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Demonization of Putin

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

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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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[Nov 14, 2019] Fake news and its brainwashined supporters: Even if one tells them that one is not a Trump supporter, but rather a supporter of democracy who reviles the sadistic and criminal intel agencies and corporate Dems, they still heap scorn, mockery and ridicule.

Notable quotes:
"... The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home. ..."
"... As we watch the latest US lead coup in Bolivia, my thoughts exactly. Using impeachment as a means of running a soft CIA coup is what we're witnessing. With the MSM in toe it's hard to know just how good or bad Trump is. What is the primary reason for going after him? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with immigration or illegally lobbing bombs into Syria, or selling arms to the Saudis to bomb innocent Yemenis. These are all the right reasons, but hardly something the "deep state" cares about stopping. ..."
"... I think back to the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. None of them seemed to use pressing matters of international illegality (Cambodia/Laos and millions of SE Asians brutally killed, or in the case of Clinton the brutal killing of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children). Instead the charges were about a 3rd rate burglary and lying about sex with an intern. ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Drew Hunkins , November 13, 2019 at 13:41

To state something I've bemoaned b/f here on CN, in most liberal circles one is mocked and ridiculed for pointing out that a deep state is indeed orchestrating a coup to unseat Trump. Even if one tells them that one is not a Trump supporter, but rather a supporter of democracy who reviles the sadistic and criminal intel agencies and corporate Dems, they still heap scorn, mockery and ridicule.

There is a segment of the U.S. population that's completely beyond reach when it comes to this all important issue.

Rob , November 13, 2019 at 13:06

I have felt from the beginning that Ukrainegate was a thin reed upon which to base impeachment, especially when Trump has committed a large number of other genuinely impeachable offenses. The menu of his impeachment-worthy acts is almost as large as a menu in a Chinese restaurant. Yet none of them appear to matter to the Democratic leadership, or as Nancy Pelosi once put it: Trump's not worth impeaching.

Now it appears that the Deep State has forced the Dems hand, and rabid dog Adam Schiff is foaming at the mouth in anticipation of tearing off a large piece of Donald Trump's hide. But as Patrick Lawrence has clearly explained, Trump will not be removed from office, and Joe Biden's reputation and presidential aspirations are in jeopardy. At least that last part is something to celebrate.

Guy , November 13, 2019 at 12:56

Thank you for exposing what has happened and is happening to the US system of governance or lack thereof .It is becoming glaringly obvious that the system is broken and many wonder if indeed it can be fixed without actually starting over from a clean sweep .It is like a cancer that has metastasized beyond hope of a cure .It has been very hard to watch as the destroyers of nations continue to create chaos in the state that was once an example to the world or so we were told.

Antonio Costa , November 13, 2019 at 12:31

"More urgently, what do the past three years of incessant efforts to unseat a president tell us about the power of unelected constituencies? The CIA is now openly operating on American soil in clear breach of its charter and U.S. law. There is absolutely no way this can be questioned. We must now contemplate the frightening similarities Russiagate and Ukrainegate share with the agency's classic coup operations abroad: Commandeering the media, stirring discontent with the leadership, pumping up the opposition, waving false flags, incessant disinformation campaigns: Maybe it was fated that what America has been doing abroad the whole of the postwar era would eventually come home.

What, at last, must we conclude about the ability of any president (of any stripe) to effect authentic change when our administrative state -- "deep," if you like -- opposes it?"

As we watch the latest US lead coup in Bolivia, my thoughts exactly. Using impeachment as a means of running a soft CIA coup is what we're witnessing. With the MSM in toe it's hard to know just how good or bad Trump is. What is the primary reason for going after him? Whatever it is, it has nothing to do with immigration or illegally lobbing bombs into Syria, or selling arms to the Saudis to bomb innocent Yemenis. These are all the right reasons, but hardly something the "deep state" cares about stopping.

So far it hasn't worked with Trump, but they may be hoping to bloody him enough to have the electorate do their dirty work, or will it backfire?

I think back to the Nixon and Clinton impeachments. None of them seemed to use pressing matters of international illegality (Cambodia/Laos and millions of SE Asians brutally killed, or in the case of Clinton the brutal killing of an estimated 500,000 Iraqi children). Instead the charges were about a 3rd rate burglary and lying about sex with an intern.

Amazing how screwed up our priorities .but than again they're NOT OUR priorities are they.

[Nov 13, 2019] Zbigniew Brzezinski Death of an anti-Russian terrorist

Notable quotes:
"... The Polish born Brzezinski put the historic blood-feud of his mother country ahead of the interests of the United States. He openly opposed Nixon and Ford's policy of detente and orchestrated the use American power to arm and fund all those who sought to undermine the Soviet Union. ..."
"... This became most apparent when he decided to use US might to fund, arm and train the Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Among the fighters Brzezinski's policy helped to arm was Osama bin-Laden, the founder of the Salafist terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group was later blamed for orchestrating and executing the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the United States. ..."
"... Brzezinski was happy to ally with blood soaked jihadists in order to topple the secular, modern government of Afghanistan, for the simple reason that the government was a Soviet ally. ..."
"... Brzezinski's jihadists took over the country in the 1990s and famously executed and then mutilated the corpse of Afghanistan's pro-Soviet President Dr. Mohammad Najibullah in 1996. Many blame the Brzezinski authored policies in Afghanistan for unleashing the plague of jihadist terrorism throughout the wider world. ..."
"... Brzezinski's time in the White House was limited to the single term of Jimmy Carter, but many of his policies lived long after his formal period in power. ..."
May 27, 2017 | theduran.com

by Adam May 27, 2017 11.9k Views

Richard Nixon had more foreign policy achievements that just about any modern American President. These achievements however, have generally been overshadowed by Nixon's scandal plagued White House.

Among his most important achievements was engaging in detente with the Soviet Union. Nixon's de-escalation of tensions with Moscow penultimately led to the signing of the Helsinki Accords in 1975, wherein America and its allies and also non-aligned states of Europe agreed to respect the borders and sovereignty of existing states, including that of the Soviet Union and her allies. The Helsinki Accords affirmed a renunciation of violence as a means of settling disputes and forced signatories to respect the right of self-determination among peoples.

This was a rare moment when the US admitted that the Cold War could not be won and that engagement and peaceful dialogue was preferable to threats against the Soviet superpower.

READ MORE: The importance of the Helsinki Accords: The last time the West respected Russia

In 1976, Jimmy Carter was elected the President of the United States after Nixon's former Vice-President Gerald Ford, failed to win an America hungry for change on the domestic front.

While Jimmy Carter is often remembered as a man of peace, his Presidency was anything but peaceful. The reason for this was the power behind the throne, Carter's National Security Advisor, Zbigniew Brzezinski.

The Polish born Brzezinski put the historic blood-feud of his mother country ahead of the interests of the United States. He openly opposed Nixon and Ford's policy of detente and orchestrated the use American power to arm and fund all those who sought to undermine the Soviet Union.

This became most apparent when he decided to use US might to fund, arm and train the Arab Mujahideen in Afghanistan. Among the fighters Brzezinski's policy helped to arm was Osama bin-Laden, the founder of the Salafist terrorist group al-Qaeda. The group was later blamed for orchestrating and executing the September 11 terrorist atrocities in the United States.

Brzezinski was happy to ally with blood soaked jihadists in order to topple the secular, modern government of Afghanistan, for the simple reason that the government was a Soviet ally.

Brzezinski's jihadists took over the country in the 1990s and famously executed and then mutilated the corpse of Afghanistan's pro-Soviet President Dr. Mohammad Najibullah in 1996. Many blame the Brzezinski authored policies in Afghanistan for unleashing the plague of jihadist terrorism throughout the wider world.

Brzezinski's time in the White House was limited to the single term of Jimmy Carter, but many of his policies lived long after his formal period in power.

Throughout the rest of his life, Brzezinski continued to vocally advocate for policies designed to cripple Russia, including the expansion of NATO into eastern Europe.

He was a strong supporter of the 2014 coup against the legitimate Ukrainian government and more recently said that the Russian Federation would break up. Furthermore, he said that the US must help those wanting to break it up, irrespective of who they are. He continued to advocate sanctions against Russia until his dying day, in spite of the fact that the sanctions ended up hurting his native Poland more than the Russian Federation he sought to destroy.

Brzezinski was a deeply violent and hateful man. He was also dishonest, he told the last Shah of Iran that the US would give him America's full backing, knowing well that the White House was divided on the issue.

He was a man who brought ancient hatreds, hatreds which long pre-dated the existence of the United States, into the heart of American policy making.

At the age of 89, Brzezinski is dead. Even if he lived another hundred years, he would never see his dream, the death of Russia. Russia remains alive and well and in this sense, perhaps he died knowing that his entire reason for being was a failure.

[Nov 13, 2019] Trump will leave, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain

This is why the Deep State is called the Deep state. It is permanent
Nov 13, 2019 | www.unz.com

Biff , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:58 am GMT

Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.
"Fuck you stupid voters – now go elect another moron – we've got governments to overthrow"

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:44 am GMT
" The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes."

As are the Republican establishment and even such faux dissidents as Andrew Napolitano and Patrick Buchanan in columns easily found here on The Unz Review.

Exceptionalia needs enemies to keep the sheep herded when the Red v Blue politics and increasingly absurd culture skirmishes aren't sufficiently distracting.

mark green , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 am GMT
Excellent summation of the current predicament involving Trump and his ruthless foes. The greatest and most ridiculous 'conspiracy theory' of all is Russiagate itself–yet this politicized hoax is not being allowed to die a natural death; thus the Demorat impeachment inquiry.

So now we have entered Stage Two of this toxic and unnecessary melodrama. We can thank the partisan, biased and subversive 'mainstream' media for this downward step.

Ironically, the media's rank dishonesty is turning Trump into a heroic figure. This is poetic justice.

Haven't our media overlords heard?–the Soviet Union is dead.

In its place is Christian Russia. So why the enmity?

Might these lingering tensions have more than a little to do with Putin's stubborn alliance with Syria and Iran? It sure looks that way.

It must be noted that Israel remains deeply disturbed over the Russia-Iran-Syria federation. But that's Israel's problem. America is not burdened by those historic antagonisms, regional rivalries, or security concerns. Americans should therefore be relieved. Only we're not allowed to be.

The Zionist state has deviously entwined its security interests with America's. Israel and Zio-America have been artificially conjoined at the political hip. Didn't you hear?

This political union is good for the Jews. The Americans?–less so. Far less.

Unless we can extricate ourselves, this unnatural 'partnership' may end in a cataclysm

Realist , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Biff

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.

The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

Trump and the Deep State do not care what the American people want. They know that most American people are inane fools and will believe anything. Most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than be informed about important issues.

peter mcloughlin , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
I think if President Trump was faced with a Cuban Missile Crisis situation the outcome could be very different to the first time. On that occasion the two superpowers, despite coming close to open war, were able to contain and de-escalate. The conditions are very different today. As Professor Cohen says," The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war." In this context it is essential the president is "fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation."
One problem is that the original Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: today we are in pre-world war environment. There is a dangerous misconception that a Cold War sequel will have the same peaceful ending. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Tsar Bomba 38-56-47 N, 77-9-32 W , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm GMT
"The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham."

Ya know, the investigation would be a lot harder to delegitimize if it the guys doing it didn't whitewash Iran/Contra, like Barr, or systematic and widespread CIA torture, like Durham. You put lifelong CIA whores hot on the trail of illegal CIA domestic operations against political enemies? Come on. Nobody with a 3-digit IQ can keep a straight face.

You want this shit to stop? Then do to Langley what the Germans did to their Stasi. CIA investigation of CIA crimes do not pass the laff test anymore.

Wilberweld , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Clapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity
Norm Corin , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
@renfro Rand Paul, and possibly Bernie Sanders, are not honorable -- sufficiently honorable -- to propose if not accomplish this?
A123 , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm GMT

Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so

This makes little sense. Russia and the U.S. are not enemies, and are potentially allies. Why would a U.S.-Russia treaty be desirable? The U.S. wants to help Russia defend its South western border against dangerous nations, such as Turkey & Iran.

A U.S.-China treaty would be helpful, but China is unlikely to accept anything that might interfere with their colonial ambitions.
____

Also, the author is likely overestimating Russia's technical prowess. Does anyone remember the recent incident the Russians had with their nuclear powered "Skyfall" cruise missile? (1)

The mysterious explosion on August 8 at the Russian navy's range in Nyonoksa killed seven and spurred fears that Russia was testing its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, also known by the NATO codename 'Skyfall.' But U.S. intelligence indicates the fatal explosion occurred as Russia attempted to salvage a downed Skyfall missile from the ocean floor,

Russia has reportedly conducted five unsuccessful tests of Skyfall since November 2017, all resulting in loss of control and crashes. The longest test lasted for two minutes with the missile flying 22 miles, and the shortest lasted four seconds and five miles.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7409607/Russias-Skyfall-nuclear-cruise-missile-explosion-happened-salvage-mission-intel.html

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@Giuseppe I'm a huge fan of Stephen Cohen's, but, with bi-partisanship dead, his calling for a new Church commission is pie-in-the-sky. Nothing good can happen until this impeachment farce is over.

In fact, I'd say that Barr and Durham better hurry up and indict someone. There is less than a year left before the next election, which only leaves a few weeks this year, and the first few months in 2020. Once there's like 3-4 months to go before the election it will be too late. And, BTW, where is the long-awaited IG Horowitz's report? Tick Tock guys.

Hail , says: Website November 7, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev

The fastest growing religion in Russia is Islam.

We've been hearing that for a long time, but one thing to remember is: Islam is a foreign(ers')-identity in Russia. It won't be taking over the political center in Russia anytime soon, nor getting any European-Russian converts.

Stochastic Determinist , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:22 am GMT
@Dan Hayes Russia hadn't seized anything. The Black Sea Fleet had always been stationed there. After the Ukrainian government proposed outlawing the Russian language and ethnic Ukrainians attacked the Crimean parliament, Crimeans, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Russians, moved to hold a referendum.
James N. Kennett , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
@Giuseppe

As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

The CIA activities restricted by the Church Committee never stopped. They continued "off the books", financed by drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, and (especially) by kickbacks from legitimate but overpriced arms contracts with Saudi Arabia. The close relationship with the Saudi royal family raises awkward questions about who this part of the CIA is really working for.

A new Church Committee would only be able to investigate the parts of the CIA that it can see. It is probably impossible for the US government to control the "off-books" parts of the CIA.

refl , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:59 am GMT

Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

Maybe, the fallacy is to think that Democrats were ever opposed to communism. As one can learn around here, WWII was the joint venture to destroy european national cultures and force them under globalist domination. The Roosevelt administration did about everything to strengthen communism. The current Russian leadership is as sanely nationalist as it gets. Possibly, that is the problem?

What struck me first, before I woke up, was that the ultimate accusation against Russia – before the Ukraine affair started – was that they were said to be homophopbic. While this can be a fault in the eyes of a dedicated liberal, to anyone who has lived through the Cold War, that accusation was outlandishly irrelevant.
The problem that liberal globalists have with Russia is exactly their sanity. Saying this, I do not want to insinuate that Republicans are sane, just for the record. They are the other side of the coin in the big charade.

GMC , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
The Bolsheviks in Russia told everyone that they were a Political Party – just like the Communists Party etc. The Democrats and Republicans say the same thing , but they are more Bolshevik than any American wants to admit. The Wars, the Police state, the original European, African, Native American societies being destroyed is not the best example – if you are pushing for a NWO. It has failed but they are taking down as many as they can – along with their evil Order. This should one of the highest priority, of most writers today. Thanks Unz Rev.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
@Dan Hayes From which entity? The country – existing as a unity upon the foundation of a constitution, known as Ukraine – stopped being that entity when a bunch of people toppled a constitutionally mandated government with an unconstitutional coup.

You demand peoples and regions of the former Ukraine remain united? Under what unifying law? The constitution? But the Maidan people tore it apart to get into power. Why would those that take the other side of the debate agree to be governed by law they know their opposition has already, and will again, trod on?

Practically speaking, Ukraine after Maidan is not the same entity as Ukraine before, as there is no social contract left that everyone is willing to be bound by.

Crimea being autonomous, had more freedom than the rest to jump ship, and so they did. But any region can now go, because anyone saying 'but the Constitution bans secession', forget that the people who speak this within Ukraine are those exact same people who tore the Constitution apart.

But don't think it'a just political entities such as Crimea that migrated to Russia of their own wills (as the UN Charter demands), millions of labourers have left for Russia from the remaining entity too, and there was no Putin there at each of their houses, giving personal pep talks over tea about how Russia is better, and how they should migrate accross the border. People chose with their own feet.

Here's a question – if tomorrow a bunch of gunmen threw out congress, the judiciary, and the executive from Washington DC, and replaced them with their own – would you consider that the individual states were then still bound to the federal government through the Constitution? Would you demand honour from one side, knowing fullwell that the other side is dishonourable?

S , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:59 am GMT

Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor.

What's seemingly bizarre is that these modern day Dems with their 'Russiagate' obsession are the very same people who not so many years back would eat up a 1966 movie like 'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming', with it's message that the Soviet Union along with its Communism was perfectly innocuous (just a laugh really), and the Cold War itself was all a big joke, and pay to see it multiple times.

It's not so bizarre, though, as there is an underlining continuity in all this, then and now.

They hate the organic Russian people and their culture, then and now. That hasn't changed.

A USSR of the past with the Russian people safely subjugated/crushed under Soviet Communism, they like and are okay with.

A Russian Federation where the Russian people appear to have moved away from Communism they don't like. That's dangerous.

Russians shouldn't necessarily feel too bad though about this as they are not the only people so hated. These sorts hate most peoples which attempt to express their physical and cultural identity, often even their own at times.

There's a hatred for most all of humanity there which stems from an underlying self hatred with these types.

[Nov 11, 2019] Trump will leave, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Nov 11, 2019 | www.unz.com

Biff , says: November 7, 2019 at 6:58 am GMT

Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain.

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.
"Fuck you stupid voters – now go elect another moron – we've got governments to overthrow"

anonymous [128] Disclaimer , says: November 7, 2019 at 8:44 am GMT
" The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes."

As are the Republican establishment and even such faux dissidents as Andrew Napolitano and Patrick Buchanan in columns easily found here on The Unz Review.

Exceptionalia needs enemies to keep the sheep herded when the Red v Blue politics and increasingly absurd culture skirmishes aren't sufficiently distracting.

mark green , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:07 am GMT
Excellent summation of the current predicament involving Trump and his ruthless foes. The greatest and most ridiculous 'conspiracy theory' of all is Russiagate itself–yet this politicized hoax is not being allowed to die a natural death; thus the Demorat impeachment inquiry.

So now we have entered Stage Two of this toxic and unnecessary melodrama. We can thank the partisan, biased and subversive 'mainstream' media for this downward step.

Ironically, the media's rank dishonesty is turning Trump into a heroic figure. This is poetic justice.

Haven't our media overlords heard?–the Soviet Union is dead.

In its place is Christian Russia. So why the enmity?

Might these lingering tensions have more than a little to do with Putin's stubborn alliance with Syria and Iran? It sure looks that way.

It must be noted that Israel remains deeply disturbed over the Russia-Iran-Syria federation. But that's Israel's problem. America is not burdened by those historic antagonisms, regional rivalries, or security concerns. Americans should therefore be relieved. Only we're not allowed to be.

The Zionist state has deviously entwined its security interests with America's. Israel and Zio-America have been artificially conjoined at the political hip. Didn't you hear?

This political union is good for the Jews. The Americans?–less so. Far less.

Unless we can extricate ourselves, this unnatural 'partnership' may end in a cataclysm

Realist , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:55 pm GMT
@Biff

Something the stupid voters never seem to realize – the permanent government doesn't give a rats ass about democracy, freedom, human rights, security, your dog, your property, and most of all – your integrity.

The Deep State doesn't care about the unimportant internecine squabbles of the 'two parties' as long as their important issues are maintained. As a matter of fact it strengthens the false perception that there is a choice when voting.

Trump and the Deep State do not care what the American people want. They know that most American people are inane fools and will believe anything. Most Americans would rather watch America's Got Talent or Dancing With The Stars than be informed about important issues.

peter mcloughlin , says: November 7, 2019 at 1:58 pm GMT
I think if President Trump was faced with a Cuban Missile Crisis situation the outcome could be very different to the first time. On that occasion the two superpowers, despite coming close to open war, were able to contain and de-escalate. The conditions are very different today. As Professor Cohen says," The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war." In this context it is essential the president is "fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation."
One problem is that the original Cold War was the peace, a post-world war environment: today we are in pre-world war environment. There is a dangerous misconception that a Cold War sequel will have the same peaceful ending. The world has experienced periods of peace (or relative peace) throughout history. The Thirty Years Peace between the two Peloponnesian Wars, Pax Romana, Europe in the 19th century after the Congress of Vienna, to name a few. The Congress System finally collapsed in 1914 with the start of World War One. That conflict was followed by the League of Nations. It did not stop World War Two. That was followed by the United Nations and other post-war institutions. But all the indications are they will not prevent a third world war.
https://www.ghostsofhistory.wordpress.com/
Tsar Bomba 38-56-47 N, 77-9-32 W , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:10 pm GMT
"The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham."

Ya know, the investigation would be a lot harder to delegitimize if it the guys doing it didn't whitewash Iran/Contra, like Barr, or systematic and widespread CIA torture, like Durham. You put lifelong CIA whores hot on the trail of illegal CIA domestic operations against political enemies? Come on. Nobody with a 3-digit IQ can keep a straight face.

You want this shit to stop? Then do to Langley what the Germans did to their Stasi. CIA investigation of CIA crimes do not pass the laff test anymore.

Wilberweld , says: November 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
Trump's problem was described in simple terms by John Connelly when talking with Henry Kissinger. "Henry", he said, "In Washington you are judged by the men you've destroyed". Trump has not destroyed anyone, not Comey, not Brennan, not Clapper. So he is viewed as weak, an easy target. So they just keep piling on. Attacking Trump is viewed as a "penalty-free activity
Norm Corin , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:18 pm GMT
@renfro Rand Paul, and possibly Bernie Sanders, are not honorable -- sufficiently honorable -- to propose if not accomplish this?
A123 , says: November 7, 2019 at 3:53 pm GMT

Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so

This makes little sense. Russia and the U.S. are not enemies, and are potentially allies. Why would a U.S.-Russia treaty be desirable? The U.S. wants to help Russia defend its South western border against dangerous nations, such as Turkey & Iran.

A U.S.-China treaty would be helpful, but China is unlikely to accept anything that might interfere with their colonial ambitions.
____

Also, the author is likely overestimating Russia's technical prowess. Does anyone remember the recent incident the Russians had with their nuclear powered "Skyfall" cruise missile? (1)

The mysterious explosion on August 8 at the Russian navy's range in Nyonoksa killed seven and spurred fears that Russia was testing its nuclear-powered Burevestnik missile, also known by the NATO codename 'Skyfall.' But U.S. intelligence indicates the fatal explosion occurred as Russia attempted to salvage a downed Skyfall missile from the ocean floor,

Russia has reportedly conducted five unsuccessful tests of Skyfall since November 2017, all resulting in loss of control and crashes. The longest test lasted for two minutes with the missile flying 22 miles, and the shortest lasted four seconds and five miles.

PEACE
_______

(1) https://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-7409607/Russias-Skyfall-nuclear-cruise-missile-explosion-happened-salvage-mission-intel.html

follyofwar , says: November 7, 2019 at 9:40 pm GMT
@Giuseppe I'm a huge fan of Stephen Cohen's, but, with bi-partisanship dead, his calling for a new Church commission is pie-in-the-sky. Nothing good can happen until this impeachment farce is over.

In fact, I'd say that Barr and Durham better hurry up and indict someone. There is less than a year left before the next election, which only leaves a few weeks this year, and the first few months in 2020. Once there's like 3-4 months to go before the election it will be too late. And, BTW, where is the long-awaited IG Horowitz's report? Tick Tock guys.

Hail , says: Website November 7, 2019 at 11:21 pm GMT
@Peter Akuleyev

The fastest growing religion in Russia is Islam.

We've been hearing that for a long time, but one thing to remember is: Islam is a foreign(ers')-identity in Russia. It won't be taking over the political center in Russia anytime soon, nor getting any European-Russian converts.

Stochastic Determinist , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:22 am GMT
@Dan Hayes Russia hadn't seized anything. The Black Sea Fleet had always been stationed there. After the Ukrainian government proposed outlawing the Russian language and ethnic Ukrainians attacked the Crimean parliament, Crimeans, the vast majority of whom are ethnic Russians, moved to hold a referendum.
James N. Kennett , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:42 am GMT
@Giuseppe

As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

The CIA activities restricted by the Church Committee never stopped. They continued "off the books", financed by drug trafficking, illegal arms sales, and (especially) by kickbacks from legitimate but overpriced arms contracts with Saudi Arabia. The close relationship with the Saudi royal family raises awkward questions about who this part of the CIA is really working for.

A new Church Committee would only be able to investigate the parts of the CIA that it can see. It is probably impossible for the US government to control the "off-books" parts of the CIA.

refl , says: November 8, 2019 at 6:59 am GMT

Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

Maybe, the fallacy is to think that Democrats were ever opposed to communism. As one can learn around here, WWII was the joint venture to destroy european national cultures and force them under globalist domination. The Roosevelt administration did about everything to strengthen communism. The current Russian leadership is as sanely nationalist as it gets. Possibly, that is the problem?

What struck me first, before I woke up, was that the ultimate accusation against Russia – before the Ukraine affair started – was that they were said to be homophopbic. While this can be a fault in the eyes of a dedicated liberal, to anyone who has lived through the Cold War, that accusation was outlandishly irrelevant.
The problem that liberal globalists have with Russia is exactly their sanity. Saying this, I do not want to insinuate that Republicans are sane, just for the record. They are the other side of the coin in the big charade.

GMC , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
The Bolsheviks in Russia told everyone that they were a Political Party – just like the Communists Party etc. The Democrats and Republicans say the same thing , but they are more Bolshevik than any American wants to admit. The Wars, the Police state, the original European, African, Native American societies being destroyed is not the best example – if you are pushing for a NWO. It has failed but they are taking down as many as they can – along with their evil Order. This should one of the highest priority, of most writers today. Thanks Unz Rev.
Ilya G Poimandres , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:09 am GMT
@Dan Hayes From which entity? The country – existing as a unity upon the foundation of a constitution, known as Ukraine – stopped being that entity when a bunch of people toppled a constitutionally mandated government with an unconstitutional coup.

You demand peoples and regions of the former Ukraine remain united? Under what unifying law? The constitution? But the Maidan people tore it apart to get into power. Why would those that take the other side of the debate agree to be governed by law they know their opposition has already, and will again, trod on?

Practically speaking, Ukraine after Maidan is not the same entity as Ukraine before, as there is no social contract left that everyone is willing to be bound by.

Crimea being autonomous, had more freedom than the rest to jump ship, and so they did. But any region can now go, because anyone saying 'but the Constitution bans secession', forget that the people who speak this within Ukraine are those exact same people who tore the Constitution apart.

But don't think it'a just political entities such as Crimea that migrated to Russia of their own wills (as the UN Charter demands), millions of labourers have left for Russia from the remaining entity too, and there was no Putin there at each of their houses, giving personal pep talks over tea about how Russia is better, and how they should migrate accross the border. People chose with their own feet.

Here's a question – if tomorrow a bunch of gunmen threw out congress, the judiciary, and the executive from Washington DC, and replaced them with their own – would you consider that the individual states were then still bound to the federal government through the Constitution? Would you demand honour from one side, knowing fullwell that the other side is dishonourable?

S , says: November 8, 2019 at 7:59 am GMT

Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor.

What's seemingly bizarre is that these modern day Dems with their 'Russiagate' obsession are the very same people who not so many years back would eat up a 1966 movie like 'The Russians Are Coming, the Russians are Coming', with it's message that the Soviet Union along with its Communism was perfectly innocuous (just a laugh really), and the Cold War itself was all a big joke, and pay to see it multiple times.

It's not so bizarre, though, as there is an underlining continuity in all this, then and now.

They hate the organic Russian people and their culture, then and now. That hasn't changed.

A USSR of the past with the Russian people safely subjugated/crushed under Soviet Communism, they like and are okay with.

A Russian Federation where the Russian people appear to have moved away from Communism they don't like. That's dangerous.

Russians shouldn't necessarily feel too bad though about this as they are not the only people so hated. These sorts hate most peoples which attempt to express their physical and cultural identity, often even their own at times.

There's a hatred for most all of humanity there which stems from an underlying self hatred with these types.

[Nov 09, 2019] The Media's Obsession With Personalities Consortiumnews

Notable quotes:
"... Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself. ..."
"... Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy. ..."
"... Consortium News ..."
Nov 09, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Earlier in Stone's legal process his lawyers filed a motion to try to prove that Russia did not hack the DNC and Podesta emails. The motion revealed that CrowdStrike, the cybersecurity firm hired by the DNC and Clinton campaign, never completed its report, and only gave a redacted draft to the FBI blaming Russia. The FBI was never allowed to examine the DNC server itself.

In the end, though, it doesn't matter if it were a hack or a leak by an insider. That's because the emails WikiLeaks released were accurate. When documents check out it is irrelevant who the source is. That's why WikiLeaks set up an anonymous drop box, copied by big media like The Wall Street Journal and others . Had the emails been counterfeit and disinformation was inserted into a U.S. election by a foreign power that would be sabotage. But that is not what happened.

The attempt to stir up the thoroughly discredited charge of collusion appears to be part of the defense strategy of those whose reputations were thoroughly discredited by maniacally pushing that false charge for more than two years. This includes legions of journalists. But principal among them are intelligence agency officials who laundered this "collusion" disinformation campaign through the mainstream media.

Faced now with a criminal investigation into how the Russiagate conspiracy theory originated intelligence officers and their accomplices in the media and in the Democratic Party are mounting a defense by launching an offensive in the form of impeachment proceedings against Trump that is based on an allegation of conducting routine, corrupt U.S. foreign policy.

Stone may be just a footnote to this historic partisan battle that may scar the nation for a generation. But he has the personality to be the poster boy for the Democrats' lost cause.

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

[Nov 09, 2019] They're gettin' the old gang back together

Nov 09, 2019 | caucus99percent.com

lotlizard on Fri, 11/08/2019 - 1:12am

@on the cusp
Debbie Wasserman Schultz could come roaring back as House Appropriations Committee chair.

https://www.miamiherald.com/news/politics-government/article236811358.html

[Nov 08, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 08, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 08, 2019] Inconvenient Truths by Stephen F. Cohen

Notable quotes:
"... The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. ..."
"... We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. ..."
"... We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. ..."
"... Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been. ..."
"... However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty. ..."
Nov 08, 2019 | www.unz.com

Almost daily for three years, Democrats and their media have told us very bad things about Donald Trump's life, character, and presidency. Some of them are true. But in the process, we have also learned some lamentable, even alarming, things about the Democratic Party establishment, including self-professed liberals. Consider the following:

The Democratic establishment is deeply and widely imbued with rancid Russophobic attitudes. Most telling was (and remains) a core "Russiagate" allegation that "Russia attacked American democracy during the 2016 presidential election" on Trump's behalf -- an "attack" so nefarious it has often been equated with Pearl Harbor. But there was no "attack" in 2016, only, as I have previously explained , ritualistic "meddling" of the kind that both Russia and America have undertaken in the other's elections for decades. Little can be more phobic than the allegation or belief that one has been "attacked by a hostile" entity. And yet this myth and its false narrative persist in the Democratic Party's discourse, campaigning, and fund-raising. We have also learned that the heads of America's intelligence agencies under President Obama, especially John Brennan of the CIA and James Clapper, director of National Intelligence, felt themselves entitled to try to undermine an American presidential candidacy and subsequent presidency, that of Donald Trump. Early on, I termed this operation " Intelgate ," and it has since been well documented by other writers, including Lee Smith in his new book . Intel officials did so in tacit alliance with certain leading, and equally Russophobic, members of the Democratic Party, which had once opposed such transgressions. This may be the most alarming revelation of the Trump years: Trump will leave power, but these self-aggrandizing intelligence agencies will remain. We also learned that, contrary to Democratic dogma, the mainstream "free press" cannot be fully trusted to readily expose such abuses of power. Indeed, what the mainstream media -- leading national newspapers and two cable news networks, in particular -- chose to cover and report, and chose not to cover and report, made the abuses and consequences of Russiagate allegations possible. Even now, exceedingly influential publications such as The New York Times seem eager to delegitimize the investigation by Attorney General William Barr and his appointed special investigator John Durham into the origins of Russiagate. Barr's critics accuse him of fabricating a "conspiracy theory" on behalf of Trump. But the real, or grandest, conspiracy theory was the Russiagate allegation of "collusion" between Trump and the Kremlin, an accusation that was -- or should have been -- discredited by the Robert Mueller report. And we have learned, or should have learned, that for all the talk by Democrats about Trump as a danger to US national security, it is their Russiagate allegations that truly endanger it. Consider two examples. Russia's new "hyper-sonic" missiles, which can elude US missile-defense systems, make new nuclear arms negotiations with Moscow imperative and urgent. If only for the sake of his legacy, Trump is likely to want to do so. But even if he is able to, will Trump be entrusted enough to conduct negotiations as successfully as did his predecessors in the White House, given the "Putin puppet" and "Kremlin stooge" accusations still being directed at him? Similarly, as I have asked repeatedly, if confronted with a US-Russian Cuban missile–like crisis -- anywhere Washington and Moscow are currently eyeball-to-eyeball militarily, from the Baltic region and Ukraine to Syria -- will Trump be as free politically as was President John F. Kennedy to resolve it without war? Here too there is an inconvenient truth: To the extent that Democrats any longer seriously discuss national security in the context of US-Russian relations, it mostly involves vilifying both Trump and Russian leader Vladimir Putin. (Recall also that previous presidents were free to negotiate with Russia's Soviet communist leaders, even encouraged to do so, whereas the demonized Putin is an anti-communist, post-Soviet leader.)

The current state of US-Russian relations is unprecedentedly dangerous, not only due to reasons cited here -- a new Cold War fraught with the possibility of hot war. Whether President Trump serves one or two terms, he must be fully empowered to cope with the multiple possibilities of a US-Russian military confrontation. That requires ridding him and our nation of Russiagate allegations -- and that in turn requires learning how such allegations originated.

Opponents of Barr's investigation into the origins of Russiagate say it is impermissible or unprecedented to "investigate the investigators." But the bipartisan Church Committee, based in the US Senate, did so in the mid-1970s. It exposed many abuses by US intelligence agencies, particularly by the CIA, and adopted remedies that it believed would be permanent. Clearly, they have not been.

However well-intentioned Barr may be, he is Trump's attorney general and therefore not fully credible. As I have also argued repeatedly, a new Church Committee is urgently needed. It's time for honorable members of the Senate of both parties to do their duty.

[Nov 07, 2019] Rigged Again Dems, Russia, The Delegitimization Of America s Democratic Process by Elizabeth Vos

Highly recommended!
Images removed.
Notable quotes:
"... The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign. ..."
"... In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted. ..."
"... In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates. ..."
"... The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . ..."
"... The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race, ..."
"... f Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent. ..."
"... Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time: ..."
"... Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms. ..."
"... Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet. ..."
"... Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Elizabeth Vos via ConsortiumNews.com,

Establishment Democrats and those who amplify them continue to project blame for the public's doubt in the U.S. election process onto outside influence, despite the clear history of the party's subversion of election integrity. The total inability of the Democratic Party establishment's willingness to address even one of these critical failures does not give reason to hope that the nomination process in 2020 will be any less pre-ordained.

The Democratic Party's bias against Sen. Bernie Sanders during the 2016 presidential nomination, followed by the DNC defense counsel doubling down on its right to rig the race during the fraud lawsuit brought against the DNC , as well as the irregularities in the races between former DNC Chairwoman Debbie Wasserman Schultz and Tim Canova, indicate a fatal breakdown of the U.S. democratic process spearheaded by the Democratic Party establishment. Influences transcending the DNC add to concerns regarding the integrity of the democratic process that have nothing to do with Russia, but which will also likely impact outcomes in 2020.

The content of the DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks demonstrated that the DNC acted in favor of Hillary Clinton in the lead up to the 2016 Democratic primary. The emails also revealed corporate media reporters acting as surrogates of the DNC and its pro-Clinton agenda, going so far as to promote Donald Trump during the GOP primary process as a preferred " pied-piper candidate ." One cannot assume that similar evidence will be presented to the public in 2020, making it more important than ever to take stock of the unique lessons handed down to us by the 2016 race.

Social Media Meddling

Election meddling via social media did take place in 2016, though in a different guise and for a different cause from that which are best remembered. Twitter would eventually admit to actively suppressing hashtags referencing the DNC and Podesta emails in the run-up to the 2016 presidential election. Additional reports indicated that tech giant Google also showed measurable "pro-Hillary Clinton bias" in search results during 2016, resulting in the alleged swaying of between 2 and 10 millions voters in favor of Clinton.

On the Republican side, a recent episode of CNLive! featured discussion of the Cambridge Analytica scandal, in which undecided voters were micro-targeted with tailored advertising narrowed with the combined use of big data and artificial intelligence known collectively as "dark strategy." CNLive! Executive Producer Cathy Vogan noted that SCL, Cambridge Analytica's parent company, provides data, analytics and strategy to governments and military organizations "worldwide," specializing in behavior modification. Though Cambridge Analytica shut down in 2018, related companies remain.

The Clinton camp was hardly absent from social media during the 2016 race. The barely-legal activities of Clintonite David Brock were previously reported by this author to have included $2 million in funding for the creation of an online " troll army " under the name Shareblue. The LA Times described the project as meant to "to appear to be coming organically from people and their social media networks in a groundswell of activism, when in fact it is highly paid and highly tactical." In other words, the effort attempted to create a false sense of consensus in support for the Clinton campaign.

In terms of interference in the actual election process, the New York City Board of Elections was shown to have purged over one hundred thousand Democratic voters in Brooklyn from the rolls before the 2016 primary, a move that the Department of Justice found broke federal law . Despite this, no prosecution for the breach was ever attempted.

Though the purge was not explicitly found to have benefitted Clinton, the admission falls in line with allegations across the country that the Democratic primary was interfered with to the benefit of the former secretary of state. These claims were further bolstered by reports indicating that voting results from the 2016 Democratic primary showed evidence of fraud.

DNC Fraud Lawsuit

The proceedings of the DNC fraud lawsuit provide the most damning evidence of the failure of the U.S. election process, especially within the Democratic Party. DNC defense lawyers argued in open court for the party's right to appoint candidates at its own discretion, while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the impression that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

In 2017, the Observer reported that the DNC's defense counsel argued against claims that the party defrauded Sanders' supporters by favoring Clinton, reasoning that Sanders' supporters knew the process was rigged. Again: instead of arguing that the primary was neutral and unbiased in accordance with its charter, the DNC's lawyers argued that it was the party's right to select candidates.

The Observer noted the sentiments of Jared Beck, the attorney representing the plaintiffs of the lawsuit:

"People paid money in reliance on the understanding that the primary elections for the Democratic nominee -- nominating process in 2016 were fair and impartial, and that's not just a bedrock assumption that we would assume just by virtue of the fact that we live in a democracy, and we assume that our elections are run in a fair and impartial manner. But that's what the Democratic National Committee's own charter says. It says it in black and white."

The DNC defense counsel's argument throughout the course of the DNC fraud lawsuit doubled down repeatedly in defense of the party's right to favor one candidate over another, at one point actually claiming that such favoritism was protected by the First Amendment . The DNC's lawyers wrote:

"To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office ." [Emphasis added]

The DNC's shameless defense of its own rigging disemboweled the most fundamental organs of the U.S. body politic. This no indication that the DNC will not resort to the same tactics in the 2020 primary race,

Tim Canova's Allegations

If Debbie Wasserman Schultz's role as disgraced chairwoman of the DNC and her forced 2016 resignation wasn't enough, serious interference was also alleged in the wake of two contests between Wasserman Schultz and professor Tim Canova in Florida's 23rd congressional district. Canova and Wasserman Schultz first faced off in a 2016 Democratic primary race, followed by a 2018 general congressional election in which Canova ran as an independent.

Debacles followed both contests, including improper vote counts, illegal ballot destruction , improper transportation of ballots, and generally shameless displays of cronyism. After the controversial results of the initial primary race against Wasserman Schultz, Canova sought to have ballots checked for irregularities, as the Sun-Sentinel reported at the time:

"[Canova] sought to look at the paper ballots in March 2017 and took Elections Supervisor Brenda Snipes to court three months later when her office hadn't fulfilled his request. Snipes approved the destruction of the ballots in September, signing a certification that said no court cases involving the ballots were pending."

Ultimately, Canova was granted a summary judgment against Snipes, finding that she had committed what amounted to multiple felonies. Nonetheless, Snipes was not prosecuted and remained elections supervisor through to the 2018 midterms.

Republicans appear no more motivated to protect voting integrity than the Democrats, with The Nation reporting that the GOP-controlled Senate blocked a bill this week that would have "mandated paper-ballot backups in case of election machine malfunctions."

Study of Corporate Power

A 2014 study published by Princeton University found that corporate power had usurped the voting rights of the public: "Economic elites and organized groups representing business interests have substantial independent impacts on U.S. government policy, while average citizens and mass-based interest groups have little or no independent influence."

In reviewing this sordid history, we see that the Democratic Party establishment has done everything in its power to disrespect voters and outright overrule them in the democratic primary process, defending their right to do so in the DNC fraud lawsuit. We've noted that interests transcending the DNC also represent escalating threats to election integrity as demonstrated in 2016.

Despite this, establishment Democrats and those who echo their views in the legacy press continue to deflect from their own wrongdoing and real threats to the election process by suggesting that mere discussion of it represents a campaign by Russia to attempt to malign the perception of the legitimacy of the U.S. democratic process.

Hillary Clinton's recent comments to the effect that Congresswoman Tulsi Gabbard is being "groomed" by Russia, and that the former Green Party Presidential candidate Dr. Jill Stein is a "Russian asset", were soon echoed by DNC-friendly pundits. These sentiments externalize what Gabbard called the "rot" in the Democratic party outward onto domestic critics and a nation across the planet.

Newsweek provided a particularly glaring example of this phenomenon in a recent op-ed penned by columnist Naveed Jamali, a former FBI double agent whose book capitalizes on Russiagate. In an op-ed titled: " Hillary Clinton Is Right. Tulsi Gabbard Is A Perfect Russian Asset – And Would Be A Perfect Republican Agent," Jamali argued :

"Moscow will use its skillful propaganda machine to prop up Gabbard and use her as a tool to delegitimize the democratic process. " [Emphasis added]

Jamali surmises that Russia intends to "attack" our democracy by undermining the domestic perception of its legitimacy. This thesis is repeated later in the piece when Jamali opines : "They want to see a retreat of American influence. What better way to accomplish that than to attack our democracy by casting doubt on the legitimacy of our elections." [Emphasis added]

The only thing worth protecting, according to Jamali and those who amplify his work (including former Clinton aide and establishment Democrat Neera Tanden), is the perception of the democratic process, not the actual functioning vitality of it. Such deflective tactics ensure that Russia will continue to be used as a convenient international pretext for silencing domestic dissent as we move into 2020.

