Network: We've seen an increasingly heated "war of words" between China and the US. Is "wolf warrior" diplomacy the new norm of China's diplomacy?

Wang Yi: I respect your right to ask the question, but I'm afraid you're not framing the question in the right way. One has to have a sense of right and wrong. Without it, a person cannot be trusted, and a country cannot hold its own in the family of nations.

There may be all kinds of interpretations and commentary about Chinese diplomacy. As China's Foreign Minister, let me state for the record that China always follows an independent foreign policy of peace. No matter how the international situation may change, we will always stand for peace, development and mutually beneficial cooperation, stay committed to upholding world peace and promoting common development, and seek friendship and cooperation with all countries. We see it as our mission to make new and greater contributions to humanity.

China's foreign policy tradition is rooted in its 5,000-year civilization. Since ancient times, China has been widely recognized as a nation of moderation. We Chinese value peace, harmony, sincerity and integrity. We never pick a fight or bully others, but we have principles and guts. We will push back against any deliberate insult to resolutely defend our national honor and dignity. And we will refute all groundless slander with facts to resolutely uphold fairness, justice and human conscience.

The future of China's diplomacy is premised on our commitment to working with all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Since we live in the same global village, countries should get along peacefully and treat each other as equals. Decisions on global affairs should be made through consultation, not because one or two countries say so. That's why China advocates for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. This position is fully aligned with the direction of human progress and the shared aspiration of most countries. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony. We will always stand with the common interests of all countries. And we will always stand on the right side of history. Those who go out of their way to label China as a hegemon are precisely the ones who refuse to let go of their hegemonic status.

The world is undergoing changes of a kind unseen in a century and full of instability and turbulence. Confronted by a growing set of global challenges, we hope all countries will realize that humanity is a community with a shared future. We must render each other more support and cooperation, and there should be less finger-pointing and confrontation. We call on all nations to come together and build a better world for all.

[May 24, 2020] The Spin War: US Military Planners Advise Expanded Online Psychological Warfare Against China by Alan Macleod

Notable quotes:
"... The recently published Pentagon budget request for 2021 makes clear that the United States is retooling for a potential intercontinental war with China and/or Russia. It asks for $705 billion to "shift focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a greater emphasis on the types of weapons that could be used to confront nuclear giants like Russia and China," noting that it requires "more advanced high-end weapon systems, which provide increased standoff, enhanced lethality and autonomous targeting for employment against near-peer threats in a more contested environment." The military has recently received the first batch of low-yield nuclear warheads that experts agree blurs the line between conventional and nuclear conflict, making an all out example of the latter far more likely. ..."
"... "Our governments spend over 1.75 trillion dollars every year on wars, on weapons, on conflict If we could deploy that sort of resource to address the coronavirus crisis that we're currently living through, imagine what else we could be doing. Imagine how we could be fighting the climate crisis, how we could be addressing global poverty, inequality. Our priority should never be war; our priorities need to be public health, the environment, and human well being." ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alan Macleod via MintPressNews.com,

Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike the country. As the U.S. military turns its attention from the Middle East to conflict with Russia and China, American war planners are advising that the United States greatly expand its own online "psychological operations" against Beijing.

A new report from the Financial Times details how top brass in Washington are strategizing a new Cold War with China, describing it less as World War III and more as "kicking each other under the table." Last week, General Richard Clarke, head of Special Operations Command, said that the "kill-capture missions" the military conducted in Afghanistan were inappropriate for this new conflict, and Special Operations must move towards cyber influence campaigns instead.

Military analyst David Maxwell, a former Special Ops soldier himself, advocated for a widespread culture war, which would include the Pentagon commissioning what he called "Taiwanese Tom Clancy" novels, intended to demonize China and demoralize its citizens, arguing that Washington should "weaponize" China's one-child policy by bombarding Chinese people with stories of the wartime deaths of their only children, and therefore, their bloodline.

A not dissimilar tactic was used during the first Cold War against the Soviet Union, where the CIA sponsored a huge network of artists, writers and thinkers to promote liberal and social-democratic critiques of the U.S.S.R., unbeknownst to the public, and, sometimes, even the artists themselves.

Manufacturing consent

In the space of only a few months, the Trump administration has gone from praising China's response to the COVID-19 pandemic to blaming them for the outbreak, even suggesting they pay reparations for their alleged negligence. Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike China, with only 26 percent holding a positive opinion of the country. Over four-in-five people essentially support a full-scale economic war with Beijing, something the president threatened to enact last week.

The corporate press is certainly doing their part as well, constantly framing China as an authoritarian threat to the United States, rather than a neutral force or even a potential ally, leading to a surge in anti-Chinese racist attacks at home.

Retooling for an intercontinental war

Although analysts have long warned that the United States gets its "ass handed to it" in hot war simulations with China or even Russia, it is not clear whether this is a sober assessment or a self-serving attempt to increase military spending. In 2002, the U.S. conducted a war game trial invasion of Iraq, where it was catastrophically defeated by Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, commanding Iraqi forces, leading to the whole experiment being nixed halfway through. Yet the subsequent invasion was carried out without massive loss of American lives.

The recently published Pentagon budget request for 2021 makes clear that the United States is retooling for a potential intercontinental war with China and/or Russia. It asks for $705 billion to "shift focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a greater emphasis on the types of weapons that could be used to confront nuclear giants like Russia and China," noting that it requires "more advanced high-end weapon systems, which provide increased standoff, enhanced lethality and autonomous targeting for employment against near-peer threats in a more contested environment." The military has recently received the first batch of low-yield nuclear warheads that experts agree blurs the line between conventional and nuclear conflict, making an all out example of the latter far more likely.

There has been no meaningful pushback from the Democrats. Indeed, Joe Biden's team has suggested that the United States' entire industrial policy should revolve around "competing with China" and that their "top priority" is dealing with the supposed threat Beijing poses. The former vice-president has also attacked Trump from the right on China, trying to present him as a tool of Beijing, bringing to mind how Clinton portrayed him in 2016 as a Kremlin asset. (Green Party presidential frontrunner Howie Hawkins has promised to cut the military budget by 75 percent and to unilaterally disarm).

Nevertheless, voices raising concern about a new arms race are few and far between. Veteran deproliferation activist Andrew Feinstein is one exception, saying :

"Our governments spend over 1.75 trillion dollars every year on wars, on weapons, on conflict If we could deploy that sort of resource to address the coronavirus crisis that we're currently living through, imagine what else we could be doing. Imagine how we could be fighting the climate crisis, how we could be addressing global poverty, inequality. Our priority should never be war; our priorities need to be public health, the environment, and human well being."

However, if the government is going to launch a new psychological war against China, it is unlikely antiwar voices like Feinstein's will feature much in the mainstream press.

[May 24, 2020] Wouldn't it be more useful to allocate $ 250,000 to save someone's lives instead of "Exposing Russian Health Disinformation"

$250K can buy a lot of masks, probably over million ;-)
May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

moscowexile May 24, 2020 at 4:10 am

Have they nothing better to do than peddle their Russophobia?

Wouldn't it be more useful to allocate $ 250,000 to save someone's lives, @StateDept ? Instead of "Exposing Russian Health Disinformation"
➡️ https://t.co/Hv3CydUgBX

📸 Medical aid 🇷🇺✈️🇺🇸 in NYC and Moscow pic.twitter.com/BVFxDVJJAH

-- Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) May 23, 2020

[May 24, 2020] US anti-china crusade started

May 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

After the Soviet collapse thirty years ago, that order expanded its jurisdiction. Proponents sought to subsume the old Eastern Bloc, including perhaps Russia itself, into the American sphere. And they wanted to do so firmly on Washington's terms. Even as the country began to deindustrialize and growth slowed, American leadership developed a taste for fresh crusades in the Middle East; exotic savagery, went the subtext, had to be brought finally to heel. China was a rising force, but its regime would inevitably crater or democratize. Besides, Beijing was a peaceful trading partner of the United States.

2008, 2016 and 2020 -- the financial crisis, Trump's election and now the Coronavirus and its reaction -- have been successive gut punches to this project, a hat trick which may seal its demise. Ask anyone attempting to board an international flight, or open a new factory in China, or get anything done at the United Nations: the world is de-globalizing at a speed almost as astonishing as it integrated. Post-Covid, U.S.-China confrontation is not a choice. It's a reality. The liberal international order is not lamentable. It's already dead.

This was the argument made by Bannon. It had other backers, of course, within both the academy and an emerging foreign policy counter-establishment loathe to repeat the mistakes of the past thirty years. But coming from the former top political advisor to the sitting president of the United States, it was provocative stuff. Bannon articulated a perspective which seemed to be on the tip of the foreign policy world's tongue. And it riled people up. The most fulsome rebuttal to the zeitgeist was perhaps The Jungle Grows Back , tellingly written by Robert Kagan, an Iraq War architect. The peripheral world was dangerous brush; the United States was the machete.

Trumpian nationalism has chugged along for nearly three years since -- stripped, some might say, of its Bannonite flair and intelligence. The most hysterical prophecies of what the president might do -- that he might withdraw from the geriatric North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for instance -- have not come to pass. Trump has howled and roared, true: but so far, his most disruptive foreign policy maneuver has been escalation against Iran.


MPC 3 days ago

It's very good to hear the right getting a little humility in them now and talking less empire, more multilateralism. Trump has been way too concerned with his MAGA personality cult to understand the value of humility.

The world's a big place. The reality is, America first will more and more mean working together with other nations for mutual benefit, and often their gain will indirectly be to our own also.

kouroi MPC 3 days ago
Working more and more, yes. This is why US is undercutting Germany's competitiveness, by blocking a cheap source of energy via NS2...

As Bush said, you are either with us or against us. Nothing has changed and nothing will change, but it will become uglier. If it were to desire multi-polarity, the US would tolerate not only states, like KSA, where the Royals own everything, but also states, like Iran, or Cuba, where the people (through the government/state) owns assets (land and productive facilities). But the US does not tolerate such type of multi-polarity, not open to US "investment" and ownership (bought with fiat money).

Cold War II started in 2007, with Putin. Popcorn & beer lads!

MPC kouroi 3 days ago
It does seem like there's a creeping idea, not just on dissident internet sites now like before, that the Russian rivalry is a luxury of the past. Even the liberals are going to have to reconcile with liberal hegemony not being workable and settle for something less. Owing to distance and mutual interest (common rivals Britain and Germany) Russia and America had a long history of friendship before the Cold war.

I sadly agree about the predatory nature of much of America does. I think it really is a reflection of partially, imperial arrogance, but even moreso a matter of who runs the country. Oligarchy is poorly checked in modern America. Maybe we can hope for a humbled oligarchy, at least.

DUNK Buhari2 2 days ago
Trump is indeed an empty suit and a demagogue, but he ran on a decent nationalist platform (probably thanks to Bannon, who is almost certainly a closeted gay. No joke... a deep-in-the-closet, self-hating gay. The navy can change a man, and he's a fraud in other ways: see Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade"). Trump does have an absurd ego, and he probably figured becoming president would impress Ivanka too.

Also, the Uyghurs are not totally innocent victims... Some of them are US-financed revolutionaries and some of them have committed terrorism: see Godfree Roberts at Unz Review: "China and the Uyghurs" (January 10, 2019) and Ajit Singh at The Grayzone: "Inside the World Uyghur Congress: The US-backed right-wing regime change network seeking the 'fall of China'" (March 5, 2020). Some of our pathetic propagandists make it seem like they're in concentration camps, but there is objective reporting that suggests it's more like job training programs and anti-jihad classes. Absurd lies have certainly been told about North Korea and many other countries, so be skeptical.

kirthigdon 3 days ago
Yeah, let's get that hate on for China - why they're as bad as Russia, Iran and Venezuela put together and there are so many more of them. Especially a lot are available right here in the US and have lots of restaurants that can be boycotted. Not that many Venezuelan restaurants around. Seriously, can Americans get over this childishness? When the US closes down its 800+ overseas bases and withdraws its fleet to its own shores instead of Iran's and China's, then maybe Americans will be entitled to complain about someone else's imperialism.
Collin Reid 3 days ago
Most of anti-China stuff Hawley, much like Trump, claims always feels empty populism for WWC voters.

1) It is reasonable to be against our Middle East endeavors and not be so anti-China.
2) I still don't understand how it is China fault for stealing manufacturing jobs when it is the US private sector that does it. (And Vietnam exist, etc.) So without Charles Koch and Tim Cook behind this trade stuff, it feels like empty populism.
3) The most obvious point on China to me is how little they do use military measures for their 'imperialism.'

One problem with all this populism emptiness, is there is a lot issues with China to work on:
1) This virus could have impact economies in Africa and South America a lot where the nations have to renegotiate their loans to China. I have no idea how this goes but there will be tensions here. Imperialism is tough in the long run.
2) There are nations banding together on China's reaction to the virus and it seems reasonable that US joining them would be more effective than Trump's taunting.
3) To prove Trump administration incompetence, I have no idea how he is not turning this crisis into more medical equipment and drugs manufacturing. (My guess is this both takes a lot of work and frankly a lot of manufacturing plants have risks of spreads so noone wants to invest.)

Feral Finster Collin Reid 3 days ago
Apparently it is now a form of aggression, imperialism, even, to work for lower wages than a comparable American worker.

I can understand some protectionist measures. But acting as if these measures were a response to an unprovoked attack is hyperventilating.

DUNK Collin Reid 2 days ago
Hawley is a "fake populist" according to Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade" and I just saw fake-patriot airhead Pete Hegseth claim China wants to destroy our civilization, on fake populist Tucker Carlson's show. It's well-established that Fox News and the GOP are still neocons and fake patriots... after all, the Trump administration is run by Jared Kushner, a protégé of Rupert Murdoch and Bibi Netanyahu.
dbjm 3 days ago
Hawley's speech on the Senate floor yesterday deserves much more criticism than it gets here. This article from Reason does a good job breaking down the speech and pointing out what's right AND wrong about it:

https://reason.com/2020/05/...

Collin Reid Kessler 2 days ago
What if there is reduced wars and civil wars n the world today than ever. (So say anytime before 1991?) I get all the Middle East & African Wars but look at the rest of the world. When in history have the major West Europe powers not had a major war in 75 years. After issues of post Cold War East Europe is probably more peaceful than ever. Look at South America. In the 1970s the Civil Wars raged in all those nations. Or the Pacific Rim? Japan, China, and other nations are fighting with Military right now.

This is certainly less than perfect but the number of people (per million) dieing in wars and civil wars are at historic lows.

kouroi Collin Reid 2 days ago
The fall of Soviet Union and weakening of Russia allowed US and Western Europe to attack Serbia in 1990s. A stronger Russia wouldn't have allowed that to happen (who's trying to get Crimea from Russia's control now?). But with US aggressiveness and bellicosity (including nuclear posture) at Russia's borders do not bode well.

But it is true, less important people are dying now...

chris chuba 3 days ago
Chinese imperialism? Uh ... other than shaking trees and drumming up fear can I get like one example of that.

Taiwan, part of China since the 1500's and they are have not issued any new threats since 1949.

Hong Kong - stolen from China and now reluctantly given back with lots of conditions. If they deserve the right of independence through referendum I'm all for it as long as we apply this standard uniformly including parts of Texas, San Diego, New Mexico, Arizona, any place that has a large foreign population will do.

DUNK chris chuba 2 days ago
Yeah, "Chinese imperialism" is complete nonsense, just like the claim that they definitely originated the coronavirus, caused Americans to be under house arrest, and caused a depression. In fact, the origin of the virus is far from clear, and it wasn't China who hyped up and exaggerated the danger and wrecked the economy. It was our superficial corporate media and government that did that (perhaps deliberately)... the same people who are desperately trying to deflect blame onto the CCP. The same people who have been mismanaging and ruining America for decades in order to enrich themselves.
Gregtown 3 days ago
Should we all start reading Chomsky books again?

"Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless."

Sidney Caesar Gregtown 3 days ago • edited
Most people would be well served to read Chomsky a first time.
However, it should be noted, Chomsky's critiques of neoliberalism aren't grounded in nationalism, xenophobia, and racism. So a lot of TAC readers (and especially writers) may be disappointed.
Gregtown Sidney Caesar 3 days ago
Ha...sadly true.

I just pulled On Anarchism off my bookshelf. Time to revisit my early 20's.

Tradcon 3 days ago
Hawley seems like the natural choice for the potential future of the GOP, that is a post-fusionist or post-liberal GOP. However the one thing that worries me is his foreign policy. He talks the talk, but I'm having trouble to see if he walks the walk. As Mills noted he didn't vote to end support for the genocidal war in Yemen, a war that serves purely the interests of Saudi Arabia and not our own. He has criticized David Petraeus before, but its important not to be fooled by just rhetoric. While accepting he'll be better than any Tom Cotton or (god forbid) Nikki Haley in 2024, his foreign policy needs to be examined more until then.
stevek9 3 days ago
Our response to the epidemic was 100% 'made in China'. The entire 'Western World' decided to copy Beijing. If that doesn't establish a new level of leadership for China, I don't know what would. I'm surprised this is not more widely recognized. You can run down the many parallels, including the pathetic photo-op attempt by the West to build those emergency hospitals (Nightingale in the UK, Javits Center, etc. all across the US), which were just to show 'hey we can build hospitals in a few weeks also' ... never mind they could never, and were never used for anything at all.
Kiyoshi01 3 days ago
At this point, Hawley is all talk. Further, much of his talking amounts to little more than expressing resentment. I agree that the US needs to follow a more nationalist pathway, which involved making itself less dependent on its chief geopolitical rival. But accomplishing this is going to require more than bashing China and asserting that cosmopolitan Americans are traitors. At this point, Hawley has no positive program to offer. Giving paid speeches that vilify coastal elites and China is not a political plan.

Further, I agree that we're probably moving away from the universalist order that's guided much of our thinking since the 1990s. But isolationism is not the answer. We need to begin building a multilateral order that takes full account of China's rise as a worthy rival. This means that we need to develop a series of smaller-scale agreements with strategic partners. The TPP is a good example of such an agreement. But where is the call to revive it?

Lastly, I find the article's reference to China's treatment of gays and lesbians to be curious. I'd first note that using the term "homosexual" in reference to people is generally viewed as an offensive slur. Further, China's treatment of gay people isn't so bad, and tends to be better than what Hawley's evangelical supporters would afford. Moreover, China is a multi-ethnic country. It's program in Xinjiang has more to do with maintaining political order than a desire to repress non-Han people.

MPC Kiyoshi01 2 days ago
The general chest puffing nature of the American right makes it hard for them to understand that America might need to work with other countries at a deep level, and not as vassals either.
DUNK MPC 2 days ago
It doesn't seem like they're able to understand anything, or learn anything.
Barry_II Kiyoshi01 11 hours ago
". We need to begin building a multilateral order that takes full account
of China's rise as a worthy rival. This means that we need to develop a
series of smaller-scale agreements with strategic partners. The TPP is a
good example of such an agreement. But where is the call to revive it?"

The thing is that the post-WWII liberal international order was good for things like that.
Trump and the GOP quite deliberately destroyed it. Before that, the US would have the trust of many other governments; now they don't trust the US - even if Biden is elected, the next Trump is on the way.

KevinS 3 days ago • edited
"We benefit if countries that share our opposition to Chinese imperialism -- countries like India and Japan, Vietnam, Australia and Taiwan -- are economically independent of China, and standing shoulder to shoulder with us,"

OK....then can someone explain why Hawley opposed the TPP, which was designed to accomplish just this. The TPP was supposed to create trading relationships between these countries and the United States in the context of an agreement that excluded China. In this instance people like Hawley were advancing China's position and interests (I suspect simply because it was a treaty negotiated under Obama, which apparently was enough to make it bad).

Kiyoshi01 KevinS 3 days ago
Probably because Hawley seems more interested in demagoguery than accomplishing anything productive. Never mind that 95% of the people who voted for him probably couldn't find Japan or Vietnam on a map.
kouroi KevinS 2 days ago
TPP was not geared against China as a blanket thing, as an entire exclusion of China. The perfidy of TPP was that it was against any economic interactions with State Owned Enterprises (didn't mention the origin, didn't have to). The ultimate goal wasn't to isolate China but to force privatization of said SOEs, preferably run from Wall Street.

Private property good and = Democracy; State property bad = Authoritarianism, dictatorship, etc. It is a fallacy here somewhere, cannot really put my finger on it...

calidus 3 days ago
Except this is all lies. On each chance to actually do something Hawley has sided with international corporations, as a good conservative will always do. Fixing globalism will never come form the right, this is all smoke and mirrors for the religious right, aka the rubes. And they are perpetual suckers and will keep buying into this crap as our nation is hollowed out and raided by the rich. And that, is TRUE conservatism.
TheSnark 3 days ago
"Now we must recognize that the economic system designed by Western policy makers at the end of the Cold War does not serve our purposes in this new era," proclaimed Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri. "And it does not meet our needs for this new day." He continued, perhaps too politely: "And we should admit that multiple of its founding premises were in error."

The "error" in the founding premises of the post-WWII economic system was that it assumed that the US would act in a responsible manner. Instead we have run huge budget deficits and borrowed the difference from foreigners, randomly invading other countries, undermined the institutions we set up, bullied smaller countries rather than working with them, and abused our control of the financial system.

No, that old economic system served our interests very well, as long as we respected the institutions we set up and kept our own house in order. We haven't been doing any of that for at least 20 years.

Kiyoshi01 Amicus Brevis 2 days ago
Let's bear in mind that the Republican leader of the Senate married into a wealthy Chinese family that makes its money from hauling Chinese exports to our shores and the shores of other developed nations.

This is all just hollow bravado meant to appeal to the right's nativist base.

Amicus Brevis Kiyoshi01 2 days ago • edited
I am not into the thinking that everyone whose politics I don't support is acting in bad faith. We are talking about the actions of literally millions of people. Accusing this or that person of acting in bad faith because of personal interest is just dirty politics dressed up as perceptiveness. I am not accusing any specific person of acting in bad faith, although some of the people who pushed opening up to China because more business in China would create a class of people who would eventually push for Democracy there, were indeed acting in bad faith. They wanted access to cheap labor with no rights.

Yet, no doubt many of them actually believed the propaganda, because it supposedly happened in South Korea, Taiwan and other places. And especially the ones who switched the line to "globalism" when it was clear that the supposed indigenous pressures for Democracy did not materialize also acted in bad faith. I only assume that some of were because once I understood the rationale of the CCCP it was clear to me that China was radically different, and there is no way that so many of those guys who are smarter and more knowledgeable about political systems than me, did not figure it out. But I am not going to behave as if it the Republicans alone who were pushing either of these two false messages.

phreethink 2 days ago
Criticizing China for "imperialism" is the height of hypocrisy on multiple levels. First, the United States has engaged in economic imperialism, sometimes enforced with military intervention, for a hundred years. Read Smedley Butler's "War is a Racket" if you doubt that. Second, this is the same guy who voted against our proxy war in Yemen. Third, one could very reasonably argue that China is simply applying the lessons it learned at the hands of Western imperialists since 1800s..

It's good that SOME Republicans are at least giving lip service to the idea of bringing back manufacturing in this country. But you have to thank Trump for that, not the GOP establishment. The offshoring of American manufacturing as part of "free trade" was strongly supported (if not led) by the GOP going back to the 1980s.

DUNK phreethink 2 days ago
And check out John Perkins's books ("Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", etc.) for up-to-date information. It's obviously true that criticizing China for "imperialism" is ridiculously hypocritical but people like Senator Hawley know they can get away with it because they understand how propaganda works on the dumbed-down masses.

They understand doublethink, repetition, appeal to patriotism, appeal to racism, appeal to fear, etc. People like Rupert Murdoch do this every day... poorly, but well enough to be effective on a lot of people.

Incidentally, the Republicans may talk about bringing manufacturing back to the US but they're actually planning on shifting it to India (see Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade").

[May 24, 2020] Guccifer 2.0's Hidden Agenda : looks like Gussifer 2.0 was a false flag operation designed to smear wikileaks and distract from the CONTENT of the DNC emails

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... With the entirety of Russigate finally collapsing under the enormous weight and stench of its own BS, the picture that is beginning to emerge for me is one of an insider deep-state psy-op designed to cover for the crimes committed by the DNC, the Clinton Foundation and the 2016 Hillary campaign; kill for the foreseeable future any progressive threat to the neo-liberal world order; and take down a president that the bipartisan DC and corporate media elite fear and loathe. And why do they fear him? Because he is free to call them out on certain aspects of their criminality and corruption, and has. ..."
"... Hubris, cynicism and a basic belief in the stupidity of the US public all seem to have played a part in all this, enabled by a corporate media with a profit motive and a business model that depends on duping the masses. ..."
"... Anyone who still believes in democracy in the USA has his head in the sand (or someplace a lot smellier). ..."
"... The corruption in the USA is wide and deep and trump is NOT draining the swamp. ..."
"... A further point: the Mueller report insinuates that G2.0 had transferred the DNC emails to Wikileaks as of July 18th, and Wikileaks then published them on July 22nd. This is absurd for two reasons: There is no way in hell that Wikileaks could have processed the entire volume of those emails and attachments to insure their complete authenticity in 4 days. ..."
"... Indeed, when Crowdstrike's Shawn Henry had been chief of counterintelligence under Robert Mueller, he had tried to set Assange up by sending Wikileaks fraudulent material; fortunately, Wikileaks was too careful to take the bait. ..."
May 24, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Daniel P , May 23, 2020 at 13:34

Fascinating, important and ultimately deeply disturbing. This is why I come to Consortium News.

With the entirety of Russigate finally collapsing under the enormous weight and stench of its own BS, the picture that is beginning to emerge for me is one of an insider deep-state psy-op designed to cover for the crimes committed by the DNC, the Clinton Foundation and the 2016 Hillary campaign; kill for the foreseeable future any progressive threat to the neo-liberal world order; and take down a president that the bipartisan DC and corporate media elite fear and loathe. And why do they fear him? Because he is free to call them out on certain aspects of their criminality and corruption, and has.

Hubris, cynicism and a basic belief in the stupidity of the US public all seem to have played a part in all this, enabled by a corporate media with a profit motive and a business model that depends on duping the masses.

Anonymous , May 22, 2020 at 12:01

These convos alone look like a script kiddie on IRC doing their low functioning version of sock puppetry. Didn't know anyone at all fell for that

Ash , May 22, 2020 at 17:21

Because smooth liars in expensive suits told them it was true in their authoritative TV voices? Sadly they don't even really need to try hard anymore, as people will evidently believe anything they're told.

Bob Herrschaft , May 22, 2020 at 12:00

The article goes a long way toward congealing evidence that Guccifer 2.0 was a shill meant to implicate Wikileaks in a Russian hack. The insinuation about Assange's Russian connection was over the top if Guccifer 2.0 was supposed to be a GRU agent and the mention of Seth Rich only contradicts his claims.

OlyaPola , May 22, 2020 at 10:40

Spectacles are popular.Although less popular, the framing and derivations of plausible belief are of more significance; hence the cloak of plausible denial over under-garments of plausible belief, in facilitation of revolutions of immersion in spectacles facilitating spectacles' popularity.

Some promoters of spectacles believe that the benefits of spectacles accrue solely to themselves, and when expectations appear to vary from outcomes, they resort to one-trick-ponyness illuminated by peering in the mirror.

Skip Scott , May 22, 2020 at 08:35

This is a great article. I think the most obvious conclusion is that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation to smear wikileaks and distract from the CONTENT of the DNC emails. The MSM spent the next 3 years obsessed by RussiaGate, and spent virtually no effort on the DNC and Hillary's collusion in subverting the Sander's campaign, among other crimes.

I think back to how many of my friends were obsessed with Rachel Madcow during this period, and how she and the rest of the MSM served the Empire with their propaganda campaign. Meanwhile, Julian is still in Belmarsh as the head of a "non-state hostile intelligence service," the Hillary camp still runs the DNC and successfully sabotaged Bernie yet again (along with Tulsi), and the public gets to choose between corporate sponsored warmonger from column A or B in 2020.

Anyone who still believes in democracy in the USA has his head in the sand (or someplace a lot smellier).

Guy , May 22, 2020 at 12:19

Totally agree .The corruption in the USA is wide and deep and trump is NOT draining the swamp.

Cal Lash , May 22, 2020 at 01:20

I take it the mentioned time zones are consistent with Langley.

treeinanotherlife , May 22, 2020 at 00:34

"Are there only HRC emails? Or some other docs? Are there any DNC docs?"

G2 is fishing to see if Wiki has DNC docs. Does not say "any DNC docs I sent you". And like most at time thought Assange's "related to hillary" phrase likely (hopefully for some) meant Hillary's missing private server emails. For certain G2 is not an FBI agent>s/he knows difference between HRC and DNC emails.

Thank you for fantastic work.

Mark McCarty , May 21, 2020 at 22:24

A further point: the Mueller report insinuates that G2.0 had transferred the DNC emails to Wikileaks as of July 18th, and Wikileaks then published them on July 22nd. This is absurd for two reasons: There is no way in hell that Wikileaks could have processed the entire volume of those emails and attachments to insure their complete authenticity in 4 days.

Indeed, it is reasonable to expect that Wikileaks had been processing those emails since at least June 12, when Assange announced their impending publication. (I recall waiting expectantly for a number of weeks as Wikileaks processed the Podesta emails.) Wikileaks was well aware that, if a single one of the DNC emails they released had been proved to have been fraudulent, their reputation would have been toast. Indeed, when Crowdstrike's Shawn Henry had been chief of counterintelligence under Robert Mueller, he had tried to set Assange up by sending Wikileaks fraudulent material; fortunately, Wikileaks was too careful to take the bait.

Secondly, it is inconceivable that a journalist as careful as Julian would, on June 12th, have announced the impending publication of documents he hadn't even seen yet. And of course there is no record of G2.0 having had any contact with Wikileaks prior to that date.

It is a great pleasure to see "Adam Carter"'s work at long last appear in such a distinguished venue as Consortium News. It does credit to them both.

Skip Edwards , May 22, 2020 at 12:33

How can we expect justice when there is no justification for what is being done by the US and British governments to Julian Assange!

[May 24, 2020] Guccifer 2.0's Hidden Agenda

Highly recommended!
Images deleted.
False flag operation by CIA or CrowdStrike as CIA constructor: CIA ears protrude above Gussifer 2.0 hat.
Notable quotes:
"... Guccifer 2.0 fabricated evidence to claim credit for hacking the DNC (using files that were really Podesta attachments) . ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0’s Russian breadcrumbs mostly came from deliberate processes & needless editing of documents . ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0’s Russian communications signals came from the persona choosing to use a proxy server in Moscow and choosing to use a Russian VPN service as end-points (and they used an email service that forwards the sender’s IP address, which made identifying that signal a relatively trivial task.) ..."
"... A considerable volume of evidence pointed at Guccifer 2.0’s activities being in American timezones (twice as many types of indicators were found pointing at Guccifer 2.0’s activities being in American timezones than anywhere else). ..."
"... The American timezones were incidental to other activities (eg. blogging , social media , emailing a journalist , archiving files , etc) and some of these were recorded independently by service providers. ..."
"... A couple of pieces of evidence with Russian indicators present had accompanying locale indicators that contradicted this which suggested the devices used hadn’t been properly set up for use in Russia (or Romania) but may have been suitable for other countries (including America) . ..."
"... On the same day that Guccifer 2.0 was plastering Russian breadcrumbs on documents through a deliberate process, choosing to use Russian-themed end-points and fabricating evidence to claim credit for hacking the DNC, the operation attributed itself to WikiLeaks. ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0 chose to use insecure communications to ask WikiLeaks to confirm receipt of “DNC emails” on July 6, 2016. Confirmation of this was not provided at that time but WikiLeaks did confirm receipt of a “1gb or so” archive on July 18, 2016. ..."
"... The alleged GRU officer we are told was part of an operation to deflect from Russian culpability suggested that Assange “may be connected with Russians”. ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0 fabricated evidence to claim credit for hacking the DNC, covered itself (and its files) in what were essentially a collection of “Made In Russia” labels through deliberate processes and decisions made by the persona, and, then, it attributed itself to WikiLeaks with a claim that was contradicted by subsequent communications between both parties. ..."
"... While we are expected to accept that Guccifer 2.0’s efforts between July 6 and July 18 were a sincere effort to get leaks to WikiLeaks, considering everything we now know about the persona, it seems fair to question whether Guccifer 2.0’s intentions towards WikiLeaks may have instead been malicious. ..."
"... Guccifer 2.0 was always John Brennan 1.0 ..."
"... Was Guccifer II part of the Stefan Halper organization that lured Papadopoulos and maliciously maligned others? ..."
"... I believe Guccifer 2.0 was created by the CIA to falsely pin blame on the Russians for info that Seth Rich gave to WikiLeaks. Read for yourself: http://g-2.space/ ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Tim Leonard via ConsortiumNews.com,

Why would an alleged GRU officer - supposedly part of an operation to deflect Russian culpability - suggest that Assange “may be connected with Russians?”

In December, I reported on digital forensics evidence relating to Guccifer 2.0 and highlighted several key points about the mysterious persona that Special Counsel Robert Mueller claims was a front for Russian intelligence to leak Democratic Party emails to WikiLeaks:

On the same day that Guccifer 2.0 was plastering Russian breadcrumbs on documents through a deliberate process, choosing to use Russian-themed end-points and fabricating evidence to claim credit for hacking the DNC, the operation attributed itself to WikiLeaks.

This article questions what Guccifer 2.0’s intentions were in relation to WikiLeaks in the context of what has been discovered by independent researchers during the past three years.

Timing

On June 12, 2016, in an interview with ITV’s Robert Peston, Julian Assange confirmed that WikiLeaks had emails relating to Hillary Clinton that the organization intended to publish. This announcement was prior to any reported contact with Guccifer 2.0 (or with DCLeaks).

On June 14, 2016, an article was published in The Washington Post citing statements from two CrowdStrike executives alleging that Russian intelligence hacked the DNC and stole opposition research on Trump. It was apparent that the statements had been made in the 48 hours prior to publication as they referenced claims of kicking hackers off the DNC network on the weekend just passed (June 11-12, 2016).

On that same date, June 14, DCLeaks contacted WikiLeaks via Twitter DM and for some reason suggested that both parties coordinate their releases of leaks. (It doesn’t appear that WikiLeaks responded until September 2016).

On June 15, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 appeared for the first time. He fabricated evidence to claim credit for hacking the DNC (using material that wasn’t from the DNC), used a proxy in Moscow to carry out searches (for mostly English language terms including a grammatically incorrect and uncommon phrase that the persona would use in its first blog post) and used a Russian VPN service to share the fabricated evidence with reporters. All of this combined conveniently to provide false corroboration for several claims made by CrowdStrike executives that were published just one day earlier in The Washington Post.

[CrowdStrike President Shawn Henry testified under oath behind closed doors on Dec. 5, 2017 to the U.S. House intelligence committee that his company had no evidence that Russian actors removed anything from the DNC servers. This testimony was only released earlier this month.]

First Claim Versus First Contact

On the day it emerged, the Guccifer 2.0 operation stated that it had given material to WikiLeaks and asserted that the organization would publish that material soon:

By stating that WikiLeaks would “publish them soon” the Guccifer 2.0 operation implied that it had received confirmation of intent to publish.

However, the earliest recorded communication between Guccifer 2.0 and WikiLeaks didn’t occur until a week later (June 22, 2016) when WikiLeaks reached out to Guccifer 2.0 and suggested that the persona send any new material to them rather than doing what it was doing:

[Excerpt from Special Counsel Mueller’s report. Note: “stolen from the DNC” is an editorial insert by the special counsel.]

If WikiLeaks had already received material and confirmed intent to publish prior to this direct message, why would they then suggest what they did when they did? WikiLeaks says it had no prior contact with Guccifer 2.0 despite what Guccifer 2.0 had claimed.

Needing To Know What WikiLeaks Had

Fortunately, information that gives more insight into communications on June 22, 2016 was made available on April 29, 2020 via a release of the Roger Stone arrest warrant application.

Here is the full conversation on that date (according to the application):

@WikiLeaks: Do you have secure communications?

@WikiLeaks: Send any new material here for us to review and it will have a much higher impact than what you are doing. No other media will release the full material.

@GUCCIFER_2: what can u suggest for a secure connection? Soft, keys, etc? I’m ready to cooperate with you, but I need to know what’s in your archive 80gb? Are there only HRC emails? Or some other docs? Are there any DNC docs? If it’s not secret when you are going to release it?

@WikiLeaks: You can send us a message in a .txt file here [link redacted]

@GUCCIFER_2: do you have GPG?

Why would Guccifer 2.0 need to know what material WikiLeaks already had? Certainly, if it were anything Guccifer 2.0 had sent (or the GRU had sent) he wouldn’t have had reason to inquire.

The more complete DM details provided here also suggest that both parties had not yet established secure communications.

Further communications were reported to have taken place on June 24, 2016:

@GUCCIFER_2: How can we chat? Do u have jabber or something like that?

@WikiLeaks: Yes, we have everything. We’ve been busy celebrating Brexit. You can also email an encrypted message to office@wikileaks.org. They key is here.

and June 27, 2016:

@GUCCIFER_2: Hi, i’ve just sent you an email with a text message encrypted and an open key.

@WikiLeaks: Thanks.

@GUCCIFER_2: waiting for ur response. I send u some interesting piece.

Guccifer 2.0 said he needed to know what was in the 88GB ‘insurance’ archive that WikiLeaks had posted on June 16, 2016 and it’s clear that, at this stage, secure communications had not been established between both parties (which would seem to rule out the possibility of encrypted communications prior to June 15, 2016, making Guccifer 2.0’s initial claims about WikiLeaks even more doubtful).

Claims DCLeaks Is A Sub-Project Of WikiLeaks

On June 27, 2016, in an email chain to the Smoking Gun (exposing Guccifer 2.0 apparently being in the Central US timezone), Guccifer 2.0 claimed that DCLeaks was a “sub-project” of WikiLeaks.

There’s no evidence to support this. “Envoy le” is also a mistake as standard French emails read: “Envoye le.” Claims allegedly made by Guccifer 2.0 in a Twitter DM to DCLeaks on September 15, 2016 suggest that he knew this was nonsense:

There was no evidence of WikiLeaks mentioning this to Guccifer 2.0 nor any reason for why WikiLeaks couldn’t just send a DM to DCLeaks themselves if they had wanted to.

(It should also be noted that this Twitter DM activity between DCLeaks and Guccifer 2.0 is alleged by Mueller to be communications between officers within the same unit of the GRU, who, for some unknown reason, decided to use Twitter DMs to relay such information rather than just communicate face to face or securely via their own local network.)

Guccifer 2.0 lied about DCLeaks being a sub-project of WikiLeaks and then, over two months later, was seen trying to encourage DCLeaks to communicate with WikiLeaks by relaying an alleged request from WikiLeaks that there is no record of WikiLeaks ever making (and which WikiLeaks could have done themselves, directly, if they had wanted to).

The ‘About 1GB’ / ‘1Gb or So’ Archive

On July 4, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 contacted WikiLeaks:

@GUCCIFER_2: hi there, check up r email, waiting for reply.

This was followed up on July 6, 2016 with the following conversation:

@GUCCIFER_2: have you received my parcel?

@WikiLeaks: Not unless it was very recent. [we haven’ t checked in 24h].

@GUCCIFER_2: I sent it yesterday, an archive of about 1 gb. via [website link]. and check your email.

@WikiLeaks: Wil[l] check, thanks.

@GUCCIFER_2: let me know the results.

@WikiLeaks: Please don’t make anything you send to us public. It’s a lot of work to go through it and the impact is severely reduced if we are not the first to publish.

@GUCCIFER_2: agreed. How much time will it take?

@WikiLeaks: likely sometime today.

@GUCCIFER_2: will u announce a publication? and what about 3 docs sent u earlier?

@WikiLeaks: I don’t believe we received them. Nothing on ‘Brexit’ for example.

@GUCCIFER_2: wow. have you checked ur mail?

@WikiLeaks: At least not as of 4 days ago . . . . For security reasons mail cannot be checked for some hours.

@GUCCIFER_2: fuck, sent 4 docs on brexit on jun 29, an archive in gpg ur submission form is too fucking slow, spent the whole day uploading 1 gb.

@WikiLeaks: We can arrange servers 100x as fast. The speed restrictions are to anonymise the path. Just ask for custom fast upload point in an email.

@GUCCIFER_2: will u be able to check ur email?

@WikiLeaks: We’re best with very large data sets. e.g. 200gb. these prove themselves since they’re too big to fake.

@GUCCIFER_2: or shall I send brexit docs via submission once again?

@WikiLeaks: to be safe, send via [web link]

@GUCCIFER_2: can u confirm u received dnc emails?

@WikiLeaks: for security reasons we can’ t confirm what we’ve received here. e.g., in case your account has been taken over by us intelligence and is probing to see what we have.

@GUCCIFER_2: then send me an encrypted email.

@WikiLeaks: we can do that. but the security people are in another time zone so it will need to wait some hours.

@WikiLeaks: what do you think about the FBl’ s failure to charge? To our mind the clinton foundation investigation has always been the more serious. we would be very interested in all the emails/docs from there. She set up quite a lot of front companies. e.g in sweden.

@GUCCIFER_2: ok, i’ll be waiting for confirmation. as for investigation, they have everything settled, or else I don’t know how to explain that they found a hundred classified docs but fail to charge her.

@WikiLeaks: She’s too powerful to charge at least without something stronger. s far as we know, the investigation into the clinton foundation remains open e hear the FBI are unhappy with Loretta Lynch over meeting Bill, because he’s a target in that investigation.

@GUCCIFER_2: do you have any info about marcel lazar? There’ve been a lot of rumors of late.

@WikiLeaks: the death? [A] fake story.

@WikiLeaks: His 2013 screen shots of Max Blumenthal’s inbox prove that Hillary secretly deleted at least one email about Libya that was meant to be handed over to Congress. So we were very interested in his co-operation with the FBI.

@GUCCIFER_2: some dirty games behind the scenes believe Can you send me an email now?

@WikiLeaks: No; we have not been able to activate the people who handle it. Still trying.

@GUCCIFER_2: what about tor submission? [W]ill u receive a doc now?

@WikiLeaks: We will get everything sent on [weblink].” [A]s long as you see \”upload succseful\” at the end. [I]f you have anything hillary related we want it in the next tweo [sic] days prefable [sic] because the DNC is approaching and she will solidify bernie supporters behind her after.

@GUCCIFER_2: ok. I see.

@WikiLeaks: [W]e think the public interest is greatest now and in early october.

@GUCCIFER_2: do u think a lot of people will attend bernie fans rally in philly? Will it affect the dnc anyhow?

@WikiLeaks: bernie is trying to make his own faction leading up to the DNC. [S]o he can push for concessions (positions/policies) or, at the outside, if hillary has a stroke, is arrested etc, he can take over the nomination. [T]he question is this: can bemies supporters+staff keep their coherency until then (and after). [O]r will they dis[s]olve into hillary’ s camp? [P]resently many of them are looking to damage hilary [sic] inorder [sic] to increase their unity and bargaining power at the DNC. Doubt one rally is going to be that significant in the bigger scheme. [I]t seems many of them will vote for hillary just to prevent trump from winning.

@GUCCIFER_2: sent brexit docs successfully.

@WikiLeaks: :))).

@WikiLeaks: we think trump has only about a 25% chance of winning against hillary so conflict between bernie and hillary is interesting.

@GUCCIFER_2: so it is.

@WikiLeaks: also, it’ s important to consider what type of president hillary might be. If bernie and trump retain their groups past 2016 in significant number, then they are a restraining force on hillary.

[Note: This was over a week after the Brexit referendum had taken place, so this will not have had any impact on the results of that. It also doesn’t appear that WikiLeaks released any Brexit content around this time.]

On July 14, 2016, Guccifer 2.0 sent an email to WikiLeaks, this was covered in the Mueller report:

It should be noted that while the attachment sent was encrypted, the email wasn’t and both the email contents and name of the file were readable.

The persona then opted, once again, for insecure communications via Twitter DMs:

@GUCCIFER_2: ping. Check ur email. sent u a link to a big archive and a pass.

@WikiLeaks: great, thanks; can’t check until tomorrow though.

On July 17, 2016, the persona contacted WikiLeaks again:

@GUCCIFER_2: what bout now?

On July 18, 2016, WikiLeaks responded and more was discussed:

@WikiLeaks: have the 1 Gb or so archive.

@GUCCIFER_2: have u managed to extract the files?

@WikiLeaks: yes. turkey coup has delayed us a couple of days. [O]therwise all ready[.]

@GUCCIFER_2: so when r u about to make a release?

@WikiLeaks: this week. [D]o you have any bigger datasets? [D]id you get our fast transfer details?

