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Demonization of Putin

Reuters/David W Cerny

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

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

Guy Mettan

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here are some examples they point to:

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

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

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

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

So this is a US government program?

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

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

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

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

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

Yes, absolutely

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

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

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

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

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

Warm and fuzzy...

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

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

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

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

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

Well its sort of like that, but not exactly…

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Absolutely.

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

 


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[Jun 22, 2017] What is Thucydidess Trap, and how does it inform U.S.-China relations in the 21st century

Nuclear weapons changes the situation and that makes all those Thucydides Trap considerations pretty shaky indeed... Displacement of the British empire by the USA is another counterexample.
Jun 22, 2017 | www.quora.com
What is Thucydides's Trap, and how does it inform U.S.-China relations in the 21st century? The Thucydides Trap: Are the U.S. and China Headed for War? Harold Kingsberg , Reader Updated Oct 20, 2015 · Upvoted by Marc Bodnick , Former Stanford PhD student in Politics The Thucydides Trap is a term coined by Graham T. Allison, a Harvard professor and recognized US national security and defense policy expert. The concept itself comes from, fittingly, Thucydides, a Greek historian from about 2400 years ago who wrote a book entitled The History of the Peloponnesian War , generally regarded as the first work of history as we'd recognize it.[1] Thucydides argued that the cause of the Peloponnesian War was "the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." In other words, as one power rises, an already established power gets nervous and gears up for war, with this devolving into a vicious cycle that eventually results in war.

Now, if we apply the Thucydides Trap to the US-China relationship, China is the counterpart of Athens, the US is the counterpart of Sparta, and there's going to inevitably be war between the two. And certainly, there are people in the US who feel that the rise of China is a direct threat to the dominance of the US and we should all gear up for war because... well, mostly yellow peril.

Thirty years ago, there was another East Asian power on the rapid economic rise. It owned a massive chunk of US debt, it was buying up US property left, right and center, it had a well-funded military and a history of using it. Of course, as Japan is in its third Lost Decade, it's fairly clear to see that Japan's meteoric rise came crashing to a halt, and most of the comments made about how the Japanese would eat the US' lunch now seem dated in the extreme. Which is to say that the Thucydides Trap requires the continued rise of the emerging power. It is not difficult to imagine China continuing to rise; however, it is also not difficult to imagine China stalling out for a few years. It is this latter possibility that makes the Thucydides Trap eminently avoidable.

China's economy has boomed in a frankly unparalleled way since Deng Xiaoping introduced the socialist market economy. Much of this growth has been genuine. Some of it has been anything but. The latter is most evidently seen in China's ghost cities, which the government keeps erecting. Ordos, in Inner Mongolia, is probably the most famous of these, but the basic problem is that the city was erected with the idea that people would flock to it and that didn't happen.[2] This constitutes a pretty stunning waste of resources, and it's not a tenable strategy for long-term growth. Similarly, when the Shanghai Stock Exchange tanked in August of 2015, the Chinese government's management of the situation was to pour money into it – again, not a viable strategy for maintaining a robust market economy in the long-term. It's clear that the Chinese government has done something right these past few decades, but it's increasingly unclear if the Chinese government can continue that record of success for very much longer.

There's also another problem China's looking at that makes the parallel to Japan even more pronounced: an aging population. China's attempts at controlling demography have been deeply problematic and left it with serious issues. Mao Zedong's attempts to boost the population beyond sustainable levels was overly successful and led to problems, but the subsequent walking back of Mao's demography with the One Child Policy has led to a gender imbalance and a smaller younger generation than the older one. This is the exact opposite of what you want in an age pyramid, because the elderly produce less than do young adults, and consume considerably more health care (among other things). This is a problem that Japan has been trying to figure out for years, and they've had no success. Singapore has had issues reversing their own highly successful demographic programs. China may figure out how to crack the tough nut, but it's not going to have an easy time of it.

This is all very well-known to the people at the helm of American foreign policy, so it's quite unlikely that they're going to fall into the Thucydides Trap, simply because they're going to be a little leery of China's continued rapid growth. Yes, the IMF cites China as having a larger economy (based on GDP PPP) than the US', but when you look at it per capita, China lags Turkmenistan. It's therefore a country still punching well below its weight. Now, it's true that if China continues to rise, it may yet get the US nervous – but most economists predict a slowdown in China, so we're a ways from that happening, anyway. Most of the people worrying about China's rise would worry about any Asian country doing well, even an ally's.

However, the slowdown in the Chinese economy does cause issues of its own. Like many other governments facing economic worries, the Chinese government has engaged in some nationalist saber-rattling and expansionism in recent years. Combine this with Japan's recent law allowing the JSDF to be deployed away from Japan, and Japan being a key US ally, and you're looking at a very uncomfortable situation. The majority of analysts don't expect a war between Japan and China over the Senkaku/Diayou Islands, but then, most didn't expect a war between the UK and Argentina over the Falklands, either.[3] So long as it all remains just talk, this is fine, but if either side actually does something, that could destabilize quickly, and the US isn't about to hang Japan out to dry. This is known by all parties, and seeing as how war would be terrible for everyone's bottom line, everyone's generally trying to avoid it while still getting a little bump in the polls all the same. This isn't so much the Thucydides Trap so much as it is a rough analogue of what's going in with Russia and Ukraine or what happened with Russia and Georgia back in 2008. Thus, in many ways, the continued rise of China is a preferable outcome from the perspective of a US foreign policy analyst.[4] Now, you can argue that this is another manifestation of Thucydides' Trap, but frankly, I don't think that doing so is a valuable exercise. Thucydides was specifically referring to the continuing rise of one country causing another to react with great hostility, and this paragraph does not describe that in the slightest.

And even ignoring all of the above, Thucydides lived 2400 years ago and some of the facts on the ground have changed. We spent forty years following the Second World War of the rising power not getting into a big fight with the established one,[5] the US and the UK didn't go to war during the early twentieth century and neither did the US and Japan in the back half of the twentieth century. I'm not saying that Thucydides has stopped being accurate altogether, but it was always a massive generalization and it seems to be holding less and less true the longer the Long Peace goes. The bottom line is that Daniel Defoe's more applicable than Thucydides here: the only things certain in life are death and taxes.

[1] Yes, Herodotus is called the "Father of History," but he tended to attribute events to the wills of specific gods. Thucydides kept everything grounded in the human sphere, although precisely how much of the History is dead accurate and how much he invented is a matter of some controversy. His records of speeches – for example, Pericles' funeral oration and the Melian dialogue – are generally viewed with a little bit of suspicion.

[2] Alternatively, one can take the view that the city was built to prop up the construction industry, but I tend to doubt that. In any event, here's a link to an article about the deserted city: Welcome to The World's Largest Ghost City: Ordos, China

[3] And remember, that was another case of a country whose growth rate had stalled but good going up against an established power.

[4] It would also be preferable if Japan could also get its internal issues sorted for the same reason.

[5] Not counting proxy conflicts, of course. There were US-USSR dust-ups, but no direct fighting between the two.

[Jun 22, 2017] Can America and China Escape Thucydidess Trap?

Thucydides's Trap is a fake notion... This is unproven hypothesis. for example GB lost the power to the USA without major war between them.
The Thucydides Trap is a term coined by Graham T. Allison, a Harvard professor and recognized US national security and defense policy expert. The concept itself comes from, fittingly, Thucydides, a Greek historian from about 2400 years ago who wrote a book entitled The History of the Peloponnesian War, generally regarded as the first work of history as we'd recognize it.[1] Thucydides argued that the cause of the Peloponnesian War was "the growth of Athenian power and the fear which this caused in Sparta." In other words, as one power rises, an already established power gets nervous and gears up for war, with this devolving into a vicious cycle that eventually results in war.
See https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Thucydides
Jun 16, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:33 AM

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/books/review/everything-under-the-heavens-howard-french-destined-for-war-graham-allison.html

America's Collision Course With China
By JUDITH SHAPIRO

EVERYTHING UNDER THE HEAVENS
How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power By Howard W. French

DESTINED FOR WAR
Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
By Graham Allison

The Chinese superpower has arrived. Could America's failure to grasp this reality pull the United States and China into war? Here are two books that warn of that serious possibility. Howard W. French's "Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power" does so through a deep historical and cultural study of the meaning of China's rise from the point of view of the Chinese themselves. Graham Allison's "Destined for War: Can American and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" makes his arguments through historical case studies that illuminate the pressure toward military confrontation when a rising power challenges a dominant one. Both books urge us to be ready for a radically different world order, one in which China presides over Asia, even as Chinese politicians tell a public story about "peaceful rise." The books argue persuasively that adjusting to this global power shift will require great skill on both sides if conflagration is to be avoided.

French says in his exhaustively researched and fascinating account of geopolitics, China style, that the Chinese era is upon us. But, he asks, "How will the coming China-driven world look?" To what extent will China support the international order that emerged when it was suffering humiliation at the hands of foreign powers? What are the drivers and motivations for the new ways China projects its power? How best should its neighbors and its rival North American superpower respond?

French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire. A superior civilization demanded deference and tribute from vassal neighbors and did not hesitate to use military force. China's testy relationship with Vietnam became fraught whenever a Vietnamese leader dared to demand equal footing with a Chinese emperor; the Japanese claim to divine origins was unacceptable.

When China lost its regional dominance at the hands of colonial powers and invading armies, it saw the situation as temporary. The struggle in the East China Sea over the Senkaku Islands claimed by Japan since 1895, for example, has long been a sore point in Sino-Japanese relations. But the reform-era strongman Deng Xiaoping advised China to "hide our capacities and bide our time" on this and many other issues. Hostility between China and Japan simmers in disputes over hierarchy, wartime apology and historical narrative, with the two "in a situation resembling galaxies locked in each other's gravitational fields, destined to collide repeatedly only to sail past each other after wreaking their damage." French shows convincingly that China's goal is now to displace the American barbarians and correct historic humiliations imposed by those who dethroned China from its rightful position at the center of the world.

China's recent spectacular land grab in the South China Sea is a fait accompli, given China's superior power in the area and its assertion that the region is a core national interest. Arbitrators for the United Nations Convention on the Law of the Sea issued a 500-plus-page decision against China and in favor of the Philippines in a dispute over the definitions of islands versus rock formations; they concluded that Chinese arguments had no legal basis. But as French explains in sobering detail, China has unilaterally determined to claim much of the sea as its own. The country rejected the arbitration tribunal, knowing that its growing surface naval power and nuclear submarine capability support a highly uneven contest. Oil rigs have been established in contested waters, while artificial "islands" constructed from coral reefs are serving as military bases just miles from the Southeast Asian coastline. Similarly, China's projection of economic might through the new Asian Infrastructure Investment Bank and One Belt, One Road initiative, which intends to bind a huge swath of Asia to China economically via new land infrastructure and consolidated control of the seas, generates "a kind of fatalism or resignation about the futility of trying to defy it." ...

Paine -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 05:34 AM
Raw Bait for the ignorant bellicose masses

"China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia
were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia,
which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire."

Evil Clown talk

anne -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 06:51 AM
Howard French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire....

-- Judith Shapiro

Evil Clown talk

-- Paine

ilsm -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:19 PM
US is too busy making sure al Qaeda is around for decades consuming trillions of US war funding.

No time for China who spend a mere 1.7% of GDP for war!

And who are investing in a route to negate US navy power to blockade.

[Jun 22, 2017] Americans have a blind spot on the actions of the USA. That's natural. But that blindness produces pretty idiotic comments even from commenters that are able to discuss intelligently other topics

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

DrDick -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 08:33 AM

Also historically moronic, since China had become increasingly isolationist from the 16th century on. This is not to say that China has not been deliberately annoying their neighbors lately, especially in the South China Sea, however. Clearly China has been extending its influence, mostly economically, around the world, especially in Africa, for a couple of decades now, but I do not see this as any different from what we do in the same regions. It is certainly not nearly as troubling as what Russia has been doing under Putin.
libezkova said in reply to DrDick... , June 21, 2017 at 09:09 PM
Compare your viewpoint with Forbes:

https://www.forbes.com/sites/kenrapoza/2017/06/16/in-final-oliver-stone-interview-putin-predicts-when-russia-us-crisis-ends/


In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends

Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com

But with Trump in the White House, the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory is one reality TV show the news media can't shake. Stone's love for foreign policy intrigue at least makes him a Putin kindred spirit here. America's age old fear of the Russians, has made Putin public enemy number one and Stone his sounding board. For some unhappy campers, like John McCain, Putin has " no moral equivalent " in the United States. He's a dictator , a war criminal and tyrant .

"You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him.

"Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us."

In the last installment of the Putin interviews, the Russian leader admitted to liking Trump. "We still like him because he wants to restore relations. Relations between the two countries are going to develop," he said. It's a sentence very few in congress would say, and almost no big name politicians outside of Trump would imagine saying on television. On Russia, you scold. There is no fig leaf.

In a recent sanctions bill in the senate, only Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it, making for a 97-2 landslide in favor of extra-territorial sanctions against Russian companies, namely oil and gas.

Stone asked him why did he bother hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails if he believed nothing would change on the foreign policy front.

STONE: Our political leadership and NATO all believe you hacked the election.

PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie.

They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes.

Just then, editors cut to a video of Trump talking about Putin.

TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't.

PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews.

The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin.

libezkova -> libezkova... , June 21, 2017 at 09:13 PM
The point is the Americans have a blind spot on the actions of the USA.

That's natural. But that produced pretty idiotic comments in this blog even from commenters that are able to discuss intelligently other topics.

[Jun 21, 2017] Russiagate is a new policy of Russian containment by the deep state

Notable quotes:
"... It would have been appeasement for Putin to stand by and let the Hillary neocon take over America and offer the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts. Ignoring Clinton was like letting Hitler have Prague! ..."
"... Presidents come and go, and even parties come to and away from power. But the main policy tack does not change. So by and large we don't care who will be at the helm in the United States. We have a rough idea of what is going to happen. And in this regard, even if we wanted to it wouldn't make any sense for us to interfere. ..."
"... Speaking of opposition, let us recall the movement Occupy Wall Street. Where is it now? The law enforcement agencies and special services in the US have taken it apart, into little pieces, and have dissolved it. I'm not asking you about how things stand in terms of democracy in the United States. Especially so that the electoral legislation is far from being perfect in the US. Why do you believe you are entitled to put such questions to us and, mind you, do it all the time, to moralize and to teach us how we should live? ..."
Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova -> Paine ... June 21, 2017 at 08:45 AM

"[Russiagate] is indeed a new forward policy on Russian containment by the deep state"

I agree. Very precisely formulated. thank you !

Paine June 21, 2017 at 08:06 PM

Russia is obviously tampering as much as optimal

Nothing new

Hence my suggesting putin is jut acting like all great powers must act to be great powers

ilsm Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM

It would have been appeasement for Putin to stand by and let the Hillary neocon take over America and offer the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts. Ignoring Clinton was like letting Hitler have Prague! Reply Wednesday, June 21, 2017 at 04:23 PM

Paine -> ilsm... June 21, 2017 at 04:37 PM

Indeed

libezkova -> Paine ...

"Hence my suggesting Putin is just acting like all great powers must act to be great powers "

Wrong. Putin actually has some respect for UN. Unlike Clinton, Bush II, Obama and Trump. American exceptionalism is pretty toxic thing that poison the US foreign policy. Something like far right movements poison discourse in their respective countries.

Putin slept over Obama/Nuland gambit in Ukraine. And Russia paid a huge price for that. Less then Ukrainians (who are now experiencing Central African level of poverty) but still huge.

I think he should resist US imperial advances (sugarcoated as "export of democracy") more strongly. But that's just me.

https://toinformistoinfluence.com/2017/06/05/transcript-putin-interview-with-megyn-kelly-of-nbc-news/

President of Russia Vladimir Putin: They have been misled and they are not analyzing the information in its entirety. I have not once seen any direct proof of Russia's interference in the presidential election in the USA.

We have talked about it with former president Obama and with several other officials. No one ever showed me any direct evidence.

When we spoke with President Obama about that, you know, you should probably better ask him about it – I think he will tell you that he, too, is confident of it. But when he and I talked I saw that he, too, started having doubts. At any rate, that's how I saw it.

I have already told you, and I can say it again, that today's technology is such that the final address can be masked and camouflaged to an extent that no one will be able to understand the origin of that address. And, vice versa, it is possible to set up any entity or any individual that everyone will think that they are the exact source of that attack.

Modern technology is very sophisticated and subtle and allows this to be done. And when we realize that we will get rid of all the illusions. That's one thing. The other thing is that I am deeply convinced that no interference from the outside, in any country, even a small one, let alone in such a vast and great power as the United States, can influence the final outcome of the elections. It is not possible. Ever.

Megyn Kelly: But the other side says is it was only 70,000 votes that won Trump the election, and therefore influencing 70,000 people might not have been that hard.

Vladimir Putin: The Constitution of the United States and the electoral legislation are structured in such a way that more electors can vote for a candidate who is backed by fewer voters. And such situations do occur in the history of the United States. True, isn't it?

Therefore, if we were to discuss some kind of political and social justice, then probably that electoral legislation needs to be changed and bring a situation where the head of state would be elected by direct secret ballot and so there will be direct tabulation of votes that can be easily monitored. That's all there is to it. And there will be no need for those who have lost the elections to point fingers and blame their troubles on anybody.

Now, if we turn this page over, I will tell you something that you most likely know about. I don't want to offend anyone, but the United States, everywhere, all over the world, is actively interfering in electoral campaigns in other countries. Is this really news to you?

Just talk to people but in such a way (to the extent it is possible for you) so as to convince them that you're not going to make it public. Point your finger to any spot on the world's map, everywhere you'll hear complaints that American officials interfere in their political domestic processes.

Therefore, if someone, and I am not saying that it's us (we did not interfere), if anybody does influence in some way or attempts to influence or somehow participates in these processes, then the United States has nothing to be offended by. Who is talking? Who is taking offense that we are interfering? You yourselves interfere all the time.

Megyn Kelly: That sounds like a justification.

Vladimir Putin: It does not sound like justification. It sounds like a statement of fact. Each action invites appropriate counteraction, but, again, we don't need to do that because I did not tell you this without a reason, both you personally and other members of the media, recently I was in France and I said the same things.

Presidents come and go, and even parties come to and away from power. But the main policy tack does not change. So by and large we don't care who will be at the helm in the United States. We have a rough idea of what is going to happen. And in this regard, even if we wanted to it wouldn't make any sense for us to interfere.

Megyn Kelly: You had said for months that Russia had nothing to do with the interference of the American election, and then this week you floated the idea of patriotic hackers doing it. Why the change and why now?

Vladimir Putin: It's just that the French journalists asked me about those hackers, and just like I told them, I can tell you, that hackers may be anywhere. They may be in Russia, in Asia, in America, in Latin America. There may be hackers, by the way, in the United States who very craftily and professionally passed the buck to Russia. Can't you imagine such a scenario? In the middle of an internal political fight, it was convenient for them, whatever the reason, to put out that information. And put it out they did. And, doing it, they made a reference to Russia. Can't you imagine it happening? I can. Let us recall the assassination of President Kennedy.

There is a theory that Kennedy's assassination was arranged by the United States special services. If this theory is correct, and one cannot rule it out, so what can be easier in today's context, being able to rely on the entire technical capabilities available to special services than to organize some kind of attacks in the appropriate manner while making a reference to Russia in the process. Now, the candidate for the Democratic Party, is this candidate universally beloved in the United States? Was it such a popular person? That candidate, too, had political opponents and rivals.

Megyn Kelly: Let's move on. A special counsel has been appointed to investigate contacts between your government and the Trump campaign. You have said that your ambassador Kislyak was just doing his job. Right? So, what exactly was discussed in those meetings?

Vladimir Putin: There were no sessions. You see, there were no sessions. When I saw that my jaw dropped.

Megyn Kelly: No meetings between Ambassador Kislyak and anybody from the Trump campaign?

Vladimir Putin: No clue. I am telling you honestly. I don't know. That's an ambassador's every day, routine work. Do you think, an ambassador from any place in the world or from the US reports to me daily as to whom he meets with and what they discuss? It's just absurd. Do you even understand what you are asking me?

Megyn Kelly: Well, you're his boss.

Vladimir Putin: Listen, his boss is the foreign minister. Do you think I have the time to talk to our ambassadors all over the world every day? This is nonsense. Don't you understand that this is just some kind of nonsense. I don't even know with whom he met there. Had there been something out of the ordinary, something remarkable he of course would have advised the minister and the minister would have informed me. Nothing of that happened.

... ... ...

Megyn Kelly: Many Americans hear the name, Vladimir Putin. And they think, "He runs a country full of corruption, a country in which journalists, who are too critical, could wind up murdered, a country in which dissidents could wind up in jail or worse." To people who believe that, what is your message?

Vladimir Putin: I want to say that Russia is developing along a democratic path, this is without question so. No one should have any doubts about that. The fact that, amidst political rivalry and some other domestic developments, we see things happen here that are typical of other countries, I do not see anything unusual in it.

We have rallies, opposition rallies. And people here have the right to express their point of view. However, if people, while expressing their views, break the current legislation, the effective law in place, then of course, the law enforcement agencies try to restore order.

I am calling your attention to something that I discussed recently when on a trip to France and in my discussions with other European colleagues. Our police force, fortunately, so far, do not use batons, tear gas or any other extreme measures of instilling order, something that we often see in other countries, including in the United States.

Speaking of opposition, let us recall the movement Occupy Wall Street. Where is it now? The law enforcement agencies and special services in the US have taken it apart, into little pieces, and have dissolved it. I'm not asking you about how things stand in terms of democracy in the United States. Especially so that the electoral legislation is far from being perfect in the US. Why do you believe you are entitled to put such questions to us and, mind you, do it all the time, to moralize and to teach us how we should live?

We are ready to listen to our partners, ready to listen to appraisals and assessments when it is done in a friendly manner, in order to establish contacts and create a common atmosphere and dedicate ourselves to shared values. But we absolutely will not accept when such things are used as a tool of political struggle. I want everybody to know that. This is our message.

[Jun 21, 2017] An Assault on Language Extremism by Gregory Barrett

Notable quotes:
"... The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo. ..."
"... As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome"). ..."
"... This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West. ..."
"... As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party. ..."
"... Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet. ..."
"... More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news. ..."
"... It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media. ..."
"... Social Democrats ..."
"... Christian Democrats ..."
"... The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth. ..."
"... I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity. ..."
Jun 19, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org

We have had a certain amount of success in exposing the amorphous and mendacious term "Fake News" for what it is: a tool in a major campaign of propaganda against dissenting independent journalism and political writing, a campaign perpetrated by governments and corporate media. The wealthy and powerful forces which control both of those influential centers in the formation of public opinion were desperate to regain control of the narrative, which has been slipping away from them at an increasing velocity since the advent of social media, and since the parallel growth of a broad spectrum of information networks with absolutely no interest in currying favor with the mighty, or in defending the status quo.

As soon as the term "Fake News" appeared, Barack Obama pounced on it, and in a joint appearance in 2016 with German Chancellor Angela Merkel in Berlin, used his worldwide microphone and bully pulpit – if only he had done so occasionally to sound the alarm about the approaching environmental crisis, or to express outrage about racism or police brutality, or to challenge war profiteers! – to announce his deep concern that "Fake News" was making it "difficult to govern" (for more on this and the struggle against corporate/government presstitute propaganda, see my article "Hope Is Our Enemy: Fighting Boiling Frog Syndrome").

This clumsy and panicky maneuver has deservedly met with far less success than Obama's incredibly successful propaganda sally against Russia and Vladimir Putin, which has captivated the paranoid fantasies of many millions of Americans and Europeans who desperately want to believe that NATO countries are virtuous and innocent, and are threatened by ruthless and aggressive foreigners who are responsible for the spreading chaos in the West.

As one of his final acts in office, President Chameleon slapped new sanctions on Russia and deported Russian diplomats: after eight years, his transformation from Nobel Laureate and supposed apostle of peace to McCarthyite New Cold Warrior was complete, and vast numbers of angry Hillaroids were quickly on board the Blame Russia Express, full of self-righteous anger and the conviction that someone had stolen the election and that the usual suspects were obviously the guilty party.

Things haven't gone so well for the "Fake News" campaign, however. Too many people could and can see disturbing patterns that ring true, if they spend enough time looking at truthful, objective analysis of the world around us, and there is quite a lot of it available via the internet.

More people are spending more and more time on the internet and social media, where presstitute media lose the natural advantages they once had in a world dominated by government-regulated, corporate-financed TV, radio, and print news.

It turns out that many of the best-informed writers see the world utterly differently than do the corporate and government shills who determine the "news" content in mainstream media.

Which brings us to one of the latest victims in the assault on language by the 1% and their pawns in the presstitute media: the word "extremism".

Here in the European Union where I live, this word is currently heard so often in the traditional media – along with another victimized word being brutalized almost non-stop, "populist" – that even poorly-educated persons who aren't sure exactly what is meant can understand that they must mean something very, very bad.

If any such confused persons should take the time to pay closer attention and attempt to ascertain what it is that makes these "extremists" and "populists" so deplorable and dangerous, they may soon notice that at least one of these words, "extremist", has a pretty nebulous field of application. According to major sources of conventional wisdom in the EU, terrorists are "extremists". But "extremism", more generally, is also applied casually to nearly any political parties and interest groups to the Left and the Right of the large (if shrinking in some countries like France) parties called "people's parties" (Volksparteien) here in Germany: the no-longer-socialist Social Democrats who are allegedly center-left, the pseudo-Christian Christian Democrats who portray themselves as center-right, and even the thoroughly compromised and faded-to-brown Green Party , which has gone to great lengths and engaged in stupendous contortions of deliberate conformism to achieve its modern status as a pillar of the established order, a long journey from its radical roots in the 1980s.

As you may have deduced from my snarky tone, I find myself firmly ensconced among the so-called "extremists" of the Left.

What, one may legitimately ask, are the views which have led to this branding as a dangerous individual? Do I advocate keeping a stock of Molotov Cocktails handy for quick use when the shit starts to fly? I do not.

Okay I guess I'll have to come clean. Here are the radical, dangerous, "extremist" positions I support when I advocate more influence for this political party:

In addition, there is my allegedly "extreme" position on the environment, which is not so much a priority for "Die Linke" but is the most important issue of all for me personally. I am convinced that only a radical transformation of the world economy can save this planet, including most life on Earth. I believe this can only come about through an end to industrial capitalism: a ban on most fossil fuels, an end to the production of most plastics, an end to most beef production and strict organic regulation of all meat production, and worldwide mandatory measures to clean up the poisonous residue of the current system which is killing the planet. This will necessarily involve huge cuts in most military structures and war-making as well. The US military is by far the greatest polluter on Earth.

For these views, and my concomitant rejection of the large political parties in the EU and the USA which have done almost nothing to save the planet that was not outweighed by massive destruction – parties which thus, in the name of "realism", have sold our future to the rich and may have doomed all life on this planet, as scientific opinion is near unanimous that time is short – for these views I am labeled an "extremist".

I consider that an Orwellian assault on language. "Extremism" is what I oppose. Extreme wealth. Extreme greed. Extreme militarism. Extreme suicidal and ecocidal environmental destruction. Extreme governmental authority. Extreme stupidity.