Given all this, how can one expect the outcome of a 2020 Democratic Primary -- or even the general election – to be any fairer or transparent than 2016?

* * *

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter, co-host of CN Live! and regular contributor to Consortium News. If you value this original article, please consider making a donation to Consortium News so we can bring you more stories like this one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Scapegoating as the major neoliberal propaganda tool

Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Orange Watch 11.07.19 at 5:11 pm 71

Donald@63 :

The tendency to scapegoat rather than make the case for one's own merit is very deeply ingrained in our top-down liberal democratic systems; the Democratic establishment is unfortunately just getting back to core principles by shifting almost exclusively to this mode of discourse over the past decade. From Guy Debord's 1988 Commentaries on the Society of the Spectacle :

This perfect democracy creates for itself its own inconceivable enemy, terrorism. In effect, it wants to be judged by its enemies moreso than by its results. The history of terrorism is written by the State; it is therefore instructive. The spectator populations certainly cannot know everything about terrorism, but they can always know enough to be persuaded that compared to terrorism, anything else must seem to be more or less acceptable, and in any case more rational and democratic.

[Nov 07, 2019] DNC Lawyers Argue Primary Rigging Is Protected by the First Amendment

Notable quotes:
"... They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | archive.is

The defense counsel also took issue with Jared Beck for what they termed as: " Repeatedly promoted patently false and deeply offensive conspiracy theories about the deaths of a former DNC staffer and Plaintiffs' process server in an attempt to bolster attention for this lawsuit." This author was shocked to find that despite the characterization of the Becks as peddlers of conspiracy theory, the defense counsel failed to mention the motion for protection filed by the Becks earlier in the litigation process.

They also failed to note the voice-modulated phone calls received by the law offices of the Becks which contained a caller-ID corresponding to the law offices of Debbie Wasserman Schultz, a defendant in the case. In light of this context, the Becks hardly appear to be peddlers of conspiracy theory.

The DNC defense lawyers then argued:

" There is no legitimate basis for this litigation, which is, at its most basic, an improper attempt to forge the federal courts into a political weapon to be used by individuals who are unhappy with how a political party selected its candidate in a presidential campaign ."

The brief continued:

" To recognize any of the causes of action that Plaintiffs allege based on their animating theory would run directly contrary to long-standing Supreme Court precedent recognizing the central and critical First Amendment rights enjoyed by political parties, especially when it comes to selecting the party's nominee for public office."

It appears that the defendants in the DNC Fraud Lawsuit are attempting to argue that cheating a candidate in the primary process is protected under the first amendment. If all that weren't enough, DNC representatives argued that the Democratic National Committee had no established fiduciary duty "to the Plaintiffs or the classes of donors and registered voters they seek to represent." It seems here that the DNC is arguing for its right to appoint candidates at its own discretion while simultaneously denying any "fiduciary duty" to represent the voters who donated to the Democratic Party under the belief that the DNC would act impartially towards the candidates involved.

Adding to the latest news regarding the DNC Fraud Lawsuit was the recent finding by the UK Supreme Court, which stated that Wikileaks Cables were admissible as evidence in legal proceedings.

If Wikileaks' publication of DNC emails are found to be similarly admissible in a United States court of law, then the contents of the leaked emails could be used to argue that, contrary to the defendant's latest brief, the DNC did in favor the campaign of Hillary Clinton over Senator Sanders and that they acted to sabotage Sanders' campaign.

The outcome of the appeal of the DNC Fraud Lawsuit remains to be seen.

Elizabeth Vos is the Co-Founder and Editor in Chief at Disobedient Media .

[Nov 07, 2019] 3 Steps to Reviving the Russian Relationship

Notable quotes:
"... This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia. ..."
"... Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail. ..."
"... Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished. ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | nationalinterest.org

J Urie Z'ing Sui 13 hours ago ,

You are 100% correct that trust is the number one point in coming to any agreement and currently there is very little trust on either side for varying reasons. One important fact that is overlooked by most people is the leadership of President George H. W. Bush and PM Margaret Thatcher during the transition from the Soviet Union/Warsaw pact to independent sovereign nations. The Bush was a WW II pilot and Thatcher earned the name Iron Lady for her decisive action in the Falklands War, both understood the world as it was in 1990. This statement highlights the view that prevailed from Bush at the time: "Not once, but three times, Baker tried out the "not one inch eastward" formula with Gorbachev in the February 9, 1990, meeting. He agreed with Gorbachev's statement in response to the assurances that "NATO expansion is unacceptable." Baker assured Gorbachev that "neither the President nor I intend to extract any unilateral advantages from the processes that are taking place," and that the Americans understood that "not only for the Soviet Union but for other European countries as well it is important to have guarantees that if the United States keeps its presence in Germany within the framework of NATO, not an inch of NATO's present military jurisdiction will spread in an eastern direction." (See Document 6)"

These were complicated issues that involved a multitude of parties being negotiated by just a few i.e. US, UK, France and West Germany a holdover from the WW II model. The Poles, Czechs and others were not consulted and IMHO had they been the situation would have become untenable. It must be remembered that Poland and Czechoslovakia suffered heavily due to "large important nations" giving them away pre and post WW II. There was no written agreement nor official treaty between the west and the Soviet Union soon to be Russian Federation and I believe that was intentional for the reason I give above. George H. W. Bush was not reelected in 1992 and Bill Clinton became POTUS and he pursued a foreign policy that was entirely different. Some of his ideas used Thatchers earlier idea of a more political NATO with less emphasis on the original military mission which brought in the Partnerships for Peace program. That program was IMHO quite good as it stabilized countries that were wobbly in the 1990's after the breakup occurred. The Clinton White House had Madeline Albright an immigrant from Czechoslovakia as secretary of State and Zbigniew Brzezinski a former secretary of State and an academic that influenced his policies which were pro eastern European anti Russian. It was during this time that NATO expanded. The US is a country of immigrants and there is a large Polish population as well as other eastern Europeans and political considerations are always come into play.

This period is when Clinton IMHO sent NATO in a wrong direction from being strictly defensive/political to getting involved in Yugoslavia which certainly irritated Russia.

G.W. Bush basically continued the trend with regard to NATO but was preoccupied with 9/11 more than anything else. Bush thought that he understood Putin and even invited him to his ranch in Crawford, Texas which Putin accepted and they did seem to get along.

However 2008 and the Georgia War began the slide in relations between the two countries. Then good old Obama and another Clinton deciding to overthrow Gaddafi and his whole Arab Spring foreign policy to include getting involved in Syria. These were disastrous decisions that the current POTUS inherited and is trying to change except the "deep state" is fighting him tooth and nail.

Getting out of Ukraine would be a huge trust maker for Russia and it would be followed by sanctions being lifted allowing for a level playing field to begin working on the issues that need fixing. NATO isn't going away however the forward deployed forces in the Baltic's and Poland could over time in an agreed to reciprocal move say removing Iskander missiles from Kaliningrad could be accomplished.

Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Carthago delenda est. The policy of Cato the Censor should be applied in an unrelenting manner, leading to 'salting the earth' of Moscow.

dorotea Gaugamela39 a day ago ,

Many have tried, usually ended up in those infamous endless Russian fields, in long boxes. See Pushkin, for the exact quote. But historical trivialities aside, there should be a way to satisfy Imperial hubris without 'salting the grounds'. Hannibal's elephants did not carry nukes in their trunks. Trying for the sixth time in the last 4 centuries to get Moscow grounds salted might end badly for the entire planet.

The Chosen One dorotea a day ago ,

So it seems to me that only the advent of a nuclear weapon and the threat of an imminent deadly retaliation prevents a new "drang nach osten".

Z'ing Sui J Urie 39 minutes ago • edited ,

Trust was not breached by Russia, military buildup, hostile threatening military, NATO expansion and refusal to negotiate on these issues did not originate from Russia. Russia has tried to negotiate, concede and de-escalate before. The West did not respond to those moves. Even US sanctions placed on Soviet Union were not removed from Russia, despite there being no reason for them to remain in place. This and other recent events (libya, iran deal etc) tells Russia and other global players that de-escalating with the West doesn't work.

Even now, West seems to be interested to trade with Russia at least in some areas. And Europe is increasingly frustrated with the United States. There is reportedly a number of EU initiatives aimed at gradually limiting US economic levers created during the Cold War. Rising economies will gradually offer more opportunities outside of the Western world. Multipolar wolrd was a slogan in the 00s, in the 2040es it might be a reality.

We know NATO will not maintain ABM and CFE, and it is apparently not interested in INF and Open Skies, and even START is in question now. NATO will withdraw troops if only Russia does something? Please, you don't really believe that. With INF gone, Iskander is outdated, it was a treaty-limited weapon. Moving it a few hundred klicks will not make NATO concede anything now.

A huge trust maker would be for all NATO members to publically admit on their web page that pledges to Russia were broken and at least some NATO officials feel responsibility for that. They've spent 27 years denying any verbal assurances, now that those assurances are declassified, they build other narratives about how those pledges did not matter. For there to be trust, there needs to be an admission that trust was there, and was broken, and not by Russia. No troop movements necessary even.

J Urie mal a day ago • edited ,

Biden isn't going to win the next election Trump will be reelected in 2020. The current strain in relations with Russia has been inherited by Trump and even before he was elected the DNC and Hillary Clinton cooked up the "Russia colusion" story which after $46 million and 2 1/2 years no Russia collision. Of course now we have the Dems trying to impeach Trump which will not go anywhere in the Senate more waste of time and money. However there is the Justice Department I.G. report soon to be released and many of the people who brought you the Russia colusion hoax will be named. The Justice Department has an ongoing criminal investigation into the key players and will undoubtedly result in indictments and prosecutions.
The real reason all of this is going on is because the establishment both Dem's & Repub's along with the deep state look at Trump as an outsider who is tipping over their apple cart i.e. he is changing the foreign policy direction and they don't like it one bit so they create fake issues to try and stop him.
After his reelection I predict that more normal relations with Russia will resume.

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Nowadays the actual attacks are manifested as 'hybrid warfare'. Of course Russia took the US intervention and financing of Chechen rebels as an attack back in the 2000 ties. She took fermenting and financing of the Georgian rose revolution as a hybrid attack, same as promises made to pres. Saakashvili to support him militarily and politically after his attack on Tskhinvali were taken as a hybrid attack. Same goes for both of the first color revolution in Ukraine, and then the Revolution of dignity of 2014 that pushed ultra-right government to power in Ukraine. In fact the NATO promise to both Georgia and Ukraine to take them in as members in 2008 right after Putin's warning in 2007 was the first move in the 'hybrid war'. The West had been warned, yet it decided to bulldoze its way across Eurasia and triggered the confrontation. The placings of Aegises ashore in Poland and Romania was the cherry on top. There can be be no meaningful compromise until the West backs off on the NATO enlargement. That 2008 conference was what had reanimated the image of the collective West as adversary for Russia.

What both sides should strive for though is at the very least to diminish the degree of danger to the planet. Russia would not back off because she finds it easy enough to corner individual EU states into minimal economic cooperation - Germany is already in recession and there is no way they are going to continue damaging their economy for the sake of US politics. And then there is China. When the Russians cannot buy goods from Germans they go for made in China, which in turn gets China secure oil and gas from Russia. Which make the repeat of pre-WW II situation with blockade on Japan pretty much impossible. Get realistic, the West is loosing this one and should count her chickens already.

Roma Ilto dorotea 14 hours ago ,

Well, then the sanctions will continue, as will the policy of keeping Russian in check in the EU gas market.
What's interesting is that NATO never attacked Russia or threatened to attack Russia. Seems to me that Putin is simply using the expansion as a pretext for military aggression against the neighboring states. It's what the USSR did in 1939 against Finland. According the Soviet side, the war started after Finland attacked the Soviet Union...

dorotea Roma Ilto 14 hours ago ,

Russia *needs* the sanctions for at least another 5 years. Her milk and beef production is still lagging compared to the deceased USSR and the only way her greedy oligarchs will heavily invest in cow herd rearing is to continue to block the Eastern European milk products to enter Russia. Chicken, eggs, pork and veggies are already up to speed, wheat production is exploding, the salmon breeding programme have started so the Norway is not getting her market back, bu the cow herds take longer to rear.
The Power of Siberia pipeline is being certified and filled right now - China would receive her first delivery of piped Russian gas in 2020, so it is good that EU is prepping or the squeeze - they are not going to continue getting unlimited cheap Russian gas, because Power of Siberia II is in the works.

Every individual NATO member had attacked Russia in the past 4 centuries ( including small but meaningful US contingent in the 1918), and some non-member allies had stomped those fields as well. So the Russians are not taking any chances with the buffer zone. All of Russia expansions to the West have always started with West invading first - then being rolled back league by league. But seriously - ? Russians can live with Europe staying where she is - if in turn Europe can learn to respect her civilization borders. The move on Ukraine and Georgia was not a wise one.

[Nov 07, 2019] Note on the the degradation of the elite.

Notable quotes:
"... There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details. ..."
"... They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes. ..."
"... He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria. ..."
"... Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence ..."
Nov 07, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:37 am 64

" In a sense, the current NeoMcCartyism (Russophobia, Sinophobia) epidemic in the USA can partially be viewed as a yet another sign of the crisis of neoliberalism: a desperate attempt to patch the cracks in the neoliberal façade using scapegoating -- creation of an external enemy to project the problems of the neoliberal society.

I would add another, pretty subjective measure of failure: the degradation of the elite. When you look at Hillary, Trump, Biden, Warren, Harris, etc, you instantly understand what I am talking about. They all look like the second-rate, if not the third rate politicians. Also, the Epstein case was pretty symbolic."

I had decided to stay on the sidelines for the most part after making a few earlier comments, but I liked this summary, except I would give Warren more credit. She is flawed like most politicians, but she has made some of the right enemies within the Democratic Party.

On Trump and " the Deep State", there is no unified Deep State. There is a collection of Democratic and Republican politicians and think tanks funded by various corporations and governments and bureaucrats in the government agencies mostly all devoted to the Empire, but also willing to stab each other in the back to obtain power. They don't necessarily agree on policy details.

They don't oppose Trump because Trump is antiwar. Trump isn't antiwar. Or rather, he is antiwar for three minutes here and there and then he advocates for war crimes.

He is a fairly major war criminal based on his policies in Yemen. But they don't oppose him for that either or they would have been upset by Obama. They oppose Trump because he is incompetent, unpredictable and easily manipulated. And worst of all, he doesn't play the game right, where we pretend we intervene out of noble humanitarian motives. This idiot actually say he wants to keep Syrian oil fields and Syria's oil fields aren't significant to anyone outside Syria.

But yes, scapegoating is a big thing with liberals now. It's pathetic. Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence .

For the most part, if we have a horrible political culture nearly all the blame for that is homegrown.

Donald 11.07.19 at 4:40 am (no link)

Sigh. Various typos above. Here is one --

Our policies are influenced in rather negative ways by various foreign countries, but would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.
--

I meant to say I would be embarrassed to go to the extremes one regularly sees from liberals talking about Russian influence.

[Nov 06, 2019] The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

Richard , Nov 5 2019 8:04 utc | 34

@13 Joost Your comment is spot on. The demonisation of Russia is all about the long term aim if destabilising, cracking it open and stealing it's resources. Russia is, in fact, the woreld's largets and most resource rich nation so its an irresistible target to the insane, greed-driven psychopath's who rule us.

First and foremost amongst those (and the most insane) is Hillary Clinton who it seems maybe preparing for another run at the presidency...a Hillary presidency risks a full out nuclear war.

You see, Hilary and the people who back her (and whom she faithfully serves) genuinely are psychopaths. They lack empathy, care, and humanity. They see only their own need and greed, only their own dysfunctional lust for power and wealth; they don't give a damn what it takes to satisfy their perverse desires and who dies in the process. Psychopaths (blinded by their own perversity) are also bad judges of risk and, in the minds of Hillary and her cabal of psychopaths, they actually do believe that the US could fight a 'limited' nuclear war against Russia, win it and steal all those lovely Russian resources.

The tragic misjudgement here, and why disgusting Hillary and her ilk are so dangerous, is that there is no such thing as a 'limited' nuclear war. A nuclear war would be global. And fatal.

https://richardhennerley.com/2019/10/21/hilary-clinton-is-back-be-afraid-very-afraid/

[Nov 06, 2019] British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status

Nov 06, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalists to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative . Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2


karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3

At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
/div> Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5

Symen Danziger , Nov 5 2019 11:34 utc | 41
Bellingcat only serves one interest, a propaganda/info laundering shop for NATO, the military industrial complex and some very rich people. The blatant lies about MH17, chemical weapons in Syria, OPCW, Russia, the list goes on and on.

By the time the people in the Netherlands find out how they have been manipulated with the MH17 narrative and the role of Bellingcat in this operation, hopefully they will torch the office of Bellingcat in The Hague and club the survivors to death like the Uktainian Nazi friends of Bellingcat did in Odessa.

The Ukrainian army shot down MH17. It was no accident. The Dutch were also involved with the 2014 coup in the Ukraine. Putting the blame on Russia is a political decision, its not based on facts. Dutch politicians are very dirty people. Burn in hell.

[Nov 06, 2019] Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us Despise One Another eBook Matt Taibbi Kindle Store

Nov 06, 2019 | www.amazon.com

I thought I understood this and many other things about the journalism business at a young age. I even knew everything that "off the record" entails -- really knew, as if it were a religious tenet -- before I hit junior high. I thought I was an expert.

Then I read Manufacturing Consent .

The book came out in 1988 and I read it a year later, when I was nineteen. It blew my mind.

Along with the documentary Hearts and Minds (about the atrocities of the Vietnam War) and books like Soul on Ice, In the Belly of the Beast, and The Autobiography of Malcolm X, Manufacturing Consent taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life.

I knew nothing about either of the authors, academics named Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky. It seemed odd that a book purporting to say so much about journalism could be written by non-journalists. Who were these people? And how could they claim to know anything about this business?

This was the middle of the George H. W. Bush presidency, still the rah-rah Top Gun eighties. Political earnestness was extremely uncool. America was awesome and hating on America was sad. Noam Chomsky was painted to me as the very definition of uncool, a leaden, hectoring bore.

But this wasn't what I found on the page. Manufacturing Consent is a dazzling book. True, like a lot of co-written books, and especially academic books, it's written in slow, grinding prose. But for its time, it was intellectually flamboyant, wild even.

The ideas in it radiated defiance. Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model, they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw.

The book's central idea was that censorship in the United States was not overt, but covert. The stage-managing of public opinion was "normally not accomplished by crude intervention" but by the keeping of "dissent and inconvenient information" outside permitted mental parameters: "within bounds and at the margins."

The key to this deception is that Americans, every day, see vigorous debate going on in the press. This deceives them into thinking propaganda is absent. Manufacturing Consent explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it.

This careful sham is accomplished through the constant, arduous policing of a whole range of internal pressure points within the media business. It's a subtle, highly idiosyncratic process that you can stare at for a lifetime and nonetheless not see.

American news companies at the time didn't (and still don't) forbid the writing of unpatriotic stories. There are no editors who come blundering in, red pen in hand, wiping out politically dangerous reports, in the clumsy manner of Soviet Commissars.

Instead, in a process that is almost 100 percent unconscious, news companies simply avoid promoting dissenting voices. People who are questioners by nature, prodders, pains in the ass -- all good qualities in reporting, incidentally -- get weeded out by bosses, especially in the bigger companies. Advancement is meanwhile strongly encouraged among the credulous, the intellectually unadventurous, and the obedient.

As I would later discover in my own career, there are a lot of C-minus brains in the journalism business. A kind of groupthink is developed that permeates the upper levels of media organizations, and they send unconscious signals down the ranks.

Young reporters learn early on what is and is not permitted behavior. They learn to recognize, almost more by smell than reason, what is and is not a "good story."

Chomsky and Herman described this policing mechanism using the term "flak." Flak was defined as "negative responses to a media statement or program."

They gave examples in which corporate-funded think tanks like The Media Institute or the anti-communist Freedom House would deluge media organizations that ran the wrong kinds of stories with "letters, telegrams, phone calls, petitions, lawsuits" and other kinds of pressure.

What was the wrong kind of story? Here we learned of another part of the propaganda model, the concept of worthy and unworthy victims . Herman and Chomsky defined the premise as follows:

A propaganda system will consistently portray people abused in enemy states as worthy victims, whereas those treated with equal or greater severity by its own government or clients will be unworthy.

Under this theory, a Polish priest murdered by communists in the Reagan years was a "worthy" victim, while rightist death squads in U.S.-backed El Salvador killing whole messes of priests and nuns around the same time was a less "worthy" story.

What Herman and Chomsky described was a system of informal social control, in which the propaganda aims of the state were constantly reinforced among audiences, using a quantity-over-quality approach.

Here and there you might see a dissenting voice, but the overwhelming institutional power of the media (and the infrastructure of think-tanks and politicians behind the private firms) carried audiences along safely down the middle of a surprisingly narrow political and intellectual canal.

One of their examples was Vietnam, where the American media was complicit in a broad self-abnegating effort to blame itself for "losing the war."

An absurd legend that survives today is that CBS anchor Walter Cronkite, after a two-week trip to Vietnam in 1968, was key in undermining the war effort.

Cronkite's famous "Vietnam editorial" derided "the optimists who have been wrong in the past," and villainously imparted that the military's rosy predictions of imminent victory were false. The more noble course, he implied, was to face reality, realize "we did the best we could" to defend democracy, and go home.

The Cronkite editorial sparked a "debate" that continues to the present.

On the right, it is said that we should have kept fighting in Vietnam, in spite of those meddling commies in the media.

The progressive take is that Cronkite was right, and we should have realized the war wasn't "winnable" years earlier. Doing so would have saved countless American lives, this thinking goes.

These two positions still define the edges of what you might call the "fairway" of American thought.

The uglier truth, that we committed genocide on a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of that period.

Instead of painful national reconciliation surrounding episodes like Vietnam, Cambodia, Laos, the CIA-backed anti-communist massacres in places like Indonesia, or even the more recent horrors in Middle Eastern arenas like Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, and Yemen, we mostly ignore narrative-ruining news about civilian deaths or other outrages.

A media that currently applauds itself for calling out the lies of Donald Trump (and they are lies) still uses shameful government-concocted euphemisms like "collateral damage." Our new "Democracy Dies in Darkness" churlishness has yet to reach the Pentagon, and probably never will.

In the War on Terror period, the press accepted blame for having lost the most recent big war and agreed to stop showing pictures of the coffins coming home (to say nothing of actual scenes of war deaths).

We also volunteered to reduce or play down stories about torture ("enhanced interrogation"), kidnapping ("rendition"), or assassination ("lethal action," or the "distribution matrix").

Even now, if these stories are covered, they're rarely presented in an alarmist tone. In fact, many "civilian casualties" stories are couched in language that focuses on how the untimely release of news of "collateral damage" may hinder the effort to win whatever war we're in at the time.

"After reports of civilian deaths, U.S. military struggles to defend air operations in war against militants," is a typical American newspaper headline.

Can you guess either the year or the war from that story? It could be 1968, or 2008. Or 2018.

As Manufacturing Consent predicted -- with a nod to Orwell, maybe -- the scripts in societies like ours rarely change. 1

When it came time for me to enter the journalism business myself, I discovered that the Chomsky/Herman diagnosis was mostly right. Moreover, the academics proved prescient about future media deceptions like the Iraq War. Their model predicted that hideous episode in Technicolor.

But neither Herman nor Chomsky could have known, when they published their book in 1988, that the media business was going through profound change.

As it turned out, Manufacturing Consent was published just ahead of three massive revolutions. When I met and interviewed Chomsky for this book (see Appendix 2 ), we discussed these developments. They included:

1. The explosion of conservative talk radio and Fox-style news products. Using point of view rather than "objectivity" as commercial strategies, these stations presaged an atomization of the news landscape under which each consumer had an outlet somewhere to match his or her political beliefs. This was a major departure from the three-network pseudo-monopoly that dominated the Manufacturing Consent period, under which the country debated a commonly held set of facts.

2. The introduction of twenty-four-hour cable news stations, which shifted the emphasis of the news business. Reporters were suddenly trained to value breaking news, immediacy, and visual potential over import. Network "crashes" -- relentless day-night coverage extravaganzas of a single hot story like the Kursk disaster or a baby thrown down a well, a type of journalism one TV producer I knew nicknamed "Shoveling Coal For Satan" -- became the first examples of binge-watching. The relentless now now now grind of the twenty-four-hour cycle created in consumers a new kind of anxiety and addictive dependency, a need to know what was happening not just once or twice a day but every minute. This format would have significant consequences in the 2016 election in particular.

3. The development of the Internet, which was only just getting off the ground in 1988. It was thought it would significantly democratize the press landscape. But print and broadcast media soon began to be distributed by just a handful of digital platforms. By the late 2000s and early 2010s, that distribution system had been massively concentrated. This created the potential for a direct control mechanism over the press that never existed in the Manufacturing Consent era. Moreover the development of social media would amplify the "flak" factor a thousandfold, accelerating conformity and groupthink in ways that would have been unimaginable in 1988.

Maybe the biggest difference involved an obvious historical change: the collapse of the Soviet Union.

One of the pillars of the "propaganda model" in the original Manufacturing Consent was that the media used anti-communism as an organizing religion.

The ongoing Cold War narrative helped the press use anti-communism as a club to batter heretical thinkers, who as luck would have it were often socialists. They even used it as a club to police people who weren't socialists (I would see this years later, when Howard Dean was asked a dozen times a day if he was "too left" to be a viable candidate).

But the fall of the Berlin Wall and the dissolution of the Soviet empire took a little wind out of the anti-communist religion. Chomsky and Herman addressed this in their 2002 update of Manufacturing Consent, in which they wrote:

The force of anti-communist ideology has possibly weakened with the collapse of the Soviet Union and the virtual disappearance of socialist movements across the globe, but this is easily offset by the greater ideological force of the belief in the "miracle of the market "

The collapse of the Soviets, and the weakening of anti-communism as an organizing principle, led to other changes in the media. Manufacturing Consent was in significant part a book about how that unseen system of informal controls allowed the press to organize the entire population behind support of particular objectives, many of them foreign policy objectives.

But the collapse of the Wall, coupled with those new commercial strategies being deployed by networks like Fox, created a new dynamic in the press.

Media companies used to seek out the broadest possible audiences. The dull third-person voice used in traditional major daily newspapers is not there for any moral or ethical reason, but because it was once believed that it most ably fulfilled the commercial aim of snatching as many readers/viewers as possible. The press is a business above all, and boring third-person language was once advanced marketing.

But in the years after Manufacturing Consent was published the new behemoths like Fox turned the old business model on its head. What Australian tabloid-merchant Rupert Murdoch did in employing political slant as a commercial strategy had ramifications the American public to this day poorly understands.

The news business for decades emphasized "objective" presentation, which was really less an issue of politics than of tone.

The idea was to make the recitation of news rhetorically watered down and unthreatening enough to rope in the whole spectrum of potential news consumers. The old-school anchorperson was a monotone mannequin designed to look and sound like a safe date for your daughter: Good evening, I'm Dan Rather, and my frontal lobes have been removed . Today in Libya

Murdoch smashed this framework. He gave news consumers broadcasts that were pointed, opinionated, and nasty. He struck gold with The O'Reilly Factor, hosted by a yammering, red-faced repository of white suburban rage named Bill O'Reilly (another Boston TV vet).

The next hit was Hannity & Colmes, a format that played as a parody of old news. In this show, the "liberal" Colmes was the quivering, asexual, "safe date" prototype from the old broadcast era, and Sean Hannity was a thuggish Joey Buttafuoco in makeup whose job was to make Colmes look like the spineless dope he was.

This was theater, not news, and it was not designed to seize the whole audience in the way that other debate shows like CNN's Crossfire were.

The premise of Crossfire was an honest fight, two prominent pundits duking it out over issues, and may the best man (they were usually men) win.

The prototypical Crossfire setup involved a bombastic winger like Pat Buchanan versus an effete liberal like New Republic editor Michael Kinsley. On some days the conservative would be allowed to win, on some days the liberal would score a victory. It looked like a real argument.

But Crossfire was really just a formalized version of the artificial poles of allowable debate that Chomsky and Herman described. As some of its participants (like Jeff Cohen, a pioneering media critic who briefly played the "liberal" on the show, about whom we'll hear more later) came to realize, Crossfire became a propagandistic setup, a stage trick in which the "left" side of the argument was gradually pushed toward the right over the years. It was propaganda, but in slow motion.

Hannity & Colmes dispensed with the pretense. This was the intellectual version of Vince McMahon's pro wrestling spectacles, which were booming at the time. In the Fox debate shows, Sean Hannity was the heel, and Colmes was the good guy, or babyface. As any good wrestling fan knows, most American audiences want to see babyface stomped.

The job of Colmes was to get pinned over and over again, and he did it well. Meanwhile rightist anger merchants like Hannity and O'Reilly (and, on the radio, Rush Limbaugh) were rapidly hoovering up audiences that were frustrated, white, and often elderly. Fox chief Roger Ailes once boasted, "I created a network for people 55 to dead." (Ailes is now dead himself.)

This was a new model for the media. Instead of targeting the broad mean, they were now narrowly hunting demographics. The explosion of cable television meant there were hundreds of channels, each of which had its own mission.

Just as Manufacturing Consent came out, all the major cable channels were setting off on similar whale hunts, sailing into the high demographic seas in search of audiences to capture. Lifetime was "television for women," while the Discovery Channel did well with men. BET went after black viewers. Young people were MTV's target audience.

This all seems obvious now, but this "siloing" effect that spread across other channels soon became a very important new factor in news coverage. Fox for a long time cornered the market on conservative viewers. Almost automatically, competitors like CNN and MSNBC became home to people who viewed themselves as liberals, beginning a sifting process that would later accelerate.

A new dynamic entered the job of reporting. For generations, news directors had only to remember a few ideological imperatives. One, ably and voluminously described by Chomsky and Herman, was, "America rules: pay no attention to those napalmed bodies." We covered the worthy victims, ignored the unworthy ones, and that was most of the job, politically.

The rest of the news? As one TV producer put it to me in the nineties, "The entire effect we're after is, 'Isn't that weird?'"

Did you hear about that guy in Michigan who refused to mow his lawn even when the town ordered him to? Weird! And how about that drive-thru condom store that opened in Cranston, Rhode Island? What a trip! And, hey, what happened in the O.J. trial today? That Kato Kaelin is really a doof! And I love that lawyer who wears a suede jacket! He looks like a cowboy!

TV execs learned Americans would be happy if you just fed them a nonstop succession of National Enquirer –style factoids (this is formalized today in meme culture). The New York Times deciding to cover the O.J. freak show full-time broke the seal on the open commercialization of dumb news that among other things led to a future where Donald Trump could be a viable presidential candidate.

In the old days, the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the front lines of Pax Americana. The whole fam could sit and watch it without getting upset (by necessity: an important principle in pre-Internet broadcasting is that nothing on the air, including the news, could be as intense or as creative as the commercials). The news once designed to be consumed by the whole house, by loving Mom, by your crazy right-wing uncle, by your earnest college-student cousin who just came home wearing a Che T-shirt.

But once we started to be organized into demographic silos, the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict.

The Roger Ailes types captured the attention of the crazy right-wing uncle and got him watching one channel full of news tailored for him, filling the airwaves with stories, for instance, about immigration or minorities committing crimes. Different networks eventually rose to market themselves to the kid in the Che T-shirt. If you got them in different rooms watching different channels, you could get both viewers literally addicted to hating one another.

There was a political element to this, but also not. It was commerce, initially. And reporters stuck in this world soon began to realize that the nature of their jobs had changed.

Whereas once the task was to report the facts as honestly as we could -- down the middle of the "fairway" of acceptable thought, of course -- the new task was mostly about making sure your viewer came back the next day.

We sold anger, and we did it mainly by feeding audiences what they wanted to hear. Mostly, this involved cranking out stories about people our viewers loved to hate.

Selling siloed anger was a more sophisticated take on the WWE programming pioneered in Hannity & Colmes . The modern news consumer tuned into news that confirmed his or her prejudices about whatever or whoever the villain of the day happened to be: foreigners, minorities, terrorists, the Clintons, Republicans, even corporations.

The system was ingeniously designed so that the news dropped down the respective silos didn't interfere with the occasional need to "manufacture" the consent of the whole population. If we needed to, we could still herd the whole country into the pen again and get them backing the flag, as was the case with the Iraq War effort.

But mostly, we sold conflict. We began in the early nineties to systematically pry families apart, set group against group, and more and more make news consumption a bubble-like, "safe space" stimulation of the vitriolic reflex, a consumer version of "Two Minutes Hate."

How did this serve the needs of the elite interests that were once promoting unity? That wasn't easy for me to see, in my first decades in the business. For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model. It looked like we were mostly selling pointless division.

But it now seems there was a reason, even for that.

The news media is in crisis. Polls show that a wide majority of the population no longer has confidence in the press. Chomsky himself despairs at this, noting in my discussion with him (at the end of this book) that Manufacturing Consent had the unintended consequence of convincing readers not to trust the media.

There are many ways of mistrusting something, but people who came away from Manufacturing Consent with the idea that the media peddles lies misread the book. Papers like the New York Times, for the most part, do not traffic in outright deceptions.

The overwhelming majority of commercial news reporting is factual (with one conspicuous exception I'll get into later on), and the individual reporters who work in the business tend to be quite stubborn in their adherence to fact as a matter of principle. (Sadly, in the time it's taken to write this book, even this has begun to change some). Still, people should trust most reporters, especially local reporters, who tend to have real beats (like statehouses or courts), have few of the insular prejudices of the national media, and don't deserve the elitist tag. The context in which reporters operate is most often the problem.

Now, more than ever, most journalists work for giant nihilistic corporations whose editorial decisions are skewed by a toxic mix of political and financial considerations. Without understanding how those pressures work, it's very difficult for a casual news consumer to gain an accurate picture of the world.

This book is intended as an insider's guide to those distortions.

The technology underpinning the modern news business is sophisticated and works according to a two-step process. First, it creates content that reinforces your pre-existing opinions, and, after analysis of your consumer habits, sends it to you.

Then it matches you to advertisers who have a product they're trying to sell to your demographic. This is how companies like Facebook and Google make their money: telling advertisers where their likely customers are on the web.

The news, basically, is bait to lure you into a pen where you can be sold sneakers or bath soaps or prostatitis cures or whatever else studies say people of your age, gender, race, class, and political persuasion tend to buy.

Imagine your Internet surfing habit as being like walking down a street. A man shouts: "Did you hear what those damned liberals did today? Come down this alley."

You hate liberals, so you go down the alley. On your way to the story, there's a storefront selling mart carts and gold investments (there's a crash coming -- this billionaire even says so!).

Maybe you buy the gold, maybe you don't. But at the end of the alley, there's a red-faced screamer telling a story that may even be true, about a college in Massachusetts where administrators took down a statue of John Adams because it made a Hispanic immigrant "uncomfortable." Boy, does that make you pissed!

They picked that story just for you to hear. It is like the parable of Kafka's gatekeeper, guarding a door to the truth that was built just for you.

Across the street, down the MSNBC alley, there's an opposite story, and set of storefronts, built specifically for someone else to hear.

People need to start understanding the news not as "the news," but as just such an individualized consumer experience -- anger just for you.

This is not reporting. It's a marketing process designed to create rhetorical addictions and shut any non-consumerist doors in your mind. This creates more than just pockets of political rancor. It creates masses of media consumers who've been trained to see in only one direction, as if they had been pulled through history on a railroad track, with heads fastened in blinders, looking only one way.

As it turns out, there is a utility in keeping us divided. As people, the more separate we are, the more politically impotent we become.

This is the second stage of the mass media deception originally described in Manufacturing Consent .

First, we're taught to stay within certain bounds, intellectually. Then, we're all herded into separate demographic pens, located along different patches of real estate on the spectrum of permissible thought.

Once safely captured, we're trained to consume the news the way sports fans do. We root for our team, and hate all the rest.

Hatred is the partner of ignorance, and we in the media have become experts in selling both.

I looked back at thirty years of deceptive episodes -- from Iraq to the financial crisis of 2008 to the 2016 election of Donald Trump -- and found that we in the press have increasingly used intramural hatreds to obscure larger, more damning truths. Fake controversies of increasing absurdity have been deployed over and over to keep our audiences from seeing larger problems.

We manufactured fake dissent, to prevent real dissent.

[Nov 06, 2019] Manufacturing Fear and Loathing, Maximizing Corporate Profits! A Review of Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc. Why Today's Media Makes Us

Notable quotes:
"... "Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). ..."
"... Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic. ..."
"... The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15). ..."
"... our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21). ..."
"... And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid. ..."
"... For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260). ..."
Nov 06, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

Matt Taibbi's Hate Inc . is the most insightful and revelatory book about American politics to appear since the publication of Thomas Frank's Listen, Liberal almost four full years ago, near the beginning of the last presidential election cycle.

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class. In fact, I would strongly recommend that the reader spend some time with Frank's What's the Matter with Kansas? (2004) and Listen, Liberal! (2016) as he or she takes up Taibbi's book.

And to really do the book the justice it deserves, I would even more vehemently recommend that the reader immerse him- or herself in Taibbi's favorite book and vade-mecum , Manufacturing Consent (which I found to be a grueling experience: a relentless cataloging of the official lies that hide the brutality of American foreign policy) and, in order to properly appreciate the brilliance of Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the Media Stole from Pro Wrestling," visit some locale in Flyover Country and see some pro wrestling in person (which I found to be unexpectedly uplifting -- more on this soon enough).

Taibbi tells us that he had originally intended for Hate, Inc . to be an updating of Edward Herman and Noam Chomsky's Manufacturing Consent (1988), which he first read thirty years ago, when he was nineteen. "It blew my mind," Taibbi writes. "[It] taught me that some level of deception was baked into almost everything I'd ever been taught about modern American life .

Once the authors in the first chapter laid out their famed propaganda model [italics mine], they cut through the deceptions of the American state like a buzz saw" (p. 10). For what seemed to be vigorous democratic debate, Taibbi realized, was instead a soul-crushing simulation of debate. The choices voters were given were distinctions without valid differences, and just as hyped, just as trivial, as the choices between a Whopper and a Big Mac, between Froot Loops and Frosted Mini-Wheats, between Diet Coke and Diet Pepsi, between Marlboro Lites and Camel Filters. It was all profit-making poisonous junk.

"Manufacturing Consent," Taibbi writes, "explains that the debate you're watching is choreographed. The range of argument has been artificially narrowed long before you get to hear it" (p. 11). And there's an indisputable logic at work here, because the reality of hideous American war crimes is and always has been, from the point of view of the big media corporations, a "narrative-ruining" buzz-kill. "The uglier truth [brought to light in Manufacturing Consent ], that we committed genocide of a fairly massive scale across Indochina -- ultimately killing at least a million innocent civilians by air in three countries -- is pre-excluded from the history of the period" (p. 13).

So what has changed in the last thirty years? A lot! As a starting point let's consider the very useful metaphor found in the title of another great media book of 1988: Mark Crispin Miller's Boxed In: The Culture of TV . To say that Americans were held captive by the boob tube affords us not only a useful historical image but also suggests the possibility of their having been able to view the television as an antagonist, and therefore of their having been able, at least some of them, to rebel against its dictates. Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets, the workings of which are so precisely intertwined with even the most intimate minute-to-minute aspects of our lives that our relationship to them could hardly ever become antagonistic.

Taibbi summarizes the history of these three decades in terms of three "massive revolutions" in the media plus one actual massive political revolution, all of which, we should note, he discussed with his hero Chomsky (who is now ninety! -- Edward Herman passed away in 2017) even as he wrote his book. And so: the media revolutions which Taibbi describes were, first, the coming of FoxNews along with Rush Limbaugh-style talk radio; second, the coming of CNN, i.e., the Cable News Network, along with twenty-four hour infinite-loop news cycles; third, the coming of the Internet along with the mighty social media giants Facebook and Twitter.

The massive political revolution was, going all the way back to 1989, the collapse of the Berlin Wall, and then of the Soviet Union itself -- and thus of the usefulness of anti-communism as a kind of coercive secular religion (pp. 14-15).

For all that, however, the most salient difference between the news media of 1989 and the news media of 2019 is the disappearance of the single type of calm and decorous and slightly boring cis-het white anchorman (who somehow successfully appealed to a nationwide audience) and his replacement by a seemingly wide variety of demographically-engineered news personæ who all rage and scream combatively in each other's direction. "In the old days," Taibbi writes, "the news was a mix of this toothless trivia and cheery dispatches from the frontlines of Pax Americana . The news [was] once designed to be consumed by the whole house . But once we started to be organized into demographic silos [italics mine], the networks found another way to seduce these audiences: they sold intramural conflict" (p. 18).

And in this new media environment of constant conflict, how, Taibbi wondered, could public consent , which would seem to be at the opposite end of the spectrum from conflict, still be manufactured ?? "That wasn't easy for me to see in my first decades in the business," Taibbi writes. "For a long time, I thought it was a flaw in the Chomsky/Herman model" (p. 19).

But what Taibbi was at length able to understand, and what he is now able to describe for us with both wit and controlled outrage, is that our corporate media have devised -- at least for the time being -- highly-profitable marketing processes that manufacture fake dissent in order to smother real dissent (p. 21).

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

Or pretty much so. Taibbi is more historically precise. Because of the tweaking of the Herman/Chomsky propaganda model necessitated by the disappearance of the USSR in 1991 ("The Russians escaped while we weren't watching them, / As Russians do ," Jackson Browne presciently prophesied on MTV way back in 1983), one might now want to speak of a Propaganda Model 2.0. For, as Taibbi notes, " the biggest change to Chomsky's model is the discovery of a far superior 'common enemy' in modern media: each other. So long as we remain a bitterly-divided two-party state, we'll never want for TV villains" (pp. 207-208).

To rub his great insight right into our uncomprehending faces, Taibbi has almost sadistically chosen to have dark, shadowy images of a yelling Sean Hannity (in lurid FoxNews Red!) and a screaming Rachel Maddow (in glaring MSNBC Blue!) juxtaposed on the cover of his book. For Maddow, he notes, is "a depressingly exact mirror of Hannity . The two characters do exactly the same work. They make their money using exactly the same commercial formula. And though they emphasize different political ideas, the effect they have on audiences is much the same" (pp. 259-260).