@GUCCIFER_2: i’ll check it. did u send it via email?

@WikiLeaks: yes.

@GUCCIFER_2: to [web link]. [I] got nothing.

@WikiLeaks: check your other mail? this was over a week ago.

@GUCCIFER_2:oh, that one, yeah, [I] got it.

@WikiLeaks: great. [D]id it work?

@GUCCIFER_2:[I] haven’ t tried yet.

@WikiLeaks: Oh. We arranged that server just for that purpose. Nothing bigger?

@GUCCIFER_2: let’s move step by step, u have released nothing of what [I] sent u yet.

@WikiLeaks: How about you transfer it all to us encrypted. [T]hen when you are happy, you give us the decrypt key. [T]his way we can move much faster. (A]lso it is protective for you if we already have everything because then there is no point in trying to shut you up.

@GUCCIFER_2: ok, i’ll ponder it

Again, we see a reference to the file being approximately one gigabyte in size.

Guccifer 2.0’s “so when r u about to make a release?” seems to be a question about his files. However, it could have been inferred as generally relating to what WikiLeaks had or even material relating to the “Turkey Coup” that WikiLeaks had mentioned in the previous sentence and that were published by the following day (July 19, 2016).

The way this is reported in the Mueller report, though, prevented this potential ambiguity being known (by not citing the exact question that Guccifer 2.0 had asked and the context immediately preceding it.

Four days later, WikiLeaks published the DNC emails.

Later that same day, Guccifer 2.0 tweeted: “@wikileaks published #DNCHack docs I’d given them!!!”.

Guccifer 2.0 chose to use insecure communications to ask WikiLeaks to confirm receipt of “DNC emails” on July 6, 2016. Confirmation of this was not provided at that time but WikiLeaks did confirm receipt of a “1gb or so” archive on July 18, 2016.

Guccifer 2.0’s emails to WikiLeaks were also sent insecurely.

We cannot be certain that WikiLeaks statement about making a release was in relation to Guccifer 2.0’s material and there is even a possibility that this could have been in reference to the Erdogan leaks published by WikiLeaks on July 19, 2016.

Ulterior Motives?

While the above seems troubling there are a few points worth considering:

Considering all of this and the fact Guccifer 2.0 effectively covered itself in “Made In Russia” labels (by plastering files in Russian metadata and choosing to use a Russian VPN service and a proxy in Moscow for it’s activities) on the same day it first attributed itself to WikiLeaks, it’s fair to suspect that Guccifer 2.0 had malicious intent towards WikiLeaks from the outset.

If this was the case, Guccifer 2.0 may have known about the DNC emails by June 30, 2016 as this is when the persona first started publishing attachments from those emails.

Seth Rich Mentioned By Both Parties

WikiLeaks Offers Reward

On August 9, 2016, WikiLeaks tweeted:

ANNOUNCE: WikiLeaks has decided to issue a US$20k reward for information leading to conviction for the murder of DNC staffer Seth Rich.

— WikiLeaks (@wikileaks) August 9, 2016

In an interview with Nieuwsuur that was posted the same day, Julian Assange explained that the reward was for a DNC staffer who he said had been “shot in the back, murdered”. When the interviewer suggested it was a robbery Assange disputed it and stated that there were no findings.

When the interviewer asked if Seth Rich was a source, Assange stated, “We don’t comment on who our sources are”.

When pressed to explain WikiLeaks actions, Assange stated that the reward was being offered because WikiLeaks‘ sources were concerned by the incident. He also stated that WikiLeaks were investigating.

Speculation and theories about Seth Rich being a source for WikiLeaks soon propagated to several sites and across social media.

Guccifer 2.0 Claims Seth Rich As His Source

On August 25, 2016, approximately three weeks after the reward was offered, Julian Assange was due to be interviewed on Fox News on the topic of Seth Rich.

On that same day, in a DM conversation with the actress Robbin Young, Guccifer 2.0 claimed that Seth was his source (despite previously claiming he obtained his material by hacking the DNC).

Why did Guccifer 2.0 feel the need to attribute itself to Seth at this time?

[Note: I am not advocating for any theory and am simply reporting on Guccifer 2.0’s effort to attribute itself to Seth Rich following the propagation of Rich-WikiLeaks association theories online.]

Special Counsel Claims

In Spring, 2019, Special Counsel Robert Mueller, who was named to investigate Russian interference in the 2016 U.S. general election, delivered his final report.

It claimed:

Guccifer 2.0 contradicted his own hacking claims to allege that Seth Rich was his source and did so on the same day that Julian Assange was due to be interviewed by Fox News (in relation to Seth Rich).

No communications between Guccifer 2.0 and Seth Rich have ever been reported.

Suggesting Assange Connected To Russians

In the same conversation Guccifer 2.0 had with Robbin Young where Rich’s name is mentioned (on August 25, 2016), the persona also provided a very interesting response to Young mentioning “Julian” (in reference to Julian Assange):

The alleged GRU officer we are told was part of an operation to deflect from Russian culpability suggested that Assange “may be connected with Russians”.

Guccifer 2.0’s Mentions of WikiLeaks and Assange

Guccifer 2.0 mentioned WikiLeaks or associated himself with their output on several occasions:

  1. June 15, 2016: claiming to have sent WikiLeaks material on his blog.
  2. June 27, 2016: when he claimed DCLeaks was a sub-project of WikiLeaks.
  3. July 13, 2016: Joe Uchill of The Hill reported that Guccifer 2.0 had contacted the publication and stated: “The press gradually forget about me, [W]ikileaks is playing for time and have some more docs.”
  4. July 22nd, 2016: claimed credit when WikiLeaks published the DNC leaks.
  5. August 12, 2016: It was reported in The Hill that Guccifer 2.0 had released material to the publication. They reported: “The documents released to The Hill are only the first section of a much larger cache. The bulk, the hacker said, will be released on WikiLeaks.”
  6. August 12, 2016: Tweeted that he would “send the major trove of the #DCCC materials and emails to #wikileaks“.
  7. September 15, 2016: telling DCLeaks that WikiLeaks wanted to get in contact with them.
  8. October 4, 2016: Congratulating WikiLeaks on their 10th anniversary via its blog. Also states: “Julian, you are really cool! Stay safe and sound!”. (This was the same day on which Guccifer 2.0 published his “Clinton Foundation” files that were clearly not from the Clinton Foundation.)
  9. October 17, 2016: via Twitter, stating “i’m here and ready for new releases. already changed my location thanks @wikileaks for a good job!”

Guccifer 2.0 also made some statements in response to WikiLeaks or Assange being mentioned:

  1. June 17, 2016: in response to The Smoking Gun asking if Assange would publish the same material it was publishing, Guccifer 2.0 stated: “I gave WikiLeaks the greater part of the files, but saved some for myself,”
  2. August 22, 2016: in response to Raphael Satter suggesting that Guccifer 2.0 send leaks to WikiLeaks, the persona stated: “I gave wikileaks a greater part of docs”.
  3. August 25, 2016: in response to Julian Assange’s name being mentioned in a conversation with Robbin Young, Guccifer 2.0 stated: “he may be connected with Russians”.
  4. October 18, 2016: a BBC reported asked Guccifer 2.0 if he was upset that WikiLeaks had “stole his thunder” and “do you still support Assange?”. Guccifer 2.0 responded: “i’m glad, together we’ll make America great again.”.

Guccifer 2.0 fabricated evidence to claim credit for hacking the DNC, covered itself (and its files) in what were essentially a collection of “Made In Russia” labels through deliberate processes and decisions made by the persona, and, then, it attributed itself to WikiLeaks with a claim that was contradicted by subsequent communications between both parties.

Guccifer 2.0 then went on to lie about WikiLeaks, contradicted its own hacking claims to attribute itself to Seth Rich and even alleged that Julian Assange “may be connected with Russians”.

While we are expected to accept that Guccifer 2.0’s efforts between July 6 and July 18 were a sincere effort to get leaks to WikiLeaks, considering everything we now know about the persona, it seems fair to question whether Guccifer 2.0’s intentions towards WikiLeaks may have instead been malicious.


xxx 2 minutes ago (Edited)

Everything involving the Russian hoax was set up by the Deep States around the world. Implicate, discredit and destroy all those like Rich, Assange, Flynn and those who knew the truth. Kill the messenger....literally.

xxx 10 minutes ago

here's what really happened:

an American hacker breached Podesta's gmail on March 13 2016 and then uploaded it to Wikileaks via Tor sometime between April and May.

the NSA and CIA have hacked into Wikileaks' Tor file server to watch for new leaks to stay ahead of them to prepare. they saw Podesta's emails leaked and launched a counter infowar operation.

Brennan's CIA created the Guccifer 2.0 persona, with phony Russian metadata artifacts, using digital forgery techniques seen in Vault7. Crowdstrike was already on the premises of DNC since 2015, with their overly expensive security scanner watching the DNC network. Crowdstrike had access to any DNC files they wanted. CIA, FBI and Crowdstrike colluded to create a fake leak of DNC docs through their Guccifer 2.0 cutout. they didn't leak any docs of high importance, which is why we never saw any smoking guns from DNC leaks or DCLeaks.

you have to remember, the whole point of this CIAFBINSA operation has nothing to do with Hillary or Trump or influencing the election. the point was to fabricate criminal evidence to use against Assange to finally arrest him and extradite him as well as smear Wikileaks ahead of the looming leak of Podesta's emails.

if CIAFBINSA can frame Assange and Wikileaks as being criminal hackers and/or Russian assets ahead of the Podesta leaks, then they can craft a narrative for the MSM to ignore or distrust most of the Podesta emails. and that is exactly what happened, such as when Chris Cuomo said on CNN that it was illegal for you to read Wikileaks, but not CNN, so you should let CNN tell you what to think about Wikileaks instead of looking at evidence yourself.

this explains why Guccifer 2.0 was so sloppy leaving a trail of Twitter DMs to incriminate himself and Assange along with him.

if this CIAFBINSA entrapment/frame operation ever leaks, it will guarantee the freedom of Assange.

xxx 11 minutes ago

According to Wikipedia, "Guccifer" is Marcel Lazar Lehel, a Rumanian born in 1972, but "Guccifer 2.0" is someone else entirely.

Is that so?

xxx 20 minutes ago (Edited)

The guy from Cyrptome always asserted Assange was some type of deep state puppet, that he was connected somehow. This wouldn't be news to me and its probably why he was scared as hell. The guy is as good as dead, like S. Hussein. Seth Rich was just a puppet that got caught in the wrong game. He was expendable obviously too because well he had a big mouth, he was expendable from the beginning. Somebody mapped this whole **** out, thats for sure.

xxx 28 minutes ago

I am sick and tired of these Deep State and CIA-linked operations trying to put a wrench in the prosecution of people who were engaged in a coup d'etat.

xxx 29 minutes ago

********

xxx 33 minutes ago

At this point what difference does it make? We are all convinced since 2016. It is not going to convince the TDS cases roaming the wilderness.

No arrests, no subpoenas, no warrants, no barging in at 3 am, no perp walks, no tv glare...

Pres. Trump is playing a very risky game. Arrest now, or regret later. And you won't have much time to regret.

The swamp is dark, smelly and deep,

And it has grudges to keep.

xxx 37 minutes ago

Meanwhile- Guccifer 1.0 is still?

- In prison?

- Released?

- 48 month sentence in 2016. Obv no good behavior.

Nice article. Brennan is the dolt he appears.

xxx 41 minutes ago

+1,000 on the investigative work and analyzing it.

Sadly, none of the guilty are in jail. Instead. Assange sits there rotting away.

xxx 44 minutes ago

Why would an alleged GRU officer - supposedly part of an operation to deflect Russian culpability - suggest that Assange "may be connected with Russians?"

Because the AXIS powers of the CIA, Brit secret police and Israeli secret police pay for the campaign to tie Assange to the Russians...

xxx 45 minutes ago

@realDonaldTrump

A lot of interest in this story about Psycho Joe Scarborough. So a young marathon runner just happened to faint in his office, hit her head on his desk, & die? I would think there is a lot more to this story than that? An affair? What about the so-called investigator? Read story!

xxx 45 minutes ago

Why make it harder than it is? Guccifer II = Crowdstrike

xxx 51 minutes ago

Guccifer 2.0 was always John Brennan 1.0

xxx 58 minutes ago (Edited)

Was Guccifer II part of the Stefan Halper organization that lured Papadopoulos and maliciously maligned others?

xxx 1 hour ago

"His name was Seth Rich." The unofficial motto of ZeroHedge...

xxx 1 hour ago

James Guccifer Clapper.

xxx 1 hour ago

Mossad. And their subsidiary CIA.

xxx 1 hour ago

Crowd Strike CEO'S admission under oath that they had no evidence the DNC was hacked by the Russians should make the Russian Hoax predicate abundantly clear.

Justice for Seth Rich!

xxx 1 hour ago

Any influence Assange had on the election was so small that it wouldn't move the needle either way. The real influence and election tampering in the US has always come from the scores of lobbyists and their massive donations that fund the candidates election runs coupled with the wildly inaccurate and agenda driven collusive effort by the MSM. Anyone pointing fingers at the Russians is beyond blind to the unparalleled influence and power these entities have on swaying American minds.

xxx 1 hour ago

ObamaGate.

xxx 1 hour ago (Edited)

Uugh ONCE AGAIN... 4chan already proved guccifer 2.0 was a larp, and the files were not "hacked", they were leaked by Seth Rich. The metadata from the guccifer files is different from the metadata that came from the seth rich files. The dumb fuckers thought they were smart by modifying the author name of the files to make it look like it came from a russian source. They were so ******* inept, they must have forgot (or not have known) to modify the unique 16 digit hex key assigned to the author of the files when they were created..... The ones that seth rich copied had the system administrators name (Warren Flood) as the author and the 16 digit hex key from both file sources were the same - the one assigned to warren flood.

Really sloppy larp!!!

xxx 1 hour ago

This link has all the detail to show Guccifer 2.0 was not Russia. I believe Guccifer 2.0 was created by the CIA to falsely pin blame on the Russians for info that Seth Rich gave to WikiLeaks. Read for yourself: http://g-2.space/

xxx 1 hour ago

This is what people are. Now the species has more power than it can control and that it knows what to do with.

What do you think the result will be?

As for these games of Secret - it's more game than anything truly significant. The significant exists in the bunkers, with the mobile units, in the submarines. Et. al.

But this is a game in which some of the players die - or wish they were dead.

xxx 1 hour ago

And.....?

Public figures and political parties warrant public scrutiny. And didn't his expose in their own words expose the democrats, the mass media, the bureaucracy to the corrupt frauds that they are?

xxx 1 hour ago

Other than the fact that they didn't steal the emails (unless you believe whistleblowers are thief's, one mans source is another mans thief, it's all about who's ox is being gored and you love "leaks" don't you? As long as they work in your favor. Stop with the piety.

xxx 15 minutes ago

That's not the story at all. Did you just read this article?

The democrats were super duper corrupt (before all of this).

They fucked around to ice Bernie out of the primary.

A young staffer Seth Rich knew it and didn't like it. He made the decision to leak the info to the most reputable org for leaks in the world Wikileaks.

IF the DNC had been playing fair, Seth Rich wouldn't have felt the need to leak.

So, the democrats did it to themselves.

And then they created Russiagate to cover it all up.

And murdered a young brave man ... as we know.

xxx 1 hour ago

Assange, another problem Trump failed to fix.

xxx 1 hour ago

Sounds like it came from the same source as the Trump dossier ... MI5.

[May 24, 2020] As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse

Kissinger laid out the transition plan in 2014 in his WSJ Op-Ed: Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order . USA Deep State are not the complete idiots that some want to make them seem.
China is still very vulnerable and the USA has multiple levers to force it to suffer.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kurt Zumdieck , May 22 2020 18:24 utc | 4
If Washington lured the Soviet Union into it's demise in Afghanistan, which left that minor empire in shambles - socially, militarily, economically - it was the nuclear conflagration at Chernobyl that put the corpse in the ground.....

(Watch the GREAT HBO five-part tragedy on it and you will see that the brutally heroic response of the Soviets, that saved the Western World at least temporarily, but is the portrait of self-sacrifice)

What was lost in the Soviets fumbling immediate post-explosion cover-up was the trust of their Eastern European satellite countries. That doomed that empire. So much military might was given up in Afghanistan, then on Chernobyl, it was not clear if the Soviets had the wherewithal to put down the rebellions that spread from Czechoslovakia to East Germany and beyond.

Covid-19 will do the same to the American Empire.

As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse.

Loss of trust by the many craven satellites, in America's fractured response, to Covid-19 will put the final nail in its coffin.

A hot-shooting War may come next, but the empire cannot win it.


William Gruff , May 23 2020 14:25 utc | 79

"I will believe my eyes." --oldhippie @76

It would be nice if that were so, but it is very unlikely.

"So tired of reading propaganda."

Is that why you regurgitate it onto forums? Kinda like purging the system, eh?

If you are going to be judging China's economic health by their pollution levels then in the future you will find yourself convinced that they have never recovered, even when it becomes inescapably obvious that they have. The fact is that China's pollution levels are never going back to 2019 levels, but that has nothing to do with their economic health.

It really never ceases to amaze me how deeply rooted and pervasive the delusions and sense of exceptionality is in America. It is woven into the thinking, from the lowest levels to the very top of their thoughts, of even the very most intelligent Americans. It is apparently a phenomenon that operates at an even deeper level than mass media brainwashing, as it seems it was just as much a problem in every empire in history. That is, I am sure citizens of the Roman Empire had the same blinding biases embedded deep below their consciousness. I guess Marx was entirely correct to say that consciousness arises from material conditions, and being citizen of an empire must be one of those material conditions that gives rise to this all-pervasive and unconscious sense of exceptionality.

oldhippie , May 23 2020 11:47 utc | 71
Go over to EOSDIS Worldview and take a look at satellite photos of China. Simple toggle in lower left hand corner will take you to photos of same day, earlier years. Or any day in satellite record.

The skies over China are clear. Chinese industry is not back at work. It may be that China at 50% or even at 20% is a manufacturing powerhouse compared to a crumbling US. But until China is back at work the thread so far is about the historical situation six months ago.

Xi used to do elaborately staged state appearances with well planned camera angles, fabulous lighting, pomp and circumstance. He enjoyed the trappings of power and knew how to use the trappings of power. Hasn't done that kind of state appearance since January.

Paul , May 23 2020 12:47 utc | 72
The Empire has no respect for international agreements, laws or anything that interferes with maintaining US global hegemony.
lizzie dw , May 23 2020 12:55 utc | 73
China and the US are so different. The citizens of China cannot vote. The population's movements are micromanaged by the government. This is not the case here (yet). And I hope it is never the case. I agree with the premise that there are those in our government who are living in a dream of the past and that is over, unless we want to destroy the world. But China's government is so repressive. The rules must be obeyed. We seem to be compliant so far of some of our government officials stepping over the bounds allowed by our Constitution, due to the fear of C-19 engendered by the deep state (aka the bsmsm). But we will not do that forever and our government cannot just start shooting big crowds of us as they can and have done in China. Theirs is all top down rule, which is not the case here. Also, although it is probably heretical to say this I am glad that the US has many cases of C-19. We will eventually get herd immunity. IMO, China can lock down as many millions of citizens as they wish; they cannot stop this virus and as time goes by they will have as many deaths and as many cases as everybody else. Well, that is off the topic of the article. In the end I agree that we are fighting weird battles we can never win and we citizens need to keep informing our government employees that we just want to trade and make money, not threaten companies and countries and lose money.

[May 23, 2020] 'Rhetorical hyperbole' and NOT FACT: Court rejects OAN suit over MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's claim about 'Russian propaganda'

Court defined Madcow as professional liar, not a news source
Notable quotes:
"... "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" ..."
"... "really literally paid Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" ..."
"... "utterly and completely false. ..."
"... "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," ..."
"... "news and opinions," ..."
"... "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." ..."
May 23, 2020 | www.rt.com
A US judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit by One America News Network against MSNBC over Rachel Maddow's claims that OAN was "literally" Russian propaganda, ruling that her segment was merely "an opinion" and "exaggeration." OAN sued the liberal talk show host and MSNBC for defamation, demanding over $10 million in damages, back in September 2019. The lawsuit was based on the July 22 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, where Maddow launched a scathing broadside against the conservative television network, labeling it "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" and "really literally paid Russian propaganda."

In the segment, Maddow cited a story by The Daily Beast's Kevin Poulsen about OAN's Kristian Rouz, who has previously contributed to Sputnik as a freelance author. Toeing the general US mainstream line on the Russian media, be it Sputnik or RT, Poulsen branded the Russian news agency "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" and said Rouz was once on its "payroll." Shortly after MSNBC's star talent peddled the claim, OAN rejected the allegations as "utterly and completely false. " The outlet, which is owned by the Herring Networks, a small California-based family company, said that it "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," with its only funding coming from the Herring family.

In their bid to win the case, Maddow herself, MSNBC, Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media did not address the accusation itself - namely, that her claim about OAN was false - but opted to invoke the First Amendment, insisting that the rant should be protected as free speech.

Siding with Maddow, the California district court defined Maddow's show as a mix of "news and opinions," concluding that the manner in which the progressive host blurted out the accusations "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." h

The court said that while Maddow "truthfully" related the story by the Daily Beast, the statement about OAN being funded by the Kremlin was her "opinion" and "exaggeration" of the said article.

While the legal trick helped Maddow to get off the hook without ever trying to defend her initial statement, conservative commentators on social media wasted no time in pointing out that dodging a payout to OAN literally meant admitting that Maddow was not, in fact, news.

[May 23, 2020] China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3

Highly recommended!
May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28

China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48).

It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

So, yes, the West still has a realistic chance of destroying China and inaugurating a new cycle of capitalist prosperity.

What happens with the "decoupling"/"Pivot to Asia" is that, in the West, there's a scatological theory [go to 10th paragraph] - of Keynesian origin - that socialism can only play "catch up" with capitalism, but never surpass it when a "toyotist phase" of technological innovation comes (this is obviously based on the USSR's case). This theory states that, if there's innovation in socialism, it is residual and by accident, and that only in capitalism is significant technological advancement possible. From this, they posit that, if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level.

If China will be able to get out of the "Toyotist Trap" that destroyed the USSR, only time will tell. Regardless, decoupling is clearly not working, and China is not showing any signs so far of slowing down. Hence Trump is now embracing a more direct approach.

As for the USA, I've put my big picture opinion about it some days ago, so I won't repeat myself. Here, it suffices to say that, yes, I believe the USA can continue to survive as an empire - even if, worst case scenario, in a "byzantine" form. To its favor, it has: 1) the third largest world population 2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely (for comparison, the USSR only had 10% of arable land, and of worse quality) 3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), plus a direct exit to the Arctic (Alaska and, de facto, Greenland and Canada) 4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea), bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks to 4) still the financial superpower 5) still a robust "real" economy - specially if compared to the micro-nations of Western Europe and East-Asia 6) a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power.

I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else. The Star-and-Stripes is still a very strong ideal to the average American, and nobody takes the idea of territory loss for real. If that happens, though, it would change my equation on the survival of the American Empire completely.

As for Hong Kong. I watched a video by the chief of the PLA last year (unfortunately, I watched it on Twitter and don't have the link with me anymore). He was very clear: Hong Kong does not present an existential threat to China. The greatest existential threat to China are, by far, Xinjiang and Tibet, followed by Taiwan and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a distant fourth place.

Those liberal clowns were never close.

[May 22, 2020] No US president who can withdraw the USA from the Forever Wars

Highly recommended!
But may be coronavirus can. Although Perfumed Princes of Pentagon and MIC with it neocon fifth column will fiercely resist.
May 22, 2020 | www.unz.com

Nikolai Vladivostok , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:21 am GMT

I've long since concluded, there is no president who can withdraw the US from the Forever Wars. Obama couldn't. Trump can't. Biden/Harris/Oprah/Gabbard/Pence won't.

There are a half-dozen permanent US policies that Americans don't get to vote on, and the Permawar is one of them.

Anon [151] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
My God, Buchanan, I am staggered by the arrogance of this column. Where in the name of all that's holy did you ever get the idea that America has the right to impose on anyone, from Afghans through to Venezuelans, your (perceived) systems of thought, values and democracy? How many American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan can even speak the local language? Understand the local customs? None!!! They swan around in their sunglasses and battle gear thinking that they are they return of the Terminator and wander why the locals absolutely hate their collective guts! It's time that you collectively learned that America is NOT the world's sheriff and that, as Benjamin Franklin said "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".
animalogic , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 7:00 am GMT
Pat is not entirely wrong -- he hints at the explanation for failure:
"As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself."
As Imperialists there has never been anything but the (Elite) "national interest".
In short, these so called "losing" wars have been wars of aggression -- ie "bad" wars. All Pat's talk of conversion, democracy etc is just so much nonsense.

swamped , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 8:14 am GMT
"While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity" although they might be better persuaded to convert to Christianity – traditional Christianity – than to embrace secular democracy and its "values".

Why would anyone want to embrace homosexuality, transgenderism, rad-feminism, opioids, prozac, inequality, broken homes, mass shootings, mountainous debt, corrupt media, puppet politicians & the rest of the filth & perversion that passes for "values" in secular democracies like America or Western Europe?

Indeed, why would anyone in these decadent countries even want to defend these venal "values", let alone try to spread them around the world like the Chinese plague?
No, "they are not trying to change us" but maybe they should.

Donald Duck , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 10:07 am GMT
As the British and French ultimately found out it costs more to run an empire than to loot it. So the long retreat ensues. One would have thought that the Americans might have learned this from history, but no! After all they were "the exceptional people, they stood taller than the others and saw further." Errrm, no they didn't. Like their forbears they got bogged down as well getting into debt which was only bailed out by their insistence that they would not convert the dollar into gold.

Human nature and stupidity has got a long track-record and it isn't going to end anytime soon.

paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
The writer, and most commenters' are still under the erroneous belief that AMerica goes to war in places then AMerica wins or loses or wastes lives or kill children. This is the saddest part of the Yankee war machine: Americans joining the Army because they think theya re joining the fight to defend the American Dream.

You-all are corporate gunmonkeys, fighting and killing and burning and bombing, not in the name of freedom or apple pie, but in the name of Gulf Oil, Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Monsanto, PHBBillington, whatever Devil Rumsfeld calls his sack of shit these days .

America has not won any war anywhere, even their civil war was mostly just clearing the land for the banks. That is because it is not America at war, she just supplies the cannon fodder. And cannons. And radiactive scrapmetal to make bullets to mow down women and children in the name of Investor Confidence.
But then, that is what your Zionist bible tells you to do, isn't it?

Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT

What Does Winning Mean in a Forever War?

Winning a war is not in the interest of the Deep State. Being at war makes the Deep State more wealthy and powerful not winning at war.

Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm GMT
@Anon

I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."

If by the US you mean most of the people you may be right. But the people in the US have no say in the actions of the US government which is controlled by psychopaths.

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm GMT
Afghanistan is hardly even a country as the average American might define one. There's really nothing to "win"; we only occupy. The infrastructure is primitive so it's not cost effective to try to take whatever natural resources they may have, if any, so there's nothing they have that we want. The Taliban were not "ousted". In the face of massive firepower they split up and scattered; they're still there. After all, the US has been negotiating with them for a peace deal of some sort hasn't it? "Democracy crusades" is just a propaganda fig leaf to bamboozle stupid Americans. It's amazing that there's people who actually believe stuff like that but PT Barnum had it right. "Eventually, we give up and go home". That's because they live there and we don't. "They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers" willing to fight and die. They don't want foreign robo-soldiers pointing guns at them in their own country. We have our own version, it's called "Remember the Alamo", men who stood their ground against the odds.
Amerimutt Golems , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT
@Anon

If a country is not willing to do that, and I would hope the United States is not willing to do that, then they (we) should go home and leave the Afghans to murder each other without our assistance. If they return to supporting terrorism or go whole hog in producing opium, perhaps the US should decapitate their entire government and let the next batch of losers give governing a try. I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."

The growth in opium cultivation correlates with CIA activities in the area and the $3 billion from American taxpayers which financed Mujahideen 'terrorism' against the Russians and their local proxies just to avenge the fall of Saigon.

In 1980 Afghanistan accounted for about only 5% of total world heroin production. This was mainly for the local market and neighbor Iran.

That is how you get forever wars.

Rurik , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

If I may..

another way of looking at this, and I feel a profound respect for the Afghans, and only wish we were made of the same mettle. If only ((they)) could say of us..

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not (((ours)))).

They are not trying to change ((((us. We))) are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

IOW, we white Westerners, have proved willing to surrender and submit to all of it. Without nary a peep of protest. Even as ((they)) send us around the globe to kill people like these Afghans, for being slightly inconvenient to their agenda. [And so the CIA can reconstitute its global heroin trafficking operation$.]

If only history would look back on this epic moment, at the last Death throes of the West, and say of whitey, that he refused to surrender his values and faith and traditions and tribe and God, and culture and civilization and honor.. to ((those)) who would pervert his values, and mock his faith, and trash his traditions, and exterminate his tribe, while mocking his God, and poisoning his culture, and destroying his civilization and all because at the end of the day, he had no honor.

These men may be backwater, illiterate villagers,

but at least they have enough mettle and honor, to tell the Beast that they would rather die killing as many of the Beast's stupid goons as they're able, than ever sacrifice their sacred honor- or lands or sovereignty, or the destinies of their children – over to the fiend, which is more than I can say for Western "man".

They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

Would that the Swedish people had a Nano-shred of the blood-honor of an Afghan, Barbara Spectre would be pounding sand.

Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

Obviously, there is a great deal we need to learn from them.

What will the Taliban do when we leave?

They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

Um.. Pat. Whose land is it anyways? Is it such a horror that Afghans should be dominant in Afghanistan ?

The Taliban was welcomed into most of the regions it governed, because they drove out local war lords who often treated the villager's children as their sex toys, and the foreign (CIA) opioid growers and traffickers. And it was the Taliban that put an end to all of that. They're harsh, but they're effective, and that is their land, not ours.

Also, the Taliban offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden, if the West could provide a shred of proof that he had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. (he didn't ; ) But the West had zero proof, (as the FBI admits to this day), that they have zero proof that ties Bin Laden to 9/11.

And n0w that we all know 9/11 was an Israeli false flag, intended to use the American military as their bitch, to burn down 'seven nations in five years' .. that the Jewish supremacists wanted destroyed, our whole pretext for being over there has been a sham from day one. Duh.
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I remember long ago when I had a subscription to National Geographic and this photo came out, I cut the picture out, and stuck it somewhere to look at- it was so visceral and haunting.

Leave them alone. I don't care how many Jews at the WSJ demand whitey has to stay and die for Israel. (Afghanistan is on Iran's border, and that's why we have to stay, to menace all those anti-Semites over there, trying to gas all the Jews and make soap).

Good on Trump for calling out the ((WSJ)).

follyofwar , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm GMT
@paranoid goy I very much doubt if many are joining the military to "defend the American Dream." Most are more practical and are joining to escape poverty, even if it might cost them their lives. Recruiters will now be inundated with volunteers since there are no jobs in the covid depression.
Exile , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm GMT
If the neo-con clown car Trump has permitted to run foreign policy since his election gets us into a war with Iran and/or Venezuela before November, will Pat still be stumping for him, or will we see the return of non-election-year Pat?
VinnyVette , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm GMT
Excellent question Pat! Unfortunately there is no answer, we've been at "forever war" seemingly forever, and the whole point as Eisenhower so preciently warned us is THE objective.
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMT
It's not 'forever war'. It is Empire. Empire exists to continue and expand. War is about win or lose. Empire is about keep and dominate.

US wars are not to win and then depart. It is to keep occupying and controlling.

And US is rich enough to buy off the local elites as collaborators forever.

Marshal Marlow , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:56 am GMT
@Anon

If they return to supporting terrorism

The thing is that the Afghan government wasn't supporting terrorism. Rather, it had no on-going control anywhere except the cities, which made the tribal areas useful hideouts / bases for a raft of groups.

I well remember the prelude to the invasion where the US was demanding that its government (which merely happened to be Taliban that year) hand over OBL in 72hrs. The truth was that the US knew Afghanistan didn't have the capability to do that and it merely wanted to use OBL as an excuse to invade and continue the encirclement of the old soviet states.

[May 22, 2020] System Update with Glenn Greenwald - The Murderous History and Deceitful Function of the CIA

May 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity The CIA’s Murderous Practices, Disinformation Campaigns, and Interference in

In the weeks before the 2016 presidential election, the most powerful former leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency did everything they could to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump. President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morrell published a full-throated endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed “Putin ha[s] recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” while George W. Bush’s post-9/11 CIA and NSA Chief, Gen. Michael Hayden, writing in the Washington Post, refrained from endorsing Clinton outright but echoed Morrell by accusing Trump of being a “useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow” and sounding “a little bit the conspiratorial Marxist.” Meanwhile, the intelligence community under James Clapper and John Brennan fed morsels to both the Obama DOJ and the US media to suggest a Trump/Russia conspiracy and fuel what became the Russiagate investigation.

In his extraordinary election-advocating Op-Ed, Gen. Hayden, Bush/Cheney’s CIA Chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA’s antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate’s stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly “pro-Putin” positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared).

As has been true since President Harry Truman’s creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments — through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots — is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.

The CIA’s antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous, illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump’s presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:

Democrats, early in Trump’s presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump’s most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the rest here.


Arthur Davis , 1 day ago

All covered extensively in Killing Hope , U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, by William Blum

Timothy Lee , 22 hours ago

Oliver Stone's "The Untold History of the US" opened up my eyes to how shameful our history really is. The American Empire is no better then Great Britain, the very power this country was supposed to rise above.

Mehdi Hosseini , 1 day ago

When a system is fully controlled by the big corporation/money every action and move must serve it's master. Some are directly related to their immediate interest and some to prevent any future challenge to it.

Dennis Miller , 1 day ago

let's not forget the Dulles Brothers (CIA & State)

Joe Filter , 1 day ago

Such sad facts. 'Killing Hope' really does describe it.

Cygnus X-321 , 1 day ago

"...At CBS, we had been contacted by the CIA, as a matter of fact, by the time I became the head of the news and public affairs division in 1954 shifts had been established ... I was told about them and asked if I'd carry on with them...." -- Sid Mickelson, CBS News President 1954-61, describing Operation Mockingbird

Jorge Eduardo da Silva Tavares , 1 day ago

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins, was a NYTimes best-seller about the methods CIA use to dominate countries in Latin America and in Asia. John Perkins never was interviewed by Us Media.

[May 21, 2020] Falsification of history as the major goal of propaganda

May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Howard ,

"History," they say, "is written by the winners." But if you want to get at the fundamental flaw, remove the last three words and you have it: "History is written."

Events cannot be written, they can only be lived.

Just as a sun in a picture cannot give heat or light. The problem is that those who live history seldom speak of it, it's much too traumatic for them.

And those who speak voluminously of it most likely did not live it.

kenny gordon ,

Nice comment, Howard.

When my Father [Royal Artillery] was told to stop fighting against my Father-in-Law [Waffen SS], he was sent off to fight against MOSSAD in Palestine he witnessed the brutal treatment handed out to the "indigenous people" and was very reluctant to talk about his experience.. "By way of deception thou shalt do war"..!

[May 21, 2020] Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump: The Narrative of Trump's "Collusion" with Russia by Andrei P. Tsygankov

May 21, 2020 | www.oxfordscholarship.com

During the US presidential election campaign, American media developed yet another perception of Russia as reflected in the narrative of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. 1 Having originated in liberal media and building on the previous perceptions of neo-Soviet autocracy and foreign threat, the new perception of Russia was that of the enemy that won the war against the United States. By electing the Kremlin's favored candidate, America was defeated by Russia. As a CNN columnist wrote, "The Russians really are here, infiltrating every corner of the country, with the single goal of disrupting the American way of life." 2 The two assumptions behind the new media narrative were that Putin was an enemy and that Trump was compromised by Putin. The inevitable conclusion was that Trump could not be a patriot and potentially was a traitor prepared to act against US interests.

The new narrative was assisted by the fact that Trump presented a radically different perspective on Russia than Clinton and the US establishment. The American political class had been in agreement that Russia displayed an aggressive foreign policy seeking to destroy the US-centered international order. Influential politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, commonly referred to Russian president Putin as an extremely dangerous KGB spy with no soul. Instead, Trump saw Russia's international interests as not fundamentally different from America's. He advocated that the United States to find a way to align its policies and priorities in defeating terrorism in the Middle East -- a goal that Russia shared -- with the Kremlin's. Trump promised to form new alliances to "unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism" and to eradicate it "completely from the face of the Earth." 3 He hinted that he was prepared to revisit the thorny issues of Western sanctions against (p.83) the Russian economy and the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. Trump never commented on Russia's political system but expressed his admiration for Putin's leadership and high level of domestic support. 4

Capitalizing on the difference between Trump's views and those of the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, the liberal media referred to Trump as the Kremlin-compromised candidate. Commentators and columnists with the New York Times , such as Paul Krugman, referred to Trump as the "Siberian" candidate. 5 Commentators and pundits, including those with academic and political credentials, developed the theory that the United States was under attack. The former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, wrote in the Washington Post that Russia had attacked "our sovereignty" and continued to "watch us do nothing" because of the partisan divide. He compared the Kremlin's actions with Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and warned that Russia was likely to perform repeat assaults in 2018 and 2020. 6 The historian Timothy Snyder went further, comparing the election of Trump to a loss of war, which Snyder said was the basic aim of the enemy. Writing in the New York Daily News , he asserted, "We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump." 7

The election of Trump prompted the liberal media to discuss Russia-related fears. The leading theory was that Trump would now compromise America's interests and rule the country on behalf of Putin. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called for actions against Russia and praised "patriotic" Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for being tough on Trump. 8 MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked whether Trump was actually under Putin's control. Citing Trump's views and his associates' travel to Moscow, she told viewers, "We are also starting to see (p.84) what may be signs of continuing [Russian] influence in our country, not just during the campaign but during the administration -- basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation." 9 Another New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, published a column titled "There's a Smell of Treason in the Air," arguing that the FBI's investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's collusion "with a foreign power so as to win an election" was an investigation of whether such collusion "would amount to treason." 10 Responding to Trump's statement that his phone was tapped during the election campaign, the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum tweeted that "Trump's insane 'GCHQ tapped my phone' theory came from . . . Moscow." McFaul and many others then endorsed and retweeted the message. 11

To many within the US media, Trump's lack of interest in promoting global institutions and his publicly expressed doubts that the Kremlin was behind cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) served to exacerbate the problem. Several intelligence leaks to the press and investigations by Congress and the FBI contributed to the image of a president who was not motivated by US interests. The US intelligence report on Russia's alleged hacking of the US electoral system released on January 8, 2017, served to consolidate the image of Russia as an enemy. Leaks to the press have continued throughout Trump's presidency. Someone in the administration informed the press that Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in elections on March 18, 2018, despite Trump's advisers' warning against making such a call. 12

In the meantime, investigations of Trump's alleged "collusion" with Russia were failing to produce substantive evidence. Facts that some associates of Trump sought to meet or met with members of Russia's government did not lead to evidence of sustained contacts or collaboration. It was not proven that the Kremlin's "black dossier" on Trump compiled by British intelligence officer (p.85) Christopher Steele and leaked to CNN was truthful. Russian activity on American social networks such as Facebook and Twitter was not found to be conclusive in determining outcomes of the elections. 13 In February 2018, a year after launching investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the US 2016 presidential elections, yet their connection to Putin or Trump was not established. On March 12, 2018, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr stated that he had not yet seen any evidence of collusion. 14 Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the Russia investigation, announced the end of the committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election. 15

Trump was also not acting toward Russia in the way the US media expected. His views largely reflected those of the military and national security establishment and disappointed some of his supporters. 16 The US National Security Strategy and new Defense Strategy presented Russia as a leading security threat, alongside China, Iran, and North Korea. The president made it clear that he wanted to engage in tough bargaining with Russia by insisting on American terms. 17 Instead of improving ties with Russia, let alone acting on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump contributed to new crises in bilateral relations that had to do with the two sides' principally different perceptions. While the Kremlin expected Washington to normalize relations, the United States assumed Russia's weakness and expected it to comply with Washington's priorities regarding the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan and nuclear and cyber issues. 18 Trump also authorized the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in US history and ordered several missile strikes against Assad's Russia-supported positions in Syria, each time provoking a crisis in relations with Moscow. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Rachel Maddow suspected of being appointed on Putin's advice to "weaken" the State Department and "bleed out" (p.86) the FBI, 19 was replaced by John Bolton. The latter's foreign policy reputation was that of a hawk, including on Russia. 20

Responding to these developments, the media focused on fears of being attacked by the Kremlin and on Trump not doing enough to protect the country. These fears went beyond the alleged cyber interference in the US presidential elections and included infiltration of American media and social networks and attacks on congressional elections and the country's most sensitive infrastructure, such as electric grids, water-processing plants, banking networks, and transportation facilities. In order to prevent such developments, media commentators and editorial writers recommended additional pressures on the Kremlin and counteroffensive operations. 21 One commentator recommended, as the best defense from Russia's plans to interfere with another election in the United States, launching a cyberattack on Russia's own presidential elections in March 2018, to "disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin's regime." 22 A New York Times editorial summarized the mood by challenging President Trump to confront Russia further: "If Mr. Trump isn't Mr. Putin's lackey, it's past time for him to prove it." 23 The burden of proof was now on Trump's shoulders. Opposition to the "Collusion" Narrative

In contrast to highly critical views of Russia in the dominant media, conservative, libertarian, and progressive sources offered different assessments. Initially, opposition to the collusion narrative came from the alternative media, yet gradually -- in response to scant evidence of Trump's collusion -- it incorporated voices within the mainstream.

The conservative media did not support the view that Russia "stole" elections and presented Trump as a patriot who wanted to make America great rather than develop "cozy" relationships with (p.87) the Kremlin. Writing in the American Interest , Walter Russell Mead argued that Trump aimed to demonstrate the United States' superiority by capitalizing on its military and technological advantages. He did not sound like a Russian mole. Challenging the liberal media, the author called for "an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press" and wrote that "if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama's." 24 Instead of viewing Trump as compromised by the Kremlin, sources such Breitbart and Fox News attributed the blame to the deep state, "the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats," including the intelligence agencies, that seeks to "derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency" by engaging in accusations and smear campaigns. 25

Echoing Trump's own views, some conservatives expressed their admiration for Putin as a dynamic leader superior to Obama. In particular, they praised Putin for his ability to defend Russia's "traditional values" and great-power status. 26 Neoconservative and paleoconservative publications like the National Review , the Weekly Standard, Human Events Online , and others critiqued Obama's "feckless foreign policy," characterized by "fruitless accommodationism," contrasting it with Putin's skilled and calculative geopolitical "game of chess." 27 A Washington Post / ABC News poll revealed that among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump's approach on Russia relative; 40% of all respondents approved. 28 This did not mean that conservatives and Republicans were "infiltrated" by the Kremlin. Mutual Russian and American conservative influences were limited and nonstructured. 29 The approval of Putin as a leader by American conservatives meant that they shared a certain commonality of ideas and were equally critical of liberal media and globalization. 30

Progressive and libertarian media also did not support the narrative of collusion. Gary Leupp at CounterPunch found the (p.88) narrative to be serving the purpose of reviving and even intensifying "Cold War-era Russophobia," with Russia being an "adversary" "only in that it opposes the expansion of NATO, especially to include Ukraine and Georgia." 31 Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com questioned the narrative by pointing to Russia's bellicose rhetoric in response to Trump's actions. 32 Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani at Intercept reminded readers that, overall, Trump proved to be far more confrontational toward Russia than Obama, thereby endangering America. 33 In particular Trump severed diplomatic ties with Russia, armed Ukraine, appointed anti-Russia hawks, such as ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michal Pompeo to key foreign policy positions, antagonized Russia's Iranian allies, and imposed tough sanctions against Russian business with ties to the Kremlin. 34

The dominant liberal media ignored opposing perspectives or presented them as compromised by Russia. For instance, in amplifying the view that Putin "stole" the elections, the Washington Post sought to discredit alternative sources of news and commentaries as infiltrated by the Kremlin's propaganda. On November 24, 2016, the newspaper published an interview with the executive director of a new website, PropOrNot, who preferred to remain anonymous, and claimed that the Russian government circulated pro-Trump articles before the election. Without providing evidence on explaining its methodology, the group identified more than two hundred websites that published or echoed Russian propaganda, including WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report , left-wing websites such as CounterPunch, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig , and Naked Capitalism , as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. 35 Another mainstream liberal outlet, CNN, warned the American people to be vigilant against the Kremlin's alleged efforts to spread propaganda: "Enormous numbers of (p.89) Americans are not only failing to fight back, they are also unwitting collaborators -- reading, retweeting, sharing and reacting to Russian propaganda and provocations every day." 36

However, voices of dissent were now heard even in the mainstream media. Masha Gessen of the New Yorker said that Trump's tweet about Robert Mueller's indictments and Moscow's "laughing its ass off" was "unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate." 37 She pointed out that Russians of all ideological convictions "are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous." 38 The editor of the influential Politico , Blake Hounshell, confessed that he was a Russiagate skeptic because even though "Trump was all too happy to collude with Putin," Mueller's team never found a "smoking gun." 39 In reviewing the book on Russia's role in the 2016 election Russian Roulette , veteran New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers noted that the Kremlin's meddling "simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns" and that the veracity of many accusations remained unclear. 40 Explaining Russophobia

The high-intensity Russophobia within the American media, overblown even by the standards of previous threat narratives, could no longer be explained by differences in national values or by bilateral tensions. The new fear of Russia also reflected domestic political polarization and growing national unease over America's identity and future direction.