[Jun 21, 2017] Alex Jones, Megyn Kelly, and the Normalization of Conspiracy Culture by Adrienne LaFrance

Jun 17, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

People who share dangerous ideas don't necessarily believe them.

The catastrophe wasn't what it seemed. It was an inside job, people whispered. Rome didn't have to burn to the ground.

Nearly 2,000 years ago, after the Great Fire of Rome leveled most of the city, Romans questioned whether the emperor Nero had ordered his guards to start the inferno so he could rebuild Rome the way he wanted. They said the emperor had watched the blaze from the the summit of Palatine Hill, the centermost of the seven hills of Rome, plucking his lyre in celebration as countless people died. There's no evidence of this maniacal lyre-playing, but historians today still debate whether Nero orchestrated the disaster.

What we do know is this: Conspiracy theories flourish when people feel vulnerable. They thrive on paranoia. It has always been this way.

So it's understandable that, at this chaotic moment in global politics, conspiracy theories seem to have seeped out from the edges of society and flooded into mainstream political discourse. They're everywhere.

That's partly because of the richness of today's informational environment. In Nero's day, conspiracy theories were local. Today, they're global. The web has made it easier than ever for people to watch events unfold in real time. Any person with a web connection can participate in news coverage, follow contradicting reports, sift through blurry photos, and pick out ( or publish ) bad information. The democratization of internet publishing and the ceaseless news cycle work together to provide a never-ending deluge of raw material that feeds conspiracy theories of all stripes.

From all over the world, likeminded people congregate around the same comforting lies, explanations that validate their ideas. "Things seem a whole lot simpler in the world according to conspiracy theories," writes Rob Brotherton, in his book, Suspicious Minds: Why We Believe Conspiracy Theories. "The prototypical conspiracy theory is an unanswered question; it assumes nothing is as it seems; it portrays the conspirators as preternaturally competent; and as unusually evil."

But there's a difference between people talking about outlandish theories and actually believing them to be true. "Those are two very different things," says Joseph Uscinski, a political science professor at the University of Miami and the co-author of the book American Conspiracy Theories . "There's a lot of elite discussion of conspiracy theories, but that doesn't mean that anyone's believing them any more than they did in the past. People understand what conspiracy theories are. They can understand these theories as political signals when they don't in fact believe them."

And most people don't, Uscinski says. His data shows that belief in partisan conspiracy theories maxes out at 25 percent-and rarely reach that point. Imagine a quadrant, he says, with Republicans on the right and Democrats on the left. The top half of the quadrant is the people of either party who are more likely to believe in conspiracy theories. The bottom half is the people least likely to believe them. Any partisan conspiracy theory will only resonate with people in one of the two top-half squares-because to be believable, it must affirm the political worldview of a person who is already predisposed to believe in conspiracy theories.

"You aren't going to believe in theories that denigrate your own side, and you have to have a previous position of buying into conspiracy logic," Uscinski says.

Since conspiracy theories are often concerned with the most visible concentration of power, the president of the United States is a frequent target. "So when a Republican is president, the accusations are about Republicans, the wealthy, and big business; and when a Democrat is president, the accusations focus on Democrats, communists, and socialists."

"Right now," he added, "Things are little different. Because of Donald Trump."

As it turns out, the most famous conspiracy theorist in the world is the president of the United States. Donald Trump spent years spreading birtherism, a movement founded on the idea that his predecessor was born outside the country and therefore ineligible for the nation's highest office. (Even when Trump finally admitted in September that he knew Barack Obama was born in the United States, he attempted to spark a new conspiracy .)

Now, Trump's presidency is the focus of a range of conspiracies and cover-ups-from the very real investigation he's under to the crackpot ideas about him constantly being floated by some of his detractors on the left. Like the implication that Paul Ryan and Mitch McConnell are involved in a money laundering scheme with the Russians, plus countless more theories about who's funneling Russian money where and to whom.

"The left has lost its fucking mind, and you can quote me on that," Uscinski said. "They spent the last eight years chastising Republicans about being a bunch of conspiracy kooks, and they have become exactly what they swore they were not. The hypocrisy is thick and it's disgusting."

Trump's strategy in the face of all this drama has been to treat real and fake information interchangeably and discredit any report that's unflattering to him. It's why he refers to reputable news organizations as "fake news," and why he brags about "going around" journalists by tweeting directly to the people. He wants to shorten the distance between the loony theories on the left and legitimate allegations of wrongdoing against him, making them indistinguishable.

Pushing conspiracy theories helped win Trump the presidency, and he's now banking on the idea that they'll help him as president. He's casting himself as the victim of a new conspiracy-a "witch hunt" perpetrated by the forces that want to see him fail.

"Donald Trump communicates through conspiracy theories," Uscinski says. "You can win the presidency on conspiracy theories, but it's very difficult to govern on them. Because conspiracy theories are for losers, and now he's a winner."

What he means is, conspiracy theories are often a way of expressing an imbalance of power by those who perceive themselves to be the underdog. "But if you control the Supreme Court, the Senate, the House, and the White House, you can't pull that," Uscinski says. "Just like how Hillary Clinton can't, in 1998, say her husband's troubles are due to a vast right-wing conspiracy."

Donald Trump may be the most famous conspiracy theorist in America, but a close second is the Infowars talk-radio personality Alex Jones, who has made a name for himself spewing reprehensible theories. He claimed the Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre was a hoax. He says 9/11 and the Boston Marathon bombings were carried out by the U.S. government. Jones has an online store where he peddles products like iodine to people prepping for the apocalypse.

Jones has long been a controversial figure, but not enormously well known. That's changing. Jones was a vocal supporter of Trump, who has in turn praised Jones. "Your reputation is amazing," Trump told him in an Infowars appearance in 2015. "I will not let you down." Jones has claimed he is opening a Washington Bureau and considering applying for White House press credentials.

The latest Jones drama is a three-parter (so far): First, the NBC News anchor Megyn Kelly announced she had interviewed Jones, and that NBC would air the segment on Sunday, June 18. Next came the backlash: People disgusted by Jones blasted Kelly and NBC, saying a man whose lies had tortured the families of murdered children should never be given such a prominent platform. Even Jones joined the fracas, saying he'd been treated unfairly in the interview. Finally, on Thursday night, Jones claimed he had secretly recorded the interview, and would release it in full. (So far, he has released what seems to be audio from a phone conversation with Kelly that took place before the interview.)

Kelly has defended her decision to do the interview in the first place by describing Jones's popularity: "How does Jones, who traffics in these outrageous conspiracy theories, have the respect of the president of the United States and an audience of millions?" The public interest in questioning a person like Jones, she argues, eclipses any worries about normalizing his outlandish views. The questions are arguably more valuable than the answers.

Many journalists agree with Kelly's reasoning. But it's also true, scholars say, that giving a platform to conspiracy theorists has measurable harmful effects on society. In 1995, a group of Stanford University psychologists interviewed people either right before or right after they'd viewed Oliver Stone's 1991 film JFK , which was full of conspiracy theories. Brotherton, who describes the findings in Suspicious Minds, says people leaving the movie described themselves as less likely to vote in an upcoming election and less likely to volunteer or donate to a political campaign, compared with those walking in. "Merely watching the movie eroded, at least temporarily, a little of the viewer's sense of civic engagement," Brotherton writes.

There are other examples of real-world consequences of giving platforms to conspiracy theorists, too. The conspiracy theory known as Pizzagate , which rose to prominence across websites like 4chan and niche conservative blogs, resulted in a man firing a weapon in a Washington, D.C., pizza parlor.

The debate over Kelly's interview comes on the heels of another high-profile conspiracy theory that sent shockwaves through conservative media circles. At the center of that scandal was the TV host Sean Hannity pushing a conspiracy theory about the unsolved murder of a Democratic National Committee staff member and an explosive Fox News report about the murder that was eventually retracted.

* * *

There's a popular science-fiction podcast, Welcome to Night Vale , developed around the idea of life in a desert town where all conspiracy theories are true. It was first released in June 2012, the summer before a U.S. presidential election, at a moment when Trump was test-driving a new anti-Obama conspiracy. "I wonder when we will be able to see @BarackObama's college and law school applications and transcripts," he tweeted the day Night Vale launched. "Why the long wait?"

Joseph Fink, who co-created the podcast, says conspiracy theories today are continuing to function the way they always have. Conspiracy theories are easy ways to tell difficult stories. They provide a storyline that makes a harsh or random world seem ordered. "Especially if it's ordered against you," he says. "Since, then, none of it is your fault, which is even more comforting."

"That said, more extreme conspiracy theories are becoming more mainstream, which is obviously dangerous," Fink adds. "Conspiracy theories act in a similar way as religious stories: they give you an explanation and structure for why things are the way they are. We are in a Great Awakening of conspiracy theories, and like any massive religious movement, the same power it has to move people also is easily turned into a power to move people against other people."

Look for the last awakening of this sort in the United States, and you'll find a sea of similarities-of course, as conspiracy theories tell us, it's easy to find connections when you go looking for them. Several scholars-people who focus on real conspiracies and people who study conspiracy theories-say the paranoia surrounding the Trump presidency evokes the tumult surrounding the Vietnam War. It's not that conspiracy theories weren't, at times, rampant before that. In the 1940s and 1950s, McCarthyism and the trial of Alger Hiss brought with them a surreal spate of hoaxes and misinformation. But it was the assassination of President John F. Kennedy that set off a "general sense of suspicion" that would permeate the culture for some time, says Josiah Thompson, the author of Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination.

"Part of that was, what occurred almost immediately after the assassination, in the years afterward, was Vietnam," Thompson said, "And over time, a complete loss of confidence in what ever the government was saying about Vietnam. That was not just from the presidency, that was from the government itself."

This was also a period in which some of the most dramatic ideas that had been disparaged as conspiracy theories turned out to be true. "I am not a crook," Nixon had insisted. Less than a year later, he resigned. Nixon and Trump are compared not infrequently. Not all presidents are so thin-skinned and antagonistic to the press. Jennifer Senior, reviewing a recent Nixon biography, wrote that "the similarities between Nixon and Trump leap off the page like crickets." Nixon may have been increasingly paranoid in the final months of his presidency, but he didn't have access to the technology that Trump uses to showcase his conspiracy mindedness.

"With real conspiracy theorists, there's a kind of-how to put it-almost a dialectic operative," Thompson says. "Like Trump. You have to keep making wilder and wilder pronouncements over time to hold your audience."

I tell Thompson the idea Uscinski had shared, about how a person can win the presidency on conspiracy theories, but how they don't work so well once you're president. He seems to agree. "In a campaign, what you're trying to do is affect people's opinions that will be harvested on one day," he said. "But governing doesn't have to do with people's opinions. It has to do with facts. That's the real difference."

When the facts are disputed, of course, you do the best you can with the evidence you can find. Josiah Thompson, the author of Six Seconds in Dallas: A Micro-Study of the Kennedy Assassination , has spent years thinking about all this. When I bring up the enormity of unknown unknowns in people's understanding of history, Thompson quotes the writer Geoffrey O'Brien: Black Deutschland by Darryl Pinckney. *

"And that's the trouble," Thompson says. "What may appear as conspiracy theory at one point turns out to be truth at another."

I ask Thompson how sure he is about the official explanation of the JFK assassination, that there was one gunman who fired on the president's motorcade from the Texas School Book Depository.

Thompson believes, based on controversial acoustic evidence, that on November 22, 1963, a shot was fired from the grassy knoll at Dealey Plaza-not just from the depository. "The acoustics give us a kind of template for how the event occurred-these two flurries of shots, separated by about six seconds." (Thompson later clarified that he believes the flurries of shots were 4.6 seconds apart.) He says it was two shots in the second flurry that killed Kennedy. * *

Thompson pauses.

"Does that make me a conspiracy theorist?"

He laughs.

"After all these years? What do you think?"


* New York Review of Books writer Geoffrey O'Brien, who first wrote the line in his review of the Darryl Pinckney novel Black Deutschland.

** Thompson clarified after publication that he believes the flurries of shots in the Kennedy assassination were 4.6 seconds apart, not six seconds apart. He believes Kennedy was killed by two shots in the second flurry, not by the two flurries of shots.

[Jun 20, 2017] In Final Oliver Stone Interview, Putin Predicts When Russia-US Crisis Ends

Notable quotes:
"... "You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him. ..."
"... "Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us." ..."
"... PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie. ..."
"... They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes. ..."
"... TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't. ..."
"... PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews. ..."
"... The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin. ..."
Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com
But with Trump in the White House, the Trump-Putin conspiracy theory is one reality TV show the news media can't shake. Stone's love for foreign policy intrigue at least makes him a Putin kindred spirit here. America's age old fear of the Russians, has made Putin public enemy number one and Stone his sounding board. For some unhappy campers, like John McCain, Putin has " no moral equivalent " in the United States. He's a dictator , a war criminal and tyrant .

"You've gone through four U.S. presidents: Clinton, Bush, Obama and now Trump. What changes?" Stone asks him.

"Almost nothing. Your bureaucracy is very strong and it is that bureaucracy that rules the world," he says. Then, solemnly, "There is change...when they bring us to the cemetery to bury us."

In the last installment of the Putin interviews, the Russian leader admitted to liking Trump. "We still like him because he wants to restore relations. Relations between the two countries are going to develop," he said. It's a sentence very few in congress would say, and almost no big name politicians outside of Trump would imagine saying on television. On Russia, you scold. There is no fig leaf.

In a recent sanctions bill in the senate, only Republicans Rand Paul and Mike Lee voted against it, making for a 97-2 landslide in favor of extra-territorial sanctions against Russian companies, namely oil and gas.

Stone asked him why did he bother hacking the Democratic National Committee's emails if he believed nothing would change on the foreign policy front.

STONE: Our political leadership and NATO all believe you hacked the election.

PUTIN: We didn't hack the election at all. It would be hard to imagine any country, even Russia, being capable of seriously influencing the U.S. election. Someone hacked the DNC, but I don't think it influenced the election. What came through was not a lie.

They were not trying to fool anybody. People who want to manipulate public opinion will blame Russia. But Trump had his finger on the pulse of the Midwest voter and knew how to pull at their hearts. Those who have been defeated shouldn't be shifting blame to someone else....We are not waiting for any revolutionary changes.

Just then, editors cut to a video of Trump talking about Putin.

TRUMP: I hope I get along with Putin. I hope I do. But there is a good chance that I won't.

PUTIN: It almost feels like hatred of a certain ethnic group, like antisemitism. They are always blaming Russians, like antisemites are always blaming the Jews.

The editors then flashed to footage of John McCain on the floor of the Senate ranting and raving about Putin. Then Joseph Biden in the Ukrainian parliament, ranting about Russia. Putin tells Stone all of this is unfortunate. He thinks their view is"old world." He reminds Stone that Russia and the U.S. were allies in World War I and World War II. It was Winston Churchill that started the Cold War from London, despite having respect for Russia's strongman leader at the time, the real dictator, Joseph Stalin.

See:

[Jun 20, 2017] The US intervention in EU gas market is even more pathetic than it seems

No LNG carriers are currently registered under the US flag, and if the USA plans to be a serious exporter it is going to need about 100 new LNG carriers over the next 30 years, something which is frankly not practically achievable considering it takes about 2 years to build one, at a cost of about $200 Million apiece". Of course, miracles can be made to happen if you pour enough money into them.
Jun 20, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , June 16, 2017 at 1:30 am
The US's intervention is even more pathetic than it seems.

This is not a stand alone anti-Russia bill which would signal strength from the US, but an adjunct to the anti-I-ran sanctions bill that continues to seek to punish I-ran in the vague hope that it will pull the plug on the cast-iron nuclear deal it has signed with international partners. The irony there is that I-ran Air is recapitalizing with both Airbus & Boeing (also ATR), 100 odd a piece, not to mention other significant investment opportunities for western firms.

They're quite the Gordian Tits!

Not only is there the potential of the Levianthan gas field off Cyprus/Israel/whatever, brutal dictator Azeri gas will also be arriving in (larger, but not gigantic) quantities. Not to mention that significant buyers of LNG, like the UK, have it come straight from Qatar. Is the US prepared to sell LNG at a discount compared to Qatar that has strategic agreements and its own fundamental interests to be protected by the Western (European) states as well?

So if this plan seems to damage not only the USA's allies but the USA itself, then what is its purpose? Stick it to Trump. Mire any plans to re-balance relations with Russia almost at any cost . It's a no brainer for Democrats as they neither hold a majority in the House or the Senate, and there seem to be enough dog whistle Republicans willing to go along with it, including those with mental problems like John 'Insane' McCaine. Ukraine is almost peripheral except as a convenient tool. It think the US accepts they've screwed the pooch on the Ukraine so its only value is to be used as a festering sore on Russia's frontier. Kiev mops up the completely free public political support whilst it is being kicked in the bollox by the same people.

[Jun 20, 2017] Much of the left has gone completely bonkers on this issue. There is now an unholy alliance between the Cold War neocons in Congress and the Trump haters on the left in regard to Russia.

Jun 20, 2017 | www.thenation.com

 Much of the left has gone completely bonkers on this issue. There is now an unholy alliance between the Cold War neocons in Congress and the Trump haters on the left in regard to Russia. Katha Pollitt's legitimate animosity toward Trump because of his attitude toward women has unfortunately clouded her judgment vis-à-vis Russia. However, there is a substantial segment of the left that wants to see better relations with Russia and is dismayed and disheartened by the relentless hyping of the alleged Russian hacking, Trump's ties with Russia, etc. The neocons are laughing all the way to a military confrontation with Russia. Bravo to Victor Navasky and Stephen F. Cohen for continuing to speak truth to hysteria. And bravo to The Nation for doing the same in its editorials.

Peggy Karp
sebastopol, calif.

[Jun 18, 2017] Economist's View Links for 06-17-17

Jun 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
anne , June 17, 2017 at 12:01 PM
http://www.newyorker.com/magazine/2017/06/19/are-china-and-the-united-states-headed-for-war

June 19, 2017

Are China and the United States Headed for War?
Professors, pundits, and journalists weigh in on a heated topic.
By Ian Buruma

Overheated topics invariably produce ill-considered books. Some people will remember the time, in the late nineteen-eighties, when Japan was about to buy up America and conquer the world. Many a tidy sum was made on that premise. These days, the possibility of war with China is stirring emotions and keeping publishers busy. A glance at a few new books suggests what scholars and journalists are thinking about the prospect of an Asian conflagration; the quality of their reflections is, to say the least, variable.

The worst of the bunch, Graham Allison's "Destined for War," may also be the most influential, given that its thesis rests on a catchphrase Allison has popularized, "Thucydides's Trap." Even China's President, Xi Jinping, is fond of quoting it. "On the current trajectory," Allison contends, "war between the U.S. and China in the decades ahead is not just possible, but much more likely than currently recognized." The reason, he says, can be traced to the problem described in the fifth century B.C.E. in Thucydides' account of the Peloponnesian War. Sparta, as the established power, felt threatened by the rising might of Athens. In such conditions, Allison writes, "not just extraordinary, unexpected events, but even ordinary flashpoints of foreign affairs, can trigger large-scale conflict."

Allison sees Thucydides' Trap in the wars between a rising England and the established Dutch Republic in the seventeenth century, a rising Germany versus Britain in the early twentieth century, and a rising Japan versus the United States in the nineteen-forties. Some historical tensions between rising powers and ruling ones were resolved without a catastrophic war (the Soviet challenge to U.S. dominance), but many, Allison warns, were not. And there's no disputing China's steep military and economic rise in recent decades. Its annual military budget has, for most of the past decade, increased by double digits, and the People's Liberation Army, even in its newly streamlined form, has nearly a million more active service members than the United States has. As recently as 2004, China's economy was less than half that of the United States. Today, in terms of purchasing-power parity, China has left the United States behind. Allison is so excited by China's swift growth that his prose often sounds like a mixture of a Thomas Friedman column and a Maoist propaganda magazine like China Reconstructs. Rome wasn't built in a day? Well, he writes, someone "clearly forgot to tell the Chinese. By 2005, the country was building the square-foot equivalent of today's Rome every two weeks."

Allison underrates the many problems that could slow things down quite soon...

Paine - , June 17, 2017 at 01:58 PM
This thesis assumes its conclusion

However we all can act to diffuse this arms race hype

ilsm - , June 17, 2017 at 02:57 PM
Thucydides trap* is foggy bottom 'soft porn'!

Besides in 30 years the "power balance" between China and US will not favor the sea power.

*even less foundation in logic than applying the 'prisoner dilemma' to the war room in "Fail Safe".

Paine - , June 18, 2017 at 09:06 AM
This is great game higgly piggly

Nothing more

The MIC has trump punctured with the sap can

Budgets for sharp toys will rise
With or without
Alt news on People's China

Paine - , June 18, 2017 at 09:09 AM
The congress is supine at the feet of the MIC

Only a POTUS can hope to restrain the MIC
With the minimal help of a less then stalwart house progressive caucus

And a few dove lobby groups

With Trump we have MIC goon in chief

anne , June 17, 2017 at 12:01 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/15/books/review/everything-under-the-heavens-howard-french-destined-for-war-graham-allison.html

June 16, 2017

America's Collision Course With China
By JUDITH SHAPIRO

EVERYTHING UNDER THE HEAVENS
How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power
By Howard W. French

DESTINED FOR WAR
Can America and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?
By Graham Allison

The Chinese superpower has arrived. Could America's failure to grasp this reality pull the United States and China into war? Here are two books that warn of that serious possibility. Howard W. French's "Everything Under the Heavens: How the Past Helps Shape China's Push for Global Power" does so through a deep historical and cultural study of the meaning of China's rise from the point of view of the Chinese themselves. Graham Allison's "Destined for War: Can American and China Escape Thucydides's Trap?" makes his arguments through historical case studies that illuminate the pressure toward military confrontation when a rising power challenges a dominant one. Both books urge us to be ready for a radically different world order, one in which China presides over Asia, even as Chinese politicians tell a public story about "peaceful rise." The books argue persuasively that adjusting to this global power shift will require great skill on both sides if conflagration is to be avoided.

French says in his exhaustively researched and fascinating account of geopolitics, China style, that the Chinese era is upon us. But, he asks, "How will the coming China-driven world look?" To what extent will China support the international order that emerged when it was suffering humiliation at the hands of foreign powers? What are the drivers and motivations for the new ways China projects its power? How best should its neighbors and its rival North American superpower respond?

French, a former reporter for The Washington Post and The New York Times, argues that China's historical and cultural legacy governs its conduct of international relations, a legacy that sits uncomfortably with the Western notions of equality and noninterference among states. China's relations with its neighbors in Japan and Southeast Asia were for millenniums governed by the concept of tian xia, which held that everything "under the heavens" belonged to the empire. A superior civilization demanded deference and tribute from vassal neighbors and did not hesitate to use military force. China's testy relationship with Vietnam became fraught whenever a Vietnamese leader dared to demand equal footing with a Chinese emperor; the Japanese claim to divine origins was unacceptable....

anne - , June 17, 2017 at 12:05 PM
American and British writing about China now, strikes me as writing about a country that is invented rather than the country I would like to think I know. I find the writing distressing, nonetheless there are the articles from the New Yorker and New York Times.
Paine - , June 17, 2017 at 02:07 PM
The book purporting to see the world thru chineses history conditioned eyes is
Patently ridiculous nastiness

One might ask who today
is actively trying to contain the other
Who today is trying to maintain its mandate as global hegemon

But really the problem is the clash of roving corporate sociopaths RCSs

Let us control ours and urge the Chinese to control theirs even as we know
Both states are drastically influenced by these RCSs

[Jun 18, 2017] Red Alert Russian Focus Might Save Trumps Hide

Notable quotes:
"... I'm not saying the Russians didn't try to tamper with the vote. (Although, as a patriotic American, I doubt they can tamper as well as we can.) I'm not saying it's not important or not worth looking into. I'm just saying that if you put most of your focus and resources and political capital on the bet that you will find some smoking gun of direct collusion between Trump and his circle with the Russian state - evidence so direct and overwhelming that even the GOP extremists in Congress can't overlook it - then you are going to be disappointed. You will not bring down Trump, who, despite mountains of dirt thrown on him, will still walk away and claim vindication. ..."
"... Let's put aside the fact that former head of the FBI - who has spent years waging war on Black Lives Matter and concocting fake terrorist plots to entrap mentally ill loners in order to garner good PR for himself - is now a liberal hero, even a "sex symbol," because he was fired by a lunatic fascist that no one with a shred of honor should have been working for in the first place ..."
"... Let's put aside that former CIA honcho James Clapper - who has lied under oath to Congress about the CIA's Putin-style hacking of the US Senate to stop release of reports on, er, CIA torture, who lied repeatedly about Saddam's non-existent WMD when he was a key player under George W. Bush, and who is now repeatedly saying that Russians have some kind of genetic defect that makes them inherent, unredeemable scheming lowlifes - has also become a much-lauded liberal hero. ..."
"... Let's put aside the abandonment of principle and common sense the "Resistance" has shown toward the bankrupt morality and demonstrable mendacity of these men and their institutions. And how anyone who expresses the same skepticism toward these "organs" that they have been expressing for decades - no matter who is in power - is now regarded as a Putin apologist, a Kremlin stooge or, more and more often, an outright, active traitor. ..."
"... Washington Post ..."
Jun 18, 2017 | www.counterpunch.org
The "historic" appearances of James Comey Chameleon and Jefferson Davis Andersonville Sessions before a Senate committee have come and gone, leaving us pretty much where we were before. Trump was made to look stupid and thuggish (not exactly front-page news); his GOP apologists and enablers employed even more ludicrous justifications for said stupidity and thuggery ("Hey, the kid is still green, he didn't know he was doing anything wrong - not that he did do anything wrong, mind you."); media outlets reaped tons of ad revenue; twittery was rampant on every side. We all had a jolly good time. But as for the ostensible object of the exercise - learning more about possible Russian interference in the electoral process, and any part Trump's gang might have had in colluding with this and/or covering it up - there was not a whole lotta shaking going on.

That's to be expected. For I don't believe we are ever going to see confirmable proof of direct collusion between the Trump gang and the Kremlin to skew the 2016 election. I don't doubt there is a myriad of ties between Trump and nefarious Russian characters, all of whom will of necessity have some connection to Putin's authoritarian regime. And there may well be underhanded Trump gang ties of corruption to the state itself. But I don't think a "smoking gun" of direct collusion with Trump's inner circle in vote tampering exists. If it did, it would be out by now. It's obvious the intelligence services and FBI were all over the Trump campaign, looking into Russian ties from many angles.

I'm not saying the Russians didn't try to tamper with the vote. (Although, as a patriotic American, I doubt they can tamper as well as we can.) I'm not saying it's not important or not worth looking into. I'm just saying that if you put most of your focus and resources and political capital on the bet that you will find some smoking gun of direct collusion between Trump and his circle with the Russian state - evidence so direct and overwhelming that even the GOP extremists in Congress can't overlook it - then you are going to be disappointed. You will not bring down Trump, who, despite mountains of dirt thrown on him, will still walk away and claim vindication.