And that effect is hate. Impotent hate. For while Rachel's fan demographic is all wrapped up in hating Far-Right Fascists Like Sean, and while Sean's is all wrapped up in despising Libtard Lunatics Like Rachel, the bipartisan consensus in Washington for ever-increasing military budgets, for everlasting wars, for ever-expanding surveillance, for ever-growing bailouts of and tax breaks for and and handouts to the most powerful corporations goes forever unchallenged.

Oh my. And it only gets worse and worse, because the media, in order to make sure that their various siloed demographics stay superglued to their Internet devices, must keep ratcheting up levels of hate: the Fascists Like Sean and the Libtards Like Rachel must be continually presented as more and more deranged, and ultimately as demonic. "There is us and them," Taibbi writes, "and they are Hitler" (p. 64). A vile reductio ad absurdum has come into play: "If all Trump supporters are Hitler, and all liberals are also Hitler," Taibbi writes, " [t]he America vs. America show is now Hitler vs. Hitler! Think of the ratings! " The reader begins to grasp Taibbi's argument that our mainstream corporate media are as bad as -- are worse than -- pro wrestling. It's an ineluctable downward spiral.

Taibbi continues: "The problem is, there's no natural floor to this behavior. Just as cable TV will eventually become seven hundred separate twenty-four-hour porn channels, news and commentary will eventually escalate to boxing-style, expletive-laden, pre-fight tirades, and the open incitement to violence [italics mine]. If the other side is literally Hitler, [w]hat began as America vs. America will eventually move to Traitor vs. Traitor , and the show does not work if those contestants are not eventually offended to the point of wanting to kill one another" (pp. 65-69).

As I read this book, I often wondered about how difficult it was emotionally for Taibbi to write it. I'm just really glad to see that the guy didn't commit suicide along the way. He does describe the "self-loathing" he experienced as he realized his own complicity in the marketing processes which he exposes (p. 2). He also apologizes to the reader for his not being able to follow through on his original aim of writing a continuation of Herman and Chomsky's classic: "[W]hen I sat down to write what I'd hoped would be something with the intellectual gravitas of Manufacturing Consent ," Taibbi confesses, "I found decades of more mundane frustrations pouring out onto the page, obliterating a clinical examination" (p. 2).

I, however, am profoundly grateful to Taibbi for all of his brilliantly observed anecdotes. The subject matter is nauseating enough even in Taibbi's sparkling and darkly tragicomic prose. A more academic treatment of the subject would likely be too depressing to read. So let me conclude with an anecdote of my own -- and an oddly uplifting one at that -- about reading Taibbi's chapter 7, "How the News Media Stole from Pro Wrestling."

On the same day I read this chapter I saw that, on the bulletin board in my gym, a poster had appeared, as if by magic, promoting an upcoming Primal Conflict (!) professional wrestling event. I studied the photos of the wrestlers on the poster carefully, and, as an astute reader of Taibbi, I prided myself on being able to identify which of them seemed be playing the roles of heels , and which of them the roles of babyfaces .

For Taibbi explains that one of the fundamental dynamics of wrestling involves the invention of crowd-pleasing narratives out of the many permutations and combinations of pitting heels against faces . Donald Trump, a natural heel , brings the goofy dynamics of pro wrestling to American politics with real-life professional expertise. (Taibbi points out that in 2007 Trump actually performed before a huge cheering crowd in a Wrestlemania event billed as the "battle of the billionaires." Watch it on YouTube! https://youtu.be/5NsrwH9I9vE -- unbelievable!!)

The mainstream corporate media, on the other hand, their eyes fixed on ever bigger and bigger profits, have drifted into the metaphorical pro wrestling ring in ignorance, and so, when they face off against Trump, they often end up in the role of inept prudish pearl-clutching faces .

Taibbi condemns the mainstream media's failure to understand such a massively popular form of American entertainment as "malpractice" (p. 125), so I felt more than obligated to buy a ticket and see the advertised event in person. To properly educate myself, that is.

... ... ...


Steve Ruis , November 5, 2019 at 8:13 am

I have stopped watching broadcast "news" other than occasional sessions of NPR in the car. I get most of my news from sources such as this and from overseas sources (The Guardian, Reuters, etc.). I used to subscribe to newspapers but have given them up in disgust, even though I was looking forward to leisurely enjoying a morning paper after I retired.

I was brought up in the positive 1950's and, boy, did this turn out poorly.

Dao Gen , November 5, 2019 at 8:59 am

Matt Taibbi is an American treasure, and I love his writing very much, but we also need to ask, Why hasn't another Chomsky (or another Hudson), an analyst with a truly deep and wide-ranging, synthetic mind, appeared on the left to take apart our contemporary media and show us its inner workings? Have all the truly great minds gone to work for Wall Street? I don't have an answer, but to me the pro wrestling metaphor, while intriguing, misses something about the Fourth Estate in America, if it indeed still exists. And that is, except for radio, there is a distinct imbalance between the two sides of the MSM lineup. On the corporate liberal side of the national MSM team you have five wrestlers, but on the conservative/reactionary side you have only the Fox entry. Because of this imbalance, the corruption, laziness, self-indulgence, and generally declining interest in journalistic standards seems greater among the corporate liberal media team, including the NYT and WaPo, than the Fox team.

I'm not a fan of either Maddow (in her current incarnation) or Hannity, but Hannity, perhaps because he thinks he's like David, often hustles to refute the discourse of the corporate liberal Goliath team. Hannity obviously does more research on some topics than Maddow, and, perhaps because he began in radio, he puts more emphasis on semi-rationally structured rants than Maddow, who depends more on primal emotion, body language, and Hollywood-esque fear-inducing atmospherics.

I'd wager that in a single five-minute segment there will often be twice as many rational distinctions made in a Hannity rant than in a Maddow performance. In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong from the very beginning as propaganda industry trend-setter Adam Schiff. So for at least these last three years, the Maddow-Hannity primal match has been a somewhat misleading metaphor. The Blob and the security state have been decisively supporting (and directing?) the corporate liberal global interventionist media, at least regarding Russia and the permanent war establishment, and because the imbalance between the interventionist and the non-interventionist MSM, Russia and Ukraine are being used as a wedge to steadily break down the firewalls between the Dem party, the intel community, and the interventionist MSM. If we had real public debates with both sides at approximately equal strength as we did during the Vietnam War, then even pro wrestling-type matches would be superior to what we have now, which is truthy truth and thoughtsy thought coming to us from the military industrial complex and monopolistic holding companies. If fascism is defined as the fusion of the state and corporations, then the greatest threat of fascism in America may well be coming from the apparent gradual fusion of the corporate liberal MSM, the Dem party elite, and the intel community. Instead of an MSM wrestling match, we may soon be faced with a Japanese-style 'hitori-zumo' match in which a sumo wrestler wrestles with only himself. Once these sumo wrestlers were believed to be wrestling with invisible spirits, but those days are gone . http://kikuko-nagoya.com/html/hitori-zumo.htm

coboarts , November 5, 2019 at 9:59 am

"If we had real public debates" and if they were even debates where issues entered into contest were addressed point by point with evidence

Generalfeldmarschall von Hindenburg , November 5, 2019 at 10:03 am

Today's Noam Chomksy? Chomsky was part of the machine who broke ranks with it. His MIT research was generously funded by the Military Industrial Complex. Thankfully, enough of his latent humanity and Trotskyite upbringing shone through so he exposed what he was part of. So I guess today that's Chris Hedges, though he's a preacher at heart and not a semiotician.

neighbor7 , November 5, 2019 at 10:04 am

Thank you, Dao Gen. An excellent analysis, and your final image is usefully haunting.

a different chris , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

> In addition, for the last three years Hannity has simply been demonstrably right about the fake Russiagate propaganda blitz while Maddow has been as demonstrably wrong

Eh. Read whats-his-name's (Frankfurter?) book On Bullshit . You are giving Hannity credit for something he doesn't really care about.

jrs , November 5, 2019 at 12:21 pm

I don't believe the media environment as a whole leans corporate Dem/neoliberal.

T.V. maybe, but radio is much more right wing than left (yes there is NPR and Pacifica, the latter with probably only a scattering of listerners but ) and it's still out there and a big influence, radio hasn't gone away. So doesn't the right wing tilt of radio kind of balance out television? (not necessarily in a good way but). And then there is the internet and I have no idea what the overall lean of that is (I mean I prefer left wing sites, but that's purely my own bubble and actually there are much fewer left analysis out there than I'd like)

Self Affine , November 5, 2019 at 9:05 am

Also,

Managed Democracy and the Specter of Inverted Totalitarianism

by Sheldon S. Wolin

Critical deep analysis of not just the media but the whole American political enterprise and
the nature of our "democracy".

DJG , November 5, 2019 at 9:20 am

The whole review is good, but this extract should be quoted extensively:

While Frank's topic was the abysmal failure of the Democratic Party to be democratic and Taibbi's is the abysmal failure of our mainstream news corporations to report news, the prominent villains in both books are drawn from the same, or at least overlapping, elite social circles: from, that is, our virulently anti-populist liberal class, from our intellectually mediocre creative class, from our bubble-dwelling thinking class.

In short, stagnation and self-dealing at the top. What could possibly go wrong?

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 11:51 am

Are you serious? Maddow called Trump a traitor and accused him of betrayal in Russiagate, and was caught out when that fell apart. This was pointed out all over the MSM .

https://www.politico.com/magazine/story/2019/03/27/rachel-maddows-deep-delusion-226266

https://www.salon.com/2018/07/17/rachel-maddow-hits-the-panic-button-after-trump-putin-summit-this-is-the-worst-case-scenario/

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 9:52 am

This is great stuff. Thanks.

One quibble: the author says

Three decades later, on the other hand, the television has been replaced by iPhones and portable tablets

and then goes on to spend most of the article talking about television. I'd say television is still the main propaganda instrument even if many webheads like yours truly ignore it (I've never seen Hannity's show or Maddow's–just hear the rumors). Arguably even newspapers like the NYT have been dumbed down because the reporters long to be on TV and join the shouting. And it's surely no coincidence that our president himself is a TV (and WWE) star. Mass media have always been feeders of hysteria but television gave them faces and voices. Watching TV is also a far more passive experience than surfing the web. They are selling us "narratives," bedtime stories, and we like sleepy children merely listen.

Jerri-Lynn Scofield , November 5, 2019 at 9:54 am

This rave review has inspired me to add this to my to-read non-fiction queue. Currently reading William Dalrymple's The Anarchy, on the rise of the East India Company. Next up: Matt Stoller's Goliath. And then I'll get to Taibbi. Probably worth digging up my original copy of Manufacturing Consent as well, which I read many moons ago; time for a re-read.

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:32 pm

almost every page of mine is dog-eared and marked along the edge with exclamation points

urblintz , November 5, 2019 at 1:41 pm

May I suggest Stephen Cohen's "War with Russia?" if it's not already on your list? In focusing on the danger emerging from the new cold war, seeded by the Democrats, propagated by corporate media (which he thinks is more dangerous than the first), Cohen clarifies the importance of diplomacy especially with one's nuclear rivals.

Imagine that

shinola , November 5, 2019 at 9:56 am

Support your local book store!

Off The Street , November 5, 2019 at 9:57 am

Us rubes knew decades ago about pro wrestling. There was a regional circuit and the hero in one town would become the villain in another town. The ones to be surprised were like John Stossel, who got a perforated eardrum from a slap upside the head for his efforts at in-your-face journalism with a wrestler who just wouldn't play along with his grandstanding. Somewhere, kids cheered and life went on.

The Historian , November 5, 2019 at 10:01 am

Ah, Ancient Athens, here we come – running back to repeat your mistakes! Our MSM media has decided that when we are not at our neighbor's throats, we should be at each other's throats!

teacup , November 5, 2019 at 10:11 am

I was watching old clips of the 'Fred Friendly Seminars' on YouTube. IMHO any channel that produced a format such as this would be a ratings bonanza. Imagine a round table with various media figures (corporate) left, (corporate) right, and independent being refereed by a host-moderator discussing topics in 'Hate, Inc.'. In wrestling it's called a Battle Royale. The Fourth Estate in a cage match!

@ape , November 5, 2019 at 10:12 am

And the smothering of real dissent is close enough to public consentto get the goddam job done: The Herman/Chomsky model is, after all these years, still valid.

This is important, if people don't want to be naive about what democracy buys. Democracy in the end is a ritual system to determine which members of an elite would win a war without actually having to hold the war. Like how court functions to replace personal revenge by determining (often) who would win in a fight if there were one, and the feudal system replaced the genocidal wars of the axial age with the gentler warfare of the middle ages which were often ritual wars of the elite that avoided the full risk of the earlier wars.

That, I think, is important -- under a democracy, the winner should be normally the winner of the avoided violent conflict to be sustainable. Thus, it's enough to get most people to consent to the solution, using the traditional meaning of consent being "won't put up a fight to avoid it". If the choices on the table are reduced enough, you can get by with most people simply dropping out of the questions.

Qui tacet consentire videtur, ubi loqui debuit ac potuit

It shouldn't be a surprise that we've moved to "faking dissent" -- it's the natural evolution of a system where a lot of the effective power is in the hands of tech, and not just as in the early 20th century, how many workers you have and how many soldiers you can raise.

If you don't like it, change the technology we use to fight one another. We went from tribes to lords when we switch from sticks to advanced forged weapons, and we went from feudalism to democracy when we had factories dropping guns that any 15 year old could use (oversimplifying a bit). Now that the stuff requires expertise, you'd expect a corresponding shift in how we ritualize our conflict avoidance, and thus the organization of how we control communication and how we organize our rituals of power.

Aka, it's the scientists and the engineers who end up determining how everything is organized, and people never seem to bother with that argument, which is especially surprising that even hard-core Marxists waste their time on short-term politics rather than the tech we're building.

I'd be curious whether Taibbi thought about the issue of the nature of the technology and whether there are technological options on the horizon which drive the conflict in other directions. If we had only kept the laws on copyright and patent weaker, so that the implementation of communicative infrastructure would have stayed decentralized

Susan the Other , November 5, 2019 at 12:41 pm

Tabby's "manufacturing fake consent" was really the whole punchline – the joke's on us. Hunter S. Thompson, another of Taibbi's heroes, is, along with Chomsky, speaking to us through MT. Our media is distracting us from social coherence. Another thing it is doing (just my opinion) is it is overwhelming us to the point of disgust. Nobody likes it. And we protect ourselves by tuning it out. Turning it off. Once the screaming lunatics marginalize themselves by making the whole narrative hysterical, we just act like it's another family fight and we're gonna go do something else. When everyone is screaming, no one is screaming.

Jerry B , November 5, 2019 at 10:26 am

I have tried to read Hate Inc. and Taibbi's Griftopia but one of my main issues with Taibbi's writing is his lack of notes, references, or bibliography, etc. in his books. In skimming Hate Inc. it seems like a book I would enjoy reading, however my personal value system is that any book without footnotes, endnotes, citations, or at minimum a bibliography is just an opinion or a story. At least Thomas Frank's Listen Liberal has a section for End Notes/References at the end of the book. Again just my personal values.

Sbbbd , November 5, 2019 at 10:45 am

Another classic in the genre of manufactured consent through media from the age of radio and Adolf Hitler:

"The Culture Industry: Enlightenment as Mass Deception", in the book Dialectic of Enlightenment (1947), Theodor Adorno and Max Horkheimer.

Joe Well , November 5, 2019 at 11:04 am

I am from Greater Boston, far, far from flyover country (which I imagine begins in Yonkers NY), but I sure grew up with pro wrestling as part of the schoolyard discourse. I certainly knew it was as much of a family affair as Disney on Ice and have trouble believing he thought otherwise though I will not impugn his honesty. I am very grateful to the author for taking the time to write this, but is it possible for a male who grew up in the US to be as deeply embedded in the MSNBC demo as he claims to be?

Seriously, how is it possible for a male raised in the US to not at least have some working familiarity with pro wrestling? My family along with my community was very close to the national median income–do higher income boys really not learn about WWF and WWE?

Seriously, rich kids, what was childhood like? I know you had music lessons and sports camps, what else? Was it really that different?

Carolinian , November 5, 2019 at 11:59 am

And it's not just the US. See the British WWE movie: Fighting With My Family.

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

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:03 pm

Sorry, my blue collar, lifetime union member brother says your view is horseshit. All the knows about WWE and WWF is that they are big-budget fakery and that's why they are of no interest.

amfortas the hippie , November 5, 2019 at 1:38 pm

aye. in my blue to white collar( and back to blue to no collar) upbringing, wrestling was never a thing. it was for the morons who couldn't read. seen as patently absurd by just about everyone i knew. and this in klanridden east texas exurbia
wife's mexican extended familia oth luche libre is a big thing that all and sundry talked about at thanksgiving. less so these days possibly due to the hyperindiviualisation of media intake mentioned
(and,btw, in my little world , horseshit is a good thing)

BlueStater , November 5, 2019 at 11:11 am

Even allowing for my lefty-liberal bias, I do not see how it is possible to equate Fox Noise and MSNBC, or Hannity and Maddow, as "both-sides" extremists. Fox violates basic professional canons of fairness and equity on a daily basis. MSNBC occasionally does, but is quick to correct errors of fact. Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar. It is one of the evil successes of the right-wing news cauldron to have successfully equated these two figures and organizations.

Yves Smith Post author , November 5, 2019 at 12:05 pm

Huh? MSNBC regularly makes errors of omission and commission with respect to Sanders. They are still pushing the Russiagate narrative. That's a massive, two-year, virtually all the time error they have refused to recant.

The blind spots of people on the soi-disant left are truly astonishing.

semiconscious , November 5, 2019 at 1:08 pm

'Hannity is a thuggish outer-borough New York schmuck without much education or knowledge of the world. Maddow is an Oxford Ph.D. and Rhodes Scholar '

oh, well, then – end of conversation! i mean, god knows, it'd be a cold day in hell before a rhodes scholar, or even someone married to one, would ever lead us astray down the rosy neoliberal path to hell, while, at the same time, under the spell of trump derangement syndrome, actually attempt to revive the mccarthy era, eh?

Summer , November 5, 2019 at 12:11 pm

Actual drugs are being used to hinder debate as well as emotional drugs like hate.
They can't trust agency to be removed by words and images alone – the stakes are too high.
Now all of you go take a feel good pill and stop complaining!

McWatt , November 5, 2019 at 1:02 pm

I would like to know if Matt is doing any book signings any where around the states for this new title?

David , November 5, 2019 at 1:15 pm

I've been impressed with Taibbi's work, what I've read of it, but ironically this very article contains a quote from him which exemplifies the problem: his casual assertion that the US committed "genocide" in Indochina. Even the most fervent critics of US policy didn't say this at the time, for the very good reason that there was no evidence that the US tried to destroy a racial, religious, ethnic or nationalist group (the full definition is a lot more complex and demanding than that). He clearly means that the US was responsible for lots of deaths, which is incontestable. But the process of endless escalation of rhetoric, which this book seems to be partly about, means that everything now has to be described in the most extreme, absurd or apocalyptic tones, and at the top of your voice, otherwise nobody takes any notice. So any self-respecting war now has to be qualified as "genocide" or nobody will take any notice.

[Nov 05, 2019] Anti-Russian hysteria and the extensive disinformation campaign probably stems from a 'Five Eyes' strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Notable quotes:
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Integrity Initiative. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... 'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.' ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft. ..."
"... Integrity Initiative, ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft, ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
"... Open Information Partnership ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Media Diversity Institute ..."
"... Institute of Statecraft ..."
"... Moon of Alabama ..."
"... Integrity Initiative ..."
Nov 05, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8

james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.


semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9

james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

They're the nuclear rival that don't import many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


/div> " The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 , Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

" The MoA Week In Review - Open Thread 2019-64 | Main November 04, 2019 British Government Disinformation Shop Lost Charity Status - Continues In New Format

At the end of last year some enterprising 'anonymous' person released papers of the British Integrity Initiative. As we reported at that time:

The British government financed Integrity Initiative is tasked with spreading anti-Russian propaganda and thereby with influencing the public, military and governments of a number of countries. What follows is an contextual analysis of the third batch of the Initiative's internal papers which were dumped by an anonymous yesterday.

Christopher Nigel Donnelly (CND) is the co-director of The Institute for Statecraft and founder of its offshoot Integrity Initiative . The Initiative claims to "Defend Democracy Against Disinformation".

The Integrity Initiative does this by planting disinformation about alleged Russian influence through journalists 'clusters' throughout Europe and the United States.

Both, the Institute as well as the Initiative, claim to be independent Non-Government Organizations. Both are financed by the British government, NATO and other state donors.

There have been seven releases of Institute of Statecraft documents. They included proposals for large anti-Russian disinformation campaigns . The Institute of Statecraft suggested to impose anti-Russian sanctions as early as January 2015. Its head, the former NATO advisor and military spy Chris Donnelly , also proposed to synchronously expel a large number of Russian diplomats from western countries.

That plans seems to have been the blueprint for the March 2018 mass expulsion of Russian diplomats during the Skripal affair. Several of the other measures Donnelly and his ilk planned have since been implemented.

The Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity under Scottish law. After the release of its papers the Scottish charity regulator OSCR investigated the status of the Institute . Unsurprisingly the OSCR found (pdf) that its shady behavior and its running of anti-Russian disinformation campaigns did not justify its status:

In the course of our inquiry we found that the charity was not meeting the charity test required for continuing registration as a charity in Scotland because:
  • its purposes were not entirely charitable
  • one of its most significant activities, a project known as Integrity Initiative, did not provide public benefit in furtherance of the charity's purposes
  • private benefit to charity trustees was not incidental to the charity's activities that advance its charitable purpose

The purpose of the charity was purportedly to educate the public. But the regulator found that the Integrity Initiative did not educate but only spread its own version of 'reality' i.e. disinformation. The charity lacked neutrality:

In addition, our Meeting the Charity Test guidance states that:

'Where a charity is providing education in respect of a controversial issue it must do so in a way that allows the people being educated to make up their own minds.'

OSCR's view is that the Integrity Initiative expressed a particular perspective intended to persuade the public to a specific point of view and, given the nature of the subject matter, it was not sufficiently neutral to advance education.

The crocks who were running the charity were filling their own pockets with the public money the 'charity' received:

To pass the charity test any private benefit must be incidental to the organisation's activities that advance its purposes, that is, it must be a necessary result or by-product of the organisation's activities and not an end in itself.

We were concerned at the level of private benefit that a number of the charity's trustees were gaining from the exercise of its functions.

There was no clear explanation as to why the salaries being paid to charity trustees were considered reasonable and necessary, and we had concerns about the charity trustees' decision-making process around these payments. We do not consider that this private benefit was incidental to the organisation's activities that advanced its purposes.

The regulator also noted a lack of record keeping and a lack of documentation of decision making by the Institute's trustees.

Unfortunately the charity regulator will not close down the Institute of Statecraft. It accepted that it rectified its behavior by taking a number of measures:

  • the charity has ceased to undertake any activity related to the Integrity initiative, and this is now undertaken by a non-charitable entity having no legal connection to the charity
  • the charity has ceased to remunerate any of its charity trustees
  • the charity is taking external guidance on governance
  • some charity trustees are to stand down as soon as replacement charity trustees can be identified

The Integrity Initiative, as paid for by the British Foreign Office, Ministry of Defense, NATO and other such entities, will live on as a non-charitable entity with even less transparency. Its website, as well as that of Institute of Statecraft, is down. That it will now have to live in total secrecy will make it more difficult for it to recruit foreign journalist to spread its propaganda.

Since the Integrity Initiative was exposed the British government opened and financed a new secretive shop that will continue to spread anti-Russian disinformation :

On 3rd April, Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO) minister Alan Duncan revealed his department's 'Counter Disinformation and Media Development Programme' - which bankrolls the Institute for Statecraft and its Integrity Initiative subsidiary - was funding a new endeavour, Open Information Partnership (OIP).

The announcement, buried in a response to a written parliamentary question, was supremely light on detail - Duncan merely said the effort would "respond to manipulated information in the news, social media and across the public space". Official fanfare was also unforthcoming - there was no accompanying press release, briefing document, or even mention of the launch by any government minister or department via social media channels.

The original proposal for the Open Information Partnership , as released by 'anonymous' , included the Institute of Statecraft , a Media Diversity Institute , Bellingcat , DFR Lab (i.e. the Atlantic Council) and some others in a so called ZINC Network . On the current OIP website the Institute of Statecraft 'charity' is no longer named.

---
Previous Moon of Alabama reports on the issue:

Tim Hayward provides a list (scroll down) of a large number of articles written here and elsewhere about the Integrity Initiative .

Posted by b on November 4, 2019 at 17:57 UTC | Permalink

div
NoOneYouKnow , Nov 4 2019 18:27 utc | 1
Thanks, B. It's a pity the people of the UK have no foreseeable recourse to stop shadow government operations like this that exist to disinform the people of the UK.
div> Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

Speaking of Bellingcat:
https://docs.google.com/document/d/1BfLPJpRtyq4RFtHJoNpvWQjmGnyVkfE2HYoICKOGguA/mobilebas

Posted by: NOBTS | Nov 4 2019 18:45 utc | 2

karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 18:49 utc | 3
At Kit Klarenberg's Twitter , there's a long tweet thread further detailing what b has written above. I can't help be wonder how the Monty Python troop would have portrayed the Institute for Statecraft and its parent the Integrity Initiative. It appears that the governments of the English speaking nations became addicted to lying to their citizens @1900 and are unable to kick the habit and instead have actually deepened their addiction. Elsewhere on the planet, it seems that people are learning it's easier to talk straight and transparently with other people and to pool resources and combine efforts to form a community of nations and humanity to better one and all. Seems simple enough to determine which is functional and which isn't.
james , Nov 4 2019 18:50 utc | 4
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale? i agree with @ 1 - noyk - it is unfortunate the uk people are used as guinea pigs on such a regular basis.. i suspect a similar exercise is in operation in canada and the west, although it seems the msm fulfills this role here...
NOBTS , Nov 4 2019 18:51 utc | 5
Oops! Googlehidden. Here's one that might work. An interesting compendium: https://www.comsuregroup.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/06/Bellingcats-Digital-Toolkit.pdf
erik , Nov 4 2019 18:54 utc | 6
It seems that often products or organizations, which contain superlatives or anodyne expressions in their names, are generally sketchy...
karlof1 , Nov 4 2019 19:19 utc | 7
The Federalist declares it's published a scoop :

"CIA, FBI Informant Was Washington Post Source For Russiagate Smears."

The article details a segment of Russiagate's overall unraveling and outs WaPost's David Ignatius as part of Operation Mockingbird. And I see no reason to dispute the item's conclusion:

"These close connections between the Washington Post's Ignatius and individuals connected to the American and British intelligence communities, and the false reporting that has taken place over the last three-plus years, raise grave concerns that the warfare of the soft coup aimed at President Trump includes using the media to push propaganda."

The longer the above conclusion's denied, the wider the polarization becomes between those guided by facts and those following media fantasies.

ben , Nov 4 2019 19:46 utc | 8
james @ 4 opined;"
thanks b... i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex"

I'm with ya' james, this demonetization of Russia, and any countries that refuse the empire's beck and call, is around to stay I'm afraid.

And yes, it's all of the above, but, mostly about the $.

semiconscious , Nov 4 2019 20:11 utc | 9
james @ 4;

'i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia... is this due some need to find someone to demonize, an outgrowth of christianity or god knows what? or is it purely to generate more money into the industrial military complex? what is the rationale?...'

they're the nuclear rival that don't manufacture many of the u.s.'s consumer products. otherwise, it'd either be china, or both...

plus, of course, there's all them cold war memes that can be triggered in a sizable portion of the population's heads...

David G , Nov 4 2019 20:13 utc | 10
The OSCR report includes the Institute for Statecraft's own description of its purposes, but nothing about its actual operations, other than the ones now being deemed unsatisfactory under the charities law.

So now that the Institute has committed not to run the Integrity Initiative, and not to enrich its trustees, what are its legitimate "charitable" activities that OSCR is kindly allowing it to continue with?

chet380 , Nov 4 2019 20:26 utc | 11
#4 James, #8 Ben --

I suspect the the antipathy to Russia and the extensive disinformation campaign stems from a 'Five Eyes' project and strategy ... with the malign Uncle as its director.

James , Nov 4 2019 20:31 utc | 12
As an Irish citizen, I think the British deep state - the original deep state -have been very successful at demonising the enemies of 'freedom' and 'civilisation', the Irish yes, also the Indians, Africans, Germans, french, Spanish, Muslims and now the Russians. Our enemies are not each other rather the deep state. Let's recognise who our real enemy is
Joost , Nov 4 2019 20:41 utc | 13
@james #4 "i don't understand why so much hate is directed at russia..."
Same motivation as all forgotten empires had. Even our cat want some of it, staring down on his employees from his basket high up on the fridge with that evil look on his face. We call it his World Domination Command Centre, WDCC for short. Global domination is what they crave. Kill the competition, loot its resources, more power, more money. America has been looted, devastated. Time for the locusts to move on to greener pastures. Russia is the promised land, the next wild west new world to colonize. Problem is, as always, the natives.
TEP , Nov 4 2019 21:11 utc | 14
I am hopeful that more and more of the population are realising that if an organisation is promoted by any western government as a source of information, then that organisation will provide disinformation by default. There are few, if any, journalists anywhere that are not part of the empirical disinformation program. Those that are not will be independent and, therefore, by alternate default, extremely wary of western government/government-funded/NGO sources. All the hegemon and it's vassals can do now is double-down and hope that the populations will go back to sleep.
james , Nov 4 2019 21:18 utc | 15
@8 ben / @ 9 semiconscious / @ 11 chet380.. yes, there is that too, but is that it? money as ben says rings true for me mostly... that is mostly how i see this...the agencies seem to be a front for western oligarchs.. the kleptomaniacs want access to all russian resources and have yet to be successful in getting it.. they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine.. the 2014 coop was meant to solidify more of that and poke russia in the eye too..

@ 13 joost... i would watch out for your cat! alas, we all seem to agree it is about wanting to loot russia... we share a similar viewpoint.. it is really sick how so many are ignorant pawns, or worse in all of this.. no wonder i make next to no money working in the music industry... i am in the wrong game and don't share a lack of ethics on such display with all these losers..

Trisha , Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
As with all things evil, the British oligarchy began in the 1830s targeting Russia as a threat to its autocratic interests, in this case "defending" the Ottoman Empire against Russia.

The Brits were further scared out of their wits when the 1917 Russian Revolution was on the verge of establishing an anti-capitalist system. So they, along with a ragtag bag of co-conspirators including the United States, launched a military invasion of Russia.

That's right, U.S. troops landed at two places in Russia and fought against Russian soldiers. The Brits/U.S/et. al. suffered a humiliating defeat, leaving so quickly that U.S. dead soldiers were left behind buried in Soviet soil, to be repatriated years later.

But it's Russia that is the threat to "us", right?

Jen , Nov 4 2019 21:34 utc | 17
Reading through the OCSR's document at the PDF link in B's post, I am surprised (should I be?) that during the entire decade-long period when the Institute of Statecraft was registered as a charity, the OCSR did not see fit at any time to remind the organisation of its responsibilities to keep proper records of its activities and decision-making, to provide a proper formal and transparent structure for its activities that could be shown to demonstrate a public benefit, and to have proper formal structures generally for its day-to-day running and governance activities. The Scottish public have every right to hold the OCSR to much higher standards of being a regulatory organisation making sure that charities are run properly as charities and not simply accept those charities' word that they will improve their operations when they have spent 10 long years taking money (some of it taxpayers' money) and misusing it.
Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 21:46 utc | 18
james @15:
they succeeded in ukraine for the most part in having the kleptos gain control over much of ukraine..

Ukraine is an economic disaster. Donbas and Crimea were the most valuable parts.

Ort , Nov 4 2019 22:23 utc | 19
@ Trisha | Nov 4 2019 21:22 utc | 16
___________________________________________

Thanks for your informative comment. I'd started to reply to James that Russia has been a default "boogie-man" and Western scapegoat since the 19th Century, but that sounded unhelpfully circular-- and I didn't have the ambition to refresh my understanding with actual historical facts. ;)

The fact that a sort of Western "coalition of the willing" invaded Russia after the 1917 revolution is still a well-kept secret! It was never mentioned in my (US) school courses, from parochial school through the "Honors Survey of Western Civilization" course I took in college.


Jackrabbit , Nov 4 2019 22:31 utc | 20
james @4

You ask too many questions... isn't it clear?

We hate THEM 'cause THEY hate US.

/snarc

Seriously, we've seen the movie and read the book. This is how "Red Scare" McCarthyism works.

!!

james , Nov 5 2019 0:10 utc | 21
@18 jr... disaster capitalism at its finest!!

@ 20..lol.. that is true... can't ver ask too many questions! and, it has been a repeat of mccarthyism.. it's bizarre to see so many otherwise intelligent people swallow this crap.. i think of emptywheel and how i used to think she was smart.. she is so busy looking at the trees, she's incapable of seeing the forest..

james , Nov 5 2019 0:21 utc | 22
@16 trisha... thanks... as i have mentioned here at moa numerous times, the book 'paris 1918' by Margaret Macmillan is an excellent book that gives an overview and discusses exactly what you are talking about.. i can't recommend the book enough..
https://www.bookbrowse.com/reviews/index.cfm/book_number/1135/Paris-1919
Ash Naz , Nov 5 2019 0:55 utc | 23
I ploughed through the Kit Klarenberg piece on Sputnik that b linked to and would have wept at the Orwellian inversions of truth in the OIP's 'mission statment' if I'd had any tears left after enduring the recent decades of lies and projection of the Empire's propaganda machine. The Mighty Wurlitzer at corporate-speak indeed. In fact all I could do was laugh like Group Captain Mandrake in Dr Strangelove when confronted with the madness of General Ripper.

Tragically, the opening paragraph of their statement sounded like something Caitlin Johnstone might pen, urging our side to be wary and vigilant of the propaganda of them .

"Democracy cannot thrive without honest, accurate and freely available information about the world around us We need to know where our information is coming from, we need to know the motives (good, bad or neither) of those providing the information, and be in the habit of thinking critically about everything we read and hear. Every one of us has the right to be properly informed – that knowledge gives us strength. Every one of us shares responsibility for informed engagement and critical thinking, to challenge the powerful and uncover the truth An engaged population, equipped with clarity and the truth, is the foundation for a world where we can all enjoy greater equality and greater peace."

"critical thinking"
"challenge the powerful"
"uncover the truth"

They are taking the tools that we need to deal with their perfidy, and pretending that they need to use them to "challenge the powerful and uncover the truth". I found this Orwellian inversion of the truth so chilling that I could only laugh.

In all seriousness, I can only presume that they actually believe their own lies.

vk , Nov 5 2019 3:10 utc | 26
The Wolfowitz Doctrine (1992) states that Russia should remain America's main enemy for the forseeable future because it inherited the USSR's nuclear arsenal. At least this is the official rationale.

But there may be another reason. Courtesy from Pepe Escobar's facebook page:

Francis Fukuyama interview: "Socialism ought to come back"

Trisha , Nov 5 2019 4:08 utc | 29
@22 James ... thanks for the "Paris 1919" book reference, luckily it's available at my local library. For a detailed history of (sadly) another in a long list of America's criminal acts of aggressive war, I highly recommend Russian Sideshow: America's Undeclared War, 1918-1920 by Robert L. Willett.
nietzsche1510 , Nov 5 2019 7:15 utc | 33
they are attacking Russia because they know that only military force can stop the collapse the fake Dollar & all the Jewish printed wealth which goes with it. "yes, the Dollar is our money, but, it is your problem" sort of imposed doctrine of the last half-century is coming to an end & no naval carriers could stop its fall.

[Nov 03, 2019] The Saker interviews Michael Hudson by Michael Hudson and The Saker

Nov 03, 2019 | www.unz.com

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Introduction: I recently spoke to a relative of mine who, due to her constant and voluntary exposure to the legacy AngloZionist media, sincerely believed that the three Baltic states and Poland had undergone some kind of wonderful and quasi-miraculous economic and cultural renaissance thanks to their resolute break with the putatively horrible Soviet past and their total submission to the Empire since. Listening to her, I figured that this kind of delusion was probably common amongst those who still pay attention and even believe the official propaganda. So I asked Michael Hudson, whom I consider to be the best US economists and who studied the Baltics in great detail, to reply to a few very basic questions, which he very kindly did in spite of being very pressed on time. Once again, I want to sincerely thank him for his kind time, support and expertise.

* * *

The Saker: The US propaganda often claims that the three Baltic states are a true success, just like Poland is also supposed to be. Does this notion have a factual basis? Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies? Looking specifically at the three Baltic states, and especially Latvia, these were the "showcase" Soviet republics, with a high standard of living (at least compared to the other Soviet republics) and a lot of high-tech industries (including defense contracts). Could you please outline for us what truly happened to these economies following independence? How did they "reform" their economies going from an ex-Soviet one to the modern "liberal" one?

Michael Hudson: This is a trick question, because it all depends on what you mean by "success."

The post-Soviet neoliberalism has been a great success for kleptocrats at the top. They gave themselves the public domain, from key industries to prime real estate. But the Balts largely let their Soviet industries collapse, making no effort to salvage or reorganize them.

Much of the problem, of course, was that all the linkages to Soviet-era industry were torn apart as the Soviet Union was disbanded. With their supplier and final markets closed down from Russia to Central Asia, the Baltic economies had to start afresh – with a very right-wing tax policy and no government help whatsoever, as the government itself had become privatized in the hands of former officials and grabitizers.

Lithuania was marginally better in having some industrial policy. EU and NATO accession in 2004, along with easy credit, kicked off property bubbles in the Baltics, largely inflated by Swedish banks that made a bonanza off these countries that lacked their own banks or public credit creation. The resulting 2008 crashes were the largest in the world as a percent of GDP, with Latvia suffering the world's biggest contraction.

The neoliberal western advisors who took control of these economies – as if this was the only alternative to Soviet bureaucracy – imposed crushing austerity programs to restore macroeconomic "stability" meaning security of their land and infrastructure grabs. This was applauded by Europe's bankers, who thought the Balts had discovered a workable recipe allowing austerity governments to retain power in a seeming democracy. These policies would have collapsed governments anywhere else, but the ability to emigrate, plus ethnic divisions against Russian speakers, allowed these governments to survive.

It's a historically specific situation, but Europe's bankers promote it as a generalized model. George Soros's INET and his associated front institutions have been leaders in subsidizing this financialization-cum-grabitization. The result has been a massive exodus of prime working age people from Lithuania and Latvia. (Estonians simply commute to Finland.) Meanwhile, their economies are buoyed by foreign bank lending, which sends profits back to home countries and can be reversed at any time.

Politically, the neoliberal revolution also has been a success for U.S. Cold Warriors, who sent over native Balts from Georgetown and other universities to impose "free market" doctrine – that is, a market "free" of domestic regulation against theft of the public domain, against monopolies, against land taxes and other income taxes. The Baltic states, like most of the rest of the former Soviet Union, became the Wild East.

What was left to the Baltic countries was land and real estate. Their forests are being cut down to sell wood abroad. I describe all this in my book Killing the Host .

The Saker: After independence, the Baltic states had tried to cut as many ties with Russia as possible. This included building (rather silly looking) fences, to forcing the Russians to develop their ports on the Baltic, to shutting down large (or selling to foreign interests which then shut them down) and profitable factories (including a large nuclear plant I believe), etc. What has been the impact of this policy of "economic de-Sovietization" on the local economies?

Michael Hudson: Dissolution of the Soviet Union meant that Baltic countries lost their traditional markets, and had to shift their focus to Western Europe and, to some extent, Asia.

Latvia and Estonia had been assigned computer and information technology, and they have found this to be much in demand. When I was in Japan, for instance, CEOs told me that they were looking to Latvia above all to outsource computer work.

Banking also was a surviving sector. Gregory Lautchansky, former vice-rector at the University of Riga had been a major player already in the 1980s for moving out Russian oil and KGB money. (His company, Nordex, was sold to Mark Rich.) Many banks continued to shepherd Russian flight capital via offshore banking centers into the United States, Britain and other countries. Cyprus of course was another big player in this.

The Saker: Russians are still considered "non-citizens" in the Baltic republics; what has been the economic impact of this policy, if any, of anti-Russian discrimination in the Baltic states?

ORDER IT NOW

Michael Hudson: Russian-speakers, who do not acquire citizenship (which requires passing local language and history tests), are blocked from political office and administrative work. While most Russian speakers below retirement age have now acquired that citizenship, the means by which citizenship must be acquired has caused divisions.

Early on in independence, many Russians were blocked from government, and they went into business, which was avoided by many native Balts during the Soviet era because it was not as remunerative as going into government and profiting from corruption. For instance, real estate was a burden to administer. Russian-speakers, especially Jewish ones, have wisely focused on real estate.

The largest political party is Harmony Center, whose members and leadership are mainly Russian-speaking. But the various neoliberal and nationalist parties have jointed to block its ability to influence law in Parliament.

Since Russian speakers are only able to "vote with their feet," many have joined in the vast outflow of emigration, either back to Russia or to other EU countries. Moreover, the poor quality of social benefits has led to few children being born.

The Saker: I often hear that a huge number of locals (including non-Russians) have emigrated from the Baltic states. What has caused this and what has been the impact of this emigration for the Baltic states?

Michael Hudson: The Baltic states, especially Latvia, have lost about 30 percent of their population since the 1990s, especially those of working age. In Latvia, about 10 percent of the loss were Russians who exited shortly after independence. The other 20 percent have subsequently emigrated.

The European Commission forecasts that Latvia's working-age population will decline by 1.6% annually for the next 20 years, while the birth rate remains as stagnant as it was in the late 1980s. The retired population (over age 65) will rise to half a million people by 2030, more than a quarter of today's population, and perhaps about a third of what remains. This is not a domestic market that will attract foreign or local investment.

And in any case, the European Union has viewed the post-Soviet economies simply as markets for their own industrial and agricultural exports, not as economies to be built up by public subsidy as the European countries themselves, the U.S. and Chinee economies have done. The European motto is, "Give a man a fish, and he will be fed all day with your surplus fish and consumer goods – but give him a fishing rod and we will lose a customer."

Readers who are interested might want to look at the following books and articles. I think the leading work has been done by Jeffrey Sommers and Charles Woolfson.

The Saker: Finally, what do you believe is the most likely future for these states? Will the succeed in becoming a "tiny anti-Russia" on Russia's doorstep? The Russians appear to have been very successful in their import-substitution program, at least when trying to replace the Baltic states: does that mean that the economic ties between Russia and these states is now gone forever? Is it now too late, or are there still measures these countries could take to reverse the current trends?

Michael Hudson: Trump's trade sanctions against Russia hurt the Baltic countries especially. One of their strong sectors was agriculture. Lithuania, for instance, was known for its cheese, even in Latvia. The sanctions led Russian dairy farming to develop their own cheese-making, and agriculture has become one of Russia's strongest performing sectors.