The narrative of collusion in the media was symptomatic of America's declining confidence in its own values. Until the intervention in Iraq in 2004, optimism and a sense of confidence prevailed in American social attitudes, having survived even the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. The (p.90) country's economy was growing and its position in the world was not challenged. However, the disastrous war in Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and Russia's intervention in Georgia in August 2008 changed that. US leadership could no longer inspire the same respect, and a growing number of countries viewed it as a threat to world peace. 41 Internally, the United States was increasingly divided. Following presidential elections in November 2016, 77% of Americans perceived their country as "greatly divided on the most important values." 42 The value divide had been expressed in partisanship and political polarization long before the 2016 presidential elections. 43 The Russia issue deepened this divide. According to a poll taken in October 2017, 63% of Democrats, but just 38% of Republicans, viewed "Russia's power and influence" as a major threat to the well-being of the United States. 44

During the US 2016 presidential elections, Russia emerged as a convenient way to accentuate differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, which in previous elections were never as pronounced or defining. The new elections deepened the partisan divide because of extreme differences between the two main candidates, particularly on Russia. Donald Trump positioned himself as a radical populist promising to transform US foreign policy and "drain the swamp" in Washington. His position on Russia seemed unusual because, by election time, the Kremlin had challenged the United States' position in the world by annexing Crimea, supporting Ukrainian separatism, and possibly hacking the DNC site.

The Russian issue assisted Clinton in stressing her differences from Trump. Soon after it became known that DNC servers were hacked, she embraced the view that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. She accused Russia of "trying to wreak havoc" in the United States and threatened retaliation. 45 In his turn, Trump used Russia to challenge Clinton's commitment to national security (p.91) and ability to serve as commander in chief. In particular, he drew public attention to the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server for professional correspondence, and even noted sarcastically that the Russians should find thirty thousand missing emails belonging to her. The latter was interpreted by many in liberal media and political circles as a sign of Trump's being unpatriotic. 46 Clinton capitalized on this interpretation. She referred to the issue of hacking as the most important one throughout the campaign and challenged Trump to agree with assessments of intelligence agencies that cyberattacks were ordered by the Kremlin. She questioned Trump's commitments to US national security and accused him of being a "puppet" for President Putin. 47 Following Trump's victory, Clinton told donors that her loss should be partly attributed to Putin and the election hacks directed by him. 48

Clinton's arguments fitted with the overall narrative embraced by the mainstream media since roughly 2005 characterizing Russia as abusive and aggressive. Clinton viewed Russia as an oppressive autocratic power that was aggressive abroad to compensate for domestic weaknesses. Previously, in her book Hard Choices , then-secretary of state Clinton described Putin as "thin-skinned and autocratic, resenting criticism and eventually cracking down on dissent and debate." 49 This view was shared by President Obama, who publicly referred to Russia as a "regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness." 50 During the election's campaign, Clinton argued that the United States should challenge Russia by imposing a no-fly zone in Syria with the objective of removing Assad from power, strengthening sanctions against the Russian economy, and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the potential threat of Russia's military invasion.

Following the elections, the partisan divide deepened, with liberal establishment attacking the "unpatriotic" Trump. Having (p.92) lost the election, Clinton partly attributed Trump's victory to the role of Russia and advocated an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. In February 2017 the Clinton-influenced Center for American Progress brought on a former State Department official to run a new Moscow Project. 51 As acknowledged by the New Yorker , members of the Clinton inner circle believed that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed DNC hacking by the Kremlin. "We understand the bind they were in," one of Clinton's senior advisers said. "But what if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack . . .' A large majority of Americans would have sat up and taken notice . . . it is bewildering -- it is baffling -- it is hard to make sense of why this was not a five-alarm fire in the White House." 52

In addition to Clinton, many other members of the Washington establishment, including some Republicans, spread the narrative of Russia "attacking" America. Republican politicians who viewed Clinton's defeat and the hacking attacks in military terms included those of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, who stated, "When you attack a country, it's an act of war," 53 and former vice president Dick Cheney, who called Russia's alleged interference in the US election "a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin" that "in some quarters that would be considered an act of war." 54 A number of Democrats also engaged in the rhetoric of war, likening the Russian "attack," as Senator Ben Cardin did, to a "political Pearl Harbor." 55

Rumors and leaks, possibly by members of US intelligence agencies, 56 and activities of liberal groups that sought to discredit Trump contributed to the Russophobia. In addition to the DNC hacking accusations, many fears of Russia in the media were based on the assumption that contacts, let alone cooperation with the (p.93) Kremlin, was unpatriotic and implied potentially "compromising" behavior: praise of Putin as a leader, possible business dealings with Russian "oligarchs," and meetings with Russian officials such Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. 57

There were therefore two sides to the Russia story in the US liberal media -- rational and emotional. The rational side had to do with calculations by Clinton-affiliated circles and anti-Russian groups pooling their resources to undermine Trump and his plans to improve relations with Russia. Among others, these resources included dominance within the liberal media and leaks by the intelligence community. The emotional side was revealed by the liberal elites' values and ability to promote fears of Russia within the US political class and the general public. Popular emotions of fear and frustration with Russia already existed in the public space due to the old Cold War memories, as well as disturbing post–Cold War developments that included wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. In part because of these memories, factions such as those associated with Clinton were successful in evoking in the public liberal mind what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" or "the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy." 58 Mobilized by liberal media to pressure Trump, these emotions became an independent factor in the political struggle inside Washington. The public display of fear and frustration with Russia and Trump could only be sustained by a constant supply of new "suspicious" developments and intense discussion by the media.

[May 21, 2020] The War State The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963 by Michael Swanson

Paperback: 430 pages Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 16, 2013)
This period is the period when the CIA gradually became a political force able and willing to act acted on its own initiative. Which culminated in the assassination of JFK.
Notable quotes:
"... When I say 'they' I mean the Military Industrial Complex. I have no doubt that John Kennedy was stabbed in the back by treasonous elements within his own country. It's hard for me to tell how extensive this conspiracy really went and into what areas of the Military Industrial Complex. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs Of Staff are on the suspect list though. There was no love lost between President Kennedy and the military and intelligence establishments. Mr. Swanson tells how Robert Kennedy was concerned that the military brass might kill his brother during the ominous Cuban Missile Crisis. ..."
"... And as a consumer of what must be in excess of 3-400 books on this subject, I can say this is quite simply the best one-volume analysis of U.S. defense policy 1945 - 1964 that has been produced. ..."
"... While Preparata's Conjuring Hitler presents Montagu Norman and Bank of England as financing the rise of the Third Reich as the initiation of the modern military-intelligence age, and Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers introduces Dulles & Dulles as the twin inventors of America's role as stage manager, Michael Swanson raises the curtain on Eisenhower's finale, the introduction of the Colossus astride Washington ..."
"... David Martin's signal work uncovering the termination of the first Secretary of Defense James Forrestal for resisting the Truman-Marshall military steroid injection, itself inextricably entwined with the Acheson-enabled Korean War. ..."
"... The National Security Act of 1947 and its follow-on codas, the 1948 plausible deniability agreement and 1949 amendments, lead to the SAC/ICBM buildup, the preamble to Northwoods and the dream of a first strike. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Today when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending. Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can't have big wars without big government. Such big expenditures are now threatening to harm the national economy. How did this situation come to be?

In this book you'll learn how in the critical twenty years after World War II the United States changed from being a continental democratic republic to a global imperial superpower. Since then nothing has ever been the same again. In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.

By buying this book you will discover:

In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.


Jeff Marzano 5.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview Of The Cold War , May 10, 2018

Good Overview Of The Cold War

This book provides a good overview of the so called Cold War I thought.

I read this book as part of my ongoing research about the assassination of President Kennedy. At this point in my research I need to move past the nuts and bolts of the assassination like how many times JFK was shot and things like that. Those aren't the most important questions. The important issues are who wanted John Kennedy dead and why and how were they able to do something like that. There had to be some major reasons why they would commit such a monumental crime. And those reasons are revealed in books like this somewhere.

When I say 'they' I mean the Military Industrial Complex. I have no doubt that John Kennedy was stabbed in the back by treasonous elements within his own country. It's hard for me to tell how extensive this conspiracy really went and into what areas of the Military Industrial Complex. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs Of Staff are on the suspect list though. There was no love lost between President Kennedy and the military and intelligence establishments. Mr. Swanson tells how Robert Kennedy was concerned that the military brass might kill his brother during the ominous Cuban Missile Crisis.

Some of those generals like Curtis 'Bombs Away' Lemay lost their marbles during World II I think. Lemay didn't seem to understand what nuclear weapons really are. Lemay seemed to speak about the use of nuclear weapons in World War II terms like they were just another type of bomb.

Near the end of the book Mr. Swanson mentions some things Jackie Kennedy said her husband John was planning to do:

  1. Attend a peace summit in Moscow.
  2. Remove J. Edgar Hoover as the director of the FBI.
  3. Replace Dean Rusk in the State Department.
  4. Get control of the government's policy in Vietnam.

That list right there is an excellent starting point for understanding some of the many reasons why the War State wanted John Kennedy dead.

Mr. Swanson talks about an important government directive called NSC-68. This National Security Council directive labelled any country that refused to bow to the will of the United States a communist sympathizer. And any country that got on that list was then subject to the CIA's evil machinations.

Some authors such as the great Fletcher Prouty felt the entire Cold War was a myth that was fabricated by the War State to justify their own existence.

For me the assassination of President Kennedy and the quagmire in Vietnam confirm that hypothesis. Those are two historical realities which indicate that the War State had flown off the rails.

LCH Burris 5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful February 8, 2016
Masterful

Having studied this period of history for over 45 years, as a history major in exactly this subject at University.

And as a consumer of what must be in excess of 3-400 books on this subject, I can say this is quite simply the best one-volume analysis of U.S. defense policy 1945 - 1964 that has been produced. The bulk of it presents facts known to students of the period, plus certain additional lesser-known facts revealed by recent declassifications in both the US and Russia.

However, it re-analyzes these facts to produce a masterful synthesis more clearly stated here than I have seen in any other volume.

The only complaint is that the book should be more fully footnoted -- not only to source some of the factual statements, but also to explain the author's chain of reasoning from the source to the statement -- as well as be re-published with a proper index and bibliography. In a sense, the author has under-rated himself. Properly footnoted and indexed, this would be not merely an excellent popular read but a work of scholarship with which students of the field would have to reckon from now on.

Bob Valdez 4.0 out of 5 stars How the US came to be influenced by the military-industrial complex , September 28, 2015
How the US came to be influenced by the military-industrial complex

This book is a pretty well done tome about how the military-industrial complex came to be. The overall layout is much like a history book but if the reader is patient it begins to unfold with some level of comfort after a few dozen pages. The properly told story is long overdue and it probably will not have wide acceptance but that is the overall sign of our times. The author does not go into enough detail to tie in today's US government administration and how deep the corruption has grown.

If you wish to be an informed voter or just a more informed citizen, reading such books as this one will help bring you around to becoming a bit better enlightened. Read, recognize, respond. All comes in time.

Phil Dragoo 5.0 out of 5 stars Ike named it; it buried JFK; Swanson reveals it July 23, 2019
Ike named it; it buried JFK; Swanson reveals it.

Verified Purchase Ike named it -- it buried JFK

Michael Swanson's The War State is a keystone work in understanding modern America's lone superpower position.

While Preparata's Conjuring Hitler presents Montagu Norman and Bank of England as financing the rise of the Third Reich as the initiation of the modern military-intelligence age, and Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers introduces Dulles & Dulles as the twin inventors of America's role as stage manager, Michael Swanson raises the curtain on Eisenhower's finale, the introduction of the Colossus astride Washington .

The War State punctuates Robert Wilcox' Target: Patton, the removal of the threat of premature end to the Cold War, and David Martin's signal work uncovering the termination of the first Secretary of Defense James Forrestal for resisting the Truman-Marshall military steroid injection, itself inextricably entwined with the Acheson-enabled Korean War.

The National Security Act of 1947 and its follow-on codas, the 1948 plausible deniability agreement and 1949 amendments, lead to the SAC/ICBM buildup, the preamble to Northwoods and the dream of a first strike.

The Vietnam War fought over the dead body of the thirty-fifth president is examined in John Newman's two editions of JFK and Vietnam, and the sequence of subsequent research works, all adding to Douglas Horne's view of JFK's War with the National Security Establishment, as well as James Douglass' eerie scene through a glass darkly, JFK and the Unspeakable.

We are gifted with Michael Swanson's concise and unitized depiction of the threat President Eisenhower succeeded in naming January 1961 despite repeated attempts to airbrush the indictment from history.

Why are we faced with unending war in Afghanistan against a shadowy enemy first introduced by April Glaspy's invitation to Saddam Hussein echoing Acheson's omission of Korea in the January 1950 Press Club speech?

Why do towers fall in unprecedented fashion defying laws of physics?

As Litvinenko and Felshtinsky's Blowing Up Russia reveals Putin as the rebranding mastermind of Golitsyn and Bezemov, and Xi Jinping rides the dragon into the fifth millenium, Oceania's capital remains in the orbit of the Pentagon and Langley and the constellation of corporations involved in Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett's Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil.

Michael Swanson pulls the construct from the mist and plants it front and center in the dramatic end of the Republic and the bulletins from the frontlines of Big Brother's proxy wars in the nonaligned quadrangle.

It isn't personal -- it's business.

SkyNet and The Matrix and the gigantic digital nemeses of Person of Interest are mere terms of art.

The military-industrial complex is as real as LBJ's heart attack -- and exposed in The War State.

[May 20, 2020] Covid-19 fallout: Putin might INVADE China will DOMINATE, says the Atlantic citing 'experts'

May 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

If this is the caliber of experts who advise 10 Downing Street, it's hardly surprising that Britain has been lurching from one foreign policy fiasco to another in recent years.

[May 20, 2020] McGovern Turn Out The Lights, Russiagate Is Over by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
It is not. Forces behind Russiagate are intact and still have the same agenda. CrowdStrike was just a tool. As long as Full Spectrum Dominance dourine is alive, Russiagate will flourish in one form or another
Notable quotes:
"... The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.") ..."
"... Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery. ..."
"... Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"? ..."
"... So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think. ..."
"... There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA. ..."
"... Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel. ..."
"... For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal." ..."
"... By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip." ..."
May 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

Seldom mentioned among the motives behind the persistent drumming on alleged Russian interference was an over-arching need to help the Security State hide their tracks.

The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.")

But that was then. This is now.

Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.

All that's left is to discover how this all happened.

Attorney General William Barr, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr commissioned to investigate this whole sordid mess seem intent on getting to the bottom of it. The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.

Writing on the Wall

Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family.

Plus, former NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers reportedly is cooperating. The handwriting is on the wall. It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played.

But former directors James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan, captains of Obama's Security State, can take little solace from Barr's remarks Monday to a reporter who asked about Trump's recent claims that top officials of the Obama administration, including the former president had committed crimes. Barr replied:

"As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concerns over potential criminality is focused on others."

In a more ominous vein, Barr gratuitously added that law enforcement and intelligence officials were involved in "a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president. It was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history."

Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"?

The outrage voiced by the Post called to mind disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok's indignant response to criticism of the FBI by candidate Trump, in a Oct. 20, 2016 text exchange with FBI attorney Lisa Page:

Strzok: I am riled up. Trump is a f***ing idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer.

Strzok -- I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY

Page -- I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.

Strzok -- Donald just said "bad hombres"

Strzok -- Trump just said what the FBI did is disgraceful.

Less vitriolic, but incisive commentary came from widely respected author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald on May 14, four days after Trump coined "Obamagate": ( See "System Update with Glenn Greenwald -- The Sham Prosecution of Michael Flynn").

For a shorter, equally instructive video of Greenwald on the broader issue of Russia-gate, see this clip from a March 2019 Democracy Now! -sponsored debate he had with David Cay Johnston titled, "As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qdYw6jk3TTA

(The entire debate is worth listening to). I found one of the comments below the Democracy Now! video as big as a bummer as the commentator did:

"I think this is one of the most depressing parts about the whole situation. In their dogmatic pushing for this false narrative, the Russiagaters might have guaranteed Trump a second term. They have done more damage to our democracy than Russia ever has done and will do ." (From "Clamity2007")

In any case, Johnston, undaunted by his embarrassment at the hands of Greenwald, is still at it, and so is the avuncular Frank Rich -- both of them some 20 years older than Greenwald and set in their evidence-impoverished, media-indoctrinated ways.

... ... ...


Uncle Frank, 40 seconds ago

So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think.

But when journalists are revealed to be issuing paid-for propaganda/lies mixed with their own internal opinions, and their publisher allows it to be presented as if it were reporting rather than opinion, said writers, editors, and publishers are relegated to obscurity and derision.

Their work will never be taken seriously again by anyone who wasn't already brain-washed.

They don't get that, I guess.

QABubba, 47 minutes ago (Edited)

There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA.

General Flynn was so involved with Turkey he should have been registered as a foreign agent.

And as I have said before, the real crime was laundering Russian Mafia/Heroin money through Deutsche Bank into New York real estate. It is curious that Turkey is also a huge transport spot for heroin into the EU. And France and other EU nations have a migrant population that lives off the drug trade.

Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel.

1911A1, 55 minutes ago

Operation Mockingbird

The MSM disinformation campaign with consistent common talking points is not difficult to see with a little discernment. The bigger question is has this happened organically or is there a larger agency manipulating the public discourse?

Question_Mark, 43 minutes ago

4AM secure drop from Senior Executive Services ( SES ) is a threat to our democracy.

Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [insert name of community here] community.

1surrounded2, 1 hour ago

" It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played. "

Come on, Ray, I know you are not that stupid, but you ARE that libtarded.

Obama's very obvious role in all of this: KINGPIN .

Moribundus, 3 hours ago

Amazon.com The American Mission and the 'Evil Empire' The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 (8580000721935) Foglesong,

"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s

Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.

For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."

By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."

Moribundus, 3 hours ago

America's imperialism rules: Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.

Kidbuck, 5 hours ago

Trump hasn't engaged in a fight in his life. He's a sissy at heart wants to negotiate. He can't even do that right. He's caved on nearly every campaign promise he made. The only thing his administration fights for is their salary and their retirement. Hillary still waddles free and farts in his general direction.

ChaoKrungThep, 4 hours ago

Trump the Mafia punk, like his dad, and draft dodger like his German grand dad. Barr, old CIA asset from the Clinton-Mena coke smuggling op. This crappy crew is running their masters' game in front of the redneck rabble who are dumber than their mutts.

Save_America1st, 9 hours ago

Geez...how far behind can most of these assholes be after all these years????

For one...there was no "Russia-gate". It was all a hoax from the beginning, and anyone with a few functioning brain cells knew that from the start.

And as of about 3 years ago we have all known this as "Obamagate" for the most part...we all knew the corruption of the hoax totally led up to O-Scumbag.

And now as of the recent disclosures it is a total fact.

Haven't most of you been watching Dan Bongino for over 2 years now and haven't you read his books? Haven't you been reading Sarah Carter and John Soloman among others for nearly 3 years now???

Surely, you haven't been just sitting around sucking leftist media **** for over 3 years, right???????? I'm sure you haven't.

So why is this article even necessary on ZeroHedge?????

We already knew and have known the truth since before even the 2016 election. Drop it.

Posa, 9 hours ago

So funny. The 85 Year old "American century' is palpably disintegrating before our very eyes. In particular the Deep State permanent bureaucracy is completely untethered and facing what seems to be a Great Reckoning in the form of Barr- Durham. Cognitve Derangement prevails in the press and spills overto the body politic. The country teeters a slo-mo Civil War. Meanwhile, The dollar is disintegrating and we seem to face an economic abyss, the Terminal Depression. Real "last Days of Rome" stuff.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN, 5 hours ago (Edited)

The Israeli dual citizens like Adelson and Mercer bought the Presidency.

Mossad was the organization handling the mole Seth Rich.

Blaming Russia also worked for those 2 groups because it deflected attention away from (((them))).

Ray McGovern, being ex-intel, must know this to be true.

LetThemEatRand, 11 hours ago

Russiagate. The supposed target of said coup d'etat just Presided over the largest bailout of banks ever by a factor of five or more. Trump supporters are asleep for the bailout, Trump haters are asleep for the bailout. Let's fight about transgender bathrooms and Russiagate, shall we?

yojimbo, 8 hours ago

I glance at the MSM, so here is a Guardian article along strongly TDS lines https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/19/will-donald-trump-end-up-in-prison-arwa-mahdawi

It's projection again, implying Obama gate is fake, like Russiagate actually was.. Tough to even want to get through!

[May 20, 2020] MadCow in action

May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

xxx 10 hours ago

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!

Take Breath........

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!!

xxx 10 hours ago

something is rotten in the Dutch kingdom.

usually fish rots from the head.

[May 20, 2020] But if the Russians were coming, really, wouldn't most Americans rush to Putin's assistance? And wouldn't that make America a vastly better place?

May 20, 2020 | www.unz.com

Parfois1 , says: Show Comment May 9, 2020 at 2:12 am GMT

@Ann Nonny Mouse

But if the Russians were coming, really, wouldn't most Americans rush to Putin's assistance? And wouldn't that make America a vastly better place?

Not unique either! The Russians did that in the X Century when, as tradition and legend has it, they invited the Varangians (Vikings) to come to rule over them because the squabbling parties (presumably the local variety of Reps and Dems) made the place (Kiev-Rus) ungovernable. About time they (the Russians) return the favour!

[May 19, 2020] New Documents From the Sham Prosecution of Gen. Michael Flynn Also Reveal Broad Corruption in the Russiagate Investigations by Glenn Greenwald

This is about intelligence agencies becaming a powerful by shadow political force, much like STASI. This not about corruption per se, but about perusing of political goals by dirty means. So it is closer to sedition then to corruption.
Notable quotes:
"... there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual -- let alone criminal -- about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it , "it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work." ..."
"... there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation, and personal vendettas ..."
"... To begin with, cable and other news outlets that employed former Obama-era intelligence operatives, generals, and prosecutors to disseminate every Russiagate conspiracy theory they could find -- virtually always without any dissent or even questioning -- have barely acknowledged these explosive new documents. ..."
"... But the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: The powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. ..."
"... Flynn is a right-wing, hawkish general whose views on the so-called war on terror are ones utterly anathema to my own beliefs. That does not make his prosecution justified. One's views of Flynn personally or his politics (or those of the Trump administration generally) should have absolutely no bearing on one's assessment of the justifiability of what the U.S. government did to him here -- any more than one has to like the political views of the detainees at Guantanamo to find their treatment abusive and illegal , or any more than one has to agree with the views of people who are being censured in order to defend their right of free expression . ..."
"... As the journalist Aaron Maté demonstrated when he brilliantly challenged The Guardian's Luke Harding about his bestselling book claiming to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- one of the few times a Russiagate conspiracy advocate was forced to confront a knowledgeable critic -- those claims often cannot survive even minimal critical scrutiny. That's why media outlets have insulated these conspiracy theory advocates, as well as their audiences, from any dissent or even critical questioning. ..."
May 14, 2020 | theintercept.com
Gen. Michael Flynn, President Obama's former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017, to a single count of lying to the FBI about two conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Flynn served as a Trump transition team official (Flynn was never charged for any matters relating to his relationship with the Turkish government). As part of the plea deal, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended no jail time for Flynn , and the plea agreement also seemingly put an end to threats from the Mueller team to prosecute Flynn's son.

Last Thursday, the Justice Department filed a motion seeking to dismiss the prosecution of Flynn based, in part, on newly discovered documents revealing that the conduct of the FBI, under the leadership of Director James Comey and his now-disgraced Deputy Andrew McCabe (who himself was forced to leave the Bureau after being caught lying to agents ), was improper and motivated by corrupt objectives. That motion prompted histrionic howls of outrage from the same political officials and their media allies who have spent the last three years pushing maximalist Russiagate conspiracy theories.

But the prosecution of Flynn -- for allegedly lying to the FBI when he denied in a January 24 interrogation that he had discussed with Kislyak on December 29 the new sanctions and expulsions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration -- was always odd for a number of reasons. To begin with, the FBI agents who questioned Flynn said afterward that they did not believe he was lying (as CNN reported in February 2017: "the FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say"). For that reason, CNN said, "the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against" him.

More importantly, there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual -- let alone criminal -- about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it , "it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work." What newly released documents over the last month reveal is what has been generally evident for the last three years: The powers of the security state agencies -- particularly the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the DOJ -- were systematically abused as part of the 2016 election and then afterward for political rather than legal ends.

While there was obviously deceit and corruption on the part of some Trump officials in lying to Russiagate investigators and otherwise engaging in depressingly common D.C. lobbyist corruption , there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation, and personal vendettas . The former category (corruption by Trump officials) has received a tidal wave of endless media attention, while the latter (corruption and abuse of power by those investigating them) has received almost none.

For numerous reasons, it is vital to fully examine with as much clarity as possible the abuse of power that drove the prosecution of Flynn. To begin with, cable and other news outlets that employed former Obama-era intelligence operatives, generals, and prosecutors to disseminate every Russiagate conspiracy theory they could find -- virtually always without any dissent or even questioning -- have barely acknowledged these explosive new documents.

More disturbingly, liberals and Democrats -- as part of their movement toward venerating these security state agencies -- have completely jettisoned long-standing, core principles about the criminal justice system, including questioning whether lying to the FBI should be a crime at all and recognizing that innocent people are often forced to plead guilty -- in order to justify both the Flynn prosecution and the broader Mueller probe.

But the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: The powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. In other words, we know now that these agencies did exactly what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned they would do to Trump when he appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program shortly before Trump's inauguration:

This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
Because U.S. politics is now discussed far more as tests of tribal loyalty ("Whose side are you on?") than actual ideological or even political beliefs ("Which policies do you favor or oppose?"), it is very difficult to persuade people to separate their personal or political views of Flynn ("Do you like him or not?") from the question of whether the U.S. government abused its power in gravely dangerous ways to prosecute him.

Flynn is a right-wing, hawkish general whose views on the so-called war on terror are ones utterly anathema to my own beliefs. That does not make his prosecution justified. One's views of Flynn personally or his politics (or those of the Trump administration generally) should have absolutely no bearing on one's assessment of the justifiability of what the U.S. government did to him here -- any more than one has to like the political views of the detainees at Guantanamo to find their treatment abusive and illegal , or any more than one has to agree with the views of people who are being censured in order to defend their right of free expression .

The ability to distinguish between ideological questions from evidentiary questions is vital for rational discourse to be possible, yet has been all but eliminated at the altar of tribal fealty. That is why evidentiary questions completely devoid of ideological belief -- such as whether one found the Russiagate conspiracy theories supported by convincing evidence -- have been treated not as evidentiary matters but as tribal ones: to be affiliated with the left (an ideological characterization), one must affirm belief in those conspiracy theories even if one does not find the evidence in support of them actually compelling. The conflation of ideological and evidentiary questions, and the substitution of substantive political debates with tests of tribal loyalty, are indescribably corrosive to our public discourse.

As a result, whether one is now deemed on the right or left has almost nothing to do with actual political beliefs about policy questions and everything to do with one's willingness to serve the interests of one team or another. With the warped formula in place, U.S. politics has been depoliticized , stripped of any meaningful ideological debates in lieu of mindless team loyalty oaths on non-ideological questions.

Our newest SYSTEM UPDATE episode, debuting today, is devoted to enabling as clear and objective an examination as possible of the abuses that drove the Flynn prosecution -- including these critical, newly declassified documents -- as well the broader Russiagate investigations of which it was a part. These abuses have received far too little attention from the vast majority of the U.S. media that simply excludes any questioning or dissent of their prevailing narratives about all of these matters.

Notably, we invited several of the cable stars and security state agents who have been pushing these conspiracy theories for years to appear on the program for a civil discussion, but none were willing to do so -- because they are so accustomed to being able to spout these theories on MSNBC, CNN, and in newspapers without ever being meaningfully challenged. Regardless of one's views on these scandals, it is unhealthy in the extreme for any media to insulate themselves from a diversity of views.

As the journalist Aaron Maté demonstrated when he brilliantly challenged The Guardian's Luke Harding about his bestselling book claiming to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- one of the few times a Russiagate conspiracy advocate was forced to confront a knowledgeable critic -- those claims often cannot survive even minimal critical scrutiny. That's why media outlets have insulated these conspiracy theory advocates, as well as their audiences, from any dissent or even critical questioning.

Today's SYSTEM UPDATE episode, which we believe provides the most comprehensive examination to date of these new documents relating to the Flynn prosecution and how this case relates to the broader Russiagate investigative abuses, can be viewed above or on The Intercept's YouTube channel .

[May 19, 2020] NYT Critique of Ronan Farrow Describes Pathology of "Resistance Journalism"

This is about control of MSM by intelligence agencies, not so much about corruption of individual journalists. Journalist became like in the USSR "Soldiers of the Party" -- well paid propagandist of particular, supplied to them talking points.
Notable quotes:
"... encouraged and incentivized ..."
"... for each segment ..."
May 19, 2020 | theintercept.com

What is particularly valuable about Smith's article is its perfect description of a media sickness borne of the Trump era that is rapidly corroding journalistic integrity and justifiably destroying trust in news outlets. Smith aptly dubs this pathology "resistance journalism," by which he means that journalists are now not only free, but encouraged and incentivized , to say or publish anything they want, no matter how reckless and fact-free, provided their target is someone sufficiently disliked in mainstream liberal media venues and/or on social media:

[Farrow's] work, though, reveals the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald Trump: That if reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices, the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness can seem more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives.

That can be a dangerous approach, particularly in a moment when the idea of truth and a shared set of facts is under assault.

In assailing Farrow for peddling unproven conspiracy theories, Smith argues that such journalistic practices are particularly dangerous in an era where conspiracy theories are increasingly commonplace. Yet unlike most journalists with a mainstream platform, Smith emphasizes that conspiracy theories are commonly used not only by Trump and his movement (conspiracy theories which are quickly debunked by most of the mainstream media), but are also commonly deployed by Trump's enemies, whose reliance on conspiracy theories is virtually never denounced by journalists because mainstream news outlets themselves play a key role in peddling them:

We are living in an era of conspiracies and dangerous untruths -- many pushed by President Trump, but others hyped by his enemies -- that have lured ordinary Americans into passionately believing wild and unfounded theories and fiercely rejecting evidence to the contrary. The best reporting tries to capture the most attainable version of the truth, with clarity and humility about what we don't know. Instead, Mr. Farrow told us what we wanted to believe about the way power works, and now, it seems, he and his publicity team are not even pretending to know if it's true.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected , and one could argue even in the months leading up to his election, journalistic standards have been consciously jettisoned when it comes to reporting on public figures who, in Smith's words, are "most disliked by the loudest voices," particularly when such reporting "swim[s] ably along with the tides of social media." Put another way: As long the targets of one's conspiracy theories and attacks are regarded as villains by the guardians of mainstream liberal social media circles, journalists reap endless career rewards for publishing unvetted and unproven -- even false -- attacks on such people, while never suffering any negative consequences when their stories are exposed as shabby frauds.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OOhRRr6c1wA?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1 infiltrated and taken over the U.S. government through sexual and financial blackmail leverage over Trump and used it to dictate U.S. policy; Trump officials conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election; Russia was attacking the U.S. by hacking its electricity grid , recruiting journalists to serve as clandestine Kremlin messengers , and plotting to cut off heat to Americans in winter. Mainstream media debacles -- all in service of promoting the same set of conspiracy theories against Trump -- are literally too numerous to count, requiring one to select the worst offenses as illustrative .

Glenn Beck 2009 + Maddow 2019 is the greatest crossover event in history pic.twitter.com/D1NElGBq3U

-- Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) January 31, 2019
In March of last year, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi -- writing under the headline "It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD" -- compared the prevailing media climate since 2016 to that which prevailed in 2002 and 2003 regarding the invasion of Iraq and the so-called war on terror: little to no dissent permitted, skeptics of media-endorsed orthodoxies shunned and excluded, and worst of all, the very journalists who were most wrong in peddling false conspiracy theories were exactly those who ended up most rewarded on the ground that even though they spread falsehoods, they did so for the right cause.

Under that warped rubric -- in which spreading falsehoods is commendable as long as it was done to harm the evildoers -- the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the most damaging endorsers of false conspiracy theories about Iraq , rose to become editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, while two of the most deceitful Bush-era neocons, Bush/Cheney speechwriter David Frum and supreme propagandist Bill Kristol, have reprised their role as leading propagandists and conspiracy theorists -- only this time aimed against the GOP president instead of on his behalf -- and thus have become beloved liberal media icons. The communications director for both the Bush/Cheney campaign and its White House, Nicole Wallace, is one of the most popular liberal cable hosts from her MSNBC perch.

Join Our Newsletter Original reporting. Fearless journalism. Delivered to you. I'm in Exactly the same journalism-destroying dynamic is driving the post-Russiagate media landscape. There is literally no accountability for the journalists and news outlets that spread falsehoods in their pages, on their airwaves, and through their viral social media postings. The Washington Post's media columnist Erik Wemple has been one of the very few journalists devoted to holding these myth-peddlers accountable -- recounting how one of the most reckless Russigate conspiracy maximialists, Natasha Bertrand, became an overnight social media and journalism star by peddling discredited conspiratorial trash (she was notably hired by Jeffrey Goldberg to cover Russigate for The Atlantic); MSNBC's Rachel Maddow spent three years hyping conspiratorial junk with no need even to retract any of it; and Mother Jones' David Corn played a crucial, decisively un-journalistic role in mainstreaming the lies of the Steele dossier all with zero effect on his journalistic status, other than to enrich him through a predictably bestselling book that peddled those unhinged conspiracies further.

Wemple's post-Russiagate series has established him as a commendable, often-lone voice trying -- with futility -- to bring some accountability to U.S. journalism for the systemic media failures of the past three years. The reason that's futile is exactly what Smith described in his column on Farrow: In "resistance journalism," facts and truth are completely dispensable -- indeed, dispensing with them is rewarded -- provided "reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices."

That describes perfectly the journalists who were defined, and enriched, by years of Russiagate deceit masquerading as reporting. By far the easiest path to career success over the last three years -- booming ratings, lucrative book sales, exploding social media followings, career rehabilitation even for the most discredited D.C. operatives -- was to feed establishment liberals an endless diet of fearmongering and inflammatory conspiracies about Drumpf and his White House. Whether it was true or supported by basic journalistic standards was completely irrelevant. Responsible reporting was simply was not a metric used to assess its worth.

It was one thing for activists, charlatans, and con artists to exploit fears of Trump for material gain: that, by definition, is what such people do. But it was another thing entirely for journalists to succumb to all the low-hanging career rewards available to them by throwing all journalistic standards into the trash bin in exchange for a star turn as a #Resistance icon. That , as Smith aptly describes, is what "Resistance Journalism" is, and it's hard to identify anything more toxic to our public discourse.

Perhaps the single most shameful and journalism-destroying episode in all of this -- an obviously difficult title to bestow -- was when a national security blogger, Marcy Wheeler, violated long-standing norms and ethical standards of journalism by announcing in 2018 that she had voluntarily turned in her own source to the FBI, claiming she did so because her still-unnamed source "had played a significant role in the Russian election attack on the US" and because her life was endangered by her brave decision to stop being a blogger and become an armchair cop by pleading with the FBI and the Mueller team to let her work with them. In her blog post announcing what she did, she claimed she was going public with her treachery because her life was in danger, and this way everyone would know the real reason if "someone releases stolen information about me or knocks me off tomorrow."

To say that Wheeler's actions are a grotesque violation of journalistic ethics is to radically understate the case. Journalists are expected to protect their sources' identities from the FBI even if they receive a subpoena and a court order compelling its disclosure; we're expected to go to prison before we comply with FBI attempts to uncover our source's identity. But here, the FBI did not try to compel Wheeler to tell them anything; they displayed no interest in her as she desperately tried to chase them down.

By all appearances, Wheeler had to beg the FBI to pay attention to her because they treated her like the sort of unstable, unhinged, unwell, delusional obsessive who, believing they have uncovered some intricate conspiracy, relentlessly harass and bombard journalists with their bizarre theories until they finally prattle to themselves for all of eternity in the spam filter of our email inboxes. The claim that she was in possession of some sort of explosive and damning information that would blow the Mueller investigation wide open was laughable. In her post, she claimed she "always planned to disclose this when this person's role was publicly revealed," but to date -- almost two years later -- she has never revealed "this person's" identity because, from all appearances, the Mueller report never relied on Wheeler's intrepid reporting or her supposedly red-hot secrets.

Like so many other Russiagate obsessives who turned into social media and MSNBC/CNN #Resistance stars, Wheeler was living a wild, self-serving fantasy, a Cold War Tom Clancy suspense film that she invented in her head and then cast herself as the heroine: a crusading investigative dot-connecter uncovering dangerous, hidden conspiracies perpetrated by dangerous, hidden Cold War-style villains (Putin) to the point where her own life was endangered by her bravery. It was a sad joke, a depressing spectacle of psycho-drama, but one that could have had grave consequences for the person she voluntarily ratted out to the FBI. Whatever else is true, this episode inflicted grave damage on American journalism by having mainstream, Russia-obsessed journalists not denounce her for her egregious violation of journalistic ethics but celebrate her for turning journalism on its head.

Why? Because, as Smith said in his Farrow article, she was "swim[ing] ably along with the tides of social media and produc[ing] damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices" and thus "the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness [were] more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives." Margaret Sullivan, the former New York Times public editor and now the Washington Post's otherwise reliably commendable media reporter, celebrated Wheeler's bizarre behavior under the headline: "A journalist's conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI."

Despite acknowledging that "in their reporting, journalists talk to criminals all the time and don't turn them in" and that "it's pretty much an inviolable rule of journalism: Protect your sources," Sullivan heralded Wheeler's ethically repugnant and journalism-eroding violation of those principles. "It's not hard to see that her decision was a careful and principled one," Sullivan proclaimed.

She even endorsed Wheeler's cringe-inducing, self-glorifying claims about her life being endangered by invoking long-standard Cold War clichés about the treachery of the Russkies ("Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening."). The English language is insufficient to convey the madness required to believe that the Kremlin wanted to kill Marcy Wheeler because her blogging was getting Too Close to The Truth, but in the fevered swamps of resistance journalism, literally no claim was too unhinged to be embraced provided that it fed the social media #Resistance masses.

Sullivan's article quoted no critics of Wheeler's incredibly controversial behavior -- no need to: She was on the right side of social media reaction. And Sullivan never bothered to return to wonder why her prediction -- "Wheeler hasn't named the source publicly, though his name may soon be known to all who are following the Mueller investigation" -- never materialized. Both CNN and, incredibly, the Columbia Journalism Review published similarly sympathetic accounts of Wheeler's desperate attempts to turn over her source to the FBI and then cosplay as though she were some sort of insider in the Mueller investigation. The most menacing attribute of what Smith calls "Resistance Journalism" is that it permits and tolerates no dissent and questioning: perhaps the single most destructive path journalism can take. It has been well-documented that MSNBC and CNN spent three years peddling all sorts of ultimately discredited Russiagate conspiracy theories by excluding from their airwaves anyone who dissented from or even questioned those conspiracies. Instead, they relied upon an increasingly homogenized army of former security state agents from the CIA, FBI, and NSA to propound, in unison, all sorts of claims about Trump and Russia that turned out to be false, and peppered their panels of "analysts" with journalists whose career skyrocketed exclusively by pushing maximalist Russiagate claims, often by relying on the same intelligence officials these cable outlets sat them next to.

That NBC & MSNBC hired as a "news analyst" John Brennan - who ran the CIA when the Trump/Russia investigation began & was a key player in the news he was shaping as a paid colleague of their reporters - is a huge ethical breach. And it produced this: pic.twitter.com/nPlaq5YVxf

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 2, 2019
This trend -- whereby diversity of opinion and dissent from orthodoxies are excluded from media discourse -- is worsening rapidly due to two major factors. The first is that cable news programs are constructed to feed their audiences only self-affirming narratives that vindicate partisan loyalties. One liberal cable host told me that they receive ratings not for each show but for each segment , and they can see the ratings drop off -- the remotes clicking away -- if they put on the air anyone who criticizes the party to which that outlet is devoted (Democrats in the case of MSNBC and CNN, the GOP in the case of Fox).

But there's another more recent and probably more dissent-quashing development: the disappearance of media jobs. Mass layoffs were already common in online journalism and local newspapers prior to the coronavirus pandemic , and have now turned into an industrywide massacre . With young journalists watching jobs disappearing en masse, the last thing they are going to want to do is question or challenge prevailing orthodoxies within their news outlet or, using Smith's "Resistance Journalism" formulation, to "swim against the tides of social media" or question the evidence amassed against those "most disliked by the loudest voices."

Affirming those orthodoxies can be career-promoting, while questioning them can be job-destroying. Consider the powerful incentives journalists face in an industry where jobs are disappearing so rapidly one can barely keep count. During Russiagate, I often heard from young journalists at large media outlets who expressed varying degrees of support for and agreement with the skepticism which I and a handful of other journalists were expressing, but they felt constrained to do so themselves, for good reason. They watched the reprisals and shunning doled out even to journalists with a long record of journalistic accomplishments and job security for the crime of Russiagate skepticism, such as Taibbi (similar to the way MSNBC fired Phil Donahue in 2002 for opposing the invasion of Iraq), and they know journalists with less stature and security than Taibbi could not risk incurring that collective wrath.

All professions and institutions suffer when a herd, groupthink mentality and the banning of dissent prevail. But few activities are corroded from such a pathology more than journalism is, which has as its core function skepticism and questioning of pieties. Journalism quickly transforms into a sickly, limp version of itself when it itself wages war on the virtues of dissent and airing a wide range of perspectives.

I do not know how valid are Smith's critiques of Farrow's journalism. But what I know for certain is that Smith's broader diagnosis of "Resistance Journalism" is dead-on, and the harms it is causing are deep and enduring. When journalists know they will thrive by affirming pleasing falsehoods, and suffer when they insist on unpopular truths, journalism not only loses its societal value but becomes just another instrument for societal manipulation, deceit, and coercion.

[May 19, 2020] Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story by Glenn Greenwald

Images removed
Those are far from failures, those were successful disinformation/propaganda operations conducted with a certain goal -- remove Trump -- which demonstrate the level of intelligence agencies control of the MSM. In other words those are parts of a bigger intelligence operation -- the color revolution against Trump led most probably by Obama and Brennan.
Now we know that Obama played an important role in Russiagate media hysteria and, most porbably, in planning and executing the operation to entrap Flynn.
Notable quotes:
"... They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused ..."
"... Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script: ..."
"... Crowdstrike, the firm hired by the DNC, claimed they had evidence that Russia hacked Ukrainian artillery apps; they then retracted it . ..."
"... The U.S. media and Democrats spent six months claiming that all "17 intelligence agencies" agreed Russia was behind the hacks; the NYT finally retracted that in June, 2017: "The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community." ..."
"... Widespread government and media claims that accused Russian agent Maria Butina offered "sex for favors" were totally false (and scurrilous). ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | theintercept.com
BuzzFeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles," but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."

But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.

Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:

10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)

On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false:

C-SPAN Confirms It Was Briefly Hacked by Russian News Site https://t.co/NUFD662FMz pic.twitter.com/POstGFzvNE

-- Fortune Tech (@FortuneTech) January 12, 2017

Kremlin-funded Russian news network RT interrupted C-SPAN's online feed for about ten minutes Thursday afternoon https://t.co/Z25LqoCW2H

-- New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 12, 2017

Holy shit. Russia state propaganda (RT) "hacked" into C-SPAN feed and took over for a good 40 seconds today? In middle of live broadcast. https://t.co/pwWYFoDGDU

-- Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) January 12, 2017

RT America ominously takes over C-SPAN feed for ten minutes @tommyxtopher reviews today's events for #shareblue https://t.co/uiiU5awSMs

-- Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 12, 2017

After investigation, C-SPAN has concluded that the RT interruption was not the result of a hack, but rather routing error.

-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 18, 2017
9. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)

On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:

Breaking: Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont https://t.co/LED11lL7ej

-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 31, 2016

NEW: "One of the world's leading thugs, [Putin] has been attempting to hack our electric grid," says VT Gov. Shumlin https://t.co/YgdtT4JrlX pic.twitter.com/AU0ZQjT3aO

-- ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ktNVW_TblI?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1

Washington Post retracts story about Russian hack at Vermont utility https://t.co/JX9l0926Uj via @nypost

-- Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) January 1, 2017
8. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."

Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):

Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q

-- Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016

Just want to note I hadn't heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat "allies" https://t.co/jQKnWzjrBR

-- Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) November 25, 2016

Marty, I would like to more about PropOrNot, "experts" cited in the article. Their website provides little in the way of ID. https://t.co/ZiK8pKzUwx

-- Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) November 25, 2016
7. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)

On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network. 6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)

On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.

But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.

An @NBCNews exclusive: After more than a year of mystery, Russia is the main suspect in the sonic attacks that sickened 26 U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in Cuba. @MitchellReports has the latest. pic.twitter.com/NEI9PJ9CpD

-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 11, 2018

Wow >> U.S. has signals intelligence linking the sonic attacks on Americans in Cuba and China to *Russia* https://t.co/FbNla0vu9W

-- Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) September 11, 2018

Following NBC report about sonic attacks, @SenCoryGardner renews calls for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terror https://t.co/wrnubfecom

-- Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) September 11, 2018

5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)

Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016

It's time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia. https://t.co/D8oSmyVAR4 pic.twitter.com/07dRyEmPjX

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
4. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)

On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.

Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:

Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump's campaign, the Guardian has been told. https://t.co/Fc2BVmXipk

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2018

The sourcing on this is a bit thin, or at least obscured. But it's the ultimate Whoa If True. It's...ballgame if true.

-- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4A2cuuRK2NU?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=7

The Guardian reports that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the same month that Manafort joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, a meeting that could carry vast implications for the Russia investigation https://t.co/pYawnv4MHH

-- Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 27, 2018
3. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)

On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either: 2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)

BREAKING: President Trump personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 18, 2019

BOOM! https://t.co/QDkUMaEa7M pic.twitter.com/9kcZZ8m1gt

-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) January 18, 2019

The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date. We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh

-- Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019

If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.

-- Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019

Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's about time for him to show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act. https://t.co/ekG5VSBS8G

-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 18, 2019

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the special counsel is disputing BuzzFeed News' report. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn pic.twitter.com/GWWfGtyhaE

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 19, 2019

To those trying to parse the Mueller statement: it's a straight-up denial. Maybe Buzzfeed can prove they are right, maybe Mueller can prove them wrong. But it's an emphatic denial https://t.co/EI1J7XLCJe

-- Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) January 19, 2019

. @Isikoff : "There were red flags about the BuzzFeed story from the get-go." Notes it was inconsistent with Cohen's guilty plea when he said he made false statements about Trump Tower to Congress to be "consistent" with Trump, not at his direction. pic.twitter.com/tgDg6SNPpG

-- David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 19, 2019

We at The Post also had riffs on the story our reporters hadn't confirmed. One noted Fox downplayed it; another said it "if true, looks to be the most damning to date for Trump." The industry needs to think deeply on how to cover others' reporting we can't confirm independently. https://t.co/afzG5B8LAP

-- Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) January 19, 2019

Washington Post says Mueller's denial of BuzzFeed News article is aimed at the full story: "Mueller's denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate."
https://t.co/ene0yqe1mK

-- andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 19, 2019

If you're one of the people tempted to believe the self-evidently laughable claim that there's something "vague" or unclear about Mueller's statement, or that it just seeks to quibble with a few semantic trivialities, read this @WashPost story about this https://t.co/0io99LyATS pic.twitter.com/ca1TwPR3Og

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019

You can spend hours parsing the Carr statement, but given how unusual it is for any DOJ office to issue this sort of on the record denial, let alone this office, suspect it means the story's core contention that they have evidence Trump told Cohen to lie is fundamentally wrong.

-- Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 19, 2019

New York Times throws a bit of cold water on BuzzFeed's explosive -- and now seriously challenged -- report that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: https://t.co/9N7MiHs7et pic.twitter.com/7FJFT9D8fW

-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 19, 2019

I can't speak to Buzzfeed's sourcing, but, for what it's worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.

-- Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 19, 2019

FWIW in all our reporting I haven't found any in the Trump Org that have met with or been interviewed by Mueller. https://t.co/U4eV1MZc8p

-- John Santucci (@Santucci) January 18, 2019
1. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)

The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).

There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.

To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.

Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:

Knowingly soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes violates the Federal Election Campaign Act. If it's worth over $2,000 then penalties include fines & IMPRISONMENT. @DonaldJTrumpJr may be in bigly trouble. #FridayFeeling https://t.co/dRz6Ph17Er

-- Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 8, 2017

boom https://t.co/9RPPltRq8k pic.twitter.com/eyYHkOMEPi

-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 8, 2017

CNN is leading the way in bashing BuzzFeed but it's worth remembering CNN had a humiliation at least as big & bad: when they yelled that Trump Jr. had advanced access to the WL archive (!): all based on a wrong date. They removed all the segments from YouTube, but this remains: pic.twitter.com/0jiA50aIku

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019

Dishonorable Mention:

[May 19, 2020] Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Russiaphobia as a pathological reaction on the deep crisis of neoliberalism
Notable quotes:
"... The described lack of confidence was reflected in the exaggerated fear that Russia was capable of destroying the West's values. However, Russia and Putin were neither omnipresent nor threatening to destroy the United States' political system. ..."
"... Russia's basic motives remain defensive even when the Kremlin relies on assertive tactics. Russia's assertiveness, even in cyberspace, is of a reactive nature and is a response to US policies. ..."
"... Rather than fighting a full-scale information war with the West, Russia seeks to increase its status and strengthen its bargaining position in relations with the United States. 68 The Kremlin has been proposing to negotiate rules of cooperation in the cyber area since early in the twenty-first century. Motivated by an insistence on "cyber-sovereignty," Russia regularly proposes resolutions at the United Nations to prohibit "information aggression," In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly, Russia proposed an "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," stipulating that states subscribing to the code would pledge to "not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability." 69 ..."
"... Overall, what the Kremlin challenges is the United States' post–Cold War behavior that undermines Russia's status as a great power. Although Russia is not in a position to directly challenge the United States and the US-centered international order, the Kremlin hopes to gain external recognition as a great power by relying on low-cost methods and revealing the vulnerability of Western nations. Russia's capabilities and presence in global cyber and media space are limited, and the Kremlin is motivated by asymmetric deployment of its media, information, and cyber power. ..."
May 19, 2020 | www.oxfordscholarship.com
Chapter:
(p.81) 5 Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump
Source:
The Dark Double
Author(s):
Andrei P. Tsygankov
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190919337.003.0005

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter extends the argument about media and value conflict between Russia and the United States to the age of Donald Trump. The new value conflict is assessed as especially acute and exacerbated by the US partisan divide. The Russia issue became central because it reflected both political partisanship and the growing value division between Trump voters and the liberal establishment. In addition to explaining the new wave of American Russophobia, the chapter analyzes Russia's own role and motives. The media are likely to continue the ideological and largely negative coverage of Russia, especially if Washington and Moscow fail to develop a pragmatic form of cooperation.

Keywords: Russia, Trump, US elections, narrative of collusion, partisan divide

This chapter addresses the new development in the US media perception of the Russian threat following the election of Donald Trump as the United States' president. The election revealed that US national values could no longer be viewed as predominantly liberal and favoring the global promotion of democracy, as supported by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. During and after the election, the liberal media sought to present Moscow as not only favoring Trump but being responsible for his election and even ruling on behalf of the Kremlin. Those committed to a liberal worldview led the way in criticizing Russia and Putin for assaulting liberal democratic values globally and inside the United States. This chapter argues that the Russia issue became so central in the new internal divide because it reflects both political partisanship and the growing division between the values of Trump voters and those of the liberal establishment. The domestic political struggle has exacerbated the divide. Russia's otherness, again, has highlighted values of "freedom," seeking to preserve the confidence of the liberal self. (p.82)

The Narrative of Trump's "Collusion" with Russia

During the US presidential election campaign, American media developed yet another perception of Russia as reflected in the narrative of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. 1 Having originated in liberal media and building on the previous perceptions of neo-Soviet autocracy and foreign threat, the new perception of Russia was that of the enemy that won the war against the United States. By electing the Kremlin's favored candidate, America was defeated by Russia. As a CNN columnist wrote, "The Russians really are here, infiltrating every corner of the country, with the single goal of disrupting the American way of life." 2 The two assumptions behind the new media narrative were that Putin was an enemy and that Trump was compromised by Putin. The inevitable conclusion was that Trump could not be a patriot and potentially was a traitor prepared to act against US interests.

The new narrative was assisted by the fact that Trump presented a radically different perspective on Russia than Clinton and the US establishment. The American political class had been in agreement that Russia displayed an aggressive foreign policy seeking to destroy the US-centered international order. Influential politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, commonly referred to Russian president Putin as an extremely dangerous KGB spy with no soul. Instead, Trump saw Russia's international interests as not fundamentally different from America's. He advocated that the United States to find a way to align its policies and priorities in defeating terrorism in the Middle East -- a goal that Russia shared -- with the Kremlin's. Trump promised to form new alliances to "unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism" and to eradicate it "completely from the face of the Earth." 3 He hinted that he was prepared to revisit the thorny issues of Western sanctions against (p.83) the Russian economy and the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. Trump never commented on Russia's political system but expressed his admiration for Putin's leadership and high level of domestic support. 4

Capitalizing on the difference between Trump's views and those of the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, the liberal media referred to Trump as the Kremlin-compromised candidate. Commentators and columnists with the New York Times , such as Paul Krugman, referred to Trump as the "Siberian" candidate. 5 Commentators and pundits, including those with academic and political credentials, developed the theory that the United States was under attack. The former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, wrote in the Washington Post that Russia had attacked "our sovereignty" and continued to "watch us do nothing" because of the partisan divide. He compared the Kremlin's actions with Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and warned that Russia was likely to perform repeat assaults in 2018 and 2020. 6 The historian Timothy Snyder went further, comparing the election of Trump to a loss of war, which Snyder said was the basic aim of the enemy. Writing in the New York Daily News , he asserted, "We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump." 7

The election of Trump prompted the liberal media to discuss Russia-related fears. The leading theory was that Trump would now compromise America's interests and rule the country on behalf of Putin. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called for actions against Russia and praised "patriotic" Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for being tough on Trump. 8 MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked whether Trump was actually under Putin's control. Citing Trump's views and his associates' travel to Moscow, she told viewers, "We are also starting to see (p.84) what may be signs of continuing [Russian] influence in our country, not just during the campaign but during the administration -- basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation." 9 Another New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, published a column titled "There's a Smell of Treason in the Air," arguing that the FBI's investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's collusion "with a foreign power so as to win an election" was an investigation of whether such collusion "would amount to treason." 10 Responding to Trump's statement that his phone was tapped during the election campaign, the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum tweeted that "Trump's insane 'GCHQ tapped my phone' theory came from . . . Moscow." McFaul and many others then endorsed and retweeted the message. 11

To many within the US media, Trump's lack of interest in promoting global institutions and his publicly expressed doubts that the Kremlin was behind cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) served to exacerbate the problem. Several intelligence leaks to the press and investigations by Congress and the FBI contributed to the image of a president who was not motivated by US interests. The US intelligence report on Russia's alleged hacking of the US electoral system released on January 8, 2017, served to consolidate the image of Russia as an enemy. Leaks to the press have continued throughout Trump's presidency. Someone in the administration informed the press that Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in elections on March 18, 2018, despite Trump's advisers' warning against making such a call. 12

In the meantime, investigations of Trump's alleged "collusion" with Russia were failing to produce substantive evidence. Facts that some associates of Trump sought to meet or met with members of Russia's government did not lead to evidence of sustained contacts or collaboration. It was not proven that the Kremlin's "black dossier" on Trump compiled by British intelligence officer (p.85) Christopher Steele and leaked to CNN was truthful. Russian activity on American social networks such as Facebook and Twitter was not found to be conclusive in determining outcomes of the elections. 13 In February 2018, a year after launching investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the US 2016 presidential elections, yet their connection to Putin or Trump was not established. On March 12, 2018, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr stated that he had not yet seen any evidence of collusion. 14 Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the Russia investigation, announced the end of the committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election. 15

Trump was also not acting toward Russia in the way the US media expected. His views largely reflected those of the military and national security establishment and disappointed some of his supporters. 16 The US National Security Strategy and new Defense Strategy presented Russia as a leading security threat, alongside China, Iran, and North Korea. The president made it clear that he wanted to engage in tough bargaining with Russia by insisting on American terms. 17 Instead of improving ties with Russia, let alone acting on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump contributed to new crises in bilateral relations that had to do with the two sides' principally different perceptions. While the Kremlin expected Washington to normalize relations, the United States assumed Russia's weakness and expected it to comply with Washington's priorities regarding the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan and nuclear and cyber issues. 18 Trump also authorized the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in US history and ordered several missile strikes against Assad's Russia-supported positions in Syria, each time provoking a crisis in relations with Moscow. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Rachel Maddow suspected of being appointed on Putin's advice to "weaken" the State Department and "bleed out" (p.86) the FBI, 19 was replaced by John Bolton. The latter's foreign policy reputation was that of a hawk, including on Russia. 20

Responding to these developments, the media focused on fears of being attacked by the Kremlin and on Trump not doing enough to protect the country. These fears went beyond the alleged cyber interference in the US presidential elections and included infiltration of American media and social networks and attacks on congressional elections and the country's most sensitive infrastructure, such as electric grids, water-processing plants, banking networks, and transportation facilities. In order to prevent such developments, media commentators and editorial writers recommended additional pressures on the Kremlin and counteroffensive operations. 21 One commentator recommended, as the best defense from Russia's plans to interfere with another election in the United States, launching a cyberattack on Russia's own presidential elections in March 2018, to "disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin's regime." 22 A New York Times editorial summarized the mood by challenging President Trump to confront Russia further: "If Mr. Trump isn't Mr. Putin's lackey, it's past time for him to prove it." 23 The burden of proof was now on Trump's shoulders.

Opposition to the "Collusion" Narrative

In contrast to highly critical views of Russia in the dominant media, conservative, libertarian, and progressive sources offered different assessments. Initially, opposition to the collusion narrative came from the alternative media, yet gradually -- in response to scant evidence of Trump's collusion -- it incorporated voices within the mainstream.

The conservative media did not support the view that Russia "stole" elections and presented Trump as a patriot who wanted to make America great rather than develop "cozy" relationships with (p.87) the Kremlin. Writing in the American Interest , Walter Russell Mead argued that Trump aimed to demonstrate the United States' superiority by capitalizing on its military and technological advantages. He did not sound like a Russian mole. Challenging the liberal media, the author called for "an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press" and wrote that "if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama's." 24 Instead of viewing Trump as compromised by the Kremlin, sources such Breitbart and Fox News attributed the blame to the deep state, "the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats," including the intelligence agencies, that seeks to "derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency" by engaging in accusations and smear campaigns. 25

Echoing Trump's own views, some conservatives expressed their admiration for Putin as a dynamic leader superior to Obama. In particular, they praised Putin for his ability to defend Russia's "traditional values" and great-power status. 26 Neoconservative and paleoconservative publications like the National Review , the Weekly Standard, Human Events Online , and others critiqued Obama's "feckless foreign policy," characterized by "fruitless accommodationism," contrasting it with Putin's skilled and calculative geopolitical "game of chess." 27 A Washington Post / ABC News poll revealed that among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump's approach on Russia relative; 40% of all respondents approved. 28 This did not mean that conservatives and Republicans were "infiltrated" by the Kremlin. Mutual Russian and American conservative influences were limited and nonstructured. 29 The approval of Putin as a leader by American conservatives meant that they shared a certain commonality of ideas and were equally critical of liberal media and globalization. 30

Progressive and libertarian media also did not support the narrative of collusion. Gary Leupp at CounterPunch found the (p.88) narrative to be serving the purpose of reviving and even intensifying "Cold War-era Russophobia," with Russia being an "adversary" "only in that it opposes the expansion of NATO, especially to include Ukraine and Georgia." 31 Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com questioned the narrative by pointing to Russia's bellicose rhetoric in response to Trump's actions. 32 Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani at Intercept reminded readers that, overall, Trump proved to be far more confrontational toward Russia than Obama, thereby endangering America. 33 In particular Trump severed diplomatic ties with Russia, armed Ukraine, appointed anti-Russia hawks, such as ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michal Pompeo to key foreign policy positions, antagonized Russia's Iranian allies, and imposed tough sanctions against Russian business with ties to the Kremlin. 34

The dominant liberal media ignored opposing perspectives or presented them as compromised by Russia. For instance, in amplifying the view that Putin "stole" the elections, the Washington Post sought to discredit alternative sources of news and commentaries as infiltrated by the Kremlin's propaganda. On November 24, 2016, the newspaper published an interview with the executive director of a new website, PropOrNot, who preferred to remain anonymous, and claimed that the Russian government circulated pro-Trump articles before the election. Without providing evidence on explaining its methodology, the group identified more than two hundred websites that published or echoed Russian propaganda, including WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report , left-wing websites such as CounterPunch, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig , and Naked Capitalism , as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. 35 Another mainstream liberal outlet, CNN, warned the American people to be vigilant against the Kremlin's alleged efforts to spread propaganda: "Enormous numbers of (p.89) Americans are not only failing to fight back, they are also unwitting collaborators -- reading, retweeting, sharing and reacting to Russian propaganda and provocations every day." 36

However, voices of dissent were now heard even in the mainstream media. Masha Gessen of the New Yorker said that Trump's tweet about Robert Mueller's indictments and Moscow's "laughing its ass off" was "unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate." 37 She pointed out that Russians of all ideological convictions "are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous." 38 The editor of the influential Politico , Blake Hounshell, confessed that he was a Russiagate skeptic because even though "Trump was all too happy to collude with Putin," Mueller's team never found a "smoking gun." 39 In reviewing the book on Russia's role in the 2016 election Russian Roulette , veteran New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers noted that the Kremlin's meddling "simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns" and that the veracity of many accusations remained unclear. 40

Explaining Russophobia

The high-intensity Russophobia within the American media, overblown even by the standards of previous threat narratives, could no longer be explained by differences in national values or by bilateral tensions. The new fear of Russia also reflected domestic political polarization and growing national unease over America's identity and future direction.

The narrative of collusion in the media was symptomatic of America's declining confidence in its own values. Until the intervention in Iraq in 2004, optimism and a sense of confidence prevailed in American social attitudes, having survived even the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. The (p.90) country's economy was growing and its position in the world was not challenged. However, the disastrous war in Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and Russia's intervention in Georgia in August 2008 changed that. US leadership could no longer inspire the same respect, and a growing number of countries viewed it as a threat to world peace. 41 Internally, the United States was increasingly divided. Following presidential elections in November 2016, 77% of Americans perceived their country as "greatly divided on the most important values." 42 The value divide had been expressed in partisanship and political polarization long before the 2016 presidential elections. 43 The Russia issue deepened this divide. According to a poll taken in October 2017, 63% of Democrats, but just 38% of Republicans, viewed "Russia's power and influence" as a major threat to the well-being of the United States. 44

During the US 2016 presidential elections, Russia emerged as a convenient way to accentuate differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, which in previous elections were never as pronounced or defining. The new elections deepened the partisan divide because of extreme differences between the two main candidates, particularly on Russia. Donald Trump positioned himself as a radical populist promising to transform US foreign policy and "drain the swamp" in Washington. His position on Russia seemed unusual because, by election time, the Kremlin had challenged the United States' position in the world by annexing Crimea, supporting Ukrainian separatism, and possibly hacking the DNC site.

The Russian issue assisted Clinton in stressing her differences from Trump. Soon after it became known that DNC servers were hacked, she embraced the view that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. She accused Russia of "trying to wreak havoc" in the United States and threatened retaliation. 45 In his turn, Trump used Russia to challenge Clinton's commitment to national security (p.91) and ability to serve as commander in chief. In particular, he drew public attention to the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server for professional correspondence, and even noted sarcastically that the Russians should find thirty thousand missing emails belonging to her. The latter was interpreted by many in liberal media and political circles as a sign of Trump's being unpatriotic. 46 Clinton capitalized on this interpretation. She referred to the issue of hacking as the most important one throughout the campaign and challenged Trump to agree with assessments of intelligence agencies that cyberattacks were ordered by the Kremlin. She questioned Trump's commitments to US national security and accused him of being a "puppet" for President Putin. 47 Following Trump's victory, Clinton told donors that her loss should be partly attributed to Putin and the election hacks directed by him. 48

Clinton's arguments fitted with the overall narrative embraced by the mainstream media since roughly 2005 characterizing Russia as abusive and aggressive. Clinton viewed Russia as an oppressive autocratic power that was aggressive abroad to compensate for domestic weaknesses. Previously, in her book Hard Choices , then-secretary of state Clinton described Putin as "thin-skinned and autocratic, resenting criticism and eventually cracking down on dissent and debate." 49 This view was shared by President Obama, who publicly referred to Russia as a "regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness." 50 During the election's campaign, Clinton argued that the United States should challenge Russia by imposing a no-fly zone in Syria with the objective of removing Assad from power, strengthening sanctions against the Russian economy, and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the potential threat of Russia's military invasion.

Following the elections, the partisan divide deepened, with liberal establishment attacking the "unpatriotic" Trump. Having (p.92) lost the election, Clinton partly attributed Trump's victory to the role of Russia and advocated an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. In February 2017 the Clinton-influenced Center for American Progress brought on a former State Department official to run a new Moscow Project. 51 As acknowledged by the New Yorker , members of the Clinton inner circle believed that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed DNC hacking by the Kremlin. "We understand the bind they were in," one of Clinton's senior advisers said. "But what if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack . . .' A large majority of Americans would have sat up and taken notice . . . it is bewildering -- it is baffling -- it is hard to make sense of why this was not a five-alarm fire in the White House." 52

In addition to Clinton, many other members of the Washington establishment, including some Republicans, spread the narrative of Russia "attacking" America. Republican politicians who viewed Clinton's defeat and the hacking attacks in military terms included those of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, who stated, "When you attack a country, it's an act of war," 53 and former vice president Dick Cheney, who called Russia's alleged interference in the US election "a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin" that "in some quarters that would be considered an act of war." 54 A number of Democrats also engaged in the rhetoric of war, likening the Russian "attack," as Senator Ben Cardin did, to a "political Pearl Harbor." 55

Rumors and leaks, possibly by members of US intelligence agencies, 56 and activities of liberal groups that sought to discredit Trump contributed to the Russophobia. In addition to the DNC hacking accusations, many fears of Russia in the media were based on the assumption that contacts, let alone cooperation with the (p.93) Kremlin, was unpatriotic and implied potentially "compromising" behavior: praise of Putin as a leader, possible business dealings with Russian "oligarchs," and meetings with Russian officials such Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. 57

There were therefore two sides to the Russia story in the US liberal media -- rational and emotional. The rational side had to do with calculations by Clinton-affiliated circles and anti-Russian groups pooling their resources to undermine Trump and his plans to improve relations with Russia. Among others, these resources included dominance within the liberal media and leaks by the intelligence community. The emotional side was revealed by the liberal elites' values and ability to promote fears of Russia within the US political class and the general public. Popular emotions of fear and frustration with Russia already existed in the public space due to the old Cold War memories, as well as disturbing post–Cold War developments that included wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. In part because of these memories, factions such as those associated with Clinton were successful in evoking in the public liberal mind what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" or "the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy." 58 Mobilized by liberal media to pressure Trump, these emotions became an independent factor in the political struggle inside Washington. The public display of fear and frustration with Russia and Trump could only be sustained by a constant supply of new "suspicious" developments and intense discussion by the media.

Russia's Role and Motives

Russia's "attacking" America and Trump's "colluding" with the Kremlin remained poorly substantiated. Taken together, the DNC hacking, Trump's and Putin's mutual praise, and Trump associates' (p.94) contacts with Russian officials implied Kremlin infiltration of the United States' internal politics. Yet viewed separately, each was questionable and unproven. Some of these points could have also been made about Hillary Clinton, who had ties to Russian -- not to mention Saudi Arabian -- business circles and Ukrainian politicians. 59 Political views cannot be counted as evidence. Contacts with Russian officials could have been legitimate exchanges of views about two countries' interests and potential cooperation. Even the CIA- and the FBI-endorsed conclusion that Russia attacked the DNC servers was questioned by some observers on the grounds that forensic evidence was lacking and that it relied too much on findings by one cybersecurity company. 60 In general, discussion of Russia in the US media lacked nuances and a sense of proportion. As Jesse Walker, an editor at Reason magazine and author of The United States of Paranoia , pointed out,

There's a difference between thinking that Moscow may have hacked the Democratic National Committee and thinking that Moscow actually hacked the election, between thinking the president may have Russian conflicts of interest and thinking he's a Russian puppet . . . when someone like the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman declares that Putin "installed" Donald Trump as president, he's moving out of the realm of plausible plots and into the world of fantasy. Similarly, Clinton's warning that Trump could be Putin's "puppet" leaped from an imaginable idea, that Putin wanted to help her rival, to the much more dubious notion that Putin thought he could control the impulsive Trump. (Trump barely seems capable of controlling himself.) 61

The loose and politically tendentious nature of discussions, circulation of questionable leaks and dossiers complied by unidentified (p.95) individuals, and lack of serious evidence led a number of observers to conclude that the Russia story was more about stopping Trump than about Russia. The Russian scandal was symptomatic of the poisonous state of bilateral relations that Democrats exploited for the purpose of derailing Trump. US-Russia relations became a hostage of partisan domestic politics. As one liberal and tough critic of Putin wrote, Democratic lawmakers' rhetoric of war in connection with the 2016 elections "places Republicans -- who often characterize themselves as more hawkish on Russia and defense -- in a bind as they try to defend to the new administration's strategy towards Moscow." 62 Another observer noted that Russiagate performed "a critical function for Trump's political foes," allowing "them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative." 63

The described lack of confidence was reflected in the exaggerated fear that Russia was capable of destroying the West's values. However, Russia and Putin were neither omnipresent nor threatening to destroy the United States' political system. A number of analysts, such as Mark Schrad, identified fears of Russia as "increasingly hysterical fantasies" and argued that Russia was not a global menace. 64 If the Kremlin was indeed behind the cyberattacks, it was not for the reasons commonly broached. Rather than trying to subvert the US system, it sought to defend its own system against what it perceived as a US policy of changing regimes and meddling in Russia's internal affairs. The United States has a long history of covert activities in foreign countries. 65 Washington's establishment has never followed the advice given by prominent American statesmen such as George Kennan to let Russians "be Russians" and "work out their internal problems in their own manner." 66 Instead, the United States assumes that America defines the rules and boundaries of proper behavior in international politics, while others must simply follow the rules.

(p.96) Russia's basic motives remain defensive even when the Kremlin relies on assertive tactics. Russia's assertiveness, even in cyberspace, is of a reactive nature and is a response to US policies. Experts observe that Russia's conception of cyber and other informational power serves the overall purpose of protecting national sovereignty from encroachments by the United States. 67 Rather than fighting a full-scale information war with the West, Russia seeks to increase its status and strengthen its bargaining position in relations with the United States. 68 The Kremlin has been proposing to negotiate rules of cooperation in the cyber area since early in the twenty-first century. Motivated by an insistence on "cyber-sovereignty," Russia regularly proposes resolutions at the United Nations to prohibit "information aggression," In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly, Russia proposed an "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," stipulating that states subscribing to the code would pledge to "not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability." 69

Overall, what the Kremlin challenges is the United States' post–Cold War behavior that undermines Russia's status as a great power. Although Russia is not in a position to directly challenge the United States and the US-centered international order, the Kremlin hopes to gain external recognition as a great power by relying on low-cost methods and revealing the vulnerability of Western nations. Russia's capabilities and presence in global cyber and media space are limited, and the Kremlin is motivated by asymmetric deployment of its media, information, and cyber power.

[May 16, 2020] Bought and pied expert are just MIC prostiitutes, as are necons and the majority of Russiagaters

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War is too important to be left to the generals ..."
May 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

Originally from: Covid-19, Russiagate, Iraq – politicians are too happy to defer to convenient 'experts' -- RT Op-ed

So-called "experts" are too narrow in their focus and too often wrong in their judgments to be able to decide the sorts of life-and-death issues a nation's political leaders are asked to decide. If " War is too important to be left to the generals ," as Georges Clemenceau, (France's prime minister during World War I) claimed, then foreign policy is too important to be left to the intelligence agencies, and public policy is too important to be left to the scientists.

From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians and media fell over themselves in their rush to defer to the " experts. " Apparently, it was up to scientists to decide whether a country should shut down its economy and keep its citizens locked up in their homes in perpetuity. It was up to scientists to determine whether a country can, if ever, resume normal life. As for the consequences -- economic depression, exploding national debt, lost businesses and means of livelihood, growing alcoholism and drug abuse, rise in suicides, spiraling untreated medical problems -- those are things the public would just have to live with, because there could be no second-guessing of the scientists.

[May 16, 2020] Putin's Call For A New System and the 1944 Battle Of Bretton Woods

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Our Job in the Pacific ..."
"... "supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking." ..."
"... General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money ..."
"... "contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires." ..."
May 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

On the one side, figures allied to American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's vision for an anti-Imperial world order lined up behind FDR's champion Harry Dexter White while those powerful forces committed to maintaining the structures of a bankers' dictatorship (Britain was always primarily a banker's empire) lined up behind the figure of John Maynard Keynes[ 1 ].

John Maynard Keynes was a leading Fabian Society controller and treasurer of the British Eugenics Association (which served as a model for Hitler's Eugenics protocols before and during the war). During the Bretton Woods Conference, Keynes pushed hard for the new system to be premised upon a one world currency controlled entirely by the Bank of England known as the Bancor. He proposed a global bank called the Clearing Union to be controlled by the Bank of England which would use the Bancor (exchangeable with national currencies) and serve as unit of account to measure trade surpluses or deficits under the mathematical mandate of maintaining "equilibrium" of the system.

Harry Dexter White, on the other hand, fought relentlessly to keep the City of London out of the drivers' seat of global finance and instead defended the institution of national sovereignty and sovereign currencies based on long term scientific and technological growth.

Although White and FDR demanded that US dollars become the reserve currency in the new world system of fixed exchange rates, it was not done to create a "new American Empire" as most modern analysts have assumed, but rather was designed to use America's status as the strongest productive global power to ensure an anti-speculative stability among international currencies which entirely lacked stability in the wake of WWII.

Their fight for fixed exchange rates and principles of "parity pricing" were designed by FDR and White strictly around the need to abolish the forms of chaotic flux of the un-regulated markets which made speculation rampant under British Free Trade and destroyed the capacity to think and plan for the sort of long term development needed to modernize nation states. Theirs was not a drive for "mathematical equilibrium" but rather a drive to "end poverty" through REAL physical economic growth of colonies who would thereby win real economic independence.

As figures like Henry Wallace (FDR's loyal Vice President and 1948 3rd party candidate), Representative Wendell Wilkie (FDR's republican lieutenant and New Dealer), and Dexter White all advocated repeatedly, the mechanisms of the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations were meant to become drivers of an internationalization of the New Deal which transformed America from a backwater cesspool in 1932 to becoming a modern advanced manufacturing powerhouse 12 years later. All of these Interntional New Dealers were loud advocates of US-Russia –China leadership in the post war world which is a forgotten fact of paramount importance.

In his 1944 book Our Job in the Pacific , Wallace said:

It is vital to the United States, it is vital to China and it is vital to Russia that there be peaceful and friendly relations between China and Russia, China and America and Russia and America. China and Russia Complement and supplement each other on the continent of Asia and the two together complement and supplement America's position in the Pacific.

Contradicting the mythos that FDR was a Keynesian, FDR's assistant Francis Perkins recorded the 1934 interaction between the two men when Roosevelt told her:

"I saw your friend Keynes. He left a whole rigmarole of figures. He must be a mathematician rather than a political economist."

In response Keynes, who was then trying to coopt the intellectual narrative of the New Deal stated he had "supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking."

In his 1936 German edition of his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money , Keynes wrote:

For I confess that much of the following book is illustrated and expounded mainly with reference to the conditions existing in the Anglo Saxon countries. Nevertheless, the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state.

While Keynes represented the "soft imperialism" for the "left" of Britain's intelligentsia, Churchill represented the hard unapologetic imperialism of the Old, less sophisticated empire that preferred the heavy fisted use of brute force to subdue the savages. Both however were unapologetic racists and fascists (Churchill even wrote admiringly of Mussolini's black shirts) and both represented the most vile practices of British Imperialism.

FDR's Forgotten Anti-Colonial Vision Revited

FDR's battle with Churchill on the matter of empire is better known than his differences with Keynes whom he only met on a few occasions. This well documented clash was best illustrated in his son/assistant Elliot Roosevelt's book As He Saw It (1946) who quoted his father:

I've tried to make it clear that while we're [Britain's] allies and in it to victory by their side, they must never get the idea that we're in it just to help them hang on to their archaic, medieval empire ideas I hope they realize they're not senior partner; that we are not going to sit by and watch their system stultify the growth of every country in Asia and half the countries in Europe to boot.

[ ]

The colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of these countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements – all you're doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you're doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.

Writing from Washington in a hysteria to Churchill, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden said that Roosevelt "contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires."

Unfortunately for the world, FDR died on April 12, 1945. A coup within the Democratic establishment, then replete with Fabians and Rhodes Scholars, had already ensured that Henry Wallace would lose the 1944 Vice Presidency in favor of Anglophile Wall Street Stooge Harry Truman.

Truman was quick to reverse all of FDR's intentions, cleansing American intelligence of all remaining patriots with the shutdown of the OSS and creation of the CIA, the launching of un-necessary nuclear bombs on Japan and establishment of the Anglo-American special relationship.

Truman's embrace of Churchill's New World Order destroyed the positive relationship with Russia and China which FDR, White and Wallace sought and soon America had become Britain's dumb giant.

The Post 1945 Takeover of the Modern Deep State

FDR warned his son before his death of his understanding of the British takeover of American foreign policy, but still could not reverse this agenda. His son recounted his father's ominous insight:

You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren't in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston.

As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of 'em: any number of 'em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!" I was told six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It's like the British Foreign Office

Before being fired from Truman's cabinet for his advocacy of US-Russia friendship during the Cold War, Wallace stated:

American fascism" which has come to be known in recent years as the Deep State [ ] Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.

In his 1946 Soviet Asia Mission, Wallace said:

Before the blood of our boys is scarcely dry on the field of battle, these enemies of peace try to lay the foundation for World War III. These people must not succeed in their foul enterprise. We must offset their poison by following the policies of Roosevelt in cultivating the friendship of Russia in peace as well as in war.

Indeed this is exactly what occurred. Dexter White's three year run as head of the International Monetary Fund was clouded by his constant attacks as being a Soviet stooge which haunted him until the day he died in 1948 after a grueling inquisition session at the House of Un-American Activities.

White had previously been supporting the election of his friend Wallace for the presidency alongside fellow patriots Paul Robeson and Albert Einstein.

Today the world has captured a second chance to revive the FDR's dream of an anti-colonial world . In the 21st century, this great dream has taken the form of the New Silk Road, led by Russia and China (and joined by a growing chorus of nations yearning to exit the invisible cage of colonialism).

If western nations wish to survive the oncoming collapse, then they would do well to heed Putin's call for a New International system, join the BRI, and reject the Keynesian technocrats advocating a false "New Bretton Woods" and "Green New Deal" .

Originally published on The Saker

[1] You may be thinking "wait! Wasn't FDR and his New Deal premised on Keynes' theories??" How could Keynes have represented an opposing force to FDR's system if this is the case? This paradox only exists in the minds of many people today due to the success of the Fabian Society's and Round Table Movement's armada of revisionist historians who have consistently created a lying narrative of history to make it appear to future generations trying to learn from past mistakes that those figures like FDR who opposed empire were themselves following imperial principles.

Another example of this sleight of hand can be seen by the sheer number of people who sincerely think themselves informed and yet believe that America's 1776 revolution was driven by British Imperial philosophical thought stemming from Adam Smith, Bentham and John Locke.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk , regular author with Strategic Culture, the Duran and Fort Russ and has authored 3 volumes of 'Untold History of Canada' book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation and can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

[May 15, 2020] "Travel brings wisdom only to the wise. It renders the ignorant more ignorant than ever."

Joe Abercrombie, from "Last Argument of Kings"
May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al May 9, 2020 at 10:53 am

al-Beeb s'Allah: Coronavirus: Belarus WW2 parade defies pandemic and upstages Putin

the Fraudian: Victory Day: Belarus swaggers on parade as Russians leave Red Square deserted
####

[May 15, 2020] Russia can be anything you like, provided your objective is to shit on it

May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

"Do you remember that part, in the Wizard of Oz, when the witch is dead and the Munchkins start singing? Think that kind of happiness."

Julie Mulhern, from "The Deep End"

The New York Times is unable to contain its glee at Russia's having had to cancel its Victory Day celebrations. There was no end of negative press directed at Putin for having not yet announced postponement or cancellation, because it looked for a bit as if Russia was going to go for herd immunity rather than bringing everything to a grinding halt, and sequestering its terrified citizens in their homes as the west has done. But finally the number of Russian infections began to rocket encouragingly upward, and something had to be done. So it was lockdown, Victory Day postponed indefinitely, and the Times couldn't be happier.

The Times has been going downhill at quite a clip ever since the mendacious aluminum-tubes nonsense in the runup to the American invasion of Iraq, and in fact the Times was an enthusiastic promoter of that war in general, swaddling itself in righteousness when serial liar Judith Miller went to jail rather than reveal her sources. It was a 'proud but awful moment for The Times' , but heroine Miller 'surrendered her liberty in defense of a greater liberty'. Give me a moment, will you? I want to put on some violins.

Ah, that's better. Inspiring, thank you, Judith. But in the end the Times' blubbering about greater liberty looked a lot more like a heartstrings strumfest in defense of telling outrageous lies that got thousands upon thousands of innocent people killed, brought out the very worst in Americans in the grimy corridors of Abu Ghraib , and left a country so battered, demoralized and divided that it has never recovered to this day.

The foregoing is simply a measure of how far the Times has fallen, from standard-bearer for journalistic excellence to liberal demagogue, not fit to wrap fish and chips in. And the unseemly sneering and giggling of the authors of the subject piece should be regarded with the same contempt which would surely be directed at Russians who cheered at Independence Day celebrations having to be canceled in the United States – stick your tailgate parties up your tailgate, Amerikanski!

But since we're here, let's take a look at what a journalist's salary at The New York Times buys you these days, shall we?

First of all, what does Victory Day celebrate? Because the Nazi surrender was actually tendered twice; it was signed May 7th, 1945 at Reims, by Alfred Jodl for Germany, Walter Bedell Smith for the Allied Expeditionary Force, and Ivan Susloparov for the Soviet High Command. But the latter was only a junior officer who did not have the authority to sign on behalf of the state, and the Soviet High Command had not approved the text of the surrender agreement. Stalin insisted on a second ceremony, said that the first ceremony constituted a preliminary agreement only, and insisted on the surrender being signed in Berlin, 'center of Nazi aggression'.

"Today, in Reims, Germans signed the preliminary act on an unconditional surrender. The main contribution, however, was done by Soviet people and not by the Allies, therefore the capitulation must be signed in front of the Supreme Command of all countries of the anti-Hitler coalition, and not only in front of the Supreme Command of Allied Forces. Moreover, I disagree that the surrender was not signed in Berlin, which was the center of Nazi aggression. We agreed with the Allies to consider the Reims protocol as preliminary."

Eisenhower immediately agreed, and the final Instrument of Surrender was signed May 9th, 1945, by Field-Marshal Wilhelm Keitel for Germany, Marshal Georgy Zhukov for the Soviet High Command, and Air Chief Marshal Arthur Tedder for the Allied Expeditionary Force. This is the date which has been celebrated every year since, by the Soviet Union and its inheritor, the Russian Federation.

What does it commemorate? The loss, according to credible research , of 23.8 million Soviet citizens due to war and occupation, 7.2 million of them soldiers who died on the front lines, 3.1 million more Soviet prisoners of war in German custody, .9 million dead – many of them starved to death – in the siege of Leningrad, and 2.5 million in the Jewish holocaust.

The USA lost a total of 418,500 .

Victory Day is not about we-had-more-people-killed-than-you. But just to put the magnitude of Soviet losses in perspective – total deaths in World War II, what the Soviets called the Great Patriotic War, were around 60 million people. The Soviet Union accounted for nearly half the dead of the global total.

And another thing; the war was fought mostly in Europe, and if you look down the rows of national casualties, you will notice a pattern – once you add civilian casualties on to the military deaths, the total takes a huge jump. Austria; 261,000 military dead – total deaths, 384,700. Belgium, 12,100 military dead. Total deaths, 86,000. France; military deaths, 217,600. Total deaths, 567,600. You see what I mean, I'm sure.

United States of America; military deaths, 416,800. Total deaths, 418,500. 1,700 civilian deaths of American citizens. For each American soldier killed in battle, the Soviet Union lost 17.

And even the most pessimistic would have to admit that the USA came out of World War II in a pretty good position; my, yes. Incredibly, American managers of General Motors and Ford went along with the conversion of their German plants to military production at a time when U.S. government documents show they were still resisting calls by the Roosevelt administration to step up military production in their plants at home.

"When American GIs invaded Europe in June 1944, they did so in jeeps, trucks and tanks manufactured by the Big Three motor companies in one of the largest crash militarization programs ever undertaken. It came as an unpleasant surprise to discover that the enemy was also driving trucks manufactured by Ford and Opel -- a 100 percent GM-owned subsidiary -- and flying Opel-built warplanes."

America profited handsomely, both by doing business with the Nazis right up until it was forced to stop, while at the same time America was churning out war materiel to support the allies as fast as factory lines could be made to run. Nice work if you can get it. The Bretton Woods agreement , concluded in 1944, abandoned the gold standard as the global currency in favour of the US greenback, putting America in the driver's seat as the dominant world power. The Soviets were left with a country in smoking ruins, as apple-cheeked America went back to work with a whistle on its lips. Right away, muttering started about the Molotov-Ribbentrop pact, which has recently exploded into accusation by the US Ambassador to Poland that Russia started the war. The Moscow Times, a militantly pro-western newspaper, ponders why Russia will not 'confront its role in the war', and decides it must be Putin's fault .

"Teaching history has never been easy in Russia, where archives are closed and transparent discussions about the country's Soviet past are met with hostility. Even then, teaching World War II is more difficult: with every year that Putin is in power, Russia fails to confront its role in the war head on."

And now some fucking American chowderhead – in Moscow – openly snickers over the cancellation of the Victory Day parade and celebration, in between boasting about how he carries a shopping bag with him every time he decides to go out for a stroll, so police won't challenge him on why he's not at home.

"I prefer going out during the day, walking with my wife, shielded by a big shopping bag in the hope that the police will let us be."

And of course, the canard we have all become accustomed to, Russia is aflame with coronavirus, with over 10.000 new cases per day for the last three days straight. As of the middle of April, Russia reported that nearly half its new cases were asymptomatic , and that proportion continues to increase – it seems reasonable to assume the high numbers result from increased testing. Deaths from coronavirus in Russia remain extremely low. 1,723 COVID victims have died, of a total 187,859 cases since the beginning of the outbreak, a mortality rate so far of .91%, about the same as the seasonal flu.

"Travel brings wisdom only to the wise. It renders the ignorant more ignorant than ever."

Joe Abercrombie, from "Last Argument of Kings"


Mark Chapman May 9, 2020 at 8:03 am

Oh, that is explained as well – "In a country with a long history of legal nihilism, the mayor's stay-at-home pleas were not expected to gain much traction. Russia is, after all, a land where, according to popular wisdom, "the severity of the law is compensated by the laxity of its enforcement" and "when something is not allowed but is greatly desired it can be done."