Meanwhile, away from the "dramatic hearings" and the all-day permanent Red scare of the "Resistance," the Trump White House and the Congressional extremists are quietly, methodically, relentlessly transforming the United States into a hideous oligarch-owned, burned-out, broken-down, looted-out, chaos-ridden, far-right dystopia. Right now, the Senate Republicans are trying to push through, in secret, a "health-care" bill that is scarcely less draconian than the universally hated House version, and like that bill, consists of two main parts: a gargantuan tax cut for the very rich and taking away healthcare coverage for millions upon millions of ordinary citizens, including the most vulnerable people in the nation.

And what did we hear Monday from Democratic staffers? That the Senate Democrats are NOT going to wage a fight to the death to prevent this monstrosity from being inflicted on the people; they're not "going nuclear," using every possible tactic and procedural rule to derail the Trumpcare bill, or at least stall it long enough to raise a public outcry against it. And why not? Why, because the Republicans have promised that no sanctions will be removed on Russia without the Democrats getting a chance to vote on it in the Senate. This is the kind of misplaced priority I'm talking about.

I won't even get into the fact that progressives and liberals now venerate the intelligence services they used to rightly condemn for decades of lies and deceit and misinformation and covert murder and, yes, manipulation of our electoral process (not to mention those of other nations.) And let's put aside how every "anonymous leak" from an "intelligence source" is now treated as gospel - even though it comes from the same "intelligence sources" that anonymously leaked all that "credible" evidence of Saddam's WMD way back in caveman times. And told us that Gadafy was about to unleash genocide on his people and was sending in rape squads jacked up on Viagra, etc., only to sheepishly admit later these claims had been all false after Gadafy had been sodomized and murdered in the street by NATO-backed Islamic extremists, even as Hillary Clinton laughed out loud and declared, "We came, we saw, he DIED!"

Let's put aside the fact that former head of the FBI - who has spent years waging war on Black Lives Matter and concocting fake terrorist plots to entrap mentally ill loners in order to garner good PR for himself - is now a liberal hero, even a "sex symbol," because he was fired by a lunatic fascist that no one with a shred of honor should have been working for in the first place.

Let's put aside that former CIA honcho James Clapper - who has lied under oath to Congress about the CIA's Putin-style hacking of the US Senate to stop release of reports on, er, CIA torture, who lied repeatedly about Saddam's non-existent WMD when he was a key player under George W. Bush, and who is now repeatedly saying that Russians have some kind of genetic defect that makes them inherent, unredeemable scheming lowlifes - has also become a much-lauded liberal hero.

Let's put aside the abandonment of principle and common sense the "Resistance" has shown toward the bankrupt morality and demonstrable mendacity of these men and their institutions. And how anyone who expresses the same skepticism toward these "organs" that they have been expressing for decades - no matter who is in power - is now regarded as a Putin apologist, a Kremlin stooge or, more and more often, an outright, active traitor.

Let's put aside all this for now, disheartening as it is, and focus on this: if the intent is to bring down Trump, then there is ample material just lying there for the taking - evidence of blatant criminality and corruption that could be taken up right now, keeping Trump and his whole sick crew tied up in prosecutions, investigations, special committees and independent prosecutors out the wazoo. The man had known Mafia figures with him at his New Year's celebration in Mar-a-Lago just months ago, for God's sake. You don't have to pry piss-tapes from the Kremlin to bring down a mook like Trump.

Of course, part of the problem is that a genuinely wide-ranging and thorough investigation of Trump's criminal corruption would doubtless expose the deep rot at the heart of our system, the incredibly complex entwining of the underworld and the "upper world": the dirty deals, the tax dodges, the sweetheart contracts, the cut-outs to maintain "deniability," the bribes, the "gifts," the special arrangements, the corporate espionage, the interpenetration of state and corporate power at every level, even in warfare and diplomacy - in short, all of the "corrupted currents" that lay behind the gilded facade maintained by our bipartisan elites and their servitors in the political-media class. If you start to pull too hard on the stinking threads of Trump's criminal entanglements, who knows what else might come undone, who else might be exposed?

We saw during the last campaign this reluctance to really go after Trump for the string of dodgy deals and frauds he's left across a decades-long career. Every now and then there would be a quick jab, but even these would usually be obscured by Trump's artful use of blathering idiocy on Twitter. Was he defrauding veterans and cancer patients with his patently fraudulent charities? "Look there! Trump just said McCain was a loser for being captured in Vietnam!" Didn't Trump commit criminal fraud in scamming people out of millions with his fake Trump University? "Look there! Trump's tweeting racist attacks on the judge!" And so off we'd go, fixing on the galling spectacle of Trump's character, while the focus on actual crime and corruption would recede. This reluctance was evident in both the GOP primary and in the general election. I kept waiting for the gloves to come off on Trump's dirty deals, but they never really did. The focus remained on his sleazy character, not his legal dangers; and Trump had long known that the spectacular sleaziness of his character was the mainspring of his popularity, both as a celebrity and candidate. (And yes, this sleaziness and corruption was well-known even when Bill and Hillary were wrapping their arms around Donald at his wedding years before.)

Be that as it may, there is still probably more than enough material on the surface for our elites to bring Trump down without going too deep into the corrupted currents where their own murk might be stirred up. Heck, there might even be enough honest players in the political circus to lead a multi-front attack on Trump's corruption without worrying about themselves being exposed. If you really want to bring Trump down - and in that way, cripple or at least hamper the ravages of the extremists who are using him as their tool - then it seems to me this more straightforward approach would be far more likely to succeed than waiting for some spy to come in from the cold and put incontrovertible proof of direct collusion in our hands.

But I don't see any sign of this happening anytime soon, if ever. The focus will remain on the Russians, who despite being genetically inferior lowbrow swindlers are nevertheless capable of orchestrating practically every event in the world, including, I guess, the rise of Rupert Murdoch and the rightwing media machine, the politicised fundamentalist churches and the thousands of sinister ideological outfits bankrolled by weird billionaires, all of which have spawned an entire alternative universe in which millions of people now live, feeding on lies and smears and hatemongering that fuels their prejudices, their fears, their resentments and their anger, and corrodes their sense of commonality and community with their fellow citizens. I would venture to say that the deliberate cultivation of this vicious and violent alternative reality - along with the creation of the Electoral College in the 18th century, and the vote suppression laws passed by billionaire-funded extremists in state legislatures that disenfranchised millions of anti-Trump voters - had more to do with Trump's victory than any phishing expeditions or email leaking by the Russians.

Again, I'm not saying that the latter didn't happen; it may well be that the people who lied to our faces about yellow cake and aluminium tubes and vials of sarin and CIA torture, the people who wage drone wars on farmers and wedding parties, the people who persecute the mentally ill for their own aggrandizement while stirring up needless fear and hatred are now being honourable and truthful in every single thing they tell us. I genuinely hope so. If they produced that smoking gun from the Kremlin tomorrow and brought Trump down, I'd be over the moon. But I don't think that is going to happen. And I fear we will find that a great deal of ruin has been done - and many more promising avenues of attack have been ignored, perhaps for good - while we chase ghosts in the shadowlands of espionage.

But hey, don't listen to me. I not only write for a publication which was put on a McCarthyite list of "subversives" trumpeted in the Washington Post (before it had to backpedal), I actually even lived in Russia once, which as we know - in an age where Louise Mensch is regarded as a credible source by the "Resistance" and all things Russian are tainted - means I am obviously a Kremlin agent or a Putin fanboy trying to save Comrade Trump from the forces of righteousness. What's more, I know people who still live in Russia, some of whom are even - gasp! - genetically Russian. (Please don't tell liberal hero James Clapper!) So of course, all of these people must be Kremlin tools as well - even though they are putting their lives and livelihoods on the line every day fighting Putin's tyranny, with a courage I doubt we'll see from many of our "Resisters" when Trump finishes with Muslims, immigrants, African-Americans, the poor, the sick, the marginalized, the insulted and injured of every stripe and finally come for the "real" people who read the New York Times and watch Rachel Maddow. For these days it's simply impossible to be associated with Russia in any way, or to question the credibility of our security organs in the slightest, or to suggest possibly better alternatives for removing Trump's copious rump from the Oval Office, without being shunned by polite progressive society.

So take what I say with a pinch of bread and salt. (The traditional Russian offering of welcome - oh damn, I gave myself away again!) But if the focus stays largely on Russia, don't be surprised to see Trump sitting on the White House toilet playing with his tweeter four years from now while Steven Bannon and Richard Spencer plan his re-election campaign.

[Jun 18, 2017] MSM Fake News vs. the Truth by Joachim Hagopian

Notable quotes:
"... #Pizzagate ..."
"... "Don't Let The Bastards Getcha Down." ..."
"... http://empireexposed.blogspot.com ..."
Dec 20, 2016 | www.lewrockwell.com
The Information War: Western Crime Cabal and MSM "Fake News" vs. Truth from Alternative News

Virtually every current headline unequivocally shows how US Empire and its Ministry of Propaganda are lying to the American people. Those in power have been so exposed by alt-media in 2016 that they are growing more desperate by the day. Right now their biggest lie is blaming Putin and Russia for being behind everything gone wrong in the world according to the Obama-Clinton-Bush-CIA-Rothschild crime cabal. The latest claims assert that Putin's hackers overturned the presidential election results in favor of Donald Trump and this whopper is currently being pushed as the flimsiest, last gasp excuse to spearhead its hollow "fake news" crusade in order to both outlaw the truth and derail Trump's January 20 th inauguration.

Longtime State Department veteran psychiatrist Steve Pieczenik , CIA/NSA whistleblower William Binney, CIA whistleblower Ray McGovern, and former UK ambassador Craig Murray have all stated that there is zero evidence showing that the Russians "hacked" emails or interfered with the election outcome in any way. Credible former CIA officers emphatically state that the emails were leaked, not hacked and that Putin had nothing to do with it. The 17 US intelligence agencies remain conflicted with the verdict still out, unable to even arrive at a consensus, despite the FBI's latest cave-in to pressures to feebly present a belated united front against Russia. Flip flopper Comey's at it again. Up until a day or so ago, the FBI maintained that there was not enough evidence to conclude the Russians hacked into DNC records or emails. The Clintons, Obama and their "intelligence" minions are fast growing irrelevant and impotent as the yearend days count down. What's perfectly clear is the CIA/MSM liars are acting on orders from the Clinton et al cartel deceitfully politicizing this meme because they cannot accept the fact that Hillary lost her "anointed" election. The feds' unending war agenda may soon be collapsing.

Before rushing to lynch mob judgment demonizing Putin once again, an important reminder worth noting is the historic track record of the Clintons, Obama, the Bushes and the CIA is that they lie all the time, both pathologically and professionally as full blown certifiable psychopaths . They all played a major part in creating and continuing to back the terrorists al Qaeda, al Nusra and ISIS in the Middle East and beyond. With perhaps the exception of the Saul Alinsky -Bill Ayers, " terrorist-inspired " community organizer and then Illinois state senator Obama, it's worth mentioning that they all bear guilt in murdering 3000 American citizens on 9/11 and then shamelessly promoting the boldface lie that Saddam Hussein had WMD's and direct links to terrorists. But let's not leave out Pinocchio-nosed Barrack who promised to be the most open and transparent president in US history and then proceeded to be the most secretive , least transparent, and perhaps most incompetent president in US history. But then given the mission to destroy America from within by the ruling elite that groomed and launched his meteoric rise, his puppet masters no doubt are very pleased with his record. And as far as the Central Intelligence Agency goes, as the elite's private mercenary army , from its very get-go the CIA's very purpose and everyday business have always been made of lies and propaganda .

Instead of blindly blaming the Russians, far more credible sources have posited that at least one DNC insider – Seth Rich – leaked documents and then likely paid for it with his murdered life. Additionally, if you believe Steve Piecnezik, intelligence operatives launched a soft anti-Clinton counter-coup handing over the thousands of Clinton-Podesta emails to WikiLeaks. And now we're even learning that US Homeland Security has been trying to hack into the Georgia state election apparatus at least ten times. So all these alleged hacks and leaks seem to surfacing internally from sources within the United States, mostly from operatives working either directly inside the government or political apparatchik.

Another relevant point worth raising is the indisputable fact that the US government is the most notoriously guilty entity in the world for constantly meddling and interfering in other sovereign nations' internal elections and affairs, engaging in crime after crime assassinating foreign leaders , and executing dozens of coups overthrowing sovereign governments. And let's face it, all the major players on the global stage are guilty of spying on one another, particularly in cyber-espionage , again with the US the main culprit. So this whole notion of using the blame game to falsely accuse other countries of the very same hideous aggressions that Washington is most guilty perpetrating for well over a century is extremely hypocritical in the least and downright diabolical to the max. Yet for centuries now this kind of duplicity and hubris is exactly how American exceptionalism has criminally operated around the globe with total impunity.

The "blame the Russian" game is an old cold war propaganda tactic from way back. History just keeps repeating itself because the powers-that-shouldn't-be exploit and count on Americans having a short attention span. Those who witnessed or pay attention to history can recall the cold war era of the early 1950's and the Red Scare of McCarthyism when many people's lives were ruined by dishonestly branding them as so-called communists and communist sympathizers. Deep state USA is at it once again, unjustly singling out and punishing those who speak the truth online by again falsely accusing them of being agents of Russian propaganda. Blacklisting alt-media sites that legitimately report accurate accounts of news events and world developments by again falsely accusing them as "fake news" sources when the corporate media liars themselves are infamously guilty of fake news propaganda is just more of the same bogus modus operandi that the government and mainstream media have been redeploying indefinitely for decades.

Project Mockingbird flourished throughout the cold war from the 1950's right into the 1970's and beyond when the CIA influenced if not controlled all the biggest news outlets (25 newspapers and wire agencies) using them to spread Washington's own cold war propaganda. This sinister collusion between the feds and the press resulted in the imperialistic division of two Asian ethnicities – the Koreans and Vietnamese people each split into two enemy nations fighting two costly wars killing up to over 7 million Asians (not to mention 95,000 American soldiers). And when the Senate Church Committee finally exposed Mockingbird, in 1976 then CIA director George Bush senior was forced to proclaim on paper at least its "official" end. But subsequent planting of disinformation in the foreign press that by design would then spread to the US was yet another covert means by which the deceitful CIA continued its propaganda control over both US and foreign news markets.

This unholy nexus has also persisted right up till today through such common ties as the all-powerful Council on Foreign Relations. For many decades the CFR strategically courts and recruits prominent members from mainstream media as well as the entertainment industry for the exact same PR purpose of using them to promote deep state propaganda and collude in corrupt cover-ups to willfully deceive the American public. Then in recent years the corporatized merging of government and mass media utilizing US military, CIA and FBI liaisons in Hollywood has only consolidated power and media control into fewer and fewer hands, with 6 oligarchs in control of the 6 largest mega media giants controlling the outflow of over 90% of today's news. Virtually every TV show and film out of Hollywood now is pure deep state propaganda serving for a full century as the best recruitment venue for brainwashing the next generation of GI's dying on foreign soil battlefields. Hence, what's emerged today is a fascist government cabal maintaining illegitimate control and authority through false propaganda delivered 24/7 by deep state surrogate the mainstream media.

But during this US presidential election year, largely due to WikiLeaks, social media and alternative and independent news, citizens of the world have discovered how corrosively evil in its criminality this existing crime cabal is, personified by the Clintons, Obama, and their minions in Washington, Wall Street and the corporate media. Over the last couple months the Clinton-Podesta connection has been directly tied to a global child sex trafficking ring operating from the " life insurance " laptop of Hillary's closest, 20-year aide- Saudi operative Huma Abedin's husband, disgraced former congressman Anthony Weiner. But the pedophilia network has more recently expanded to include an infamous block of sinister pizza parlors and front offices in upscale Northwest Washington operating eerily close to the White House (perhaps even closer through DC's network of underground tunnels). Enter #Pizzagate .

And through thousands of internet sleuths working together online 24/7, the crumbling, gaping cracks of this crime cabal wall have been exposed like never before, threatening to bring down the most powerful Luciferian worshipping pedophiles at the top of this planet's demonic food chain. And this raw naked exposure of the diabolical matrix has the guilty party – the Obamas, Bushes, and Clintons panicking and resorting to extreme desperate measures to hide and conceal the filthy truth of who and what they are. Hence, in this age of deception and culture of evil, we are now living in a new era of McCarthyism frantically unleashed to justify their latest attack campaign on steroids to censor and ban all blacklisted alternative media news sites that provide much needed counterbalancing truth to the official false narrative lies. The aim here is to eliminate and silence all truth tellers so that the evildoers – as naked and exposed as they already are, can attempt to hold onto their waning power, slipping fast now from their control.

By deep state egregiously accusing alt-news of being "agents of Russian propaganda ," it intends to shut down America's First Amendment right to a free press – the alternative news, which regularly exposes NSM and gov.corps' propaganda lies. The totalitarian agenda now being rushed through prior to Trump becoming president has already passed " anti-Russian propaganda " bills in both chambers of Congress aimed at banning over 200 targeted alt-news sites on their bogus blacklists. Additionally, the EU has threatened further tyrannical censorship if co-opted internet ponds Facebook, Google, Twitter, Microsoft, and Reddit don't eliminate the so-called "fake news" from its social media and search engines. In effect, a final power grab is being played out right now attempting to usurp, control and silence the last voice of honest and accurate news accounting of what goes on in this world. But the crime cabal will fail as the world knows too much already.

Since 9/11 those who question authority refusing to believe the deep state lies have been customarily discarded as " conspiracy nuts ." Though for decades this strategy was quite effective, it's now wearing thin as more people every day are beginning to realize the truth about the previously concealed criminality endlessly committed by DC puppets and their masters. As a result, deep state's agenda has been to increasingly criminalize dissidents as potential homegrown terrorists and radicalized enemies of the state. What we're currently witnessing is the systematic targeting of both dissenting individuals and alternative news organizations as "dangerously" unwanted truth tellers posing the single largest threat to the crime cabal's continued power and control.

And with only a few remaining weeks, for that reason alone Obama and the Clintons are moving at breakneck speed to neutralize opposing forces bent on seeking justice by sending them to rot in prison. Since Soros' post-election riots have fizzled, Stein's recount failed and stealing the presidency through pro-Hillary death threats against Trump electoral voters have one by one fallen short of overturning the election, silencing alt-news and igniting a war against Russia are their last, "best shot" ploys that would manufacture the needed national crisis to prevent Trump from assuming office next month. Who knows? In the few days prior to January 20 th , a false flag perpetrated by Washington neo-crazies as a last gasp effort to blame Russia "justifying" war against the nuclear power may still be up their pathetic evil sleeve. That's how desperate these despots are, terrified their pedo-crimes will soon be their ruin.

In the meantime, yet another draconian law HR 4919 was just passed in the House. Using the benignly logical rationale of tracking lost victims suffering from autism or dementia, deep state is now pushing for RFID chips to be implanted in all people diagnosed with autism and dementia. Similar past measures have authorized the government to round up the homeless or those afflicted with respiratory ailments during the Ebola scare. Operating under the auspices of the Center for Disease Control (CDC), in mid-August, the CDC proposed to grant itself the unlimited unconstitutional power to round up and detain citizens en masse without reason or due process, kind of like the medical bookend to the 2013 FDAA that also obliterates citizens' legal rights and civil liberties. The feds are becoming increasingly over-the- top in their totalitarian oppression, knowing that for good reason more people are opposing mandatory vaccinations for both children and adults as well as proposed mandatory microchips. Recall that a couple years ago NBC was predicting that next year every American would be micro chipped .

Like the regretful German pastor Martin Niemoller's famous quote decrying each group targeted and taken away by the Nazis without his speaking out, after the communists, socialists, trade unionists and the Jews, by the time they came for him it was too late. How far will the government go with its growing hit list of expendable throwaways? What's to stop the deep state from making microchips mandatory for anyone diagnosed with a mental disorder? Or the entire world population for that matter?

The insane DSM-5 has recently expanded the number of mental illnesses into absurdity, making sure to include practically anyone and everyone. The Diagnostic Statistical Manual has become the official tool and vehicle by which the government is moving to criminalize abnormality. This slippery slope may soon include every human on the planet.

As a former diagnostic clinician, I can tell you that the criteria by which people can be diagnosed with a dangerous label from a vast array is extremely arbitrary and subjective. There's nothing scientific or foolproof about it. Mislabeling citizens who may pose "trouble or a threat" to the authoritarian state is wide open for overreaching, widespread abuse as the convenient false pretense for microchipping and controlling a growing segment of "undesirables" within the population. Branding any individual who does not trust authority figures with "Oppositional Defiant Disorder" or anyone who appears "overly" health conscious and selective about what they eat as "suffering" from orthorexia nervosa could simply be deep state's way of branding us all with certifiable labels. Deep state has co-opted the psychiatric profession which is largely owned and controlled by Big Pharma, using its Diagnostic Statistical Manual's unlimited mental disorders as yet another weapon of mass destruction playbook for diabolical population control purposes.

In recent years MSM has clearly become Washington's ministry of propaganda . And adding insult to injury, Congress is busily passing bills designed to outlaw the real truth, so as to empower its propaganda ministry to become its "truth" ministry . We are living the Orwellian nightmare come true, as " useless eating " victims of a fascist totalitarian oligarchic police state bent on perpetrating democide as well as human genocide as part of its demonic eugenics plan to drastically reduce the world pop. from 7.4 billion to anywhere from a half to one billion depending on which invasively surveilled and controlled population in human history by a centralized tyrannical government controlling a centralized financial debtor-slave system . Deep state and corporate media together engage in covert concealment of secret, heinously deplorable brutality protecting the elite's systemic criminality perpetrated we now know on a massive colossal scale.

A century ago the ruling elite known as the internationalists envisioned a one world government. Now that same ruling elite controlled by the same tainted bloodlines are called globalists and they're rushing to suppress the truth on their way to bringing on the perfect storm that will usher in the violent tyranny of their global governance. Outside of technology that enables increasing power and control, little has otherwise changed over the course of the last century. That said, never before have more citizens of the world become aware of the treasonous and demonic crimes committed by those psychopaths in power. Before closing a final reminder warrants stating. Regardless of the figurehead occupying the White House, the same demonic power elite is still holding power over this earth. And the battle for truth, justice, and our very lives will continue after January 20 th . The doomsday clock that's been ticking under the Bush-Clinton-Obama cabal is only ticking shorter now and our struggle is hardly over.

The Best of Joachim Hagopian

Joachim Hagopian [ send him mail ] is a West Point graduate and former US Army officer. He has written a manuscript based on his unique military experience entitled "Don't Let The Bastards Getcha Down." It examines and focuses on US international relations, leadership and national security issues. After the military, Joachim earned a master's degree in Clinical Psychology and worked as a licensed therapist in the mental health field for more than a quarter century. In recent years he has focused on his writing, becoming an alternative media journalist. His blog site is at http://empireexposed.blogspot.com .

[Jun 18, 2017] New video footage exposes US military helping ISIS fighters escape Syrian city of Raqqa

Jun 18, 2017 | theduran.com
A post via The Anti Media written by Darius Shahtahmasebi , exposes what many following the Syria "civil war" narrative have known for some time now that no civil war is really taking place, but rather a US-Saudi regime change invasion against the Assad government.

The proxy army being used to force an Assad regime change is the Islamic State (ISIS).

The following video, and accompanying post, shows the US military providing ISIS jihadists with a safe escape form the Syrian city of Raqqa. Needless to say it would have been drop dead simple to have bombed the convoy of ISIS jihadists as seen in the video, but this was not the goal. The goal was safe passage out of Raqqa.

Where are the ISIS fighters escaping to?

We venture to guess that these ISIS fighters are being sent, by US and Saudi military commanders, to territory under the control of the legally recognized government of Syria, where they will continue to fight against Assad.

With numerous distractions unfolding on the newly released reality TV show that is "Keeping Up with the Trump Administration," it may surprise readers to learn that the U.S. is using the terror group ISIS as a pawn in its depraved foreign policy.

Video footage obtained by Al-Masdar appears to show convoys of ISIS fighters fleeing the Syrian city of Raqqa untouched by the U.S. military, which is currently bombing that exact location. As Al-Masdar notes, despite having Kurdish and American drones hovering around the city of Raqqa, U.S. bombs are nowhere to be seen as hundreds of fighters pass safely. The release of this footage comes on the heels of accusations from both Russia and Iran that the U.S. is colluding with ISIS to allow the group's safe passage into areas controlled by the Syrian government.

Iran claims to have direct proof but thus far has not released it. Even if Russia and Iran don't have any secret documents that directly expose this collusion, the fact remains that we don't necessarily need them .

After all, this is exactly how ISIS grew exponentially in Syria in the first instance – as a direct result of U.S. foreign policy strategy. In 2012, a classified Defense Intelligence Agency report predicted the rise of ISIS, something actively encouraged by the U.S. establishment. The report stated :

"If the situation unravels, there is the possibility of establishing a declared or undeclared Salafist principality in eastern Syria and this is exactly what the supporting powers to the opposition want, in order to isolate the Syrian regime."

Further, leaked audio of former Secretary of State John Kerry shows he knew ISIS was gaining momentum in Syria, and that in turn, the U.S. hoped this would bring Syrian President Bashar al-Assad to the negotiating table.

In recent times, the safe passage of ISIS fighters to areas under the control of the Syrian government has been an unspoken but official strategy and has been the reality on the ground in Iraq and Syria.

Late last year, Anti-Media reported on an anonymous military-diplomatic official's claims that the United States was allowing safe passage to Syria for ISIS fighters exiting Mosul, Iraq – even though the U.S. was supposedly waging an offensive to defeat ISIS in the area. As we noted, acknowledging the admittedly undesirable, questionable nature of the anonymous source:

" An anonymous source claiming to a Russian newspaper something as conspiratorial as the U.S. directly aiding ISIS militants may seem a bit dubious, but since the offensive was launched on Monday of this week , this has been the reality on the ground .

" According to Army Lieutenant General Talib Shaghati , as reported by anti-Russian newspaper , the Guardian, ISIS militants are already fleeing Mosul to Syria. This was further confirmed by the Saudi foreign minister, Adel al-Jubeir, who said that if ISIS were forced out of Mosul, they would likely go on to Syria ."

Not long after, ISIS launched an offensive into a very strategic area in Syria called Deir ez-Zor, battling through Syrian government defenses. The most horrifying part of this offensive was the fact that, as noted by the Guardian , the ISIS fighters who successfully broke through government defense lines in Syria were "primarily reinforcements coming over the border from Iraq's Anbar province."

Deir ez-Zor is not outside the U.S. military's strike range capacity. This is the same city that was attacked by the American-led coalition in September of last year – an attack that targeted Syrian troops for over an hour, paving the way for a timely ISIS offensive. Yet when it comes to hundreds of reinforcements raging through the Iraqi border into Syria, the U.S. military is on a brief vacation.

We were told Raqqa was to be ISIS' last stronghold in Syria, but this is clearly not true. In order for the U.S. to ultimately put pressure on the Syrian government, the real prize is not Raqqa but a combination of two very strategic locations that are very heavily interlinked.

As explained by Gulf News :

"There, a complex confrontation is unfolding, with far more geopolitical import and risk. Daesh [ISIS] is expected to make its last stand not in Raqqa but in an area that encompasses the borders with Iraq and Jordan and much of Syria's modest oil reserves, making it important in stabilising Syria and influencing its neighbouring countries.

"Whoever lays claim to the sparsely populated area in this 21st-century version of the Great Game not only will take credit for seizing what is likely to be Daesh's last patch of a territorial caliphate in Syria, but also will play an important role in determining Syria's future and the post-war dynamics of the region."