This is a market that looks like it will be permanently lost to the Baltic states. In effect, Trump is helping Russia follow precisely the policy that made American agriculture rich: agricultural isolation has forced domestic replacement for hitherto foreign food. I expect that this will lead to consumer goods and other products as well.

The Saker: thank you for your time and replies!


PeterMX , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:01 am GMT

I am in Tallinn, Estonia right now. Just how good an economy is performing is often hard to determine by talking to people, because like economists, many people have different perceptions. I was just talking to a Russian-Estonian who was telling me how much better Lithuanians and Latvians are then Estonians at doing things and how much cheaper things are there. It is true that things are much cheaper in the other Baltic countries because Estonia (a tiny country of just over 1 million people) has taken off. Since the 2008 econmic collapse housing prices have shot up and in Tallinn there is building going on all over the city. But, my acquaintance is wrong about other things. Estonians do things very well and Tallinn is a very nice city, with beautiful cafes, clean and well kept streets and crime is very low. It is a very good city, except it is now very expensive, especially considering how much people make here. The weather is not nice, except for in the summer and there are friendly Estonians but they don't have a reputation for being particularly friendly, even among themselves. I have not been back to Latvia yet, but when I was in Riga years ago, it was a gorgeous city, bigger than Tallinn too. I think they do things very well there too. The Russians I speak to here are often friendly and based on what I have been told, relations between Russians and Estonians are much better than when I was here in the early 2000's.

No offense is intended to Russians, but the Baltic countries had large German populations that played a key role in the development of the cultures and peoples of these countries. There were also many Jews here prior to WW II. By the time WW II had begun the German populations were much smaller than they had been and at the end of the war the Jewish populations were much smaller. Jews were targeted in Latvia and Lithuania and many Latvians, Lithuanians and Estonians were shipped off to far off places in the USSR during the war. I believe the Jews were largely pro communist and welcomed the Soviet takeover of these countries in 1940, while the Latvian and Estonian peoples were pro German, thus explaining the hard feelings between Balts and Jews.. They wanted independence and formed legions to fight alongside the German army during WW II.

These countries were very advanced before WW II, having engineering industries and the Russian Empire's first auto company was formed in Riga before WW I. While engineering may have been restarted after WW II, these countries populations were decimated and they never returned to their former heights. Perhaps they still can.

GMC , says: November 3, 2019 at 7:33 am GMT
I'm assuming that these 3 East European countries are being bombarded with the same propaganda as the Ukies are, so Russian speakers and those intelligent enough to see the game being played will be belittled and isolated. But the Russian folks living in Russia have a birds eye view of what is going on in the west and their puppet countries. Russia TV and debate programs, just have to show the delinquencies that are daily happenings in the States, and Europe, in order to make the Ru people say – No Thanks to that way of life. As far as the new Russian cheeses that are now in the markets -lol – they make a lightly smoked gouda that is really good and is about 120-140 roubles a kilo. And, they are making more cheddar that is a white medium taste as well. No scarcity of good natural food in Russia and No POlice state. Spacibo Unz Rev.
Anonymous [159] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 8:18 am GMT
The trade volume between Russia and the Baltic states has actually risen, despite the sanctions. The Baltics send food products and booze to Russia (and another 150 countries, food exports to Russia actually grew in 2016-2018). As well as chemical products and pharmaceuticals. Meldonium, btw, is made in Latvia and is still being sent to Russia (as well as 20 other countries), not for athletes, but for regular folks. Work is being carried out on a new generation Meldonium pill (the biggest market will be Russia).

Growth in the Baltic states has been 3-4% in the last few years. GDP per capita, as well as HDI, is higher than in Russia. Foreign investment, including from Russia, has been growing (Russia was the second largest investor in Latvia in 2018). Savings rates are growing, too. After a relative quiet period after 2010, the number of Russian (and other tourists) has grown again.

Estonia's population stopped shrinking in 2016 and is now growing in fact. They've seen immigration from Finland, Ukraine, Belarus and Russia, as well as returning Estonians.

Emigration is a problem, of course, but this is partly because the Baltic states are the only former USSR republics whose citizens were even given work permits in the West, imagine what would happen if these permits were given to Russians from the regions.

Neo-liberal policies are of course bad and certain types of investment should be controlled, but to say that there are no social services in the Baltic states is complete nonsense. Due to generous parental payments, birthrates have risen significantly since the 1990s – in fact, birthrates in the Baltics are now slightly higher than the EU average. Life expectancy is also growing. Latvia covers IVF treatments in full. There are free school lunches.

Yes, it is true that some of the Soviet era factories should've been salvaged but the problem was they were not competitive globally at that time (and there was no capital to remodel them). The Soviet market was a closed one. However, some businesses were salvaged. There is local manufacturing (electronics, pharmaceuticals, etc).

Not everything is ideal, but it is also not the kind of gloom and doom as you paint.

Jake , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:46 am GMT
If the Anglo-Zionist Empire comes to save you, you should expect to be raped: culturally and religiously as well as economically.
onebornfree , says: Website November 3, 2019 at 3:48 pm GMT
Saker says: "Initially it did appear that these states were experiencing growth, but was that not mostly/entirely due to EU/IMF/US subsidies?"

"Foreign Aid Makes Corrupt Countries More Corrupt":

"Any time a government hands out money, not just foreign aid, it breeds corruption And there are few better examples than Ukraine – just don't tell the House impeachment hearings. Counting on foreign aid to reduce corruption is like expecting whiskey to cure alcoholism .If U.S. aid was effective, Ukraine would have become a rule of law paradise long ago . The surest way to reduce foreign corruption is to end foreign aid."

http://jimbovard.com/blog/2019/10/29/foreign-aid-makes-corrupt-countries-more-corrupt/

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: November 3, 2019 at 5:16 pm GMT
@onebornfree The EU gives every year about 2,500 million euros to the 3 Baltic countries ( 6 million people the three of them ) , and 9000 million euros to Poland ( 38 million people ) , plus more billions to other eastern members .

Older members of the EU , specially the UK which is going out , Greece witch was tortured ( again ) economically by Germany , and south Europe in general are not very happy about admitting so many ex-soviets countries en the EU and subsidizing them .

AnonFromTN , says: November 3, 2019 at 9:31 pm GMT
@SeekerofthePresence

Recovery and self-sufficiency since Yeltsin show the brilliance of the Russian people

It's not so much brilliance as sheer necessity to survive under sanctions. But some results were better than anyone expected. Say, food before sanctions used to be so-so in the provinces and downright bad in Moscow because of abundance of imported crap. Now the food is exclusively domestic, fresh and tasty. Russia never had traditions of making fancy cheeses. Now, to bypass sanctions, quite a few Italian and French cheese-makers started production in Russia, so in the last 2-3 years domestically made excellent fancy cheeses appeared in supermarkets. Arguably, Russian agriculture benefited by sanctions more than any other sector, but there are success stories virtually in every industry. Sanctions and Ukrainian stupidity served as a timely wake up call for Russian elites, who earlier wanted to sell oil and natural gas and buy everything else. Replacing imports after the sanctions were imposed had a significant cost in the short run, but in the long run it made Russia much stronger, economically and militarily. Speak of unintended consequences.

Kazlu Ruda , says: November 3, 2019 at 11:58 pm GMT
My mom is from Lithuania and I've been there several times. We have second cousins our age.

Her father was a surveyor for the Republic in the 20s and 30s, charged with breaking up the manors and estates and the state distributing the land to the peasantry. It was near-feudalism. There was very little industrialization; that which existed were in a few urban centers. One interesting comment from her was that the "Jews were communists". From what I've read they were the urban working class, but perhaps part of the socialist/Jewish Bund?

There is no doubt that the Soviet period unleashed considerable industrialization and modernization. Lithuania had some of the best infrastructure in the USSR. Its traditional culture was really celebrated.

When I first visited, not long after the fall of the USSR, there were enormous, vacant industrial plants. The collective farms were in the process of being sold off the western European agribusiness firms. One relative through marriage was from the Ukraine, with a PhD in Physics and had been employed in the military industries -- she was cleaning houses thereafter.

Any usable industrial enterprises were quickly sold off. The utilities are all foreign owned. Part of EU mandates are "open" electricity "markets", which resulting in DC interconnections costing hundreds of millions with the west to import very high priced electricity. The EU has paid for "Via Baltica", a highway running from Poland to Estonia; it is choked with trucks carrying imports and there are huge distribution and fulfillment centers along the highway. Such progress, huh?

There had been good public transport in the earlier years of independence, but that has been replaced with personal automobiles -- usually western European used cars that pollute a lot. Trakai is a commuter town to Vilnius with a medieval castle (restored in Soviet times). First time I went it was very pleasant. Second time in 2018 the place was choked with cars and not very nice at all.

The impact of emigration cannot be over-stated. College educated young people leave by the hundreds of thousands. Those that remain are paid very low wages (e.g., 1000 euros for a veterinarian or dentist), but pay west European prices for many essentials. Housing is cheaper than the west.

Last time in Kazlu Ruda there were huge NATO exercises in progress and even bigger ones planned for 2020. German units were billeted at an airbase nearby, rumored to have been a CIA black site. How fitting, as the Germans with the Lithuanian Riflemens Union exterminated a quarter of a million Jews in a matter of months (see Jager Report on Wikipedia). There is a Red Army graveyard in the town that has the remains of perhaps 350 soldiers killed in the area driving out the Nazis. I was frankly surprised it was still there.

Lithuania hasn't been independent since the days of the Pagans and Vytautas. It surely isn't independent today.

Anecdotal -- yes. But based on personal observation.

[Nov 03, 2019] Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson - Sic Semper Tyrannis

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force. ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Growing Indicators of Brennan's CIA Trump Task Force by Larry C Johnson Larry Johnson-5x7

The average American has no idea how alarming is the news that former CIA Director John Brennan reportedly created and staffed a CIA Task Force in early 2016 that was named, Trump Task Force, and given the mission of spying on and carrying out covert actions against the campaign of candidate Donald Trump.

This was not a simple gathering of a small number of disgruntled Democrats working at the CIA who got together like a book club to grouse and complain about the brash real estate guy from New York. It was a specially designed covert action to try to destroy Donald Trump.

A "Task Force" is a special bureaucratic creation that provides a vehicle for bring case officers and analysts together, along with admin support, for a limited term project. But it also can be expanded to include personnel from other agencies, such as the FBI, DIA and NSA. Task Forces have been used since the inception of the CIA in 1947. Here's a recently declassified memo outlining the considerations in the creation of a task force in 1958. The author, L.K. White, talks about the need for a coordinating Headquarters element and an Operational unit "in the field", i.e. deployed around the world.

A Task Force operates independent of the CIA " Mission Centers " (that's the jargon for the current CIA organization chart).

So what did John Brennan do? I am told by an knowledgeable source that Brennan created a Trump Task Force in early 2016. It was an invitation only Task Force. Specific case officers (i.e., men and women who recruit and handle spies overseas), analysts and admin personnel were recruited. Not everyone invited accepted the offer. But many did.

This was not a CIA only operation. Personnel from the FBI also were assigned to the Task Force. We have some clues that Christopher Steele's FBi handler, Michael Gaeta, may have been detailed to the Trump Task Force ( see here ).

So what kind of things would this Task Force do? The case officers would work with foreign intelligence services such as MI-6, the Italians, the Ukrainians and the Australians on identifying intelligence collection priorities. Task Force members could task NSA to do targeted collection. They also would have the ability to engage in covert action, such as targeting George Papadopoulos. Joseph Mifsud may be able to shed light on the CIA officers who met with him, briefed on operational objectives regarding Papadopoulos and helped arrange monitored meetings. I think it is highly likely that the honey pot that met with George Papadopoulos, a woman named Azra Turk, was part of the CIA Trump Task Force.

The Task Force also could carry out other covert actions, such as information operations. A nice sounding euphemism for propaganda, and computer network operations. There has been some informed speculation that Guccifer 2.0 was a creation of this Task Force.

In light of what we have learned about the alleged CIA whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella, there should be a serious investigation to determine if he was a part of this Task Force or, at minimum, reporting to them.

When I described this to one friend, a retired CIA Chief of Station, his first response was, "My God, that's illegal." We then reminisced about another illegal operation carried out under the auspices of the CIA Central American Task Force back in the 1980s. That became known to Americans as the Iran Contra scandal.

I sure hope that John Durham and his team are looking at this angle. If true it marks a new and damning indictment of the corruption of the CIA. Rather than spying on genuine foreign threats, this Task Force played a critical role in creating and feeding the meme that Donald Trump was a tool of the Russians and a puppet of Putin.

[Nov 03, 2019] How Controlling Syria s Oil Serves Washington s Strategic Objectives by Nauman Sadiq

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus. ..."
Nov 02, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Nauman Sadiq,

Before the evacuation of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria to western Iraq, the Pentagon had 2,000 US forces in Syria. After the drawdown of US troops at Erdogan's insistence in order for Ankara to mount a ground offensive in northern Syria, the US has still deployed 1,000 troops, mainly in oil-rich eastern Deir al-Zor province and at al-Tanf military base.

Al-Tanf military base is strategically located in southeastern Syria on the border between Syria, Iraq and Jordan, and it straddles on a critically important Damascus-Baghdad highway, which serves as a lifeline for Damascus. Washington has illegally occupied 55-kilometer area around al-Tanf since 2016, and several hundred US Marines have trained several Syrian militant groups there.

It's worth noting that rather than fighting the Islamic State, the purpose of continued presence of the US forces at al-Tanf military base is to address Israel's concerns regarding the expansion of Iran's influence in Iraq, Syria and Lebanon.

Regarding the oil- and natural gas-rich Deir al-Zor governorate, it's worth pointing out that Syria used to produce modest quantities of oil for domestic needs before the war – roughly 400,000 barrels per day, which isn't much compared to tens of millions barrels daily oil production in the Gulf states.

Although Donald Trump crowed in a characteristic blunt manner in a tweet after the withdrawal of 1,000 American troops from northern Syria that Washington had deployed forces in eastern Syria where there was oil, the purpose of exercising control over Syria's oil is neither to smuggle oil out of Syria nor to deny the valuable source of revenue to the Islamic State.

There is no denying the fact that the remnants of the Islamic State militants are still found in Syria and Iraq but its emirate has been completely dismantled in the region and its leadership is on the run. So much so that the fugitive caliph of the terrorist organization was killed in the bastion of a rival jihadist outfit, al-Nusra Front in Idlib, hundreds of kilometers away from the Islamic State strongholds in eastern Syria.

Much like the "scorched earth" battle strategy of medieval warlords – as in the case of the Islamic State which early in the year burned crops of local farmers while retreating from its former strongholds in eastern Syria – Washington's basic purpose in deploying the US forces in oil and natural gas fields of Deir al-Zor governorate is to deny the valuable source of income to its other main rival in the region, Damascus.

After the devastation caused by eight years of proxy war, the Syrian government is in dire need of tens of billions dollars international assistance to rebuild the country. Not only is Washington hampering efforts to provide international aid to the hapless country, it is in fact squatting over Syria's own resources with the help of its only ally in the region, the Kurds.

Although Donald Trump claimed credit for expropriating Syria's oil wealth, it bears mentioning that "scorched earth" policy is not a business strategy, it is the institutional logic of the deep state. President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment.

Regarding Washington's interest in propping up the Gulf's autocrats and fighting their wars in regional conflicts, it bears mentioning that in April 2016, the Saudi foreign minister threatened that the Saudi kingdom would sell up to $750 billion in treasury securities and other assets if the US Congress passed a bill that would allow Americans to sue the Saudi government in the United States courts for its role in the September 11, 2001 terror attack – though the bill was eventually passed, Saudi authorities have not been held accountable; even though 15 out of 19 9/11 hijackers were Saudi nationals.

Moreover, $750 billion is only the Saudi investment in the United States, if we add its investment in Western Europe and the investments of UAE, Kuwait and Qatar in the Western economies, the sum total would amount to trillions of dollars of Gulf's investments in North America and Western Europe.

Furthermore, in order to bring home the significance of the Persian Gulf's oil in the energy-starved industrialized world, here are a few stats from the OPEC data: Saudi Arabia has the world's largest proven crude oil reserves of 265 billion barrels and its daily oil production exceeds 10 million barrels; Iran and Iraq, each, has 150 billion barrels reserves and has the capacity to produce 5 million barrels per day, each; while UAE and Kuwait, each, has 100 billion barrels reserves and produces 3 million barrels per day, each; thus, all the littoral states of the Persian Gulf, together, hold 788 billion barrels, more than half of world's 1477 billion barrels of proven oil reserves.

No wonder then, 36,000 United States troops have currently been deployed in their numerous military bases and aircraft carriers in the oil-rich Persian Gulf in accordance with the Carter Doctrine of 1980, which states: "Let our position be absolutely clear: an attempt by any outside force to gain control of the Persian Gulf region will be regarded as an assault on the vital interests of the United States of America, and such an assault will be repelled by any means necessary, including military force."

Additionally, regarding the Western defense production industry's sales of arms to the Gulf Arab States, a report authored by William Hartung of the US-based Center for International Policy found that the Obama administration had offered Saudi Arabia more than $115 billion in weapons, military equipment and training during its eight-year tenure.

Similarly, the top items in Trump's agenda for his maiden visit to Saudi Arabia in May 2017 were: firstly, he threw his weight behind the idea of the Saudi-led "Arab NATO" to counter Iran's influence in the region; and secondly, he announced an unprecedented arms package for Saudi Arabia. The package included between $98 billion and $128 billion in arms sales.

Therefore, keeping the economic dependence of the Western countries on the Gulf Arab States in mind, during the times of global recession when most of manufacturing has been outsourced to China, it is not surprising that when the late King Abdullah of Saudi Arabia decided to provide training and arms to the Islamic jihadists in the border regions of Turkey and Jordan against the government of Bashar al-Assad in Syria, the Obama administration was left with no other choice but to toe the destructive policy of its regional Middle Eastern allies, despite the sectarian nature of the proxy war and its attendant consequences of breeding a new generation of Islamic jihadists who would become a long-term security risk not only to the Middle East but to the Western countries, as well.

Similarly, when King Abdullah's successor King Salman decided, on the whim of the Crown Prince Mohammad bin Salman, to invade Yemen in March 2015, once again the Obama administration had to yield to the dictates of Saudi Arabia and UAE by fully coordinating the Gulf-led military campaign in Yemen not only by providing intelligence, planning and logistical support but also by selling billions of dollars' worth of arms and ammunition to the Gulf Arab States during the conflict.

In this reciprocal relationship, the US provides security to the ruling families of the Gulf Arab states by providing weapons and troops; and in return, the Gulf's petro-sheikhs contribute substantial investments to the tune of hundreds of billions of dollars to the Western economies.

Regarding the Pax Americana which is the reality of the contemporary neocolonial order, according to a January 2017 infographic by the New York Times, 210,000 US military personnel were stationed all over the world, including 79,000 in Europe, 45,000 in Japan, 28,500 in South Korea and 36,000 in the Middle East.

Although Donald Trump keeps complaining that NATO must share the cost of deployment of US troops, particularly in Europe where 47,000 American troops are stationed in Germany since the end of the Second World War, 15,000 in Italy and 8,000 in the United Kingdom, fact of the matter is that the cost is already shared between Washington and host countries.

Roughly, European countries pay one-third of the cost for maintaining US military bases in Europe whereas Washington chips in the remaining two-third. In the Far Eastern countries, 75% of the cost for the deployment of American troops is shared by Japan and the remaining 25% by Washington, and in South Korea, 40% cost is shared by the host country and the US contributes the remaining 60%.

Whereas the oil-rich Gulf Cooperation Countries (GCC) – Saudi Arabia, UAE, Kuwait and Qatar – pay two-third of the cost for maintaining 36,000 US troops in the Persian Gulf where more than half of world's proven oil reserves are located and Washington contributes the remaining one-third.

* * *

Nauman Sadiq is an Islamabad-based attorney, columnist and geopolitical analyst focused on the politics of Af-Pak and Middle East regions, neocolonialism and petro-imperialism.


ipsprez , 8 minutes ago link

I am always amazed (and amused) at how much smarter "journalists" are than POTUS. If ONLY Mr. Trump would read more and listen to those who OBVIOUSLY are sooo much smarter!!!! Maybe then he wouldn't be cowed and bullied by Erdogan, Xi, Jung-on, Trudeau (OK so maybe that one was too far fetched) to name a few. Please note the sarcasm. Do I really need to go in to the success after success Mr. Trump's foreign policy has enjoyed? Come on Man.

OLD-Pipe , 19 minutes ago link

What a load of BOLOCKS...The ONLY, I mean The Real and True Reason for American Armored presence is one thing,,,,,,,Ready for IT ? ? ? To Steal as much OIL as Possible, AND convert the Booty into Currency, Diamonds or some other intrinsically valuable commodity, Millions of Dollars at a Time......17 Years of Shadows and Ghost Trucks and Tankers Loading and Off-Loading the Black Gold...this is what its all about......M-O-N-E-Y....... Say It With Me.... Mon-nee, Money Money Mo_on_ne_e_ey, ......

Blue Steel 309 , 5 minutes ago link

This is about Israel, not oil.

ombon , 58 minutes ago link

From the sale of US oil in Syria receive 30 million. dollars per month. Image losses are immeasurably greater. The United States put the United States as a robbery bandit. This is American democracy. The longer the troops are in Syria, the more countries will switch to settlements in national currencies.

Pandelis , 28 minutes ago link

yeah well these are mafia guys...

uhland62 , 50 minutes ago link

"Our interests", "strategic interests" is always about money, just a euphemism so it doesn't look as greedy as it is. Another euphemism is "security' ,meaning war preparations.

BobEore , 1 hour ago link

...The military power of the USA put directly in the service of "the original TM" PIRATE STATE. U are the man Norm! But wait... now things get a little hazy... in the classic... 'alt0media fake storyline' fashion!

"President Trump is known to be a businessman and at least ostensibly follows a non-interventionist ideology; being a novice in the craft of international diplomacy, however, he has time and again been misled by the Pentagon and Washington's national security establishment."

Awww! Poor "DUmb as Rocks Donnie" done been fooled agin!

...In the USA... the military men are stirring at last... having been made all too aware that their putative 'boss' has been operating on behalf of foreign powers ever since being [s]elected, that the State Dept of the once Great Republic has been in active cahoots with the jihadis ...

and that those who were sent over there to fight against the headchoppers discovered that the only straight shooters in the whole mess turned out to be the Kurds who AGENT FRIMpf THREW UNDER THE BUS ON INSTRUCTIONS FROM JIHADI HQ!

... ... ...

[Nov 02, 2019] WATCH Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists by Terje Maloy

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras. ..."
"... So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? ' ..."
"... I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting. ..."
"... Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported. ..."
"... He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation. ..."
"... Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline. ..."
"... But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine. ..."
"... From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria. ..."
"... Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests. ..."
"... Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order." ..."
"... "The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"." ..."
"... So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free. ..."
"... Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep. ..."
"... Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. ..."
"... This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order). ..."
"... Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. ..."
"... Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management. ..."
"... Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naļve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time. ..."
"... Once pond scum always pond scum. ..."
"... It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society. ..."
"... Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want. ..."
"... All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm ..."
Oct 06, 2019 | off-guardian.org

WATCH: Udo Ulfkotte – Bought Journalists Terje Maloy

Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy

https://www.youtube.com/embed/3ZLgW3hgRBY

In 2014, the German journalist and writer Udo Ulfkotte published a book that created a big stir, describing how the journalistic profession is thoroughly corrupt and infiltrated by intelligence services.

Although eagerly anticipated by many, the English translation of the book, Bought Journalists , does not seem to be forthcoming anytime soon.

[We covered that story at the time – Ed.]

So I have made English subtitles and transcribed this still very relevant 2015-lecture for those that are curious about Ulfkotte's work. It covers many of the subjects described in the book.

Udo Ulfkotte died of a heart attack in January 2017, in all likelihood part of the severe medical complications he got from his exposure to German-made chemical weapons supplied to Saddam Hussein during the Iran-Iraq War in the 1980s.

Transcription

[Only the first 49 minutes are translated; the second half of the lecture deals mostly with more local issues]

Introducer Oliver: I am very proud to have such a brave man amongst us: Udo Ulfkotte

Udo Ulfkotte: Thanks Thanks for the invitation Thanks to Oliver. I heard to my great surprise from Oliver that he didn't know someone from the intelligence services (VVS) would be present. I wish him a warm welcome. I don't mean that as a joke, I heard this in advance, and got to know that Oliver didn't know. If he wants – if it is a man – he can wave. If not? no? [laughter from the audience]

I'm fine with that. You can write down everything, or record it; no problem.

To the lecture. We are talking about media. we are talking about truth. I don't want to sell you books or such things. Each one of us asks himself: Why do things develop like they do, even though the majority, or a lot of people shake their heads.

The majority of people in Germany don't want nuclear weapons on our territory. But we have nuclear weapons here. The majority don't want foreign interventions by German soldiers. But we do.

What media narrates and the politicians say, and what the majority of the population believes – seems often obviously to be two different things.

I can tell you this myself, from many years experience. I will start with very personal judgments, to tell you what my experiences with 'The Lying Media' were – I mean exactly that with the word 'lying'.

I was born in a fairly poor family. I am a single child. I grew up on the eastern edge of the Ruhr-area. I studied Law, Political Science and Islamic Studies. Already in my student years, I had contact with the German Foreign Intelligence, BND. We will get back to that later.

From 1986 to 2003, I worked for a major German newspaper, Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ), amongst other things as a war reporter. I spent a lot of time in Eastern and African countries.

Now to the subject of lying media. When I was sent to the Iran-Iraq war for the first time, the first time was from 1980 to July 1986, I was sent to this war to report for FAZ. The Iraqis were then 'the good guys'.

I was bit afraid. I didn't have any experience as a war reporter. Then I arrived in Baghdad. I was fairly quickly sent along in a bus by the Iraqi army, the bus was full of loud, experienced war reporters, from such prestigious media as the BBC, several foreign TV-stations and newspapers, and me, poor newbie, who was sent to the front for the first time without any kind of preparation. The first thing I saw was that they all carried along cans of petrol. And I at once got bad consciousness, because I thought: "oops, if the bus gets stuck far from a petrol station, then everyone chips in with a bit of diesel'. I decided to in the future also carry a can before I went anywhere, because it obviously was part of it.

We drove for hours through the desert, towards the Iraqi border. Approx. 20-30 kilometers from the border, there really was nothing. First of all no war. There were armored vehicles and tanks, burned-out long ago. The journalist left the bus, splashed the contents of the cans on the vehicles. We had Iraqi soldiers with us as an escort, with machine guns, in uniform. You have to imagine: tanks in a desert, burned out long ago, now put on fire. Clouds of smoke. And there the journalists assemble their cameras.

It was my first experience with media, truth in reporting.

While I was wondering what the hell I was going to report for my newspaper, they all lined up and started: Behind them were flames and plumes of smoke, and all the time the Iraqis were running in front of camera with their machine guns, casually, but with war in their gaze. And the reporters were ducking all the time while talking.

So I gathered courage and asked one of the reporters: 'I understand one thing, they are great pictures, but why are they ducking all the time? '

'Quite simply because there are machine guns on the audio track, and it looks very good at home.'

That was several decades ago. It was in the beginning of my contact with war. I was thinking, the whole way back:'Young man, you didn't see a war. You were in a place with a campfire. What are you going to tell?'

I returned to Baghdad. There weren't any mobile phones then. We waited in Hotel Rashid and other hotels where foreigners stayed, sometimes for hours for an international telephone line. I first contacted my mother, not my newspaper. I was in despair, didn't know what to do, and wanted to get advice from an elder person.

Then my mother shouted over the phone: 'My boy, you are alive!' I thought: 'How so? Is everything OK?'

'My boy, we thought ' 'What's the matter, mother?' 'We saw on TV what happened around you' TV had already sent lurid stories, and I tried to calm my mother down, it didn't happen like that. She thought I had lost my mind from all the things that had happened in the war – she saw it with her own eyes!

I'll finish, because I am not here to make satire today. I just want to say that this was my first experience with truth in journalism and war reporting.

That is, I was very shocked by the first contact, it was entirely different from what I had experienced. But it wasn't an exceptional case.

In the beginning, I mentioned that I am from a fairly poor family. I had to work hard for everything. I was a single child, my father died when I was young. It didn't matter further on. But, I had a job, I had a degree, a goal in life.

I now had the choice: Should I declare that the whole thing was nonsense, these reports? I was nothing, a newbie straight out of uni, in my first job. Or if I wanted to make money, to continue, look further. I chose the second option. I continued, and that for many years.

Over these years, I gained lots of experience. When one comes from university to a big German newspaper – everything I say doesn't only apply to FAZ, you can take other German or European media. I had contact with other European journalists, from reputable media outlets. I later worked in other media. I can tell you: What I am about to tell you, I really discovered everywhere.

What did I experience? If you, as a reporter, work either in state media financed by forced license fees, or in the big private media companies, then you can't write what you want yourself, what you feel like. There are certain guidelines.

Roughly speaking: everyone knows that you won't, for example in the Springer-newspapers – Bild, die Welt – get published articles extremely critical of Israel. They stand no chance there, because one has to sign a statement that one is pro-Israel, that one won't question the existence of the state of Israel or Israeli points of view, etc.

There are some sort of guidelines in all the big media companies. But that isn't all: I learned very fast that if one doesn't – I don't mean this negatively – want to be stuck in the lower rungs of editors, if one wants to rise; for me this rise was that I was allowed to travel with the Chancellor, ministers, the president and politicians, in planes owned by the state; then one has to keep to certain subjects. I learned that fast.

That is, if one gets to follow a politician – and this hasn't changed to this day – I soon realized that when I followed the president or Chancellor Helmut Kohl etc, one of course isn't invited because your name is Udo Ulfkotte, but because you belong to the newspaper Frankfurter Allgemeine.

Then a certain type of reporting is expected. Which one? Forget my newspaper, this applies in general. At the start of the trip, the journalist gets a memo – today it is electronic – in his hand. If you are traveling abroad, it is info about the country, or the speeches that will be held. This file contains roughly what will happen during this trip. In addition there are short conversations, briefings with the politician's press manager. He then explains to you how one views this trip. Naturally, you should see it the same way. No one says it in that way. But is is approximately what one would have reported.

All the time you no one tells you to write it this or that way but you know quite exactly that if you DON'T write it this or that way,then you won't get invited next time. Your media outlet will be invited, but they say 'we don't want him along'. Then you are out.

Naturally you want to be invited. Of course it is wonderful to travel abroad and you can behave like a pig, no one cares. You can buy what you want, because you know that when you return, you won't be checked. You can bring what you want. I had colleagues who went along on a trip to the US.

They brought with them – it was an air force plane – a Harley Davidson, in parts. They sold it when they were back in Germany, and of course earned on it. Anyway, just like the carpet-affair with that development minister, this is of course not a single instance. No one talks about it.

You get invited if you have a certain way of seeing things. Which way to see things? Where and how is this view of the world formed? I very often get asked: 'Where are these people behind the curtain who pulls the wires, so that everything gets told in a fairly similar way?'

In the big media in Germany – just look yourself – who sit in the large transatlantic think-tanks and foundations,the foundation The Atlantic Bridge, all these organizations, and how is one influenced there? I can tell from my own experience.

We mustn't talk only theoretically. I was invited by the think-tank The German Marshall Fund of the United States as a fellow. I was to visit the United States for six weeks. It was fully paid. During these six weeks I could this think-tank has very close connections to the CIA to this day, they acquired contacts in the CIA for me and they got me access to American politicians, to everyone I wanted. Above all, they showered me with gifts.

Already before the journey with German Marshall Fund, I experienced plenty of bought journalism. This hasn't to do with a particular media outlet. You see, I was invited and didn't particularly reflect over it, by billionaires, for example sultan Quabboos of Oman on the Arabian peninsula.

When sultan Qabboos invited, and a poor boy like me could travel to a country with few inhabitants but immense wealth, where the head of state had the largest yachts in the world, his own symphony orchestra which plays for him when he wants – by the way he bought a pub close to Garmisch-Patenkirchen, because he is a Muslim believer, and someone might see him if he drank in his own country, so he rather travels there. The place he bought every day fly in fresh lamb from Ireland and Scotland with his private jet. He is also the head of an environmental foundation.

But this is a digression. If such a person, who is so incredibly rich, invites someone like me, then I arrive first class. I had never traveled first class before. We arrive, and a driver is waiting for me. He carries your suitcase or backpack. You have a suite in the hotel. And from the very start, you are showered with gifts. You get a platinum or gold coin. A hand-weaved carpet or whatever.

I interviewed the sultan, several times. He asked me what I wanted. I answered among other things a diving course. I wanted to learn how to dive. He flew in a PADI-approved instructor from Greece. I was there for two weeks and got my first diving certificate. On later occasions, the sultan flew me in several times, and the diving instructor. I got a certificate as rescue diver, all paid for by the sultan. You see, when one is attended to in such a way, then you know that you are bought. For a certain type of journalism. In the sultan's country, there is no freedom of the press.

There are no human rights. It is illegal to import many writings, because the sultan does not wish so. There are reports about human rights violations, but my eyes are blind. I reported, like all German media when they report about the Sultanate of Oman, to this day, only positive things. The great sultan, who is wonderful. The fantastic country of the fairy tale prince, overshadowing everything else – because I was bought.

Apart from Oman, many others have bought me. They also bought colleagues. I got many invitations through the travel section in my big newspaper. 5-star. The reportage never mentioned that I was bought, by country A or B or C. Yemenia, the Yemeni state airline, invited me to such a trip.

I didn't report about the dirt and dilapidation in the country, because I was influenced by this treatment, I only reported positively, because I wanted to come back. The Yemenis asked me when I had returned to Frankfurt what I wished In jest, I said "your large prawns, from the Red Sea, from the Indian Ocean, they were spectacular.", from the seaport of Mocha (Mocha-coffee is named after it). Two days later, Yemenia flew in a buffet for the editorial office, with prawns and more.

Of course we were bought. We were bought in several ways. In your situation: when you buy a car or something else, you trust consumer tests. Look closer. How well is the car tested? I know of no colleagues, no journalists, who do testing of cars, that aren't bribed – maybe they do exist.

They get unlimited access to a car from the big car manufacturers, with free petrol and everything else. I had a work car in my newspaper, if not, I might have exploited this. I had a BMW or Mercedes in the newspaper. But there are, outside the paper, many colleagues who only have this kind of vehicle all year round. They are invited to South Africa, Malaysia, USA, to the grandest travels, when a new car is presented.

Why? So that they will write positively about the car. But it doesn't say in these reports "Advertisement from bought journalists".

But that is the reality. You should also know – since we are on the subjects of tests – who owns which test magazines? Who owns the magazine Eco-test? It is owned by the Social Democrats. More than a hundred magazines belong to the Social Democrats. It isn't about only one party, but many editorial rooms have political allegiance. Behind them are party political interests.

I mentioned the sultan of Oman and the diving course, and I have mentioned German Marshall Fund. Back to the US and the German Marshall Fund. There one told me, they knew exactly, 'hello, you were on a diving course in Oman ' The CIA knew very precisely. And the CIA also gave me something: The diving gear. I received the diving gear in the United States, and I received in the US, during my 6-week stay there, an invitation from the state of Oklahoma, from the governor. I went there. It was a small ceremony, and I received an honorary citizenship.

I am now honorary citizen of an American state. And in this certificate, it is written that I will only cover the US positively. I accepted this honorary citizenship and was quite proud of it. I proudly told about it to a colleague who worked in the US. He said 'ha, I already have 31 of these honorary citizenships!'

I don't tell about this to be witty, today I am ashamed, really.

I was greedy. I accepted many advantages that a regular citizen at my age in my occupation doesn't have, and shouldn't have. But I perceived it – and that is no excuse – as entirely normal, because my colleagues around me all did the same. But this isn't normal. When journalists are invited to think-tanks in the US, like German Marshall Fund, Atlantic Bridge, it is to 'bring them in line', for in a friendly way to make them complicit, naturally to buy them, to grease them with money.

This has quite a few aspects that one normally doesn't talk about. When I for the first time was in Southern Africa, in the 80s, Apartheid still existed in South Africa, segregated areas for blacks and whites. We didn't have any problems with this in my newspaper, we received fully paid journeys from the Apartheid regime to do propaganda work.

I was invited by the South-African gold industry, coal industry, tourist board. In the first invitation, this trip was to Namibia – I arrived tired to the hotel room in Windhoek and a dark woman lay in my bed. I at once left the room, went down to the reception and said 'excuse me, but the room is already occupied' [laughter from the audience]

Without any fuss I got another room.

Next day at the breakfast table, this was a journalist trip, my colleagues asked me 'how was yours?' Only then I understood what had happened. Until then, I had believed it was a silly coincidence.

With this I want to describe which methods are used, maybe to film journalists in such situations, buy, make dependent. Quite simply to win them over to your side with the most brutal methods, so that they are 'brought in line'.

This doesn't happen to every journalist. It would be a conspiracy theory if I said that behind every journalist, someone pulls the wires.

No. Not everyone has influence over the masses. When you – I don't mean this negatively – write about folk costume societies or if you work with agriculture or politics, why should anyone from the upper political spheres have an interest in controlling the reporting? As far as I know, this doesn't happen at all.

But if you work in one of the big media, and want up in this world, if you want to travel with politicians, heads of state, with CEOs, who also travel on these planes, then it happens. Then you are regularly bought, you are regularly observed.

I said earlier that I already during my study days had contact with the intelligence services.

I will quickly explain this to you, because it is very important for this lecture.

I studied law, Political Science and Islamology, among other places in Freiburg. At the very beginning of my study, just before end of the term, a professor approached me. Professors were then still authority figures.

He came with a brochure, and asked me: 'Mr. Ulfkotte, what are your plans for this vacation?'

I couldn't very well say that I first planned to work a bit at a building site, for then to grab my backpack and see the ocean for the first time in my life, to Italy, 'la dolce vita', flirting with girls, lie on the beach and be a young person.

I wondered how I would break it to him. He then came with a brochure [Ulfkotte imitating professor]: 'I have something for you a seminar, Introduction to Conflict Studies, two weeks in Bonn I am sure you would want to participate!'

I wondered how I would tell this elderly gentleman that I wanted to flirt with girls on the beach. Then he said 'you will get 20 Marks per day as support, paid train journey, money for books 150 Marks You will naturally get board and lodging.' He didn't stop telling me what I would receive.

It buzzed around in my head that I had to achieve everything myself, work hard. I thought 'You have always wanted to participate in a seminar on Introduction to Conflict Studies!'

So I went to Bonn from Freiburg, and I saw other students who had this urge to participate in this seminar. There were also girls one could flirt with, about twenty people. The whole thing was very strange, because we sat in a room like this one, there were desks and a lectern, and there sat some older men and a woman, they always wrote something down. They asked us about things; What we thought of East Germany, we had to do role play.

The whole thing was a bit strange, but it was well paid. We didn't reflect any further. It was very strange that in this house, in Ubierstraße 88 in Bonn, we weren't allowed to go to the second floor. There was a chain over the stairs, it was taboo.

We were allowed to go to the basement, there were constantly replenished supplies of new books that we were allowed to get for free. Ebay didn't exist then, but we could still sell them used. Anyway, it was curious, but at the end of the fortnight, we were allowed to go up these stairs, where we got an invitation to a continuation course in Conflict Studies.

After four such seminars, that is, after two years, someone asked me 'you have probably wondered what we are doing here'.

He explained that a recruitment board from the intelligence services had participated. But I had no idea that the seminar Introduction to Conflict Studies was arranged by the defense forces and run by the foreign intelligence service BND, to have a closer look at potential candidates among the students, not to commit them. They only asked if they, after four such seminars, possibly could contact me later, in my occupation.

They gave me a lot of money. My mother has always taught me to be polite. So I said 'please do', and they came to me. I was then working in the newspaper FAZ from 1986, straight after my studies.

Then the intelligence services came fairly soon to me. Why am I telling you this? The newspaper knew very soon. It is also written in my reference, therefore I can say it loud and clear. I had very close contact with the intelligence service BND.

Two persons from BND came regularly to the paper, to a visiting room. And there were occasions when the report not only was given, but also that BND had written articles, largely ready to go, that were published in the newspaper under my byline.

I highlight certain things to explain them. But if I had said here: 'There are media that are influenced by BND', you could rightly say that 'these are conspiracy theories, can you document it?'

I CAN document it. I can say, this and that article, with my byline in the paper, is written by the intelligence services, because what is written there, I couldn't have known. I couldn't have known what existed in some cave or other in Libya, what secret thing were there, what was being built there. This was all things that BND wanted published. It wasn't like this only in FAZ.

It was like this also in other media. I told about it. If we had rule of law, there would now be an investigation commission. Because the political parties would stand up, regardless of if they are on the left, in the center or right, and say: What this Ulfkotte fella says and claims he can document, this should be investigated. Did this occur in other places? Or is it still ongoing?'

I can tell you: Yes it still exists. I know colleagues who still have this close contact. One can probably show this fairly well until a few years ago. But I would find it wonderful if this investigation commission existed.

But it will obviously not happen, because no one has an interest in doing so. Because then the public would realize how closely integrated politics, media, and the secret services are in this country.

That is, one often sees in reporting, whether it is from the local paper, regional papers, TV-channels, national tabloids and so-called serious papers.

Put them side by side, and you will discover that more than 90% looks almost identical. A lot of subjects and news, that are not being reported at all, or they are – I claim reported very one-sided. One can only explain this if one knows the structures in the background, how media is surrounded, bought and 'brought onboard' by politics and the intelligence services; Where politics and intelligence services form a single unity. There is an intelligence coordinator by the Chancellor.

I can tell you, that under the former coordinator Bernd Schmidbauer, under Kohl, I walked in and out of the Chancellery and received stacks of secret and confidential documents, which I shouldn't have received.

They were so many that we in the newspaper had own archive cabinets for them. Not only did I receive these documents,but Schmidbauer should have been in jail if we had rule of law. Or there should have been a parliamentary commission or an investigation, because he wasn't allowed

For example if I couldn't bring along the documents if the case was too hot, there was another trick. They locked me in a room. In this room were the documents, which I could look through. I could record it all on tape, photograph them or write them down. When I was done, I could call on the intercom, so they could lock me out. There were thousands of these tricks. Anonymous documents that I and my colleagues needed could be placed in my mail box.

These are of course illegal things. BUT, you ONLY get them if you 'toe the line' with politics.

If I had written that Chancellor Helmut Kohl is stupid, a big idiot, or about what Schmidbauer did, I would of course not have received more. That is, if you today, in newspapers, read about 'soon to be revealed exposures, we will publish a big story based on material based on intelligence', then none of these media have dug a tunnel under the security services and somehow got hold of something secret. It is rather that they work so well with intelligence services, with the military counterespionage, the foreign intelligence, police intelligence etc, that if they have got hold of internal documents, it is because they cooperate so well that they received them as a reward for well performed service.