Again, the beauty of artistic license; on the one hand, the law in Russia is just words – nobody really pays attention to it. The only people who don't do just as they please are lazy fucking Russian puddings who can't be bothered to think big. On the other, whenever Navalny and his hamsters want to march straight into Red Square or down major streets where they can cause a traffic jam, the oppressive hand of the law is everywhere at once and screaming children are dragged off to prison, or straight to the nearest recruiting office where they are clapped into the army before they know what they're about. Depending on what kind of story you are writing for the New York Times, the law in Russia can be either wall-to-wall incompetence, Keystone Kops writ large, unenforceable and just going through the motions. Or it can be oppression, everywhere at once, brave liberals sweating over their keyboards at night in garrets, always waiting for that knock on the door, but so committed to getting the truth out that they risk their very lives.

Russia can be anything you like, provided your objective is to shit on it.

The vignette the author details above suggests that he and his wife are just out for a gratuitous stroll, to take the air – that little bit smarter than the native mugs who stay crammed into their tiny apartments, you see. It never occurs to them that all they need do is carry a shopping bag, and the cops will be either too lazy or too dumb to investigate.

moscowexile May 9, 2020 at 9:20 am
Misunderstood the above!

He's so smart!!!

He's not really shopping and the dumb Orcs don't suspect that he is fooling them!

But I see Orcs walking around outside my Moscow house all the time, and they are not carrying shopping bags and the cops do not stop them.

In fact, since this isolation regime has come into force, I have yet to see a cop in our neighborhood.

At the very beginning of the "quarantine", 2 cops came to the basketball court outside our house and told sone boys to bugger off. I am sure some old ratbag of an interfering babushka had summoned them.

Moscow Exile May 9, 2020 at 3:30 am

https://www.youtube.com/embed/bT8fv4Qokdw?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

And the Liberasts loathe the celebration of the victory against Nazism: they think it would have been better if the filth had won.

They also detest all those who participate in the "Immortal Regiment" parade, saying they all receive payment to do so.

Note the multi ethnicity of the USSR forces and citizens in the above clip.

Remember, now, "Russians" are inveterate racists!

[May 15, 2020] Actually, Maddow considers herself a Serious Journalist

May 15, 2020 | www.unz.com

Bill Jones , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 9:24 am GMT

@Sgt. Joe Friday "Actually, Maddow considers herself a Serious Journalist. She "speaks truth to power," and she'd probably be the first to tell you that. Repeatedly.

Limbaugh on the other hand, if asked to pick a word to describe his profession would likely say "entertainer.""

While in actuality, the roles are very nearly reversed. (Nearly only because I don't find Maddow amusing)

[May 15, 2020] Why so few young Russians show support for "'classical' civil and political liberties". My guess is that 20 years of observation of Western practice of these noble ideals has soured them.

May 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

RUSSIAN YOUTH. It's a widespread delusion, strengthened by the narrow circle Western reporters talk to in Russia, that " the government's anti-Western agenda and reports of widespread corruption are turning young Russians against the leader ."

Levada has done a survey of Russian youth and that's pretty hard to find; in general they're not far off their parents: a bit more liberal but also a bit more nationalist. Perhaps the most interesting result was that a solid majority thought Russia was not European.

Robinson discusses. He wonders why so few show much support for "'classical' civil and political liberties".

My guess is that 20 years of observation of Western practice of these noble ideals has soured them.

[May 15, 2020] Lies, damned lies and statistics

May 15, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al May 11, 2020 at 9:11 am

al-Beeb s'Allah live news feed on their website Summary: Russia now has the third-highest number of confirmed cases in the world, overtaking UK and Italy .

Three pages further on the live feed you can read:* Russia has confirmed 2,009 deaths in total. You have to go to page four for the actual story @13:07 that links to the summary to actual story details (there are no links in the summary at all!) to read taking the total death toll to 2,009, which is far lower than the numbers reported in many other countries. (my emphasis) *** So well below the UK's own tally of 32,000 heroic deaths. That's good to know.

As others have pointed out, Russia has carried out the highest number of tests in u-Rope, now greater than 4.5 million, which is only behind the US globally

Thank God there is the BBC to put things in to proper perspective in such a professional way / sarc.

* https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52612438/page/3
** https://www.bbc.com/news/live/world-52612438/page/4

[May 14, 2020] Tucker on Obamagate

May 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Patient Observer May 11, 2020 at 8:50 am

Don't fuck with the Tuck:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/fHh19Baj_pM?version=3&rel=1&fs=1&autohide=2&showsearch=0&showinfo=1&iv_load_policy=1&wmode=transparent

The guy is on fire. Per Carlson, Obama orchestrated the Russian collusion propaganda. I suspect that the lovely Ms. Hilary was a conspirator as well.

Carlson has the number 1 television news show with 4.56 million viewers on average.

https://www.nytimes.com/svc/oembed/html/?url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.nytimes.com%2F2020%2F04%2F28%2Fbusiness%2Fmedia%2Fvirus-tucker-carlson-sean-hannity-fox-ratings.html

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Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 9:54 am
Absolutely remarkable; in fact, 'stunning', as he uses it, is not too much of a stretch. The 'liberal elites' just go right on lying even though the sworn testimony of FBI interviewers is available for anyone to read, as well as the chilling manipulations of Strozk and Page, both of whom should be in prison and perhaps will be. And that fucker Schiff should swing. I can't believe the transformation of Carlson from Bush shill to the reincarnation of Edward R. Murrow. He makes this case so compellingly that nobody could watch that clip and not believe that Flynn was railroaded from the outset. And what were they allegedly going to jail Flynn's son for? Does anyone know? Were they just going to make something up? That is terrifying, and almost argues for the disbanding of the FBI, although it demonstrably still contains honest agents – as Carlson asks rhetorically, how many times have they done this already, and gotten away with it?

It's hard to imagine anyone would vote Democrat now.

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Cortes May 11, 2020 at 10:10 am
The son was being lined up for prosecution for alleged FARA violations regarding work on Turkey, I think. The son was working with the General.

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Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 11:45 am
Couldn't have been too much of a crime, if they offered to let him go in exchange for Flynn pleading guilty to lying. Actually, you'd kind of think their business was prosecuting crimes whoever committed them, and that offering to excuse a crime in exchange for a guilty plea is .kind of a crime.

Man, they have to clean house at the FBI. And there probably are several other organizations that need it, too. Not the political culling based on ideology that was a feature of the Bush White House, but the crowd that's in now just cannot be allowed to get off with nothing.

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uncle tungsten May 12, 2020 at 2:55 am
Greetings Mark and all, I am a new arrival as Jen suggested the company is fine here for barflies to ponder the world. Can I surmise that if Flynn and son were the FBI targets for nefarious business dealings then surely Biden and son fall in to that same category. After all Biden and son filched millions after arranging a USA loan of $1Billion to Ukraine and then did it again after the IMF loaned a few million more. Carpetbagging and its modern day practice is a crime in the USA last I looked.

If that conspicuous bias isn't enough cause to dismember the FBI then consider the Uranium One deal that Hillary Clinton and family set up or perhaps the Debbie Wasserman Shultz fostering the Awan family spy and blackmail ring.

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Mark Chapman May 12, 2020 at 9:37 am
Good day, Uncle, and welcome! For some reason I can't fathom, the Democrats seem to own or control all the 'respectable' media in the USA. FOX News is an exception, and has been a mouthpiece for the Republicans since its inception. But the Democrats control the New York Times and the Washington Post, which together represent the bulk of American public feeling to foreigners, and probably to the domestic audience as well. They are extremely active on conflicts between the two parties, ensuring the Democratic perspective gets put forward in calm, reasonable why-wouldn't-a-sensible-person-think-this-way manner. At the same time they cast horrific aspersions at the Republicans. Not that either are much good; but the news coverage is very one-sided – the position of the Democrats on the sexual-assault furor over the Kavanaugh appointment compared with their wait-and-see attitude to very similar accusations against Biden is a classic example.

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rkka May 13, 2020 at 9:33 am
Mark,

I don't think its the Democrats that control the NYT &WP, so much as plutocrats. They're also the ones who fund both the Democrats & the Republicans. The only significant difference between the parties is largely in the arena of the social "culture war" issues. But on the issues plutocrats care about, like economic policy & foreign policy, the differences are shades of grey, rather than actual distinctions.

Just remember the coverage of both papers in the run up to George W Shrub's catastrophic Iraq war. They're stenographers, not journalists.

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Mark Chapman May 13, 2020 at 11:12 am
That may well be true, but the NYT and WP historically champion the Democrats, endorse the Democratic candidate for president, and pander to Democratic issues and projects. The Wall Street Journal is the traditional Republican print outlet, and there might be others but I don't know them. CNN is overwhelmingly and weepily Democratic in its content – Wolf Blitzer's eyes nearly roll back in his head with ecstasy whenever he mentions Saint Hillary – while FOX News is Repubican to the bone and openly contemptuous of liberals. It could certainly be, on reflection probably is, that the same cabal of corporatists control them all, and a fine joke they must think it. And I certainly and emphatically agree there is almost no difference between the parties in execution of external policy.

[May 14, 2020] Dirty Dozen: The 12 revelations that sunk Mueller's case against Flynn

Notable quotes:
"... Ideally, they should each be prosecuted with an attempt to discern their connections to the political establishment, and specifically to the Clintons. What does that woman have to do to get jailed – blow somebody away on the 6 o'clock news? ..."
May 14, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al May 11, 2020 at 8:22 am

JusttheNews.com: Dirty Dozen: The 12 revelations that sunk Mueller's case against Flynn
https://justthenews.com/accountability/russia-and-ukraine-scandals/dirty-dozen-12-revelations-sunk-muellers-case-against

After a prescient 2017 tip from inside the FBI, a slow drip of revelations exposed the deep problems with the Flynn prosecution.
####

All at the link.

I should add that the author, seasoned investigative reporter John Soloman, wrote much of this over at TheHill.com and was targeted for review over his clearly labelled 'opinion' pieces reporting on the Bidens in the Ukraine. The Hill's conclusion is piss weak and accuses him of what just about every other journalist in the US does and reads in particular of holding him up to a much higher standard than others. As you will see from his twatter bio, he's worked for AP, Washington Post, The Washington Times and The Hill. Some things you are just not supposed to investigate, let alone report.

https://thehill.com/author/john-solomon

https://thehill.com/homenews/news/483600-the-hills-review-of-john-solomons-columns-on-ukraine

Mark Chapman May 11, 2020 at 9:37 am
At an absolute minimum, the FBI officials involved – except those who did their jobs properly and stated their judgments at the outset that there was no evidence Flynn was not telling the truth, or believed he was – should be fired and their pensions, if applicable, rescinded.

Ideally, they should each be prosecuted with an attempt to discern their connections to the political establishment, and specifically to the Clintons. What does that woman have to do to get jailed – blow somebody away on the 6 o'clock news?

[May 14, 2020] Neo-McCarthyism as a classic war propaganda

May 14, 2020 | www.unz.com

utu , says: Show Comment May 14, 2020 at 5:36 am GMT

Here we come to the Fourth Pillar of Sufficient Totalitarianism: Repetition, repetition, repetition. In Mein Kampf (now removed from Amazon) Adolf said that propaganda should not be entrusted to.intellectuals They are, he said, easily bored, like sophisticated ideas, and constantly want to change the message.

Hitler indeed said it while criticizing German WWI propaganda and praising the British one. Hitler was talking of what he learned form British propaganda and that it should be emulated:

Particularly in the field of propaganda, placid aesthetes and blase intellectuals should never be allowed to take the lead. The former would readily transform the impressive character of real propaganda into something suitable only for literary tea parties. As to the second class of people, one must always beware of this pest; for, in consequence of their insensibility to normal impressions, they are constantly seeking new excitements.

Such people grow sick and tired of everything. They always long for change and will always be incapable of putting themselves in the position of picturing the wants of their less callous fellow-creatures in their immediate neighbourhood, let alone trying to understand them. The blase intellectuals are always the first to criticize propaganda, or rather its message, because this appears to them to be outmoded and trivial.

And he praised British propaganda for appealing to instincts not reason, staying on message and never being objective:

In this respect also the propaganda organized by our enemies set us an excellent example. It confined itself to a few themes, which were meant exclusively for mass consumption, and it repeated these themes with untiring perseverance. Once these fundamental themes and the manner of placing them before the world were recognized as effective, they adhered to them without the slightest alteration for the whole duration of the War. At first all of it appeared to be idiotic in its impudent assertiveness. Later on it was looked upon as disturbing, but finally it was believed.

But in England they came to understand something further: namely, that the possibility of success in the use of this spiritual weapon consists in the mass employment of it, and that when employed in this way it brings full returns for the large expenses incurred.

In England propaganda was regarded as a weapon of the first order, whereas with us it represented the last hope of a livelihood for our unemployed politicians and a snug job for shirkers of the modest hero type.

Vilification of the enemy by British and American propaganda worked:

On the other hand, British and American war propaganda was psychologically efficient. By picturing the Germans to their own people as Barbarians and Huns, they were preparing their soldiers for the horrors of war and safeguarding them against illusions. The most terrific weapons which those soldiers encountered in the field merely confirmed the information that they had already received and their belief in the truth of the assertions made by their respective governments was accordingly reinforced. Thus their rage and hatred against the infamous foe was increased. The terrible havoc caused by the German weapons of war was only another illustration of the Hunnish brutality of those barbarians; whereas on the side of the Entente no time was left the soldiers to meditate on the similar havoc which their own weapons were capable of. Thus the British soldier was never allowed to feel that the information which he received at home was untrue.

While Germans did not have that strong animus to vilify. They rather ridiculed the enemy and it was a mistake:

It was, for example, a fundamental mistake to ridicule the worth of the enemy as the Austrian and German comic papers made a chief point of doing in their propaganda. The very principle here is a mistaken one; for, when they came face to face with the enemy, our soldiers had quite a different impression. Therefore, the mistake had disastrous results. Once the German soldier realised what a tough enemy he had to fight he felt that he had been deceived by the manufacturers of the information which had been given him. Therefore, instead of strengthening and stimulating his fighting spirit, this information had quite the contrary effect. Finally he lost heart.

And the greatest mistake of German propaganda was that sometimes it was trying to be objective or even handed:

The aim of propaganda is not to try to pass judgment on conflicting rights, giving each its due, but exclusively to emphasize the right which we are asserting. Propaganda must not investigate the truth objectively and, in so far as it is favourable to the other side, present it according to the theoretical rules of justice; yet it must present only that aspect of the truth which is favourable to its own side.

It was a fundamental mistake to discuss the question of who was responsible for the outbreak of the war and declare that the sole responsibility could not be attributed to Germany. The sole responsibility should have been laid on the shoulders of the enemy, without any discussion whatsoever.

And what was the consequence of these half-measures? The broad masses of the people are not made up of diplomats or professors of public jurisprudence nor simply of persons who are able to form reasoned judgment in given cases, but a vacillating crowd of human children who are constantly wavering between one idea and another. As soon as our own propaganda made the slightest suggestion that the enemy had a certain amount of justice on his side, then we laid down the basis on which the justice of our own cause could be questioned. The masses are not in a position to discern where the enemy's fault ends and where our own begins

[May 13, 2020] IRRUSSIANALITY

Notable quotes:
"... It's not been a great week for proponents of Russiagate conspiracies. A release of transcripts of meetings of the American House of Representatives Intelligence Committee revealed that person after person interviewed by the Committee denied having any knowledge of collusion between Donald Trump and his campaign on the one hand and the Russian state on the other. This was despite the fact that many of those so interviewed had claimed in public that such collusion had taken place. The discrepancy between their public and private utterances has rightfully been interpreted as further evidence that the whole collusion story was a fabrication from start to finish. ..."
"... Collusion was only half of Russiagate. The other half was the allegation of Russian 'interference' in the US election, founded especially on claims that the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, had hacked and leaked documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). This allegation was based on research undertaken by a private company Crowdstrike, but now the Intelligence Committee minutes reveal that Crowdstrike couldn't even confirm that how the DNC data had been leaked let alone that the Russians were responsible. All they had, according to the testimony, was 'circumstantial evidence' and 'indicators' – not exactly solid proof. ..."
"... The Atlantic ..."
May 13, 2020 | irrussianality.wordpress.com

#DemocracyRIP and the narcissism of Russiagate May 12, 2020 PaulR 12 Comments

Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn. [Gone with the Wind]

It's not been a great week for proponents of Russiagate conspiracies. A release of transcripts of meetings of the American House of Representatives Intelligence Committee revealed that person after person interviewed by the Committee denied having any knowledge of collusion between Donald Trump and his campaign on the one hand and the Russian state on the other. This was despite the fact that many of those so interviewed had claimed in public that such collusion had taken place. The discrepancy between their public and private utterances has rightfully been interpreted as further evidence that the whole collusion story was a fabrication from start to finish.

Collusion was only half of Russiagate. The other half was the allegation of Russian 'interference' in the US election, founded especially on claims that the Russian military intelligence service, the GRU, had hacked and leaked documents from the Democratic National Committee (DNC). This allegation was based on research undertaken by a private company Crowdstrike, but now the Intelligence Committee minutes reveal that Crowdstrike couldn't even confirm that how the DNC data had been leaked let alone that the Russians were responsible. All they had, according to the testimony, was 'circumstantial evidence' and 'indicators' – not exactly solid proof.

Given this, you'd imagine that this would be a good time for Russiagaters to slink off into a dark corner somewhere and hope that people forget all the nonsense they've been spouting for the past four years. But not a bit of it, for what do we find in the latest edition of The Atlantic magazine than an article by Franklin Foer with the scary title 'Putin is well on the way to stealing the next election'.

Foer is in some respects the original Russiagater. He was well ahead of the game, and in a July 2016 article in Slate laid out the basic narrative many months before others latched onto it. The article has it all: a scary title ('Putin's Puppet' – meaning Trump); Vladimir Putin's evil plan to destroy Europe and the United States; a cast of characters with allegedly dubious connections to the Kremlin (Paul Manafort, Michael Flynn, Carter Page, etc. – you met them first in Foer's article); Trump's supposed desperation to break into the Moscow real estate market; allegations of Trump's lack of creditworthiness leading him to seek shady Russian sources of finance; and so on – in short, the whole shebang long before it was on anyone else's radar.

Not wanting to let a good story go to waste, Foer has been on it ever since, and gained a certain amount of notoriety when he broke the 'story' that US President Donald Trump was secretly exchanging messages with the Russian government via the computer servers of Alfa Bank. Unfortunately for Foer, it didn't take more than a minute or three for researchers to expose his revelation as utter nonsense. This, however, didn't seem to shake him. In the world of journalism there appears to be no such thing as accountability for those who publish fake news about Russians producing fake news, and so it is that Foer is back on the Russiagate wagon with his new piece in the Atlantic , warning us that it's bad enough that Putin elected Trump once, but now he's going to do it all over again.

The basic theme of Foer's latest is pretty much the same as in his original article of July 2016. Back then Foer informed readers that, 'Vladimir Putin has a plan for destroying the West – and that plan looks a lot like Donald Trump'. 'The destruction of Europe is a grandiose objective; so is the weakening of the United States', Foer went on, keen to let us know that Putin's aims were nothing if not extreme ('The destruction of Europe' no less!!). Now, nearly four years later, he tell us breathlessly that 'Vladimir Putin dreams of discrediting the American democratic system' (How does he know this? Does he have some special dream detection equipment he's snuck into the Kremlin? Alas, Foer doesn't tell.) According to Foer:

It's possible, however, to mistake a plot point – the manipulation of the 2016 election – for the full sweep of the narrative. Events in the United States have unfolded more favorably than any operative in Moscow could have dreamed: Not only did Russia's preferred candidate win, but he has spent his first term fulfilling the potential it saw in him, discrediting American institutions, rending the seams of American culture, and isolating a nation that had styled itself as indispensable to the free world. But instead of complacently enjoying its triumph, Russia almost immediately set about replicating it. Boosting the Trump campaign was a tactic; #DemocracyRIP remains the larger objective.

#DemocracyRIP?? Seriously? Where does Foer get this? I'm willing to offer him a challenge. I'll pay him $100 (Canadian not US) if he can find anywhere, anywhere, any statement by Vladimir Putin or another top official in the Russian Federation in which they state any sort of preference for what sort of political system the United States has, and in particular state a preference that the USA ceases to be a democracy. If he can't, he'll have to pay me $100. I'm confident I'll win. The truth, as far as I can see, is that like Rhett Butler, they don't give a damn. America can be a democracy, or an autocracy, or any other thing as far as they're concerned, as long as it just leaves them alone. Insofar as thinking Russians do discuss the matter, I get a strong impression they generally regard the problem not as being that America is a democracy so much as being that it isn't, not really, as actual power is seen as lying in the hands of special interests and some sort of version of the 'deep state'. More democracy, not less, would be the preferred solution.

So where does all the nonsense about Putin wanting to destroy democracy come from? It certainly doesn't come from anything he's ever said. And it certainly doesn't come from a serious examination of Russia's true potential. Russia can no more destroy American democracy than it send a man to Alpha Centauri. And its leaders know that perfectly well. So why do Americans think that Putin is lying in his bed, 'dreaming' about the 'destruction of Europe', the 'weakening of America' and '#DemocracyRIP'? I'll hazard a guess – it's a serious case of narcissism. America believes it is the centre of the universe, and it also imagines itself a democracy, and so it thinks that American democracy must be what's at the centre of everybody else's universe too. Well, sorry, Franky boy, it just ain't so. #DemocracyRIP?? In your dreams, perhaps, but certainly not in Putin's.

[May 13, 2020] Dramatic change of direction for Syrian envoy

Highly recommended!
This is MIGA in action...
Notable quotes:
"... former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ). ..."
"... Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute : ..."
"... He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government." ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).

And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :

"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :

Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."

"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."

Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery

He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh

-- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020

But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).

As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.

* * *

Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OJ3fTFHQ0KA

[May 13, 2020] John Brennan Concealed 'High-Quality' Intelligence That Russia Wanted Hillary Clinton To Win Report

Notable quotes:
"... House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election . ..."
"... Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment. ..."
"... Fox 's Henry said that he has obtained independent confirmation of the pro-Clinton Russia claim made by Fleitz . ..."
"... Brennan's concealment of this key information was yet another link in the chain of the Obama administration's plot to smear Donald Trump as a Russian asset - a hoax supported by the Clinton-funded Steele dossier, which the FBI knew was Russian disinformation (or, more likely, Steele's Russophobic fantasies) before they used it as a predicate to spy on Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 election. ..."
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Former CIA director John Brennan suppressed intelligence which indicated that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because "she was a known quantity," vs. the unpredictable Donald Trump, according to Fox News ' Ed Henry.

During a Tuesday night discussion with Tucker Carlson, Henry said that Brennan "also had intel saying, actually, Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because she was a known quantity, she had been secretary of state, and Vladimir Putin's team thought she was more malleable, while candidate Donald Trump was unpredictable."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/xWSWdS8rILs

Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin has fond memories of the time Bill Clinton hung out at his 'private homestead' during the same trip where he collected a $500,000 payday for a speech at a Moscow bank, right before the Uranium One deal was approved.

And as Breitbart 's Joel Pollak notes, Henry's claim backs up a similar allegation by former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz , who said on April 22:

House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election .

Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.

Fox 's Henry said that he has obtained independent confirmation of the pro-Clinton Russia claim made by Fleitz .

Brennan's concealment of this key information was yet another link in the chain of the Obama administration's plot to smear Donald Trump as a Russian asset - a hoax supported by the Clinton-funded Steele dossier, which the FBI knew was Russian disinformation (or, more likely, Steele's Russophobic fantasies) before they used it as a predicate to spy on Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.

And now, Brennan is a contributor on MSNBC. How fitting.

[May 12, 2020] Six big lies you have been told about Russiagate

May 12, 2020 | www.rt.com

By Nebojsa Malic

Russian 'meddling' in the 2016 US presidential election has become an article of faith, not just among Democrats but many Republicans as well, thanks to the endless repetition of vague talking points, none of which hold water. It all began with the Democratic National Committee (DNC) claiming in June 2016 that Russia hacked their computers, after documents were published revealing the party's rigging of the primaries. This was followed by Hillary Clinton accusing her rival for the presidency Donald Trump that he was "colluding" with Russia by asking Moscow for her emails – the ones she deleted from a private server she used to conduct State Department business, that is.

With a little help of the mainstream media, which overwhelmingly endorsed Clinton and predicted her victory, her efforts to cover up her email scandal turned into Russia "hacking our democracy," eventually spawning the 'Russiagate' investigation led by Special Counsel Robert Mueller and a series of failed attempts to derail Trump's election and oust him from the White House.

Lie #1: Russia hacked the DNC

The infamous US intelligence community assessment (ICA) of January 2017, and the Senate Intelligence Committee report based on it – as well as 'analysis' by actual election meddlers , among others – all claimed that the Russian government and President Vladimir Putin personally were behind the "hack" and publication of DNC documents. These have always been assertions, and no evidence was ever provided.

Also on rt.com We want to believe: 'Russian hacking' memo REVEALS how US intel pinned leaks to Kremlin

Last week's declassification of 50+ interviews in the probe conducted by the House Intelligence Committee revealed that the cybersecurity firm CrowdStrike, brought in by the DNC lawyers to fix the "hack," did not have evidence either.

CrowdStrike's president, ex-FBI official Shawn Henry, testified that they "saw activity that we believed was consistent with activity we'd seen previously and had associated with the Russian Government." [emphasis added]

In the same testimony, Henry also testified that CrowdStrike never had any evidence the data was actually "exfiltrated," i.e. stolen from the DNC servers.

I want to stress what a pretty big revelation this is. Crowdstrike, the firm behind the accusation that Russia hacked & stole DNC emails, admitted to Congress that it has no direct evidence Russia actually stole/exfiltrated the emails. More from Crowdstrike president Shaun Henry: pic.twitter.com/UCGSyO2rLt

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 8, 2020

CrowdStrike's feelings about the hack remain the only "evidence" so far, since the FBI never asked them or the DNC for the actual server, as Henry also confirmed. Meanwhile, former NSA official and whistleblower William Binney argued back in November 2017 that actual evidence showed a leak from the inside, not a hack.

Also on rt.com 'Zero evidence' that Russia hacked DNC, says NSA whistleblower (VIDEO) Lie #2: Russia hacked Podesta's emails and published them in collusion with WikiLeaks

There is likewise zero proof that the Russian government had anything to do with the private email account of John Podesta, Clinton's campaign chair, which a staffer admitted had been compromised when someone fell for a phishing scam.

Instead, the key argument that WikiLeaks was somehow 'colluding' with Russia over the publication of the emails rests on a conspiracy theory promoted by the Clinton campaign staff, after RT reported on a fresh batch of emails before WikiLeaks got around to tweeting about them – but after they were published on the website and available to anyone willing to do actual journalism.

Also on rt.com RT beats internet to break #Podestaemails6 & everybody loses their minds (conspiracy theory warning)

In fact, the existence of RT has been a major "argument" of Russiagaters; a third of the ICA intended to show 'Russian meddling' consisted of a four-year-old appendix about RT that was in no way relevant to the 2016 situation but lamented its coverage of fracking and 'Occupy Wall Street' protests, for example.

Lie #3: The Steele 'pee tape' dossier was irrelevant

As it later emerged, Clinton's claims about 'Russian collusion' were based on a dodgy dossier her campaign commissioned through the DNC and a firm called Fusion GPS from a British spy named Christopher Steele. It said that the Kremlin was blackmailing Trump with a tape of depraved sex acts in a Moscow hotel, with prostitutes supposedly paid to urinate on a bed President Barack Obama had slept on.

It was clearly ridiculous and entirely evidence-free. Democrats claimed it played no role in Russia investigations. Yet the FBI paid Steele for information from the dossier, and used it to justify a FISA warrant for the surveillance of Trump campaign aide Carter Page – and with him the campaign itself – starting right before the election, and renewed three times.

Also on rt.com 'Spygate' update: At least two FISA warrants to spy on Carter Page were 'not valid,' DOJ says

By January 2020, the DOJ had formally disavowed the dossier and all four FISA warrants, along with any information obtained from them, saying "there was insufficient predication to establish probable cause."

Lie #4: General Michael Flynn treasonously colluded with Russia and lied about it to the FBI

Trump's first national security adviser was hounded out of the White House after less than two weeks on the job, after media leaks insinuated he had improperly discussed sanctions with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak, violating the Logan Act, and then lied to the FBI about it.

After FBI Director James Comey was fired by Trump in May 2017, he told the media the president had urged him to drop the investigation of Flynn, which was quickly construed as "obstruction" and used as one of the pretexts to appoint Robert Mueller as special counsel into 'Russiagate.'

Also on rt.com 'Get him to lie so we can prosecute him': New docs reveal FBI plan to set up General Flynn in perjury trap

When actual evidence was finally coaxed out of prosecutors, however, it showed that the FBI sought to frame Flynn in a perjury trap, and that the people involved were Comey himself, his deputy Andrew McCabe, disgraced lovers Peter Strzok and Lisa Page, and others. All charges against Flynn were dropped.

Flynn didn't even lie to Strzok and the other agent interviewing him – and the memo of that conversation had been first heavily edited, then destroyed. Basically, everything about the Flynn case has been as false as ABC's December 2017 bombshell report about his "collusion" with Russia that got Brian Ross fired.

Also on rt.com ABC's fake news about Flynn & Russia causes stocks to crash Lie #5: Mueller found collusion, or at least Russian meddling

When Mueller's final report came out, in the spring of 2019, it found zero evidence of "collusion" but insisted there had been Russian "meddling" in the election. The only trouble was that he had no proof of meddling , basing it entirely on the above-mentioned intelligence "assessments" and his own indictments.

A Russian company named in one of the indictments actually contested it in US court and won. First, a federal judge slapped down Mueller's prosecutors for violating rules by presenting allegations as "established" and "confirmed" facts and ruling that no link was actually established behind a catering company accused of "sowing discord" on social media – a far cry from hacking the DNC! – and the Russian government.

Also on rt.com Another nail in Russiagate coffin? Federal judge destroys key Mueller report claim

The DOJ quietly dropped that particular case in March, just as coronavirus shutdowns were starting across the US, using "recent events" and a change in classification of some of its evidence as a face-saving excuse.

Lie #6: Paul Manafort was Trump's conduit to Russia

Paul Manafort, who ran Trump's campaign between March and August 2016, was convicted of multiple counts of conspiracy against the US and sentenced to a lengthy prison term. However, despite repeated attempts by the media to present him as some kind of liaison between Trump and Russia, the entirety of things that got him in trouble with the law had to do with tax evasion on money he made lobbying for and in Ukraine.

Also on rt.com Collusion with Ukraine? NY Times corrects its bombshell 'Russiagate' report

During the two trials against Manafort, it emerged that he and his business partner Rick Gates had worked with Podesta's brother Tony to fleece Ukrainian oligarchs for years, and stash the profits in tax havens.

The Ukrainian officials who leaked the so-called "black ledger" implicating Manafort to the US media were even convicted of election meddling by a court in Kiev, and the whole thing may have been solicited by a Ukrainian-American DNC contractor The US media have been curiously uninterested in that particular "collusion," needless to say.

Also on rt.com DNC contractor asked Ukrainian Embassy for dirt on Trump campaign, envoy confirms

Peel back all these layers of misinformation, like an onion, and what's left is an empty talking point, endlessly repeated by Democrats like Adam Schiff (D-California), that "Russia hacked our democracy."

The charge is vague enough that it can mean anything, and deliberately so. No evidence is ever offered, because there isn't any – as the years of investigations and boxes full of documents have clearly shown.

[May 12, 2020] Geoffrey Roberts 75 years on let's hope the Covid-19 crisis re-energises global efforts to avoid war

May 12, 2020 | www.irishexaminer.com

When Putin came to power 20 years ago, he was a pro-western leader who, in the aftermath of the 9/11 terrorist attacks on the US, sought to recreate a contemporary version of the wartime grand alliance.

Putin's vision of renewed great power collaboration has been undermined but not yet obliterated by a succession of Russian-Western crises and disputes over Serbia, Iraq, Libya, Georgia, Ukraine and Syria, as well as NATO expansionism, the Skripal poisoning affair and Donald Trump's election as American president.

Critics often accuse Putin of being opposed to a rules-based world order. Rather, it is that he rejects the self-serving rules some western states are seeking to impose on Russia under the guise of improving global security.

As recently as January this year, Putin called for a five-power summit of the UN Security Council's permanent members - Russia, China, the US, France and Britain - to discuss common economic, security and environmental issues.

Maybe we can hope the current emergency will re-energise efforts to achieve a multi-lateral approach to global challenges without the necessity for war.

Geoffrey Roberts is Emeritus Professor of History at University College Cork.

His latest book (with Martin Folly and Oleg Rzheshevsky) is Churchill and Stalin: Comrades-in-Arms during the Second World War.

[May 11, 2020] Guardian adopted McCarthyism as editorial policy

The text below speaks for itself
May 11, 2020 | www.theguardian.com

Under the subtitle The Secret History of Disinformation and Political Warfare, Thomas Rid helps remind us how we reached this morass, one with antecedents reaching back to Czarist Russia and the Bolshevik revolution. To be sure, the US can use all the help it can get as it navigates the current election cycle and the lies, rumours and uncertainty that shroud the origins of the coronavirus pandemic.

Rid was born in West Germany amid the cold war. The Berlin Wall fell when he was a teenager. He is now a professor at Johns Hopkins.

So what are “active measures”? Previously, Rid testified they were “semi-covert or covert intelligence operations to shape an adversary’s political decisions”.

“Almost always,” he explained, “active measures conceal or falsify the source.”

The special counsel’s report framed them more narrowly as “operations conducted by Russian security services aimed at influencing the course of international affairs”. Add in technology and hacking, and an image of modern asymmetric warfare emerges.

Rid travels back to the early years of communist Russia, recounting the efforts of the government to discredit the remnants of the ancien régime and squash attempts to restore the monarchy. The Cheka, the secret police, hatched a plot that involved forged correspondence, a fictitious organization, a fake counter-revolutionary council and a government-approved travelogue.

Words and narratives morphed into readily transportable munitions. The émigré community was declawed and the multi-pronged combination deemed “wildly successful”. The project also “served as an inspiration for future active measures”. A template had been set.

Fast forward to the cold war and the aftermath of the US supreme court’s landmark school desegregation case. The tension between reality and the text and aspirations of the Declaration of Independence was in the open again. Lunch-counter sit-ins and demands for the vote filled newspapers and TV screens. The fault lines were plainly visible – and the Soviet Union pounced.

In 1960, the KGB embarked on a “series of race-baiting disinformation operations” that included mailing Ku Klux Klan leaflets to African and Asian delegations to the United Nations on the eve of a debate on colonialism. At the same time, Russian “operators posed as an African American organization agitating against the KKK”.

More than a half-century later, Russia ran an updated version of the play. Twitter came to host the fake accounts of both “John Davis”, ostensibly a gun-toting Texas Christian and family man, and @BlacktoLive”, along with hundreds of others.

The Internet Research Agency (IRA), a Russian troll factory, organized pro-Confederate flag rallies. As detailed by Robert Mueller, the IRA also claimed that the civil war was not “about slavery” and instead was “all about money”, a false trope that continues to gain resonance among Trump supporters and proponents of the “liberate the states” movement. According to Brian Westrate, treasurer of the Wisconsin Republican party, “the Confederacy was more about states’ rights than slavery.”

Depicting West Germany as Hitler’s heir was another aim. At the time, “some aging former Nazis still held positions of influence”, Rid writes. In the late 1960s, “encouraging ‘anti-German tendencies in the West’ was very much a priority”.

In 1964, with Russian assistance, Czech intelligence mounted Operation Neptun, sinking Nazi wartime documents to the bottom of the ominous sounding Black Lake, near the German border. The cache was then “discovered” – media pandemonium ensued. Four years later the mastermind of the scheme, Ladislav Bittman, defected to the US.

Prior to 2016, Russia’s most notable active measure using the US as a foil was the lie that Aids was “made in the USA”. In retaliation for US reports of Soviet use of chemical weapons in Afghanistan, the KGB unfurled Operation Denver, a multi-platformed campaign that falsely claimed “Aids was an American biological weapon developed at Fort Detrick, Maryland”. Central to the effort was the earlier publication of an anonymous letter with a New York byline by an Indian newspaper. The forged missive claimed “Aids may invade India: mystery disease caused by US lab experiments.”

[May 11, 2020] the pro-NATO propagandists often exploit the so-called 'Russian threat' concept; however, this merely provides a cover for their aggressive actions to silence and discredit opposing opinions and sources of information they deem to be counter to their own interests.

May 11, 2020 | www.unz.com

Anonymous [208] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 11, 2020 at 10:43 am GMT

To achieve their goals, the pro-NATO propagandists often exploit the so-called 'Russian threat' concept; however, this merely provides a cover for their aggressive actions to silence and discredit opposing opinions and sources of information they deem to be counter to their own interests.

The reason behind their activity is simple – they must justify their existence in reports to their sponsors. They are constantly and fiercely working to engineer 'successful actions' regardless of their validity. In order to continue securing funding to expose and defeat an imaginary enemy, they must create imaginary victories, irrespective of reality.

Uh, the author obviously knows better so why promote this narrative? These operatives are not going after "wrong", or "invalid" targets to justify their funding. They're specifically hired to do what they're doing now.

[May 11, 2020] Tucker: Adam Schiff should resign

This is nationwide gaslighting by Clinton gang of neoliberals who attempted coup d'état, and Adam Schiff was just one of the key figures in this coupe d'état, king of modern Joe McCarthy able and willing to destroy a person using false evidence
What is interesting is that Tucker attacked Republicans for aiding and abetting the coup d'état against Trump
May 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com

RionE23 , 2 days ago

I'm sick of politicians getting a free pass by "resigning" no, they break the law they go to jail.. just like the rest of us.

shannon11590 , 1 day ago

Adam Schiff simply needs to be criminally prosecuted and imprisoned for the countless number of criminal acts that he committed while in Congress.

[May 11, 2020] Twin Pillars of Russiagate Crumble by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
So the RussiaGate was giant gaslighting of the US electorate by Clinton gang and intelligence agencies rogues.
Notable quotes:
"... For two and a half years the House Intelligence Committee knew CrowdStrike didn't have the goods on Russia. Now the public knows too. ..."
"... House Intelligence Committee documents released Thursday reveal that the committee was told two and half years ago that the FBI had no concrete evidence that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers to filch the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks ..."
"... Henry testifies that "it appears it [the theft of DNC emails] was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left." ..."
"... This, in VIPS view, suggests that someone with access to DNC computers "set up" selected emails for transfer to an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example. The Internet is not needed for such a transfer. Use of the Internet would have been detected, enabling Henry to pinpoint any "exfiltration" over that network. ..."
"... Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director and a VIPs member, filed a sworn affidavit in the Roger Stone case. Binney said: "WikiLeaks did not receive stolen data from the Russian government. Intrinsic metadata in the publicly available files on WikiLeaks demonstrates that the files acquired by WikiLeaks were delivered in a medium such as a thumb drive." ..."
"... Both pillars of Russiagate–collusion and a Russian hack–have now fairly crumbled. ..."
"... Thursday's disclosure of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee shows Chairman Adam Schiff lied not only about Trump-Putin "collusion," [which the Mueller report failed to prove and whose allegations were based on DNC and Clinton-financed opposition research] but also about the even more basic issue of "Russian hacking" of the DNC. [See: "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate."] ..."
"... Fortunately, the cameras were still on when I approached Schiff during the Q&A: "You have every confidence but no evidence, is that right?" I asked him. His answer was a harbinger of things to come. This video clip may be worth the four minutes needed to watch it. ..."
"... Schiff and his partners in crime will be in for much tougher treatment if Trump allows Attorney General Barr and US Attorney John Durham to bring their investigation into the origins of Russia-gate to a timely conclusion. Barr's dismissal on Thursday of charges against Flynn, after released FBI documents revealed that a perjury trap was set for him to keep Russiagate going, may be a sign of things to come. ..."
May 11, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

For two and a half years the House Intelligence Committee knew CrowdStrike didn't have the goods on Russia. Now the public knows too.

House Intelligence Committee documents released Thursday reveal that the committee was told two and half years ago that the FBI had no concrete evidence that Russia hacked Democratic National Committee computers to filch the DNC emails published by WikiLeaks in July 2016.

The until-now-buried, closed-door testimony came on Dec. 5, 2017 from Shawn Henry, a protégé of former FBI Director Robert Mueller (from 2001 to 2012), for whom Henry served as head of the Bureau's cyber crime investigations unit.

Henry retired in 2012 and took a senior position at CrowdStrike, the cyber security firm hired by the DNC and the Clinton campaign to investigate the cyber intrusions that occurred before the 2016 presidential election.

The following excerpts from Henry's testimony speak for themselves. The dialogue is not a paragon of clarity; but if read carefully, even cyber neophytes can understand:

Ranking Member Mr. [Adam] Schiff: Do you know the date on which the Russians exfiltrated the data from the DNC? when would that have been?

Mr. Henry: Counsel just reminded me that, as it relates to the DNC, we have indicators that data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have no indicators that it was exfiltrated (sic). There are times when we can see data exfiltrated, and we can say conclusively. But in this case, it appears it was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left.

Mr. [Chris] Stewart of Utah: Okay. What about the emails that everyone is so, you know, knowledgeable of? Were there also indicators that they were prepared but not evidence that they actually were exfiltrated?

Mr. Henry: There's not evidence that they were actually exfiltrated. There's circumstantial evidence but no evidence that they were actually exfiltrated.

Mr. Stewart: But you have a much lower degree of confidence that this data actually left than you do, for example, that the Russians were the ones who breached the security?

Mr. Henry: There is circumstantial evidence that that data was exfiltrated off the network.

Mr. Stewart: And circumstantial is less sure than the other evidence you've indicated.

Mr. Henry: "We didn't have a sensor in place that saw data leave. We said that the data left based on the circumstantial evidence. That was the conclusion that we made.

In answer to a follow-up query on this line of questioning, Henry delivered this classic: "Sir, I was just trying to be factually accurate, that we didn't see the data leave, but we believe it left, based on what we saw."

Inadvertently highlighting the tenuous underpinning for CrowdStrike's "belief" that Russia hacked the DNC emails, Henry added: "There are other nation-states that collect this type of intelligence for sure, but the – what we would call the tactics and techniques were consistent with what we'd seen associated with the Russian state."

Interesting admission in Crowdstrike CEO Shaun Henry's testimony. Henry is asked when "the Russians" exfiltrated the data from DNC.

Henry: "We did not have concrete evidence that the data was exfiltrated from the DNC, but we have indicators that it was exfiltrated." ?? pic.twitter.com/TyePqd6b5P

-- Aaron Maté (@aaronjmate) May 8, 2020

Not Transparent

Try as one may, some of the testimony remains opaque. Part of the problem is ambiguity in the word "exfiltration."

The word can denote (1) transferring data from a computer via the Internet (hacking) or (2) copying data physically to an external storage device with intent to leak it.

As the Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity has been reporting for more than three years, metadata and other hard forensic evidence indicate that the DNC emails were not hacked – by Russia or anyone else.

Rather, they were copied onto an external storage device (probably a thumb drive) by someone with access to DNC computers. Besides, any hack over the Internet would almost certainly have been discovered by the dragnet coverage of the National Security Agency and its cooperating foreign intelligence services.

Henry testifies that "it appears it [the theft of DNC emails] was set up to be exfiltrated, but we just don't have the evidence that says it actually left."

This, in VIPS view, suggests that someone with access to DNC computers "set up" selected emails for transfer to an external storage device – a thumb drive, for example. The Internet is not needed for such a transfer. Use of the Internet would have been detected, enabling Henry to pinpoint any "exfiltration" over that network.

Bill Binney, a former NSA technical director and a VIPs member, filed a sworn affidavit in the Roger Stone case. Binney said: "WikiLeaks did not receive stolen data from the Russian government. Intrinsic metadata in the publicly available files on WikiLeaks demonstrates that the files acquired by WikiLeaks were delivered in a medium such as a thumb drive."

The So-Called Intelligence Community Assessment

There is not much good to be said about the embarrassingly evidence-impoverished Intelligence Community Assessment (ICA) of Jan. 6, 2017 accusing Russia of hacking the DNC.

But the ICA did include two passages that are highly relevant and demonstrably true:

(1) In introductory remarks on "cyber incident attribution", the authors of the ICA made a highly germane point: "The nature of cyberspace makes attribution of cyber operations difficult but not impossible. Every kind of cyber operation – malicious or not – leaves a trail."