And this is ultimately the problem for the U.S.-led coalition of anti-Assad (and anti-Iranian) nations. The behind-closed-doors official rationale for targeting Syria's government for regime change was to undermine Iranian influence in the region, according to Hillary Clinton's email archive. Countries such as Saudi Arabia, Jordan, Egypt, and the other Gulf States have long feared that a fully dominated Shia-led bloc of Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Lebanon could completely overthrow the regional balance of power. They have opposed such a development at all costs.

As Gulf News explains, the Iranians are in the process of fully implementing this Shia bridge, known as the "Shia Crescent":

"The contested area also includes desert regions farther south with several border crossings, among them the critical highway connecting Damascus and Baghdad - coveted by Iran as a land route to Lebanon and its ally, the Hezbollah militia."

This is why the U.S. military has set up a training base at the Aal-Tanf border crossing. If the Syrian government were to retake the area and open it up under its control, they would be able to directly link Iran to Syria and the rest of its allies, including Iraq and Lebanon.

This is also why the U.S. military has been engaging in illegal acts of aggression against Iranian-backed militias operating in the area - to defend this position.

Further, the Syrian government's outpost in Deir ez-Zor is isolated , hence why these two offensives are running in tandem. They both rely on the liberation of the other to have any real value to the Syrian government and its Russian and Iranian allies.

As fascinating as the Comey testimony spectacle has been (don't forget to tune in for tomorrow's scandal of anonymous leaks and misspelled tweets), the real scandal lies in the fact that the U.S. is now openly siding with ISIS while allowing the terrorists safe passage into parts of Syria so that these extremists can battle a secular government . The U.S. is moments away from an all-out confrontation with Iran (and Russia , a nuclear power).

Don't expect the corporate media to report on these damning facts anytime soon, as the public continues to sleepwalk into a global powder keg of deceit, death, and destruction.

[Jun 17, 2017] Putin Claims Russia Proposed a Cyber War Treaty In 2015 But the Obama Admin Ignored Them

Notable quotes:
"... American three letter agencies spend more money 'cyber spying' than the total Russian military budget. Which isn't to say the Russians don't have talent or that any amount of money will turn a paper pusher into a hacker. ..."
"... The Americans didn't respond because they thought they were miles ahead. Recent releases show they _could_ just own anyone with any connected consumer device (e.g. router, PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux based etc etc). ..."
Jun 16, 2017 | politics.slashdot.org
(qz.com) 182

Posted by msmash on Friday June 16, 2017

Russian president Vladimir Putin ( who denies any Russian part in the hacking ) claims the Obama administration ignored a proposal in 2015 that might have avoided all of this. His administration suggested working out a cyber treaty with the US but was ignored by Obama officials, Putin told film director Oliver Stone in Showtime's four-part series broadcast this week. "A year and a half ago, in fall 2015, we made proposal to our American partners that we work through these issues and conclude a treaty on the rules of behavior in this sphere," he said in Stone's documentary The Putin Interviews. "

The American side was silent, they didn't reply to us. "

HornWumpus ( 783565 ) , Friday June 16, 2017 @12:55PM ( #54634053 )

Re:That's a really nice Internet you have there... ( Score: 4 , Insightful)

Do you realize how big the NSA is?

American three letter agencies spend more money 'cyber spying' than the total Russian military budget. Which isn't to say the Russians don't have talent or that any amount of money will turn a paper pusher into a hacker.

The Americans didn't respond because they thought they were miles ahead. Recent releases show they _could_ just own anyone with any connected consumer device (e.g. router, PC, Mac, Android, iOS, Linux based etc etc).

I'm thinking the OpenBSD guys are acting kind of smug, but where they owned too? I can't keep up.

[Jun 17, 2017] Power of alt media made obvious by backfire of corporate medias fake news war

Notable quotes:
"... Waddell and the Atlantic, among others, like the Daily Beast - known mouthpieces for the Democratic establishment scrambling to blame Hillary Clinton's loss on everything but the kitchen sink of a horribly flawed campaign - realize to some degree the threat posed by legitimate criticism of the accepted narrative. ..."
"... Zuckerberg's protestations and resistance to acknowledge 'fake news' as influencing the outcome of the election quickly melted under pressure from the pro-Hillary camp - and evaporated as Clintonites and a smattering of miffed Republicans switched gears and ratcheted up New Red Scare propagandizing. ..."
"... When utterly unfounded, un-researched, and unverified reporting by the Washington Post termed the collective body of independent, right-slanted, or pro-Jill Stein media organizations as either active agents of Russia or the Putin's "useful idiots," those outlets formed an implicit bond for having been scurrilously blacklisted. ..."
"... Once the Post's thinly-veneered paper tiger went down in flames for it being impossible to substantiate, the outlet threw journalistic integrity out the window and proffered another unprovable paragon of irresponsibility: " Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House ." ..."
Dec 17, 2016 | www.sott.net
Power of alt media made obvious by backfire of corporate media's 'fake news' war Claire Bernish

Free Thought Project

As you've likely heard by now, Facebook has taken its war against 'fake news' to a whole other level - employing third party media and fact-checking organizations to judge whether news items are legitimate - to the consternation of countless users who see the platform overstepping red lines.

Servile corporate media immediately parroted the wealth of benefits Facebook's plan will ostensibly provide, from an alert and gateway system forced onto articles deemed "disputed," to the organizations making the 'kiss of death' judgment call: Snopes, FactCheck.org, Politifact, and ABC News.

Anyone with passing knowledge of bias in media is probably spitting out their coffee - all four organizations are notoriously left-leaning and liberal, and the list includes no outlets with any other of myriad ideological tilts.

Indeed, right-leaning outlets from Breitbart to the Drudge Report, as well as the sizable alternative media community - who, collectively, held to higher journalistic standards throughout the election cycle than "old media" titans like the New York Times and Washington Post - quickly condemned the unabashed bias imbued in Facebook's plan.

Mark Zuckerberg, a large consensus concluded, just declared war on dissent - if not information, itself.

But in an article intended to criticize purveyors of 'fake news' and applaud the social media platform's oh-so-noble efforts to strike such outlets from the American interwebs, The Atlantic's Kaveh Waddell posited, " Will Facebook's Fake News Warning Become a Badge of Honor? "

Waddell asks this question, the reader doesn't discover until more than halfway through the article, through a lens of myopic bias - if not outright scorn - against anyone who dare question the motives of Facebook or its choice of fact-checkers.

"There's a danger that people who are disinclined to trust traditional sources of information will treat Facebook's warnings as a badge of honor," Waddell clarifies. "If fact-checking organizations deem a story questionable, they might be more likely to read and share it, rather than less. There's reason to believe this group might think of itself as a counterculture, and take the position that anything that 'the man' rejects must have a grain of subversive truth to it."

For a journalist in a nationally-regarded publication to display such seething condescension toward a category of people perhaps most critical to preventing a narrowing of news media to a single viewpoint is criminally self-interested, indeed - evincing the paranoia among old media to validate its reporting in the wake of horrendous election coverage.

Regardless of his patronizing tone, Waddell's question presents what might be the thinnest silver lining to having a Facebook-approved information gatekeeper - news deemed "disputed" will be viewed by non-establishment thinkers as bearing the Scarlet Letter C - censored for being problematic for the political elite.

In other words, this soft censorship could facilely create a Streisand Effect - whereby efforts to suppress content backfire and instead draw greater attention to something than it ever would have received otherwise.

Waddell and the Atlantic, among others, like the Daily Beast - known mouthpieces for the Democratic establishment scrambling to blame Hillary Clinton's loss on everything but the kitchen sink of a horribly flawed campaign - realize to some degree the threat posed by legitimate criticism of the accepted narrative.

This battle has literally nil to do with fake news - or even Russia - and everything to do with the power of dissent.

Of course, a brazen irony in Facebook's purge of random items is CEO Mark Zuckerberg's comments on the subject prior to mass Democratic and corporate media hysteria over iterations Donald Trump won because Russia:

"Of all the content on Facebook, more than 99 percent of what people see is authentic. Only a very small amount is fake news and hoaxes. The hoaxes that do exist are not limited to one partisan view, or even to politics. Overall, this makes it extremely unlikely hoaxes changed the outcome of this election in one direction or the other."
Zuckerberg's protestations and resistance to acknowledge 'fake news' as influencing the outcome of the election quickly melted under pressure from the pro-Hillary camp - and evaporated as Clintonites and a smattering of miffed Republicans switched gears and ratcheted up New Red Scare propagandizing.

When utterly unfounded, un-researched, and unverified reporting by the Washington Post termed the collective body of independent, right-slanted, or pro-Jill Stein media organizations as either active agents of Russia or the Putin's "useful idiots," those outlets formed an implicit bond for having been scurrilously blacklisted.

Once the Post's thinly-veneered paper tiger went down in flames for it being impossible to substantiate, the outlet threw journalistic integrity out the window and proffered another unprovable paragon of irresponsibility: " Secret CIA assessment says Russia was trying to help Trump win White House ."

This gem swears CIA officials have performed an extensive assessment of the election and can prove individuals with ties to the Russian government as responsible for submitting documents on the Democratic Party to Wikileaks for publication - an allegation Julian Assange emerged from the shadows to dispel in an interview with Sean Hannity on Thursday.

Wikileaks - whose published documents have never been proven inauthentic - found itself on the Post's 'Russian agent blacklist.'

In other words, by relying on user-reporting and biased outlets to flag articles means any "disputed" contents feasibly earned that label on a subjective - not hard and fast - basis.

But should there be any labeling - read: moderate censorship - of articles and items by a social media behemoth who claims impartiality while rubbing elbows with Democratic heavy-hitters. All grumblings on Facebook's status as a public entity aside, when your platform acts as the primary news aggregator for millions, there is a staunch obligation to preserve the rights of everyone to speak their version of truth.

To be honest, that includes outlets spewing horrendously false news items as the real thing.

In this new age of information aptly deemed the post-truth era by the Oxford Dictionaries this year, the onus of consequence for sharing any erroneous or fabricated information falls squarely on the shoulders of the fecklessly lazy who don't bother checking sources and hyperlinks - or, in most cases, read more than the title - before disseminating information online.

Because that basic duty was apparently too much for so many to bear, we're now all faced with the Huxleyan prospect of being spoon fed vanilla government propaganda disguised as news - while legitimate news earns the dystopic "disputed" label.

Maybe, just maybe, Waddell and the others have it all wrong. Maybe the imminent Streisand Effect will thwart Facebook gatekeeping in its tracks. Maybe people have wearied of the perilous penchant for categorization. Maybe this Scarlet Lettering of dissenting viewpoints will disgust the wary and students of history.

Maybe Facebook will see its fast-approaching, inevitable demise and decide the suppression of information does not a profitable business move make - or maybe the "disputed" info plot represents the ultimate poison pill.
Comment: See also:

[Jun 17, 2017] A Clinton Fan Manufactured Fake News That MSNBC Personalities Spread to Discredit WikiLeaks Docs by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... The phrase "Fake News" has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as "terrorism" and "hate speech"; because the phrase lacks any clear definition, it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and censorship. The most important fact to realize about this new term: Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it. ..."
"... That did not stop Nance, who with a firm intelligence background should have been able to easily spot the fake with "(chaos)" actually written in the side bar and "((makes air quotes))" written before the "bucket of losers" piece in the completely comical so-called transcript, from referencing the document and saying: "Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done." ..."
"... Their Fake News tweets - warning people to view the WikiLeaks documents as fake - remain posted, with no subsequent retraction or acknowledgment of the falsehoods that they spread about the WikiLeaks archive. That includes MSNBC segments that spread this accusation. ..."
Dec 11, 2016 | Information Clearing House

The Intercept

The phrase "Fake News" has exploded in usage since the election, but the term is similar to other malleable political labels such as "terrorism" and "hate speech"; because the phrase lacks any clear definition, it is essentially useless except as an instrument of propaganda and censorship. The most important fact to realize about this new term: Those who most loudly denounce Fake News are typically those most aggressively disseminating it.

One of the most egregious examples was the recent Washington Post article hyping a new anonymous group and its disgusting blacklist of supposedly pro-Russia news outlets - a shameful article mindlessly spread by countless journalists who love to decry Fake News, despite the Post article itself being centrally based on Fake News. (The Post this week finally added a lame editor's note acknowledging these critiques; the Post editors absurdly claimed that they did not mean to "vouch for the validity" of the blacklist even though the article's key claims were based on doing exactly that).

Now we have an even more compelling example. Back in October, when WikiLeaks was releasing emails from the John Podesta archive, Clinton campaign officials and their media spokespeople adopted a strategy of outright lying to the public, claiming - with no basis whatsoever - that the emails were doctored or fabricated and thus should be ignored . That lie - and that is what it was: a claim made with knowledge of its falsity or reckless disregard for its truth - was most aggressively amplified by MSNBC personalities such as Joy Ann Reid and Malcolm Nance , The Atlantic's David Frum , and Newsweek's Kurt Eichenwald .

Clinton camp chief strategist @benensonj : "I've seen things" in Wikileaks emails "that aren't authentic" #ThisWeek https://t.co/LPQJBfACqz

- This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 23, 2016

That the emails in the Wikileaks archive were doctored or faked - and thus should be disregarded - was classic Fake News, spread not by Macedonian teenagers or Kremlin operatives but by established news outlets such as MSNBC, The Atlantic, and Newsweek. And, by design, this Fake News spread like wildfire all over the internet, hungrily clicked and shared by tens of thousands of people eager to believe it was true. As a result of this deliberate disinformation campaign, anyone reporting on the contents of the emails was instantly met with claims that the documents in the archive had been proven fake.

The most damaging such claim came from MSNBC's intelligence analyst Malcolm Nance. As I documented on October 11 , he tweeted what he - for some bizarre reason - labeled an "Official Warning." It decreed: " # PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & # blackpropaganda not even professionally done." That tweet was re-tweeted by more than 4,000 people. It was vested with added credibility by Clinton-supporting journalists like Reid and Frum ("expert to take seriously").

All of that, in turn, led to an article in something called the "Daily News Bin" with the headline: "MSNBC intelligence expert: WikiLeaks is releasing falsified emails not really from Hillary Clinton." This classic fake news product - citing Nance and Reid among others - was shared more than 40,000 times on Facebook alone.

Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done. https://t.co/UuJZrurHAA

- Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) October 7, 2016

Joe, Malcolm Nance & other experts have validated these emails have been forged & altered by Russia before passing them off to Wikileaks! https://t.co/gZ7rVQ6JJp

- VLB (@BickiDoodle) October 27, 2016

The media ( @ABC , @CBSNews , @NBCNews and @PBS ) must heed Malcolm Nance: "You should have ZERO CONFIDENCE in the contents" of Wikileaks dumps!

- Thomas Gordon (@EarthOrb) October 23, 2016

Joy now discussing WikiLeaks with security expert Malcolm Nance who says we can have zero confidence in authenticity of documents. #AMJoy

- LaurenBaratzLogsted (@LaurenBaratzL) October 22, 2016

From the start, it was obvious that it was this accusation from Clinton supporters - not the WikiLeaks documents - that was a complete fraud, perpetrated on the public as deliberate disinformation. With regard to the claim about the Podesta emails, now we know exactly who created it in the first instance: a hard-core Clinton fanatic.

When Nance - MSNBC's "intelligence analyst" - issued his "Official Warning," he linked to a tweet that warned: "Please be skeptical of alleged #PodestaEmails . Trumpists are dirtying docs." That tweet, in turn, linked to a tweet from an anonymous account calling itself "The Omnivore," which had posted an obviously fake transcript purporting to be a Hillary Clinton speech to Goldman Sachs. Even though that fake document was never published by WikiLeaks, that was the entire basis for the MSNBC-inspired claim that some of the WikiLeaks documents were doctored.

But the person who created that forged Goldman Sachs transcript was not a "Trumpist" at all; he was a devoted supporter of Hillary Clinton. In the Daily Beast, the person behind the anonymous "The Omnivore" account unmasks himself as "Marco Chacon," a self-professed creator of "viral fake news" whose targets were Sanders and Trump supporters (he specialized in blatantly fake anti-Clinton frauds with the goal of tricking her opponents into citing them, so that they would be discredited). When he wasn't posting fabricated news accounts designed to make Clinton's opponents look bad, his account looked like any other standard pro-Clinton account: numerous negative items about Sanders and then Trump, with links to many Clinton-defending articles.

In his Daily Beast article, published on November 21, Chacon describes how he manufactured the forged Goldman Sachs speech transcript. He says he did it prior to learning that the WikiLeaks releases of Podesta emails contained actual Clinton speech excerpts to Wall Street banks. But once he realized WikiLeaks had published actual Clinton transcripts, Chacon began trying to lure people he disliked - Clinton critics - into believing that his forged speeches were real, so that he could prove they were gullible and dumb.

Sadly for Chacon, however, the people who ended up getting fooled by his Fake News items were the nation's most prominent Clinton supporters, including supposed experts and journalists from MSNBC who used his obvious fakes to try to convince the world that the WikiLeaks archive had been compromised and thus should be ignored. That it was pro-Clinton journalists who spread his Fake News as real now horrifies even Chacon:

The tweet went super-viral. It started an almost trending - but still going today - hashtag #bucketoflosers. A tweet declaring it a bad forgery was picked up by Malcolm Nance, an intelligence analyst for MSNBC among others, who tweeted to be wary of the WikiLeaks release .

That did not stop Nance, who with a firm intelligence background should have been able to easily spot the fake with "(chaos)" actually written in the side bar and "((makes air quotes))" written before the "bucket of losers" piece in the completely comical so-called transcript, from referencing the document and saying: "Official Warning: #PodestaEmails are already proving to be riddled with obvious forgeries & #blackpropaganda not even professionally done."

At the end of the day, did this change anything? I don't know. I think I inadvertently hurt WikiLeaks, which I'm not proud of - but I'm not too sorry about either. I suspect that some people came to realize that they were believing in fake things.

That last sentence - that as a result of his fraud, "some people came to realize that they were believing in fake things" - is false, at least insofar as it applies to people like Eichenwald, Frum, Nance, and Reid. Even though it was clear from the start to any rational and honest person that there was zero evidence that any of the WikiLeaks documents were doctored, and even though (as Chacon himself says) nobody minimally informed (let alone supposed "intelligence experts") should have been fooled by his blatant Fake News, none of the journalists who lied to the public about these WikiLeaks documents have even once acknowledged what they did.

Their Fake News tweets - warning people to view the WikiLeaks documents as fake - remain posted, with no subsequent retraction or acknowledgment of the falsehoods that they spread about the WikiLeaks archive. That includes MSNBC segments that spread this accusation.

Indeed, not only should it have been blatantly obvious that Chacon's anonymously posted document did not impugn the WikiLeaks archive, but also the slightest research would have revealed that the person who manufactured the forgery was a Clinton supporter , not a "Trumpist" or a Kremlin operative. Indeed, one of the Clinton-criticizing journalists who Chacon tried to trick, Michael Tracey, said exactly this at the time . But because his facts contradicted the MSNBC/Newsweek political agenda, they were ignored in favor of the lie that the WikiLeaks archive had been compromised and doctored:

FYI: one of the accounts ( @OmnivoreBlog ) that circulated a fake HRC speech transcript is a pro-Clinton troll spreading disinformation. pic.twitter.com/HZ3UBm9pk8

- Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 11, 2016

I will be shocked if any of them now acknowledge this even with Chacon's confession. That's because MSNBC has repeatedly proven that it tolerates Fake News and outright lies from its personalities as long as those lies are in service of the right candidate (when Democrats were smearing Jill Stein as a Kremlin stooge , Reid's program aired Nance's lie to MSNBC viewers that Stein had previously hosted her own show on RT: an utter fabrication that MSNBC, to this day, has never corrected or even acknowledged despite multiple requests from FAIR ).

On Reid's show, Malcolm Nance falsely claimed Jill Stein hosted an RT show, & they just refuse to correct/retract it. How is that allowed? https://t.co/FKb5J0HDKF

- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 19, 2016

Every day, literally, you can turn on MSNBC and hear various people so righteously lamenting the spread of "Fake News." Yet MSNBC itself not only spreads Fake News but refuses to correct it when it is exposed. How do they have any credibility to denounce Fake News? They do not.

That journalists and "experts" outright lied to the public this way in order to help their favorite candidate is obviously dangerous. This was most powerfully pointed out - ironically - by Marty Baron, executive editor of the Washington Post, who told the New York Times's Jim Rutenberg : "If you have a society where people can't agree on basic facts, how do you have a functioning democracy?"

Exactly: If you have prominent journalists telling the public to trust an anonymous group with a false McCarthyite blacklist, or telling it to ignore informative documents on the grounds that they are fake when there is zero reason to believe that they are fake, that is a direct threat to democracy. In the case of the Podesta emails, these lies were perpetrated by the very factions that have taken to most loudly victimizing themselves over the spread of Fake News.

But the problem here goes way beyond mere hypocrisy. Complaints about Fake News are typically accompanied by calls for "solutions" that involve censorship and suppression, either by the government or tech giants such as Facebook. But until there is a clear definition of "Fake News," and until it's recognized that Fake News is being aggressively spread by the very people most loudly complaining about it, the dangers posed by these solutions will be at least as great as the problem itself.

Note: The article was lightly edited to reflect the correct date of the Daily Beast article: November 21.

The views expressed in this article are the author's own and do not necessarily reflect Information Clearing House editorial policy.

[Jun 17, 2017] The higher the stakes for the elite, the more you can be certain the mainstream news lie about and reports fake news produced by the goverment fakers

www.moonofalabama.org

According to Fox News and NBC, China flew such bomber on November 25 (Dec 5, 6 reps above), well BEFORE the Trump phone call.

It also flew the bombers AFTER (Dec 9 rep) the Trump's phone call with the Taiwanese government. Indeed it regularly flies these bombers.

The sightseeing flight had thereby nothing at all to do with any Trump call. Correlating the call with those flights is bogus spin.

The headlines above are all nonsense. There is nothing "nuclear" and the flights of outdated bombers have nothing to do with any Trump call to wherever. They are #fakenews just as most of the other news we get is:

News is fake. The higher the stakes for the ruling classes, the more you can be certain the mainstream news about it will be as fake as fuck and conversely, reports deemed fake by those same fakers should be duly considered on their merits.

[Jun 17, 2017] The higher the stakes for the elite, the more you can be certain the mainstream news lie about and conversely, reports deemed fake by those same fakers should be duly considered on their merits.

www.moonofalabama.org

According to Fox News and NBC, China flew such bomber on November 25 (Dec 5, 6 reps above), well BEFORE the Trump phone call. It also flew the bombers AFTER (Dec 9 rep) the Trump's phone call with the Taiwanese government. Indeed it regularly flies these bombers. The sightseeing flight had thereby nothing at all to do with any Trump call. Correlating the call with those flights is bogus spin.

The headlines above are all nonsense. There is nothing "nuclear" and the flights of outdated bombers have nothing to do with any Trump call to wherever. They are #fakenews just as most of the other news we get is:

News is fake. The higher the stakes for the ruling classes, the more you can be certain the mainstream news about it will be as fake as fuck and conversely, reports deemed fake by those same fakers should be duly considered on their merits.

[Jun 17, 2017] Clappers Unhinged Russia-Bashing by David Marks

Notable quotes:
"... That Clapper would offer such a one-sided account of the reasons behind the worsening antagonisms and the emerging arms race – leaving out the fact that the United States, despite its own budgetary and economic problems, spends about ten times more on its military than Russia does – suggests that he is not an objective witness on anything regarding Russia. ..."
"... Clapper's shrill voice confirms his cold-warrior perspective, caught in the past but applying his thinking to the present, still believing that he has a special understanding of America's interests and is protecting them. Clearly, the Russians have been at the center of Clapper's frustrations for many years and Russia-gate just gives him the opportunity to rekindle anti-Moscow hysteria. ..."
"... super-patriot ..."
"... Clapper has since been a star congressional witness pushing Russia-gate and his confidence in Putin's guilt. But Clapper did acknowledge that the Jan. 6 report – besides containing no actual evidence – was prepared by "handpicked" analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, not from a consensus of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies as had been widely reported. ..."
"... So, as we listen to the debate on Russia-gate, Clapper and his fellow national-security-state representatives are revealing not just their political perspectives but deeply disturbed minds. Those who angrily criticize the Russians are completely blind to their own participation in a similar destructive process. They perceive themselves as the cure when they are a primary cause of the illness they denounce. ..."
"... Undiscovered Self ..."
"... then the works of historians should be filed under non-fiction ..."
"... In reaching that harsh judgment, Clapper ignored the U.S. government's own role in the mounting tensions – ..."
"... no way to bold that statement ..."
Jun 15, 2017 | consortiumnews.com
Exclusive: Russia-gate's credibility rests heavily on ex-Director of National Intelligence Clapper who oversaw a "trust us" report, but a recent speech shows Clapper to be unhinged about Russia, as David Marks describes.

Whatever the ultimate truth about the murky Russia-gate affair, it appears that it is Donald Trump's willingness to consider friendship and cooperation with the Russians that is driving this emotional debate.

For some of the older U.S. intelligence and military officers, there appears to be a residual distrust and fear of Moscow, a hangover from the Cold War now transferred, perhaps almost subliminally, into the New Cold War and a sense that Russia is America's eternal enemy.

James Clapper, President Obama's last Director of National Intelligence, is a fascinating example of how this antagonism toward Russia never seems to change, as he revealed in a June 7 speech to the Australian National Press Club.

"The Russians are not our friends; they (Putin specifically), are avowedly opposed to our democracy and values, and see us as the cause of all their frustrations," Clapper declared.

In reaching that harsh judgment, Clapper ignored the U.S. government's own role in the mounting tensions – expanding NATO to Russia's borders, renouncing the Anti-Ballistic Missile Treaty, and locating new missile bases in Eastern Europe. Instead, Clapper blamed the renewed arms race and resulting tensions on the Russians:

"The Russians are embarked on a very aggressive and disturbing program to modernize their strategic forces - notably their submarine and land-based nuclear forces. They have also made big investments in their counter-space capabilities. They do all this - despite their economic challenges - with only one adversary in mind: the United States. And, just for good measure, they are also in active violation of the Intermediate-Range Nuclear Forces treaty."

That Clapper would offer such a one-sided account of the reasons behind the worsening antagonisms and the emerging arms race – leaving out the fact that the United States, despite its own budgetary and economic problems, spends about ten times more on its military than Russia does – suggests that he is not an objective witness on anything regarding Russia.

A Shrill Voice

Clapper's shrill voice confirms his cold-warrior perspective, caught in the past but applying his thinking to the present, still believing that he has a special understanding of America's interests and is protecting them. Clearly, the Russians have been at the center of Clapper's frustrations for many years and Russia-gate just gives him the opportunity to rekindle anti-Moscow hysteria.

Clapper is repeating with new gusto what he has sold to recent presidents, Republicans and Democrats, for decades. His entire attack on Trump beats the drum of Russian deviousness. Yet, Clapper ignores the context of the Russians actions.

Time magazine cover recounting how the U.S. enabled Boris Yeltsin's reelection as Russian president in 1996.