You see, in this way one is in the end bought. One is bought to such a degree that at one point one can't exit this system anymore.

If I describe how you are supplied with prostitutes, bribed with cars, money; I tried to write down everything I received in gifts, everything I was bribed with. I stopped doing so several years ago, more than a decade ago.

It doesn't make it any better, but today I regret everything. But I know that it goes this way with many journalists.

It would make me very happy if journalists stood up and said they won't participate in this any longer, and that they think this is wrong.

But I see no possibility, because media corporations in any case are doing badly. Where should a journalist find work the next day? It isn't so that tens of thousands of employers are waiting for you. It is the other way round. Tens of thousands of journalists are looking for work or commissions.

That is, from pure desperation one is happy to be bribed. If a newsroom stands behind or not an article that in reality is advertising, doesn't matter, one goes along. I know some, even respected journalists, who want to leave this system.

But imagine if you are working in one of the state channels, that you stand up and tell what you have received. How will that be received by your colleagues? That you have political ulterior motives etc.

September 30 [2015], a few days ago, Chancellor Merkel invited all the directors in the state channels to her in the Chancellery. I will claim that she talked with them about how one should report the Chancellors politics. Who of you [in the audience] heard about this incident? 3-4-5? So a small minority. But this is reality. Merkel started already 6 years ago, at the beginning of the financial crisis, to invite chief editors ..she invited chief editors in the large media corporations, with the express wish that media should embellish reality, in a political way. This could have been only claims, one could believe me or not.

But a couple of journalists were there, they told about it. Therefore I repeat: Merkel invited the chief editors several times, and told them she didn't want the population to be truthfully and openly informed about the problems out there. For example, the background for the financial crisis. If the citizens knew how things were, they would run to the bank and withdraw their money. So beautifying everything; everything is under control; your savings are safe; just smile and hold hands – everything will be fine.

In such a way it should be reported. Ladies and gentlemen, what I just said can be documented. These are facts, not a conspiracy theory.

I formulated it a bit satirically, but I ask myself when I see how things are in this country: Is this the democracy described in the Constitution? Freedom of speech? Freedom of the press?

Where one has to be afraid if one doesn't agree with the ruling political correctness, if one doesn't want to get in trouble. Is this the republic our parents and grandparents fought for, that they built?

I claim that we more and more – as citizens – are cowards 'toeing the line', who don't open our mouths.

It is so nice to have plurality and diversity of opinions.

But it is at once clamped down on, today fairly openly.

Of my experiences with journalism, I can in general say that I have quit all media I have to pay for, for the reasons mentioned. Then the question arises, 'but which pay-media can I trust?'

Naturally there are ones I support. They are definitely political, I'll add. But they are all fairly small. And they won't be big anytime soon. But I have quit all big media that I used to subscribe to, Der Spiegel, Frankfurter Allgemeine, etc. I would like to not having to pay the TV-license fee, without being arrested because I won't pay fines. But maybe someone here in the audience can tell me how to do so without all these problems?

Either way, I don't want to financially support this kind of journalism. I can only give you the advice to get information from alternative, independent media and all the forums that exist.

I'm not advertising for any of them. Some of you probably know that I write for the publishing house Kopp. But there are so many portals. Every person is different in political viewpoint, culturally etc. The only thing uniting us, whether we are black or white, religious or non-religious, right or left, or whatever; we all want to know the truth. We want to know what really happens out there, and exactly in the burning political questions: asylum seekers, refugees, the financial crisis, bad infrastructure, one doesn't know how it will continue. Precisely with this background, is it even more important that people get to know the truth.

And it is to my great surprise that I conclude that we in media, as well as in politics, have a guiding line.

To throw more and more dust in the citizens' eyes to calm them down. What is the sense in this? One can have totally different opinions on the subject of refugees with good reasoning.

But facts are important for you as citizens to decide the future. That is, how many people will arrive? How will it affect my personal affluence? Or will it affect my affluence at all? Will the pensions shrink? etc. Then you can talk with people about this, quite openly. But to say that we should open all borders, and that this won't have any negative consequences, is very strange. What I now say isn't a plug for my books. I know that some of them are on the table in front.

I'm not saying this so that you will buy books. I am saying this for another reason that soon will be clear. I started to write books on certain subjects 18 years ago. They have sold millions. It is no longer about you buying my books. It is important that you hear the titles, then you will see a certain line throughout the last ten years. One can have different opinions about this line, but I have always tried to describe, based on my subjective experiences, formed over many years in the Middle East and Africa.

That there will be migration flows, from people from culture areas that are like; if one could compare a cultural area with an engine, that one fills petrol in a diesel engine then everyone knows what will happen, the engine is great, diesel is great, but if there too much petrol, then the engine starts to splutter and stop.

I have tried to make you aware of this, with drastic and less drastic words. What we can expect, and ever faster. The book titles are SOS Occident; Warning Civil War; No Black,Red, Yellow [the colors in the German flag], Holy War in Europe; Mecca Germany.

I just want to say, when politicians and media today claim no one could have predicted it, everything is a complete surprise; Ladies and Gentlemen, this is not at all surprising. The migration flows, for years warnings have been coming from international organizations, politicians, experts, exactly about what happened and it is predictable, if we had a map over North Africa and the Middle East..

If the West continues to destabilize countries like Libya, Tunisia, Egypt, Syria, country by country, Iraq when we toppled Saddam Hussein, Afghanistan. We as Europeans and Germans have spent tens of billions on a war where we allegedly defend peace and liberty, at the mountain range Hindu Kush [in Afghanistan]. And here, in front of our own door, we soon have Hindu Kush.

We have no stabilization in Afghanistan. Dozens of German soldiers have lost their lives for nothing. We have a more unstable situation than ever.

You can have your own opinions. I am only saying that these refugee flows didn't fall from the sky. It is predicable, that if I bomb and destabilize a country, that people – it is always so in history – it hasn't anything to do with the Middle East or North Africa. I have seen enough wars in Africa. Naturally they created refugee flows.

But all of us didn't want to see this. We haven't prepared. And now one is reacting in full panic, and what is most disconcerting with this, is when media and politicians, allegedly from deepest inner conviction, say: 'this was all a complete surprise!'

Are they drunk? What are they smoking? What sort of pills are they eating? That they behave this way?

End transcription

The transcription has been edited for clarity, and may differ from the spoken word. The subtitles and transcription are for the first 49 minutes of the lecture only. Subtitled and transcribed by Terje Maloy. This article is Creative Commons 4.0 for non-commercial purposes.
Terje Maloy ( Website ) is a Norwegian citizen, with roots north of the Arctic Circle. Nowadays, he spends a lot of time in Australia, working in the family business. He has particular interests in liberty, global justice, imperialism, history, media analysis and what Western governments really are up to. He runs a blog , mostly in Norwegian, but occasionally in English. He likes to write about general geopolitical matters, and Northern Europe in particular, presenting perspectives that otherwise barely are mentioned in the dominant media (i.e. most things that actually matter).
Tim Jenkins
From 1:18 minutes, Ulfkotte reveals without question, that the EU Political 'elite's' combined intelligence services work with & propagate . . .

Terror, Terrorists & Terrorism / a conscious organised Politics of FEAR ! / Freedom of Movement, of fully armed IS Agents Provocateurs & with a Secret Services get out of jail free card, 'Hände Weg Nicht anfassen', it's 'Hammertime', "U Can't Touch this", we're armed state operatives travelling to Germany & Austria, " don't mess with my operation !" & all journalists' hands tied, too.

The suggestions & offers below to translate fully, what Ulfkotte declares publicly, make much sense. It is important to understand that even an 'Orban' must bow occasionally, to deep state Security State Dictators and the pressures they can exert in so many ways. Logic . . . or else one's life is made into hell, alive or an 'accidental' death: – and may I add, it is a curiously depressing feeling when you have so many court cases on the go, that when a Gemeinde/Municipality Clerk is smiling, celebrating and telling you, (representing yourself in court, with only independent translator & recorder), "You Won the Case, a superior judge has over-ruled " and the only reply possible is,

"Which case number ?"

life gets tedious & time consuming, demanding extreme patience. Given his illness, surely Ulfkotte and his wife, deserve/d extra credit & 'hot chocolate'. Makes a change to see & read some real journalism: congrats.@OffG

Excellent Professional Journalism on "Pseudo-Journalist State Actors & Terrorists". If you see a terrorist, guys, at best just reason with him or her :- better than calling

INTERPOL or Secret Services @theguardian, because you wouldn't want a member of the public, grassing you up to your boss, would you now ? ! Just tell the terrorist who he really works for . . . Those he resents ! Rather like Ulfkotte had to conclude, with final resignation. My condolences to his good wife.

Wilmers31
Very good of you to not forget Ulfkotte. If I did not have sickness in the house, I would translate it. Maybe I can do one chapter and someone else can do another one? What's the publisher saying?
jgiam
It's just a long unedited speech.
Tim Jenkins
You wouldn't say that if you could speak German, my friend ! ?

From one hour 18 minutes onwards, Ulfkotte details EU-Inter-State Terror Co-operation, with returning IS Operatives on a Free Pass, fully armed and even Viktor Orban had to give in to the commands of letting Terrorists through Hungary into Germany & Austria.

But, don't let that revelation bother you, living under a Deep State 'Politic of Fear' in the West and long unedited speeches gets kinda' boring now, I know a bit like believing in some kinda' dumbfuk new pearl harbour, war on terror &&& all phoney propaganda fairy story telling, just like on the 11/9/2001, when the real target was WTC 7, to hide elitist immoral endeavours, corruption & the missing $$$TRILLIONS$$$ of tax payers money, 'mislaid' by the D.o.D. announced directly the day before by Rumsfeld, forgotten ? Before ramping the Surveillance States abilities in placing & employing "Parallel Platforms" on steroids, so that our secret services can now employ terror & deploy terrorists at will .., against us, see ?

Plus ca change....
I remember on a similar note a 60 Minutes piece just prior to Clinton's humanitarian bombing of Serbian civilian infrastructure (and long ago deleted, I'm sure) on a German free-lancer staging Kosovo atrocities in a Munich suburb, and having the German MSM eating it up and asking for more. (WWII guilt assuagement at work, no doubt).
mark
Everybody who works in the MSM, without exception, are bought and paid for whores peddling lies on behalf of globalist corporate interests.
That is their job.
That is what they do.
They have long since forfeited all credibility and integrity.
They have lied to us endlessly for decades and generations, from the Bayonetted Belgian Babies and Human Bodies Turned Into Soap of WW1 to the Iraq Incubator Babies and Syrian Gas Attacks of more recent times.

You can no longer take anything at face value.
The default position has to be that every single word they print and every single word that comes out of their lying mouths is untrue.
If they say it's snowing at the North Pole, you can't accept that without first going there and checking it out for yourself.
You can't accept anything that has not been independently verified.

This applies across the board.
All of the accepted historical narrative, including things like the holocaust.
And current Global Warming "science."
We know we have been lied to again and again and again.
So what else have we been lied to without us realising it?

mark
Come to think of it, I need to apologise to sex workers.
I have known quite a few of them who have quite high ethical and moral standards, certainly compared to the MSM.
And they certainly do less damage.
Vert few working girls have blood on their hands like the MSM.
Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.
Seamus Padraig

Compared to them, working girls are the salt of the earth and pillars of the community.

I heartily agree. Even if one disapproves morally of prostitution, how can it possibly be worse to sell your body than to sell your soul?

Oliver
Quite. Checking things out for yourself is the way to go. Forget 'Peer Reviews', just as bent as the journalism Ulfkotte described. DIY.
Mortgage
So natural, all it seems

Part II:
Bought Science

Part III:
Bought Health Services

mapquest directions
The video you shared with great info. I really like the information you share. boxnovel
Gary Weglarz
I knew we were in dangerous new territory regarding government censorship when after waiting several years for Ulfkotte's best selling book to finally be available in English – it suddenly, magically, disappeared completely – a vanishing act – and I couldn't get so much as a response from, much less an explanation from, the would be publisher. Udo's book came at a time when it could have made a difference countering the fact-free complete and total "fabrication of reality" by the U.S. and Western powers as they have waged a brutal and ongoing neocolonial war on the world's poor under the guise of "fighting terrorism."

Udo's voice (in the form of his book) was silenced for a reason – that being that he spoke the truth about our utterly and completely corrupt Western fantasy world in which we in the West proclaim our – "respect international law" and "respect for human rights." His work, such as this interview and others he has done, pulled the curtain back on the big lie and exposed our oligarchs, politicians and the "journalists" they hire as simply a cadre of professional criminals whose carefully crafted lies are used to soak up the blood and to cover the bodies of the dead, all in order to hide all that mayhem from our eyes, to insure justice is an impossibility and to make sure we Western citizens sleep well at night, oblivious to our connection to the actual realities that are this daily regime of pillage and plunder that is our vaunted "neoliberal order."

Ramdan
After watching the first 20 min I couldn't help but remembering this tale:

"The philosopher Diogenes (of Sinope) was eating bread and lentils for supper. He was seen by the philosopher Aristippus, who lived comfortably by flattering the king. Said Aristippus, 'If you would learn to be subservient to the king you would not have to live on lentils.' To which Diogenes replied, 'Learn to live on lentils and you will not have to be subservient to the king"."

which is also the reason why such a large part of humanity lives in voluntary servitude to power structures, living the dream, the illusion of being free..

Ramdan
"English Translation of Udo Ulfkotte's "Bought Journalists" Suppressed?" at Global Research 2017!!

https://www.globalresearch.ca/english-translation-of-udo-ulfkottes-bought-journalists-suppressed/5601857

Francis Lee
Just rechecked Amazon. Journalists for Hire: How the CIA Buys the News by Udo Ulfkotte PH.D. The tag line reads.

Hard cover – currently unavailable; paperback cover – currently unavailable; Kindle edition – ?

Book burning anyone?

nottheonly1
No translation exists for this interview with Udo Ulfkotte on KenFM, the web site of Ken Jebsen. Ken Jebsen has been in the cross hairs of the CIA and German agencies for his reporting of the truth. He was smeared and defamed by the same people that Dr. Ulfkotte had written extensively about in his book 'Gekaufte Journalisten' ('Bought Journalists').

The reason why I add this link to the interview lies in the fact that Udo Ulfkotte speaks about an important part of Middle Eastern and German history – a history that has been scrubbed from the U.S. and German populations. In the Iraq war against Iran – that the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R. – German chemical weapons were used under the supervision of the U.S. regime. The extend of the chemical weapons campaign was enormous and to the present day, Iranians are born with birth defects stemming from the used of German weapons of mass destruction.

Dr. Ulfkotte rightfully bemoans, that every year German heads of state are kneeling for the Jewish victims of National socialism – but not for the victims of German WMD's that were used against Iran. He stresses that the act of visual asking for forgiveness in the case of the Jewish victims becomes hypocrisy, when 40 years after the Nazis reigned, German WMD's were used against Iran. The German regime was in on the WMD attack on Iran. It was not something that happened because they had lost a couple of thousand containers with WMDs. They delivered the WMD's to Iraq under U.S. supervision.

Ponder that. And there has never been an apology towards Iran, or compensations. Nada. Nothing. Instead, the vile rhetoric and demagogery of every U.S. regime since has continued to paint Iran in the worst possible ways, most notably via incessant psychological projection – accusing Iran of the war crimes and crimes against humanity the U.S. and its Western vassal regimes are guilty of.

Here is the interview that was recorded shortly before Udo Ulfkotte's death:

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

If enough people support the effort, I am willing to contact KenFM for the authorization to translate the interview and use it for subtitles to the video. However, I can't do that on my own.

nottheonly1
Correction: the interview was recorded two years before his passing.
Antonym
the U.S. regime had pushed for in the same fashion the way they had pushed Nazi Germany to invade the U.S.S.R.

So Roosevelt pushed Hitler to attack Stalin? Hitler didn't want to go East? Revisionism at it most motive free.

nottheonly1
It would help if you would use your brain just once. 'Pushing' is synonymous for a variety of ways to instigate a desired outcome. Financing is just one way. And Roosevelt was in no way the benevolent knight history twisters like to present him. You are outing yourself again as an easliy duped sheep.

But then, with all the assaults by the unintelligence agencies, it does not come as a surprise when facts are twisted.

Antonym
Lebensraum was first popularized in 1901 in Germany https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lebensraum Hitler's "Mein Kampf" ( 1925) build on that: he had no need for any American or other push, it was intended from the get go. The timing of operation Barbarossa was brilliant though: it shocked Stalin into a temporary limbo as he had his own aggressive plans.
Casandra2
This excellent article demonstrates how the Controlling Elite manipulates the Media and the Message for purposes of misdirecting attention and perception of their true intentions and objective of securing Global Ownership (aka New World Order).

This approach has been assiduously applied, across the board, over many years, to the point were they now own and run everything required to subjugate the 'human race' to the horrors of their psychopathic inclinations. They are presently holding the global economy on hold until their AI population (social credit) control system/grid is in place before bringing the house down.

Needless to say, when this happens a disunited and frightened Global Population will be at their mercy.

If you wish to gain a full insight of what the Controlling Elite is about, and capable of, I recommend David Icke's latest publication 'Trigger'. I know he's been tagged a 'nutter' over the past thirty years, but I reckon this book represents the 'gold standard' in terms of generating awareness as a basis for launching a united global population counter-attack (given a great strategy) against forces that can only be defined as pure 'EVIL'.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Corporate Journalism is all about corporatism and the continuation of it. If the Intelligence Community needs greater fools for staffing purposes in the corporate hierarchy they look for anyone that can be compromised via inducements of whatever the greater fools want. Engaging in compromise allows both parties to have complicit & explicit understanding that corruption and falsehood are the tools of the trade. To all-of-a-sudden develop a conscience after decades of playing the part of a willing participant is understandable in light of the guilt complex one must develop after screwing everyone in the world out of the critical assessment we all need to obtain in order to make decisions regarding our futures.

Bought & paid for corporate Journalists are controlled by the Intelligence Agencies and always have been since at least the Second World War. The CIA typically runs bribery & blackmail at the state & federal level so that when necessary they have instant useless eaters to offer up as political sacrifice when required via state run propaganda, & impression management.

Assuming that journalism is an ethical occupation is naļve and a fools' game even in the alternative news domain as all writers write from bias & a lack of real knowledge. Few writers are intellectually honest or even aware of their own limits as writers. The writer is a failure and not a hero borne in myth. Writers struggle to write & publish. Bought and paid for writers don't have a struggle in terms of writing because they are told what to write before they write as automatons for the Intelligence Community knowing that they sold their collective souls to the Prince of Darkness for whatever trinkets, bobbles, or bling they could get their greedy hands on at the time.

Developing a conscience late in life is too late.

May all that sell their souls to the Intel agencies understand that pond scum never had a conscience to begin with.

Once pond scum always pond scum.

MOU

nottheonly1
What is not addressed in this talk is the addictive nature of this sort of public relation writing. Journalism is something different altogether. I know that, because I consider myself to be a journalist at heart – one that stopped doing it when the chalice was offered to me. The problem is that one is not part of the cabal one day to another.

It is a longer process in which one is gradually introduced to ever more expensive rewards/bribes. Never too big to overwhelm – always just about what one would accept as 'motivation' to omit aspects of any issue. Of course, omission is a lie by any other name, but I can attest to the life style of a journalist that socializes with the leaders of all segments of society.

And I would also write a critique about a great restaurant – never paying a dime for a fantastic dinner. The point though is that I would not write a good critique for a nasty place for money. I have never written anything but the truth – for which I received sometimes as much as a bag full of the best rolls in the country.

Twisting the truth for any form of bribes is disgusting and attests of the lowest of any character.

MASTER OF UNIVE
Professional whoring is as old as the hills and twice as dusty. Being ethical is difficult stuff especially when money is involved. Money is always a prime motivator but vanity works wonders too. Corporatists will offer whatever inducements they can to get what they want.

All mainstream media voices are selling a media package that is a corporatist lie in and of itself. Truth is less marketable than lies. Embellished news & journalistic hype is the norm.

If the devil offers inducements be sure to up the ante to outsmart the drunken sot.

MOU

[Nov 01, 2019] RAY McGOVERN Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain -- We Survived 1962 – Consortiumnews

Nov 01, 2019 | consortiumnews.com

Consortiumnews Volume 25, Number 304–Friday, November 1, 2019

Column , Cuba , Foreign Policy , Russia , U.S. , Until This Day--Historical Perspectives on the News RAY McGOVERN: Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain -- We Survived 1962 October 28, 2019 • 26 Comments

Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov spared humanity from extinction on what has been called "the most dangerous moment in human history."

By Ray McGovern
Special to Consortium News

O ct. 27, 1962, is the date on which we humans were spared extinction thanks to Soviet Navy submarine Captain Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov.

Arkhipov insisted on following the book on using nuclear weapons. He overruled his colleagues on Soviet submarine B-59, who were readying a 10-kiloton nuclear torpedo to fire at the USS Randolph task force near Cuba without the required authorization from Moscow.

Soviet naval officer Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov. (Wikimedia Commons)

Communications links with naval headquarters were down, and Arkhipov's colleagues were convinced WWIII had already begun. After hours of battering by depth charges from U.S. warships, the captain of B-59, Valentin Grigorievich Savitsky, screamed, "We're going to blast them now! We will die, but we will sink them all -- we will not disgrace our Navy!" But Captain Arkipov's permission was also required. He countermanded Savitsky and B-59 came to the surface.

Much of this account of what happened on submarine B-59 is drawn from Daniel Ellsberg's masterful book, "The Doomsday Machine" -- one of the most gripping and important books I have ever read. Dan explains, inter alia, on pages 216-217 the curious circumstance whereby the approval of Arkhipov, chief of staff of the submarine brigade at the time, was also required.

Ellsberg adds that had Arkhipov been stationed on one of the other submarines (for example, B-4, which was never located by the Americans), there is every reason to believe that the carrier USS Randolph and several, perhaps all, of its accompanying destroyers would have been destroyed by a nuclear explosion.

Equally chilling, says Dan:

"The source of this explosion would have been mysterious to other commanders in the Navy and officials on the ExComm, since no submarines known to be in the region were believed to carry nuclear warheads. The clear implication on the cause of the nuclear destruction of this antisubmarine hunter-killer group would have been a medium-range missile from Cuba whose launch had not been detected. That is the event that President Kennedy had announced on October 22 would lead to a full-scale nuclear attack on the Soviet Union."

'The Most Dangerous Moment in Human History'

Historian Arthur Schlesinger Jr., a close adviser to President John F. Kennedy, later described Oct. 27, 1962, as Black Saturday, calling it "the most dangerous moment in human history." On that same day, the Joint Chiefs of Staff recommended an all-out invasion of Cuba to destroy the newly emplaced Soviet missile bases there. Kennedy, who insisted that former U.S. Ambassador to Russia Llewelyn Thompson attend the meetings of the crisis planning group, rejected the advice of the military and, with the help of his brother Robert, Ambassador Thompson, and other sane minds, was able to work out a compromise with Soviet leader Nikita Khrushchev.

As for the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the president had already concluded that the top military were unhinged Russophobes, and that they deserved the kind of sobriquet used by Under Secretary of State George Ball applied to them -- a "sewer of deceit." As Ellsberg writes (in his Prologue, p. 3): "The total death toll as calculated by the Joint Chiefs, from a U.S. first strike aimed at the Soviet Union, its Warsaw Pact satellites, and China, would be roughly six hundred million dead. A hundred Holocausts." And yet the fools pressed on, as in trying to cross "The Big Muddy."

Intelligence Not So Good

The pre-Cuban-missile crisis performance of the intelligence community, including Pentagon intelligence, turned out to hugely inept. The U.S. military, for example, was blissfully unaware that the Soviet submarines loitering in the Caribbean were equipped with nuclear-armed torpedoes. Nor did U.S. intelligence know that the Russians had already mounted nuclear warheads on some of the missiles installed in Cuba and aimed at the U.S. (The U.S. assumption on Oct. 27 was that the warheads had not been mounted.)

It was not until 40 years later, at a Cuban crisis "anniversary" conference in Havana, that former U.S. officials like Defense Secretary Robert McNamara and National Security Advisor McGeorge Bundy learned that some of their key assumptions were dead and dangerously wrong. (Ellsberg p. 215ff)

Today the Establishment media has inculcated into American brains that it is a calumny to criticize the "intelligence community." This is despite the relatively recent example of the concocting of outright fraudulent "intelligence" to "justify" the attack on Iraq in 2003, followed even more recently, sans evidence, falsely accusing Putin himself of ordering Russian intelligence to "hack" the computers of the Democratic National Committee. True, the U.S. intelligence performance on Russia and Cuba in 1962 came close to getting us all killed in 1962, but back then in my view it was more a case of ineptitude and arrogance than outright dishonesty.

As for Cuba, one of the most consequential CIA failures was the formal Special National Intelligence Estimate (SNIE) of Sept. 19, 1962, which advised President Kennedy that Russia would not risk trying to put nuclear-armed missiles in Cuba. To a large extent this judgment was a consequence of one of the cardinal sins of intelligence analysis -- "mirror imaging." That is, we had warned the Russians strongly against putting missiles in Cuba; they knew the U.S., in those years would not take that kind of risk; ergo, they would take us at our word and avoid blowing up the world over Cuba. Or so the esteemed NIE estimators thought.

The Russians, too, were mirror imaging. Khrushchev and his advisers regarded U.S. nuclear war planners as rational actors acutely aware of the risks of escalation, who would shy away from ending life immediately for hundreds of millions of human beings. Their intelligence was not very good on the degree of Russophobia infecting Air Force General Curtis LeMay and others on the Joint Chiefs of Staff, who were prepared to countenance hundreds of millions of deaths in order "to end the Soviet threat." (Ellsberg was there; he provides a first-hand account of the craziness in "The Doomsday Machine.")

Where Did the Grenade Launchers Go?

I reported for active duty at Infantry Officers School at Fort Benning, Georgia, on Nov. 3, 1962, six days after the incident. Most of us new lieutenants had heard about a new weapon, the grenade launcher, and were eager to try it out. There were none to be found. Lots of other weapons normally used for training were also missing.

After we made numerous inquiries, the brass admitted that virtually all the grenade launchers and much of the other missing arms and vehicles had been swept up and carried south by a division coming through Georgia a week or so before. All of it was still down in the Key West area, we were told. Tangible signs as to how ready the JCS and Army brass were to attack Cuba, were President Kennedy to have acceded to their wishes.

Had that happened, it is likely that neither you nor I would be reading this. Yet, down at Benning, there were moans and groans complaining that we let the Commies off too easy.

Ray McGovern works with Tell the Word, a publishing arm of the ecumenical Church of the Saviour in inner-city Washington. He was an Army infantry/intelligence officer from 1962-64 and later served as Chief of CIA's Soviet Foreign Policy Branch and morning briefer of the President's Daily Brief. He is co-founder of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity (VIPS).

Before commenting please read Robert Parry's Comment Policy . Allegations unsupported by facts, gross or misleading factual errors and ad hominem attacks, and abusive or rude language toward other commenters or our writers will be removed. If your comment does not immediately appear, please be patient as it is manually reviewed. For security reasons, please refrain from inserting links in your comments.

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Tags: Cuban Missile Crisis denuclearization nuclear arms race Ray McGovern

Post navigation ← WikiLeaks Coverage: Another Good Reason to Support Consortium News PATRICK LAWRENCE: A Sudden-Seeming Power Shift in the Middle East → 26 comments for "RAY McGOVERN: Thanks to a Soviet Navy Captain -- We Survived 1962"

Walter , October 31, 2019 at 10:18

Ray (and others) may also wish to know the name of the man on Okinawa who stopped the MACE B launches, at gunpoint, which took place at the same time.

"If he tries to launch, shoot him."

See Japan Times : japantimes.co.jp/life/2012/07/08/general/okinawas-first-nuclear-missile-men-break-silence/

The MACE B targets were Chinese, no Ruski

What I want to know is WHO gave the order to fire that they got on Okinawa

Walter , October 31, 2019 at 10:38

stripes.com/news/special-reports/features/cold-war-missileers-refute-okinawa-near-launch-1.385439

has the story

"airmen were holding an Air Force nuclear missile crew at gunpoint deep in a top-secret bunker on Okinawa.

The crew had just been ordered to launch the island's missiles at targets in the Soviet Union and Asia, just as the Cuban Missile Crisis was reaching a harrowing climax in October 1962. But an Air Force launch officer was opposing the order.

The officer sent "two men over there with .45's and [they were] told to shoot anybody who tried to launch until the situation was resolved so those two men kept that whole crew at bay while we made a decision of what to do," said John Bordne, a nuclear missile mechanic for the Okinawa-based 873rd Tactical Missile Squadron who was on duty Oct. 28, 1962."

Coleen Rowley , October 30, 2019 at 21:44

Arkhipov was not the only Russian to save the world from nuclear Armageddon.

See this article: vox.com/2018/9/26/17905796/nuclear-war-1983-stanislav-petrov-soviet-union?fbclid=IwAR3XZREPaiekG2ncpUOUGkzppOqs9102z4pityZtIjvi19tWsHD4CLf3h4s

for a few other cases of Russians who kept their cool during mistaken perceptions when the protocol would have been to launch nuclear war.

Ray McGovern , October 30, 2019 at 16:59

A huge thank you for the many informative comments. Ray

Herman , October 30, 2019 at 15:58

Remembering the time and remembering it was like watching children playing chicken. Remember to0 the country was ingrained with the belief that mankind could be destroyed. Movies like On the Beach and Dr. Strangelove(that may not have been the title) made America conscious of the real threat of extinction out there and equally serious that there might be a Doctor Strangelove near the trigger. So as I and others watched and read we were torn between fear and the sense that it was unreal. The former Lieutenant Ray McGovern reminds us it was. And yes, a Russian of all things saved our behinds. Back to game seven of the World Series.

Lone Wolf , October 30, 2019 at 09:55

Mr. Ray McGovern, your article is a ray of light, no pun intended, shining brightly on the heart of darkness we live in. A MAD rule keeps the clock ticking two minutes to midnight, and there is no hope in sight of moving it backwards. All for what? Greed and possessiveness. What is the winner going to inherit after a nuclear war? A nuclear winter? How can they market that? Summer in Venus? Retirement on the moon? Tanning rooms galore? Just FYI, survivors might not have a skin to tan. The empire is reaching sunset, and it is threatening to take humanity with it into a long nuclear night mare. We can't let them.

Lone Wolf

PS: A new abnormal: It is still two minutes to midnight – See: thebulletin.org/doomsday-clock/current-time/

David Evans , October 30, 2019 at 07:49

A Tribute to Vasily Arkhipov (Who Saved the World in October of 1962)
(b. 30 January 1926 d. 19 August 1998)
Vice Admiral, Russian Navy
By Dave Evans

Today, as I sense the earth awakening
Under an umbrella of dueling pear trees,
I inhale the sweet esters of spring
Assuaging all my mortal fears.

So much beauty in a simple flower
Cast away those jaded eyes!
To see the art of a higher power
In the tears the racing clouds cry.

The universe has for many eons labored
To produce a blushing plum,
As the mountains were skillfully chiseled
With the rays of the rising sun.

Ours is a blue green gem hanging in the sky
Home to so many great aspirations,
Of generations gone by and by
Rising above our pitiful lamentations.

And what of our tumultuous history
Frozen in amber teardrop,
We are the offspring of a great mystery
Whose outcome we know not.

The world goes round and round
On this the eve of destruction,
As we are oblivion bound
Unknown actors in a tragic production.

Once before in history we were on the brink
Verily, verily, verily!
We have but one man to thank
Vasily, Vasily, Vasily!
Thank you for preserving Sophia's dream
Beyond the Warmongers' guile,
As the angry Generals screamed
With a blood-lust most vile.

Vasily, you have saved all mankind
We owe you a great debt of gratitude,
As we part the mists of time
And pay homage to your infinitude.

Bless the wake of your fair heart
That gave us our world back,
With the rays of a brand new start
Stopping the final attack!

I wish I could thank you to your face
Vasily my dear friend,
For saving the human race
And to our noble destiny defend!

To say the proper words to thank you
They are indeed hard to find,
As we were trapped in annihilation's queue
You saved all mankind!

elmerfudzie , October 29, 2019 at 22:49

Ray, thank you for rewriting the old propaganda story that claimed humanity was saved by JFK s diplomatic negotiations and unique skills during the Cuban missile crisis. Here's a cut n paste reprint of a few comments I made a few years ago, regarding the heroism of one, Vice Admiral Vasili Arkhipov and it is paraphrased here. I wish to pause, take a moment to extend the warmest thanks to Soviet Naval officer, Vasili Alexandrovich Arkhipov and his extended family. He, who single handed-ly prevented WW III during the crisis by refusing to launch a nuclear tipped torpedo into one of our U.S. battle cruisers.

Vice Admiral Arkhipov, if you can hear us from the grave, we award you the real "Nobel Peace Prize" not a piece of paper, not a figurine, not a check for one million dollars but a peace prize from our hearts, from those of us who truly understand, what is meant by military leadership and just how lonely, unrewarding, that place of authority and decision was for you! The world will NEVER be so lucky again!

Coleen Rowley , October 30, 2019 at 21:31

A FB friend filled me in on the following "rest of the story" re Arkhipov who was also on the the Soviet submarine K-19:

(From Wikipedia) "In July 1961, Arkhipov was appointed deputy commander and therefore executive officer of the new Hotel-class ballistic missile submarine K-19.[3] After a few days of conducting exercises off the south-east coast of Greenland, the submarine developed an extreme leak in its reactor coolant system. This leak led to failure of the cooling system. Radio communications were also affected, and the crew was unable to make contact with Moscow. With no backup systems, Commander Zateyev ordered the seven members of the engineer crew to come up with a solution to avoid nuclear meltdown. This required the men to work in high radiation levels for extended periods. They eventually came up with a secondary coolant system and were able to keep the reactor from a meltdown. Although they were able to save themselves from a nuclear meltdown, the entire crew, including Arkhipov, were irradiated. All members of the engineer crew and their divisional officer died within a month due to the high levels of radiation they were exposed to. Over the course of two years, fifteen more sailors died from the after-effects."

Tony , October 31, 2019 at 09:44

Yes, but Kennedy was also a big factor.

He was able to resist pressure to invade Cuba and so the Luna tactical nuclear missiles in Cuba were not used. We owe both Kennedy and Arkhipov a great deal.

Hans Janetzke , October 29, 2019 at 21:43

now wth the dumbest is president of the usa
remember the usa is only on of 35 independent countries
i worry more than i did in from 1950 to 1963
but i realise it is hard to open any pressure cooker under full pressure
also the now totally useless un is degraded to an puppy of the usa
all the hope we had with the un is not lost i hope they wake and rise up

Stan W. , October 29, 2019 at 15:33

I remember those days well as I was on a temporary assignment in Washington, D.C. Nerve-wracking period in history!

Tony , October 29, 2019 at 12:09

It is truly frightening to think of what would have happened if Lyndon Johnson had been president at the time.
He bombed Hanoi at around the time that Soviet premier Kosygin was there!

We need to eliminate nuclear weapons before they eliminate us. That is the very clear message coming from Ellsberg's book.

Incidentally, the Bay of Pigs was deliberately set up by the CIA to fail. It was in order to force JFK to invade Cuba.

John Drake , October 29, 2019 at 18:55

Good point, it is even more frightening to contemplate if Richard Nixon had defeated Kennedy and was President then.
Let us not forget that Kennedy refused to follow up war in Laos and Cambodia and had ordered the withdrawal of 1000 US troops(stymied by the Pentagon) from Vietnam; a precursor to complete withdrawal.
LBJ immediately reversed the order after JFK's death and then sent in combat troops after an election in which he promised "I'll not send Amurican(sic) boys to do what Asian boys ought to do for themselves".

jerry olek , October 29, 2019 at 10:53

I remember working on National Estimates in the late 1970s when the Pentagon was still pushing the idea that we could fight and win a nuclear war with the Soviets. Then CIA director, Stansfield Turner strongly disagreed with the analysis and successfully convinced people in power not to entertain such an idea. I believe military and civilian leaders, especially after Chernobyl, have come to realize that nuclear war would be catastrophic for all participants. But, I am concerned that President Trump does not fully understand the consequences of using nuclear weapons He supposedly asked in a Pentagon briefing why we had nuclear weapons if we don't use them.

M Le Docteur Ralph , October 29, 2019 at 08:40

Words mean everything.
We always call it the Cuban missile crisis, not the Turkish missile crisis and that betrays our prejudice.
Meaning that it was perfectly okay for the U.S. Air Force to handover nuclear capable Jupiter missiles that could reach Moscow to the Italian and Turkish air force to be installed at Bari and Izmir, but when Khrushchev reacted and installed Soviet missiles in Cuba this created the crisis.
The real origins of this crisis lie in the fact that the real enemy of the U.S. Army was never the Red Army it was always the U.S. Navy and the US Air Force. The U.S. Army developed the Jupiter missile so that it would possess its own nuclear deterrent but then lost control of it to the U.S. Air Force.
The U.S. Air Force and its preferred contractors were not missile friendly at the time as they wanted to build as many bombers as possible and had invented the "bomber gap" to enable this. So given the U.S. Army's Jupiter program was an anathema to the U.S. Air Force as they represented a potential threat to the bomber budget, the missiles were parked on Italian and Turkish air force bases with the local air force being responsible for the missiles (to ensure there would be problems with the Army developed missiles) and the U.S. Air Force controlling the nuclear warheads.
A brilliant plan, sure to win victory in the war of inter-service rivalry but which failed to take into account the fact that what the Soviet leadership saw were missiles that could reach Moscow being placed into the hands of the Italians who had participated in Operation Barbarossa and their traditional enemies the Turks with whom Russia had fought an endless series of wars and who had so recently facilitated the Nazi invasion of the USSR by allowing access through the Dardanelles.
In April 1959, the Secretary of the Air Force issued instructions to deploy two Jupiter squadrons to Italy to be operated by Italian Air Force crews with USAF personnel controlling the arming of the nuclear warheads. In October 1959, a government-to-government agreement was signed with Turkey and resulted in a third Jupiter squadron being deployed in and around ?zmir, Turkey. In October 1962 a first flight of three Jupiter missiles was handed over to control of the Turkish Air Force again with USAF personnel supposedly controlling the arming of the nuclear warheads.
How are the Soviets to know that the USAF personnel were really in control and an Italian or Turkish equivalent of General Ripper did not have access to the keys? You cannot overfly with a U2 to find that out.
Real equivalence in the so-called Cuban missile crisis would be if the Soviet Union had installed medium-range missiles that could hit Los Angeles, Chicago and New York at a base in Sinaloa Mexico, then handed over the keys to the missiles to the Mexicans while insisting that everything was hunky-dory because a Soviet officer with known drug problems had the keys to the nuclear warhead.

Todd Pierce , October 29, 2019 at 08:24

Great article Ray! And absolutely necessary for the American people, meaning all of us in this hemisphere, to know how close millions of us came to being incinerated by the criminality of the US Joint Chiefs of Staff and their allies in government who saw the Cuban Crisis as an "opportunity" to launch our own "preemptive" nuclear attack on the USSR, and the JCS willingness to accept a reciprocal attack in retaliation which would predictably kill at least 20 million people in this hemisphere, as a "fair exchange" for the hundreds of millions of human beings the US nuclear attack would incinerate in the USSR. That's how "Mad" the US military was then, and is today, if one reads current doctrine. William R. Polk was there in the White House as McGeorge Bundy's advisor, and has written of this and told me details in a lengthy oral history. He tells of how angry at Kennedy the JCS were, so much that he feared a military coup, as did Kennedy, as explained in this video:
`JFK wanted movie "Seven Days in May" made' [youtube.com/watch?v=fRiZtqVPJ9U]

But Americans have this placid confidence, similar to the "What, me worry" attitude of the Holstein cows I once dealt with in my youth, even as we would be preparing them for a ride to the stockyards, that the threat or possibility of nuclear war/accident is a thing of the past, even while we, the US, under three administrations now, has been hard at work to increase the possibility of some sort of nuclear conflagration in our lifetimes.

Noah Way , October 28, 2019 at 20:09

The Soviets also had atomic artillery which could have been used to repel a US invasion, which would also have started WW3. The bullet was dodged twice – first by JFK NOT invading, then by Arkhipov by not allowing the launch of a nuclear torpedo.

As Ray has said, now there are no adults in the room.

SteveK9 , October 28, 2019 at 17:46

Our military is no less crazy today. Subtext of Putin's March 1, 2018 address on new strategic nuclear weapons 'nuclear war is unthinkable, so kindly stop thinking about it'.

geeyp , October 28, 2019 at 16:27

Those moans and groans weren't just happening in Georgia, Ray.

robert e williamson jr , October 28, 2019 at 16:02

Hats off again to Mr. McGovern for calling balls and strikes with uncanny precision .

I'm sure of that moaning and groaning at Ft. Benning seeing as how those folks had no clue to what had really happened and would have moaned and groaned even had they known. After all Ray it was OCS.

Ray I'm recommending that everyone listen to the interview of Edward Snowden by Joe Rogan. In fact get a hold of Bill Binney, Tom Drake, J. Kurt Wiebe and Ed Loomis and let them know about it. Some fascinating stuff for me and it could be a major eye opener for those naive individuals who believe cell phones in their current configuration are great tools. I'm betting 90% of those who would watch this would want that, "I own my data not ( the cell phone company name goes here), "button" Snowden talked about.

I'm I wrong here or can everyone who agrees that the "Orange Apocalypse" could shoot someone on 5th Avenue and be above prosecution be tried on conspiring to give the " fake potus" dictatorial powers and removed from office?

Thanks again Ray for your great work

Tennegon , October 29, 2019 at 17:50

As for Mr. Snowden, I happened to watch the video, 'Citizenfour', last night on Roku. If you're not aware of it, it's certainly worth trying to view: citizenfourfilm.com

incontinent reader , October 28, 2019 at 14:34

Ray- Great article. I hope those in the Administration and Congress read it- and read Ellsberg's book.

Drew Hunkins , October 28, 2019 at 14:05

Now the lines of communication between the Kremlin and Washington are all but severed. Any current or future U.S. president who merely wants to sit down for two minutes and discuss Russian hockey with Lavrov will be immediately branded a Putin puppet or Moscow stooge. If we experience a Cuban missile crisis type scenario today we could all be pulverized into dust thanks to Maddow, Clapper, Brennan, Podesta, NPR, Fred Hiatt and the other establishment Russophobes in our midst.

This madness must stop.