(2) "When analysts use words such as 'we assess' or 'we judge,' [these] are not intended to imply that we have proof that shows something to be a fact. Assessments are based on collected information, which is often incomplete or fragmentary High confidence in a judgment does not imply that the assessment is a fact or a certainty; such judgments might be wrong." [And one might add that they commonly ARE wrong when analysts succumb to political pressure, as was the case with the ICA.]

The intelligence-friendly corporate media, nonetheless, immediately awarded the status of Holy Writ to the misnomered "Intelligence Community Assessment" (it was a rump effort prepared by "handpicked analysts" from only CIA, FBI, and NSA), and chose to overlook the banal, full-disclosure-type caveats embedded in the assessment itself.

Then National Intelligence Director James Clapper and the directors of the CIA, FBI, and NSA briefed President Obama on the ICA on Jan. 5, 2017, the day before they gave it personally to President-elect Donald Trump.

On Jan. 18, 2017, at his final press conference, Obama saw fit to use lawyerly language on the key issue of how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks , in an apparent effort to cover his own derriere.

Obama: "The conclusions of the intelligence community with respect to the Russian hacking were not conclusive as to whether WikiLeaks was witting or not in being the conduit through which we heard about the DNC e-mails that were leaked."

So we ended up with "inconclusive conclusions" on that admittedly crucial point. What Obama was saying is that U.S. intelligence did not know -- or professed not to know -- exactly how the alleged Russian transfer to WikiLeaks was supposedly made, whether through a third party, or cutout, and he muddied the waters by first saying it was a hack, and then a leak.

From the very outset, in the absence of any hard evidence, from NSA or from its foreign partners, of an Internet hack of the DNC emails, the claim that "the Russians gave the DNC emails to WikiLeaks " rested on thin gruel.

In November 2018 at a public forum, I asked Clapper to explain why President Obama still had serious doubts in late Jan. 2017, less than two weeks after Clapper and the other intelligence chiefs had thoroughly briefed the outgoing president about their "high-confidence" findings.

Clapper replied : "I cannot explain what he [Obama] said or why. But I can tell you we're, we're pretty sure we know, or knew at the time, how WikiLeaks got those emails." Pretty sure?

Preferring CrowdStrike; 'Splaining to Congress

CrowdStrike already had a tarnished reputation for credibility when the DNC and Clinton campaign chose it to do work the FBI should have been doing to investigate how the DNC emails got to WikiLeaks . It had asserted that Russians hacked into a Ukrainian artillery app, resulting in heavy losses of howitzers in Ukraine's struggle with separatists supported by Russia. A Voice of America report explained why CrowdStrike was forced to retract that claim.

Why did FBI Director James Comey not simply insist on access to the DNC computers? Surely he could have gotten the appropriate authorization. In early January 2017, reacting to media reports that the FBI never asked for access, Comey told the Senate Intelligence Committee there were "multiple requests at different levels" for access to the DNC servers.

"Ultimately what was agreed to is the private company would share with us what they saw," he said. Comey described CrowdStrike as a "highly respected" cybersecurity company.

Asked by committee Chairman Richard Burr (R-NC) whether direct access to the servers and devices would have helped the FBI in their investigation, Comey said it would have. "Our forensics folks would always prefer to get access to the original device or server that's involved, so it's the best evidence," he said.

Five months later, after Comey had been fired, Burr gave him a Mulligan in the form of a few kid-gloves, clearly well-rehearsed, questions:

BURR: And the FBI, in this case, unlike other cases that you might investigate – did you ever have access to the actual hardware that was hacked? Or did you have to rely on a third party to provide you the data that they had collected?

COMEY: In the case of the DNC, we did not have access to the devices themselves. We got relevant forensic information from a private party, a high-class entity, that had done the work. But we didn't get direct access.

BURR: But no content?

COMEY: Correct.

BURR: Isn't content an important part of the forensics from a counterintelligence standpoint?

COMEY: It is, although what was briefed to me by my folks – the people who were my folks at the time is that they had gotten the information from the private party that they needed to understand the intrusion by the spring of 2016.

In June last year it was revealed that CrowdStrike never produced an un-redacted or final forensic report for the government because the FBI never required it to, according to the Justice Department.

By any normal standard, former FBI Director Comey would now be in serious legal trouble, as should Clapper, former CIA Director John Brennan, et al. Additional evidence of FBI misconduct under Comey seems to surface every week – whether the abuses of FISA, misconduct in the case against Gen. Michael Flynn, or misleading everyone about Russian hacking of the DNC. If I were attorney general, I would declare Comey a flight risk and take his passport. And I would do the same with Clapper and Brennan.

Schiff: Every Confidence, But No Evidence

Both pillars of Russiagate–collusion and a Russian hack–have now fairly crumbled.

Thursday's disclosure of testimony before the House Intelligence Committee shows Chairman Adam Schiff lied not only about Trump-Putin "collusion," [which the Mueller report failed to prove and whose allegations were based on DNC and Clinton-financed opposition research] but also about the even more basic issue of "Russian hacking" of the DNC. [See: "The Democratic Money Behind Russia-gate."]

Five days after Trump took office, I had an opportunity to confront Schiff personally about evidence that Russia "hacked" the DNC emails. He had repeatedly given that canard the patina of flat fact during an address at the old Hillary Clinton/John Podesta "think tank," The Center for American Progress Action Fund.

Fortunately, the cameras were still on when I approached Schiff during the Q&A: "You have every confidence but no evidence, is that right?" I asked him. His answer was a harbinger of things to come. This video clip may be worth the four minutes needed to watch it.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SdOy-l13FEg

Schiff and his partners in crime will be in for much tougher treatment if Trump allows Attorney General Barr and US Attorney John Durham to bring their investigation into the origins of Russia-gate to a timely conclusion. Barr's dismissal on Thursday of charges against Flynn, after released FBI documents revealed that a perjury trap was set for him to keep Russiagate going, may be a sign of things to come.

Given the timid way Trump has typically bowed to intelligence and law enforcement officials, including those who supposedly report to him, however, one might rather expect that, after a lot of bluster, he will let the too-big-to-imprison ones off the hook. The issues are now drawn; the evidence is copious; will the Deep State, nevertheless, be able to prevail this time?

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. His 27-year career as a CIA analyst includes serving as Chief of the Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and preparer/briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS). This originally appeared at Consortium News .

[May 11, 2020] Anti-Russian hysteria as the key feature of American neofascism. In a way RussiaGate is a neofascist putsch

May 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

FDR warned his son before his death of his understanding of the British takeover of American foreign policy, but still could not reverse this agenda. His son recounted his father's ominous insight:

"You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren't in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston. As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of 'em: any number of 'em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!" I was told six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It's like the British Foreign Office ."

Before being fired from Truman's cabinet for his advocacy of US-Russia friendship during the Cold War, Wallace stated:

"American fascism" which has come to be known in recent years as the Deep State. "Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes."

In his 1946 Soviet Asia Mission , Wallace said " Before the blood of our boys is scarcely dry on the field of battle, these enemies of peace try to lay the foundation for World War III. These people must not succeed in their foul enterprise. We must offset their poison by following the policies of Roosevelt in cultivating the friendship of Russia in peace as well as in war."

[May 10, 2020] Fear to tell truth, smoke mirrors, writing not for readers but for other journalists - How UK press got to be the LEAST trust by Neil Clark

MSM now run under control of intelligence agencies and use State Department of Foreign Office talking points, much like in the USSR, where this role was played by communist Party
Notable quotes:
"... Part of the problem is that newspapers have morphed into viewspapers. The distinction between reporting and comment has been blurred. Back in the 70s, leading publications only had one comment piece and an editorial. Their pages were packed with news items, with stories reported factually and without a 'bent'. ..."
"... Today, comment has taken over, but while there's no shortage of 'opinion', most of it is saying very much the same thing. I think we first saw this phenomenon in the lead up to the Iraq War. I was one of the very few mainstream commentators who ridiculed the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It was obvious to me that if the leaders of the UK and US genuinely believed Saddam possessed these terrible weapons, they wouldn't be planning to do the one thing which would provoke the Iraqi leader into using them, i.e. invade his country. Yet the Great WMDs Hoax, which a child of five could see through, was promoted by nearly all 'serious' journalists. The most vociferous media cheerleaders for the invasion faced no professional blowback, on the contrary, their careers have flourished. ..."
May 06, 2020 | www.rt.com

Trust in the written press in Britain is the lowest in 33 European countries. That's hardly surprising seeing how so many journalists have become mere stenographers for, or lackeys of, the Establishment power elites. Just when you think the reputation of the UK media couldn't sink any lower, it just did. An annual survey undertaken by EurobarometerEU, across 33 countries, puts the UK at the bottom, with a net trust of -60. Yes that's right, minus 60 . It's a fall of 24 points since last year. Just 15 percent of Brits trust their print media. But it's not the only survey showing a similar trend.

The attached graphic about trust in the written press, published last week, has not been widely reported in Britain. This is a huge annual survey by @EurobarometerEU across 33 countries. It's the ninth year out of the past ten that the UK has been last. We have a problem. pic.twitter.com/8eYoQR7XZw

-- Brian Cathcart (@BrianCathcart) May 5, 2020

Newspapers came in rock bottom (with a rating of -50) in a YouGov poll on Sky where the question was asked, "How much do you trust the following on Coronavirus?" And in case you think it's only the Sun we're talking about here, another poll showed that distrust of so-called 'upmarket' papers was running at 52 percent.

How did we get here? I've got a collection of old newspapers and magazines dating back several decades. Part of the problem is that newspapers have morphed into viewspapers. The distinction between reporting and comment has been blurred. Back in the 70s, leading publications only had one comment piece and an editorial. Their pages were packed with news items, with stories reported factually and without a 'bent'.

Read more The BBC used to be gold standard, now it's losing public trust with political meddling

Today, comment has taken over, but while there's no shortage of 'opinion', most of it is saying very much the same thing. I think we first saw this phenomenon in the lead up to the Iraq War. I was one of the very few mainstream commentators who ridiculed the claim that Iraq had WMDs. It was obvious to me that if the leaders of the UK and US genuinely believed Saddam possessed these terrible weapons, they wouldn't be planning to do the one thing which would provoke the Iraqi leader into using them, i.e. invade his country. Yet the Great WMDs Hoax, which a child of five could see through, was promoted by nearly all 'serious' journalists. The most vociferous media cheerleaders for the invasion faced no professional blowback, on the contrary, their careers have flourished.

As bad as the Iraq War propaganda was, things have got even worse since then. Obnoxious gatekeepers have ensured that the parameters of what can and can't be said in print have narrowed still further.

In the mid-Noughties, I was writing regularly in the UK mainstream print media. So too was John Pilger. Our articles were popular with readers, but not with the gatekeepers. When I wrote a balanced, alternative view on Belarus for the New Statesman in 2011, I came under fierce gatekeeper attack.

I forgot that on Belarus and many other issues, only one point of view was allowed. Silly me.

Only one thing can save UK print press

Today, the lack of diversity of opinion is one of the reasons why newspaper sales have crashed – (sales have slumped by two-thirds in the past 20 years), and conversely why 'alternative' sites, and media outlets where a wide range of opinions ARE heard have done so well. Who wants to pay money for a paper when the political views published in it range from pro-war centrist-left, to pro-war centrist-right?

If there was a single newspaper or magazine column which examined forensically whether Labour really did have an anti-Semitism 'crisis' under Jeremy Corbyn, I must have missed it.

And apart from Mary Dejevsky in the i paper, where was the journalism examining the many inconsistencies in the official narrative of the Skripal case? Why has 'Private Eye', which bills itself as 'anti-Establishment', not covered the ongoing Philip Cross Wikipedia editing scandal ?

Also on rt.com 'One way to pay for headlines': Backlash after UK govt gifts newspapers £35m Covid-19 advertising bump

I'm sure the old 'Eye' of Richard Ingrams and Bron Waugh would have if Wikipedia had been around then.

And what about the Covid-19 coverage? Has any journalist asked the very simple question: if the virus is as bad as the government says it is, and a domestic lockdown is necessary to stop its spread, why have flights continued to come into the country (including from virus hotspots) unchecked?

Don't get me wrong, there are still some good columnists out there, but sadly you can count them on one hand.

The only thing that can save UK print media from total collapse is if there is a large-scale clear-out of the faux-left/neocon-dominated commentariat and their replacement by writers who actually address the issues that readers are interested in. Newspapers used to be published for their readers, now it seems most are published for people who write for other newspapers – and to enable 'Inside the Tenters' to congratulate each other for their 'brilliant' articles on Twitter.

The smug, mutual back-slapping nonsense, seen at its worst at journalist 'award' ceremonies, has gone on for too long. We need more old-style chain-smoking journos, not frightened of telling truth to power – and less smoke and mirrors.

Trust in British print media can be restored, but only if we go back to the future.

If you like this story, share it with a friend!

The statements, views and opinions expressed in this column are solely those of the author and do not necessarily represent those of RT.

Neil Clark is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 is a journalist, writer, broadcaster and blogger. His award winning blog can be found at www.neilclark66.blogspot.com. He tweets on politics and world affairs @NeilClark66 6 May, 2020 17:39 Get short URL

[May 10, 2020] What did Obama know, and when did he know it

FBI under Obama acted as Gestapo -- the political police. Obama looks now especially bad and probably should be prosecuted for the attempt to stage coup d'état against legitimately elected president. His CIA connections need to investigated and prosecuted too, and first of all Brennan.
Notable quotes:
"... Yates, who was briefly the acting attorney general during the early days of the Trump administration before getting fired, also laid out how in the ensuing days, Comey kept the FBI's actions cloaked in secrecy and repeatedly rebuffed her suggestions that the incoming Trump team be made aware of the Flynn recordings. ..."
"... "One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yate s," Attorney General William Barr said during a Thursday interview with CBS News. "Deputy Attorney General Yates, I've disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings And, you know, Director Comey ran around that." ..."
"... Obama asked Yates and Comey to stay behind when the meeting concluded. ..."
"... Obama "started by saying that he had 'learned of the information about Flynn' and his conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak," Yates said, according to the notes. "Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently." washington examiner ..."
"... Obama did not want any additional information on the matter? Careful CYA. From the account of this meeting it is clear that Obama and Biden knew that Comey was intent on pursuing Flynn. If that is so, then subsequent events indicate that Obama did not act to stop Comey, and since Comey was hiding his effort against Flynn from main Justice, it must be that someone on high was encouraging him. Now, who would that be? pl ..."
"... All this was known in DC for the past few years. Everyone on the HSPCI knew what the closed door testimony was. Clapper was categorical that there was "no empirical evidence of collusion". The Crowdstrike CEO was categorical that he had no definitive evidence that the Russians exfiltrated data from the DNC servers. Yet Schiff, Clapper, Brennan and all the media hacks were on TV every night screaming Russia! Russia! and Collusion! Collusion! ..."
"... I'm revealing my age by using this expression from the Watergate era, but "what did Obama, Biden and Comey know, and when did they know it?" ..."
"... So Obama used Yates to go after Flynn. They have really worked a number on Flynn to discredit him, and it almost worked. Now it would appear their scheme is starting to unravel a bit. ..."
"... Is Obama being thrown under the bus here? Are Comey and Yates (or others) trying to cover their asses now that Flynn is free? Did Trump and his allies always know this and waited for the right moment to reveal it for better effect? The game is at hand. ..."
"... Brennan was encouraging Comey. I just learned something recently. Brennan spent time in Indonesia around the same time that Obama's mother lived there. It has been reported that Obama and Brennan had a fairly close relationship. I wonder how long they have known each other. ..."
"... I did see a clip of Matt Gaetz calling out Ryan and Trey Gowdy from preventing them from issuing subpoenas. Why do you think the Republican leadership in the House and Senate did not want to investigate? ..."
May 09, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

" Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told special counsel Robert Mueller's team that she first learned the FBI possessed and was investigating recordings of Flynn's late 2016 conversations with a Russian envoy following a Jan. 5, 2017, national security meeting at the White House. It wasn't Comey who told her, but former President Barack Obama.

Yates, who was briefly the acting attorney general during the early days of the Trump administration before getting fired, also laid out how in the ensuing days, Comey kept the FBI's actions cloaked in secrecy and repeatedly rebuffed her suggestions that the incoming Trump team be made aware of the Flynn recordings.

These revelations appear in declassified FBI interview notes of the Mueller team's conversation with Yates in August 2017, highlighted by the Justice Department on Thursday as U.S. Attorney for D.C. Timothy Shea moved to drop its criminal charges against Flynn.

"One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yate s," Attorney General William Barr said during a Thursday interview with CBS News. "Deputy Attorney General Yates, I've disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings And, you know, Director Comey ran around that."

Yates told Mueller's team she first learned of the Flynn recordings following a White House meeting about the Intelligence Community Assessment attended by Yates, Comey, Vice President Joe Biden , then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-national security adviser Susan Rice, and others. Obama asked Yates and Comey to stay behind when the meeting concluded.

Obama "started by saying that he had 'learned of the information about Flynn' and his conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak," Yates said, according to the notes. "Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently." washington examiner

-------------

Obama did not want any additional information on the matter? Careful CYA. From the account of this meeting it is clear that Obama and Biden knew that Comey was intent on pursuing Flynn. If that is so, then subsequent events indicate that Obama did not act to stop Comey, and since Comey was hiding his effort against Flynn from main Justice, it must be that someone on high was encouraging him. Now, who would that be? pl

https://www.washingtonexaminer.com/news/sally-yates-learned-of-flynn-targeting-from-obama-as-comey-kept-her-in-the-dark-declassified-documents-show


Jack , 09 May 2020 at 12:40 PM

Sir

All this was known in DC for the past few years. Everyone on the HSPCI knew what the closed door testimony was. Clapper was categorical that there was "no empirical evidence of collusion". The Crowdstrike CEO was categorical that he had no definitive evidence that the Russians exfiltrated data from the DNC servers. Yet Schiff, Clapper, Brennan and all the media hacks were on TV every night screaming Russia! Russia! and Collusion! Collusion!

Devin Nunes was spot on and correct that there was an attempted coup. All the media and even many Republicans called him a conspiracy theorist.

SST maintaining its glorious tradition was spot on in its analysis with the limited data available that there was a coup and the traitors were not those in the Trump campaign but the leadership in law enforcement and intelligence. A big shoutout to you, Larry and David Habakkuk.

Trump himself was like deer caught in the headlights. Furiously tweeting but not doing much of anything else while his own nominees at the DOJ and FBI were plotting and acting to destroy his presidency. Devin Nunes imploring him to declassify and expose all the evidence from the FISA applications, the 302s, the internal communications among the plotters including the prolific FBI lovers. He still hasn't.

What happens next? Will the whole coup be exposed in its entirety? Will anyone be held to account?

If Trump doesn't care enough even when his ass was being fried to disclose all the evidence with the stroke of his pen and if all he cares is to tweet "witch-hunt" and "Drain the Swamp", how realistic is it that any of the coup plotters will be tried for treason?

Deap , 09 May 2020 at 01:01 PM
Barry was doing his usual thing, the signature move of his entire political career: .... voting "present". His CYA equivalent of no comment.

Plausible deniability was a high art form for Barry. Where was Barry Soetoro between 16:00 and 22:00 on Sept 11, 2012? We still do not know.

Jim Henely , 09 May 2020 at 01:07 PM
I'm revealing my age by using this expression from the Watergate era, but "what did Obama, Biden and Comey know, and when did they know it?"
RussianBot , 09 May 2020 at 01:40 PM
So Obama used Yates to go after Flynn. They have really worked a number on Flynn to discredit him, and it almost worked. Now it would appear their scheme is starting to unravel a bit.

Is Obama being thrown under the bus here? Are Comey and Yates (or others) trying to cover their asses now that Flynn is free? Did Trump and his allies always know this and waited for the right moment to reveal it for better effect? The game is at hand.

Yahoo released a leaked call today of Obama criticizing Trump's response over coronavirus. Here's the big headline Yahoo is running:

Exclusive: Obama says in private call that 'rule of law is at risk' in Michael Flynn case

https://news.yahoo.com/obama-irule-of-law-michael-flynn-case-014121045.html

The Flynn case was invoked by Obama as a principal reason that his former administration officials needed to make sure former Vice President Joe Biden wins the November election against President Trump. "So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do," he said. "Whenever I campaign, I've always said, 'Ah, this is the most important election.' Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it's the most important election. This one -- I'm not on the ballot -- but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this happen."
Obama misstated the charge to which Flynn had previously pleaded guilty. He was charged with false statements to the FBI, not perjury.

Misstated seems like a stretch. The call sounds scripted and I suspect the leak was deliberate.

Keith Harbaugh , 09 May 2020 at 02:12 PM
Sundance covered in great detail the context in which that 2017-01-05 meeting occurred:
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/01/why-was-flynn-targeted-a-timeline-review-of-the-three-phases/

A YouTube video of Barry's cry of dismay (and fear) over the dismissal of charges against Flynn is here:
https://youtu.be/tbQ8P3GhD-c

EmJay72159508 , 09 May 2020 at 04:50 PM
Brennan was encouraging Comey. I just learned something recently. Brennan spent time in Indonesia around the same time that Obama's mother lived there. It has been reported that Obama and Brennan had a fairly close relationship. I wonder how long they have known each other.
JMH , 09 May 2020 at 04:58 PM
Keith Harbaugh,

O'Biden's Dad just wheeled around the corner in a wood paneled station wagon and dressed down the neighborhood kids who took O'Biden's ball. A humiliating experience for O'Biden who sits in the passenger seat as a mere spectator.

Keith Harbaugh , 09 May 2020 at 07:35 PM
Sundance just posted an astoundingly detailed account of
how illegal surveillance was conducted by unauthorized FBI-contractors
while the GOP was sorting out the candidates for its 2016 presidential nomination:
https://theconservativetreehouse.com/2020/05/09/why-is-obama-panicking-now-the-importance-of-understanding-political-surveillance-in-the-era-of-president-obama/

The open question is: Just who were those contractors?
Surely that is known to some, and is significant to current politically-charged inquiries.
Just why that information has not become public is a good question.
Can anyone provide a reliable source for that information?

Jack , 09 May 2020 at 09:30 PM
It is unsurprising @realDonaldTrump enjoys wallowing in his fetid self-indulgence, but I find it surreal that so many other government officials encourage his ignorance, incompetence, & destructive behavior.

BTW, history will be written by the righteous, not by his lickspittle.

https://twitter.com/johnbrennan/status/1259191320515616770?s=21

Is Brennan always like this? His tweets seem unhinged.

Fred , 09 May 2020 at 09:55 PM
"Deputy Attorney General Yates"

She served as Acting AG, accepting the post when Trump was inaugurated. What did she tell him about his whole affair? Was the opposition to the EO 13769 just an excuse to have herself fired so she would not have to either perjure herself or reveal the truth to Trump?

Jack,
"All this was known in DC for the past few years."

You left out that Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House because the Republicans were in the majority then and the HPSCI under his term as speaker did not subpoena a very large group of people, didn't ask relevant questions, didn't release information to the public and thus ensuring the left took over the House after the 2016 elections.

JerseyJeffersonian , 09 May 2020 at 10:33 PM
I, too, coincidentally just concluded a close reading of the Conservative Tree House post that Mr. Harbaugh just recommended. It is, indeed, well worth such a close reading. There have been various puzzling things along the way these last few years for which this post provides explanations. Of particular utility, is its inclusion of a timeline of the arc of the episodes of illegal government surveillance that began (?) with the IRS spying of 2012, and how - and why - it evolved from that episode into the massive abuses of the FISA process of which we are becoming increasingly aware as revelations are forthcoming.

CTH's work is superb, but I do want to say that I am also supremely grateful for all of the good work and analysis from Larry Johnson, and other contributors, as well as for the trenchant comments of Col. Lang. Multivalent sources of information, analysis, and comment provide one with the parallax requisite to understanding this web of perfidy. My gratitude also is owing to all of you Members of the Committee of Correspondence, each of whom brings personal observations and insights to bear, always much to my benefit.

Jack , 10 May 2020 at 03:51 AM
Fred,

I did see a clip of Matt Gaetz calling out Ryan and Trey Gowdy from preventing them from issuing subpoenas. Why do you think the Republican leadership in the House and Senate did not want to investigate?

Jim , 10 May 2020 at 05:42 AM
["One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yates," Attorney General William Barr said during a Thursday interview with CBS News. "Deputy Attorney General Yates, I've disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings And, you know, Director Comey ran around that."]

++++++++++++

This is fascinating because: this, what Barr is discussing, on national TV, . . . this particular dimension, this Yates/Comey playing hide the bacon has nothing at all to do with actual Brady material in the Lt. Gen. Flynn case.

Barr is referring to the Special Counsel Mueller Office's interview with Yates on Aug. 15, 2017, entered into the system three weeks later. Her interview occurred more than two months prior to Flynn's coerced guilty plea.

This SCO document was released to the court May 7 as exhibit 4 attached to the DOJ motion to end the prosecution of Flynn. It was produced in line with request by defense for Brady material.

What Barr forgets to say is: This SCO interview of Yates shows that Comey and Yates talked on the phone -- prior to -- the notorious Jan. 24, 2017 FBI interview of Flynn.

"Comey . . . informed her that two agents were on their way to interview Flynn at the White House," the SCO said, according to the new court filing.

Yates took no action, -- she did nothing to order Comey to abort this soon-to-happen FBI interview of Flynn, this SCO interview of her shows.

She was Comey's boss, the Acting Attorney General, at the time.

It shows that she was upset precisely because she wanted the FBI to coordinate with the DOJ -- on getting Flynn screwed -- even suggesting, she told the SCO, that consideration that Flynn be recorded, instead of memorialized using standard 302 form – in-writing-only.

Yates wanted Flynn fired, she told the SCO.

Yates apparently was unable on her own to figure out, as the AG, the FBI and DOJ -- none of them had any predicate, no "materiality," nothing "tethered" to any crime, as there was no crime. And if she did not know these basic facts, had no awareness of them, then: why was she the AG in the first place?

And what did Yates glean, right after this Jan. 24 interview of Flynn?

"Yates received a brief readout of the interview the night it happened, and a longer readout the following day," which begs the question of why the original 302 of this was never produced by the DOJ, to the defense; and also, why Covington law firm never asked to see this before allowing Flynn to make his plea.

"Yates did not speak to the interviewing agents herself, but understood from others that their assessment was that Flynn showed no 'tells' of lying," the SCO report says.

Based on her personal preference, rather than DOJ norms, she went to the White House, and her expectation was they would fire Flynn. I fail to see how this nonsense by Yates seem to escape Barr's notice. Or, is something else also going on?

She personally went to the White House, and her smear campaign against Flynn began, went on and on and on, even after she was fired after being Acting AG for just ten days.

In her brief stint as Acting AG: Yates refused to tell the White House Counsel if Flynn was being investigated, when the WHC asked her, directly, about this, according to what she told the SCO. Can't blame this fact on the unctuous Comey.

She did tell the SCO that she wanted the WHC to know Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI – and that she had concerns about Flynn, and she said those concerns related to the Logan Act. Yates told SCO her concerns were because of the Logan Act, and that she expressed this to the White House.

The Washington Examiner reporting that "It wasn't Comey who told her, but former President Barack Obama" -- about the Flynn-Kislyak phone call --- this is interesting, very interesting, if true, assuming Yates was telling the SCO the truth. This is what she claims in her August 2017 interview with SCO.

But this bit of information is hardly Brady material [how is whether Obama or Comey told her materially germane to the Flynn case, viz. Brady material?].

The question the SCO should have been concerned about is: who actually leaked the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak telephone call to the media?

Is this a serious crime? Or is this OK?

We still do not know this answer, and AG Barr has not told us. Nor has his boss, Trump.

It is interesting that Barr chose to highlight that Comey went around Yates' back in Comey ordering FBI to interview Flynn, but not that Yates knew of the Flynn interview before it went down, and sat on her arse about it.

In fairness to Comey, they were, as the FB of Investigations, conducting the investigation, which is their job, however rogue this FBI's I actually was, targeting Flynn.

The Flynn-Kislyak telephone call, occurring late December of 2016, was reported by the Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2017, eight days before Trump was sworn in.

And who leaked this, has anyone been prosecuted, will anyone be?

Obama still president, Loretta Lynch still AG, Yates still Deputy AG, Comey FBI director, McCabe Deputy FBI director, etc.

Starting Jan. 20 and for ten days, Yates was the AG. She appeared bent on destroying Flynn, and did nothing that I know of to prosecute who leaked the Flynn-Kislyak telephone call to WAPO. Did someone on high perhaps ask her not to?

Nor was Comey and McCabe investigating this as best I can tell. Yet this was an actual, clear cut crime we all saw, plain as day. Or maybe this is OK? Was someone on high asking them not to?

I watched Barr say, during his interview with CBS news, [following the May 7 release of documents to the court]: "One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yates," Barr told Catherine Herridge.

And my first thought was: why is Barr doing an apparent CYA for Yates?

What office might she want to be running for in the future; is she a cooperating witness in the wider Durham probe, why is Yates being portrayed as someone other than what she was: A leader in the effort to destroy Michael Flynn.

She was the AG, and she failed to hold Comey accountable at the time; this is a fact, apparently, that reflects poorly on her.

She told the White House -- as best she could -- that Flynn was a piece of dung, and told the SCO, in their interview of her, that she expected the White House to fire Flynn. This reflects poorly on her.

And threatened Logan Act prosecution of Flynn to the White house. This reflects poorly on her.

She smeared Flynn in a CNN interview on May 16, the day before Mueller was appointed. This reflects poorly on her.

Well, who leaked the Flynn-Kislyak telephone call, and did Yates act on that?

Folks that "should have known better" -- far and wide, smeared Flynn, justified the lawlessness against him; one of many examples, titled: "Leaking Flynn's name to the press was illegal, but utterly justified" published by TheHill.com.

https://thehill.com/blogs/pundits-blog/the-administration/319955-yes-leaking-flynns-name-to-press-was-illegal-but

She wasn't the only one, but Yates was smack dab in the middle of enabling and perpetuating a long-running smear campaign against Flynn, to destroy him by any means necessary. This reflects poorly on her.

Why is Barr carrying water for her.

As for Obama, he did nothing to stop Comey in 2016 when Comey announced he was exonerating Clinton. Nor did AG Lynch, even though that is not the function of the FBI -- an act of insubordination, by the way, for which Rosenstein officially fired him in May 2017, which set, somehow, in motion the Mueller SC appointment by Rosenstein.

If Comey is such a rogue, and Barr is now claiming Yates tried to do the right thing, in spite of Comey, then why didn't Yates fire Comey Jan. 24 right on the spot? And end the fiasco right then and there?

In her May 16, 2017 CNN interview she only has kind words to say about him.

AS for who on high was encouraging Comey's extra legal free-lancing in the Clinton and Flynn matters is a pertinent question.

Who were the enablers, in other words?

Barr appears to imply Comey did it all on his own, which is not entirely accurate. Perhaps this also implies that Durham will prosecute Comey? I don't know if anyone will be prosecuted at all. Time will tell.

It is clear Comey's enablers would, by rank, have been, viz. the Clinton matter: Obama and Lynch.

In the Flynn matter: Trump and Yates.

Simple logic dictates that: if Main Justice was "not in the loop" then, for Clinton matter, this means Obama was enabling Comey to exonerate her; and also dictate that, for Flynn, that Trump was the one "on high" enabling Comey.

If there are others on high, they were not in the chain of command as I understand the current US Government structure.
-30-

Fred , 10 May 2020 at 09:19 AM
Jack,

"Never Trump".

Jim,

You seem to think Trump was informed of all the relevant information about the FBI's conduct during his first ten days in office. Because Barr, being appointed AG two years after these events, has yet to indict anyone in the case, Trump was actually enabling Yates in destroying Flynn? Neither appear to be logical conclusions to me.

Bobo , 10 May 2020 at 09:50 AM
So on a December 29, 2016 The Obama administration placed sanctions on Russia that evolved to Flynn, at the instruction of the incoming Trump administration, contacting the Russian ambassador requesting that they not retaliate or heighten the situation.

On January 5th Ms. Yates learned from Obama of the Flynn intervention.

Rather than contact Trump directly Obama went along with the Comey Logan Act thoughts.

The decision to enact sanctions obviously involved State, CIA, DNI and FBI but why not Justice or did it. But why was the incoming Trump administration not consulted.

There was only one Machiavellian thinker in that group and it wasn't the idiot who got his panties all twisted up.

[May 10, 2020] Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security by Kevin R. Brock

Highly recommended!
This was a coup d'état and it has little to do with the protection of Oabama policies, but a lot with protection of Clinton clan to which Obama belongs.
FBI investigators were corrupt and acted as a political police
Notable quotes:
"... Heavily redacted FBI documents that have been released indicate Flynn was one of several Trump campaign members who merited their own subfile investigation under the larger, now infamous " Crossfire Hurricane " debacle. Flynn even got his own cool codename -- "Crossfire Razor." (No, the FBI isn't usually that absurd. But absurdity colored that entire period of time.) ..."
"... FBI documents show that a Foreign Agent Registration Act ( FARA ) case was opened against Flynn. The stated reasons, in rank order, for initiating the investigation were that he was a member of the Trump campaign; he had "ties" to various Russian state-affiliated entities; he traveled to Russia; and he had a high-level top-secret clearance -- for which, by the way, he was polygraphed regularly to determine if he was a spy. ..."
"... None of the listed reasons is unusual activity for the kind of positions he held. Overall it is pretty thin justification for investigating an American citizen. Yet, most chillingly, the Crossfire Hurricane team stated it was investigating Flynn "specifically" because he was "an adviser to then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for foreign policy issues." ..."
"... Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions , which consults with private companies and public safety agencies on strategic mission technologies. ..."
May 10, 2020 | thehill.com
investigation of Michael Flynn , the more it appears he was targeted precisely because, as the national security adviser to the incoming Trump administration, he signaled that the new administration might undo Obama administration policies -- which is kind of what the American people voted for in 2016.

Some will say that Gen. Flynn was investigated for legitimate criminal or national security reasons. Yet, the FBI's ultimate interview of Flynn addressed none of the grounds that the FBI used to open the original case against him. For those of us who have run FBI investigations, that is more than odd.

Heavily redacted FBI documents that have been released indicate Flynn was one of several Trump campaign members who merited their own subfile investigation under the larger, now infamous " Crossfire Hurricane " debacle. Flynn even got his own cool codename -- "Crossfire Razor." (No, the FBI isn't usually that absurd. But absurdity colored that entire period of time.)

For the record, Flynn clearly exercised poor judgment as a result of being interviewed by the FBI. The larger question is whether the team under then-Director James Comey had a legitimate basis to conduct the interview at all.

FBI documents show that a Foreign Agent Registration Act ( FARA ) case was opened against Flynn. The stated reasons, in rank order, for initiating the investigation were that he was a member of the Trump campaign; he had "ties" to various Russian state-affiliated entities; he traveled to Russia; and he had a high-level top-secret clearance -- for which, by the way, he was polygraphed regularly to determine if he was a spy.

None of the listed reasons is unusual activity for the kind of positions he held. Overall it is pretty thin justification for investigating an American citizen. Yet, most chillingly, the Crossfire Hurricane team stated it was investigating Flynn "specifically" because he was "an adviser to then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for foreign policy issues."

Let me be clear: That is not a legitimate justification to investigate an American citizen.

There is a theme that runs through the entire Crossfire Hurricane disaster, which has been publicly articulated by Comey and his deputy director, Andrew McCabe : They saw themselves as stalwarts in the breach defending America from a presidential candidate who they believed was an agent of Russia .

... ... ...

Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions , which consults with private companies and public safety agencies on strategic mission technologies.

[May 10, 2020] Russiagate has been an obvious coup attempt from the beginning, and several attempts have followed...

The genius of Russiagate is that it managed to gaslight the whole nation
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
jinn , May 10 2020 15:20 utc | 5
Russiagate has been an obvious coup attempt from the beginning, and several attempts have followed...
__________________________________________________

That is not at all obvious.
Russiagate was obviously designed to look like a coup attempt, but you have to be extremely gullible to believe any of it is real.

The recent Flynn bruhaha is a perfect example of the phoniness surrounding Russiagate.

The FBI investigators that interviewed Flynn believed he had not been deceptive and any fool who was paying attention at the time believed he was not guilty because 2 weeks before that FBI interview the news media had reported that the phone call with Kislyak had been recorded by the FBI and that there was nothing improper or illegal that would motivate Flynn to lie about his talk with Kislyak. The story that Flynn lied to the FBI is unbelievable on its face.

Don't blame the FBI for creating this fake story. Trump is the one and only one that created the fake Flynn-lied-to-the-FBI story, Before Trump created the phony story that Flynn had lied to the FBI nobody else had at that time believed Flynn lied to the FBI.
But once Trump had created the phony story that Flynn lied to the FBI then all the gullible morons started to believe the phony story. And even Flynn himself goes along with Trump's phony story because he is a good soldier that follows command.

Trump says he fired Flynn for lying to the FBI

Before Comey's testimony to Congress that suggested that Trump was twisting Comey's arm to let Flynn go for lying to the FBI no one had ever said that Flynn lied to the FBI. That story was created by Trump and reported by Comey.
And then Mueller and Flynn and Comey all helped Trump foist that phony story that Flynn lied to the FBI onto the public.

The implication of Comey's testimony to Congress was that in order to get Flynn off a charge of Lying to the FBI Trump first tried to cajole Comey to go easy on Flynn and when that did not work Trump fired Comey.
The problem with that whole BS story is that the crux of it (that Flynn lied to the FBI) never happened. It was entirely invented by Trump to make it look like Trump was engaged in mortal combat with the deep state. But it was all staged and fake (i.e. Kayfabe)


jinn , May 10 2020 15:42 utc | 7

Russigate falls apart:

_______________________________________________
Well duh....

Russiagate was designed to fall apart.

It was obvious all along that all the stories that came out in the Mueller Report were badly written sit-com material - the script for a comic soap opera. And they were all scripted to fall apart when examined closely.

What I could never figure out was what this guy Mueller was going to say when he was dragged in front of Congress and required to answer tough questions about all the garbage he had produced. I thought for sure that for Mueller the jig would be up there was no way the farce would not be revealed for all to see.

And then it happened. Mueller testified and it turned out Mueller could not remember any of it.

Senator: Did you say XYZ?
Mueller: Is that in the report??
Senator: yes it is.
Mueller: Then it is true.

Making Mueller Senile and unable to remember anything was brilliant - pure genius. The rest of the Russiagate script was mediocre at best.

Jackrabbit , May 10 2020 17:01 utc | 16
bevin @ May 10 16:41

It was a transparently false narrative designed, by the most incompetent election campaign team in history ...

Occam's razor says Hillary threw the election. No seasoned politician would make the mistakes that she made - especially when they yearn to make history (as the first woman president) and the entire establishment (left and right) is counting on them to win.

Believing what is evidently incredible has long been a test of loyalty ...

And you prove your loyalty with the belief that Hillary lost because of an "incompetent election campaign".

!!

[May 10, 2020] Does Obama now feels his potential liability for staging coup d' tat and gaslighting the whole nation?

Highly recommended!
All-in-all Obama was a CIA sponsored fraud: In 2008 I posted at another blog this: "Obama is a fraud and my view does not hang on the controversial birther movement. " From whence he came? He made a speech at the Democratic National Convention; 3 years in the Senate, then runs to occupy the White House. The media puff pieces. "Hope and Change, Yes, We Can" Watch for the broken promises."
Notable quotes:
"... Now why is Obama against General Flynn? Hmmm. Good question. Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security? LINK ..."
"... Gen. Flynn: Obama Administration made a "wilful decision" to support Sunni extremists (a Jihadi proxy army) against Assad . This directly contradicts the phony narrative of Obama as peace-loving black man (as certified by his Nobel Prize!). ..."
"... In 2008 I posted at another blog this: "Obama is a fraud and my view does not hang on the controversial birther movement. " From whence he came? He made a speech at the Democratic National Convention; 3 years in the Senate, then runs to occupy the White House. The media puff pieces. "Hope and Change, Yes, We Can" Watch for the broken promises." ..."
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Prof K , May 10 2020 16:05 utc | 9

Posted by: Prof K | May 10 2020 16:05 utc | 9

Obama weighed in this week...on Flynn. Why?

What is he trying to preempt?

He only steps in at critical moments to stop something, as he did before SC to block Bernie.

Now this. How does it relate to Russiagate and his potential liability?


Likklemore , May 10 2020 17:08 utc | 18

@ ProfK 9

Whether or not General Flynn is loathed or liked, there is Supreme Court decisions setting precedence for dropping a case when found to be wrapped in prosecutorial misdeeds:

As for the first 'black' president out from the shadows;

Obama, the petit constitutional law scholar, signed the NDAA National Defence Authorization Act which allows imprisonment of Americans forever has no standing to claim the "rule of law is at risk" and he may want to call Eric Holder.

Certified Hypocrite.

Now why is Obama against General Flynn? Hmmm. Good question. Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security? LINK

Jackrabbit , May 10 2020 17:31 utc | 19
Likklemore @ May10 17:08
Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security?

Gen. Flynn: Obama Administration made a "wilful decision" to support Sunni extremists (a Jihadi proxy army) against Assad . This directly contradicts the phony narrative of Obama as peace-loving black man (as certified by his Nobel Prize!).

!!

Likklemore , May 10 2020 18:11 utc | 22
@ Jackrabbit 19

Thanks for that additional link. And that's why Obama could not standby with Flynn in the NSA role. Recall Hillary's on Trump- "if he is elected we'll hang" (paraphrased)

In 2008 I posted at another blog this: "Obama is a fraud and my view does not hang on the controversial birther movement. " From whence he came? He made a speech at the Democratic National Convention; 3 years in the Senate, then runs to occupy the White House. The media puff pieces. "Hope and Change, Yes, We Can" Watch for the broken promises."

Fast Forward to 2011 he signs NDAA. "How Obama disappointed the world." Der Spiegel had such an article 9 Aug.2011. But he was re-(S)-elected.

[May 08, 2020] Thiefs stole from a Russian fifth column critter: NY Times Accused Of Ripping Off Pulitzer Prize-Winning Stories From Russian Journalists For 2nd Time

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... While this elite Pulitzer jury praised the New York Times for "at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime," it is not exactly clear what that "risk" is supposed to entail – because the major US newspaper appears to have stolen at least part of its reporting from Russian journalists . ..."
"... On May 4, journalist Roman Badanin published a Facebook post accusing the Times of ripping off a story he had released months before without credit. Badanin is the founder and editor-in-chief of the liberal anti-Putin news website Proekt , known as The Project in English. ..."
"... This report is eerily similar to a report published by the New York Times eight months later, in November , titled " How Russia Meddles Abroad for Profit : Cash, Trolls and a Cult Leader." This story, which was filed in Madagascar, does not once link to or credit Proekt's original reporting . ..."
"... Another anti-Putin Russian news website, Meduza, published an article on May 7 drawing attention to these allegations, titled " 'Fuck the Pulitzer -- I just want a hyperlink' : Russian journalists say 'The New York Times' should have acknowledged their investigative work in the newspaper's award-winning reports about the Putin regime's 'predations.'" ..."
"... Meduza interviewed Badanin, who said the New York Times "report about Madagascar from November 2019 repeats all the main and even secondary conclusions from our reporting about Madagascar and Africa generally between March and April last year." ..."
"... Badanin was also given a Stanford John S. Knight international fellowship in journalism. Stanford University has established itself as an outpost for Russian pro-Western liberals, and its journalist fellowship program provides institutional support for dissidents in countries targeted by Washington for regime change. ..."
"... The Times even featured Badanin prominently in the header image of the story -- just two years before the same newspaper would go on to rip off his reporting. ..."
May 08, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

NY Times Accused Of Ripping Off Pulitzer Prize-Winning Stories From Russian Journalists For 2nd Time by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/08/2020 - 20:05 Authored by Ben Norton via TheGrayZone.com,

The New York Times has been accused for a second time of stealing major scoops from Russian journalists . One of those stories won the Times a Pulitzer Prize this May.

The journalists who have accused the Times of taking their work without credit also happen to be the same liberal media crusaders against Vladimir Putin that Western correspondents at the Times and other mainstream outlets have cast as persecuted heroes. The Pulitzer Prize Board is comprised of a who's who of media aristocrats and Ivy League bigwigs. Given the elite backgrounds of the judges, it is hardly a surprise that they rewarded reporting reinforcing the narrative of the new US Cold War against official enemies like Russia and China .

Stephen Kinzer, a former New York Times correspondent who has since become a critic of US foreign policy, noted that the three finalists in the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting "were one story about how evil Russia is and two about how evil China is. These choices encourage reporters to write stories that reinforce rather than question Washington's foreign-policy narrative."

The finalists nominated in this category were Reuters and the New York Times for two separate sets of stories.