Way ahead of the Russians, the U.S. intelligence community mastered computer hacking and mounted the first known software attack on a country's strategic infrastructure by – along with Israel – unleashing the Stuxnet cyber-attack against Iranian centrifuges. U.S. intelligence also has a long record of subverting elections and toppling elected leaders, both before and since the computer age.

But Clapper only sees evil in Russia, even during the 1990s when the U.S. government advisers and American political operatives were propping up President Boris Yeltsin amid the rapacious privatizing of Russia's industries and resources, which made Russian oligarchs and their U.S. advisers very rich.

Clapper said, "Interestingly, every one of the non-acting Prime Ministers of Russia since 1992 has come from one of two domains: the oil and gas sector, or the security services. To put this in perspective, and as I have pointed out to U.S. audiences, suppose the last ten presidents of the U.S. were either CIA officers, or the Chairman of Exxon-Mobil. I think this gives you some insight into the dominant mind-set of the Russian government."

With such remarks, Clapper acts as if he doesn't know much about recent U.S. government staffing, which has been dominated by people with backgrounds in the oil industry, leading Wall Street banks, and the intelligence community. Indeed, the man who brought Clapper from Air Force intelligence into the White House was President George H.W. Bush, former director of the CIA and an oil company executive.

Bush's son, George W., also came from the oil industry, as did his Vice President Dick Cheney. Meanwhile, both Republican and Democratic administrations have filled senior economic policy positions from the ranks of Goldman Sachs and other Wall Street investment banks. And the U.S. intelligence community has wielded broad power over the few recent U.S. presidents, such as Barack Obama, who came into the White House with more limited government and private-sector experience.

Clapper, having been a senior executive for Booz Allen Hamilton, knows full well that giant intelligence contractors have a powerful influence in how they serve U.S. interests with an eye to profiteering from conflict. And along with Clapper, other White House advisers drift between intelligence contractors and government.

It's also true that a U.S. president doesn't need to have previous employment within the oil sector to do its bidding. Considering the influence of the millions spent on campaign donations and lobbying by the industry, the U.S. government is easily wed to oil and gas – as well as to the military and intelligence complex – at least as much as the Russian government. Indeed, the current Secretary of State, Rex Tillerson, was the Chairman and CEO of Exxon Mobil.

Classic Projection

Clapper's perception of the Russians as evil for allegedly practicing the same sins as the U.S. government exemplifies classic projection of the highest order.

Russian President Vladimir Putin, following his address to the UN General Assembly on Sept. 28, 2015. (UN Photo)

In case after case, Clapper justifies painting darkness onto the Russians with half the data, while ignoring the information that cancels out his perspective. Perhaps he is representative of many in Washington who have lost their rationality and morality in defense of the greatness of the United States. His ethics become situational.

As Director of National Intelligence, Clapper lied to Congress in 2013 about the National Security Agency's massive gathering of private data from Americans. Clapper's deception gave the final push to Edward Snowden who revealed the truth about NSA surveillance.

Subsequently, Clapper led the charge against Snowden, while excusing his own false congressional testimony by saying, "I responded in what I thought was the most truthful, or least untruthful, manner."

Despite this history, the U.S. mainstream media has treated Clapper as a great truth-teller as he adds ever more fuel to the Russia-gate fires. From his Australian speech, most news outlets highlighted his best news-bite, when he declared: "Watergate pales, really, in my view compared to what we're confronting now."

Like other powerful government officials, Clapper may think it is his duty to a higher cause that allows him to defy the truth and transcend the law, a classic symptom of the super-patriot who thinks he knows best what's good for America, a dangerous creature that the U.S. government seems to produce in quantity.

In that sense, Clapper has played a central role in Russia-gate. He was the official who oversaw the key Jan. 6 report on alleged Russian interference in the 2016 election. After promising much public evidence, he released a report that amounted to "trust us."

Clapper has since been a star congressional witness pushing Russia-gate and his confidence in Putin's guilt. But Clapper did acknowledge that the Jan. 6 report – besides containing no actual evidence – was prepared by "handpicked" analysts from the CIA, NSA and FBI, not from a consensus of all 17 U.S. intelligence agencies as had been widely reported.

So, as we listen to the debate on Russia-gate, Clapper and his fellow national-security-state representatives are revealing not just their political perspectives but deeply disturbed minds. Those who angrily criticize the Russians are completely blind to their own participation in a similar destructive process. They perceive themselves as the cure when they are a primary cause of the illness they denounce.

In 1956, in the Undiscovered Self , the eminent psychiatrist Carl Jung wrote about the state of the human mind and how it affected the political world: "And just as the typical neurotic is unconscious of his shadow side, so the normal individual, like the neurotic, sees his shadow in his neighbor or in the man beyond the great divide. It has even become a political and social duty to apostrophize the capitalism of one and the communism of the other as the very devil, so to fascinate the outward eye and prevent it from looking at the individual life within.

"We are again living in an age filled with apocalyptic images of universal destruction. What is the significance of that split, symbolized by the Iron Curtain, which divides humanity into two halves? What will become of our civilization and man himself, if the hydrogen bombs begin to go off, or if the spiritual and moral darkness of State absolutism should spread?"

Jung's words still ring with foreboding truth.

David Marks is a veteran documentary filmmaker and investigative reporter. His work includes films for the BBC and PBS, including Nazi Gold, on the role of Switzerland in WWII and biographies of Jimi Hendrix and Frank Sinatra.

mike k , June 15, 2017 at 9:38 pm

Once you clear away the cobwebs of cultural conditioning, the truth of many things becomes obvious. One does not need the authority of a Carl Jung or anyone to see what is right in front of your eyes. The amazing thing is that people can be so easily deluded to ignore the reality all around them. One of the purposes of meditation in the spiritual traditions of mankind is to clear a space in one's mind that is fresh and unconditioned. Without this cleansing of the consciousness, only those things one's conditioning permits can be seen.

Sillyme 2.0 , June 16, 2017 at 1:16 am

If ((("TPTB"))), even if they are only very temporary in the scheme of the time of the Universe, come here and read this, they are either too common-cored to understand the truth of it and change for the better or they are still smart enough to understand it and are laughing all the way to the temporary bank.
If you understand reincarnation you understand that your future personalities will be in-line with the immutable Universal laws of Consciousness-Evolution and Cause & Effect and the next one, at the least, won't be so easy and pretty for you, in view of the lesson that one just isn't learning at a normal Universal standard; the laws of the Universe simply don't allow for degradation to continue unabated so that evolution can take place in the allotted time, it will provide the necessary wake-up call in all it's required force.
Even though all of us who have made it here to read the great articles on this website know, deep down inside, that we are all equal in the grand scheme of all good thoughts, feelings and actions, we know that we are just that little bit ahead of the curve and it would behoove us to accept our and their respective positions in the curve and help them out, come what may.
Hoota Thunk I'd see you around these parts. ;->

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 5:38 am

These deviants in "intelligence" should have been brought under control long before they killed Kennedy, but they weren't. They've been allowed to self select themselves, with each generation of sociopaths cultivating an even more deranged next generation. I guess that Hoover had so much dirt on every pol ever elected to high office that few had the guts to challenge these most dangerous menaces to our freedoms and democracy. Even if a courageous president could chop off the "heads" of these traitorous agencies their conditioned subordinates would be hard to root out. You read of rumors, though I've seen no evidence but ambiguous grainy photos, that these maniacs actually practice satanic blood rituals and the like. I prefer not to believe such things, but what kind of perverted thinking motivates the very damaging policies driven by these agencies, which bring us to the brink of nuclear war for no discernible reason. How is it allowed for them to blackmail public figures like MLK, threatening to ruin his marriage and destroy his reputation unless he commits suicide? These are not "good" virtuous men. They are not protecting or upholding "American" values. They are sick control freaks.

Bill Bodden , June 15, 2017 at 9:48 pm

If people like James Clapper and their statements become sources for American history in the early 21st Century, then the works of historians should be filed under non-fiction.

The decadence of Washington is obvious when a senate intelligence (?) committee invites Clapper to give evidence after his blatant lie about torture to a former convocation of the committee. The United States senate is the world's greatest deliberative body? What a crock of shit!! Who was the idiot who gave the first utterance to that meretricious nonsense?

Bill Bodden , June 15, 2017 at 9:50 pm

then the works of historians should be filed under non-fiction

Ooops: That should be "under fiction."

Gregory Herr , June 15, 2017 at 11:13 pm

And only a blatant liar could characterize his lying as speaking in "the most truthful, or least untruthful" manner.

Skip Scott , June 16, 2017 at 9:40 am

I was absolutely amazed when I heard that. What kind of BS does he expect the world to fall for? It really shows his utter arrogance and distain for us "proles". His not being arrested for lying to Congress and the American people shows the ridiculousness of believing there is "equal justice for all" in the USA.

Pete , June 16, 2017 at 6:52 am

Bill, reading your comment, I am reminded of a similar assessment given Washington and it's august Senate by British MP George Galloway, during a Senate sub-committee hearing in May 2005, on his 'alleged' receipt of bribe monies from Iraq's Saddam Hussein. His absolutely devastating verbal attack upon the committee, chaired by Sen. N. Coleman, is a must view for those who haven't seen it online.

Bill Bodden , June 15, 2017 at 10:04 pm

In reaching that harsh judgment, Clapper ignored the U.S. government's own role in the mounting tensions –

Gregory Barrett has an interesting recap of U.S. and Russian histories: "The Russians Didn't Do It" – https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/15/the-russians-didnt-do-it/

Helen Marshall , June 17, 2017 at 12:19 pm

When I posted this on Facebook, a "liberal" friend made several angy comments about EVIL Russia and then accused me of being a traitor for "defending a sworn enemy of our country."

In today's climate that kind of charge is not trivial. Watch out when you share it!

Jessica K , June 15, 2017 at 11:02 pm

Great article by Gregory Barrett from Counterpunch, thanks, Bill. Worth sending around. Send a pile of copies to Clapper. That guy is either sick or evil, maybe both. Couldn't he disappear or something? "Clap-on, clap-off, it's the Clapper!" (Preferably "clap-off".) Maybe too much Booz he's been imbibing.

Gary Hare , June 15, 2017 at 11:19 pm

I wouldn't single Clapper out. The entire Washington establishment, and Mainstream Media, appear unhinged, deranged, absolutely stupid. That is unless you consider why they are this way. Are they not promoting the need for more military spending, about the only thing in which the US leads the World these days. Does this not make them feel alpha, tough, patriotic and falsely proud. Classic self-delusion. Or is it cunning propaganda?
What bothers me just as much, is that Clapper's speech was widely reported here in Australia, without a single word of criticism from Australian politicians or the media. However low the US stoops, we seem to get right down there with them.
I watched on YouTube a segment on Colbert interviewing (there must be a better word to describe this fiasco) Oliver Stone. Colbert was infantile. The audience reminiscent of a cheer squad for a college football game. No-one was interested in what Stone had to say. Too few people realise how dangerous this empty-headed jingoism is.

Sillyme 2.0 , June 16, 2017 at 1:45 am

G'Day Gary,
I think it is SBS that is airing The Putin Interviews starting either Sunday or Monday night, depending on your region.
Happy viewing and ammo for counter-attacks on stupidity!
airdates.tv at last resort in the future
Hoota Thunk.

Craig Watson , June 16, 2017 at 7:58 am

All of Stone's Putin interviews were published for everyone to watch on Information Clearinghouse yesterday:

http://www.informationclearinghouse.info/47246.htm .

You don't need cable TV to see them now.

Skip Scott , June 16, 2017 at 9:43 am

Wow. Thanks for that. I really need to send ICH some money.

john wilson , June 16, 2017 at 5:13 am

Obviously, Garry, they are not unhinged they are simply looking after their own interests. The removal of Trump is essential to their plans for some kind of fight with Russia, so the rubbish about Russia gate and anything else is of course, pure lies and make believe. They all wanted Hillary who was a proven war monger and who they could manipulate to do their bidding. Had she won there would probably be some kind of open conflict in Syria with the USA, Russia and Iran bu now. War makes money so any one who has the temerity to suggest peace, is a threat and has to be got rid of.

Jessica K , June 15, 2017 at 11:38 pm

Good observations, Gary. Unfortunately, Clapper has played a large role in the development of this Russiagate fiasco, as former head of the CIA and overseeing of the phony documents that allegedly pointed to "Russian hacking" in the election. You are right that the whole bunch of the MIC bureaucrats depend on ginning up for war. And we had a conversation on CN a couple of days ago about Colbert, who is hugely overpaid for being nothing more than snide and smarmy. That's what passes for entertainment nowadays. Google today shows all the vicious and nasty published articles about the Putin interviews, such as the tabloids Daily Mail, Daily Star, also The Guardian, and no doubt there are other polemics. Hard to contemplate that this is the 21st century when human development was supposed to be advancing due to all the amazing technology, when actually it is regressing.

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 5:22 am

Clapper has been one of the guys charged with creating Karl Rove's "new realities." He thinks he's a god.

Skip Scott , June 16, 2017 at 9:45 am

So far he seems to be getting away with it.

Gregory Herr , June 15, 2017 at 11:48 pm

"Thursday's appearance by fired FBI Director James Comey before the Senate Intelligence Committee has raised the anti-Russian hysteria in the US media to a new level. The former head of the US political police denounced supposed Russian interference in the US elections as a dire threat to American democracy. "They're going to come for whatever party they choose to try and work on behalf of," he warned. "And they will be back they are coming for America."
None of the capitalist politicians who questioned him challenged the premise that Russia was the principal enemy of the United States, or that Russian hacking was a significant threat to the US electoral system. None of them suggested that the billions funneled into the US elections by Wall Street interests were a far greater threat to the democratic rights of the American people .

the political issues in the anti-Russian campaign, which represents an effort by the most powerful sections of the military-intelligence apparatus, backed by the Democratic Party and the bulk of the corporate media, to force the Trump White House to adhere to the foreign policy offensive against Moscow embarked on during the second term of the Obama administration, particularly since the 2014 US-backed ultra-right coup in Ukraine.
Those factions of the ruling class and intelligence agencies leading the anti-Russia campaign are particularly incensed that Russian intervention in Syria stymied plans to escalate the proxy civil war in that country into a full-fledged regime-change operation. They want to see Assad in Syria meet the same fate as Gaddafi in Libya and Saddam Hussein in Iraq. Their fanatical hatred of Putin indicates that they have similar ambitions in mind for the Russian president.
The entire framework of the anti-Russian campaign is fraudulent. The military-intelligence agencies, the Democratic Party and the media are following a well-established pattern of manufacturing phony scandals, previously a specialty of the Republican right:

Of what does the "undermining" of US democracy by alleged Russian hacking consist? No vote totals were altered. No ballots were discarded, as in Florida in 2000 when the antidemocratic campaign was spearheaded by the US Supreme Court. Instead, truthful information was supplied anonymously to WikiLeaks, which published the material, showing that the Democratic National Committee had worked to sabotage the campaign of Bernie Sanders, and that Hillary Clinton had cozied up to Wall Street audiences and reassured them that a new Clinton administration would be in the pocket of the big financial interests

Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because she ran as the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus and made no appeal to working-class discontent. This was after eight years during which Obama had intensified the economic stagnation, wage cutting and austerity that had been going on for decades, while overseeing a further growth in social inequality

[The Democrats] have chosen to attack Trump, the most right-wing president in US history, from the right, denouncing him as insufficiently committed to a military confrontation with Russia."

https://counterinformation.wordpress.com/2017/06/13/the-russians-are-coming-the-russians-are-coming/

george Archers , June 17, 2017 at 7:51 am

Excuses. "Hillary Clinton lost the 2016 election because she ran as the candidate of Wall Street and the military-intelligence apparatus and made no appeal to working-class discontent." pure garbage
Listen folks,Both parties take turns every 8 years like clock work–except one term Jimmy Carter who p!ssed off Israel firsters. Hillary was in it for the election donations collected.

, June 15, 2017 at 11:50 pm

Thank you for your thoughtful analysis, speaking truth to power Mr Marks, alarming how democracies are so chaotic?

The deliberations of the Constitutional Convention of 1787 were held in strict secrecy. Consequently, anxious citizens gathered outside Independence Hall when the proceedings ended in order to learn what had been produced behind closed doors. The answer was provided immediately. A Mrs. Powel of Philadelphia asked Benjamin Franklin, "Well, Doctor, what have we got, a republic or a monarchy?" With no hesitation whatsoever, Franklin responded, "A republic, if you can keep it."

Super patriots defying truth and transcending laws, his ethics becoming situational, which checks and balances are implemented to reign in the retired general?

Cal , June 16, 2017 at 12:41 am

Remember the neos and zios "Project for the New American Century that preceded the Iraq war?

Well Clapper is with the same group-except they have a new name now still lying and lobbying for the US to control the universe

Center for a New American Security

https://www.cnas.org/publications/reports/extending-american-power-strategies-to-expand-u-s-engagement-in-a-competitive-world-order

irina , June 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

Clapper said something so astounding on 'Meet the Press' on May 28th that I found the transcript and printed it out.

In the context of Jared Kushner meeting with Sergei Kislyak, Clapper said "I will tell you that my dashboard warning
light was clearly on and I think that was the case with all of us in the intelligence community, very concerned about
the nature of these approaches to the Russians. If you put that in context with everything else we knew the Russians
were doing to interfere with the election. And just the historical practices of the Russians, who (are) typically, ALMOST
GENETICALLY DRIVEN TO CO-OPT, PENETRATE, GAIN FAVOR, WHATEVER, which is a typical Russian technique.
So we were concerned."

(Apologies for caps, no way to bold that statement and it is an extremely scary and revealing phrase.)

Chuck Todd ignored Clapper's "genetically driven" diatribe and soldiered on, reinforcing 'the Russians did it' meme.

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

That was quite a racist statement, was it not? If he had applied the remarks to any other distinct group of people Chuck Todd would have gone ballistic, playing the race card for all it's worth in the grand American tradition.

Bill Bodden , June 16, 2017 at 11:38 am

no way to bold that statement

There is. At the beginning of the text to be set in bold, type the word "strong" inside . At the end type "/strong" inside but not the quotation marks shown in this example.

Bill Bodden , June 16, 2017 at 11:46 am

Oops: After "inside" above there should have been a less-than sign ""

Joe Tedesky , June 16, 2017 at 12:59 am

The profits of War drive people like Clapper to do some hideous and unquestionable things. The beast they feed is the same beast Rumsfeld gave a speech about on 9/10/01 where he sighted the Pentagon not being able to account for 2.5 trillion dollars. If you recall last summer the DOD year ending June 2016 sighted another missing 6.5 trillion dollars this time tripling the 2001 unaccountability. This is a known unaccountability of 9 trillion dollars by the Defense Department so far this 21st Century that no one is even talking about. When a nation can spill this much coffee and not worry about it, then you know that the people spending this nations well earned capital aren't spending their own money, but they no doubt are profiting from all this saber rattling and war. Imagine the defense budgets with Russia in it's crosshairs.

http://www.dodig.mil/pubs/documents/DODIG-2016-113.pdf

Gregory Herr , June 16, 2017 at 5:36 am

Joe, have you seen this? https://wikispooks.com/wiki/Office_of_Naval_Intelligence

"Also killed in the Pentagon on 9/11 were a large number of budget analysts and accountants who may have been looking into the $2.3 trillion of unaccounted military spending that Donald Rumsfeld announced on Sept 10th, 2001."[

Joe Tedesky , June 16, 2017 at 7:20 am

This is something to new to me, but when it comes to 911 I have seen other similar things like it, like building #7. Nice of you Gregory to share this with me, thanks.

When it comes to 911, there are so many questions that I just wish there were somebody who could answer them. Yet, questioning any of the oddities regarding the 911 Attack will get you a 'tinfoil hat' since this is what we Americans do to each other these days over things such as assassinations or other unexplained tragedies. Like having doubts over Russia-Gate will deem you being a Trump Supporter or Putin Apologize.

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

Since you bring up 9-11 and the inconsistencies in its narrative, I just want to ask the question: Why didn't that high rise tower in London collapse under its own weight like the twin towers in NYC, especially since the fire appeared to be so much more intense? It wasn't just a localised burn, the entire structure was engulfed in flames. And, no, rebar-strengthened concrete is not more resistant than steel girders to damage from high temperatures. Concrete will more likely crack than steel girders will melt in a fire. I look for the structural engineers to chime in on this one.

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm

My dad always told me: "Never be above the third floor in an apartment building or a hotel. The smoke will get you before the fire does." Good advice. A fire fighter's worst nightmare, a hi-rise fire. As the London fire points out, they can be death traps.

Yeah, buildings don't just fall down. 9/11 was most definitely a controlled demolition, and if a proper investigation were conducted, "controlled demolition" would scream out at everyone with half a brain.

If you haven't seen this half-hour video, give it a watch. It's one of my favorites because the guy is a physicist/mathematician who used to work for N.I.S.T. He had never before questioned the findings, at least until August of 2016 when he started looking at it. He couldn't believe what he found.

Especially watch at 18:03 when he starts talking about the collapse. "Asymmetric damage does not lead to symmetric collapse. It's very difficult to get something to collapse symmetrically because it is the law of physics that things tend towards chaos. Collapsing symmetrically represents order, very strict order. It is not the nature of physics to gravitate towards order for no reason."

And:

"Huge chunks of steel perimeter beams flying hundreds of feet off to the side. Steel does not fly off to the side, hundreds of feet, due to gravity. Gravity works vertically, not laterally. There has to be a FORCE there pushing it to the side, otherwise it would just fall down to the ground. It would be like dropping a ball out of a window. It would just fall straight down."

The video is called "Former NIST Employee Speaks Out On World Trade Centre Towers Collapse Investigation".

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Here's the link:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RJ_jQgIEnI8

Gregory Herr , June 16, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Other examples: http://911research.wtc7.net/wtc/analysis/compare/fires.html

Joe Tedesky , June 16, 2017 at 9:50 pm

Honestly Realist I thought the same thing when I saw that high rise ablaze. I even made mention of it to my wife, commenting to how that is the way a high rise burns, not like 911. Now, Realist how many others had the same thought, as you and I.

Realist , June 17, 2017 at 2:27 am

Quite a powerful video by that analyst from Wisconsin, backwardsevolution.
I have read analyses by physicists and engineers of the collapses, mostly through PCR's website, but I had not seen that video with all the slo-mo shots parallel to computer models. Why is that production never shown on American television? Why was NIST so remiss in its analysis, as the narrator points out? Of course, we know the answers to both questions. The truth will never be admitted by any authorities in our life times, or even in our children's life times. Maybe in 50 years when all the blame can be placed on corpses that can't protest it will be. Even that will be done to usher in some new world order as the game never changes.

Sam F , June 17, 2017 at 7:14 am

Not a structural engineer but with knowledge and experience there. I have no prejudice as to motives and means of the WTC collapse. The WTC towers were uniformly supported by steel columns and one floor was subject to broadly distributed intense aviation fuel fire exceeding their melting point, so that floor was uniformly weakened.

Large steel columns are severely weakened by several minutes of intense petroleum fire, as I have observed myself. When a single failure occurs, adjacent components are subjected to the additional loads which is normally within their capacities by design. When those are also much weakened they too will fail, subjecting adjacent components to even greater overloads, etc. This is called "progressive failure." So filling an entire steel-supported floor with burning aircraft fuel would soon cause the entire floor to collapse in a rapid side-to-side progressive failure.

Because the floors are thin flat sections, not tall compared with their width, a quick lateral failure across the whole floor would cause the entire structure above to fall quite vertically until it hit the floor below. This in turn would severely overload all columns below that, causing the entire structure below to collapse. Because the entire support structure was uniform and was uniformly greatly overloaded, a near-vertical collapse is not surprising.

Smaller structures are usually not built that way; they have strong outer walls and a few inner "bearing walls." When part of the structure collapses, often some of the bearing walls collapse but others remain standing, so that forces on the collapsing structure are asymmetrical and it falls partly to the sides.

As to reinforced concrete columns (assuming as you suggest that these were used in the London fire), it is the concrete that provides most of the vertical support, and it does insulate the steel reinforcement rods, which mainly provide tension strength against bending loads (wind and earthquakes). The horizontal bars hold the concrete together against cracking loads during its curing and later, when it often has many small cracks. So it is not surprising that such a structure survives a fire sufficient to burn the combustibles normally inside, without a broad progressive failure.

Also it was probably not subjected to such a large. intense, and broadly-distributed fuel fire.

But of course it was defective in safety systems for a high-rise structure, and this is not permitted in the US or under the International Building Code so far as I know. It should have had smoke detectors, fireproof unit doors and hallways, sprinklers to suppress non-petroleum fires, non-combustible materials on all interior surfaces, and at least two "separate and independent" fireproof exit stairways. Presumably investigation will reveal the deficiencies in its construction, maintenance, and enforcement practices, if not in the building code itself.

Sam F , June 17, 2017 at 7:40 am

It is not necessary to remind me that there are other explanations and perhaps additional causes of the WTC fire, and that Bldg 7 apparently had intelligence offices with provision for a deliberate large fire that occurred while WTC was burning. I do not know what happened there.

I remain skeptical that persons so long and carefully prepared to attack WTC by aircraft would have prepared a distinct method of attack requiring ability to plant explosives, etc. It is not impossible but why do both? They would probably have attacked other structures with the aircraft. Also, if another attack on the same structures was planned, there is no obvious reason to wait until after the aircraft attacks to use the other method. Also, the plane that did not hit any buildings did not correspond to any structure simultaneously destroyed by other means.

So if there was another demolition means used simultaneously, we need evidence of that, and I have seen no convincing photos or reports of explosive residues. I have already looked at videos that do not in fact show this, but merely events not inconsistent with the aircraft-only model.

Sam F , June 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

I accept that there were motives for an attack like 911, and those parties may have been involved in the aircraft attack. But without direct evidence, our efforts are better spent investigating the sources of the aircraft attack.

We know that AlQaeda did the attack, that KSA was fairly directly involved, that AlQaeda was grown by US warmongers attacking the USSR in Afghanistan, and that US interests wanted another Pearl Harbor. That says a lot, and suggests that there is much more to be learned about US/KSA/Israel involvement that we may hope will be exposed.

backwardsevolution , June 17, 2017 at 3:41 pm

Sam F – had Building No. 7 not come down in exactly the same manner as the other two, I might have bought (maybe) what you just said. A really big "maybe". I think the reason the scientists at N.I.S.T. did not extend their models out past the collapse initiation stage is because they KNEW they wouldn't be able to replicate the building coming down in its own footprint. As the fellow in the video said, there would have been chaos and the building would have deviated to one side. No way it would have come straight down.

Could be the reason they hit the buildings with the planes was precisely to provide the excuse of the "jet fuel". "Oh, yes, it was the heat from the jet fuel. Wrap it up, boys, no more questions." I wonder whether that other plane was supposed to have hit Building No. 7, but didn't make it there. "Whoops, how do we explain this? Oh, who cares, just say the fire did it. Who is going to know the difference?"

I'm not buying any of it. Three huge buildings ALL come down on their own footprint? Yeah, right.

Sam F , June 17, 2017 at 4:04 pm

I agree, b-e, the Bldg 7 collapse is very strange and suspect; and I apologize to others for the long posts above, and do not object to anyone else's views on this.