Hank , October 28, 2019 at 19:07

I feel that the unspoken consensus among high CIA officials and warmongering US military brass was that the Bay of Pigs was a win-win for them, regardless of how it played out. The CIA had to know Castro's immense popularity among the Cuban population, so long impoverished by American corporations under Batista. To think that a man like Castro would have to face a "Cuban uprising" when a beachhead was secured by a small contingent of about 1300 anti-Castro mercenaries(trained by the CIA) is laughable when looking back. JFK was between a rock and a hard place and he NEVER promised any air support should this small brigade come under attack by Castro small Cuban air force of a few planes! He even had to deal with a lying Adlai Stevenson at the UN, who stated that the USA was NOT involved in the Bay of Pigs attack. That ammunition ship off shore that blew up could easily have been a CIA op expediting what it really wanted- a crushing and embarrassing defeat for the new President(who wasn't supposed to be President in the first place- sound familiar?) JFK quickly accepted responsibility for this defeat but was now intent on paying back those in the CIA who had set him up. Much of what we think we know about wars is just the "smoke" that comes out of the fire, while the fire generally gets swept under the rug of "history". Kennedy stood up to the Deep State in the early 60's much like Trump advertised his intention to during his campaign, but it was certainly easier to convince a gullible public that "Oswald did it" in 1963 than it would be to set someone up for Trump's assassination nowadays! Hence, we have the CONSTANT media/Deep State CHARACTER assassination of Trump 24/7.

countykerry , October 28, 2019 at 19:58

I completely agree with you DH . Leave a Reply Cancel reply

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[Nov 01, 2019] Viable Opposition The Legal Connection Between Washington and Kiev

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Note this key excerpt from the letter of transmittal: ..."
"... " Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state. " ..."
"... The Treaty was reported favourable by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 27, 2000, consented to ratification by the Senate on October 18, 2000 and ratified by the President of the United States on January 5, 2001. The Treaty was entered into force on February 27, 2001. Here are the title page of the Treaty and the signature page: ..."
"... With this background and while I don't want to appear to be pro- or anti-Trump, it is very, very clear that the current POTUS was within the law under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and Ukraine when it comes to asking Ukraine to investigate a potential criminal matter. ..."
October 15, 2019 | viableopposition.blogspot.com

With the Trump impeachment procedures ongoing and the connection to his conversation about the Biden family with Ukraine President Zelenskyy, there has been very little coverage of an important aspect of the relationship between Washington and Kiev. While none of us can speak to the actual intent of Donald Trump's remarks be it for personal gain or for other reasons, there is background information that may help illuminate the context of the discussion between the two world leaders.

In case you haven't read the pertinent section of the transcript of the conversation, here it is:

" President Zelenskyy : Yes it is very important for me and everything that you just mentioned earlier. For me as a President, it is very important and we are open for any future cooperation. We are ready to open a new page on cooperation in relations between the United States and Ukraine. For that purpose, I just recalled our ambassador from United States and he will be replaced by a very competent and very experienced ambassador who will work hard on making sure that our two nations are getting closer. I would also like and hope to see him having your trust and your confidence and have personal relations with you so we can cooperate even more so. I will personally tell you that one of my assistants spoke with Mr. Giuliani just recently and we are hoping very much that Mr. Giuliani will be able to travel to Ukraine and we will meet once he comes to Ukraine. I just wanted to assure you once again that you have nobody but friends around us. I will make sure that I surround myself with the best and most experienced people. I also wanted to tell you that we are friends. We are great friends and you Mr. President have friends in our country so we can continue our strategic partnership. I also plan to surround myself with great people and in addition to that investigation, I guarantee as the President of Ukraine that all the investigations will be done openly and candidly.. That I can assure you.

President Trump : Good because I heard you had a prosecutor who was very good and he was shut down and that's really unfair. A lot of people are talking about that, the way they shut your very good prosecutor down and you had some very bad people involved. Mr. Giuliani is a highly respected man. He was the mayor of New York City, a great mayor, and I would like him to call you. I will ask him to call you along with the Attorney General. Rudy very much knows what's happening and he is a very capable guy. If you could speak to him that would be great. The former ambassador from the United States, the woman, was bad news and the people she was dealing with in the Ukraine were bad news so I just want to let you know that. The other thing, There's a lot of talk about Biden's son, that Biden stopped the prosecution and a lot of people want to find out about that so whatever you can do with the Attorney General would be great. Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution so if you can look into it... It sounds horrible to me.

President Zelenskyy : I wanted to tell you about the prosecutor. First of all, I understand and I'm knowledgeable about the situation. Since we have won the absolute majority in our Parliament, the next prosecutor general will be 100% my person, my candidate, who will be approved, by the parliament and will start as a new prosecutor in September. He or she will look into the situation, specifically to the company that you mentioned in this issue. The issue of the investigation of the case is actually the issue of making sure to restore the honesty so we will take care of that and will work on the investigation of the case. On top of that, I would kindly ask you if you have any additional information that you can provide to us, it would be very helpful for the investigation to make sure that we administer justice in our country with regard to the Ambassador to the United States from Ukraine as far as I recall her name was Ivanovich. It was great that you were the first one who told me that she was a bad ambassador because I agree with you 100%. Her attitude towards me was far from the best as she admired the previous President and she was on his side. She would not accept me as a new President well enough.

President Trump : Well, she's going to go through some things. I will have Mr. Giuliani give you a call and I am also going to have Attorney General Barr call and we will get to the bottom of it. I'm sure you will figure it out. I heard the prosecutor was treated very badly and he was a very fair prosecutor so good luck with everything. Your economy is going to get better and better I predict. You have a lot of assets. It's a great country. I have many Ukrainian friends, their incredible people." (my bolds)

Now, let's look back in time to 1998. On July 22, 1998, a treaty was signed between Ukraine and Washington.

The Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters was signed in Kiev on the aforementioned date. Here is an excerpt from the The original letter of submittal from the Department of State to the President's office dated October 19, 1999 which states the following:

"I have the honor to submit to you the Treaty between the United States of America and Ukraine on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters with Annex (``the Treaty''), signed at Kiev on July 22, 1998. I recommend that the Treaty be transmitted to the Senate for its advice and consent to ratification.
Also enclosed, for the information of the Senate, is an exchange of notes under which the Treaty is being provisionally applied to the extent possible under our respective domestic laws, in order to provide a basis for immediate mutual assistance in criminal matters. Provisional application would cease upon entry into force of the Treaty.

The Treaty covers mutual legal assistance in criminal matters. In recent years, similar bilateral treaties have entered into force with a number of other countries. The Treaty with Ukraine contains all essential provisions sought by the United States. It will enhance our ability to investigate and prosecute a range of offenses. The Treaty is designed to be self-executing and will not require new legislation." (my bold)

The Treaty was then transmitted by the President of the United States (Bill Clinton) to the Senate on November 10, 1999 (Treaty Document 106-16 -106th Congress - First Session) as shown on this letter of transmittal from Bill Clinton's office:

Note this key excerpt from the letter of transmittal:

" Mutual assistance available under the Treaty includes: taking of testimony or statements of persons; providing documents, records, and articles of evidence; serving documents; locating or identifying persons; transferring persons in custody for testimony or other purposes; executing requests for searches and seizures; assisting in proceedings related to restraint, confiscation, forfeiture of assets, restitution, and collection of fines; and any other form of assistance not prohibited by the laws of the requested state. "

The Treaty was reported favourable by the Senate Committee on Foreign Relations on September 27, 2000, consented to ratification by the Senate on October 18, 2000 and ratified by the President of the United States on January 5, 2001. The Treaty was entered into force on February 27, 2001. Here are the title page of the Treaty and the signature page:

Here are the first two pages of the Treaty which outline the scope of assistance that is to be offered by both nations as well as the limitations on assistance:

... ... ...

If you wish to read the Treaty in its entirety, please click here .

With this background and while I don't want to appear to be pro- or anti-Trump, it is very, very clear that the current POTUS was within the law under the Treaty on Mutual Legal Assistance in Criminal Matters between the United States and Ukraine when it comes to asking Ukraine to investigate a potential criminal matter.

[Nov 01, 2019] Russia, Ukraine, and Donald Trump by Stephen F. Cohen

Nov 01, 2019 | www.unz.com

Cohen notes that the Russian press, which follows American politics closely, has resulted in a consensus that all of this -- Russiagate, Ukrainegate -- was created to stop Trump from having better relations with Russia. Thus, it is important that Putin had been told the reason Trump cannot engage in détente is because of Trump being shackled.

Cohen noted that expert opinion in Russia -- which informs the Kremlin leadership, including Putin -- has soured on the United States; the older generation of Russian America specialists who like America, who visit regularly and appreciate American culture, have become utterly disillusioned and cannot promote a Russian-American partnership given what has happened to Trump.

Regarding Ukraine, Cohen notes it shares a very large border with Russia, tens of millions of intermarriages, language, culture and history, and although the United States shares none of this with Ukraine, the United States has declared Ukraine is a strategic ally, and this would be equivalent to Russia stating that Mexico is its strategic ally, which is preposterous; the term "strategic" clearly has military implications.


renfro , says: November 1, 2019 at 4:49 am GMT

I agree with Cohen.

Congress (and the Jewish groups) ruined Nixon's effort with Russia.
Now congress and the eternally stupid Dems are ruining Trump's efforts.

I have argued for years that we should have taken Russia in as an ally affter WWII.

Alfred , says: November 1, 2019 at 5:14 am GMT
Your line of thinking might reflect the way some people in the US Establishment look on the matter. However, this is militarily a non-starter. Attacking Russia with nuclear weapons would immediately result in the disappearance of the USA.

IMHO, Ukraine and other countries has been a gift to corrupt US politicians. The money they send to Ukraine never ends in the hands of those who are supposed to get it -- the Ukrainian peoples (it is de facto several countries). The money is redirected into the hands of US and Ukrainian politicians and Jewish oligarchs.

The weapons that are sent to Ukraine are largely sold off to countries in the Middle East -- countries which in turn give them to terrorists on their payrolls. This money largely benefits the upper echelons of the army of Ukraine.

S , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:01 am GMT
Powerful elements amongst the US power elites and their hangers on wish to provoke a war with Russia. The obtainment of total world power would seem to be the ultimate objective.

Z Brzizinski in his late 1990's book The Grand Chessboard specifically points out the importance of Ukraine to US ambitions in Eurasia.

Excerpts below from an 1853 US geo-political book called The New Rome elaborate further. I see the mid 19th century book and it's contents potentially as 'a suggestion' being put into the US public's mind to let them know what was expected of them in the future, and why, as most people in the US, then and now, are rather indifferent about Russia, just as most Russians are probably indifferent about the United States.

Similarly, Russia could be being manipulated into a war with the US, a war which potentially could largely destroy both the US and Russia, which indeed may be the idea as part of a larger picture.

People have their refusal.

Has Mr Cohen read this generally unknown 1853 book, The New Rome ?

Some excerpts from The New Rome linked below:

US and UK are free, Russia is not.

pg 155

'Freedom is now limited to the oceanic world, to England and America; Russia, with its continental dependencies, is despotic..'

After US and UK form a united front and conquer Germany (the center of power upon continental Europe) and consolidate control over it, the US and Russia will then square off.

pg 109

'Thus the lines are drawn. The choirs are marshalled on each wing of the world's stage, Russia leading the one, the United States the other. Yet the world is too small for both, and the contest must end in the downfall of the one and the victory of the other.'

Global projection of US air power is to be the key for final US victory over Russia.

pg.155-156

'It [air power] will give us the victory over Russian continentalism. American air-privateers will be down upon the Russian garrisons, to use our own expressive slang, 'like a parcel of bricks'

https://majorityrights.com/weblog/comments/the_new_rome_or_the_united_states_of_the_world_1853

https://archive.org/details/politicalprophec00goeb/page/n3

Erebus , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:05 am GMT
There's a treaty obliging the USA and Ukraine to cooperate in the prosecution of criminal matters. One wonders why it seems to have escaped notice.
Dan Hayes , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:25 am GMT
Who transcribed the broadcast (Giraldi?). BTW, I regard the transcription as very fair and accurate.

Listening to the very last stages of the broadcast I felt that Batchelor became somewhat confrontational towards Cohen. As a matter of fact Cohen remarked that Batchelor will be getting a lot of phone calls and emails over that!

Franz , says: November 1, 2019 at 6:32 am GMT

Here is the obvious explanation.
Zio-Globalist led by Rothschild are dead set to destroy, or at least neutralize Russia.

Keep in mind another clear and obvious point: The Zio-Globalists now see the USA as totally expendable. There is some sign they are throwing it to the curb right now.

To be fair, Netanyahu said as much years ago. America would be tossed when no longer needed. Well, that day is coming close. Productive facilities leaving the nation is nearing its half-century mark, and now even films and TV shows mostly film in Canada, the UK, etc., even though they are sold as US products, which they are mostly not.

Destroy and Russia and USA, part one. Get them to blame each other, part two. Three? They'll both still have lots of bombs

Jake , says: November 1, 2019 at 1:03 pm GMT

@Ilyana_Rozumova “Russia now is last resistance to Globalist control of all world.
China for Globalists is not really a problem. When Globalists will control Russia than China will like it not, will be controlled by flow of energy.”

That is essentially the situation. If Russia is forced to be something close to a vassal of the Anglo-Zionist Empire, then China will be faced with being forced into the same boat. The Chinese might well prefer nuclear war, and unleashing 5 million men at arms, with another 5 million in training camps.

The leaders of the Anglo-Zionist Empire would not care a teeny tiny bit if Korea, southeast Asia, the Philippines, and Japan were to be decimated. They would be tickled pink to fill those lands with black Africans and Sunni Arabs, with Jews running the local shows

Emslander , says: November 1, 2019 at 1:20 pm GMT
@Baron Ukraine is lebensraum . It has had little importance in geopolitical affairs until Russia stupidly gave it its independence upon the breakup of the Soviet Union. Now it’s a slush fund for the most prominent Democrat politicians. It’s also become another conveniently remote shithole for justifying insane military spending.

[Nov 01, 2019] Color revolution is a method of using a minority to render the country ungovernble, waving a simplistic banner against corruption and for (undefined) democracy, which leaves the masses unorganized and eschews even a platform, in favor of a secret coterie run by intelligence againces

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... And there is the real definition, which is using a minority to render the country ungovernble, waving a simplistic banner against corruption and for undefined democracy, which movement leaves the masses unorganized and eschews even a platform lest they organize, in favor of a secret coterie. ..."
"... No matter how you view Trump, it is undeniable that several signs of a color revolution were present in Russiagate (and Ukrainegate, which is, in essence, Russiagate 2.0 -- a counterattack on the attempt by Trump to investigate the origins of Russiagate). ..."
Nov 01, 2019 | crookedtimber.org

steven t johnson 10.31.19 at 8:35 pm 46

Faustusnotes@43 continues the meltdown, notably forgetting his own list of non-rigid class societies (nations, ) retreating to the UK and Australia. Reminding everyone of the widely accepted definition for color revolution would have been useful. There is the propaganda notion, a vague image of the outraged people rising en masse to throw out the Communists/Communist-adjacent corrupt (unlike all others of course,) government. Inasmuch as likbez specifically denied a mass movement, this is still as much a red herring as it was when first brandished.

And there is the real definition, which is using a minority to render the country ungovernble, waving a simplistic banner against corruption and for undefined democracy, which movement leaves the masses unorganized and eschews even a platform lest they organize, in favor of a secret coterie. Thus when the Astroturf does drive out the current administration, mirabile dictu! nothing changes except its receptivity to international capital. The fundamental color revolution mechanism it seems to me is the hiding of the real program, the true commitment to capital, behind a facade.

Lastly, the idea that likbez just made stuff up is remarkable. If anything, it seems to me that likbez has been heavily influenced by the thesis of Quinn Slobodian's The Globalists. But that book may be touted largely as (unread) proof somebody disreputable isn't acceptable in polite company, not really useful otherwise.

Surprisingly, nastywoman confirms my general impression is really seeing the EU as the inspiration for a better society, without radicalism, much less revolution. I agree there's nothing worse than revolution except not having a revolution, which I guess takes us back to square one. The EU of course is really the Maastricht treaty, the Lisbon treaty, the announcement that elections can't change policy, technocrats as PM in Italy, Greece, etc. In short, nastywoman confesses to incoherence. But nastywoman can take joy in correctly spotting that I'm a disgusting old person too vile to understand rap and can hope I'll be dead soon, and blight humanity no more.

likbez 10.31.19 at 11:22 pm (no link)

Faustusnotes 10.30.19 at 2:38 pm @43

'Color revolution ' has a specific meaning and what happened to Lula and Trump ain't it

You probably never read Gene Sharp, who passed in Feb 2018. Claims of "corruption" and "unfair" election results (which includes foreign influence on elections) are classic color revolution methods described in detail in his books.

Participation of intelligence agencies and controlled by them MSM is a distinctive feature of any color revolution: is it, in essence, a modern, very sophisticated variant of a false flag operation. Controlled/influenced (often indirectly) by intelligence agencies MSM essentially serve the role similar to airforce in modern neocolonial wars (and the level of control is staggering starting from the operation Mockingbird; see Journalists for Hire How the CIA Buys the News by Dr. Udo Ulfkotte).

No matter how you view Trump, it is undeniable that several signs of a color revolution were present in Russiagate (and Ukrainegate, which is, in essence, Russiagate 2.0 -- a counterattack on the attempt by Trump to investigate the origins of Russiagate).

Here is the list adapted from the writings on the topic by former CIA analyst Larry C Johnson and Colonel Lang (DIA). The latter led intelligence analysis of the Middle East and South Asia for the Defense Department and world-wide HUMINT activities in a high-level equivalent to the rank of a lieutenant general. He runs well respected
Sic Semper Tyrannis blog.

Both think that the CIA pulled the main strings. They noted the following:

  1. -- Obama officials efforts in establishing surveillance on Trump campaign on a false pretext (FICA memo scandal, etc.) ;
  2. -- CrowdStrike false flag operation with DNC -- converting the internal leak into Russian break-in;
  3. -- MI6 fabrication of Steele dossier using materials from the USA obtained via Fusion GPS and Brennan and rehashing them as an original British intelligence.
  4. -- Brennan use of Steele dossier to produce "17 intelligence agencies assessment," which served as the signal of unleashing of Russiagate hysteria in neoliberal MSM and the official start of Russiagate.
  5. -- Rosenstein gambit with using firing of Comey as a convenient pretext for appointment Mueller (appointment of the Special Prosecutor was in the cards anyway and was inescapable for Trump as it was a preplanned action by the plotters, and they controlled all the necessary strings; this probably was the meaning of the word "insurance" in Strzok-Page text messages).
  6. -- McCabe's opening of FBI investigation of Trump links to Russia.
  7. -- Alexandra Chalupa machination with getting dirt on Trump and his associates (Manafort) from Poroshenko government (which was a client state anyway so it is funny that Schiff now tries to claim that Ukraine can exercise foreign influence; it is a USA controlled entity; the country in a debt trap ).
  8. -- Systematic attempts to entrap Trump associates with connection to the Russian government by CIA, MI6 and Italian intelligence (Misfud entrapment operation, Felix Sater entrapment operation with idea of building of Trump hotel in Moscow, Halper entrapment attempt, MI6 entrapment operation with Natalia Veselnitskaya visit to Trump tower, etc.).

I think that under the weight of those facts, the picture is more or less clear -- this was a color revolution.

[Oct 28, 2019] Maria Butina Denies She's a Russian Spy -- Says She Was Railroaded by 'Anti-Russian Hysteria'

Oct 28, 2019 | pluralist.com

Oct 27, 2019

In her first interview since her release from federal prison in the United States, Maria Butina denied ever acting as a spy for Russia and said she pleaded guilty in her case because she didn't stand a chance for a fair trial because of "anti-Russian hysteria" in the U.S.

Butina, 30, was released from jail in Florida on Friday after serving most of an 18-month prison sentence. She was deported to Russia, where she gave her first interview to RT, the Russia-owned media outlet.

"I've never been a spy, and I have never been charged with any espionage charges," she said in an interview that aired Saturday.

"I did plea to be a foreign agent, because, look I am in solitary confinement in jail facing 15 years, knowing that statistically Americans plea in more than 90 percent of cases. Why do they do that?"

She added that "if you go to trial, you're going to lose that trial."

"Especially me, a Russian, on trial in Washington, D.C., in the middle of anti-Russian hysteria? I would have gotten all 15 years. So, my choice was obvious."

A federal grand jury in Washington, D.C., indicted Butina on July 17, 2018, on charges that she acted as an unregistered foreign agent of Russia and conspired to do the same.

She pleaded guilty Dec. 13, 2018, to the conspiracy charge, and admitted that she operated under the direction of Aleksandr Torshin, who previously served as deputy chairman of Russia's central bank, to establish "unofficial ties" to Republican political operatives in the U.S.

Butina captured media attention well before the indictment, in part because of her appearance -- she has long red hair and a penchant for guns. Butina and Torshin operated a group called Right to Bear Arms, which advocated for gun rights in Russia.

Through that group, Butina and Torshin established relationships with executives at the National Rifle Association. They also made contacts with conservative political operatives, and attempted to establish ties with the Trump campaign.

U.S. prosecutors initially floated the theory that Butina used sex as part of a scheme to collect information from targets. But they admitted in a Sept. 8, 2018, court filing that their interpretation of allegedly salacious text messages was inaccurate.

Butina's lawyer, Robert Driscoll, also accused prosecutors of withholding exculpatory information regarding Butina, who studied at American University in Washington, D.C., before her arrest.

In a July 26 letter to the Justice Department, Driscoll pointed to statements made by Patrick Byrne, the now-former CEO of Overstock.com, who said he was tasked by the FBI to develop a relationship with Butina and keep tabs on her. Byrne said he told his contacts at the FBI that he did not believe Butina was engaged in wrongdoing.

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[Oct 28, 2019] Could we please kill the Blob's "gift to Putin" meme?

Oct 28, 2019 | nonzero.org

Oct 26 2019 American foreign policy elites are in near-unanimous agreement that President Trump's withdrawal of troops from northern Syria, along with the ensuing influx of Russian and Syrian troops, is a "gift to Putin." Some variant of that phrase has over the past two weeks appeared in headlines from the venerable New York Times, the venerable Foreign Affairs, and the quasi-venerable CNN, among other mainstream outlets.
Russian elites have joined their American counterparts in viewing recent developments in Syria as a zero-sum game that Russia won and the United States lost. One Russian newspaper touted Russia's "triumph in the Middle East," and an analyst on Russian TV said this triumph is "sad for America."
There are certainly things to be sad about. It's sad that Trump's withdrawal -- impulsively ordered, with no diplomatic preparation -- has caused so much more havoc and suffering, especially for the Kurds, than was necessary. And to me, at least, it's sad that Trump, in his record-setting incompetence, is giving military withdrawals a bad name.
But I don't buy the premise of the "gift to Putin" meme -- that a decline of American influence in Syria, and a commensurate growth in Russian influence, is inherently a sad thing for America. This shift may well be good for Putin, but it could also be, in the long run, good for the United States and good for the Middle East broadly.

Some people may find the previous sentence, with it's win-win overtones, deeply disorienting if not flat-out unintelligible. The Cold War idea that the U.S. and Russia are playing a zero-sum game has gotten a second wind in recent years, in part because of genuine contentions between the two but also because of #Resistance psychology. Acting on the intuition that the friend of my enemy is my enemy, lots of anti-Trumpers look at the often-cozy relationship between Trump and Vladimir Putin (including their symbiosis during the 2016 presidential campaign) and conclude that Russia must be thwarted at every stop.
But what most needs thwarting is this archaic way of looking at foreign policy -- as a Manichaean struggle for influence between the United States and its allies, on the one hand, and the forces of darkness on the other. The U.S. shares important interests with Russia -- and, for that matter, with Russian allies Syria and Iran -- and the sooner it recognizes that, the better.
I noted one example of this in last week's newsletter: Russia and Syria and Iran are enemies of ISIS, one of the final obstacles to firm regime control of Syria. So any reprieve to ISIS granted by America's abrupt withdrawal may be temporary.
But a larger and more critical point is that the challenge facing Russia and its client regime in Syria -- not just consolidating control of Syria but rebuilding a devastated country -- leaves Russia with no interest in the further destabilization of the Middle East. Which is good, because it's hard to imagine the Middle East getting much more unstable -- especially along the fault line between Iran and Syria on the one hand and Israel and Saudi Arabia on the other -- without another disastrous war breaking out.
Russia has already shown signs of being able to play a constructive role here -- a fact that, oddly, has been emphasized even by some who buy the "gift to Putin" thesis. Hal Brands of the American Enterprise Institute -- in a Bloomberg Opinion essay titled, "Putin Conquered the Middle East. The U.S. Can Get It Back" -- notes that "Putin has shown diplomatic flexibility, keeping the lines open to nearly all players throughout the region."
Brands laments "the collapse of America's position in the region and Moscow's ascendance as the key power broker in the Syrian civil war." He goes on: "Moscow, in partnership with Iran and its proxies, has made itself the centerpiece of the diplomacy and regional power struggles surrounding that conflict. To what other capital would both Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu of Israel and Qassem Soleimani, the commander of Iran's Quds Force, trek to discuss Middle Eastern security?"
Not Washington, certainly -- and that's the point! It isn't just that Russia shares America's interest in a stable Middle East. It's that Russia, unlike America, is in a position to do something about it. Yet Brands is so busy recoiling at Russia's regional rise that he doesn't welcome, or perhaps even quite recognize, its potential benefits -- even as he comes tantalizingly close to spelling them out.
Brands's disposition is shared by many in the American foreign policy establishment. They combine an awareness that America hasn't translated its regional power into productive diplomacy with a deep aversion to any waning of that power. This isn't as ironic as it may sound. Many, perhaps most, of them see America's diplomatic impotence as a product of the Trump era. They want to preserve American influence so that, once Trump is gone, it can again be used wisely.
Hope is a wonderful thing, but in this case you have to wonder what its historical basis is. When exactly in recent American history could you have gotten an Iranian leader, and not just an Israeli leader, to trek to Washington? Would that be, say, right after George W. Bush declared Iran part of the "axis of evil"? Even Barack Obama, more intent on improving relations with Iran than any recent president, never got all the way to rapprochement.
To read the rest of this piece, go to Politico Magazine . [ Back story: A Politico editor who read the piece in last week's NZN that noted the shared Russian-US interest in subduing ISIS asked me if I wanted to do a piece on other non-zero-sum aspects of Russia's growing influence in the Middle East -- in other words, a piece that would rebut the "gift to Putin" argument more broadly. This piece, published in Politico Magazine a few hours before this week's newsletter came out, is the result.]

[Oct 28, 2019] Putin Derangement Syndrome Craziester And More Craziester

Notable quotes:
"... Libs and neocons are too stupid to see the Russia situation with any clarity. They think it's still 1951 and they're battling the commies hither and yon. ..."
"... Oh, and Putin is still here. Despite the sanctions and despite the Soros funded color revolution against him. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust him much (neither do I trust any politician in the world) but he is the result of the US policy of the 90s to push Russia further into the ground. ..."
"... That color revolution might get stepped up a bit now since Rosneft decided to trade oil and gas only in Euro. ..."
"... US diplomacy and foreign policy has become amateur hour and who can steal the most the fastest, real fuckups. ..."
"... I just watched CNN's 1-hour prime-time special on "Russian spying" on State Department in 1999 (which was, like, 20 years ago. I guess the Russians also colluded in the 2000 presidential elections with the aim of electing George W. Bush) I kid you not. These guys are about as subtle as a gigantic iron mace. ..."
"... Fortunately this is not 1938 ! Now its easy for people to look behind the curtain using the internet and see this is all BS . It only takes one voiciferous truth teller , to get all the 'believing' sheeple to also have a look behind the curtain . I suspect this hysteria is designed to keep Gov slaves in line : toe the line or get the boot . ..."
"... Is it just coincidental, the Deep State and minion (dupe) based "Resistance" from day one of (actually before) Trumps inauguration - which more recently looks distinctly like a coup attempt? ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

10/27/2019

Authored by Patrick Armstrong via The Strategic Culture Foundation,

... Somebody leaked e-mails from the DNC showing that it was rigging the nomination for Clinton and she lost a 99% certain election. Immediately, her campaign settled on blaming Russia for both.

That strategy had been set within twenty-four hours of her concession speech. [9 November 2016] Mook and Podesta assembled her communications team at the Brooklyn headquarters to engineer the case that the election wasn't entirely on the up-and-up. For a couple of hours, with Shake Shack containers littering the room, they went over the script they would pitch to the press and the public. Already, Russian hacking was the centerpiece of the argument. (From Shattered , quoted here .)

The bogus – bogus because most of the people on his team were part of the conspiracy and knew there was no collusion – Mueller investigation dragged on until – despite the endless " bombshells " – it finally stopped. But the crazies insist not guilty but not exonerated ! And Trumputin's principal conspiracist rants on .

Wikipedia tells us that " A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. " The CIA, referring to the Kennedy assassination, is said to have coined the expression in 1967 . The "trusted source" media (an description it likes to award itself) is dead set against "conspiracy theories" and quick to denounce them as crazy , prejudiced and criminal . For example, Trump's statement that Mueller was a hitman, is a "conspiracy theory" as are Trump's ideas about the Bidens and Ukraine .

Everything I mention below comes from "trusted sources". Therefore we must assume that all of them – Putin wants Trump to buy Greenland, Russians want to get Americans arguing about pizza, Russians have no moral sense and all the rest – are not "conspiracy theories" but honestly "more probable".

Mere evidence – for example that the DOJ Admits FBI Never Saw Crowdstrike Report on DNC Russian Hacking Claim or No Evidence – Blame Russia: Top 5 Cases Moscow Was Unreasonably Accused of Election Meddling or U.S. States: We Weren't Hacked by Russians in 2016 or The Myth of Russian Media Influence by Larry C Johnson .. or Biden admitting to doing what USA Today insists is nothing but a conspiracy theory invented by Trump – makes no difference . The dial is turned up one more and we are solemnly and (incoherently – Paul Robinson again ) warned that Russia might/could meddle in Canada's forthcoming election.

Anti-Russia prejudice can have unhappy consequences. We have just learned that Putin phoned Bush a couple of days before 911 to warn him that something long-prepared and big was coming out of Afghanistan. Other Russian warnings had been dismissed by Condoleezza Rice – supposedly a Russia "expert" – as "Russian bitterness toward Pakistan for supporting the Afghan mujahideen". One is reminded of Chamberlain's dismissal of Stalin's attempts to form an anti-Hitler alliance because of his "most profound distrust of Russia" ( see Habakkuk comment ). In some alternate universe they listened to Moscow in the 1930s and in the 2000s, but, in the one we live in, they didn't. And they don't.

Or maybe (foolish optimism!) this is starting to end: after all, it's been a complete failure. I especially enjoyed the NYT, that bastion of the Russian-conspiracy/Putin-superpowers/Trump-treason meme, solemnly opining : "That means President Trump is correct to try to establish a sounder relationship with Russia and peel it away from China. But his approach has been ham-handed and at times even counter to American interests and values." Ham-handed! – here's the NYT's view of the Trump-Putin " love affair " again if you missed it the first time. And now it's Trump's fault that relations with Russia aren't better! French President Macron has recently said that " I believe we should rebuild and revise the architecture of trust between Russia and the European Union ." And Trump rather brutally delivered the message to Ukraine's new president that he ought to talk to Putin .

Well, we'll see. Russophobia runs deep and the Russians have probably got the message. As long as we're stuck in a mindset of " Nine Things Russia Must Do Before Being Allowed to Rejoin the G7 " it's not going to change. An arrogant invitation is not an invitation.


Jazzman , 46 minutes ago link

The ossified club of the imperialist G7 has served its time and the times they are a changin'. Without China as the 2nd (and soon) largest economy, nothing goes in this world and ever since 2014 Russia was forced to look to the East for not bowing down to the imperial US and its minions in the G7, ousted from the G8.

Thus only the broader spectrum of the G20 makes any sense in the context of the world economy.

Footprint , 1 hour ago link

Paperclips carried the last message from the Wolf's lair: "The western world must unite against the slavic hordes".

.

They are still peddling the same mantra. Kind of sad, really. The world is going through a phase change. All the symptoms are there:

Global cooling; Failing crops; African Swine Fever; huge asymmetric response from the world population over energy price increases... Other signs are more subtle but the dying culture of the shopping mall must be noted; Amazon; Alexa.

The US is following the lead of the ghosts of WWII to its own detriment. Brzezinsky's Grand Chessboard is no more, all its objectives have been defeated. The "World order" nightmare is fading away fast.

Baron Samedi , 2 hours ago link

One has to be amazed that these desperate MSM & political idiots get so much mileage out of this dead horse. Worse yet is that anyone - catching the first whiff of a Russiadiddit narrative - doesn't reflexively just pass on and ignore it.

presterjohn1198 , 2 hours ago link

Libs and neocons are too stupid to see the Russia situation with any clarity. They think it's still 1951 and they're battling the commies hither and yon.

What those two aforementioned groups of dumb asses represent is mr global in their corner and, in the other corner, national culture and sovereignty.

Joe A , 2 hours ago link

Back then, I remember you saying (I remember because I have a brain the size of a planet) that Putin was finished and that you would be out of here. You indeed disappeared for a while to come back some time ago. Back then, your postings were more elaborate and eloquent. Now, not so much. Makes me wonder what happened to you in the meanwhile...

Oh, and Putin is still here. Despite the sanctions and despite the Soros funded color revolution against him. Don't get me wrong, I don't trust him much (neither do I trust any politician in the world) but he is the result of the US policy of the 90s to push Russia further into the ground.

That color revolution might get stepped up a bit now since Rosneft decided to trade oil and gas only in Euro.

jeff montanye , 7 minutes ago link

imo the operative date is 2001 not 2014. and all the yinon wars that followed (including ukraine).

francis scott falseflag , 3 hours ago link

A Brief Compendium of Nonsense About Putin\

Excellent piece.

BTW, do you remember that the US bombed the ISIS tanker trucks before Putin did on November 19, 2015? In a campaign called Tidal Wave II?

https://impeachobamatoday.blogspot.com/2015/11/us-finally-takes-trumps-suggestion-to.html

https://www.bing.com/search?q=us+bombs+isis+tanker+trucks+nov15%2C+16+2015&PC=U316&FORM=CHROMN

According to Google and Michael R. Gordon of the NYT, there was a bombing of 116 ISIS tanker trucks on Monday November 16, 2015, three days before the Russian attack. And then again on Monday November 23, 2015, four days after the Russian bombing, when the US destroyed 295 ISIS tankers.

I remember nothing about "Tidal Wave II", and the US attack 3 days before the renown Russian attack. But hey, I'm an oldtimer and my memory is dim. Do you? Or is this an example of the Pentagon's 'Memory Hole' and Winston Smith's day job?

francis scott falseflag , 2 hours ago link

Why don't you STFU? Like there are more honest politicians in the leadership of the House, Senate or in the Oval office?

How the **** did George W Bush get to be the owner a baseball team? His father.

And how did your pal Hunter Biden get $50,000 a month in Ukraine after the Maidan Coup? His father.

If you don't know what you're saying, SHUT THE **** UP.

heretickle , 53 minutes ago link

(1) after all Geroge Herbert Walker Bush was a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(2) after all William Jefferson Clinton is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(3) after all George W Bush is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(4) after all **** Cheney is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(5) after all Barak Hussein Obama is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(6) after all Joe Biden is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(7) after all Hillary Clinton is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

(8) after all Victoria Nuland is a corrupt crook who stole the money from the AMERICAN people, just to enrich his family and lackeys, and is nothing but a blatant tyrant, who will not allow any real democratic election, nor any sort of real democratic political opposition.

We could go on for days

jeff montanye , 1 minute ago link

upvote for including chameleon victoria nuland. she works for democrats, republicans, the private sector. she's likud mossad 24/7.

dogfish , 1 hour ago link

If anybody cares to notice look who Trump attended that game with, all of his war monger friends.

Hadenough1000 , 3 hours ago link

Read in their own words as the DNC went insane election night -- - Read the new book for sale on amazon the night 'Trump Derangement Syndrome' began the democrats are insane with LOSER hate

the whole russia deal was a con

their deranged hate for our President is why we must remove them all from office

rtb61 , 3 hours ago link

I like Putin as the alien love child reincarnation of Rasputin, see, it is all in the name ;DDD.

The more US and EU media attacked Putin in that PR=B$ way, the more popular Putin became.

Here's an attack. Putin is doing deals with Saudi Arabia, this after Saudi Arabia funded terrorism in Chechnya killing thousands of Russians, I mean it is really bad, the optics would be quite damaging, in fact I challenged them on it via Vesti and was immediately censored, no bad language just pointing out reality.

The funny thing is, the US B$=PR machine can not use it because it would mean attacking Saudi Arabia. So there they have a great opportunity to really stick it to Putin, taking Saudi Arabia money after Saudi Arabia funded the murder of thousands of Russians, really bad political optics (to be clear my beef is with Saudi Arabia and their murdering Australians with the terrorist funding the House of Saud did all over the globe and not with the Russian government, apart from them letting the House of Saud get away with it, just like the slimey American government).

Passed it onto Voice of America, to stick it to Vesti with a damned if you do and damned if you don't message and as you can guess, silence from the US government, bwa hah hah. Their chance to attack and silence because they would also have to attack the House of Saud.

Now the reason Russia media was uptight and hence the government, well, after all the US **** ups all over the place, they stand to gain diplomatic alliances with Iran, Saudi Arabia and Venezuela and then add in Russian Oil and well, the US just clumsily and stupidly handed over control of oil to Russia, if they can tie up the deal with Saudi Arabia and so US sent more troops to Saudi Arabia during the negotiation process, what a pack of clowns.

Oil is yesterdays tech, nuclear energy is where the focus should be and there are much better designs available including a low output reactor, quite a smart design, it is all changing and the US really has to push nuclear, abandon oil and make deals with Australia and Japan, one for uranium and the other for manufacturing including rebuilding US manufacturing.

US diplomacy and foreign policy has become amateur hour and who can steal the most the fastest, real fuckups.

Justin Case , 3 hours ago link

One only needs to review the JFK, Saddam, Milosevic, Augusto Pinochet, Mark David Chapman and Manuel Noriega stories as examples.

Justin Case , 3 hours ago link

I think the label first became widely used to slander people who questioned the details surrounding the JFK assassination, and forty years later, there aren't too many thinking people who still believe the Warren Commission's "lone gunman" explanation. That explanation is doubted by everyone who has taken the time to look into the details, and believed only by people who refuse to.

Which is "theory" and which is fact? In the absence of a full confession, this can only be decided by a preponderance of evidence, and it would be silly to come to a conclusion on any matter without looking at all the evidence available. This is only common sense, just as it is safe to assume some degree of guilt or complicity on the part of anyone who lies about an event, or tries to hide, plant, or destroy any type of evidence.

Conspiracy theories arise from evidence. After the government releases an explanation of a particular event, a conspiracy theory is only born because evidence exists to disprove their explanation, or at least call it into question. There's nothing insane about it, unless you define sanity as believing whatever the government tells you. In light of the fact that our government lies to us regularly, I would define believing everything they tell you as utter stupidity.

The orthodox, for their part, dismiss the unorthodox as conspiracy theorists (by which term they mean: people whose opinions are based in something other than objective reality – if it were objectively real, the sources which provide the orthodox with their opinions would have told them about it).

In July of 1996, flight 800 exploded over Long Island. Shortly after their terrorist explanation failed scrutiny, our government then explained the event by claiming that a faulty electrical system caused a spark that ignited a fuel tank, and the people who doubted this explanation were quickly labeled "conspiracy theorists." More than a hundred witnesses saw a missile travel from the ground up to the plane just prior to its explosion, but rather than being treated as eyewitnesses to an event, they were labeled "conspiracy theorists," which label allowed all subsequent investigation to ignore the strongest evidence in the matter.

Our "investigative" news agencies decided to accept and disseminate the official story, and they helped us forget the U.S. naval station nearby, the fact that missiles were regularly test fired there, and naturally, they paid no heed to more than a hundred "conspiracy theorists" who saw the plane get blown out of the sky by a missile. I believe that the U.S. Navy accidentally shot down flight 800, and that's my belief because it's the most sensible explanation that can be drawn from the available evidence. I'm not theorizing about conspiracies, but there are conflicting explanations of the event, and if the Navy did accidentally blow a passenger plane out of the sky, who would have a motive to lie about it? The U.S. government, or a hundred witnesses?

phillyla , 3 hours ago link

The one thing that always puzzled me about flight 800 was why a gas tank explosion lead to no more waiting in your cars outside the terminals and additional gate security?

"Responding to repeated criticisms of the security at Kennedy International Airport after the crash of Trans World Airlines Flight 800, Port Authority officials announced a series of changes yesterday intended to make it more difficult for anyone to plant a bomb on a plane."

But it was the jet fuel fumes from sitting on the hot tarmac and a frayed wire. So how in the world did someone think about the B word?

fireant , 3 hours ago link

Putin is a breath of fresh air compared to the insane American left

Hadenough1000 , 3 hours ago link

All day long the left knows we should be friends with Russia INSTEAD of CHINA. Thats what the killers don't want

DEDA CVETKO , 4 hours ago link

I just watched CNN's 1-hour prime-time special on "Russian spying" on State Department in 1999 (which was, like, 20 years ago. I guess the Russians also colluded in the 2000 presidential elections with the aim of electing George W. Bush) I kid you not. These guys are about as subtle as a gigantic iron mace.

I practically had to be hospitalized for acute lobotomy. An hour later, I still feel like 3/4s of my brain were surgically sucked out by Jeff Zucker. Will have to have me some Russian sex soon to regain some of my missing IQ.

heretickle , 4 hours ago link

..........Wikipedia tells us that " A conspiracy theory is an explanation of an event or situation that invokes a conspiracy by sinister and powerful actors, often political in motivation, when other explanations are more probable. " The CIA, referring to the Kennedy assassination, is said to have coined the expression in 1967 ............

Interesting.

Within the first few years after the Kennedy Assassination, the American people were collecting evidence and pointing fingers at the CIA, the Military Industrial Complex, the Mossad and Israel. The late Michael Collins Piper provides all the evidence necessary in his book FINAL JUDGEMENT to realize that Israel had Kennedy killed.

1967 is the same year Israel murdered 34 US Servicemen and injured over 200 others during its cowardly attack on the USS Liberty.

In the mid-sixties, the world was first introduced in full baloney mode to the Holocaust.

Intersting coincidence.

Maybe the deep state (Central Banks and Israel) desparately needed a BAIT and SWITCH to hide their tracks.

Today, our kids must bow before the Holocaust g_d and yet few realize that JFK wanted to eliminate Israel's nuclear weapons and was instead sacrificed for GREATER ISRAEL

Hadenough1000 , 3 hours ago link

The same bastard HO. LBJ killed JFK like he killed 60,000 of my fellow Vietnam soldiers

youshallnotkill , 4 hours ago link

For Bibi, being against him, equates to Antisemitism, for Trump being critical of him is Anti-American, for ZH being opposed to Putin is a Anti-Russian.

Anti-Russia prejudice can have unhappy consequences.

Let't nobody tell you that ZH didn't warn you!