The US newspaper of record ended up winning the 2020 award in international reporting , for what the Pulitzer jury described as "a set of enthralling stories, reported at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime."

The 3 finalists in the #PulitzerPrize2020 "international reporting" category were one story about how evil #Russia is and two about how evil #China is. These choices encourage reporters to write stories that reinforce rather than question Washington's foreign-policy narative.

-- Stephen Kinzer (@stephenkinzer) May 5, 2020

The Times was nominated again as a finalist for what the jury called its "gripping accounts that disclosed China's top-secret efforts to repress millions of Muslims through a system of labor camps, brutality and surveillance."

The staff of Reuters was selected as the third finalist for its reporting in support of anti-China protesters in Hong Kong . (The photography staff of Reuters ended up winning the Pulitzer Prize in breaking news photography for the same coverage.)

Among the five members of the Pulitzer jury who selected these finalists was Jeffrey Goldberg, the editor-in-chief of the neoliberal magazine The Atlantic and a former volunteer in the Israeli army who worked as a guard at a prison camp where Palestinians who rose up in the First Intifada were interned.

Joining Goldberg on the jury was Susan Chira, a former New York Times editor.

While this elite Pulitzer jury praised the New York Times for "at great risk, exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime," it is not exactly clear what that "risk" is supposed to entail – because the major US newspaper appears to have stolen at least part of its reporting from Russian journalists .

I'm proud and humbled to share a Pulitzer Prize with @ddknyt , @dionnesearcey , as well as @malachybrowne and his visual investigation wizards for our reporting on Russia's shadow wars. https://t.co/yczpVAw1QW

-- Michael Schwirtz (@mschwirtz) May 4, 2020

On May 4, journalist Roman Badanin published a Facebook post accusing the Times of ripping off a story he had released months before without credit. Badanin is the founder and editor-in-chief of the liberal anti-Putin news website Proekt , known as The Project in English.

"I have no illusions about the real role of Russian journalism in the world, but I have to note: the two The New York Times's investigations, for which this honored newspaper won the Pulitzer prize yesterday, repeat the findings of The Project's articles published a few months before," Badanin wrote on Facebook.

"I would also like to note that the winners did not put a single link to the English version of our article, even when, for example, 8 months after The Project, they told about the activities of Eugene Prigozhin's emissaries in Madagascar," he added.

Badanin linked to an article he published, both in Russian and English, back in March 2019 titled " Master and Chef : How Evgeny Prigozhin led the Russian offensive in Africa." The story details how the businessman Evgenу Prigozhin, who is sanctioned by the US government, has been promoting business opportunities in Africa. The piece focuses specifically on Madagascar, where Russia also has a military agreement.

This report is eerily similar to a report published by the New York Times eight months later, in November , titled " How Russia Meddles Abroad for Profit : Cash, Trolls and a Cult Leader." This story, which was filed in Madagascar, does not once link to or credit Proekt's original reporting .

Another anti-Putin Russian news website, Meduza, published an article on May 7 drawing attention to these allegations, titled " 'Fuck the Pulitzer -- I just want a hyperlink' : Russian journalists say 'The New York Times' should have acknowledged their investigative work in the newspaper's award-winning reports about the Putin regime's 'predations.'"

Meduza interviewed Badanin, who said the New York Times "report about Madagascar from November 2019 repeats all the main and even secondary conclusions from our reporting about Madagascar and Africa generally between March and April last year."

While Badanin did not outright accuse the Times of plagiarism, he was frustrated that "nowhere in the story did they acknowledge that we'd already reported on this topic," and said it was either a "professional issue" or an "ethical problem."

A New York Times spokesperson denied that Proekt's reporting was used in any way. And the Times reporter who authored this report from Madagascar, Michael Schwirtz , responded dismissively to the accusations in a Twitter thread full of sarcastic quips.

Another anti-Putin Russian activist accuses the New York Times of lifting his reporting

Michael Schwirtz authored another New York Times article in December that was cited by the Pulitzer jury for the 2020 prize. This piece, "How a Poisoning in Bulgaria Exposed Russian Assassins in Europe," is also suspiciously similar to reporting published before by yet another anti-Putin website, called The Insider .

The Insider is edited by the Western-backed, diehard anti-Putin activist Roman Dobrokhotov. In response to Schwirtz's Twitter thread, Dobrohotov angrily asked why The Insider's reports were not credited as well. Schwirtz denied having used information from the previous stories.

Schwirtz's Twitter thread tagged four Russian accounts: Proekt, The Insider, Dobrokhotov, and Yasha Levine, the last of whom is an occasional contributor to The Grayzone and the author of " Surveillance Valley ."

Time to learn the hard truth: The New York Times -- like the Empire it represents -- doesn't give a fuck about you. It'll take whatever it wants, give nothing in return, and suffer no consequences. And who'll believe you Russians anyway? https://t.co/V1YtZ7K6OB

-- Yasha Levine (@yashalevine) May 7, 2020

Levine reflected on the scandal writing,

"Time to learn the hard truth: The New York Times -- like the Empire it represents -- doesn't give a fuck about you. It'll take whatever it wants, give nothing in return, and suffer no consequences. And who'll believe you Russians anyway?"

"The reverence with which liberal Russian journalists have treated the New York Times has always been baffling to me," Levine continued. "But that's what you get when you're a colonial subject like Russia. You fetishize the master. That reverence is starting to wear off, but it's still there."

New York Times was also accused of stealing Russian journalists' reporting back in 2017

This is not even the first time that the US newspaper of record has been accused of stealing reporting from Russian journalists.

Back in 2017, the New York Times won the Pulitzer Prize in international reporting for its reports on "Vladimir Putin's efforts to project Russia's power abroad."

At the time, journalists from the anti-Putin website Meduza accused the Times of ripping off their reporting. The website Global Voices highlighted the controversy, in an article titled "Russian Journalists Say One of NYT's Pulitzer-Winning Stories Was Stolen ."

Meduza reported Daniil Turovsky accused New York Times Moscow correspondent Andrew E. Kramer of lifting his reporting. Kramer actually took the time to respond in a Facebook comment, acknowledging that his report was based on the Russian journalist's.

"Daniil, I spoke with you while preparing this article and explained that I intended to follow in the footsteps of your fine work, that I would credit Meduza, as I did, and thanked you for your help," Kramer said.

This did not satisfy Meduza, which also reminded readers in its latest 2020 article that the Times had ripped off its 2017 reporting.

The NYT times has been honored with a Pulitzer Prize for "exposing the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime" in 2019, but several top investigative journalists in Russia say the U.S. newspaper ignored their groundbreaking work in this area -- again. https://t.co/R4WZdqHDp4

-- Meduza in English (@meduza_en) May 7, 2020

The Grayzone has also experienced this kind of shameless journalistic theft. In March 2019, the New York Times released a report acknowledging that the so-called "humanitarian aid" convoy that the US government tried to ram across the Venezuelan border in a February coup attempt had been set on fire not by government forces, but rather Washington-backed right-wing opposition hooligans.

At the time of this February 23 putsch attempt, the Times had initially joined US politicians like Senator Marco Rubio and the majority of the corporate media in blaming Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro. But The Grayzone editor Max Blumenthal, who was reporting in Venezuela, published a report showing that all of the available evidence pointed to the opposition being responsible.

When the Times finally admitted this fact weeks later, it made no mention whatsoever of Blumenthal's reporting. Glenn Greenwald was the only high-profile journalist to credit Blumenthal and The Grayzone.

New York Times had ironically heroized these Russian journalists before stealing their reporting

Further compounding this staggering hypocrisy is the fact that the New York Times has in fact published numerous articles lionizing these anti-Putin Russian journalists, while simultaneously ripping off their work.

Proekt founder and editor Roman Badanin is not some kind of crypto pro-Kremlin activist – far from it. He has spent years working within mainstream outlets, and was previously the editor-in-chief of the decidedly anti-Putin Russian edition of Forbes magazine.

Badanin does friendly interviews with US-based neoconservative think tanks like the Free Russia Foundation , a right-wing anti-Putin lobbying group that appointed regime-changer Michael Weiss as its director for special investigations.

In an interview conducted by Valeria Jegisman , a neoconservative anti-Russian activist who worked as a spokesperson for the government of Estonia and now works at the US government's propaganda arm Voice of America, group accused the Kremlin of spreading false information, claiming "Russia will continue its disinformation tactics."

Badanin also called for "the West" to "support independent media projects with non-profit funding," stating clearly: "I think that what the West can do is to continue to support independent media in the most transparent and clear way, and to stop being afraid of the million tricks that the Russian authorities come up with to force the West to abandon these investments."

The Russian journalist's pro-Western perspective has been rewarded. Badanin was honored by the European Press Prize , a program backed by Western governments and the top corporate media outlets in Europe, particularly The Guardian and Reuters.

Badanin was also given a Stanford John S. Knight international fellowship in journalism. Stanford University has established itself as an outpost for Russian pro-Western liberals, and its journalist fellowship program provides institutional support for dissidents in countries targeted by Washington for regime change.

Badanin's extensive links to Western regime-change institutions should not come as a surprise to the New York Times; it has in fact honored him in numerous articles.

In 2017, the Times published an entire article framed around Badanin. Reporter Jim Rutenberg explained, "I wanted to better understand President Trump's America So I went to Russia ."

In Moscow, Rutenberg met with Badanin at the headquarters of the anti-Putin station TV Rain, which he described as a "warehouse complex here, populated by young people with beards, tattoos, piercings and colored hair. (Brooklyn hipster imperialism knows no bounds.)"

While praising Badanin and TV Rain, the Times also noted that the channel published a poll suggesting that the Soviet Union "should have abandoned Leningrad to the Nazis to save lives."

The Times even featured Badanin prominently in the header image of the story -- just two years before the same newspaper would go on to rip off his reporting.

The New York Times also reported on Roman Badanin in 2016 and 2011 . It is abundantly clear the newspaper knew who he was.

The Gray Lady's willingness to snatch Badanin's reporting shows how little respect newspapers like the New York Times actually have for the anti-Putin journalists they claim to lionize . For the jet-setting correspondents of Western corporate media outlets, liberal Russian reporters are just tools to advance their own ambitions.

[May 05, 2020] Russia Slams NYT for 'Russophobia' Following Pulitzer Prize Win - The Moscow Times

May 05, 2020 | www.themoscowtimes.com

Russian diplomats have slammed The New York Times' Pulitzer Prize-winning series articles about Russia's covert activities abroad as examples of "Russophobia."

The New York Times won the Pulitzer for international reporting Monday for six investigative articles and two videos that "expos[ed] the predations of Vladimir Putin's regime" across Africa, the Middle East and Europe. news The Global Footprints of 'Putin's Chef' Read more Russia's Embassy in the United States accused the Pulitzer Prize Board of "highlighting anti-Russian materials with statements that have been repeatedly refuted not only by Russian officials, but also by life itself."

"We consider this series of New York Times articles about Russia a wonderful collection of undiluted Russophobic fabrications that can be studied as a guide to creating false facts," the embassy said in a Facebook post.

Meanwhile, in a separate accusation, the editor of independent Russian investigative outlet Proekt said at least two of The New York Times' Pulitzer-winning investigations repeated its own previous reporting without citing it.

Congrats to @nytimes on the @PulitzerPrizes for article series that echoes our „Master and Chef" series, which was written months before NYT. It's a pity that there's no even a link to The Project's piece in the awarded publication. https://t.co/MsgwqaMOn0

-- Проект (@wwwproektmedia) May 5, 2020
"[T]he winners did not put a single link to the English version of our article," Roman Badanin wrote on Facebook, singling out its March 14, 2019, deep dive into Putin-linked businessman Yevgeny Prigozhin's activities in Madagascar. The New York Times' investigation on the subject was published six months later in November.

"I still don't know what is my attitude to this situation... It's probably nice, but a bit weird," Badanin wrote in an English-language post. Sign up for our free weekly newsletters covering News and Business.

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[May 05, 2020] One thing I was horrified with, during a "quick look at" the FT Story about Putin, was the level of "Putin did it" hate in the comments section. I had thought that the "Putin did it" tripe was a thing of the past. I could not have been more wrong.

The level of brainwashing is really staggering. Probably comparable to the USSR and Nazy Germany levels.
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Stonebird , May 4 2020 20:51 utc | 31
This anti-Chinese effort may be destined for internal US (anti-civil war) needs. To make the US population look in one direction. Obviously the why part is another question - oil, dollar collapse, lack of food etc? But I want to point out that there has been an uptick in aggression in other sensitive areas as well.

Todays examples are; An attack east of Aleppo on a Syrian military research centre by Israeli aircraft. Overflying Jordan and then Iraq.
A second band of mercenary bounty hunters were captured trying to infiltrate venezuela to kill Maduro (A revolt made by 8 at a time hunters could take several years at that rate.
The presence of four Nato Aegis ships in the Baltic which coincides with the arrival of the Russian pipelaying ship in Kalingrad.

One thing I was horrified with, during a "quick look at" the FT Story about Putin, was the level of "Putin did it" hate in the comments section. I had thought that the "Putin did it" tripe was a thing of the past. I could not have been more wrong.

It is interesting that the rubbish Pompeo says is getting some resistance from the "intelligence" agencies themselves. It appears that not everyone wants to be forced into supporting his accusations.

[May 05, 2020] Five eyes, the anglosphere intel and propaganda warriors are the best in the world

Notable quotes:
"... When the people who made fake claims about Iraq's WMD, about Russiagate, about Iran's danger, are claiming that the thing isn't manmade, then either it's not manmade or it's US-made and the claim is a lie (what we expect from US intelligence agencies) and a cover-up. ..."
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , May 4 2020 20:57 utc | 35

In many Ways, Trump reminds me of a Hitler/Stalin admirer. He demands certain results; if you don't supply them, at least Trump will just fire you instead of having you shot or sent to the Gulag -- Evidence of the many IG firings as this article notes .

The daily lies and bald-faced propaganda is at the point where many are aware but still all too many remain oblivious or are Brown Shirts in all but outward appearance. Pompeo would be a perfect example of a clone if Hitler had a PR spokesperson spewing lies daily for the press & public to digest without any thinking. Imagine Hitler with Twitter.

None of the above is meant to denigrate; rather, it's to put them into proper perspective. I invite barflies to click here and just look at the headlines of the posted news items--that site's biggest failing was to omit similar criticism of Obama, Clinton, and D-Party pukes in general, although that doesn't render today's headlines false.

Will the coming Great Depression 2.0 be global or confined to NATO nations? As with the first Great Depression, it will be restricted to being Trans-Atlantic for that's where the dollar zone and Neoliberalism overlap. The emerging dollar-free Eurasian trade zone


Peter AU1 , May 4 2020 21:32 utc | 42

karlof1

Many of Goering's quotes are very accurate as to human nature. US took in Nazi and Japanese scientists. It wouldn't have left the propaganda behind. Goering's quote about taking people to war - nazi's were obviously very good at it as the Germans fought until the very end. US peasants will likely do the same.

Peter AU1 , May 4 2020 21:51 utc | 47
The anti China crap filling the MSM is anglosphere in origin. Five eyes, the anglosphere intel and propaganda warriors will be in it up to their eyeballs.
Clueless Joe , May 4 2020 21:52 utc | 48
When the people who made fake claims about Iraq's WMD, about Russiagate, about Iran's danger, are claiming that the thing isn't manmade, then either it's not manmade or it's US-made and the claim is a lie (what we expect from US intelligence agencies) and a cover-up. That said, odds are on the former, as far as I'm concerned. The absolutely sure thing is that it's not the Chinese who crafted it.
H.Schmatz , May 4 2020 22:05 utc | 49
@Posted by: Clueless Joe | May 4 2020 21:52 utc | 48

Indeed, this is the pattern, as happened with Skripals and Litvinenko, must be an anglo thing.

"The best defesne is a good attack"

[May 05, 2020] For Russian elites, it is the fact that the game is rigged against them which is the problem, not the game itself.

May 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

ComradePuff , says: Show Comment May 3, 2020 at 10:27 am GMT

@FB Soooo your proof that I am a troll is that I didn't spell a German to Russian to English borrow word correctly and capitalized it on a website comment board? And your follow-up slam dunk is that I am new to the site. To really take it to the next level of critical thinking, you throw in some ad hominim attacks and deny my education? Move over Sherlock Holmes, we got a real sleuth here.

My diploma number is 107732 0012900, awarded on June 5th, 2019 and signed by Шестопал Е. Б. and Байков А. А.. My thesis was titled: "Russia in sub-Saharan Africa: Approaches, Interests and a New Frontier for Cooperation with China" so yeah actually I know quite a bit about Russia's relationship with China. You're welcome to read it. You'd find my recommendations in the conclusion would not go over well at the CIA. That I took intelligence analysis courses from the likes of Andrey Bezrukov would not make me a shoo-in either. Anyway, I assumed this crowd didn't require a lengthy numbering of America's crimes as a preface to holding an opinion about Russia.

hey never cared about being in some sort of 'club' to begin with international relations isn't junior high, which one would expect a 'graduate' of international relations to know

That is funny that you say that because that is *exactly* the impression that I got from my diplomacy classes. It was like 24/7 LARP set to The Emperor's New Clothes. I am not talking about the attitude toward the Putin or the Russian government – that was surprisingly neutral and refreshingly open to discussion – just about how politics are conducted in general. It was astonishingly – by my admittedly cynical standards – juvenile. I cannot even imagine how asinine diplomacy and political wheeling and dealing in the West must be, as they take it all deadly serious in Russia.

All Russia ever cared about was having normal relations friendly if possible, but on equal footing the entire tone of your fantasy is straight out of the '90s only deluded Washington hacks still dream that we are living in the '90s

That is true. I don't think Russia is still the 90's. I wasn't here in the 90's anyway, so I cannot even make that comparison. What I said is that, from my observation and experience, the people who are still in charge are the same who forged their careers in the 90's and that their thinking has evolved only in response to betrayals by the US, not due to any fundamental problem with how the US operates. Russia is fine to play by the rules set out be Washington, but they are eternally bewildered that those rules only apply to them because otherwise they would be forced to swallow the truths of Lenin and Marx. For professors arriving in late model black Mercedes driven by chauffeurs, that would be awkward. For Russian elites, it is the fact that the game is rigged against them which is the problem, not the game itself.

[May 05, 2020] Russia needs a depositor credit union type local banking system.

May 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mefobills , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT

@Art

Russia needs a depositor credit union type local banking system.

These types of banks are called "gyro or giro" banking. When you take out a loan, you are borrowing existing money. The bank does not hypothecate new money into existence.

The movie "It's a wonderful life" is a battle between two types of banking, the Gyro Bank, vs Hypothecation Bank.

Gyro banking has been subsumed by the more dishonest Hypothecation methods that usurers prefer. Gyro banks like U.S. Savings and Loans, and their equivalents around the world, have slowly disappeared. In U.S. it was the (((usual suspects))) that were responsible for S&L's disappearing.

Gryo banking has another nemesis, and that is money origination. If a national-state creates new money debt free, then laboring savers will eventually have a "pile o money" to loan out. Without debt free from Treasury, then laboring savers will be storing money that at-source originated as a hypothecation event elsewhere in the banking system.

In other words, it is not enough to have a Gyro saving bank, the "credit" origination problem elsewhere hasn't been dealt with.

One of Saker's points is that Putin did not listen to Stolypin Group's Sergei Glaziev and instead is listening to economic liberals like Elvira Sakhipzadovna Nabiullina . The Stolypin group is on-point, and yet they have been marginalized. Why?

Liberalism's swan song is seductive, and one of its tenets is that you need to borrow "credit" on international markets to then buy "international goods." Another tenet is that you can get rich and become an Oligarch too, and live a life of blowing snow up your nose, and having hooker's galore living the life on another's labor is usury magic that works.

A national state does not need to borrow credit, when it can make its own. The only time a national state needs to borrow another countries money type, or international banker money like Federal Reserve Notes, is to acquire something your nation doesn't have . say petroleum.

In Russia's case, its economy can be almost completely autarkial, and hence liberalism's swan song is BS, and Putin hasn't gotten the memo. Putin doesn't understand economy, or has purposefully ignored Glazyev for some reason.

Saker is correct, Russia would be doing much better if Putin had listened to Glazyev Much better means an economy probably two or three times what it is now, and the six'th column would be nowhere to be found.

The money power is never trivial, and it informs just about everything else in a civilization. I feel the same as Saker, I like Putin but Putin has failed spectacularly by not understanding how money works, and falling for economic Liberalism's swan song.

Hitler had somebody like Glazyev. His name was Reinhardt, and because Reinhardt was nationalist and illiberal, Germany's economy was able to take off and had a large measure of autarky.

Germany spent debt free "labor certificates" into the economy per Reinhardt (and later Schact's) method.

[May 05, 2020] Is there a "6th column" trying to subvert Russia, by The Saker

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... What is often forgotten is that at the same time, the Soviet society was oppressive, the corrupt and geriatric CPSU ran everything and was mostly hated, the Russian people were afraid of the KGB and could not enjoy the freedoms folks in the US or Europe had. In truth, it was a mixed bag, but it is easy to remember only the good stuff. ..."
"... The core of this opposition is formed of Communists and Communist sympathizers who absolutely hate Putin for his (quite outspoken) anti-Communism. Let's call them "new Communists" or "Neo-Communists". And here is what makes them much more dangerous than the "liberal" opposition: the Neo-Communists are often absolutely right. ..."
"... Under Putin the Russian foreign policy has been such a success that even the Russian liberals, very reluctantly, admit that he did a pretty good job. However, the internal, many financial, policies of Russia have been a disaster. Just one example, the fact that the major Russian banks are bloated with their immense revenues, did not prevent millions of Russians from living in poverty and many hundreds of thousands of Russian small/family businesses of going under due to the very high interest rates. ..."
"... First, Russia has been in a state of war against the US+EU+NATO since at least 2015. Yes, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But it is a very real war nonetheless. ..."
"... The Neo-Communist Russian opposition steadfastly pretends like there is no war, like all the losses (economic and human) are only the result of corruption and incompetence. They forget that during the last war between Russia and the "United West" German tanks were at the outskirts of Moscow. ..."
"... if Putin decided to follow the advice of, say, Glaziev and his supporters, the Russian bankers would react with a "total war" against Putin. ..."
"... If you study Russian history, you will soon realize that Russia did superbly with military enemies, did very averagely with diplomatic efforts (which often negated military victories) and did terribly with what we could call the "internal opposition". ..."
"... I have always, and still do, consider that the real danger for Putin and those who share his views is the internal, often "insider", opposition in Russia. They were always the ones to present the biggest threat to any Russian ruler, from the Czars to Stalin. ..."
"... This new Neo-Communist 6th column is, however, a much more dangerous threat to the future of Russia than the pro-western 5th columnists. Some of their tactics are extremely devious. For example, one of the things you hear most often from these folks is this: "unless Putin does X, Y or Z, there is a risk of a bloody revolution". ..."
"... "Too often in our history we have seen that instead of an opposition to the government we are confronted with an opposition to Russia herself. And we know how this ends: with the destruction of the state as such". ..."
"... Now, if you think as a true patriot of Russia, you have to realize that Russia suffered from not one, but two, truly horrible revolutions: in 1917 and 1991. In each case the consequences of these revolutions (irrespective of how justified they might have appeared at the time) were absolutely horrible: both in 1917 and in 1991 Russia almost completely vanished as a country, and millions suffered terribly. I now hold is as axiomatic that nothing would be worse for Russia than *any* revolution, no matter what ideology feeds it or how bad the "regime in power" might appear to be. ..."
"... These Neo-Communists would very much disagree with me. They "warn" about a revolution, while in reality trying to create the conditions for one. ..."
"... There is a very vocal internal opposition to Putin in Russia which is most unlikely to ever get real popular support, but which could possibly unite enough of the nostalgics of the Soviet era to create a real crisis. This internal opposition clearly and objectively weakens the authority/reputation of Putin, which has been main goal of the western "alphabet soup" ever since Putin came to power. ..."
"... This internal opposition, being mostly nostalgics of the Soviet era, will get no official support from the West, but it will enjoy a maximal covert support from the western "alphabet soup". ..."
"... Finally, this Neo-Communist opposition will never seize power, but it might create a very real internal political crisis which will very much weaken Putin and the Eurasian Sovereignists. ..."
"... The bottom line is this: Putin represents something very unique and very precious: he is a true Russian patriot, but he is not one nostalgic for the days of the Soviet Union. Right now, he is the only (or one of very few) Russian politician which can claim this quality. He needs to preempt the crisis which the Neo-Communists could trigger not by silencing them, but by realizing that on some issues the Russian people do, in fact, agree with them (even if they are not willing to call for a revolution). ..."
"... That poll showing Putin on top of everybody else, tells me that he is the Single-Point-Failure. If he croaks, so does Russia. Very much like Jesus, or Nicholas the II, or Gorbachov, before him -- all obrazovanshchiki, educated past the point of their intelligence level ..."
May 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

For those of us who followed the Russian Internet there is a highly visible phenomenon taking place which is quite startling: there are a lot of anti-Putin videos posted on YouTube or its Russian equivalents. Not only that, but a flurry of channels has recently appeared which seem to have made bashing Putin or Mishustin their full-time job. Of course, there have always been anti-Putin and anti-Medvedev videos in the past, but what makes this new wave so different from the old one is that they attack Putin and Mishustin not from pro-Western positions, but from putatively Russian patriotic positions. Even the supposed (not true) "personal advisor" to Putin and national-Bolshevik (true), Alexander Dugin has joined that movement (see here if you understand Russian).

This is a new, interesting and complex phenomenon, and I will try to unpack it here.

First, we have to remember that Putin was extremely successful at destroying the pro-Western opposition which, while shown on a daily basis on Russian TV, represents something in the 3-5% of the people at most. You might ask why they are so frequent on TV, and the reason is simple: the more they talk, the more they are hated.

So far from silencing the opposition, the Kremlin not only gives it air time, it even pays opposition figures top dollars to participate in the most popular talk shows. See here and here for more details

Truly, the reputation of the pro-Western "liberal" (in the Russian sense) opposition is now roadkill in Russia. Yes, there is a core of Russophobic Russians who hate Russia with a passion (they refer to it as "Rashka") and their hatred for everything Russian is so obvious that they are universally despised all over the country (the one big exception being Moscow where there is a much stronger "liberal" opposition which gets the support of all those who had a great time pillaging Russia in the 1990s and who now hate Putin for putting an end to their malfeasance).

As for the Duma opposition, it is an opposition only in name. They make noises, they bitch here and there, they condemn this or that, but at the end of the day, they will not represent a credible opposition at all.

Why?

Well, look at this screenshot I took from a Russian polling site :

The chart is in Russian, but it is also extremely simple to understand. On the Y axis, you see the percentage of people who "totally trust" and "mostly trust" the six politicians, in order: Putin, Mishustin, Zhirinovskii, Ziuganov, Mironov and Medvedev. The the X axis you see the time frame going from July 2019 to April 2020.

The only thing which really matters is this: in spite all the objective and subjective problems of Russia, in spite of a widely unpopular pension reform, in spite of all the western sanctions and in spite of the pandemic, Putin still sits alone in a rock-solid position: he has the overwhelming support of the Russian people. This single cause pretty much explains everything else I will be talking about today.

As most of you probably remember, there were already several waves of anti-Putin PSYOPS in the past, but they all failed for very simple reasons:

Most Russians remember the horrors of the 1990s when the pro-Western "liberals" were in power. Second, the Russian people could observe how the West put bona fide rabidly russophobic Nazis in power in Kiev. The liberals expressed a great deal of sympathy for the Ukronazi regime. Few Russians doubt that if the pro-western "liberals" got to power, they would turn Russia into something very similar to today's Ukraine. Next, the Russians could follow, day after day, how the Ukraine imploded, went through a bloody civil war, underwent a almost total de-industrialization and ended up with a real buffoon as President (Zelenskii just appointed, I kid you not, Saakashvili as Vice Prime Minister of the Ukraine, that is all you need to know to get the full measure of what kind of clueless imbecile Zelenskii is!). Not only do the liberals blame Russia for what happened to this poor country, they openly support Zelenskii. Most (all?) of the pro-western "NGO" (I put that in quotation marks, because these putatively non-governmental organization were entirely financed by western governments, mostly US and UK) were legally forced to reveal their sources of financing and most of them got listed as "foreign agents". Others were simply kicked out of Russia. Thus, it became impossible for the AngloZionists to trigger what appeared to be "mass protests" under these condition. There is a solid "anti-Maidan" movement in Russia (including in Moscow!) which is ready to "pounce" (politically) in case of any Maidan-like movement in Russia. I strongly suspect that the FSB has a warm if unofficial collaboration with them. The Russian internal security services (FSB, FSO, National Guard, etc.) saw a major revival under Putin and they are now not only more powerful than in the past, but also much better organized to deal with subversion. As for the armed forces are solidly behind Putin and Shoigu. While in the 1990s Russia was basically defenseless, Russia today is a very tough nut to crack for western subversion/PSYOP operations. Last, but not least, the Russian liberals are so obviously from the class Alexander Solzhenitsyn referred to as " obrazovanshchina ", a word hard to translate but which roughly means "pretend [to be] educated": these folks have always considered themselves very superior to the vast majority of the Russian people and they simply cannot hide their contempt for the "common man" (very similar to Hillary's "deporables"). The common man fully realizes that and, quite logically, profoundly distrusts and even hates "liberals".

There came a moment when the western curators of the Russian 5th column realized that calling Putin names in the western press, or publicly accusing him of being a "bloody despot" and a "KGB killer" might work with the gullible and brainwashed western audience, but it got absolutely no traction whatsoever in Russia.

And then, somebody, somewhere (I don't know who, or where) came up with an truly brilliant idea: accusing Putin of not being a patriot and declare that he is a puppet in the hands of the AngloZionist Empire. This was nothing short of brilliant, I have to admit that.

First, they tried to sell the idea that Putin was about to "sell out" (or "trade") Novorussia. One theory was that Russia would stand by and let the Ukronazis invade Novorussia. Another one was that the US and Russia would make a secret deal and "give" Syria to Putin, if he "gave" Novorussia to the Empire. Alternatively, there was the version that Russia would "give" Syria to Trump and he would "give" Novorussia to Putin. The actual narrative does not matter. What matters, A LOT, is that Putin was not presented as the "new Hitler" who would invade Poland and the Baltics, who would poison the Skripals, who would hack DNC servers and "put Trump into power". These plain stupid fairy tales had not credibility in Russia. But Putin "selling out" Novorussia was much more credible, especially after it was clear that Russia did not allow the DNR/LNR forces to seize Mariupol.

I remain convinced that this was the correct decision. Why? Because had the DNR/LNR forces entered Mariupol their critical supply lines would have been cut off by an envelopment maneuver by the Ukrainian forces. Yes, the DNR/LNR forces did have the power needed to take Mariupol, but then they would end up surrounded by Ukronazi forces in a "cauldron/siege" kind of situation which would then have forced Russia to openly intervene to either support these forces. That was a no brainer in military terms, but in political terms this would have been a disaster for Russia and a dream come true to the AngloZionists who could (finally!) "prove" that Russia was involved all along. The folks in the Russian General Staff are clearly much smarter than the couch-generals which were accusing Russia of treason for now letting Mariupol be liberated.

Eventually, both the "sellout Syria" and the "sellout Novorussia" narratives lost their traction and the PSYOPS specialists in the West tried another good one: Putin became the obedient servant of Israel and, personally, Netanyahu. The arguments were very similar: Putin did not allow Syrians (or Russians) to shoot down Israeli aircraft over the Mediterranean or Lebanon, Putin did not use the famous S-400 to protect Syrian targets from Israeli strikes, and Putin did not land an airborne division in Syria to deal with the Takfiris. And nevermind here the fact that the officially declared Russian objectives in Syria were only to " stabilize the legitimate authority and create conditions for a political compromise " (see here for details). The simple truth is that Putin never said that he would liberate each square meter of Syrian land from the Takfiris nor did he promise to defend Syria against Israel!

Still, for a while the Internet was inundated with articles claiming that Putin and Netanyahu were closely coordinating their every step and that Putin was Israel's chum.

Eventually, this canard also lost a lot of credibility. After all, most folks are smart enough to realize that if Putin wanted to help Israel, all he had to do is well exactly *nothing*: the Takfiris would take Damascus and it would be "game over" for a civilized Syria and the Israelis would have a perfect pretext to intervene.

As I have already mentioned in a past article , these were the original Israeli goals for Syria:

Bring down a strong secular Arab state along with its political structure, armed forces and security services. Create total chaos and horror in Syria justifying the creation of a "security zone" by Israel not only in the Golan, but further north. Trigger a civil war in Lebanon by unleashing the Takfiri crazies against Hezbollah. Let the Takfiris and Hezbollah bleed each other to death, then create a "security zone", but this time in Lebanon. Prevent the creation of a Shia axis Iran-Iraq-Syria-Lebanon. Breakup Syria along ethnic and religious lines. Create a Kurdistan which could then be used against Turkey, Syria, Iraq and Iran. Make it possible for Israel to become the uncontested power broker in the Middle-East and forces the KSA, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait and all others to have to go to Israel for any gas or oil pipeline project. Gradually isolate, threaten, subvert and eventually attack Iran with a wide regional coalition of forces. Eliminate all center of Shia power in the Middle-East.

It is quite easy nowadays to prove the two following theses: 1) Israel dismally failed to achieve ANY of the above set goals and 2) the Russian intervention is the one single most important factor which prevented Israel from achieving these goals (the 2nd most important one was the heroic support given by Iran and Hezbollah who, quite literally, "saved the day", especially during the early phases of the Russian intervention. Only an ignorant or dishonest person could seriously claim that Russia and Israel are working together when Russia, in reality, completely defeated Israel in Syria.

Still, while the first PSYOP (Putin the new Hitler) failed, and while the second PSYOP (Putin the sellout) also failed, the PSYOP specialists in the West came up with a much more potentially dangerous and effective PSYOP operation.

But first, they did something truly brilliant: they realized that their best allies in Russia would not be the (frankly, clueless) "liberals" but that they would find a much more powerful "ally" in those nostalgic of the Soviet Union. This I have to explain in some detail.

First, there is one thing human psychology which I have observed all my life: we tend to remember the good and forget the bad. Today, most of what I remember from boot-camp (and even "survival week") sounds like fun times. The truth is that while in boot camp I hated almost every day. In a similar way, a lot of Russian have developed a kind of nostalgia for the Soviet era. I can understand that. After all, during the 50s the USSR achieved a truly miraculous rebirth, then in the 60s and 70s there were a lot of true triumphs. Finally, even in the hated 80s the USSR did achieve absolutely spectacular things (in science, technology, etc.). This is all true. What is often forgotten is that at the same time, the Soviet society was oppressive, the corrupt and geriatric CPSU ran everything and was mostly hated, the Russian people were afraid of the KGB and could not enjoy the freedoms folks in the US or Europe had. In truth, it was a mixed bag, but it is easy to remember only the good stuff.

Furthermore, a lot of folks who had high positions during the Soviet era did lose it all. And now that Russia is objectively undergoing various difficult trials, these folks have "smelled blood" and they clearly hope that by some miracle Putin will be overthrown. He won't, if only for the following very basic reasons:

The kind of state apparatus which protects Putin today can easily deal with this new, pseudo (I will explain below why I say "pseudo") patriotic opposition. In the ranks of this opposition there is absolutely no credible leader (remember the chart above!) This opposition mostly complains, but offers no real solutions.

The core of this opposition is formed of Communists and Communist sympathizers who absolutely hate Putin for his (quite outspoken) anti-Communism. Let's call them "new Communists" or "Neo-Communists". And here is what makes them much more dangerous than the "liberal" opposition: the Neo-Communists are often absolutely right.

The (in my opinion) sad reality is that, for all his immense qualities, Putin is indeed a liberal, at least an economic sense. This manifests itself in two very different ways:

Putin has still not removed all of the 5th columnists (aka "Atlantic Integrationists" aka "Washington consensus" types) from power. Yes, he did ditch Medvedev, but others (Nabiulina, Siluanov, etc.) are still there. Putin inherited a very bad system where almost all they key actors were 5th columnists. Not just a few (in)famous individuals, but an entire CLASS (in a Marxist sense of the term) of people who hate anything "social" and who support "liberal" ideas just so they can fill their pockets.

Here is the paradox: the USSR died in 1991-1993, Putin is an anti-Communist, but there STILL is a (Soviet-style) Nomenklatura in Russia, except for now they are often referred to as "oligarchs" (which is incorrect because, say, the Ukrainian oligarch truly decide the fate of the nation whereas this new Russian Nomenklatura does not decide the fate of Russia as a whole, but they have a major influence in the financial sector, which is what they care mostly about).

So we have something of a, maybe not quite "perfect", but still very dangerous storm looming over Russia. How? Consider this:

Under Putin the Russian foreign policy has been such a success that even the Russian liberals, very reluctantly, admit that he did a pretty good job. However, the internal, many financial, policies of Russia have been a disaster. Just one example, the fact that the major Russian banks are bloated with their immense revenues, did not prevent millions of Russians from living in poverty and many hundreds of thousands of Russian small/family businesses of going under due to the very high interest rates.

One key problem in Russia is that both the Central Bank and the major commercial banks only care about their profits. What Russia truly needs is a state-owed DEVELOPMENT bank whose goal would not be millions and billions for the few, but making it possible for the creativity of the Russian people to truly blossom. Today, we see the exact opposite in Russia.

So what is my beef with this social ( if not quite "Socialist") opposition?

They are so focused on their narrow complaints that they completely miss the big picture. Let me explain.

First, Russia has been in a state of war against the US+EU+NATO since at least 2015. Yes, this war is 80% informational, 15% economic and only 5% kinetic. But it is a very real war nonetheless. The key characteristic of a real war is that victory is only achieved by one side, the other is fully defeated. Which means that the war between the AngloZionist Empire is an existential one: one party will win and survive, the other one will disappear and will be replaced with a qualitatively new polity/society. The Neo-Communist Russian opposition steadfastly pretends like there is no war, like all the losses (economic and human) are only the result of corruption and incompetence. They forget that during the last war between Russia and the "United West" German tanks were at the outskirts of Moscow.

Well, of course they know that. But they pretend not to. And this is why I think of them as the 6th column (as opposed to the 5th, openly "liberal" and pro-Western one).

Second, while this opposition is, in my opinion, absolutely correct in deploring Putin's apparent belief that following the advice of what I would call "IMF types" is safer than following recommendations of what could be loosely called "opposition economists" (here I think of Glaziev, whose views I personally fully support), they fail to realize the risks involved in crushing the "IMF types". The sad truth is that Russian banks are very powerful and that in many ways, the state cannot afford totally alienating them. Right now the banks support Putin only because he supports them. But if Putin decided to follow the advice of, say, Glaziev and his supporters, the Russian bankers would react with a "total war" against Putin.

If you study Russian history, you will soon realize that Russia did superbly with military enemies, did very averagely with diplomatic efforts (which often negated military victories) and did terribly with what we could call the "internal opposition".

So let me repeat it here: I do not consider NATO or the US as credible military threats to Russia, unless they decide to use nuclear weapons, at which point both Russia and the West would suffer terribly. But even in this scenario, Russia would prevail (Russia has a 10-15 year advantage against the US in both civilian and military nuclear technologies and the Russian society is far more survivable one -- if this topic is of interest to you, just read Dmitry Orlov's books who explains it all better than I ever could). I have always, and still do, consider that the real danger for Putin and those who share his views is the internal, often "insider", opposition in Russia. They were always the ones to present the biggest threat to any Russian ruler, from the Czars to Stalin.

This new Neo-Communist 6th column is, however, a much more dangerous threat to the future of Russia than the pro-western 5th columnists. Some of their tactics are extremely devious. For example, one of the things you hear most often from these folks is this: "unless Putin does X, Y or Z, there is a risk of a bloody revolution". Having listened to many tens of their videos, I can tell you with total security that far from fearing a bloody revolution, these folks in reality dream of such a revolution.

"Too often in our history we have seen that instead of an opposition to the government we are confronted with an opposition to Russia herself. And we know how this ends: with the destruction of the state as such".

Now, if you think as a true patriot of Russia, you have to realize that Russia suffered from not one, but two, truly horrible revolutions: in 1917 and 1991. In each case the consequences of these revolutions (irrespective of how justified they might have appeared at the time) were absolutely horrible: both in 1917 and in 1991 Russia almost completely vanished as a country, and millions suffered terribly. I now hold is as axiomatic that nothing would be worse for Russia than *any* revolution, no matter what ideology feeds it or how bad the "regime in power" might appear to be.

Putin is acutely aware of that (see image).

These Neo-Communists would very much disagree with me. They "warn" about a revolution, while in reality trying to create the conditions for one.

Now let me be clear: I am absolutely convinced that NO revolution (Neo-Communist or other) is possible in Russia. More accurately, while I do believe that an attempt for a revolution could happen, I believe that any coup/revolution against Putin is bound to fail. Why? The graphic above.

Even if by some (horrible) miracle, it was possible to defeat/neutralize the combined power of the FSB+FSO+National Guard+Armed forces (which I find impossible), this "success" would be limited to Moscow or, at most, the Moscow Oblast. Beyond that it is all "Putin territory". In terms of firepower, the Moscow Oblast has a lot of first-rate units, but it does not even come close to what the "rest of Russia" could engage (just the 58th Army in the south would be unstoppable). But even that is not truly crucial. The truly crucial thing following any coup/revolution would be the 70%+ of Russian people who, for the first time in centuries, truly believe that Putin stands for their interest and that he is "their man". These people will never accept any illegal attempt to remove Putin from power. That is the key reason why no successful revolution is currently possible in Russia.

But while any revolution/coup would be bound to fail, it could very much result in a bloodbath way bigger than what happened in 1993 (where the military was mostly not engaged in the events).

Now lets add it all up.

There is a very vocal internal opposition to Putin in Russia which is most unlikely to ever get real popular support, but which could possibly unite enough of the nostalgics of the Soviet era to create a real crisis. This internal opposition clearly and objectively weakens the authority/reputation of Putin, which has been main goal of the western "alphabet soup" ever since Putin came to power.

This internal opposition, being mostly nostalgics of the Soviet era, will get no official support from the West, but it will enjoy a maximal covert support from the western "alphabet soup".

Finally, this Neo-Communist opposition will never seize power, but it might create a very real internal political crisis which will very much weaken Putin and the Eurasian Sovereignists.

So what is the solution?

Putin needs to preempt any civil unrest. Removing Medvedev and replacing him by Mishustin was the correct move, but it was also too little too late. Frankly, I believe that it is high time for Putin to finally openly break with the "Washington consensus types" and listen to Glaziev who, at least, is no Communist.

Russia has always been a collectivistic society, and she needs to stop apologizing (even just mentally) for this. Instead, she should openly and fully embrace her collectivistic culture and traditions and show the "Washington consensus" types to the door.

Yes, the Moscow elites will be furious, but it is also high time to tell these folks that they don't own Russia, and that while they could make a killing prostituting themselves to the Empire, most Russian don't want to do that.

The bottom line is this: Putin represents something very unique and very precious: he is a true Russian patriot, but he is not one nostalgic for the days of the Soviet Union. Right now, he is the only (or one of very few) Russian politician which can claim this quality. He needs to preempt the crisis which the Neo-Communists could trigger not by silencing them, but by realizing that on some issues the Russian people do, in fact, agree with them (even if they are not willing to call for a revolution).

Does that sound complicated or even convoluted? If it does, it is because it is. But for all the nuances we can discern a bottom line: it is not worth prevailing (or even failing) if that weakens/threatens Russia. Right now, the Neo-Communist opposition is, objectively, a threat to the stability and prosperity of Russia. That does NOT, however, mean that these folks are always wrong. They often are spot on, 100% correct.

Putin needs to prove them wrong by listening to them and do the right thing.

Difficult? Yes. Doable? Yes. Therefore he has to do it.


anno nimus , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 9:44 pm GMT

Russia needs to be strong for the sake of global civilization, human decency, religious freedom, etc, not only for her own good. going back to communism and Godlessness should be unthinkable. nor should we sell our souls for 30 kopeks of silver to become the dumping ground for western filth and surplus.
Russia has the unique position, the space and resources, an intelligent population, Orthodox tradition to show mankind that a decent, safe, compassionate, sound existence is possible.
although great leaders are a gift from Above, the state also should make every effort to identify and prepare Putin's successor while strengthening the institutions so that the people will perceive them as their own and will not be tempted to support revolutionary radicals again.
Derer , says: Show Comment April 30, 2020 at 10:49 pm GMT
First of all, Russian electorate have much better sources and the grasp of the international political scene than the American media's self-centered pseudo-trues.