1. The lowest floors of Bldg 7 are not shown in any of the videos, only floors above maybe floor 3 or 6, none of which show any damage at the time that it collapsed. So the damage must have been to lower floors.
2. It also fell quite vertically, which is odd because that implies near-simultaneous damage across an entire floor, while the only causes related to WTC N&S would be asymmetrical debris impacts from their prior collapses.
3. There were reports of a US intelligence agency office there, equipped with devices to burn that structure if security required. I do not know about this.

But I today reviewed many videos of the WTC collapses, and found nothing in the WTC N & S tower collapses that suggests controlled explosions; they appear to have only aircraft damage:

4. Both collapsed first at the lowest level of the burning sections, where the aircraft and fuel hit.
5. The structure above fell almost vertically (up to 20 degree tilt in the first collapse) with chunks and dust thrown outward from the collapsing sections only.
6. No damage is seen to lower sections until the upper structure hits them on the way down. That is conclusive.
7. It would be very difficult to install and detonate explosives progressively just below the falling structure as it comes down just to create that appearance, and would use many times the explosives necessary to do that to a single lower floor.
8. So the only way planted explosives could have been significant would be if the lowest burning floor had collapsed due to explosions instead of weakened columns. But the aircraft impact floor could not have been predicted so as to put explosives there, nor could such a system have been controlled with a high temperature fire burning so long on the same floor.
9. The temperature of a petroleum fire will collapse large steel columns in a few minutes. I saw the results when a fuel truck overturned and burned next to a very tall billboard (maybe ten floors high) supported by large steel columns near MIT in Cambridge in the 1970s (no casualties).
10. The planes probably had at least 10,000 gal of aircraft fuel in them: the wings are mostly fuel tanks; no doubt that has been estimated.
11. While interior materials also burn at temps higher than the melting point of steel, they wouldn't supply heat as fast as an intensive petroleum fire, likely not enough to prevent the rest of the steel cooling the heated portion.

Anyway, backwardsevolution is an interesting tag; I've wondered whether it warns of the peril of the fittest or survival of the least fit, both very apt in our era.

Gregory Herr , June 16, 2017 at 1:45 pm

Obviously a key to grasping 9/11 involves motive. The obvious things like expanding "security" budgets and "justifications" for war are easy. E.P. Heidner's "Collateral Damage" shows how more than two birds were killed with one stone .

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

Gregory – yep. So many lies, so many cover-ups. Divided States of Lies would be a better name. Thanks, Gregory.

Joe Tedesky , June 16, 2017 at 9:51 pm

I think we have seen the motive play out over these last 16 years .what do you think Gregory?

Gregory Herr , June 16, 2017 at 10:22 pm

To the hilt, Joe and tragically so for so many.

Gregory Herr , June 17, 2017 at 10:50 am

A good deal of aviation fuel was likely used up in the initial explosion. Once the remaining fuel burned up there would be no source other than office furnishings for fires. There was never any large, intense, or broadly distributed fuel fire associated with the WTC. If any temperature melting points for steel were achieved (dubious), it would have been of very short duration and isolated with respect to the entire structure. My God, even the core columns disappeared .which is certainly not consistent with the already fanciful progressive destruction at rates that suggest no resistance. "Cut" beams (promptly removed and shipped out) and nanothermite residue were in evidence.

Why do both?
The hijacker narrative is part of the setup to assign blame and is also connected to the Pentagon, not just the WTC. The "plane crashes", in and of themselves were not sufficient to bring down the towers. Motives to bring down the towers can be discerned.
The "parties involved", the "sources" of the attacks, certainly constitutes the crux of the matter. Let's not make assumptions about this. Evidence supporting the "official" narrative is thin to contrived to nonexistent.

Unless and until Mr. Parry publishes an article concerned with 9/11, this is my last comment on the subject here. Discussion about 9/11 gets to be endless and prompts all sorts of abuse. I trust the many capable people who read CN can research the matter to their own satisfaction (or dissatisfaction).

george Archers , June 17, 2017 at 7:57 am

Joe–that hush money 2.5 trillion dollars disappeared into Israel. Payment for Sept 11 2001 bombings

UIA , June 16, 2017 at 2:13 am

It might as well be $200 trillion, it's a fiction and a gov fiction at that. People are missing body parts for the big oil adventure in Iraq. All the busted out US towns need new filling stations and used car lots to boom. With bad sandwiches, gas and lottery computers we can have an economy again. Supermarket is a bust. People are dying for nothing who knows where. War on terror and new scams to expand rackets. Smedley Butler called it. System is unhinged. Don't sleep much. You can't afford it.

Make the coins with lead, so we can melt them down and make bullets to kill with to fight over what's left. Nothing is left now. News isn't fake, the money is.

mej , June 16, 2017 at 2:51 am

I think we will hear Clapper say, 10 years after today's kerfuffle is buried by the next scandal, "yes, I lied, but it was for a good reason!"

Reminds me of Pres.Saakashvili after his failed war in 2008 and all the hysterical noise about Russia starting the war in Georgia. That statement helped seal his fate as the soon-to-be ex-president of Georgia.

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 3:56 am

mej – you're right.

Wendi , June 16, 2017 at 3:20 am

Bring back Iron Curtain discussion. Ultimately, we see it is a Mirror. Whatever dirt we say of Russians shows in fact we're looking at ourselves.

Sillyme 2.0 , June 16, 2017 at 3:42 am

Let me put it another way;

We're not going to return kind for kind,
we're going to let you think about what it means to be a human being
in your own good time on your own good island, with good isolation from us.
Good luck .

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 5:19 am

Clapper is either thoroughly devious, or paranoid. In either case, any sensible president would discharge him from his office immediately.

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

Clapper resigned in November of 2016, his resignation took effect in January of 2017. Instead of being thoroughly discredited for lying to Congress, he's instead put on a pedestal and continually brought forward by the media as some sort of wise man.

He sits there, all calm, all knowing, a Wilford Brimley clone, and the public eat his words up. "This man is at the end of his career, so there's no way he would be lying to us." They don't realize grandpa-types can deceive too.

Yeah, I haven't figured him out yet, but I like your choices: either devious or paranoid. It's one or the other. Now he's off to pollute Australia.

"In June 2017 Clapper commenced an initial four-week term at the Australian National University (ANU) National Security College in Canberra that includes public lectures on key global and national security issues. Clapper was also expected to take part in the ANU Crawford Australian Leadership Forum, the nation's pre-eminent dialogue of academics, parliamentarians and business leaders.

In a speech at Australia's National Press Club in June, Clapper accused Trump of 'ignorance or disrespect', called the firing of FBI director James Comey 'inexcusable', and warned of an 'internal assault on our intuitions'."

The asylum has taken over.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 7:01 am

The secret police always gain a lot of power over time; now they are exercising their power in a big way. These are glory days for the spooks. From their secret lairs they are showing what they can do. Trump challenged them directly, as he did the media, both major political parties, and the MIC. These power centers cannot tolerate this, and are acting decisively to crush Trump. The Donald's electoral supporters are the only friends he has left, and these are a disorganized rabble, no match for the forces arrayed against them.

It looks like Donald's days in the spotlight are turning into a deer in the headlights moment. He just doesn't have the resources to withstand the shit storm he has provoked against his presidency.

Jessica K , June 16, 2017 at 8:16 am

Clapper's evil mendacity being permitted to be aired as fact is testimony to the nearly complete unhingement of a segment of the American population who have no rational understanding of what happened in this election. If the insanity unleashed by the loss of Madame Warmonger Clinton is not stopped, something very evil seems on the horizon. Russia has become the scapegoat for the madness unleashed in the US.

In an article this morning on Zero Hedge by Daniel Henninger titled "Political Disorder Syndrome: Refusal to Reason is the New Normal", the author reports that James Hodgkinson, the shooter of Steve Scalise and four others had tweeted before the incident: "Trump is a traitor. Trump has destroyed our democracy. It's time to destroy Trump." And a production to be staged in Central Park by New York Public Theater is planned for a production of "Julius Caesar" where Caesar is presented looking like Trump and will be pulled down from a podium by men in suits and assassinated by plunging knives.

This is beginning to look like a long, hot summer. The author of the article on Zero Hedge mentions that social media has become a marinade for psychological unhingement of much of the population, leading to "jacked-up emotional intensity". Is it possible this could happen simply because the Democrat presidential candidate lost? Or is there something else driving this insanity behind the scene? I was startled to see the number of vicious published articles about Oliver Stone's interviews with Vladimir Putin. Where's the curiosity, only knee-jerk reaction that Putin is a source of evil? The insanity, the sickness in America is becoming unnerving and I have a strange sense of foreboding.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 10:11 am

Rationality will be in short supply in the days ahead. To resist being sucked in by the waves of emotional madness will be important.

Pixy , June 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

As a Russian I should say I agree with this Clapper person actually. Consider what he says:

"Russia is America's enemy." – True. Russia has always stood on the way of any nation bent of world domination. Since the USA have embarked on that very mission, Russia IS their enemy.

"The Russians are avowedly opposed to our democracy and values." – Absolutely true! Russia does oppose to what passes for democracy in USA nowadays. And it opposes to your values, but not the officially declared ones, but those that you follow unofficially: blatant racism, dividing the world on übermensch and untermensch and treating nations and countries accordingly, hypocrisy and open lies, when children in Aleppo are very-very important and every tear they cry is the reason for the Hague tribunal, while children in Mosul are apparently non-existent, and no one gives two f..ks about carpet bombings, absence of safety corridors, suffering and deaths of civilians and general state of humanitarian crisis there. This is just one, most recent example.

USA is insulting the intelligence of the people all over the world (and I mean THE WORLD really, all 7 billion people, not just US satellites), if they think anybody but the american Joe buys into their transparent lies and double standards.

For as long as USA will continue on this trek, Russia will oppose you and remain your enemy. And we'll see how it turns out. So far the human history teaches us that every time the übermensch eventually break their necks and diminish.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 10:06 am

Yes. Good comment.

Linda Wood , June 16, 2017 at 10:12 am

Pixy,
Thank you for saying all of this.

MaDarby , June 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

""The Russians are not our friends; they, (Putin specifically) are avowedly opposed to our democracy and values, and see us as the cause of all their frustrations," Clapper declared."

I have a high regard for this site and this author but I want not so much to disagree with but to deepen the discussion.

Underlying Clapper's views are far far deeper forces than just being "stuck in Cold War mentality." Powerful forces in the US are gripped by extremist Calvinist ideology and have been sense the beginning of the US. These powerful forces supported the Nazi movement against the "godless" Soviet Union (to show just how extreme they are). Their view is that the US (them and their power) is the chosen instrument of god to rid the world of the evil devil (exceptionalism). This means taking over the world and dominating all non-Calvinest countries. It means the justification of the biblical slaughter of the innocents to appease a vengeful god and rid the world of evil. We see the results of this extremist religious ideology in the continuous slaughter the US has perpetrated against the rest of the world sense WWII.

Further, neutrality in the fight against the devil himself is unacceptable as immoral and those countries trying to be neutral are just as evil as the others.

All Clapper is doing is carrying on the fundamental views the US has held of itself as morally superior to the rest of the world the same view Roosevelt and Carter and Kennedy had much less Reagan or Lyndon Johnson.

Nothing will change until the iron grip of extremist Calvinism, which justifies the slaughter of millions, is no longer the fundamental guiding ideology.

You ask the fish abut the water and he responds – What water?

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 10:07 am

Interesting. There is much truth in what you say.

Linda Wood , June 16, 2017 at 10:10 am

You describe the mindset that is used so well. But the military industrialists who use it are doing it for the trillions of dollars in defense spending. People have killed for a lot less. Clapper represents an industry. He uses the mindset you describe to explain to us why we have to accept the pouring of more trillions into the black hole of war.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 10:17 am

Absolutely true Linda.

hyperbola , June 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

Calvinism is only half the story.

The Revolutionary Jew and His Impact on World History
http://www.culturewars.com/2003/RevolutionaryJew.html

. By 1649, when Charles I went on trial, the tradition of Judaizing which had been extirpated from Spain had struck deep roots in England. The English judaizers were known as Puritans, and Cromwell as their leader was as versed in using Biblical figures as a rationalization for his crimes as he was in using Jewish spies from Spain and Portugal as agents in his ongoing war with the Catholic powers of Europe. The Puritans in England could implement the idea of revolution so readily precisely because they were Judaizers, and that is so because revolution was at its root a Jewish idea. Based on Moses' deliverance of Israel as described in the book of Exodus, the revolutionary saw a small group of chosen "saints" leading a fallen world to liberation from political oppression. Revolution was nothing if not a secularization of ideas taken from the Bible, and as history progressed the secularization of the concept would progress as well. But the total secularization of the idea in the 17th century would have made the idea totally useless to the Puritan revolutionaries. Secularization in the 17th century was synonymous with Judaizing. It meant substituting the Old Testament for the New. The concept of revolution gained legitimacy in the eyes of the Puritans precisely because of its Jewish roots. Graetz sees the attraction which Jewish ideas held for English Puritans quite clearly. The Roundheads were not inspired by the example of the suffering Christ, nor were they inspired by the medieval saints who imitated him. They needed the example of the warriors of Israel to inspire them in their equally bellicose campaigns against the Irish and the Scotch, who became liable to extermination because the Puritans saw them as Canaanites. Similarly, the King, who was an unworthy leader, like Phineas, deserved to die at the hands of the righteous, who now acted without any external authority, but, as the Jews had, on direct orders from God. "The Christian Bible," Graetz tells us,

"with its monkish figures, its exorcists, its praying brethren, and pietistic saints, supplied no models for warriors contending with a faithless king, a false aristocracy and unholy priests. Only the great heroes of the Old Testament, with fear of God in their hearts and the sword in their hands, at once religious and national champions, could serve as models for the Puritans: the Judges, freeing the oppressed people from the yoke of foreign domination; Saul, David, and Joab routing the foes of their country; and Jehu, making an end of an idolatrous and blasphemous house-these were favorite characters with Puritan warriors. In every verse of the books of Joshua, Judges, Samuel and Kings, they saw their own condition reflected; every psalm seemed composed for them, to teach them that, though surrounded on every side by ungodly foes, they need not fear while they trusted in God. Oliver Cromwell compared himself to the judge Gideon, who first obeyed the voice of God hesitatingly, but afterwards courageously scattered the attacking heathens; or to Judas Maccabaeus, who out of a handful of martyrs formed a host of victorious warriors."

Chet Roman , June 16, 2017 at 9:58 am

"Clapper may think it is his duty to a higher cause that allows him to defy the truth and transcend the law"

"Those who angrily criticize the Russians are completely blind to their own participation in a similar destructive process"

Interesting article but the author is giving Clapper and the rest of the "intelligence" community too much credit. There is no "higher cause" and the "Washington consensus" is not blind to their own actions. Clapper and the deep state are well aware of their self serving actions and it is motivated by money and power. What is happening is the deliberate and aggressive promotion of propaganda to the U.S. public by the intelligence agencies, patriotism has nothing to do with it.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 10:09 am

Yes. The secret police are the slimiest of the slimy. To call them intelligent is absurd.

Gregory Herr , June 16, 2017 at 6:55 pm

I think this is accurate to a great extent. But even "wicked" people who deep down know their own black hearts allow themselves the relief of their rationalizations that is to say that in a psychotic sort of way, they sometimes allow themselves to "believe" their own shit even while knowing it's not true. It's how they are able to function.

Jessica K , June 16, 2017 at 10:12 am

Thank you for your viewpoints from outside the United States, and I hope you know that people who follow and post on CN are opposed to the United States' militarism and destruction in the world, which, as you say, MaDarby, is based upon the arrogance of the US, and you say comes from Calvinism, a belief that success means you are blessed by God. That may have been a starting point when the US was formed, but now there are such forces in power play that it goes farther. We, the dissenters in the US, have a powerful armed structure that makes opposition to it very difficult. And your good points from Russia are written in a clearer way than many Americans could even write, since the educational system has been deliberately controlled to "dumb down" the citizens.

But what to do even when we challenge this militaristic power in control? Our elections as you must know are certainly not fair and democratic. There are weapons now used against protesters so that has become increasingly difficult, as we just saw with the native peoples who opposed the Dakota oil pipeline. It looks as if the problems in the US will come to a head economically because of the enormous debt the US has allowed to get out of control, which may be the only way to stop the failing empire. We have read that Russia has paid off its debt wisely, and that's even after the bankers of the world mainly through the US in the 1990s tried to destroy Russia. But the US just keeps printing fictitious money to pay for its warmongering. And President Putin accurately stated that it is a multipolar world, no longer can one power such as the US call the shots.

I do not think that Russia is an enemy, but that Russia has the intelligence to lead a challenge to the USA, knowing that US cannot continue its behavior. I see it more as a challenge, and in fact, China is important to that challenge. Yes, it is ignorant and arrogant that Americans are not disturbed by the merciless destruction and killing their government has done. Good points you have made, thank you.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 10:32 am

Anyone who presents the vaguest challenge or limit to US hegemony is seen as an enemy to be dominated or destroyed. Capitalism is the cover for worship of unlimited power. This is the essence of fascism which is simply a religion of power worship. As Thrasymachus said in Plato's Republic, "Justice is the interest of the stronger." Meaning that force trumps all other considerations, and is the ultimate goal and meaning of human life. Human history has been the story of men's struggle to dominate others. The ultimate goal of this sick philosophy is for one man to dominate everyone and everything: the apotheosis of Power! One Man becomes God over everything! When Ayn Rand said that altruism is the enemy of mankind, she was voicing this deranged philosophy.

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

Yes, there are so many riches on this planet in which all of its creatures were meant (more accurately "required") by nature to share, yet 5 men claim ownership of as much "wealth" (land, resources, means of production, etc) as another 4 billion and they do everything in their power to keep it all for themselves causing untold misery for those billions. They accomplish this by conflating the onerous realities of naked unregulated "capitalism" with the platitudes of "freedom and democracy," evidenced in the "invisible hand" of the free market clearly implied to represent "god's will" in action. So this inequitable status quo is buttressed in conventional wisdom not only by phony altruism but by the power of organised religion.

Really, these self-anointed de-facto gods know they're just hucksters who have hoodwinked the public into subordinating their own interests to tyrants. It is arguably a dysfunctional principle hardwired into the human genome, as strong-man rule traces back to our earliest recorded history. But knowledge is power and recognising this flaw in the system that makes life a misery for so many should give us a reason and the leverage to change things.

Aside from widespread ignorance and fear, what is it that has kept so many down for so long? Ah, yes, the principle of "divide and rule," wherein a deliberate socioeconomic gradient is maintained amongst the 99% to make us compete and fight with one another rather than challenge them. So much easier to hate your neighbor for the little more that he many have, so much more feasible to assault and steal from him than from the lords at the top.

I could go on, but the trolls still wouldn't see it since they are too invested in their delusions and meager rewards. They are sure to have some talking points on why degrading the planet so a few pashas can shit in solid gold commodes is a simply capital idea! And how we are fools for not seeing the obvious nature of things.

Jessica K , June 16, 2017 at 11:04 am

Hyperbola's point about the Old Testament domination of New Testament is interesting, carrying it through history by the Roundheads and Puritans. We certainly see plenty of that vicious Old Testament "YHWH" in the actions of Israel and its armed-to-the-teeth lackey, USA. The OT god is a god of power and hate, and we're seeing plenty of it now. Some of these Bible bangers really do believe in end times.

Abe , June 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

"complex conspiracy theories buttressed by the most tenuous documentation have been spun and promoted in the midst of public hearings, political rearrangements in the White House and other theatrics designed to keep the public engaged and convinced of the notion that Russia's government actually attempted to manipulate the results of America's presidential election.

"However, the entire spectacle and the narrative driving it, is based entirely on the assumption that Russia's government believes the office of US President is of significant importance enough so as to risk meddling in it in the first place. It also means that Russia believed the office of US President was so important to influence, that the substantial political fallout and consequences if caught were worth the risk.

"In reality, as US President Donald Trump has thoroughly demonstrated, the White House holds little to no sway regarding US foreign policy.

"While President Trump promised during his campaign leading up to the 2016 election cooperation with Russia, a withdrawal from undermining and overthrowing the government in Damascus, Syria and a reversal of decades of US support for the government of Saudi Arabia, he now finds himself presiding over an administration continuing to build up military forces on Russia's borders in Eastern Europe, is currently and repeatedly killing Syrian soldiers in Syria and has sealed a record arms deal with Saudi Arabia amounting to over 110 billion US dollars.

"It is clear that the foreign policy executed by US President George Bush, continued by President Barack Obama and set to continue under US presidential candidate Hillary Clinton, is instead being faithfully executed by President Trump."

US Election Meddling: Smoke and Mirrors
By Ulson Gunnar
landdestroyer.blogspot.com/2017/06/us-election-meddling-smoke-and-mirrors.html

Jessica K , June 16, 2017 at 12:46 pm

I just listened to YouTube of the phenomenal Russian pianist, Denis Matsuev, playing Rachmaninoff's incredibly difficult Piano Concerto no. 3 with the Moscow Symphony, such talented people in the orchestra. And this mediocre bureaucrat, James Clapper, should call Russia "our enemy". I'll bet he has no appreciation for art. There has got to be a stop to this madness. The pianist was one of many Russian artists who signed a letter in support of President Putin when Crimea returned to Russia. The government of the USA is very, very sick and evil.

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

David Marks – just a great article! Very well done. Thank you.

DMarks , June 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm

Thanks, I'm always interested in the comments provoked by my writing. A family member wrote to me: "There's no reason to give the Russian government some kind of trust, Russian policies towards gay people, the oligarchical power structure than ensures only the favored voices are heard, murdered journalists who raise criticisms against Putin, state controlled media, and the fact that Putin has turned himself into his own brand of reality TV star by staging ridiculous feats that are widely publicized in order to give him a superhero reputation these things are not the signs of a misunderstood government." I don't disagree. If I were in Russia, I could/would write an article that mirrors the one I just wrote. That's the central concept. From each side, the other side appears as the aggressors/destroyers.

Among Europeans, there are many who feel the Russian government is at the core of the problem, rather than the people in general. The farther you get from Europe, the easier it is to smear the whole country, along with their "failed" communism. We are the sum of history and it's hard to separate cause and effect of the events that lead us here. If there wasn't the immense fear of communism at the beginning of the 20th century coming from Royals, European industrialists and US oligarchs, we might have seen what the Russian experiment would have yielded. Instead the militarists and profiteers prevailed, with mirror images on both sides from the Stalin era through the Reagan era. No matter how much they were demonized before, the defeated Nazis became partners in fighting back the Soviet world. Just that single fact shows how desperately communism needed to fail in the eyes of the capitalists.

If we could have a re-run of the "cold-war" where no one is allowed to spend money on arms, defense, etc. (and of course no social repression) - purely an economic competition - what would happen? Well that's what the West feared and prevented - and we will never know what the outcome might have been.

My "neurosis" is formed as an American and still I struggle not to take "our" side. To keep some balance, I avoid the pressure to become a "fan" of anyone. Unfortunately, the majority of the general public (from all political persuasions) are pressured to see conflict as a sports event. Those in power support the notion that it's the whole other "team" that is evil and by extension the demonization of their leader is acceptable. The fanatical war mongering oligarchs of both sides bring conflict to a head by lying to us about everything, helping us believe we can win the "super-war" because we are the "good guys." Clapper is simply a great example of these beasts and the extremis we have reached. Unfortunately, there is someone just like him on the other "team."

Sam F , June 17, 2017 at 9:04 am

Indeed the warmongers and oligarchs of the US seek to provoke and grow similar forces in other powers, because they need a foreign monster to pose as protectors and accuse their moral superiors of disloyalty. While such elements can be found in every large group, the US failure to protect democratic institutions from economic concentrations has allowed them to predominate. Russia has a much smaller military, and even China has no modern record of foreign domination, provocation, and scheming.

This makes one consider whether the ideological vetting of the communist parties, which originally selected some rulers of present day Russia, and those of China, served their people better by excluding the worst of the warmongers. If the US cannot find better ways to protect democracy from warmongers, it will be discarded by history as less democratic than communism.

mike k , June 16, 2017 at 5:28 pm

Mr. Marks, I agree with most of what you said in your article, but I must respectfully disagree with what I felt was your leaning over backwards to be "objective" and "even handed." Although it is true that nobody is all good or bad in this world situation, there are sides to be taken, and values to be affirmed. The United States is far and away the major cause of the very serious and potentially life ending problems on this planet at this time. The American Empire is the number one disaster for everyone alive today. I am not even going to try to prove what I have said here. To me it is by this time too obvious to ignore. I am tired of trying to point out the obvious to those who refuse to see what is right in front of them. By the way, I am not including you in that category. You have a good grasp of what is going down, but maybe you are a little too concerned with being "even handed" for my taste.

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 6:37 pm

David Marks – well, it's just a very fair article. You point out Clapper's projections. I'm always floored when I hear these guys speaking about how aggressive other countries are when, if the truth were told, they're actually the aggressor and the other country is just trying to defend themselves. Yeah, the other country is on their back, being pummeled, and they're the aggressor?

I know there are bad people in Russia too (they're everywhere), and I also know that if the U.S. wasn't the biggest bully on the block, someone else would step in and fill the vacancy. But for right now, in our current situation, the U.S. are acting like warlords, and it's just nice to have someone spell that out, point out the idiocy of people like James Clapper.

Jessica K , June 16, 2017 at 7:56 pm

Mr. Marks, one could say very parallel things about the US government that your family member said about Russia. The US bureaucratic leaders apparently have no desire to get their own house in order but would rather create scapegoats for their mistakes. There's no way to make exact comparisons between cultural values from one country to another, people's origins have similarities but also many differences. The US has no business deciding the gay issue for Russians, and that is especially hypocritical since the US still cannot treat its descendants of slaves equally, throwing a disproportionate number of them in prison after not even giving them opportunities as the whites. The US has a lot of housecleaning to do, but they don't really want to do it, they prefer to attack others and they never stop. And we the people can't get through to them, they don't care what we think.

Linda Wood , June 17, 2017 at 12:42 am

Jessica K, just to support what you are saying about our outrage over Russian backwardness with respect to gay rights, there is a writer at caucus99percent who contributes an essay nearly every day about another murder of a transgender person in the United States.

https://caucus99percent.com/diaries

turk151 , June 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Mr. Marks,

I sincerely appreciate the article, but my thoughts upon reading it, is that, while I agree with all of your points about Clapper, he is merely the top bureaucrat, not the agenda setter. As you can see by the comments above, while there is unanimous condemnation of the nefarious covert operations run by our government, there is a broad divergence of who sets that agenda, ranging from satanists, Calvinists, Jews, the MIC or Wall Street . However, in your follow up comment, you address a very under reported issue, which I feel is at the heart of this matter. That this stems from a fear from the Royals, who allied themselves with the Nazis to fight the communists. I believe this is the central story of the past century, yet perhaps it is still a topic that is too sensitive to discuss and does not receive nearly the coverage it deserves. I would love to more of your ideas on this subject.

Linda Wood , June 17, 2017 at 12:55 am

Not just the royal families of Europe, but Standard Oil, Chase Bank, and other U.S. corporations. This is the truth that is, just as you say, too sensitive to discuss, and is as you say so very clearly, the central story of the past century.

Thank you for saying it so well.