DelusionsCrowded , 4 hours ago link

Fortunately this is not 1938 ! Now its easy for people to look behind the curtain using the internet and see this is all BS . It only takes one voiciferous truth teller , to get all the 'believing' sheeple to also have a look behind the curtain . I suspect this hysteria is designed to keep Gov slaves in line : toe the line or get the boot .

TrustbutVerify , 4 hours ago link

So, is the anti-Russia/anti-Putin a head fake? By looking to be oh-so over the top freaked out about anything Russian, and taking on the mantle of looking freaked out (though in actuality are not), Democrats are perhaps intentionally making him look less harmful and dangerous by comparison.

After all, the Russian communist form of government, a dictatorship run by a small percentage of elites, is exactly the road down which Democrats want to take the U.S. Similar comparisons of this fashion can be made with the Chinese communist government, too.

The Democratic primary was obviously rigged. Democrats thought, with insider help from the FBI, CIA, IRS and others, that the actual election was rigged, too.

Is it just coincidental, the Deep State and minion (dupe) based "Resistance" from day one of (actually before) Trumps inauguration - which more recently looks distinctly like a coup attempt? With, of course, the vast majority of news outlets (virtually all Left leaning) in the US pushing and covering the obvious subversion. Hence, the astoundingly intense looks of deep shock on TV when it was realized an "outsider," Trump, would win?

[Oct 28, 2019] Expert Panel Finds Gaping Plot-Holes In OPCW Report On Alleged Syrian Chemical Attack by Caitlin Johnstone

Highly recommended!
This implicates State Department in the attempt to run a false flag operation. If we add that the State Department is the key organization behind for color revolution against Trump that picture becomes even more disturbing. This is really a neocon vipers nest.
Notable quotes:
"... This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun. ..."
"... "I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today. ..."
"... And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story. ..."
"... Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests. ..."
"... On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place. ..."
"... The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population." ..."
"... In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government. ..."
"... The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work. ..."
"... "Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ." ..."
"... "The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. " ..."
"... "The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported." ..."
"... "One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ." ..."
"... "Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation." ..."
Oct 28, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Caitlin Johnstone via Medium.com,

The Courage Foundation , an international protection and advocacy group for whistleblowers, has published the findings of a panel it convened last week on the extremely suspicious behavior of the Organization for the Prohibition of Chemical Weapons (OPCW) in its investigation of an alleged chemical attack in Douma, Syria last year. After hearing an extensive presentation from a member of the OPCW's Douma investigation team, the panel's members (including a world-renowned former OPCW Director General) report that they are "unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018."

I'll get to the panel and its findings in a moment, but first I should provide some historical background so that readers who aren't intimately familiar with this ongoing scandal can fully appreciate the significance of this new development.

In late March of last year, President Trump publicly stated that the US military would soon be withdrawing troops from Syria, causing some with an ear to the ground like independent US congressional candidate Steve Cox to predict that there would shortly be a false flag chemical weapons attack in that nation. This was because the public had already been shown that highly suspicious chemical attacks tended to happen when the Trump administration begins pushing for a reversal of standing US Syria policy, as I noted in April 2017 immediately following the alleged attack in Khan Shaykhun.

"I was able to predict Douma in 2018 because it happened already almost exactly 1 year prior, at Khan Shaykhun, April 4, 2017," Cox told me on Twitter earlier today.

"Khan Shaykhun also occurred within days of the Trump Admin saying we're leaving Syria."

And, like clockwork, on April 7 2018 dozens of civilians in Douma were killed in an incident which was quickly reported as a Syrian government chemical attack by all the usual establishment narrative managers on Syria , with everyone from the White Helmets to Charles Lister to Eliot Higgins to Julian Röpcke loudly flagging it on social media to draw the attention of mainstream news outlets who were slower to pick up the story.

There was immediate skepticism, partly because acclaimed journalists like Sy Hersh have been highlighting plot holes in the official story about chemical weapons in Syria since 2013, partly because Assad would stand nothing to gain and everything to lose by using a banned yet highly ineffective weapon in a battle he'd already essentially won in that region, and partly because the people controlling things on the ground in Douma were the Al Qaeda-linked extremist group Jaysh-al Islam and the incredibly shady narrative management operation known as the White Helmets. Those groups, unlike the Assad government, most certainly would stand everything to gain by staging a chemical attack in the desperate hope that it would draw NATO powers into attacking the Syrian government and perhaps saving their necks.

Long before any investigation into this suspicious incident could even be begun, much less completed, the US State Department declared it to have been a chemical weapons attack perpetrated by the Syrian government, saying "the Assad regime must be held accountable", and that Russia "ultimately bears responsibility" for the attack. Which was of course mighty convenient for US geostrategic interests.

On the 14th of April 2018, the US, UK and France launched an airstrike on the Syrian government as punishment for using chemical weapons, citing secret "intelligence" which the US government claimed gave them "very high confidence that Syria was responsible." The public has to this day never been permitted to see this intelligence. This all happened before any formal international investigation could take place.

The OPCW conducted their investigation, and in July 2018 published an interim report saying that "no organophosphorus nerve agents or their degradation products were detected, either in the environmental samples or in plasma samples from the alleged casualties." This ruled out sarin gas, invalidating earlier reports by Syria war pundits like Charles Lister who claimed that sarin had been used, but it didn't rule out chlorine gas. In March of this year the OPCW issued its final report saying forensics were consistent with chlorine gas use and advancing a ballistics report which strongly implicated the Assad government by implying it was an aerial drop (Syrian opposition militias have no air force). The official Twitter account for the UK Delegation to the OPCW tweeted at the time that the report "confirms chemical weapons used, demonstrating the vital importance of OPCW's work. This confirmed chlorine attack was only the latest example of Asad regime's CW attacks on its own population."

In May of this year, a leaked internal document from the OPCW investigation was published by the Working Group on Syria, Propaganda and Media which completely contradicts the findings of the official report published in March. The leaked Engineering Assessment said that "observations at the scene of the two locations, together with subsequent analysis, suggest there is a higher probability both cylinders were manually placed at those two locations rather than being delivered from aircraft," which would implicate the forces on the ground in the incident rather than the Assad government.

The OPCW indirectly confirmed the document's authenticity by telling the press that its release had been "unauthorised". Climate Audit's Stephen McIntyre published an excellent thread breaking down how the document invalidates the OPCW's claims which you can read by clicking here . Establishment narrative managers had a very difficult time spinning the fact that the OPCW had taken it upon itself to hide findings from the public which dissented from its official report on an incident which preceded an international act of war upon a sovereign nation, and all the implications that necessarily has for the legitimacy of the organization's other work.

Throughout this time, critical thinkers like myself have been aggressively smeared as deranged conspiracy theorists, war crimes deniers and genocide deniers for expressing skepticism of the establishment-authorized narrative on Douma. Which takes us to today.

The Courage Foundation panel who met with the OPCW whistleblower consists of former OPCW Director General José Bustani (whose highly successful peacemongering once saw the lives of his children threatened by John Bolton during the lead-up to the Iraq invasion in an attempt to remove him from his position), WikiLeaks editor-in-chief Kristinn Hrafnsson , Professor of International Law Richard Falk , former British Army Major General John Holmes , Dr Helmut Lohrer of International Physicians for the Prevention of Nuclear War, German professor Dr Guenter Meyer of the Centre for Research on the Arab World, and former Deputy National Intelligence Officer for the Near East Elizabeth Murray of Veteran Intelligence Professionals for Sanity.

So these are not scrubs. These are not "conspiracy theorists" or "Russian propagandists". These are highly qualified and reputable professionals expressing deep concerns in the opaque and manipulative way the OPCW appears to have conducted its investigation into the Douma incident. Some highlights from their joint statement and analytical points are quoted below, with my own emphasis added in bold:

"Based on the whistleblower's extensive presentation, including internal emails, text exchanges and suppressed draft reports, we are unanimous in expressing our alarm over unacceptable practices in the investigation of the alleged chemical attack in Douma, near the Syrian capital of Damascus on 7 April 2018. We became convinced by the testimony that key information about chemical analyses, toxicology consultations, ballistics studies, and witness testimonies was suppressed, ostensibly to favor a preordained conclusion ."

"The convincing evidence of irregular behaviour in the OPCW investigation of the alleged Douma chemical attack confirms doubts and suspicions I already had. I could make no sense of what I was reading in the international press. Even official reports of investigations seemed incoherent at best. The picture is certainly clearer now, although very disturbing. "
~ Bustani

"A critical analysis of the final report of the Douma investigation left the panel in little doubt that conclusions drawn from each of the key evidentiary pillars of the investigation (chemical analysis, toxicology, ballistics and witness testimonies,) are flawed and bear little relation to the facts. "

From the section on Chemical Analysis:

"The interpretation of the environmental analysis results is equally questionable. Many, if not all, of the so-called 'smoking gun' chlorinated organic chemicals claimed to be not naturally present in the environment' (para 2.6) are in fact ubiquitous in the background, either naturally or anthropogenically (wood preservatives, chlorinated water supplies etc). The report, in fact, acknowledges this in Annex 4 para 7, even stating the importance of gathering control samples to measure the background for such chlorinated organic derivatives. Yet, no analysis results for these same control samples (Annex 5), which inspectors on the ground would have gone to great lengths to gather, were reported."

"Although the report stresses the 'levels' of the chlorinated organic chemicals as a basis for its conclusions (para 2.6), it never mentions what those levels were -- high, low, trace, sub-trace? Without providing data on the levels of these so-called 'smoking-gun' chemicals either for background or test samples, it is impossible to know if they were not simply due to background presence . In this regard, the panel is disturbed to learn that quantitative results for the levels of 'smoking gun' chemicals in specific samples were available to the investigators but this decisive information was withheld from the report ."

"The final report also acknowledges that the tell-tale chemicals supposedly indicating chlorine use, can also be generated by contact of samples with sodium hypochlorite, the principal ingredient of household bleaching agent (para 8.15). This game-changing hypothesis is, however, dismissed (and as it transpires, incorrectly) by stating no bleaching was observed at the site of investigation. (' At both locations, there were no visible signs of a bleach agent or discoloration due to contact with a bleach agent' ). The panel has been informed that no such observation was recorded during the on-site inspection and in any case dismissing the hypothesis simply by claiming the non -observation of discoloration in an already dusty and scorched environment seems tenuous and unscientific ."

From the section on Toxicology:

"The toxicological studies also reveal inconsistencies, incoherence and possible scientific irregularities. Consultations with toxicologists are reported to have taken place in September and October 2018 (para 8.87 and Annex 3), but no mention is made of what those same experts opined or concluded. Whilst the final toxicological assessment of the authors states ' it is not possible to precisely link the cause of the signs and symptoms to a specific chemical ' (para 9.6) the report nonetheless concludes there were reasonable grounds to believe chlorine gas was the chemical (used as a weapon)."

"More worrying is the fact that the panel viewed documented evidence that showed other toxicologists had been consulted in June 2018 prior to the release of the interim report. Expert opinions on that occasion were that the signs and symptoms observed in videos and from witness accounts were not consistent with exposure to molecular chlorine or any reactive-chlorine-containing chemical. Why no mention of this critical assessment, which contradicts that implied in the final report, was made is unclear and of concern. "

From the section on Ballistic Studies:

"One alternative ascribing the origin of the crater to an explosive device was considered briefly but, despite an almost identical crater (understood to have resulted from a mortar penetrating the roof) being observed on an adjacent rooftop, was dismissed because of ' the absence of primary and secondary fragmentation characteristics'. In contrast, explosive fragmentation characteristics were noted in the leaked study ."

From the section titled "Exclusion of inspectors and attempts to obfuscate":

"Contrary to what has been publicly stated by the Director General of the OPCW it was evident to the panel that many of the inspectors in the Douma investigation were not involved or consulted in the post-deployment phase or had any contribution to, or knowledge of the content of the final report until it was made public . The panel is particularly troubled by organisational efforts to obfuscate and prevent inspectors from raising legitimate concerns about possible malpractices surrounding the Douma investigation."

I'll leave it there for now.

* * *

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[Oct 28, 2019] DOJ Barr and Durham close in on Brennan, Clapper and Comey (Video)

Oct 28, 2019 | theduran.com

The Duran's Alex Christoforou and Editor-in-Chief Alexander Mercouris discuss the DOJ's Russiagate probe taking it up a notch, to now be turned into criminal investigation.

Deep State officials John Brennan, James Clapper and James Comey better lawyer up.

Remember to Please Subscribe to The Duran's YouTube Channel. Via Zerohedge

What began as an administrative review by the Justice Department into the origins of Russiagate has "shifted" to a criminal inquiry , according to the New York Times , citing two people familiar with the matter.

The move will allow prosecutor John H Durham the power to subpoena documents and witnesses, to impanel a grand jury, and to file criminal charges . Durham's progress has been closely monitored by Attorney General William Barr, who appointed the veteran investigator in May , tasking him with looking into FBI and CIA intelligence gathering operations surrounding the 2016 US election.

As the Daily Caller ' s Chuck Ross notes, Barr said on April 10 that he believed "spying" had taken place against the Trump campaign , and that he doesn't buy former FBI officials' version of how the collusion investigation began.

Little is known about Durham's activities so far in the investigation. The Times report said it is unclear when the investigation took on a criminal element, or what specific crime Durham is investigating.

Durham accompanied Barr to Italy late in September as part of an inquiry into U.S. intelligence agents' activities there during the 2016 campaign. They also inquired about Joseph Mifsud, a mysterious Maltese professor who established contact with Trump aide George Papadopoulos in 2016. – Daily Caller

Just over three weeks ago , the Times also reported that President Trump asked the Australian Prime Minister to help Barr uncover the origins of "Russiagate," a move which Justice Department officials said "would be neither illegal nor untoward for Trump to ask."

And according to NBC News , Durham has set his sights on former CIA Director John Brennan and former national intelligence director James Clapper .

Durham's investigation has been running parallel to a probe by Justice Department Inspector General (and registered Democrat) Michael Horowitz, who told Congress on Thursday that he expects his report to be "lengthy," but able to be made mostly available to the public.

The Durham probe is similar to a Justice Department inspector general's investigation into the FBI's surveillance of Trump campaign adviser Carter Page. Michael Horowitz, the inspector general, told Congress on Thursday that the report of that investigation is "lengthy" and that he anticipates most of it will be made public.

Horowitz has been investigating whether the FBI misled the foreign surveillance court in spy applications against Page. Investigators relied heavily on the Steele dossier in the applications, though information in that document was largely unverified. Unlike Durham, Horowitz has not had subpoena power, and cannot use a grand jury as part of his investigation. – Daily Caller

And of course, with Durham's administrative review turning into a criminal probe , the Times has already given away the predictable response from the left; Barr is investigating the Obama intelligence community to help Trump win in 2020. Nothing to see here folks, right?

[Oct 27, 2019] Frat Boy Thermopylae The American Conservative

Notable quotes:
"... The Democrats are the ones who are twisting the "protocols" regarding private hearings to protect the seditious liars and their lies... To paraphrase the Washington Post : "Democracy Dies In The Darkness"... The Darkness created by the shadowy deep state and those who dwell in it ! ..."
"... Without expressing any opinion on the truth or falsity of Taylor's testimony or any of it, the idea that being a West Point graduate and Vietnam vet is some kind of assurance of probity is a joke. ..."
"... Have you learned nothing from RussiaGate, from the various imperial wars on Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Serbia, etc.? All these were based on flat out lies promoted by cleancut, well dressed, well spoken, impeccably credentialed monsters. Many of them veterans themselves. All of them lying without shame, and lauded for telling lies. ..."
"... You realize that we are an empire, and our institutions act the way that imperial institutions do? Imperial institutions cannot be hindered by things like honesty and "rule of law", because the empire cannot survive if its freedom of action is restrained. ..."
"... Is your anti Russian phobia a product of Slavic racism or of disliking orthodox countries or what? Why do you pro war liberals obsess over Russia so much? I think it is empire envy. ..."
"... I Keep reading about this "aid to ukraine" improperly tied to an investigation of a rival. But this "aid" to Ukraine is really just weapons isn't it? Weapons meant to stoke conflict with a nuclear power. The deep state and the pro war liberals will never let This country move past militarism ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Amadeus Mozart 2 days ago

I'd like to commend Rep. Gaetz for this very well justified act of 'civil disobedience' to draw attention to this farce of a travesty of a sham of a mockery of a witchhunt. This so-called "impeachment" is totally consistent with the manufacturing of "evidence" to justify an "investigation" of Trump's campaign to keep him from being elected as well.

I'm glad we have someone standing up to these corrupt lying leaking Democrat bullies. It would be nice if we could have an investigation of the actual and documented illegal campaign contributions of Hillary to her attorney to Chris Steele, but that water has passed under the bridge by now.

But if we're going to go down the rabbit hole of campaign finance law violations, I'd like to propose that the quite obvious main and only real (non-manufactured) reason for these so-called "impeachment" hearings is to prevent Trump from being re-elected (as opposed to investigating "corruption").

Thus the Democrats' activities are quite obviously a misappropriation of taxpayer funds and an illegal donation to the political campaigns of the Democratic party. I demand an investigation. In secret of course.

As you rightfully said, the rule of law is a pain in the butt, after all. The double standard is infuriating.

We are coming to a point in American society where the only meaningful "truth" belongs to whoever wins. If that is true, under those circumstances, you've got to decide whom you trust more to protect your interests. Is it Adam Schiff or Donald Trump? If you choose not to decide, you've still made a choice. Or are elections only supposed to have consequences if Democrats win them?

CoyoteTheClever 2 days ago
Matt Gaetz is one of those few Republicans in on the fundamental truth of our country: We are an empire in decline and politics is 100% theatre. And so he puts on one of the best shows on television.

Yeah, he is likely a nihilist, but I can't really call him a grifter any more than you could call Milo or Jacob Wohl grifters. They are performance artists, dressing up in conservative drag and giving everyone the show of their lifetime, and they are so dedicated to it they don't break character. In wrestling it is called kayfebe.

If you are in on the joke, these people are amazing, true heroes of late capitalism, exposing the absurdities of our commodified democracy and news cycle.

The Other Sands CoyoteTheClever 2 days ago
The standards for a sitting Congressman representing 800,000 Americans should probably be a bit higher than the standards for alt-right YouTube dancing bears.
CoyoteTheClever The Other Sands 2 days ago
As our country winds down and enters the end of its natural lifespan, and every country has a lifespan, don't fool yourself, because no human creations last forever, some of the dancing bears we get aren't going to be quite as funny as Matt Gaetz, and there are only going to be more and more of them coming out of the woodwork.

So I think we should appreciate people like him while we can, who at least elevate the art to something legitimately entertaining, and are generally pretty harmless. "I love the president so much I may never love another president again." is an amazing line, for instance, and I'll never understand anyone who doesn't appreciate it. That's something he put care and thought into.

People like entertainment. They elected an entertainer as president for a reason, and he is representing a lot more than 800,000 Americans. But I'm sure those 800,000 Americans are pretty happy with the entertainment they are getting from Gaetz too, even if they might not appreciate the nuances of his performance and only like that he is "triggering the libs" or somesuch. And maybe some of them do see how his performance implicates them too and they just don't care because it is such a fun show. I know if Matt Gaetz were running for president (Against some neo-liberal like Buttigieg, not against someone I like) I'd be tempted to vote for him just to add fuel to the fire.

Amirite CoyoteTheClever 11 hours ago
You wouldn't think it was so funny if that fuel they were adding was to your burning house.

But you think you'll be long gone before the house burns down, so you don't care.

Dale McNamee 2 days ago
The Democrats are the ones who are twisting the "protocols" regarding private hearings to protect the seditious liars and their lies... To paraphrase the Washington Post : "Democracy Dies In The Darkness"... The Darkness created by the shadowy deep state and those who dwell in it !
Rod Dreher Moderator Dale McNamee 2 days ago
"The seditions liars and their lies"? Bill Taylor is a West Point graduate, decorated Vietnam vet, and was G.W. Bush's appointee to be Ukraine ambassador. The smears aren't going to stick to him.
CoyoteTheClever Rod Dreher 2 days ago
Like they didn't stick to Mueller, Comey, Mattis, McCain, Romney, and whoever else is the white knight of the week who will save liberal decadence from Trump. As if!

He will be down in the mud with the rest of them, loathed by Trump's base and forgotten by the Democrats once the next savior conservative messiah comes along. Eventually there won't be enough Never Trump zombies in the Bush establishment morgue left to revive, and what then?

They certainly aren't going to work with the left to concentrate on substance and policy rather than the Trump news cycle, so I imagine liberals will just all collectively die from despair

Sid Finster CoyoteTheClever 2 days ago
Remember how John Bolton became the Savior of The Republic once he resigned (or was fired) from the Trump Maladministration?

If that were not enough, witness the Team D rehabilitation of Dubya and Dick Cheney, who were Team D folk devils not so long ago.

Sid Finster Rod Dreher 2 days ago
Without expressing any opinion on the truth or falsity of Taylor's testimony or any of it, the idea that being a West Point graduate and Vietnam vet is some kind of assurance of probity is a joke.

Have you learned nothing from RussiaGate, from the various imperial wars on Iraq, Syria, Yemen, Libya, Serbia, etc.? All these were based on flat out lies promoted by cleancut, well dressed, well spoken, impeccably credentialed monsters. Many of them veterans themselves. All of them lying without shame, and lauded for telling lies.

Not "misspeaking", as if they were merely overenthusiastic in defense of the Freedom, but lying. And their lies killed innocent people on a hitlerian scale.

You only don't recognize this, because you are fortunate enough to live in America, where you don't have to see your children droned and your country destroyed because some monster claims to be bringing you the freedom.

You realize that we are an empire, and our institutions act the way that imperial institutions do? Imperial institutions cannot be hindered by things like honesty and "rule of law", because the empire cannot survive if its freedom of action is restrained.

Amirite Sid Finster a day ago
So "Russiagate" was based on lies?

... ... ..

Sid Finster Amirite a day ago
Meeting a Russian person now is a crime, unpatriotic to boot is it?
Patrick Constantine Amirite 10 hours ago
Is your anti Russian phobia a product of Slavic racism or of disliking orthodox countries or what? Why do you pro war liberals obsess over Russia so much? I think it is empire envy.
sawbuck57 2 days ago
If the Democrats are so concerned with confidentiality then why are the anti-Trump snippets of testimony the only things getting leaked?

Bill Taylor's testimony was shredded in 90 seconds of cross-examination by a Republican member of the Committee. Funny, that didn't make the time breathless coverage of the umpteenth bombshell. (Or is it "The Walls Are Closing In!" this week?

By any standard of fairness, Schiff should have recused himself due to a monumental conflict of interest. He had contact with the main complainant prior to the filing of the complaint. A Dem Senator visited Taylor in the Ukraine several weeks ago. Nothing to see here.

As Ben Franklin was noted as saying: "Well, Doctor, what have we got -- a Republic or a Monarchy?"

"A Republic, if you can keep it."

Well, we didn't keep it. This is purely Political Kabuki Theater. Both sides deserve to lose. At this point, with the Dems tilting so hard left, and the Rockefeller Wing (Re-branded as NeoCons for some silly reason) of the Republicans ever-waiting for their ascendance it remains for most of the country wish both sides could lose - if for nothing else than to just stop the noise.

"A nation is born a stoic and dies an epicurean" Will Durant

cestusdei 2 days ago
I do not trust our "betters" to hold closed door trials. After 2 years of Russia Russia Russia I don't believe a word they say. Shiff told us he had ironclad evidence of Russian collusion, I saw him say it at the interview. He lied. When a politician says "trust me" the last thing we should do is trust him. Open hearings, transparency, due process...we should demand
temp anon cestusdei 2 days ago
There is no trial yet. If there is one, that will be in the Senate, presided over by the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court in full view of everyone.
JonF311 temp anon 2 days ago
That's what they're afraid of: a veritable conga line of skeletons, loosed from the Trumpian closet, cha-chaing across the Senate chamber in front of the whole world.
cestusdei temp anon 2 days ago
Oh this is a trial. A show trial. Our Stalinist Dems do miss the old USSR.
Amirite cestusdei 2 days ago
But you loved all the closed door meetings in the Benghazi hearings, that was totally fine.

Now it's your turn.

cestusdei Amirite 2 days ago
Actually that did involve intelligence NOT an impeachment. Apples and oranges. But thanks for reminding us of the lies and ineptitude that got American's killed by Obama and Clinton in Libya. They lied and people died.
Deoxy 2 days ago
If Schiff weren't selectively leaking like a sieve, your argument might have some merit.

As it is, easily the best reason to believe they are doing as they are doing is FOR the purpose of only leaking the parts they want.

And it goes far beyond simply "closed door" - the controls enacted are extreme, at least for the Republicans, yet somehow, certain *very convenient* bits find their way to the press, time after time. After time. After TIME.

The whole thing is a farce, designed to allow control of the narrative, facts be hanged.

janicefahy 2 days ago
Brilliant comparison to that Animal House scene - thanks for that! The facts on the ground are so devastating to Trump than even his most lickspittle toadies can't properly defend them, and so they scheme up weak stunts like this. The mind boggles.
L617 2 days ago
This stunt just proves why the deposition phase of the inquiry should not happen in front of the cameras. What a bunch of tools.
HarryTruman2016 2 days ago
I suppose all the Trump supporters would be on this very page defending Barack Obama if he called the Saudi Crown Prince in 2011 and told him that any military aid is contingent on investigating the Bush family and any business ties they have with Saudi Arabia because Jeb Bush might run in 2012. Totally legal. No problem and nothing to see.
Tony D. HarryTruman2016 a day ago
Well, you're forgetting that the typical Trump supporter despises the Bushes and everything they stand for...
HarryTruman2016 Tony D. 19 hours ago
That is not the point. What you write is simply deflection. If any President other than Trump did this, Republicans would be (correctly) moving to impeach and remove. So I ask again: would it have been OK if Obama called the Saudis and held up military aid until they provided him information damaging to the Bush family?
Ted 2 days ago • edited
The picture is funny, but you're on the wrong side of this, Dreher. I've finally realized why Schiff and his merry men, but especially Schiff, give me such agita.

Let's pick a date, or an incident: Bork. Since then, long before then, but let's pick a date, the Democrats have stood for moral anarchy . The only chance they had to show they retained a shred of principle was the Gulf War (both Gulf Wars, actually, but let's take the second), and there their response was, at least legislatively, muted to say the least (considering their Senatorial champion was the Lion of Chappaquiddick...) Since then it's been what? Feminism, abortion, and that more abundantly, all LGBTQ all the time, micro regulation of speech and behavior, race hustling, and--ha ha--more unjust unnecessary wars and the destruction of the white middle class. The soft totalitarianism we talk about in these boxes--no need to go on. The usual menu of "liberal" horror.

And this guy is to be impeached because he cusses in public? It's not adding up for me. Schiff's behavior is outrageous (read Kim Strassel today) but he's getting the job done. You might want to call it soft Leninism.

Amirite Ted a day ago
Not sure why so many conservatives hang their hat on Bork. This man was the guy who committed the Saturday Night Massacre, this is who you stake your moral ground on?

Conservatives are so angry Dems stopped the guy who tried to shield Nixon from accountability? It's moral anarchy for Congress to refuse to confirm a president's nomination for the Supreme Court? Congress is supposed to give a president's nominee a hearing and a vote, not a rubber stamp. Congress if fully within it's constitutional rights to not confirm a president's nominee, and it's hard to find a less fit man for the Supreme Court than Bork was.

Meanwhile your guys refused to even grant a hearing to President Obama's nominee. I guess that's OK because you don't acknowledge the rights of Democrats under the Constitution.

Ted Amirite 19 hours ago
You don't really think the Democrats got together to destroy Bork professionally and personally because he signed off on Nixon's firings, do you? You can't be that dumb. If you'd like to know why, it was keeping Roe v. Wade alive. And that is moral anarchy, pal.
Amirite Ted 12 hours ago • edited
So you offer a conspiracy theory, a belief.

You know what's moral anarchy? Supporting an immoral character like Bork because you think he's going to help you get rid of Roe vs Wade. Kind of reminds of the deal you RWers have struck with Trump. You support a man you know is morally debased because you think he will help you restore a white Christian conservative America.

It just boggles my mind you RWers are mad Democrats refused to confirm a man who help cover up one of the most egregious acts an American president has ever committed. A person who would commit such an unethical act was not fit for a seat on the Supreme Court, I shouldn't even have to say this.

Ted Amirite 9 hours ago
And you offer an unsupported calumny. Bork was "morally debased"? By what standard? By whose standard? John Dean's? Elliot Richardson's? Remember when they rifled through his borrowing habits at Blockbuster and it turned out he was a Fred Astaire fan? They were expecting maybe Leni Riefenstahl. Or hoping for it. And a conspiracy is usually thought of as somewhat secret. The Lion of Chappaquiddick was pretty up front about what he didn't like about Bork.

And I think Lincoln's suspension of habeas corpus was far worse than anything Nixon did. Have fun with that one, pal.

Ro Si 2 days ago
"The Democrats have offered no plausible and persuasive rationale for holding these proceedings in secret and keeping the evidence and testimony behind closed doors."
Other than that they're simply following the rules established by a previous Republican congress.
ADCWonk 2 days ago
Below, someone wrote: "By any standard of fairness, Schiff should have recused himself due to a
monumental conflict of interest. He had contact with the main
complainant prior to the filing of the complaint."

Using that standard, Barr should have recused himself a thousand times over, no?

Franklin_Evans 2 days ago
Coined by a Randian objectivist fantasy author. It is absolute truth, but knowing the source will become the utmost irony because for some, it will be personal proof of it.

People will believe a lie because they're afraid it might be true, or because they want it to be true.

The Trump candidacy and tenure in office is a non-stop series of examples proving this.

The author is Terry Goodkind.

sb 2 days ago
Yet again, I note Rod, that there is more than one explanation over this hysterical impeach Trump nonsense.

This 'aid' is actually 'US military assistance'. Did it ever occur to you 'impeachers' that Trump may have deliberately been avoiding such a meeting with his top 4 warmongers precisely so as to avoid US 'aid' escalating the military tension betwen Ukraine and Russia? (and getting the US firmly tied into that fight?)

Trump was elected in part on a platform of no more foreign wars, and he seems genuinely committed to that (at least when he thinks he can). Maybe the withheld 'aid' was all just leverage for a Biden investigation, but it may also be Trump trying not to get pressured and bullied into more conflicts (which all prior Presidents were happy to go along with) in the face of a deep state totally committed to a condition of forever war.

As an anti-war activist who campaigned against the Afghan and Iraq wars, in Trump's shoes I would also have tried to avoid fueling an existing dangerous conflict that brings no benefit to my nation (other than a few arms sales) but may drag us into a war with major nations. Same situation repeating right now in Syria - no major benefit to US in staying, and staying may drag US into conflict between Turks and Kurds and Syria & Russia.

Not saying Trump has acted lawfully always - just that he may have been trying to avoid military escalation (at the same time as getting dirt on Biden). Lets not jump to obvious conclusions when they may not be so obvious.

Thomas Kaempfen 2 days ago
Thugs disrupting a Constitutional and legal proceeding doing the people's business in order to protect their Dear Leader -- that's not frat-boy stuff. There's a much better "f" word to label that.
KevinS a day ago
If these people were testifying in public, I'm sure the Trumpists would find a reason to oppose that as well. But I hope they are ready for the public phase when they will need to defend Trump on the substance rather than voice procedural complaints. And calling people like Taylor never-Trumpist "human scum" (what a classy president we have) is not going to cut it.
TISO_AX2 a day ago
Democrats say these House Intelligence Committee procedures
aren't official hearings, but rather the equivalent of depositions,
meant to gather facts that will later be examined and argued over in
public hearings.

If that's the case they shouldn't be characterizing themselves as having an "impeachment inquiry." This is not in any legal sense an impeachment. It's an inquiry without a cause...political games. The abberant activities of Dems trying to remove the US President where there are no crimes justifies abberant reactions from the opposition. Since they are going to abuse the House of Representatives and pursue unprincipled and unprecedented antagonism of a co-equal branch of government, why should the GOP be idealistic and proper under such circumstances? I find Schiff to be a lot more of a problem than Gaetz.

Rod Dreher Moderator TISO_AX2 a day ago
No, it's the first stage of an inquiry. They're gathering evidence -- and Republican reps are there to question too -- that will be used in open impeachment hearings.
TISO_AX2 Rod Dreher a day ago • edited
Concerning Republican reps on the committee...apparently they're not getting all the evidence. If they're not it's not bi-partisan, and it's irregular. Also, Schiff did not notify Republicans on the committee of an intelligence official who came to one of his aides with concerns about President Trump before filing a whistleblower complaint. If that's true he's withholding evidence. I'm sure he has a good reason for that...if you know what I mean.
October 18, 2019 By Chrissy Clark

All nine GOP members of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence penned a letter to Rep. Adam Schiff, D-Calif., lambasting him for hiding documents related to Democrats' impeachment inquiry.

"We are concerned that the Majority is knowingly withholding Committee documents related to your so-called 'impeachment inquiry' from the Minority," the letter reads. " it has come to our attention that the Majority is not uploading (or providing physical copies of) certain
Committee documents related to your 'impeachment inquiry' to its document repository, thus withholding the existence of such documents from the Minority."

Skiddle DeDe a day ago
I think you don't like the Republicans playing by the same rules and tricks Democrats do. Looks different when the shoe is on the other foot, huh? Think KFC eating and setting all night on the senate floor.
Ro Si Skiddle DeDe 10 hours ago
If you think that freshly squeezed orange juice you have every morning tastes odd, it's because those are apples you're using.
Shakes_McQueen a day ago
"The Democrats have offered no plausible and persuasive rationale for holding these proceedings in secret and keeping the evidence and testimony behind closed doors. Given the character of the people in question, it is safe to assume that their reasons for doing so are corrupt and motivated by narrowly calculated political self-interest. "

That's a heck of a leap in logic there, Kevin. And kind of incredible in light of Kevin McCarthy previously admitting on national television that the Benghazi Select Committee's purpose was to tank Clinton's poll numbers. Would Kevin agree that committee was corrupt then, I guess?

These are depositions, not hearings. Public hearings come later, once depositions are complete, and there's no more opportunity for deposed subjects to coordinate details. Then a Senate trial after that, where Trump gets all the "due process" he has been disingenuously complaining about.

It's amusing to me how it seems to be lost in all of this, that half of the people sitting in on these depositions are REPUBLICANS.

Patrick Constantine 15 hours ago
I Keep reading about this "aid to ukraine" improperly tied to an investigation of a rival. But this "aid" to Ukraine is really just weapons isn't it? Weapons meant to stoke conflict with a nuclear power. The deep state and the pro war liberals will never let This country move past militarism
anon 14 hours ago
If you supported the Schiff parody-as-truth from the other week but this bothers you, then you are an anti-Trump partisan. Conversely, if you support this but had a problem with Schiff, you are a pro-Trump partisan. And that is okay because impeachment is a political act. Just don't dress it up and pretend your side follows the rule of law and the other side doesn't. Both sides are engaging in politics to convince the public. And we'll be just fine as long as both sides stick with that, and obey the constitutional rules for impeachment. We'll only get in serious trouble if folks decide to go extra constitutional:

Tlaib: Democrats looking into how to arrest Trump officials
https://www.foxnews.com/pol...

Or if someone from the military tries to intervene:
https://www.nytimes.com/201...

Chris Mallory 4 hours ago
Nothing done by the US government should be done behind closed doors. Every thing should be done in the open with full disclosure to the citizens.
Ted 2 days ago • edited
The picture is funny, but you're on the wrong side of this, Dreher. I've finally realized why Schiff and his merry men, but especially Schiff, give me such agita.

Let's pick a date, or an incident: Bork. Since then, long before then, but let's pick a date, the Democrats have stood for moral anarchy . The only chance they had to show they retained a shred of principle was the Gulf War (both Gulf Wars, actually, but let's take the second), and there their response was, at least legislatively, muted to say the least (considering their Senatorial champion was the Lion of Chappaquiddick...) Since then it's been what? Feminism, abortion, and that more abundantly, all LGBTQ all the time, micro regulation of speech and behavior, race hustling, and--ha ha--more unjust unnecessary wars and the destruction of the white middle class. The soft totalitarianism we talk about in these boxes--no need to go on. The usual menu of "liberal" horror.

And this guy is to be impeached because he cusses in public? It's not adding up for me. Schiff's behavior is outrageous (read Kim Strassel today) but he's getting the job done. You might want to call it soft Leninism.

sb 2 days ago
Yet again, I note Rod, that there is more than one explanation over this hysterical impeach Trump nonsense.

This 'aid' is actually 'US military assistance'. Did it ever occur to you 'impeachers' that Trump may have deliberately been avoiding such a meeting with his top 4 warmongers precisely so as to avoid US 'aid' escalating the military tension betwen Ukraine and Russia? (and getting the US firmly tied into that fight?)

Trump was elected in part on a platform of no more foreign wars, and he seems genuinely committed to that (at least when he thinks he can). Maybe the withheld 'aid' was all just leverage for a Biden investigation, but it may also be Trump trying not to get pressured and bullied into more conflicts (which all prior Presidents were happy to go along with) in the face of a deep state totally committed to a condition of forever war.

As an anti-war activist who campaigned against the Afghan and Iraq wars, in Trump's shoes I would also have tried to avoid fueling an existing dangerous conflict that brings no benefit to my nation (other than a few arms sales) but may drag us into a war with major nations. Same situation repeating right now in Syria - no major benefit to US in staying, and staying may drag US into conflict between Turks and Kurds and Syria & Russia.

Not saying Trump has acted lawfully always - just that he may have been trying to avoid military escalation (at the same time as getting dirt on Biden). Lets not jump to obvious conclusions when they may not be so obvious.

Shakes_McQueen a day ago
"The Democrats have offered no plausible and persuasive rationale for holding these proceedings in secret and keeping the evidence and testimony behind closed doors. Given the character of the people in question, it is safe to assume that their reasons for doing so are corrupt and motivated by narrowly calculated political self-interest. "

That's a heck of a leap in logic there, Kevin. And kind of incredible in light of Kevin McCarthy previously admitting on national television that the Benghazi Select Committee's purpose was to tank Clinton's poll numbers. Would Kevin agree that committee was corrupt then, I guess?

These are depositions, not hearings. Public hearings come later, once depositions are complete, and there's no more opportunity for deposed subjects to coordinate details. Then a Senate trial after that, where Trump gets all the "due process" he has been disingenuously complaining about.

It's amusing to me how it seems to be lost in all of this, that half of the people sitting in on these depositions are REPUBLICANS.

Patrick Constantine 15 hours ago
I Keep reading about this "aid to ukraine" improperly tied to an investigation of a rival. But this "aid" to Ukraine is really just weapons isn't it? Weapons meant to stoke conflict with a nuclear power. The deep state and the pro war liberals will never let This country move past militarism
anon 14 hours ago
If you supported the Schiff parody-as-truth from the other week but this bothers you, then you are an anti-Trump partisan. Conversely, if you support this but had a problem with Schiff, you are a pro-Trump partisan. And that is okay because impeachment is a political act. Just don't dress it up and pretend your side follows the rule of law and the other side doesn't. Both sides are engaging in politics to convince the public. And we'll be just fine as long as both sides stick with that, and obey the constitutional rules for impeachment. We'll only get in serious trouble if folks decide to go extra constitutional:

Tlaib: Democrats looking into how to arrest Trump officials
https://www.foxnews.com/pol...

Or if someone from the military tries to intervene:
https://www.nytimes.com/201...

[Oct 27, 2019] Given the fact that she got a first hand look at the Outlaw US Empire's injustice system and its tie-in with BigLie Media, the comments by the now back in Russia Maria Butina carry some legitimate weight that're worth reading

I am sure that this stupid girl who allowed to make herself a scapegoat due to her pathological fascination with arms (and a romance with FBI informer -- so she was like a bug under microscope all the time).
But one of her comments stand out: "'I believe that the Americans are wonderful people, but they have lost their legal system" i would add the neo-McCarthyism campaign also means that the US neoliberal elite lost their sanity, trying to please MIC and Wall street oligarchs who via intelligence agencies, lobbyists and MSM essentially run the place mind.
Notable quotes:
"... I sorta feel like Winston Smith: Am I the only one who sees and understands what's actually happening?! Well, I've shared what I know, so I'm no longer alone. But that's not very satisfying, nor is it satisfactory. ..."
Oct 27, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Oct 26 2019 20:35 utc | 19

Given the fact that she got a first hand look at the Outlaw US Empire's injustice system and its tie-in with BigLie Media, the comments by the now back in Russia Maria Butina carry some legitimate weight that're worth reading: "'I believe that the Americans are wonderful people, but they have lost their legal system,' Butina said. 'What is more, they are routinely losing their country. They will lose it unless they do something'.... "'I am very proud of my country, of my origin,' Butina stressed. 'And I come to realize it more and more.'"

Should I bold the following, maybe make the lettering red, and put it in all caps:

"They are routinely losing their country."

I know this is an international bar, but the general focus has long been on the Outlaw US Empire. IMO, Maria Butina is 100% correct. The topic of this thread is just further proof of that fact.

As I tirelessly point out, the federal government has routinely violated its own fundamental law daily since October 1945. The media goes along with it robotically.

And aside from myself, I know of no other US citizen that's raised the issue--not Chomsky, not Zinn, not anyone with more credentials and public accessibility than I. I sorta feel like Winston Smith: Am I the only one who sees and understands what's actually happening?! Well, I've shared what I know, so I'm no longer alone. But that's not very satisfying, nor is it satisfactory.

Peter AU 1 , Oct 26 2019 21:46 utc | 30
"They are routinely losing their country."

Part and parcel of democracy. Western style democracy at least. Perhaps others can set theirs up better, though allways, the achilles heel of democracy is information, or media. Who oversees ensuring voters recieve accurate information.

The oz state of NSW had something that broke through this for a bit. ICAC https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Independent_Commission_Against_Corruption_(New_South_Wales)

It took complaints from the public and investigated them. They did not have power to bring charges, but for a time findings were made public. Once it got onto a money trail it would keep following and that would lead to other money trails. It was a state agency and had to stop at state borders but most money trails led to federal politics. It was defanged when they came too close to federal politics.

Something like this in a countries constitution could work though it could be corrupted the same as anything else.

[Oct 26, 2019] Russian 'Agent' Maria Butina Freed From Prison, Leaves US For Moscow

Oct 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Convicted Russian agent Maria Butina was released from a Florida prison on Friday and embarked on a 13-hour plane ride back to Russia. Butina served an 18-month sentence for conspiring to act as an unregistered agent for the Kremlin to influence US conservative gun-rights group, reported Reuters .

Butina, 31, was released early Friday from prison in Tallahassee, Florida, due to good behavior and a change in federal law. Her original release was expected in early November, Butina's attorney, Robert Driscoll, told Reuters.

Upon her release from jail, she was immediately detained by US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) authorities and taken to Miami International Airport for a 6 pm est. flight to Moscow.

... ... ...