Putin's obvious pros:

-Reclaimed Russian crucial energy industry from the pillaging by Yeltsin oligarchs. Now babysat by the UK and Israel. -Russian voters' motto: "We vote for a leader that is most criticized and slandered by our enemies and adversaries. Vote almost never for their selected puppet a la Kasparov." -Putin's brilliant move to reclaimed Crimea -- administratively attached to Ukraine in 1954 by a communist dictate after being centuries part of Russia -- by a democratic mean. -Western sanctions are viewed by the Russian electorate as a declaration of the "enemy status". Furthermore, they are also viewed as a sinister attempt to slow down the Russian economic progress. -NATO backstabbing expansion to Russian border. Continuation of Western military encircling Russia -- US military in Poland. -Opposing Western clumsy interference in Ukraine or in Georgia. Liberating S. Ossetia from the Georgia's lunatic who is now Ukraine deputy prime minister.
Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist , says: Website Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 1:17 am GMT
I have always seen Putin as a late, reluctant, and often only partially effective reacter to a crisis, never someone who proactively acts to defuse one before it gets bad. I will repeat what I've said many, many times: in 2014 Putin could have sent two battalions of Spetsnaz into Kiev, routed the Ukranazi coup regime, reinstated Yanukovych, and withdrawn with the warning that if there was ever again any attempt to stage another Maidan Russian troops would be back and this time to stay. Instead he got Russia blamed for an invasion he should have but did not carry out, and consequently sanctions that are still in effect to this day, not to speak of a NATO proxy thrust against the Russian heartland. (That Russia needed the sanctions and that they were good for Russia is another thing entirely; it isn't as though Putin planned them to turn out like that.)

In Syria in 2015 Putin waited until the government was in desperate straits -- similar to the final stages of the Libyan government forces' collapse in 2011 as Obama's terrorists advanced on Tripoli -- before sending in small commando detachments and the air force. And even then the failure to defend Syria, an ally of Russia, which has given Russia bases, against zionazi bombing is inexcusable. For one thing it cost Russia a valuable reconnaissance plane with priceless trained crew, after which Putin first rushed to absolve Nazinyahu of blame before even calling the crew's families. For another the refusal to use the S 400 merely gives the Amerikastanis an excuse to portray the S 400s as hyped, ineffective weapons Russia does not dare to actually use. How is showing Putin's obvious affinity to the zionazi pseudostate "anti Russian" in any way? It's the absolute and obvious truth, from Putin's own record.

This is also why Putin will do nothing about the capitalist leeches still sucking Russia dry (many of whom are zionazi citizens); he will have to be forced into it and then will try to get away with cosmetic measures, leaving as much undone as he possibly can. That he has not already eliminated the oligarchy is proof enough of that. No amount of Saker excuses is enough to hide the fact; what could the banks do to harm Putin, given the popularity the Saker keeps touting? You'll see that the Saker is very careful not to say anything about what they could, he just says that they could. You'd almost think he just made it up.

I agree about the Moscow "liberals"; I met a few of them and they're always smartly dressed, fluent in English -- with an inevitable American accent -- and they hate Russia more than anything. I recall meeting a couple in this town in late 2014 or early 2015. I remember saying that I support Russia's help to the Donbass freedom fighters. The woman's eyes went round. "But why? This is a great burden for Russia, none of our business, we should never have got involved " There is an excellent argument for shifting the capital from Moscow back to St Petersburg, or, if that's too strategically vulnerable, to Volgograd or some other city in the Russian interior.

By the way, as one of the "neo communists", as the Saker dismissively calls us -- in an obvious effort to conflate us with the neo-nazis -- let me ask a question: let's suppose everything the Saker says is correct. Well, then, is Putin immortal? No? So what happens when he dies or retires? Who will take over? Will the "pro-Putin population" switch its loyalty to a replacement from Putin's party, given that most of them are so despised that United Russia keeps losing local elections from Moscow to Vladivostok? If not, what happens but either a total change of course or .a bloody revolution?

What happens then?

Passer by , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 3:21 am GMT
I can certainly say that there are people in United Russia who quite openly work for the West and push for western liberal projects in Russia, as well as attack patriotic forces.

What kind of joke is that to have people like this in the so called ruling party and in various Duma comitees? Why is this even allowed? Why are they still there?

Art , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:02 am GMT
Russia needs a depositor credit union type local banking system. Only the local depositors would own the bank. The bank's functioning management would be controlled by the owners/depositors. One depositor -- one vote.

These banks would make loans only to local businesses and homeowners. They would have nothing to do with Moscow. They would build honesty and stability.

MarylinM , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:28 am GMT
That poll showing Putin on top of everybody else, tells me that he is the Single-Point-Failure. If he croaks, so does Russia. Very much like Jesus, or Nicholas the II, or Gorbachov, before him -- all obrazovanshchiki, educated past the point of their intelligence level . The jerk already swallowed the virus-thing, hook and sinker. He's gonna be reeled-in in no time.
Art , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:51 am GMT
As a citizen of one of the top ten nations on our Earth (US) -- I believe that Putin is the savviest, most stable conscientious foreign policy leader of the lot.

He handled both the Ukraine and Syria without getting into all out wars. Both a considerable achievement, considering Jews played major antagonistic roles in both confrontations.

Derer , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 6:53 am GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist He should have annexed East Ukraine with 12 mil Russians and its historical Russian cities. When McCain and Biden's puppets were installed in Kiev they banned the Russian language -- that was the right time to act and killings would have been avoided.
Astuteobservor II , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 9:43 am GMT
1000% there is.

I am sure they are salivating at the idea of another Yeltsin or Gorbachev coming into power after Putin.

Putin's number 1 priority right now should be grooming a competent successor, or Russia could get rape again after he is gone.

John Thurloe , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 10:25 am GMT
Russia and China deeply underestimate the extent and determination of the US and toadies to have in place well funded campaigns to blacken those countries names, reputations and standing. It's awful listening to Chinese or Russian officials making ritual formal protests. And then doing nothing. Letting their country be undermined and infiltrated, allowing the minds of the public elsewhere be poisoned. This is how the Colour Revolutions get their traction.

It's the continual, weak, feeble and inept lack of action by Russia and China against the western engines of smear. And this state of affairs seriously disheartens their allies and supporters. Please stop being too reasonable, find your backbone and righteousness and FIGHT! For Pete's sake.

animalogic , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 10:54 am GMT
@Passer by Sad to say that Putin should have done more internally.
Saker 's point about a national bank is telling. Russia's Central Bank should have it's neoliberals attrited. Russia's Anglo-zionists should have also been quietly & invisibly defanged & sent into "outer-space". More actions against NGO's need to also be taken.
A nation in Russia's precarious position re: the West, can afford only so much internal treachery .
This is not to suggest any of this would be easy. However, Putin has had & still has considerable popular support -- political Capital capable of being used to take risky but "right" reforms.
ComradePuff , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 11:13 am GMT
I'm an American living in Moscow for the last 5 years. I've also had the special privilege to earn a masters degree in politics and economics at the Ministry of Foreign Affair's university, MGIMO. I can say, as someone who has viewed this situation here from virtually every angle possible as a foreigner; "Putin" has done nothing good for Russia domestically that has not been an unplanned side effect of sanctions. And don't get me wrong, the sanctions were the best thing that could have happened here. But all the official pro-Russia grandstanding on the international stage aside, there are endless news stories of Russia lobbying for readmission to the club, pleading with the US to cooperate and a return to the status-quo. The people who make the policy here and run the institutions are all holdovers from the 90's. Their overarching concern is that Russia -- ie the elites themselves -- are "treated with respect" by the Western plutocracy.

But what has changed here since 2014? An explosion in traffic cameras and fines, more restrictions (prescriptions and bans) on medicines, inflation, reforms (attacks) in pensions and healthcare, skyrocketing housing costs and an simmering education crisis from preschool to university where money increasingly buys limited space over need or merit. Now like a rotten cherry on top, there is this quarantine which seems arbitrary except when you realize the whole police force has been turned against the citizens to check QR code passes. Who is deemed essential is also arbitrary and favors the government while bankrupting everyone else. Gasterbyters, the backbone of the economy, are literally destitute. Russians also dislike seeing the government luxuriously spend resources in the form of political-point scoring coronavirus aid to the US and Italy, and then abruptly flip-flopping on the severity of the pandemic at home. On tv its is Corona Vision 24/7 here, while families with small children are forced out of work and cramped into tiny apartments in ugly neighborhoods, forbidden to walk more than 10 meters from their door, their money and sanity running out. Russians who are able, flout the quarantine at every opportunity, more concerned about being harassed by police than getting sick.

There is a lot more I could say, but I will leave it at on this note; This new wave of disillusionment is not coming from the West. The West has virtually no direct influence here anymore. This is all homegrown.

obabajko , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT
Although I have admired President Putin for many years now, I have never agreed with his economic policies. It was sad to read that he fired S. Glazyev as an adviser. When will President Putin see that following western style economic policies is a tragedy waiting to happen for Russia. As is happening now to most of the western countries, especially the US and EU.
Old and Grumpy , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT
@Fiendly Neighbourhood Terrorist Its a great mystery to me why Putin released Mikhail Khodorkovsky. Maybe there was a good reason. No clue, it just seems odd especially when you realize this freed oligarch was the power behind Browder's Magnitzky Act.
Jake , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 2:30 pm GMT
'Remembering only the good and forgetting the bad' is what every bad ruler, every bad culture, demands of those it misleads.

The Anglo-Zionist Empire has been the master of that con game for its entire existence, back to the start of English Reformation. Bolsheviks were clumsy brutes compared to Anglo-Zionists even in their early days when they lacked sophistication and finesse.

Agent76 , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 4:32 pm GMT
Apr 19, 2020 US corporate takeover -- Biden 2020 Today, the U.S is living through a power grab by lobbyists and moneyed interests in government -- the way Russia did after the Soviet collapse of the 1990s.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/gnfnApc6XIA?feature=oembed

Apr 2, 2020 Putin reveals KEY to political success: the poor man

Which is the bigger political influence on President Putin? Multinational corporations, filthy rich oligarchs or financial institutions? He asserts -- it is the sentiment of 'the common man' that is responsible for his popularity and long-standing political career.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/BaZCTz2id-c?feature=oembed

Mar 12, 2020 Putin: The US Made A Colony Out Of Ukraine But They Want It Sustained By Russian Money!

The 20 Questions with Vladimir Putin project is an interview with the President of Russia on the most topical subjects of social and political life in Russia and the world.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/civa7sI9TGM?feature=oembed

Cyrano , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 4:34 pm GMT
@ComradePuff If it's so bad in Russia, why don't you f ** k off back to your home country were everything works perfectly?
Cyrano , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 5:29 pm GMT
I am afraid I'm going to have to disagree with you Saker on this issue. I just can't see how a communist can be a traitor to their country. Some of the biggest patriots ever produced in history have been communists. Not just in Russia, but in other countries like North Korea, Vietnam, Cuba, China. They are willing to do anything for their country. Same thing with modern communists, I don't see them betraying their country for personal gain.

My theory is like this: Patriotism is different in Capitalist countries (or as they like to call themselves democracies) than in Communist countries. First of all, Capitalism has 2 types of elites -- real ones and political elites -- who are nothing more than domestic servants, in other words nobodies. Communism usually has only one type of elites -- political. They are the only game in town.

I know that they ascribed terms such as cult of personalities to Communist leaders, but the real megalomaniacs and narcissists can really be found among the 2 types of capitalist elites. Those are the one that are really in love with themselves.

So how does patriotism work in communism vs. capitalism? Well, for one thing, patriotism means love for one's country. As we all know, a country is a collection of dead rocks, (hopefully) some arable land, few mountains and so on. Basically a country usually needs a spokesperson. That's where the elites come in. They are the spokespersons for the needs of the country.

I believe that communist elites are more honest spokespersons than capitalist ones. Why? Well for one thing all communist elites were usually 1st generation elites, meaning they were new on the job and they didn't have the span of few generations time to degenerate like the capitalist elites. Communist elites for the most could still remember the time when they were not elites but very ordinary people -- except maybe now the Kim dynasty in North Korea which is in its 3rd generation of dynastic cycle.

But still, the flow of patriotism is very similar in both "communist" and capitalist countries. Patriotism flows from the poor dumbos to the rich and powerful elites -- whether they are political or economic elites. Patriotism whose intended recipient is the fatherland always gets intercepted by the elites and then processed.

Basically, what that means is that when an ordinary person expresses love and affection for their country -- it's usually ends up being manifested as love and affection for their elites.

Remember, a country is just a pile of rocks and some other geological features, -- doesn't know how to process affection from patriots. But the elites do, and they are the usual beneficiaries of patriotism.

If love for your country is always a love for the elites, why do the stupid always fall for the same trick? Well, I guess there are not too many options left, one of them being a traitor. Still, I believe that communist elites were more honest brokers and managers of patriotic love, because the managed to pass more of the patriotism to its intended target -- the homeland, than it was ever case with capitalist elites.

Sure, Stalin had few dachas and property that he would have been hard-pressed to explain how he earned, but it was nothing compared to the spoils from patriotism that elites in capitalism receive as a payout for being spokespersons for the needs of their countries.

I just don't see a communist doing something with personal benefit in mind first, and putting the well-being of their country as a second consideration. It usually doesn't happen, and hopefully the new generation of communists in Russia will keep up with that tradition.

The Grim Joker , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:02 pm GMT
@Cyrano Because he is one of those chronic complainers. We dont want him here because he will change the words "Russia" and "Moscow" in his comment to "USA and Washington" and just reprint the comment again. That comrade is all puffed up, no pun intended, with his dialogue.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:42 pm GMT
@jbwilson24 I know what you mean, but you are splitting hairs -- a supremacist is a supremacist is a supremacist. German supremacist, Anglo-Saxon supremacist, Jewish supremacist -- it all leads to the same result.

Ukraine is dominated by supremacists. That all of Jewish supremacy, Nationalist Socialist supremacy (the rank parts of the ideology mind you), ISIS, find themselves working and cooperating in a historically alien land, shows that supremacists really don't mind working with each other, before whatever the greater enemy they attack is destroyed.. Kinda like the prelude to Highlander!

Agent76 , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:49 pm GMT
25.12. 2015 NATO: Seeking Russia's Destruction Since 1949

Baker told Gorbachev: "Look, if you remove your [300,000] troops [from east Germany] and allow unification of Germany in NATO, NATO will not expand one inch to the east."

http://www.strategic-culture.org/news/2015/12/25/nato-seeking-russia-destruction-since-1949.html

Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With US

https://www.youtube.com/embed/L6hIlfHWaGU?feature=oembed

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 7:51 pm GMT
Saker's blind love for all things Putin, a faith in the man against all facts and logic, has continually amazed me for years.

Putin is using Syria for Russia's advantage: 1.) a Mediterranean port at Tartus and airfield at Kheimem; 2.) as a 'live fire' weapons testing and demonstration area, much as Israel uses Gaza for same. Sales of Russian armaments have soared since entering Syria.

As I recall, Putin has allowed at least two Dunkirk moments, when he had ISIS on the ropes and then agreed to a cease fire when his generals were furious at not being permitted to finish the Takfiris off, once and for all. I, too, was furious at the time, predicting they would simply re-trench, re-arm and continue to terrorize the hapless Syrians, which they did for years, and may even make a comeback from Iraq (with America and Israel's help, of course).

Same idiocy was applied, and is still being applied regarding Turkey's open and obvious arming and supporting the terrorist scum of Hayat Tahrir al-Sham (HTS) in Idlib, as innocent Syrians continue to suffer therefrom, and we daily read of the brave Syrian fighters' being killed and maimed by these Al-Qaeda butchers .

He has let Syria's eastern oil fields fall into the hands of the US, and allowed the Turds, excuse me, the Kurds far too much leeway in the north.

He even allows Israel to bomb Syrian territory with absolute impunity, killing countless Syrian, Hezbollah and Iranian soldiers in the process, when a few freely operated S-300 batteries would allow the Syrians to smoke the Israeli's missiles with ease, and protect their homeland from hundreds of brazen attacks by the Jews. Yet he denies the Syrians such freedom, allowing the Israelis to continue their onslaught unabated.

Why? Why does he ignore the advice of his top generals to wipe out ISIS when the opportunities arose years ago, and allow Israel to continually attack with high-precision missiles Syrian/Hezbollah/Iranian fighters, just short of allowing the Jews to directly bomb Assad and Damascus into the stone age, again, with complete impunity? Certainly, the existing partition of Syria could have been easily avoided long ago, if he simply followed his general's advice.

And why did he come out and endorse Netanyahu for PM last year, despite continually saying Russia does not stick its nose into other countries' political affairs?

I suggest that an incident from 2006 may hold a clue, and that we may simply be seeing another "Epstein" job that Mossad and friends are so good at arranging. Read this article about the incident with Putin and that young male child, Nikita Konkin, and decide for yourself: https://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/europe/nikita-konkin-boy-who-vladimir-putin-kissed-on-the-stomach-speaks-about-the-spontaneous-gesture-a6829786.html

But to my mind, any world 'leader' who simply cannot control himself publicly and feels compelled to forcibly lift a small child's t-shirt and slather the tot's bare stomach with kisses, right in front of countless on-lookers and the international press, in Russia's most famous public square, and then declare to the BBC thereafter that, "I wanted to cuddle him like a kitten ", possibly reveals a great deal about why Putin seems to so frequently kiss another offensive body part publicly, that being Israel's obnoxious, murderous butt ..

vot tak , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 9:07 pm GMT
Well despite all the "well wishers" here and against saker's expert advice about what she should be doing, Russia is still somehow alive and kicking and generally getting to be a better place to live. Imagine that. While the countries the "well wishers" hail from are not becoming better places to live and rather than alive and kicking are much better described as zombiefied and twitching.
Johan , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 9:16 pm GMT
"Russia today is a very tough nut to crack for western subversion/PSYOP operations."

Correction, democratic Russia is still a tough nut to crack. But Putin cannot rule forever, and so long as Russia is a democracy, and when there is no longer a strong and charismatic leader, it is in considerable danger of subversion by the 'AngloZionists'. You bet that they are waiting for this, the current situation being a preparation, to keep the fire burning, but when and if Putin is gone, the Western trojan horses already inside will unleash their puppets of disruption, and the AngloZionists and their Western puppets outside will attack it vehemently, like a pack of wolves.

AnonFromTN , says: Show Comment May 1, 2020 at 11:59 pm GMT
As one Russian joke puts it, lets' have cutlets separately and flies separately.

One thing is Youtube, FB, Wiki, and the rest of globohomo-controlled media. They would host anything anti-Putin, because Putin is continuously stepping on the most sensitive part of their anatomy: the wallet. If globohomo hates you, you must have done at least something good.

The other thing is the feelings of Russians who actually live in the country. They rightfully feel that oligarchs and the state that often acts as their cover are robbing them. They clearly see that education is going down from Soviet levels (although it still has a long way to go to become as dismal as the US education). They see that the best part of healthcare is the holdover from Soviet times, whereas "progressive" paid medicine is fraud and extortion. But that's exactly what "healthcare" is in the US, as current epidemic demonstrated in no uncertain terms. They also see that recent pension "reform" was designed to rob them yet again. What's more, they are at least 90% right.

So, maybe it's not the "6th column", after all? Maybe Russia is actually acquiring an opposition worth the name? Patriotic opposition, in contrast to "liberal opposition" consisting exclusively of traitors? If so, it's good, not bad, for the country. Nobody is infallible, Putin included.

Robjil , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 12:07 am GMT
@Quartermaster The US invaded Ukraine with Nuland's thugs during the Sochi Olympics

Crimea went back home. It did not want be part of Nulandistan.

Donbass does not want to be a US/Israel colony. This is the reason it revolted.

Notice the recent Ukrainegate nonsense. Why would USIsrael care so much about Ukraine if Ukraine was really an independent nation? It is not, it is a USIsrael colony -- Nulandistan.

FB , says: Website Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 2:11 am GMT
@ComradePuff First I see you just parachuted into this website with this, your very first post

We usually have a welcoming ceremony for new trolls

We look at the cartoonish drivel they post and quickly point out glaring giveaways

Like 'Gasterbyters' which is not actually a word in any language

Your instructions from your troll room supervisor may have referred to the German word 'gastarbeiter' which means 'guest worker'

This expression is not a proper noun and does not get capitalized

And you're trying to tell us you have earned a master's degree from one of Moscow's most prestigious universities..?

Yeah no, I don't think so cheeseball

Guest workers are 'crucial' to Russia..?

Again total bunk the only countries where guest workers might be 'essential' is in the Gulf oil monarchies, where they often outnumber the natives

The US is not going to collapse if the Mexican workers take a beating neither will Germany nor any industrial country with foreign workers why should Russia..?

And then your main whopper NOBODY in the Putin administration is 'begging' the west for anything much less to be accepted back in some 'club'

Russia has moved on a long time ago they never cared about being in some sort of 'club' to begin with international relations isn't junior high, which one would expect a 'graduate' of international relations to know

All Russia ever cared about was having normal relations friendly if possible, but on equal footing the entire tone of your fantasy is straight out of the '90s only deluded Washington hacks still dream that we are living in the '90s

In case you haven't noticed Russia has much bigger fish to fry than to obsess over a tottering empire

The partnership with China for instance the country with the most money, plus the country with the most advanced military technology

I'd say it's not actually looking good for Exceptionalistan

Alfred , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Derer Georgia's lunatic who is now Ukraine deputy prime minister

I think Saakashvili has not made it yet. He is being opposed by a lot of the Jews who control this "country". Last week, the guy investigating "corruption" was sacked. His replacement was a Jew. It is just so funny. Like a theater.

Almost all the oligarchs are Jewish -- courtesy of the World Bank and (((Western))) banks. It is amazing that in a country of allegedly 42 million they cannot find an ethnic Slav to get the job. I do not use the term Ukrainian as it is not really one country.

Forget the bluster. I suspect they want to bring in Saakashvili because he can bring in more loans from the IMF. His backers are in the USA.

BTW, the new American ambassador to Ukraine is a retired US Army general. That should give you some idea as to their line of thinking. However, I suspect that he is too knowledgeable to want to start a war with Russia.

The departing ambassador is a female from the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. A Ukrainian "Nationalist" by descent. Incapable of thinking of the interests of this unfortunate country.

[May 05, 2020] UK government experince with the White Helmets and the Skripal affair definitly halps in anti-china propaganda.

Highly recommended!
May 05, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

begob , May 5 2020 2:08 utc | 114

In the UK, looks like Tom Tugendhat, chair of the foreign affairs committee, is spreading the China-did-it propaganda, after his comments on the BBC last week. He can file it alongside his promotion of the White Helmets and the Skripal affair.

[May 03, 2020] The script that Trump is following with China is the one that, his mentor in politics and much else, Roy Cohn developed for the unlamented Senator McCarthy

This is essentially variant of Russiagate with Trump and Pompeo playing the role of Muller
Notable quotes:
"... Any fool in the C19th could have told Trump and his fellow members of the political class what to do: make concessions!underwrite all wages! introduce immediately, free healthcare (abandon the powerful but in the scheme of things tiny Health Insurance industry)! ..."
"... Instead, as everything around them crumbles, they are trying to rally the people (divided into ethnic, social, racial, linguistic and pigmentary factions) into forgetting everything and blaming China. ..."
May 03, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , May 2 2020 16:01 utc | 151

The script that Trump is following-confident that the Democrats can be counted upon to copy it- is the one that, his mentor in politics and much else, Roy Cohn developed for the unlamented Senator McCarthy.

But, and this will be news in Washington, it is not 1950 anymore. The conditions that made it possible to push the red scare underlying the first Cold War, including rising living standards and full employment for most of the working class, the rise of the suburbs, the GI Bill allowing unprecedented social mobility and unchallenged (in reality if not in the fevered brains on the right) hegemony of the United States, economically, financially, militarily and culturally- all that has crumbled away.

Trump is trying the 'blame China, fear the reds' strategy because it is all that he can think of and nobody else within miles of the White House has a clue what to do. Why should they? None of them has the least interest in public policy, let alone the common welfare, the political culture in the US is so corrupted by careerism, bribery, revolving doors, oligarchical diktats and, above all, greed, greed and greed that nobody with any brains spares a moment's thought on thinking matters through.

The US ruling class is in the position that the French Aristocracy had reached by 1789- it has no conception that it will not rule forever, only a tiny minority thinks ahead in terms of dealing with fundamental changes. And there is no understanding of the fragility of their positions.

Any fool in the C19th could have told Trump and his fellow members of the political class what to do: make concessions!underwrite all wages! introduce immediately, free healthcare (abandon the powerful but in the scheme of things tiny Health Insurance industry)!

Instead, as everything around them crumbles, they are trying to rally the people (divided into ethnic, social, racial, linguistic and pigmentary factions) into forgetting everything and blaming China.

The first time it was a tragedy, leading to the deaths of millions, most of them in south east Asia, this time it promises to be something much more amusing.

Yesterday was a rent day and a pay day- fear, frustration, anger and a justified sense of being tricked again are mounting everywhere. Unless the US government takes a U turn it will be a very long hot summer.

Hoyeru , May 2 2020 16:31 utc | 152

this was the main goal from the very beginning. I said that was the aim of USA the minute its fake corporate owned media began to scream about the virus. I said that in The Faker's site(The Saker). This virus was a God sent, exactly when USA needed to get the world to hate China, because that was THE ONLY WAY to stop China's rise against the West. Make the world hate China. This very fact alone proves to me the virus isnt natural but is a bio engineered bio weapon. The mere coincidence is a proof.

[May 02, 2020] Those dastardly Russians!

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes April 27, 2020 at 10:24 pm

I suppose that once in a while vital documentation (Apollo Moon missions, anyone?) goes astray, slipping down the back of the couch or misfiled on the wrong shelf in the library annexe. And occasionally the dog really did eat the homework.

https://www.theblaze.com/news/christopher-steele-dossier-emails-documents-wiped

Those dastardly Russians!

Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 8:12 am
Cretins like Steele openly flout the law, and are let away with it. There must be a law that directs government personnel – and he was government – to take such steps as are reasonable to preserve records they know or should know would constitute evidence, whether condemnatory or exculpatory. Steele had to be well aware there was intense interest in this material, and it is not difficult to imagine what the western reaction would be if some pivotal Russian figure deleted all his records and then did the smiling palms-up thing in court, so sorry, all gone.

It is likewise easy to imagine the information in the records was damning, because nobody willfully wipes evidence they know will put them in the clear. And he will be allowed to get away with it without any punishment because the people who would have to punish him are likely the same people who told him to get rid of it.

Just like Hillary, and her self-appointed deletion of tens of thousands of emails she deemed 'personal', although they were government property. No ordinary mook would be allowed to get away with that. And they wonder – or pretend to – why the people are sick to death of western corruption.

[May 02, 2020] The RD-180, sanctions and the relations between Russia and the USA

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Uncle Volodya says, "Ignorance is always correctable. But what shall we do if we take ignorance to be knowledge?"

"There is a cult of ignorance in the United States, and there has always been. The strain of anti-intellectualism has been a constant thread winding its way through our political and cultural life, nurtured by the false notion that democracy means that 'my ignorance is just as good as your knowledge."

― Issac Asimov

There's a prejudice against making fun of the mad that spans all cultures, all ethnicities; mock the mentally ill at your peril, for some fair-minded citizen will surely intervene. Possibly many, enough to make you take to your heels, because those who were born without the ability to reason, or had it and lost it, are perhaps God's most innocent children. There are few compensations for being born half-a-bubble off plumb, but one of them is anti-mockery armor. Having a laugh at the expense of the lunatic is bad form; something only dicks do, because it's cheap and easy.

That's what must be preventing Dmitry Rogozin from roaring with laughter; from falling helplessly to his knees and collapsing, wheezing, onto his side. If someone smart says something stupid, they are fair game. But laughing when someone whose openly-stated beliefs suggest they are suffering from dementia is inappropriate. His dilemma is both obvious, and acute – what to do?

First, some background; who is Dmitry Rogozin? A former Deputy Prime Minister in charge of the Russian Federation's defense industries, he also served as his country's Ambassador to NATO. He has degrees in philosophy and technology, and currently serves as the Russian Federation's Special Representative on Missile Defense. He is also the Director of Roscosmos, the Russian state's Space Industry. Some have talked him up as a possible replacement for Vladimir Putin, as President of the Russian Federation, but it is in his latter capacity, head of Roscosmos, that we are most interested today. He knows more about rockets than that they are pointy at one end and have fire at the other, if you get my drift.

A bit more background, and then I promise we can begin to tie things together; I think I can also promise you are going to laugh. Not because you're a dick. But I think you will find you do have to kind of snicker. Just be careful who hears you, okay? It's not as much of an insult if people don't know.

Most who have any understanding of space or rockets or satellites have heard of the RD-180 . But in case there are some readers who have never heard of it, it is the Russian Federation's workhorse rocket engine. Its first flight was 20 years ago, but it was built on the shoulders of the RD-170 , which has been in service since 1985, making it a Soviet project. The RD-180 is essentially a two-combustion-chamber RD-170, which has four and remains the most powerful rocket engine in the world. The RD-180 is used by the United States in its Atlas space vehicles.

For some time, that was a fairly comfortable arrangement. The USA made fun of Russia whenever it wanted to feel superior, just as it's always done, and made the occasional ideological stab at 'establishing freedom and democracy' by changing out its leader, but the Russian people were not particularly cooperative, and there were some problems getting a credible 'liberal opposition' started; even now, the best candidate still seems to be Alexey Navalny, who is kind of the granite canoe of opposition figures – not particularly well-known, nasty rather than compelling, spiteful as a balked four-year-old.

But then American ideologues in the US Department of State decided the time was ripe for a coup in Ukraine, and almost overnight, the United States and Russia were overt enemies. The United States, under Barack Obama, imposed sanctions designed to wreck the Russian economy , in the hope that despairing Russians would throw Putin out of office. America's European allies went along for the ride, and trade between Russia and its former trade partners and associates in Europe and the USA mostly dried up.

Not rocket engines, though. America made an exception for those, and continued to buy and stockpile RD-180's. The very suggestion that RD-180 engines might go on the sanctions list – US Federal Claims Court Judge Susan Braden postulated that funds used to purchase rocket engines might end up in Rogozin's pocket (he being head of the Space Program, and all), and he was under US sanctions – moved the Commander of the United States Air Force's Space and Missile Systems Center to note that without RD-180 engines, the Atlas program would have to be grounded .

All this is by way of highlighting a certain vulnerability. Of course, observers remarked, the United States is a major technological power – it could easily produce such engines itself. So, why didn't it, inquiring minds wanted to know.

Enter United Launch Alliance (ULA) CEO Tony Bruno, with what reporters described as a 'novel explanation'. Thanks much for the link, Patient Observer. The United States buys United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno.Russian rocket engines to subsidize the Russian space industry , so that fired rocket scientists will not pack up the wife and kiddies and their few pitiful belongings, and depart for Iran or North Korea. You know; countries that really hate the United States. I swear I am not making that up. Look:

"The United States is buying Russian rocket engines not because of any problems with its domestic engine engineering programmes, but to subsidize Russian rocket scientists and to prevent them from seeking employment in Iran or North Korea, United Launch Alliance CEO Tory Bruno has intimated.

"The [US government] asked us to buy [Russian engines] at the end of the Cold War in order to keep the Russian Rocket Scientists from ending up in North Korea and Iran," Bruno tweeted, responding to a question about what motivates ULA to continue buying the Russian-made RD-180s."

Sadly, I had no Rogozin-like qualms about being thought a dick. I snorted what I was drinking (chocolate milk, I think) all over my hand, and gurgled with mirth for a good 20 seconds. Holy Moley – what a retarded explanation! How long did he grope for that, spluttering like Joe Biden trying to remember what office he is currently running for? Jeebus Cripes, the United States has no control at all over what rocket scientists are paid in the Russian Federation – what do they imagine prevents Putin The Diktator from just pocketing all the money himself, or spending it on sticky buns to feed to Rogozin, and throwing a few fish heads to the rocket scientists? Do they really believe some sort of symbiotic relationship exists between Russia's rocket scientists and the US Treasury Department? Really ? Have things actually gotten that far down the road to Simple? I tell you, I kind of felt a little sorry for Tony 'Lightning Rod' Bruno. But more sorry for his family, who has to go out and find him when he's wandering in the park with no pants on again, you know. Humanitarian concerns.

So I started doing a little digging. And right away, I made a couple of discoveries that made my synapses frizzle. One, the United States has a license to manufacture the RD-180 engine domestically . And apparently can't.

"Under RD AMROSS, Pratt & Whitney is licensed to produce the RD-180 in the United States. Originally, production of the RD-180 in the US was scheduled to begin in 2008, but this did not happen. According to a 2005 GAO Assessment of Selected Major Weapon Programs, Pratt & Whitney planned to start building the engine in the United States with a first military launch by 2012. This, too, did not happen. In 2014, the Defense Department estimated that it would require approximately $1 billion and five years to begin US domestic manufacture of the RD-180 engine."

It's only Wiki, but the references bear it out, such as the GAO's " Defense Acquisitions: Assessment of Selected Major Weapons Programs "; you want page 65.

Well, no wonder! It's a lot cheaper to slip some bucks to starving Russian rocket scientists than spend a Billion simoleons on a Pratt & Whitney program that will take five years (!!!) minimum to set up before it even starts producing an engine the Russians have been making for 20 years, and gave Pratt & Whitney the plans for. Seen in that light, it makes a weird kind of sense, dunnit? Minus the altruism and violins, of course.

Right about then, I made a second discovery that shook the fuzz off my fundament. Tony Bruno did not make that shit up . No, indeedy. It would have been simpler, and I have to say a bit more comforting, to assume Tony Bruno is the locus of American retardation. But he isn't; the poor bastard was just repeating an American doctrinal political talking-point. Behold !

"When the Soviet Union collapsed in 1989, the US government worried about the possible consequences of lots of Russian rocket designers getting fired. What if they ended up working for regimes like Iran or North Korea?"

Pretty much word-for-word what poor Tony Bruno said. And that was posted 5 years ago.

But who cares, right? Just some wiggy space-nerd site.

Oh, but wait. Look at his reference . It's from NASA. And it does indeed include the paragraph he quoted.

"Moreover, several on the Space Council, as well as others in the Bush Administration, saw another reason to engage the post-Soviets in a cooperative space venture: as a way to help hold the Russian nation together at a time when the Russian economy was faltering and its society was reeling. In the words of Brian Dailey, Albrecht's sucessor, "If we did not do something in this time of social chaos in Russia, then there would be potentially a hemorrhaging of technology 'away from Russia' to countries who may not have a more peaceful intention behind the use of those technologies."

I'm not sure how reliable that is – the Americans still insist, in it, that they landed on the moon, and it points out that Dan Quayle was head of the National Space Council, dear Lord, have mercy. But it's NASA! There was apparently a school of thought, prevalent in American politics, that America had to support the Russian economy , for fear of its technological proteges high-siding it for Dangerville. Neither North Korea or Iran are mentioned by name, but they would certainly be easy to infer from the description.

So we could draw one of two conclusions; either (1) Obama was a witless tool who did not read that historical imperative (probably had his nose in a healthy-greens cookbook, some shit like that) and blundered ahead with a plan to wreck the Russian economy, loosing a torrent of Russian rocket scientists into a cynical Murka-hatin' world, or (2) Obama was a genius who applied sanctions with a surgeon's delicacy, avoiding sanctions on the Russian space program. Although he did apply sanctions directly on its..umm director. Okay, let's go with (1).

Anyway, it's kind of odd, I guess you'd say, to hear that same Brian Dailey, he who blubbered sympathetically (or so history records) "We have to do something in this time of social chaos in Russia" say this:

"The meeting was actually more or less a signing ceremony, a large event, so to speak, but it was one that was obviously going to be reaching into some very hard winds that would prevent us from really moving forward. That's a rather obtuse way of saying that we were having serious problems with the Russians. They wanted a lot of money for doing these things. They wanted to charge us a lot of money to hook up, and we didn't believe that since this was a government-to-government activity, that money should be appropriately involved, and it was the intention of the two Presidents to put something together that would be funded by their respective governments rather than us trying to fund something for Russia."

Say what? You had to do something for the Russian economy without money? Tell me more.

" At that point, Dan had got very upset with the Russians and proceeded to tell them that we were not going to do business with Semenov directly, but our opposite number was Yuri Koptev, and that he ought to start learning how to work with U.S. industry, and that we were not going to pay for this particular activity and we were not going to be blackmailed into paying them, so to speak, and insisted that this be taken off the table and we proceed to find ways of making this happen, not ways to slow it down or charge us for any kind of cooperative activities like this. "

This all had to do with cooperation on some sort of docking system for the Mir Space Station, nothing to do with the RD-180, but I think you can see why I would be a bit skeptical regarding Project Payola for the Russian rocket scientists.

You might be getting a tingly feeling – call it a suspicion – that the USA is kind of pulling our leg on the idea that it can make a superior multi-chamber rocket engine any time it feels like it, and is just buying the RD-180 on long-ago government orders to cut the Russians a break. You might suspect the RD-180 is actually a pretty good engine, but the United States can't make it for that kind of money, and perhaps can't make it at all. I know! Let's ask United Launch Alliance , that company that Tony Bruno is the CEO of.

"The Atlas launch vehicle's main booster engine, the RD-180, has demonstrated consistent performance with predictable environments over the past decade. The RD-180 has substantially contributed to the established a record of high reliability on Atlas launch vehicles since its debut on the Atlas III in May of 2000."

You don't say. Tell me more.

"In the early 1990s the closed cycle, LOx rich, staged combustion technology rumored to exist in Russia was originally sought out by General Dynamics because engines of this kind would be able to provide a dramatic performance increase over available U.S. rocket technology. Unlike its rocket building counterparts in the United States, Europe, China, and Japan, Russia was able to master a unique LOx rich closed cycle combustion technology which delivered a 25% performance increase."

But but I read the George H.W. Bush administration urged America to buy Russian rocket engines because they heard a rumor there was a suitcase sale on at the Energomash company store. And that, you know, the scientists might be planning a little trip.

"NPO Energomash, the leading designer of engines in Russia, had gone through hundreds of designs, each an improvement on the last, to harness the power of LOx rich combustion. This required a very careful approach to how the fuel is burned in the preburner so that the temperature field is uniform. It also required improvements in materials and production techniques. They found a way to take the chamber pressures to new limits while protecting the internal components from fire risks. This required a new class of high temperature resistant stainless steel invented to cope with the risks of the LOx rich environment."

Oh, seriously, c'mon – is it as good as all that?

"The demonstrated performance established during this process was beyond anything achieved in the United States. The RD-180 reaches chamber pressures up to 3,722psia which was more than double the chamber pressures achieved by comparable U.S. engines. Exposure to Russian design philosophy and the success of a high performance engine made U.S. engine designers question their own methods. This dual sided cross-cultural engineering approach which has persisted through the life of the RD-180 program adds depth to the understanding of engine capability and operational characteristics."

Okay, thanks, company that Tony Bruno is the CEO of. Good to know it wasn't just charity.

[May 02, 2020] EU should consider 'flexible' Russia sanctions

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al April 28, 2020 at 10:18 am

I'm posting this for entertainment purposes:

Euractiv: EU should consider 'flexible' Russia sanctions over Ukraine: report
https://www.euractiv.com/section/europe-s-east/news/eu-should-consider-flexible-russia-sanctions-over-ukraine-report/

The EU should reconsider its 'all or nothing' approach on sanctions imposed on Russia for its role in the ongoing conflict in eastern Ukraine, as well as its annexation of Crimea, a new report from the International Crisis Group suggests. The Brussels-based think tank calls for the easing of certain sanctions in exchange for Russian progress towards peace in Ukraine.

"Inflexible sanctions are less likely to change behaviour," said Olga Oliker, Europe and Central Asia programme director. "Because of that, we urge considering an approach that would allow for the lifting of some sanctions in exchange for some progress, with a clear intent to reverse that rollback of sanctions if the progress itself is reversed."

.A major roadblock in the implementation of the Minsk deal has been the sequence of events supposed to bring an end to the conflict that has so far claimed more than 13,000 lives.

Kyiv wants to first regain control over its border with Russia before local elections in the war-torn region can be held, while Moscow believes that elections must come first
####

Door. Horse. Barn. Bolted.

The Intentional Critics Grope is yet again a $/€ short in the reality department.

You would think the Editor Gotev (the last two paras by him) would mention that the Minsk agreement clearly states elections come first and that Kiev has singularly refuse the other conditions of the agreement, but that really would be asking too much. From a professional journalist.

It's the same shit we got with the US-North Korea 4 point nuclear agreement where de-nuclearization of the region is the final stage yet it didn't take Washington and ball-licking corporate media to parrot 'denuclearization' as the first point as suddently decided by the Ovum Orifice.*

* https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Agreed_Framework

Mark Chapman April 28, 2020 at 1:24 pm
They try it on again about every six months, just to see if the Russian negotiators have changed and if the new ones are dimwitted. I'm sure it is crystal clear to the Kremlin that if it gave Ukraine back exclusive control of the border, it would (a) call up troops and set up a cordon to make it impossible for eastern Ukraine to be reinforced, and (b) launch an all-out military push to re-take the breakaway regions. The west would then shout "Safe!!!", and the game would be over – Ukraine is (almost) whole again, praise Jeebus. There would be a propaganda storm that Russia was 'trying to meddle in the peace process' while Kuh-yiv rooted out and either imprisoned or executed all the 'rebel' leaders, and the west – probably the USA – would provide 'peacekeepers' to give Ukraine time to restore its complete control over the DNR and LPR. Then, presto! no elections required, we are all happy Ukrainians!

They knew 'inflexible sanctions were less likely to change behaviors' when they first agreed to impose them – but they were showing their belly to Washington, and don't know how to stop now. Serves them right if they are losing revenue and market share.

Mark Chapman April 29, 2020 at 8:42 am
I don't think Russia is very interested, beyond polite diplomatic raising of the eyebrows, in relaxing of sanctions under conditions the EU is careful to highlight could be reapplied in a trice, as soon as anyone was upset with Russia's performance. Because that moment would be literally only a moment away. The UK can be counted on to register blistering outrage at the drop of a hat, and while its influence on the EU will soon be limited, dogs-in-the-manger like Poland can always be relied upon to throw themselves about in an ecstasy of victimhood. It would be impossible to set up any sort of dependable supply chain, as the interval between orders would never be known with any degree of certainty. Fuck the EU. Russia is better off to press on as it has been doing. The EU has to buy oil and gas from Russia because the logistics and price of American supplies make them economically non-competitive, and best to just leave it there. The EU will bitch, but it will continue to buy, whereas any other commerce would be subject to theatrical hissy fits.

[May 02, 2020] Narrative control is the name of the game in the Skripal case.

May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Cortes April 26, 2020 at 12:17 pm

Narrative control is the name of the game in the Skripal case.

A couple of articles about a phenomenon which was thought to exist only in pre-Revolutionary France – the lettre de cachet – but seems to have been given a new lease of life:

http://johnhelmer.net/sergei-and-yulia-skripal-in-prison-together-or-in-solitary/

http://johnhelmer.net/how-many-witnesses-are-there-of-sergei-and-yulia-skripal-at-the-salisbury-hospital-in-march-2018-when-they-were-under-the-supervision-of-these-medical-staff/

Mark Chapman April 26, 2020 at 5:43 pm
I would love to see the British government and Porton Down nailed to the barn door for this. There's no telling if that will ever happen, but just on general principles their collective evasiveness speaks volumes. When the truth is on your side and you know it, you shout it from the rooftops. You don't obfuscate and hide behind national security, and pretend like amazing technical and spycraft secrets might be compromised if you reveal your evidence.

If anyone can make it happen, it's Helmer. I've never seen such a talent for detail and cause-and-effect. Remarkable.

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Moscow Exile April 26, 2020 at 12:22 pm
I wonder if the NHS staff that took care of the Skripals and who have been keeping stumm about that hapless duo's alleged poisoning by the Orcs with the most deadly nerve agent known to man have performed a dance routine yet on Tik-Tok?

Heroes all!

[May 02, 2020] Skripal false flag: Czech variant

This is yet another demonstration that Western intelligence services became influential political players. As Chich Republic is a NATO country its intellignce services are partially controlled by outsiders. They also might have their own home grown neocon in the high ranks.
May 02, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

et Al April 28, 2020 at 10:40 am

al-Beeb s'Allah: Police protecting Prague mayor after 'Russian murder plot'
https://www.bbc.com/news/world-europe-52455223

Czech newspaper Respekt alleges a Russian agent carrying the poison ricin arrived in the country three weeks ago.</