Bob , June 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

Clapper and people like him in those positions are expected to lie when asked such things. Telling the truth might see you ending up like William Colby. Once you take that oath and realize the type of people you are dealing with, lying comes much easier.

Jamie , June 17, 2017 at 12:40 am

"If you look at Facebook, the vast majority of the news items posted were fake. They were connected to, as we now know, the thousand Russian agents."

– Hillary

Andrew Nichols , June 17, 2017 at 3:20 am

"The Russians are not our friends; they, (Putin specifically) are avowedly opposed to our democracy and values, and see us as the cause of all their frustrations," Clapper declared.

And the Aussie pollies and media just lapped up the crap from the Clap and also from Mad Jihadi lover McCain. We in Aus really are pathetic grovellers.

Cal , June 17, 2017 at 6:25 am

This nails the anti Russia movement

Zero Hedge

Why the Elites Hate Russia

1, Russia is an independent country. It's not possible to manipulate Russia via external remote control, like it is most countries. The Elite don't like that! Russia kicked out Soros "Open Society":

Russia has banned a pro-democracy charity founded by hedge fund billionaire George Soros, saying the organization posed a threat to both state security and the Russian constitution. In a statement released Monday morning, Russia's General Prosecutor's Office said two branches of Soros' charity network - the Open Society Foundations (OSF) and the Open Society Institute (OSI) - would be placed on a "stop list" of foreign non-governmental organizations whose activities have been deemed "undesirable" by the Russian state.

2. Russia is not easy to cripple via clandestine means, whether it be CIA, MI6, or outright military conflict. Some other BRICs however, that's not the case. Say what you will about Russia's military – it's on par and in many cases, advanced, compared to the US military. And that's not AN opinion, that's in the opinion of top US military commanders:

3. Russian culture, and language, is too complex for the average "Elite" who pretends to be internationally well versed because they had a few semesters of French.

. Plain and simple, the Elite do not control Russia.

While there are backchannels of Russian oligarchs that work directly with Western Rothschild interests, for example, they simply don't have the same level of control as they do European countries, like Germany for instance.

Jessica K , June 17, 2017 at 7:52 am

Thanks, Linda, for your point about murders of gays and transgenders in the US. This country for all its vaunted proclamations about being so advanced and exceptional, has a huge amount of prejudice and ignorance among the people, who have been kept down economically so many harbor resentments.

Your points about Russia are interesting, Cal, especially about the military. US has exploited its citizens for military service when jobs have been taken away in other fields, so that a huge number of the enlisted are just waiting to get out. I have a friend whose son-in-law has to finish his third or maybe fourth deployment to Afghanistan and he can't wait to get out. And as noted in various posts, sloppy work has been done on military equipment in US, much of which becomes wasted money. I suspect Russians have to pay more attention to the job they do because money can't be thrown around as in US, Russian defense budget is far leaner.

Michael Kenny , June 17, 2017 at 9:37 am

Every time I see an American article about Russiagate, I run a search for the word "Macron". I never get a hit. MacronLeaks proves Russiagate but no American author even mentions it. None even bother to refute the proposition that it does prove Russiagate. The parallels are astonishing: a populist "ranter" (Trump, Le Pen), a moderate candidate who is being discredited (Clinton, Fillon) and a dark horse (Sanders, Macron). The scam was to get Le Pen and Fillon into the second round and then discredit Fillon, in the hope that Macron's "new generation" voters would be so disgusted with the "old style" politician that they would abstain in the second round, thereby allowing Le Pen to win. The scam failed principally because the media blew the lid off the Fillon story before the first round of voting, meaning that Fillon's voters had already been driven into Macron's arms before the vote. In a ham-fisted, last-minute, panic move, the scammers tried to discredit Macron but, in their haste, made lots of mistakes and fell into a trap he had set for them. The matter is now before the French criminal courts, but three names have already become public, one Russian and two figures of the US alt-right, one of whom worked for the Trump campaign. It is therefore established that Russians, whether working for the Russian government, the Russian Mafia or someone else in Russia, and American rightwing extremists sought to rig the French presidential election. The same pattern in the US election, so logically, the same perpetrators. Thus, James Clapper's reasoning is perfectly sustainable and calling him rude names doesn't change that.

Bill , June 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

Is Clapper in a conspiracy with Brennan and Comey? Who else are they working with?

Jessica K , June 17, 2017 at 12:28 pm

Macron leaks were not any more provable than Russiagate, they were allegations. Macron is a Rothschild banker, he appeared as a politician very suddenly and is undoubtedly part of the New World Order plan for the neoliberal free market agenda manipulated by the wealthy. Obama endorsed Macron in the days preceding the French election showing that it is clear that Obama supports the neoliberal agenda of "free market" control which has stripped people of their assets and enriched the wealthy wherever it is employed. Just watch France in the next few years, there will be problems as great or greater than under Hollande. Immigrants will be brought in, hired as wage slaves, the economy will be manipulated by bankers, and the people will pay the price as usual. You are making inferences from hearsay, there is no proof of what you say. James Clapper is known to have lied in the past about domestic surveillance; he has claimed in the Russiagate investigations first one thing, then another: we have no proof but it is possible, later we know they did it (although we have no proof), once even saying that Russians are genetically prone to be dishonest, the most bizarre thing he has said. If you want to defend someone who says things like that, you put yourself in the same category of absurdity.

TellTheTruth-2 , June 17, 2017 at 1:50 pm

Let's face it .. they tried to shift from Russia to the WAR ON TERROR; but, after 15 years with no end in sight the American public got sick and tired of it and now they need to shift back to Russia so they have a bogyman they can use to scare us into supporting more guns. Econ 101 .. Guns or Butter? How about us getting some butter for a change?

J. D. , June 17, 2017 at 3:32 pm

Clapper's rant revealed the actual reason for the coup attempt against President Trump, which he, along with Brennan, Comey, and the Obama Dems have coordinated,. Contrast his lying depiction of Putin to the actual words of Russia's president in his interviews with Megyn Kelley and better yet, with Oliver Stone. Hopefully. Americans will get an actual chance to see and hear President Putin and not the demonized caricature they have been barraged with by the MSM.

[Jun 17, 2017] Are Europeans finally standing up to American economic imperialism and extra-territorial laws?

Jun 17, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Warren , June 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Are Europeans finally standing up to American economic imperialism and extra-territorial laws?

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

Published on Jun 15, 2017
The new anti-Russian sanctions are outlined in an amendment to a bill imposing sanctions against Iran.

The anti-Russian measures in the amendment involve imposing penalties on enterprises that cooperate with Russian oil and gas companies.

READ MORE: https://on.rt.com/8eub

marknesop , June 16, 2017 at 3:46 pm
You know the pressure will be on now, from the State Department and other US sources, for European leaders to get their populations in line and start singing from the same song sheet again. Gonna be a tough sell in Germany, though.

So far none of the American promises about laying waste to Russia has come about. Generally speaking I find that if you announce "THIS is going to happen", and then you have to keep coming back to it and doing more stuff to shore it up and make it happen, then your initial plan sucked.

[Jun 17, 2017] Oliver Stone Undresses Putin, Shows the Man Behind the Legend by Robert Parry

Jun 17, 2017 | russia-insider.com
Oliver Stone Undresses Putin, Shows the Man Behind the Legend

Oliver Stone has done something remarkable, he "tricked" Putin into revealing more of himself than the Russian leader ever intended 62

Before we stumble into a nuclear war and end life on the planet, the American people might want to watch Oliver Stone's four-part series of interviews with Russian President Vladimir Putin on "Showtime." Stone accomplishes what Western journalists should do but don't, by penetrating deeply into the personality of this historic figure.

Typically these days, American TV news personalities use interviews with a demonized foreign leader, like Putin, to demonstrate their own "toughness" on air, hurling insulting questions at the target and pretending that this preening behavior proves their courage.

In reality, it is bad journalism for a wide variety of reasons: The interview subject will normally retreat into canned talking points, so nothing is really learned; the TV viewer will get to see some theatrics but no insights into what makes the foreign leader tick; and – most importantly – chances of going to war with the despised leader's country increase.

Yet, it's not all bad: the "confrontation" will boost the career prospects of the self-aggrandizing "journalist" who will add the highlights of the insult-fest to his or her video résumé.

By coming across as unthreatening and personable – almost like the TV detective Columbo – Stone strips away many of Putin's defenses, creating a dynamic in which the Russian president struggles between his characteristic cautiousness and a willingness to be more candid.

Putin seems to like Stone while sensing that Stone is playing him. In one of the early interviews, in July 2015, Stone asks Putin about the "ambiguity" of Josef Stalin's legacy, obviously a sensitive and complex question for a Russian who may admire Stalin's determination during World War II but abhor Stalin's excesses in annihilating political enemies.

Stone Directs Putin

At the start of a late interview in February 2017, Stone even acts like a director, dispatching Putin down a hallway so his entrance can be more dramatically filmed. "Pretend we haven't seen each other in months," Stone tells Putin.

After Putin has retreated down the hallway, Stone yells, "Action! Action!" but when nothing happens, he tells the official interpreter, "Tell him 'action' in Russian."

Then, after more delay, Stone seeks out his assistant director: "Where's my A.D.? Come on! Where's my A.D.?" before worrying that maybe Putin "went into another meeting."

But Putin finally strolls down the hallway, carrying two cups of coffee, offering one to Stone in English, "Coffee, sir?"

Yet, perhaps the climatic scene in this tension between "director" and "actor" comes at the end of the four-part series when Putin seems to recognize that Stone may have gotten the better of him in this friendly competition spread out in conversations from July 2015 to February 2017.

After finishing what was meant to be the last interview (though a later one was tacked on), Putin turns to Stone and voices concern for the risks that the director is taking by undertaking this series of interviews which Putin knows – because the interviews are not openly antagonistic to Putin – will draw a hostile reaction from the mainstream U.S. media.

At that moment, the roles get reversed. Putin, the wary subject of Stone's interviews, is being solicitous of Stone, throwing the director off-balance.

"Thank you for your time and your questions," Putin tells Stone. "Thank you for being so thorough." Putin then adds: "Have you ever been beaten?"

Caught off guard, Stone replies: "Beaten? Oh, yes."

Putin: "So it's not going to be something new, because you are going to suffer for what you are doing."

Stone: "Oh, sure, yeah. I know but it's worth it if it brings some more peace and cautiousness to the world."

Putin: "Thank you."

In modern America – the so-called "land of the free, home of the brave" – a new media paradigm has taken hold, in which only the official U.S. side of a story can be told; any suggestion that there might be another side of the Russia story, for instance, makes you a "Putin apologist," a "Moscow stooge" or a disseminator of "propaganda" and "fake news."

Harsh Reviews

And Putin was not mistaken. The early mainstream media's reaction to Stone's interview series has concentrated on attacking Stone for not being tougher on Putin, just as Putin expected.

For instance, The New York Times headlines its review in its print editions, "Letting Vladimir Putin Talk, Unchallenged," and begins with a swipe at Stone for his "well-established revisionist views on American history and institutions." Stone is also mocked for questioning the current elite groupthink that Russia helped make "Donald J. Trump president of the United States."

The Washington Post column by Ann Hornaday was even snarkier, entitled in print editions: "Stone drops cred to give a Russian bear hug." Although only seeing the first two segments of the four-part series, Hornaday clearly wanted Stone to perform one of those self-righteous confrontations, like all the "star journalists" do, beating their breasts and repeating the usual litany of unsubstantiated charges against Putin that pervade the major U.S. media.

Hornaday writes: "But what might have once promised to be an explosive on-screen matching-of-wits instead arrives just in time to be colossally irrelevant: an erstwhile scoop made instantly negligible by the breaking news it's been engulfed by, and the imaginative and ideological limits of its director."

The truth, however, is that Stone asks pretty much all the tough questions that one would pose to Putin and succeeds in drawing Putin out from his protective shell. In so doing, Stone sheds more light on the potentially existential conflict between the two nuclear-armed superpowers than anything else that I have seen.

While the series makes some genuine news, it also allows Putin to explain his thinking regarding some of the key controversies that have stoked the New Cold War, including his reaction to the Ukraine crisis. While Putin has offered these explanations before, they will be news to many Americans because Putin's side of the story has been essentially blacked out by the major U.S. newspapers and networks.

A Vulnerable Character

Personally, I came away from watching "The Putin Interviews" both more and less impressed with the Russian leader. What I saw was a more vulnerable personality than I had expected, but I was impressed by Putin's grasp of global issues, including a sophisticated understanding of American power.

Putin surely does not appear to be the diabolical monster that current American propaganda presents, which may be the greatest accomplishment of Stone's series, revealing Putin as a multi-dimensional and complex figure. You may go into the series expecting a cartoonish villain, but that is not what you'll find.

Putin comes across as a politician and bureaucrat who found himself, somewhat unwittingly and unwillingly, thrust into a historical role at an extraordinarily challenging time for Russia.

In the 1990s, Russians were reeling from the devastating impact of U.S.-prescribed economic "shock therapy" after the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. The nation's riches were sold off to well-connected thieves who became known as the "oligarchs," overnight billionaires who used their riches to gain control of the political and media levers of power. Meanwhile, average Russians fell into poverty and saw their life expectancy drop at unparalleled rates for a country not at war.

Boris Yeltsin, the Russian Federation's first president and a corrupt drunkard who was kept in power by American manipulation of the 1996 Russian election, picked Putin, a former KGB intelligence officer and security bureaucrat, to be his prime minister in August 1999.

To Stone, Putin explains his hesitancy to accept the promotion: "When Yeltsin offered me the job for the first time, I refused. He invited me into his office and told me he wanted to appoint me Prime Minister, and that he wanted me to run for President. I told him that was a great responsibility, and that meant I would have to change my life, and I wasn't sure I wanted to do that.

"It's one thing when you are a bureaucrat, even a high-level one, you can almost live an ordinary life. You can see your friends, go to the cinema and the theater, and not assume personal responsibility for the fate of millions of people and for everything that is going on in the country. And to assume responsibility for Russia back then was a very difficult thing to do."

Family Fears

Putin continues: "Frankly speaking, I didn't know what President Yeltsin's final plans were with regard to me. And I didn't know how long I would be there. Because at any moment the President could tell me, 'You are fired.' And there was only one thing I was thinking about, 'Where to hide my children?'

"Just imagine, if I were dismissed, I didn't have any bodyguards. Nothing. And what would I do? How would I live? How would I secure my family? And back then I decided if that was my fate, then I had to go to the end. And I didn't know beforehand that I would become President. There were no guarantees of that."

However, at the dawn of the new Millennium, Yeltsin surprisingly announced his resignation, making Putin his heir apparent. It was a time of extraordinary crisis for Russia and Russians.

When Stone compares the challenges that President Ronald Reagan faced in the 1980s to those that Putin confronted when he took power in 2000, Putin replied, with classic Russia whimsy, "Almost being broke and actually being broke are two entirely different things."

Once assuming office, however, Putin set about reining in many of the oligarchs and rebuilding the Russian economy and social safety net. His success in achieving an economic turnaround and a marked improvement in the social metrics explain much of his enduring popularity with the Russian people.

But Putin does not come off as a natural politician. When you see Putin up close for the several hours of these interviews, you can't miss his unease in the spotlight, a tight control, even a shyness. Yet, there is a winning quality from that vulnerability which seems to have further endeared him to the Russian people.

Compared to many Western politicians, Putin also has retained a common touch. One scene shows Stone interviewing Putin as the Russian president drives his own car, something you would never see an American president doing.

Putin also takes Stone along for a hockey match in which the now 64-year-old Putin dons a uniform and laces up skates for a wobbly performance on the ice. By his own admission, he just began skating a few years earlier and he takes a couple of falls or stumbles. Putin doesn't come across as the all-powerful autocrat of U.S. propaganda.

At the end of part two of "The Putin Interviews," Stone even gets Putin to watch Stanley Kubrick's 1964 Cold War classic "Dr. Strangelove or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb," a very dark comedy about the U.S. and the Soviet Union bumbling into a nuclear conflagration, a film that Putin hadn't seen before.

After watching the movie with Stone, Putin reflects on its enduring message. "The thing is that since that time little has changed," Putin says. "The only difference is that the modern weapon systems have become more sophisticated, more complex. But this idea of retaliatory weapons, and the inability to control such weapon systems still hold true to this day. It has become even more difficult, more dangerous."

Stone then gives Putin the movie's DVD case, which Putin carries into an adjoining office before realizing that it is empty. He reemerges, holding the empty case with the quip, "Typical American gift." An aide then rushes up to hand him the DVD.

rosemerry
Thank you. I was never anti-Russian and visited the USSR from London in 1966, finding the people there, and the visitors, worth meeting and understanding a little about. In those days the people knew that Radio Moscow and Voice of Amercia were propaganda, but ound the BBC to be more even-handed (how things have changed!) I find Putin in the interviews, plus other book including his autobiographical "First Person") streets ahead of any other present world leader, able to think through issues, get along with widely differing nations and treat all with respect and understanding. His explanations are clear and if people bother to listen, they can perhaps gain some insight into the "foreign policy" disasters o their own nations.
WillDippel , 4 days ago

Here are some interesting comments from Vladimir Putin about the state of what passes for democracy in the West:

http://viableopposition.blo...

It is becoming increasingly apparent that democratically elected governments no longer represent the interests of the voting public.

BRCitizen (Greg) , 4 days ago

I'm impressed that Putin would even sit for this kind of interview- not just with Oliver Stone, but with a hostile journalist representing a foreign power like Megan Kelly. I can't imagine an American president subjecting themselves to that kind of thing.

chris_xxxx , 3 days ago

Oliver Stone is not a presstitute which is why the interview was courteous and asked logical questions relevant to the real world, which is the opposite of what we got with Megan Kelly. The Western media are losing huge numbers of viewers and readership every year, as they are owned by a handful of large corporations. This explains why there is now a concerted effort by the puppet leaders such as Merkel, Macron and May to push for new laws to regulate the internet.

"Anyone who relies on the Western media lives inside The Matrix." - Paul Craig Roberts

The interviews will give the people of the world the ability to see the real Putin and not the propaganda they get in the West, with the outcome being a better understanding of Russia and its President.

7.62x54r , 4 days ago

Stone then gives Putin the movie's DVD case, which Putin carries into an adjoining office before realizing that it is empty. He reemerges, holding the empty case with the quip, "Typical American gift." An aide then rushes up to hand him the DVD.

That, is the history of the US wrapped up in a anecdote. The US reciprocates nothing.

rosemerry , 18 hours ago

The sad thing is not only the US general negative attitude to Putin but the refusal to contemplate that perhaps Putin has a point in the many disagreements (eg encircling Russia with US and NATO bases)
that the USA assumes it is the "good guy". Putin's point on sovereignty is worth thinking about as so many more nations join NATO whose purpose was finished with the breakdown of the
USSR and the end of the Warsaw Pact. If Russia were an enemy, all the nukes etc parked in the member States make them vulnerable, not safe.

rosemerry , 4 days ago

Note that even here we have to have the hubristic American view that the USA must be right and perhaps Pres. Putin is really a trickster. Putin has already a very good autobiography in English (First Person) which is worth reading even though it is from 2000.
Imagine an interesting setup like this with Dubya, or Trump, or either Clinton!! What would you learn?

[Jun 17, 2017] Political Elite Use Russia-Baiting to Medicate U.S. Crisis of Governance Black Agenda Report

Jun 17, 2017 | blackagendareport.com
Political Elite Use Russia-Baiting to "Medicate" U.S. "Crisis of Governance"

Submitted by Nellie Bailey a... on Tue, 06/13/2017 - 00:10

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The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR.

Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of the jobs and siphoned much of the wealth that once belonged to a privileged sector of U.S. workers," said Haiphong. "This system has run its course. War is all the system has left."

[Jun 17, 2017] Dumping the Democrats for good is the only way to resist Trump

Notable quotes:
"... The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR. Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of the jobs and siphoned much of the wealth that once belonged to a privileged sector of U.S. workers," said Haiphong. "This system has run its course. War is all the system has left." ..."
"... "If you are resisting Russian collusion with Trump, then what you are resisting is a fantasy," BAR executive editor Glen Ford told the opening plenary of the Left Forum. "And, if you are simply resisting Trump, the idiot in the White House, then you are simply a tool of a Democratic Party strategy." ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | blackagendareport.com

"Dumping the Democrats for good is the only way to resist Trump," said Black Agenda Report editor and senior columnist Margaret Kimberley , addressing BAR's panel at the Left Forum, in New York City. "What have they done since Election Day?" Kimberley asked. "They have refused to give even the appearance that they are willing to push for even meager reforms. We have to talk about replacing them and having a true workers party, a true peace party."

Political Elite Use Russia-Baiting to "Medicate" U.S. "Crisis of Governance"

The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR. Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of the jobs and siphoned much of the wealth that once belonged to a privileged sector of U.S. workers," said Haiphong. "This system has run its course. War is all the system has left."

A Real Left Would Demand Peace

"If you are resisting Russian collusion with Trump, then what you are resisting is a fantasy," BAR executive editor Glen Ford told the opening plenary of the Left Forum. "And, if you are simply resisting Trump, the idiot in the White House, then you are simply a tool of a Democratic Party strategy."

Ford said the nation needs a rejuvenated anti-war movement, "or else we are defenseless against this kind of strategy on the part of the Democrats, who pretend that they are an alternative to the fascist-sounding and definitely virulently white nationalist forces in the Republican Party, but are themselves intent upon a war policy that can mean the extinction of the human race."

[Jun 17, 2017] Trump now understands that Rosenstein was Obama/Hillary mole and that he backstabbed him, but this is too late

Notable quotes:
"... Acknowledging for the first time publicly that he is under investigation, Mr. Trump appeared to accuse Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading what the president called a "witch hunt." Mr. Rosenstein appointed a special counsel last month to conduct the investigation after Mr. Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey. ..."
"... "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" Mr. Trump wrote, apparently referring to a memo Mr. Rosenstein wrote in May that was critical of Mr. Comey's leadership at the F.B.I. ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

Fred C. Dobbs June 17, 2017 at 01:49 AM

Trump Attacks Rosenstein in Latest Rebuke of Justice Department

https://nyti.ms/2tuS5hb

NYT - MICHAEL D. SHEAR, CHARLIE SAVAGE and MAGGIE HABERMAN - JUNE 16

WASHINGTON - President Trump escalated his attacks on his own Justice Department on Friday, using an early-morning Twitter rant to condemn the department's actions as "phony" and "sad!" and to challenge the integrity of the official overseeing the expanding inquiry into Russian influence of the 2016 election.

Acknowledging for the first time publicly that he is under investigation, Mr. Trump appeared to accuse Rod J. Rosenstein, the deputy attorney general, of leading what the president called a "witch hunt." Mr. Rosenstein appointed a special counsel last month to conduct the investigation after Mr. Trump fired the F.B.I. director, James B. Comey.

"I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director!" Mr. Trump wrote, apparently referring to a memo Mr. Rosenstein wrote in May that was critical of Mr. Comey's leadership at the F.B.I.

"Witch hunt," Mr. Trump added.

The remarkable public rebuke is the latest example of a concerted effort by Mr. Trump, the White House and its allies to undermine officials at the Justice Department and the F.B.I. even as the Russia investigation proceeds.

The nation's law enforcement agency is under siege, short-staffed because of delays in filling senior positions and increasingly at odds with a president who had already engaged in a monthslong feud with the government's intelligence agencies.

Several current and former assistant United States attorneys described a sense of listlessness and uncertainty, with some expressing hesitation about pursuing new investigations, not knowing whether there would be an appetite for them once leadership was installed in each district after Mr. Trump fired dozens of United States attorneys who were Obama-era holdovers.

In the five weeks since Mr. Trump fired Mr. Comey, he has let it be known that he has considered firing Robert S. Mueller III, the special counsel leading the Russia investigation. His personal lawyer bragged about firing Preet Bharara, the former United States attorney for the Southern District of New York, who was let go as part of the mass dismissal of top prosecutors. Newt Gingrich, an ally of the president's, accused Mr. Mueller of being the tip of the "deep-state spear aimed at destroying" the Trump presidency. ...

graphic: How 7 Trump Associates Have Been
Linked to Russia https://nyti.ms/2sVvf23
NYT - updated June 13

ilsm , June 17, 2017 at 02:37 AM
"witch hunt" wrongly associates this travesty with Salem hangings!

This is more like Stalinist shows trials while the traitors ruin the branches. Or, "Beria hunts", if you wish

libezkova - , June 17, 2017 at 06:57 AM
Neocon are determined not to allow anybody to change the US foreign policy as their well-being, as lobbyists of MIC and Israel, depends on this

President Trump is in trouble, Bacevich says, because "he appears disinclined to perpetuate American hegemony."

http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/the-global-order-myth/

American hegemony is the neoconservatives doctrine and "the Russian threat" is an insurance of MIC $1.1 trillion annual budget.

And DemoRats now are just another War party, a bunch of lobbyists with the only difference that they get less money from Israel, and more from MIC and Wall Street (all wars are bankers wars)

Those "very serious guys" are determined to install President Pence and already succeeded in applointed a Special Prosecutor as the milestone of this color revolution.

Poor Trump did not realized that he is trapped until it was too late.

http://www.unz.com/proberts/global-order-is-an-euphemism-for-washingtons-hegemony/

Bacevich points out that the orchestrated attack on President Trump is based on the assumption that President Trump has launched an attack on the open, liberal, enlightened, rule of law, and democratic order that Washington has established. This liberal world order of goodness is threatened by a Trump-Putin Conspiracy.

Bacevich, a rare honest American, says this that this characterization of America is a bullshit myth.

For example, the orchestrated image of America as the great upholder of truth, justice, democracy, and human rights conveniently overlooks Washington's "meddling in foreign elections; coups and assassination plots in Iran [Washingtonn's 1953 overthrow of the first elected Iranian government], Guatemala, the Congo, Cuba, South Vietnam, Chile, Nicaragua, and elsewhere; indiscriminate aerial bombing campaigns in North Korea and throughout Southeast Asia; a nuclear arms race bringing the world to the brink of Armageddon; support for corrupt, authoritarian regimes in Iran [the Shah], Turkey, Greece, South Korea, South Vietnam, the Philippines, Brazil, Egypt, Nicaragua, El Salvador, and elsewhere-many of them abandoned when deemed inconvenient; the shielding of illegal activities through the use of the Security Council veto; unlawful wars launched under false pretenses; 'extraordinary rendition,' torture, and the indefinite imprisonment of persons without any semblance of due process [the evisceration of the US Constitution]."

In other words, Washington is the opposite of how it orchestrates its portrait. There is no such thing as "liberal internationalism." All "liberal internationalism" means is American hegemony over the idiot countries that participate in "liberal internationalism."

[Jun 17, 2017] NATO as a threat to European countries sovereinity

Jun 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

jfl | Jun 16, 2017 9:23:45 PM | 68

part 3 ~23:00 - 26:55

Stone :

But ... economically you say you are self-sufficient ... they're gone, let them have their problems. It's not going to destoy your country.

Putin :

Not in the least.

Stone :

... and at one point you told me in our last meeting that ... I asked you, you know, what about the Russian [base at Sevastopol] ... you told me that it [Russia] wasn't threatened by the loss of the base ...

Putin :

It was a threat, losing this base, but it was not too sensitive. Right now we are commissioning a new military base not far from here in Novorossiysk.