Moribundus , 12 minutes ago link

'Like a bad Hollywood flick with allegations as surreal as Alice in Wonderland' - Russia's Butina on US arrest.

USA "justice" is not like in Hollywood movies, and YOU could be the next victim on USA territory - innocent and sent to prison, or strapped to a table and put to death; or robbed of your life savings by American lawyers.

The Hollywood image, versus the grim reality

Once you have digested the fact that America has the world's largest prison gulag, another major thing to digest is the USA government, and much of America, is primarily a sales organization, whose chief tool is hype and propaganda and outright lies. America is a culture built on sales and advertising; it focuses on portraying an image, not the reality beneath it.

Brazen Heist II , 46 minutes ago link

The Mockingbird Lugenpresse just needs to say "with Russian connections" and that's all they think your average dumb American needs to convulse into a fit of uncontrollable Russophobia.

American politics is inherently racist.

Moribundus , 2 hours ago link

The tragic reality of the world's biggest corrupt legal system -America's rigged courts, bribed judges, fake and phony trials, extortion by lawyers, and over 2 million prisoners in the USA gulag. USA "justice" is not like in Hollywood movies, and YOU could be the next victim on USA territory - innocent and sent to prison, or strapped to a table and put to death; or robbed of your life savings by American lawyers. YOU can be tortured, have your freedom and rights taken away, and people in America are afraid to help you, or even tell what happened to you.

The recent pattern of American violations of international law are ultimately based in the corruption of the USA domestic legal system. Phony USA courts are very dangerous even for travellers and visitors to America, who can easily wind up among the USA's more than 2 million prisoners, or lose all their family's possessions to corrupt American lawyers. All world citizens should know how the corrupt USA legal system, is a danger to every traveller, visitor, and guest worker from overseas, and to every individual who takes the risky step of entering upon American territory.

The reality is that the United States of America, which proclaims itself the "land of freedom", has the most dishonest, dangerous and crooked legal system of any developed nation. Legal corruption is covering America like a blanket. The corruption of the USA legal system is well-known, but also well-hidden, by the news services of America's corporate-owned media. The US media companies are afraid both of reprisal, and of the social revolution that would come from exposing the truth.

Quite amazingly, Americans and the American government, continually criticize the legal systems and so-called "political" legal proceedings in other countries such as China, Russia, and even Belgium among many other places. Yet, for example, the proportion of prisoners is 30 times higher in the USA than in China, even though China is a country regularly criticized and denounced by the USA government.

No one imprisons people as readily, or casually, as does America. As you learn more about America's horrifying legal system, you find out how easily and carelessly America arrests people, and tosses innocent people into prison. It is estimated that America has at least 100,000 completely innocent people in jail, but the statistics of innocence may well run far higher. The number of people known to be innocent, and yet who were actually sentenced to death in recent years in America, is already running into the hundreds.

The USA jailing of more than 2 million people is also, quite literally, a revival of slavery and slave labor, on a scale not seen since the days of the Nazis. USA business corporations are using these prisoners as a giant slave labor pool. Prisoners are forced to produce goods and products while earning mere pennies per hour, which they sometimes have to pay back to the prison for their own upkeep. The expanding system of USA prison slave labor is not only a major source of business profit, but also a wedge to drive down the wages of workers outside the prison walls.
Understanding that America has such a huge percentage of even its own people in prison, is to start to understand the subconscious fear behind much of American life. Before you set foot in America, you should have a clear picture of the terror of America's legal system - the judges and lawyers and money and bribery, that have made this system of fear so pervasive. There is not yet enough public media information about America's domestic legal horrors, horrors which have been rapidly increasing. And the American public, even the victims of its legal system, have a hard time realizing why it is so hard to fight legal corruption there.

American prisons are often horrible, with lots of torment of prisoners, like you would expect in some petty dictatorship. Conditions are brutal in USA jails; rape and beatings are common, and there is little help for abused inmates. In addition to the many official USA executions, numerous people are also illegally killed in jail cells, "mysteriously" said to have hanged themselves or "found stabbed to death".

In the regular functioning of the USA courts, America's domestic lawyers and judges, threaten people with illegal jailing, and rape, torture and murder in jail, just like the threats used by Americans against Iraqi subjects of the American occupation.

Theoretically, torture and abuse is totally outlawed by America's Constitution, but some of the nice words in America's Constitution hold little power anymore, despite how often people quote them. The Americans who still believe the Constitution protects them, are mostly those people who haven't yet dealt with the judges and lawyers of America's corrupt legal system.

The only people who really can get expect some fairness in American courts are multi-millionaires and big corporations. Nobody else really matters to American judges and lawyers.

Jury trials are actually very rare in America, unlike what you see in the movies. Most cases are settled through some deal or extortion or intimidation, before there is an actual trial. If there is a jury trial, they tend to stack the jury with un-educated idiots who will tend to believe whatever lies they are told by the judge and the government.

Americans love to talk about "taking it all the way to the Supreme Court!", but this is a nearly empty hope. The U.S. Supreme Court simply refuses to consider most cases that are presented to it.

The Hollywood image, versus the grim reality

Once you have digested the fact that America has the world's largest prison gulag, another major thing to digest is the USA government, and much of America, is primarily a sales organization, whose chief tool is hype and propaganda and outright lies. America is a culture built on sales and advertising; it focuses on portraying an image, not the reality beneath it.

This is why America was so casual about inventing and selling the lies about "weapons of mass destruction" to help start the Iraq invasion.

The selling never stops, in Washington or Hollywood. America sells political lies like Hollywood sells movies.

In the Hollywood version, there are brave lawyers who will fight for your rights, to win justice for you in the American courts. In reality, you can't find an American lawyer brave enough to fight judicial corruption, even if you are innocent and the judge's friends have threatened to murder you, or to send you to jail for the rest of your life.

In reality, there is almost nothing you can do against misconduct, and even open felony crime, committed against you by American judges and lawyers. All of the official complaint procedures you find on the internet, or at the courthouse or in the law books, turn out to be a joke, a farce and a fraud.

You can also forget about America's human rights and civil liberties groups, even though it looks, at first, like there are many such groups on the internet. Many such groups are just money-raising groups which don't help victims, or are tied to the two main political parties or some narrow agenda. They are all scared of the legal system, too, and there is no one with any significant funding or money, who is out there helping the victims of legal corruption. They can't find lawyers to help them, either.

MalteseFalcon , 2 hours ago link

Butina's case was one of the latest examples of anti-Russian hysteria . American media identified her as a Russian spy in 2018 and accused her of trading sex for political favors.

Alas I had no political favors to offer.

gro_dfd , 3 hours ago link

Disgusting that this harmless, interesting, (and attractive) young woman had to undergo such idiocy inflicted upon her by our government.

jmg , 3 hours ago link

"Russian gun activist Maria Butina . . . recalled that the FBI kept asking the same things about her activities over and over again because 'they just couldn't believe that people can do good things for no special reason, simply because they believe in friendship between the countries and strive for people's right for self-protection.' The lengthy interrogation was just for show, to make it look like the investigators 'were doing something serious,' while they had nothing.

"Before her sentencing in April, Butina spent eight months in custody, much of the time in a 'super freezing' cell in solitary confinement. There was hardly any heating inside, Butina recalls, and most cells had no view from the windows other than a brick wall.

"The Russian ultimately chose to plead guilty to failing to register as a foreign agent and was sentenced to 18 months in prison, with some of the term counted as time served. She did it because she did not believe that she would get a fair trial – especially in a jury trial - after being slandered and demonized by the US media.

"'I would have been tried by the same people who watch the news and get 15 years,' she said. Butina claimed that she would have 'fought till the end' if she was given a chance to stand trial 'before an international independent court with an objective view on my case.'"

'Like a bad Hollywood flick with allegations as surreal as Alice in Wonderland' - Russia's Butina on US arrest
https://www.rt.com/russia/471925-maria-butina-rt-interview-prison/

jmg , 3 hours ago link

Maria, the Russian girl who loved America:

"'As time passed, Byrne became more and more convinced that Maria was what she said she was -- an inquisitive student in favor of better U.S.-Russian relations -- and not an agent of the Russian government or someone involved in espionage or illegal activities,' the letter states. 'He states he conveyed these thoughts and the corroborating facts and observations about Maria to the government.'"

Lawyer for accused Russian agent Maria Butina alleges prosecutorial misconduct, reveals relationship with CEO | Fox News | July 26, 2019
https://www.foxnews.com/politics/lawyer-for-accused-russian-agent-maria-butina-alleges-prosecutorial-misconduct-reveals-relationship-with-ceo

[Oct 26, 2019] Expose The Enemy

Oct 26, 2019 | www.exposetheenemy.com

DONATE
New York-Tel Aviv-Moscow Triangle
New York - Tel Aviv - Moscow Triangle
This section contains the materials that document the background of Trump - Russia. From the banking houses of New York, to the Bolshevik Revolution. From the New School to the Neo-Cons. From the arming of Irgun to the creation of the Zionist state of Israel. From the fall of the Berlin Wall to the mafia state that rose out of the USSR. The development of international criminal networks, think tanks, governments, oligarchy and multinational corporate control of our politics, interests, technology, freedoms and even our minds. The Life of an American Jew Living in Racist Marxist Israel
Jack Bernstein The Soviets would institute a pro-Arab policy solely as a camouflage for its true intention, which was to furnish aid to the Arabs, but never enough to enable the Arabs to destroy Israel.
The Soviets would open the gates of Soviet satellite countries to Jewish immigration to Israel. Should this be insufficient, Soviet Russia then would open its own gates to immigration. <strong>The Soviets would absolutely guarantee the security of Israel.
Both the Soviet Union and Israel would share intelligence reports.
The latest scientific developments that the US provides Israel are channeled on to the Soviet Union. The main center through which this scientific information passes is Israel's Weizman Institute in the town of Rehoovot about 40 kilometers south of Tel Aviv. The Controversy Of Zion (Book)
Douglas Reed This is the text area for this paragraph. To change it, simply click here and start typing.Once you've added your content, you can customize the design using different colors, fonts, font sizes and bullets. Highlight the words you want to design and choose from the various options in the text editing bar. All Israeli Prime Ministers linked to USSR/Russian Empire
Jon Swinn This infographic details the links each Israeli Prime Minister has to the USSR/Russian Empire. TRUMP IS PUPPET OF KISSINGER, CFR AND ROTHSCHILDS, THE TRUE ARCHITECTS OF RUSSIAN COLLUSION
David Livingstone A vital read detailing the history that has led to the present day situation we face. NIXON CENTER -- KREMLIN  --  TRUMP
Zarina Zabrisky The Center for the National Interest, former Nixon Center, a hosting institution for Trump's first foreign policy speech and the adviser who helped writing the speech have multiple long-term ties to the Kremlin. Red Mafiya - How the Russian Mob Has Invaded America
Robert Friedman New York -- Moscow -- Tel Aviv Triangle
Fitzpatrick Israel and the Soviets are ideological allies – both follow the ideas of Karl Marx, so both are communist/socialist. Yet, the Soviets supplied military equipment to the Arabs -- Israel's enemies; and at the same time, the Soviet Union's enemy, the United States, was arming Israel.
To understand the treachery which Zionist/ Bolshevik Jews are capable and to understand the treachery which took place before and during the 1973 War, I must explain the New York/ Moscow/Tel Aviv Triangle. PUTIN DOSSIER
Fitzpatrick Exposing Russian president Vladimir Putin and his crypto-Soviet state for the Judeo-masonic, Chabad mafiya collaborators that they are THE AMERICAN AWAKENING - NEW YORK - TEL AVIV - MOSCOW AXIS
Michael Herzog and Brendon O'Connell Part 1 - 18 June 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n3GpnUF_nwA Part 2 - 22 June 2018 https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Kso1KWHXmNo&t=1688s Rare Interview with Gordon Thomas author of Robert Maxwell, Israel's Superspy
Gordon Thomas Gordon Thomas is interviewed on TruNews about his book Robert Maxwell Israel's Superspy. AT PUTIN'S SIDE, AN ARMY OF JEWISH BILLIONAIRES
Gil Stern Watching the group of mega-wealthy interact, one cannot help but wonder how so many affluent businessmen in the former Soviet Union are Jewish. On Multiple Fronts, Russian Jews Reshape Israel
Phillip Reeves "I was [politically] on the left, and I thought it was possible to reach an agreement with the Arabs. But after 20 years, I no longer think an accord is possible," he says.
Most of Israel's Russian-speaking community, including Esterman, is on the right these days. Since they now make up about 15 percent of Israel's 8 million people, they wield considerable political clout and have played a significant role in the general rightward shift of the Israeli electorate.
Russian-speaking immigrants form the base of the influential right-wing nationalist party Yisrael Beiteinu. The party has teamed up with Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu's Likud to form a bloc that is leading the polls ahead of this month's elections.
Galili argues that immigrants from the former Soviet Union have made a considerable impact on the politics of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict -- not least because of their resistance to the idea of giving up territory. Russian Immigrants in Israeli Politics: The Past, the Recent Elections and the Near Future
Arkadi Mazin Since the beginning of the large-scale immigration to Israel from the former Soviet Union in the 1990s, Israel's community of Russian speakers has played an dominant role in Israeli politics. Some maintain that it has tipped the balance and decided the final outcome in all the elections since then, perhaps with the exception of the most recent ones. Nevertheless, as will be shown, the Russian-speaking community's vote played a major role in these elections, too. From this, it may be concluded that the electoral behavior of the Russian-speaking community in Israel differs from that of the majority of the Israeli population. And indeed, as has been observed in various areas of life, such as consumer behavior, media and entertainment, as well as from the political-electoral perspective, the Russian-speaking community in Israel is commonly viewed as a separate sector, alongside two other important minority sectors – the ultra-Orthodox and Arab – and the "general Israeli population." An Emerging Alliance: Russia and Israel
Robert Zapesochny The core of this growing alliance is the more than one million Israeli citizens who were born in the former Soviet Union. Between 1970 and 1988, only 291,000 Jews, and their non-Jewish relatives, were allowed to leave the Soviet Union (165,000 went to Israel, and 126,000 went to the United States).
In 1989, Mikhail Gorbachev ended restrictions on Jewish emigration, in part for better relations with the United States. From 1989 to 2006, 1.6 million Soviet Jews, and their family members, left the former Soviet Union (979,000 went to Israel, 325,000 to the U.S. and 219,000 to Germany).
Earlier this year, President Putin said, "Russia and Israel have developed a special relationship primarily because 1.5 million Israeli citizens come from the former Soviet Union, they speak the Russian language, are the bearers of Russian culture, Russian mentality. They maintain relations with their relatives and friends in Russia, and this make the interstate relations very special."
Israel also needs Russia, as well. Israel's Start-Up Nation has been fueled by one million Russian-speaking Israelis. For this economic miracle to continue, the Israelis will need more engineers from the former Soviet Union. The Russian-speaking Israelis will have plenty of talent to choose from in the former Soviet Union. According the World Economic Forum, in 2015, Russia graduated 454,000 engineers and Ukraine graduated 130,000 engineers. THE DEBILITATING BRAIN DRAIN
Shilomo Maital Israel has gained immensely from the brain gain of one million immigrants from the former Soviet Union during the years 1990-1999. According to a study by Sarit Cohen of Bar-Ilan University and Chang-Tai Hsieh from Princeton University, 60 percent of the Russian-speaking immigrants who arrived in Israel between 1989 and 1990 were college educated, twice the proportion of college-educated Israelis. From 1990 to 1993, their study notes, "57,000 [Russian immigrants] had worked as engineers and 12,000 as medical doctors; in contrast, there were only 30,000 engineers and 15,000 medical doctors in Israel in 1989."
That brain gain was a one-time stroke of luck. Many of the brain-gain Russian-speaking engineers and doctors are now retiring, and many of the educated Israelis who could replace them are going abroad. Israel's former Soviet immigrants transform adopted country
Harriet Sherwood The million-plus citizens of the former Soviet Union who migrated to Israel in the past 20 years have not only made new lives of their own but they have transformed their adopted country. They have influenced the culture, hi-tech industry, language, education and, perhaps most significantly, Israeli politics.
Jews in the former Soviet Union were largely banned from making aliya – migrating to Israel – before the collapse of the empire. But from 1990 onwards they came in their thousands, and they now constitute around 15% of Israel's 7.7 million population.
Strictly speaking not all of them are Jewish. In traditional Judaism only someone whose mother is Jewish or who has undergone a formal conversion to Judaism is a Jew. But from 1990 anyone from the former Soviet Union who had a Jewish father or grandparent, or who was married to someone meeting those criteria, was granted Israeli citizenship under the country's law of return. The Million Russians That Changed Israel to Its Core
Masha Zur Glozman The authors begin their story toward the end of the 1980s, after Prime Minister Yitzhak Shamir realized that Mikhail Gorbachev was prepared to release those Jews who longed to leave the Soviet Union, because he wished to obtain American loan guarantees for the far-reaching reforms he had planned.
Bronfman and Galili describe the clandestine and open channels through which the State of Israel acted to advance this immigration, and the various interests involved, such as the desire to bolster the "demographic data" (a euphemism for increasing Israel's Jewish population ). Yitzhak Shamir, the Prime Minister Who Spied on Me
Aluf Benn According to Meridor, Shamir's most important contribution was convincing the U.S. administration under President George Bush Sr. to desist from issuing refugee visas to Soviet Jews. Up to 1989, Jews leaving the USSR could choose to immigrate either to the United States or to Israel, with many choosing the U.S. Shamir was opposed to this "defection," as it was termed at the time. He believed Jews ought to settle in Israel, whether they were from a Russian gulag or Brooklyn. He persuaded the American government and U.S. Jewish organizations that the Soviet Jews weren't refugees, that they had a homeland in Israel. Then the floodgates of the collapsing Soviet Empire opened wide, and a million Jews along with their relatives immigrated to Israel. Had Shamir not insisted, today, many of them would have been living on the shores of the Hudson River. Shamir Wants U.S. Pressure on Emigrants
The so-called "dropout" rate among Jews who leave the Soviet Union has reached as high as 80% in recent years. "Dropouts" are Jews who claim political refugee status from the United States when they reach Vienna rather than fly to Israel. How Russia's rich elite spend their billions in London
Roman Borisovich Wealthy [Jewish] oligarchs have become a fixture of the British landscape during the past 20 years. But what do they offer to the country's culture? Rich Russians: The Wealthiest Oligarchs Who Call London Home
Alisher Usmanov and Roman Abramovich are joined in the capital by a host of lesser-known wealthy compatriots Vladimir Putin told me a personal story in the Kremlin
This video includes excerpts from the speeches of Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar, Attorney Alan Dershowitz, and footage of the legendary Chabad Lubavitch "Roll Call" at the 2006 International Conference of Shluchim. Putin's Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar friend of Nathaniel Rothschild.
"My call to fame is actually being Mr. Rothschild's friend and it is a pleasure to honour Mr. Rothschild and David Slager for what they have done here in Oxford for the Oxford University Chabad Society." - Chief Rabbi Lazar The KGB's Middle East Files: 'Illegals' in Israel
Ronen Bergman In 1992, Vasili Mitrokhin, a KGB archivist, defected to the West with a trove of top secret documents from the Soviet intelligence agency, which helped expose many Russian agents and assets in Israel and elsewhere. This series of articles explores these documents and brings to light the secrets they revealed. Russian Firm to Train Israelis in Hot Tech Fields
Ruti Levy Fifty Israeli students – most of them computer science graduates or veterans of army technology units – will begin a program in October to learn the ins and outs of some of the hottest fields in Israeli high-tech, such as data science and machine learning.
he classes will meet at Tel Aviv University, but no Israeli academic institution is involved. The syllabus was written and the lecturers hired and paid for by the Russian company Yandex. The Happy-Go-Lucky Jewish Group That Connects Trump and Putin
Ben Schreckinger Chabad of Port Washington, a Jewish community center on Long Island's Manhasset Bay, sits in a squat brick edifice across from a Shell gas station and a strip mall. The center is an unexceptional building on an unexceptional street, save for one thing: Some of the shortest routes between Donald Trump and Vladimir Putin run straight through it. Know Your Oligarch: A Guide to the Jewish Billionaires in the Trump-Russia Probe
Ron Kampeas Of 10 billionaires with Kremlin ties who funneled political contributions to Donald Trump and a number of top Republican leaders, at least five are Jewish Russia's Chief Rabbi Reportedly Paid Secret Visit to Iran on Trip Organized by Putin
Russian Chief Rabbi Berel Lazar secretly visited Iran almost six months ago as part of a diplomatic trip organized by Russian President Vladimir Putin, Israeli media reported over the weekend.
The Islamic Republic opposed the rabbi's arrival, but Putin himself insisted on Lazar's participation in the diplomatic mission, the website Ynetnews reported. The trip was reportedly headed by the chairman of Russia's State Duma and included talks in the Iranian parliament.
Lazar, who heads the Chabad movement in Russia, is considered close to Putin and is often accused of supporting the president unconditionally in exchange for his regime's seal of approval for Chabad.
Israel has argued for months that Iran needs to withdraw its forces from the war-torn country. In recent weeks, senior U.S. officials have stated that while both Russia and the U.S. agree with Israel that Iran needs to exit Syria, it is currently unrealistic for Russia to force Iran out of the country. DONALD TRUMP, CHABAD-LUBAVITCH AND THE OLIGARCHS
Despite his alignment with the racist right, Trump has professed ultra-right views on Israel. His connections with Israel also extend to his broad ties with the Russian mafia, many of whom hold dual citizenship in Israel. The Russian mafia is closely associated with Chabad-Lubavitch, a Hasidic movement that derived originally from Sabbateanism. Putin: 'I support the struggle of Israel'
Chaim Lev, Ari Yashar Russian President Vladimir Putin on Wednesday met with a delegation of rabbis, led by Sephardic Chief Rabbi Yitzhak Yosef, former Chief Rabbi Yisrael Meir Lau, Chief Rabbi of Russia Berel Lazar, and rabbis of the Rabbinical Center of Europe (RCE).
"I follow closely what's going on in Israel," said Putin during the long meeting, which was held in Moscow.
"I support the struggle of Israel as it attempts to protect its citizens. I also heard about the shocking murder of the three youths. It is an act that cannot be allowed, and I ask you to transmit my condolences to the families," added the Russian president, in referring to the abduction and murder of three teens in June by Hamas terrorists. PUTIN AND NETANYAHU TO STRIKE DEAL ON LEVIATHAN GAS FIELD
Erica Mills Israeli foreign affairs analyst, Ehud Yaari, says Russian President Vladimir Putin & Israeli PM Benjamin Netanyahu want to strike a deal on the Leviathan field Ronald S. Lauder: Russia's fight against anti-Semitism isn't just good for Jews – it's good for Russia as well
"At a time when global terrorism singles out Jews around the world, at a time when we see the impact of intolerance and hate on every continent, here in Russia, the Jewish community is thriving. Jewish kindergartens and Jewish schools are filled to capacity, synagogues are crowded on Shabbat. But Jews in Western Europe are seriously thinking of leaving," Lauder said.
"President [Vladimir] Putin has made Russia a country where Jews are welcome. And that's not just a good thing for Jews. It is good for Russia as well," Lauder said. "It is because of this unprecedented change that the World Jewish Congress looks to continue to work with Russia. We want to be able to count on Russia as a solid friend." PUTIN TO NETANYAHU: ISRAEL, RUSSIA 'UNCONDITIONAL ALLIES' IN WAR AGAINST TERROR
Israel and Russia agreed to strengthen their regional military cooperation, when Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu and Russian President Vladimir Putin met face-to-face in the Kremlin on Tuesday.
The two leaders agreed to tightened their cooperation in the fight against terrorism and stressed the importance of ending regional violence such as in Syria. They also reiterated the importance of Israel ending its short-term conflict with Turkey and its long-standing one with the Palestinians.
"We discussed the continued coordination between our two militaries in the region, which already works quite well," Netanyahu told reporters at a joint press conference in the Kremlin with Putin after their meeting.
It is their fourth meeting in the last year, and their third in Moscow. The Countless Israeli Connections to Mueller's Probe of Trump and Russia
Chemi Shalev The Israeli media usually takes scant interest in Robert Mueller's investigations. It prefers to dwell on Donald Trump's supposedly pro-Israeli policies. Last week's report in the New York Times about the participation of Joel Zamel, the Australian-born "Israeli specialist in social media manipulation," in an August 3, 2016 meeting at Trump Tower in New York was an exception to the rule. The FBI, the Times reported, had even come to Israel to search the offices of Zamel's company. Here was a direct Israeli link to the scandal that has bewitched much of America since Trump was first elected. Mueller reveals ANOTHER effort to arrange a Trump-Putin meeting – this one involving the chief Rabbi of Russia known as 'Putin's Rabbi' who visited Trump Tower in 2016
Geoff Earle Special Counsel Robert Mueller's report sketches out yet another effort to arrange a meeting between Donald Trump and Russia's Vladimir Putin – this time from a man touting a connection to the Chief Rabbi of Russia.
The Trump-Putin meeting never occurred, but Rabbi Berel Lazar, known as 'Putin's Rabbi,' did attend a Trump Tower meeting in 2016 with the man who pitched it. Here are 5 shady ways Trump, Israel and Russia are colluding on the world stage
Tana Ganeva In the latest bizarre twist in the Paul Manafort saga, the Guardian reports that Manafort may have conspired with an Israeli official to manipulate members of the Obama administration into supporting Viktor Yanukovych over Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and link the latter to anti-Semitism. Yanukovych was Russia's chosen candidate.
1. As Bashar al-Assad moves to consolidate power in Syria, the US, Russia and Israel seem united in their efforts to throw Hezbollah, a proxy of Iran, out of the conflict. In mid-August, Secretary of State John Bolton told ABC that the three countries are united in this goal.
3. During the President's much derided one-on-one talks with Russian President Vladimir Putin, Donald Trump assured the world that the security of Israel is a priority for both Russia and the United States.
4. House of Trump, House of Putin: The Untold Story of Donald Trump and the Russian Mafia,¯ the writer Craig Unger writes about how up to 59 Russian oligarchs have been cultivating Donald Trump and his associates for years, through such means as New York's unregulated real estate industry.
As the Times of Israel has pointed out, many of these wealthy Russian business-people also have ties to Israel.
5. So far, the President has made good on his promise to prioritize the interests of the current Israeli government.
It's not a surprise when Trump flouts international norms. But his decision to move the US embassy to Jerusalem sparked furor around the world and led to deadly protests by Palestinians.
The administration dismissed the demonstrations, in which multiple civilians were killed, as 'unfortunate propaganda'. Paul Manafort: Trump's ex-campaign chair agrees to cooperate with Mueller
Jon Swaine Manafort may have conspired with an Israeli official to manipulate members of the Obama administration into supporting Viktor Yanukovych over Yulia Tymoshenko in Ukraine, and link the latter to anti-Semitism. Yanukovych was Russia's chosen candidate.
Manafort allegedly orchestrated a plan to smear a Yanukovych domestic rival, Yulia Tymoshenko, by disseminating "with no fingerprints" allegations that Tymoshenko had paid for the murder of a Ukrainian official. "My goal is to plant some stink on Tymo," Manafort wrote in a message.
He also allegedly schemed to have "Obama Jews" exert pressure on Barack Obama's administration to support Yanukovych and disavow Tymoshenko, and conspired with an Israeli government official to spread allegations linking Tymoshenko to antisemitism. Manafort allegedly wrote in one message to an unidentified associate: "I have someone pushing it on the NY Post. Bada bing bada boom. MATIMOP, Skolkovo deepen Israel-Russia start-up cooperation
Israeli Industry Center for R&D (MATIMOP) and Russia's Skolkovo Foundation will shortly announce a call for papers for joint R&D project by Israeli and Russian start-ups to obtain support from Office of the Chief Scientist in Israel and the Skolkovo Foundation. Skolkovo Foundation VP Stanislav Naumov said, "The difference between Russia and Israel's entrepreneurial system required thinking together to find a formula for cooperation. The formula we reached enables us to move forward to the stage of extensive collaboration by ventures of the two countries. The special call for papers that we are publishing is another important stage in developing cooperation between Russia and Israel, which began a year ago with the fostering of innovation and the commercialization of advanced technologies."
Israel-Skolkovo Center co-managing director Alexander Zinigrad said, "This is the first time that special binational collaboration for start-ups has been declared in Israel. This is an important measure, which gives a great boost to the cooperation that began in the summer of 2011 between the start-up industry in Israel and the Skolkovo Foundation. Since the establishment of the Israel-Skolkovo Center, we have received scores of inquiries from Israeli start-up companies every month. Within less than a year, we have assisted six Israeli start-up companies at Skolkovo." Putin Reveals Who Will Be the Lord of the World
"Artificial intelligence is not only the future of Russia, but the future of all mankind. It holds both tremendous opportunities and is fraught with scarcely predictable dangers. Whoever takes the lead in this sphere will become Lord of the World," President Putin told Russian schoolchildren during an open lesson on their first day of the new school year. Hillary's Secret Kremlin Connection Is Quickly Unraveling
John Schindler Exactly how Clinton profited off deals with Skolkovo is something the American public has a right to know before November 8.
Then there's the matter of what Skolkovo actually is. In truth, it's nothing like Silicon Valley except in outward appearance. It's a fully state-driven enterprise -- funded largely by the Kremlin and acting on its orders. It does the bidding of the Russian government, and President Putin has taken intense interest in his high-tech complex, understanding its value to the country's defense and security sector. Yandex Partners With Tel Aviv University to Launch AI Study Program, Scholarships

Amarella Wenkert The Russian technology company will launch the Yandex Machine Learning Initiative, offering courses in artificial intelligence and financial support to students and faculty Modeled on Yeshiva University, first Jewish university to open in Russia
Modeled after Yeshiva University in the United States, The Jewish University of Moscow is a private institution with a student body of 200 whose budget comes mostly from donors and the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia, dean Alexander Lebedev told JTA earlier this week.
The university -- whose faculties include economics, law, humanities and Jewish studies – comprises two existing Jewish community colleges: Institute XXI century for men and Institute Machon CHaMeSH for women. Their reconstitution as campuses of a single, state-recognized university is a first in Russian history, according to Lebedev. Russian VC shows the love to Israeli startups
Abigail Klein Leichman Titanium Investments unveils its $50 million venture capital fund geared mainly to Israeli companies such as Feedvisor, Any.do and MUV Interactive. US backs Israel's proposal for railway link to Gulf
The US has expressed support for an Israeli plan to revive a historic railroad network linking the Jewish state to Gulf countries.
Jason Greenblatt, US President Donald Trump's peace envoy, hailed the proposal on Monday as an Israeli minister visits Oman to present the "Tracks for Regional Peace" project. How Russia Created a Jewish Museum and Tolerance Center Even Vladimir Putin Can Tolerate
Olga Gershenson The museum project was initiated by the Federation of Jewish Communities of Russia -- the umbrella organization for Chabad-Lubavitch in Russia -- supported by the Kremlin and financed by a handful of Russian Jewish oligarchs at a cost of $50 million. The journey to museum from garage began in 2001, when Moscow City Hall donated the dilapidated building to the Hasidic Jewish Community Center. The idea was that the building would house a cultural center, including an exhibition on Jewish culture and an art gallery. While this site is neither central nor easily accessible to tourists, it is part of an entire campus of Jewish religious and cultural organizations that sprouted in the post-Soviet era in the traditionally Jewish neighborhood (to the extent that Moscow has Jewish neighborhoods) of Maryina Roshcha. The museum building shares its territory with a Jewish day school, a yeshiva, a medical center and several Jewish charity organizations.
Several years of faltering attempts to renovate the garage building ended in 2007, when Roman Abramovich, a federation board member, restored it. In 2008 it opened its doors to the public as the Garage Center for Contemporary Culture, managed by Dasha Zhukova, Abramovich's girlfriend at the time. Top Israeli officials were part of KGB spy ring -- report
Toi Staff KGB files reportedly revealed the existence of an extensive Soviet spy ring in Israel, encompassing Knesset members, senior IDF officers, engineers, members of the Israeli intelligence community, and others who worked on classified projects.
Top-secret KGB documents reported on by the Hebrew-language daily Yedioth Ahronoth Wednesday detailed the extent of the network of agents run by the Soviet secret service.
The documents were copied over a period of 20 years by Vasili Mitrokhin, a senior KGB archivist who defected to the UK in 1992. His edited notes on various KGB operations were released in 2014 and are stored in Churchill College in Cambridge; his handwritten notes remain classified by MI5. Soviet documents 'show Abbas was KGB agent'; Fatah decries 'smear campaign'
Tamar Pileggi Palestinian Authority President Mahmoud Abbas was a Soviet spy in Damascus in the 1980s, Israel's Channel 1 television reported Wednesday, citing information it said was included in an archive smuggled out of the USSR.
According to Channel 1's foreign news editor Oren Nahari, the famed Mitrokhin archive, kept by KGB defector Vasily Mitrokhin, revealed that Abbas was a Soviet mole in Damascus in 1983.
The documents -- obtained by Israeli researchers Isabella Ginor and Gideon Remez -- purportedly show that Abbas, code-named Krotov (mole), was involved with the Soviets while Mikhail Bogdanov, today Vladimir Putin's envoy to the Middle East. was stationed in Damascus. KGB Infiltrated Highest Echelons of Israel's Army, Business, and Political Leadership
Richard Silverstein The Israeli military censor compelled Bergman to suppress the names of the most damaging of the KGB spies working in Israel in a three-part series published in recent weeks by Ynet. In part four of his series, Bergman secured the cooperation of an Israeli triple agent who worked for the CIA, KGB and Shabak. The ex-spy agreed to be interviewed and for his identity to be exposed. But the IDF censor, Col. Ariella Ben Avraham, so eviscerated the proposed article that it could not be published. As a result, it will be some time before we learn this individual's identity. Given that the former spy agreed to be identified and the incident presumably occurred decades ago, one wonders what the censor is protecting except her own power and prerogative to render secret what should be known in any other democratic society. Lieberman Appointed Israeli KGB Agent to Senior Government Role, Then He Disappeared
Richard Silverstein Bergman, who is compelled by the military censor to suppress the names of almost all of the spies, tells (Nana recounts the story at 3:05 of this news report) of a Soviet Jew born in south-central Russia in the mid-1950s. He studied engineering and was considered quite proficient in his field of study. The spy, whose code-name was Bejan, was recruited to an elite Soviet espionage school, where he was trained in the field of spycraft. He made aliyah to Israel and was inducted into the IDF shortly thereafter. He joined the officer training school and from there rose quickly in the ranks until he was appointed the chief of one of the army's most critical infrastructure ventures. He was privy to a multitude of highly secret material including the location of bases, infrastructure facilities, data on the order of battle, and preparations for future wars.
After retiring from the IDF, he turned to various jobs in private industry. Later, he was appointed by Avigdor Lieberman, who himself has often been rumored to be a Russian intelligence asset, to a senior post. Then suddenly, Bejan disappeared in 2005. He has not been heard from since.
He is not the first person in Lieberman's circle to suffer a strange, mysterious fate. News1 detailed the circumstances in which several key witnesses in the last Lieberman investigation who either committed suicide, disappeared, or "forgot" key elements of their previous testimony. Among them are Michael Falkov, a Lieberman communications advisor who disappeared in 2014. Yosef Shuldiner was found shot to death in an Israeli cemetery in 2006. Artium Borovik, a senior Russian journalist close to the Kremlin, whom Lieberman used to lobby on behalf of his business ventures, died in a mysterious plane crash in 2008. Daniella Mourtzi was the corporate accountant for five Cyprus-based Lieberman companies which were fronts. She was to testify as part of the government investigation into Lieberman's shady business dealings about his ownership of the companies. But before her time came to testify, she suddenly developed amnesia and couldn't recall a thing. Another witness in Moldova (where Lieberman was born) was interrogated and shortly afterward had a fatal stroke. Soviet spies infiltrate Mossad, sources say
Richard Sale Soviet infiltration of Israel's spy agency, Mossad, is the most serious blow to Israeli intelligence since the 1970s and U.S. intelligence also was breached as a result, U.S. sources reveal.
Mossad has been penetrated by 'highly placed' Soviet moles and a full-scale internal counterintelligence investigation is under way, the intelligence sources said.
A Justice Department source said U.S. counterintelligence agents became aware of the Israeli-Soviet espionage pipeline when data stolen by Jonathan Jay Pollard, a U.S. Navy analyst convicted of spying for Israel, was 'traced to the Eastern bloc.'
Intelligence sources said data reaching the Soviets via this route included sensitive U.S. weapons technology and strategic information about the defense forces of Turkey, Pakistan and moderate Arab countries, including Saudi Arabia.
U.S. intelligence analysts said the Pollard data was traded to the Soviets in return for promises to increase emigration of Soviet Jews to Israel.
One analyst said Israel's 'right-wing' Jews are involved with spying for the Soviets and called it 'ironic,' noting that left-wing elements were responsible for similar scandals in the past. No Love Lost
Yossi Melman "There is a paradoxical situation," says the chief rabbi of Moscow. "The Jews in Russia have power, money and influence, as never before; yet at the same time the situation of the Jewish community is at an all-time low." A guide to the wars of the Jewish oligarchs in Russia. Why Data Science is Booming in Israel
Jacob Maslow Yandex, the "Google of Russia," is going to expand into Israel. The tech firm, the largest in Russia, will be launching a few services in Israel. The firm will be launching Yandex Music in just a few weeks, and then there are additional plans for Israel.
Times of Israel broke the news that Yandex is still thinking about opening a taxi venture in Israel and also plans to offer an eight-month course in data science. Yandex plans to introduce their Y-Data initiative in Israel, a course that will be very similar to what is already running in Russia. Exploring Al Qaeda's Murky Connection To Russian Intelligence
John Schindler [Note: This is an unusually controversial piece, even for my blog, for reasons that will quickly become obvious. Linkages between Al-Qa'ida and Russian intelligence have been discussed in hushed tones among spies in many countries, for years, and this matter has been a "hobby file" of mine for some time. Here is a think-piece on it, in the hope of spurring additional discussion and research into this important yet murky matter. This is particularly necessary given rising tensions between Moscow and the West at present. 'The USSR Is Our Second Homeland,' Said One Kibbutznik When Stalin Died
Tom Segev In fact, it is of interest to recall - incredible as it may seem - that Stalin's Soviet Union was once at the center of Israeli identity. In the first Knesset, the left-wing Mapam (United Workers Party ) was the second-largest faction, with 19 seats. During the debate over the makeup of the government that was held in the Knesset on March 10, 1949, one of Mapam's two leaders, Ya'akov Hazan of Kibbutz Mishmar Ha'emek, said: "For us, the Soviet Union is the fortress of world socialism, it is our second homeland, the socialist one." That comment could go down as one of the 10 most-quoted sentences in the history of Israeli politics. Jabotinsky's Likud Was Anything but a Liberal Bastion
Ofri Ilany While Ze'ev Jabotinsky has in recent years been lionized as the picture of a faultless liberal standout, there is no justification for describing Likud as a movement that was once liberal and has deteriorated into fascism.
David Ben-Gurion visited the Soviet Union in 1923, and drew inspiration from the Leninist form of organization and use of power. He described Lenin admiringly as "an iron-willed man who would not spare human life or the blood of the innocent on behalf of the revolution." In the wake of that visit, Ben-Gurion built his political party into a power-centric revolutionary organization that was not squeamish about using whatever means possible to realize its objectives. RUSSIANS AND JEWS: THE ODD COUPLE
Jonathan Adelman Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu has in the last three years gone nine times to a Russia that has promoted dozens of Russian Jews to become oligarchs in the new Russia. FROM RUSSIA WITH JEWS
Amiram Barkat and Yossi Melman Zvi Magen did what few Israelis would dare to do: He rejected a tempting, well-paying job offer from Arcadi Gaydamak, the Israeli-Russian oligarch, whom the State Prosecutor's office is considering putting on trial for money laundering, and who is wanted in France on suspicion of illegal arms trading with Angola. Gaydamak wanted Magen to head the Congress of Jewish Religious Communities and Organizations in Russia (KEROOR). This is an off-the-shelf organization that came to life about 18 months ago under the aegis of Gaydamak, who contributes money to it and acts as its president. Magen received the generous offer a few months ago, while he was still head of Nativ, but preferred to join the Interdisciplinary Center, Herzliya as head of a new Euro-Asia institute that will conduct "studies from the Balkans to Mongolia."
Magen, a lieutenant colonel in the Israel Defense Forces reserves and a former ambassador to Ukraine and Russia, has headed Nativ for almost seven years. He concluded his term of office at the beginning of last month, but his successor has only just been named. Last week, Naomi Ben Ami, Israel's ambassador to Ukraine, was chosen to head Nativ. This is the first time in the history of the Israeli intelligence community that a woman has been named to head one of its agencies - although Nativ in fact is no longer involved in intelligence. HOLY RUSSIA SACRED ISRAEL
Dominic Rubin Jewish‐Christian Encounters in Russian Religious Thought Russia's use of false flag terrorism facilitating the rise of Putin
'September, 1998: Kremlin Insider Predicts 'Massive Unrest' to Journalist' March 19, 1999: Bombing in Russian Market Near Chechnya Kills Fifty. June 6, 1999: Kremlin False Flag Terror Plot Rumors Surface in Swedish Newspaper July 22, 1999: Russian Journalist Alleges Destabilization Plot by Kremlin Insiders September 9, 1999: Apartment Blast in Moscow Kills 94; Chechen Rebels Blamed September 13, 1999: Second Moscow Apartment Bombing Kills 118; Chechen Rebels Blamed September 22-24, 1999: FSB Agents Plant Large Bomb in Ryazan: 'Security Exercise' or Terror Plot?
Henry Kissinger's criminal sale of nuclear weapons technology to Soviet Russia in 1972
Antony Sutton Kalmanowich affair shows KGB-Israeli mafia link
Thierry Lalevee and Joseph Brewda On Dec. 23, 1987, Israeli businessman Shabtai Kalmanowich was arrested by Israeli authorities on charges of being "a spy for the Soviet Union." Since his emigration from Lithuania in 1971, Kalmanowich had become a leading figure in the Israeli political and business establishment, directing a far-flung diamond, gold, gambling, prostitution, and armstrafficking empire, based in Africa, West Germany, and New York City. When Israeli authorities announced Kalmanowich's arrest on Jan. 10, however, they failed to mention the fact that millionaire Kalmanowich was also an officer in the Israeli foreign intelligence service, the Mossad. Kalmanowich was something of the late CIA director Bill Casey's ideal intelligence officer: He made a fortune as he carried out espionage. Kalmanowich is certainly not the first Soviet Jewish emigre caught as a spy; there have been four or five over recent years. Analyzing this phenomenon, a former head of Israeli military intelligence reported on Israeli television that there are two kinds of spies among the emigres: those who are blackmailed because their families have remained behind, and those who are ideologically committed to Soviet communism. Kalmanowich belonged to the second category. The Chicago School of Economics
Jon Swinn This infographic displays the connections and people known