Stone :

Even if nato made an agreement with Ukraine, I still don't see the threat to Russia ... with the new weaponry.

Putin :

I see a threat.

The threat consists in the fact that once nato comes to this or that country, the political leadership of that country as a whole, along with its population, cannot influence the positions nato takes, including the decisions related to stationing the military infrastructure. Even very sensitive weapons can be deployed. I'm also talking about anti-ballistic missile systems.

Right now a certain strengthening of American influence is being witnessed in Europe, partly due to Eastern European countries, because they are trying to resist the former dominating power of the Soviet Union. Right now it's mirrored in Russia, but sooner or later this is going to stop. Through initiating the crisis in the Ukraine, they've [the Americans] managed to stimulate such an attitude towards Russia, viewing Russia as an enemy, a possible potential aggressor.

But very soon everyone is going to understand, that there is no threat whatsoever emanating from Russia, either to the Baltic countries, or to Eastern Europe or to Western Europe. And the stronger this misunderstanding is, the greater the desire is going to be to protect their [European] sovereignty and to fend for their national interests.

So this constant feeling of being under pressure, let me assure you, is something no one is happy about. Sooner or later it's going to have consequences if it's going to stop. And it's better if this happens through dialogue. Certainly you can try to use North Korea or some other countries to paint a darker picture, but i think what's needed right now is the transition to a new paradigm, a new philosophy for building relations among countries.

And this paradigm should be based on respect for the interest of othe countries, for the sovereignty of other peoples, not just trying to intimidate them using some outer threat which can only be resisted with the help of the United States. This paradigm will have to cease to exist sooner or later.

from the outside putin can clearly see the threat to european sovereignty from nato - the fact thereof, actually ... and he can see the threat to the united states from the european backlash to the european nations' loss of severeignty to the us under nato, once that's perceived, and the same through the eu - and the rump is being very helpful there. the us is sleepwalking right into its own demise, brought about by its own arrogant stupidity ... its arrogance 'will have to cease to exist sooner or later'. and it's looking to be sooner rather than later.

from the outside putin can clearly see the threat to european sovereignty from nato - the fact thereof, actually ... and he can see the threat to the united states from the european backlash to the european nations' loss of severeignty to the us under nato, once that's perceived, and the same through the eu - and the rump is being very helpful there. the us is sleepwalking right into its own demise, brought about by its own arrogant stupidity ... its arrogance 'will have to cease to exist sooner or later'. and it's looking to be sooner rather than later.

[Jun 17, 2017] Sanders is with neocon lobby and supports Russian sanctions

Jun 17, 2017 | www.moonofalabama.org

rickee | Jun 16, 2017 12:47:19 AM | 33

@15 You mistate/misunderstood: "There was a simultaneous vote..." There was not.

S.Amdt. 232 (increase sanctions on Russia and limit Trump) was an amendment to S. 722 (the Iranian sanctions bill).

Sanders voted for 232 because, frankly, he's all on board the Russia-Russia-Russia hysteria and demonizing Syria. He voted against 722 for the potential damage to the multi-lateral nuclear agreement with Iran. From his senate.gov website today:

" I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions. I also have deep concerns about the policies and activities of the Iranian government, especially their support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria.

I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking, particularly at a time of heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies. I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran's activities, but also Saudi Arabia's decades-long support for radical extremism."

@10 is correct: they're all in...

[Jun 16, 2017] New Russia Sanctions Are All About Forcing the EU to Buy Overpriced US Gas

Jun 16, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Any Darwin Awards fans out there? For those few who have never heard of them, the Darwin Awards celebrate those individuals who have rendered a significant service to mankind by taking themselves out of the global gene pool. In preparing to discuss today's subject, I am reminded of unfortunate 1999 award-winner 'James' from Missouri, who became so fixated upon his love interest that he tried to lop off his own head with a chainsaw to demonstrate his commitment to an outcome on his terms. Although he was ultimately unsuccessful on both counts, he did fatally injure himself, and died in hospital. Ashes to ashes; dust to dust.

My intent today is to demonstrate clear destructive similarities between the above emotional decision and the equally simpleminded decision of the US Senate to impose further economic sanctions on Russia, this time explicitly tying them to penalizing of European companies which do business with Russia – moreover, in a clear attempt to stop the latter from proceeding with the Nord Stream II gas pipeline project. This, in turn, is clearly an attempt by the USA to make Europe a captive market for its own energy products, in the form of shipborne LNG. Significantly, that goal is also finally becoming clear to Europe; or at least to the parts of it that matter, such as Germany (thanks for the tip, James!) Try to put aside, for the moment, the insufferable arrogance of American meddling in Europe's energy market, with a view to restricting its choice while – laughably – pretending it is broadening European energy options.

The readers and commenters of this blog will be well aware, since it has been a topic of discussion for years here, that a critical underpinning of the western plan to seize Ukraine and wrest it into the western orbit was the premise that Russia would be forced by simple momentum to go along with it. As long as events continued to unfold too quickly to get ahead of, Russia would have to help supply the sinews of its own destruction. And a big part of that was the assumption that Russia would help to finance Ukraine's transition to a powerful western fulcrum upon which to apply leverage against it, through continued trade with Ukraine and continued transit of Europe's energy supply through Ukraine's pipeline system. But Russia slapped a trade embargo on most Ukrainian goods, and rescinded its tariff-free status as it became clear Brussels planned to use it to stovepipe European trade goods into the Russian market, through Ukraine – thus crushing domestic industries which would not be able to compete on economically-favourable terms. The armchair strategists nearly shit a brick when construction of the South Stream pipeline commenced, bypassing Ukraine and depriving it of about $2 billion annually in transit fees. But pressure ultimately forced Bulgaria to throw a wrench into the works, and the pipeline plans were shelved, to much victory dancing in the west. There was not quite as much happy-dancing in Bulgaria , but they were only ever a pawn anyway.

Sidebar for a moment, here; while the $2 Billion annually in transit fees is extremely important, Ukraine's pre-crisis GDP was $163 Billion. The funds realized for transit fees are important because (a) Russia has to pay them and (b) the west will have to come up with the equivalent in aid if Ukraine loses out on them. But the real value intrinsic to Ukraine as a transit country is its physical reality as an interface for Russian gas transit to Europe – what is a bridge can be easily turned into a wall.

Any time Washington thinks Russia needs some more shit on its face, Ukraine can be prodded to announce a doubling of its transit fees, or to kick off some other dispute which the popular press will adroitly spin to make Russia appear to be an unreliable supplier. Therefore, it is essential to western strategy that significant amounts of Russian gas continue to transit Ukraine. Sufficiently so that Europe continues to evolve ever-more-desperate contingency plans in order to keep receiving gas through the country which was known to have provoked the previous shutoff of European supplies by siphoning Europe-bound gas for its own use. That's despite the assurances of Germany and western partners of Gazprom in the Nord Stream line that it will mean cheaper gas prices for Europe.

But we knew this was coming, didn't we? Yes, we did, because as recently as last month, Democratic senator Jean Shaheen, who sits on the Senate Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on European Affairs, announced that the United States was considering involving itself in the Nord Stream II pipeline project , with a view to killing it stone dead. The purpose, as already mentioned, is to make way for LNG cargoes to Europe, cutting Russia out of the business, on the assumption that without energy sales the Russian economy will crumble and the country will collapse. Destroying Russia remains Washington's overriding strategic objective.

So the stakes are high; high enough to provide context for Washington's bizarre and aggressive behavior, and for its continued ridiculous insistence that Russia tampered with the 2016 US presidential election. What are the chances Washington will succeed with its latest adventure in global bullying?

Not good, according to multiple sources. Let's take a look at how Platts views the prospects; Platts, a division of S&P Global , is headquartered in London and employs over 1,000 people in more than 15 offices worldwide. These include global business centers such as New York, Shanghai and Sao Paulo, and major energy centers such as Houston, Singapore and London, where Platts is based. Having hopefully established the firm's credentials as someone who knows what they are talking about in the energy business, let's see what Platts has to say about the potential American LNG market in Europe . Mmmm .the review is mixed. At the outset, Platts is admiring of Cheniere Energy's go-to-hell expansion. But a couple of things about that are cause to curb enthusiasm. One, only 8 American LNG cargoes had gone to Europe so far; that was as of April this year, when the report was released. Of those, 4 went to Spain, 3 to Portugal and 1 to Italy. Two, the Iberian Peninsula is acknowledged by Platts as not particularly significant in terms of gauging Europe's welcome of American LNG.

"Indeed, the fact that Portugal and Spain were the first European countries to import LNG from the US is telling The Iberian Peninsula is considered an "island market" with poor interconnection to the rest of Europe, so the delivery of US LNG into the region is not likely to be seen as a sign that it will take hold in the wider European market."

The same passage points out that Russia does not supply the Iberian Peninsula with pipeline gas, and so is unlikely to be very concerned about the impact of US LNG on that market.

Three, Cheniere's rapid expansion has come at a terrifying cost, and the company is currently – as of fall 2016 – overleveraged with approximately $20 Billion in long-term debt . It is unprofitable, with interest payments representing 60% of revenues, the living embodiment of 'bicycle economics'; the second you stop pedaling, you crash.

For what it's worth, few great business breakthroughs have occurred without risk, and while Cheniere is plunging ahead with what seems like recklessness, it could just as easily pay off with complete domination of the North American export market. That's a hell of a debt load, though; not much margin for bad news. That does expose a flaw in the American strategy, as well – wrestling control of the European supply market from Russia would be frighteningly expensive.

a little better than 3 Billion Cubic Feet (BcF) of natural gas, which is mostly methane. That equates to about .85 Billion Cubic Meters (BcM). But Europe uses about 400 BcM per year , assuming LNG could supply the whole European market, which is of course unrealistic. Especially considering the entire global LNG shipping fleet consists of about 410 vessels .

No LNG carriers are currently registered under the US flag, and if the USA plans to be a serious exporter it is going to need about 100 new LNG carriers over the next 30 years , something which is frankly not practically achievable considering it takes about 2 years to build one, at a cost of about $200 Million apiece . Of course, miracles can be made to happen if you pour enough money into them. But we've already somewhat nervously mentioned how much all this is costing – how does the likely return on investment shape up?

Well, what the fuck? Platts comes right out and says that Russia has the option of cutting its prices to ensure it undercuts LNG costs in order to keep its share of the European market!

"Russia clearly does have the option to undercut the US LNG price to ensure it keeps its share of its key European markets and could flood the market with cheap gas, maximizing revenues and cash flow at a time when producers worldwide are suffering from the impact of such low prices."

So, let me get this straight. All the attempts by the west, led as usual by Washington, to force energy prices down and keep them low actually benefit Russia by putting the USA in an unacceptable profit/loss loop so that it cannot afford to sell its LNG to Europe and still make money? That appears to be pretty much how it shakes out.

"Russia, thanks to the bearish oil price environment and an enhanced export strategy from Gazprom, increased its exports to Europe by 15% (through the Nord Stream, Yamal, and Brotherhood pipelines) to 118 Bcm, taking back its place as Europe's largest gas supplier in the process."

Wait! I think I see a solution. All the USA needs to do is apply its global leverage to make energy costs rise!

"But US LNG could face problems of its own – the current low prices are forcing ever growing numbers of US producers into bankruptcy. According to a recent report by Haynes and Boone, 90 gas and oil producers in the US and Canada have filed for bankruptcy between January 2015 and the start of August 2016."

Oh, hey; I just realized – if forcing energy prices back up were an option, how is that going to hamstring an opponent who was already able to undercut you at the lower price, and still turn a profit?

Platts closes out this dismal synopsis with the consolation prize that, while US LNG is less competitive with pipeline gas given narrow Henry Hub-NBP spreads, it is coming to Europe regardless. More of that old American can-do. It will have to be, though, on what is described as a short-run marginal cost basis. Would you feel comfortable with that forecast if you were carrying, say, $20 Billion in debt?

And it's not just Platts who sounds a warning; Forbes has a similar, if slightly more mocking outlook of the situation .

"Most of this is just political posturing and noise. The U.S. is not now and nor will it be in the near future a key resource for Europe's energy needs According to EIAs Annual Energy Outlook, published in April, the United States remains a net importer of fuels through 2040 in a low oil price scenario. In a high oil and gas price scenario, the United States becomes a net exporter of liquid fuels due to increased production by 2021. A lot can happen in seven years. By then, Exxon will likely be back to its deal with Rosneft in Russia's Arctic Circle."

As well, Forbes adds the interesting perspective that foreign sales of American gas will be a tough sell domestically if the pressure remains on the American leadership to achieve greater energy self-sufficiency and reduced dependence on foreign sources. This situation can only be exacerbated by a rise in anti-American sentiment around the world, and is likely to spike if energy prices rise. But if they stay low, American LNG exports won't make any money. If they go up, pipeline gas will undercut LNG prices and make it noncompetitive. Jeez, we just seem to be going around in circles. Say, did you notice that little item in there, in which the author mentions the only possible way the USA could compete with Russia in the natural gas market in Europe would be if it had national rights to substantial supplies of gas abroad? Did that give your memory a little tickle, and make you think of Burisma Holdings, and Hunter Biden ?

The Brookings Institute, for God's sake, warned that US LNG could not compete price-wise before the first LNG cargo ever left the USA. Given its sympathies, it seems probable it was intended as a sobering restraint meant to keep the United States from doing something stupid that might expose it to failure and even ruin; it is much less likely to have been an endorsement of Russia's global business practices.

As so often happens, an unhealthy fixation on taking down a largely imagined enemy results in increased risk-taking and a totally unrealistic appraisal of the likelihood of success – it becomes worth doing simply to be doing something. The costs in this instance have included the alienation and infuriating of Germany, the European Union's anchor economy, and angry murmurs from the Gulf States that Washington negotiated production cuts simply to make its own product more competitive. All for nothing, as it happens, because a nation with surplus swing production can always undercut your price, and the nation with the world's lowest production costs should be last on your list of "People I Want To Start A Price War With".

If you were opposed to official Washington's swaggering, bullying modus operandi , this whole unfolding of events probably seems pretty delicious to you. But I've saved the most delicious for last – Trump dares not make any effort to overrule the Senate vote, or get it reframed, because of the successful media campaign to portray him as Putin's secret agent. Any effort to mollify Germany's fury will be seized upon by the reality-challenged Democrats as an opportunity to further discredit the Trump government, by making it appear to be negotiating in Russia's behalf.

You couldn't make it up. PaulR , June 15, 2017 at 5:29 pm

One should never underestimate peoples` willingness to spend vast sums of money on worthless projects. Witness the Canadian government's recent announcement of its plans to increase defense spending by 70%.

When the dust finally settles, the Chinese will end up on top.

marknesop , June 15, 2017 at 5:47 pm
I think you're probably right about that. And if it turns out to be the case, British Columbia will turn out to be the most progressive province in Canada, with its large numbers of Chinese citizens and its Chines-language television stations. At bottom I am mostly a peaceful guy and I don't really care very much who rules the world so long as it doesn't impact my lifestyle.

Once I would have argued strongly for American global leadership, based on a perception that it offered the best chance for prosperity and enlightenment for everyone, but events since have changed my view. Now I think other countries should be left alone in terms of interference, helped where you can lend a hand, and global leadership is an unrealistic aspiration for any country led by humans, since human nature tends to favour self-interest.

I don't know what the Liberals think they are doing, pushing what is essentially an unachievable Conservative platform where defense is concerned. To what end? So we can interfere more effectively on the USA's behalf? We have a good military. There's nothing wrong with keeping it up to date and well-supplied and trained. But a 70% increase is impractical and is only likely to incur the wrath of the non-military portion of the electorate, since the money has to come from somewhere.

PaulR , June 15, 2017 at 5:38 pm
I hadn't been aware of the connection between the sanctions and LNG, so thanks for pointing that out.

Meanwhile, I read this:

'Germany and Austria on Thursday sharply criticized the U.S. Senate's plan to add sanctions on Russia, describing it as an illegal attempt to boost U.S. gas exports and interfere in Europe's energy market. [ ]

"We cannot accept a threat of extraterritorial sanctions, illegal under international law, against European companies that participate in developing European energy supplies," [German Foreign Minister Sigmar Gabriel and Austrian Chancellor Christian Kern said in a joint statement]. "Europe's energy supply is Europe's business, not that of the United States of America."'

https://www.the-american-interest.com/2017/06/15/the-us-is-exposing-europes-divide-on-nord-stream-2/

marknesop , June 15, 2017 at 5:58 pm
After all, many other European leaders have publicly clamored for U.S. LNG imports as a way to ease their dependence on Gazprom.

Who? The Baltics? Thanks for that. It's mostly a rehash of the other article, but it does include some interesting insights, and it has a little more credibility than ZeroHedge, although there's little in that with which I can find fault and its breaking news is usually accurate.

That the EU's energy policies are completely outside the USA's remit is correct, but it's a surprise to hear someone of Gabriel's stature actually say it. It seems the USA has decided that forcing Germany to abandon its support for the project is worth trying. That will turn out to be a disastrous mistake, because the business community in Germany contains some of America's staunchest supporters, while anti-Americanism among the German population – especially its youth – is a growing problem. This will do nothing to help it, and it most certainly is not going to persuade Germany to order American LNG.

I urge you to digest the Platts Report in detail, at your leisure – it's illuminating, and I'm sure you will note that Russia's LNG export capability is already far, far ahead of the USA's. So even if pipeline gas proved only competitive with LNG, why would anyone depend on supplies which have to cross the ocean rather than supplies that can come from Kaliningrad?

PaulR , June 15, 2017 at 7:12 pm
As if on cue, Evgeniia Chirikova denounces North Stream II in The Guardian: https://www.theguardian.com/world/2017/jun/14/gas-pipeline-nord-stream-2-funnel-billions-putin-bypass-sanctions
ucgsblog , June 15, 2017 at 7:23 pm
She's funny: "How can you shout about the transition to renewable, environmentally safe energy and at the same time make plans to increase gas flows into Europe?"

Uhh, Zhenichka, Russia is part of Europe, you can shout about it if you are increasing your energy dependence on both, and if one pipeline is simply replacing another. That's how. That was easy.

"Five European companies are involved but for some mysterious reason, 100% of the shares belong to Gazprom."

Because GazProm is paying $$$ for it. Zhenichka, in a Capitalist Society, those who pay for the shares, get the shares. Did I solve that mystery for you?

marknesop , June 15, 2017 at 10:23 pm
"Five European companies are involved but for some mysterious reason, 100% of the shares belong to Gazprom."

There is nothing mysterious about it; in fact, it is typical Guardian dishonesty. The Nord Stream II Project originally included minority shareholders as shown here . Then Poland introduced its anti-monopoly action and announced the pipeline could not be built. The partners dropped out, and left Gazprom to take the heat alone. When Poland failed in its bid to stop the project and it became clear the EU was all out of arrows – having never had a defensible legal basis – the partners hopped back on, but as investors only. I daresay they stand to make a good return on their investment even without being shareholders. Meanwhile, American meddling is only likely to make Europeans grateful attempts to stop the pipeline failed. I would not like to see their reaction if it ever became clear their governments had committed them to paying higher gas prices just to spite Russia, particularly in view of the USA's limited ability to provide reliable and constant supply.

The Guardian is just being a good American footsoldier, and trying to throw mud in the works for Uncle Sam.

yalensis , June 16, 2017 at 3:37 am
Chirikova works for the Estonian government now.
ucgsblog , June 15, 2017 at 7:16 pm
Beautiful article, and great timing Mark! I love it. This was one of the dumbest bills ever passed. It aimed at Russia, but it's just a take down of Germany. Reminds me of a recent Russian joke:

Obama: "America is mighty! Because of us, Russia's Economy is in ruins!"
Poroshenko: "not Russia's, sir. Ukraine's."
Obama: "Who gives a shit! It's in ruins!"

Also, here's what I'm wondering – can't Russia deliver it by truck or train? Won't that still be less expensive than delivering it by ship?

Jen , June 15, 2017 at 8:39 pm
Nordstream 2 is primarily a gas pipeline project under the Baltic Sea.

The main attraction of Nordstream 2 is it avoids transit through countries where tolls and transit fees would have to be paid, whether through land-based pipes, truck or train, and all these expenses added to the eventual cost that would be paid by the end consumer (ie the general public). Plus trucks and trains can be held up or subjected to attacks and gas in land-based pipelines can be siphoned off and diverted as was being done when the gas was passing through Ukraine originally. No such problems if the gas were being delivered through underwater pipelines though we can be sure that Swedish naval submarines (how many of those are there – one?) will be watching them very closely for phantom Russian subs.

marknesop , June 15, 2017 at 10:28 pm

I thought you were talking about LNG, from Kaliningrad. And if so, yes; it certainly could be transported by train, and probably would be.
Jen , June 16, 2017 at 5:46 am
Ah, I thought UCGS' original comment referred to your original post, not the one you sent at 5:58 pm yesterday.

Wouldn't transporting LNG by underground pipeline under its own pressure be a less risky and cheaper option than sending it by train? Trains carrying LNG can only carry so much and have to be specially adapted to transporting it. Plus they share rail networks with other trains so there are issues like how saturated the rail networks supporting LNG rail traffic, other cargo traffic and passenger traffic become, and the pressure this puts on drivers and maintenance of railway tracks, and building more rail lines in and through areas where pipelines could be laid down instead.

marknesop , June 16, 2017 at 8:56 am
It's possible; I'm afraid I don't know enough about it. It seems that when they speak of an LNG 'train', it refers to the liquefaction and purification facility , not a transport vehicle. In order to transport LNG it must be liquefied, which implies freezing it to below -161C. Naturally it must be maintained at a temperature which guarantees its stability as a liquid, until it is appropriate to return it to its gaseous form for use in that form. That's the purpose of the huge container vessels on an LNG tanker – you have to get it cold and then keep it cold.

I just don't know how you would do that in a pipeline. And obviously it would be wildly impractical for a train, I don't know what the hell I thought I was talking about. It could be done, but why? You'd need a hundred miles of teeny little flatcar-sized container vessels to equal what you can transport in an LNG carrier.

Your pipeline would have to originate at an LNG 'train' and terminate at another, somewhere else, so that the liquefaction/gasification process could be practically carried out, much as current NG pipelines use pumping stations. But you would also have to keep the LNG below -160C all the time it was in the pipeline. That's probably physically possible, too, if expense is no consideration, but it seems terribly impractical when NG already goes by pipeline safely at a fraction of what it would cost to transport LNG the same way.

Jen , June 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm
Ah, I see now of course you wouldn't need to transport NG in liquid form under 160C through pipelines. To transport it by ship or train though, it must be in liquefied form, presumably because as a liquid NG can be measured and quantified, and then exporters can work out how much they can charge for producing and transporting LNG. Not to mention of course that transporting commodities in gaseous form by train and ship is harder and riskier than transporting them as liquids.
marknesop , June 16, 2017 at 3:38 pm
As well, it needs to be liquefied in order to be compressed, to get the volumes you are looking for . One of those container vessels full of uncompressed NG wouldn't be much more than a good-sized European town would need for its barbecues.

LNG achieves a higher reduction in volume than compressed natural gas (CNG) so that the (volumetric) energy density of LNG is 2.4 times greater than that of CNG or 60 percent that of diesel fuel. This makes LNG cost efficient to transport over long distances where pipelines do not exist. Specially designed cryogenic sea vessels (LNG carriers) or cryogenic road tankers are used for its transport. LNG is principally used for transporting natural gas to markets, where it is regasified and distributed as pipeline natural gas.

That does highlight, as well, that if you can use road tankers there really is no reason you could not use trains. But anywhere it is practical to use trains or road transport, you would be asking yourself, "why can't I use a pipeline here?"

et Al , June 16, 2017 at 1:30 am
The US's intervention is even more pathetic than it seems.

This is not a stand alone anti-Russia bill which would signal strength from the US, but an adjunct to the anti-I-ran sanctions bill that continues to seek to punish I-ran in the vague hope that it will pull the plug on the cast-iron nuclear deal it has signed with international partners. The irony there is that I-ran Air is recapitalizing with both Airbus & Boeing (also ATR), 100 odd a piece, not to mention other significant investment opportunities for western firms.

They're quite the Gordian Tits!

Not only is there the potential of the Levianthan gas field off Cyprus/Israel/whatever, brutal dictator Azeri gas will also be arriving in (larger, but not gigantic) quantities. Not to mention that significant buyers of LNG, like the UK, have it come straight from Qatar. Is the US prepared to sell LNG at a discount compared to Qatar that has strategic agreements and its own fundamental interests to be protected by the Western (European) states as well?

So if this plan seems to damage not only the USA's allies but the USA itself, then what is its purpose? Stick it to Trump. Mire any plans to re-balance relations with Russia almost at any cost . It's a no brainer for Democrats as they neither hold a majority in the House or the Senate, and there seem to be enough dog whistle Republicans willing to go along with it, including those with mental problems like John 'Insane' McCaine. Ukraine is almost peripheral except as a convenient tool. It think the US accepts they've screwed the pooch on the Ukraine so its only value is to be used as a festering sore on Russia's frontier. Kiev mops up the completely free public political support whilst it is being kicked in the bollox by the same people.

Lyttenburgh , June 16, 2017 at 9:03 am
Whoop-whoop! A new article so soon!

"Try to put aside, for the moment, the insufferable arrogance of American meddling in Europe's energy market, with a view to restricting its choice while – laughably – pretending it is broadening European energy options."

"Invisible Hand of the Market" [nod, nod].

"And a big part of that was the assumption that Russia would help to finance Ukraine's transition to a powerful western fulcrum "

At first I read it as "western furuncle". That's what it became in the end.

First Rule of the Ukraine: "Every Peremoga turns into Zrada".Want to hear about yet another zrada ? Russia (okay – Mikhail Friedman) bought a German firm Rheinisch-Westfälisches Elektrizitätswerk (RWE) for $5.72 blns in 2015 . Why it's important? Well, because this firm carries out the reverse gas transition to the Ukraine, thus ensuring its [ha-ha, sorry, sorry!] "Energy Independence" which was officially proclaimed in the same 2015 A.D.

"No LNG carriers are currently registered under the US flag, and if the USA plans to be a serious exporter it is going to need about 100 new LNG carriers over the next 30 years, something which is frankly not practically achievable considering it takes about 2 years to build one, at a cost of about $200 Million apiece". Of course, miracles can be made to happen if you pour enough money into them.

Something-something-something Elon Musk something-something Super-technologies something-something-something Innovations! Progress!

And usual stuff, said by the people who believe that the Free Market will "Get the Things Straight" without governmental meddling. Like, Musk will invent cheap multi-use drone-rackets which will deliver gas to the clients across the Ocean. Why not?! They believe in all kinds of stupid stuff already!

The article is fresh breeze of actual facts and hard data – not your usual hurr-durring opinion pieces, passed as "analytics" by the esteemed think-tankers.

P.S. Mark, do you have the same e-mail address?

marknesop , June 16, 2017 at 1:19 pm
Thanks very much, NS!! I read a book some time ago which used newspaper and wire reports of the various times to thoroughly debunk most of the incidents of ships and aircraft 'disappearing without a trace' in the Bermuda Triangle. In incidents which resulted in total losses of the crew, the author also offered reasonable explanations for what likely happened. I have sailed through it many times myself and observed nothing untoward, although that does not mean much considering the amount of marine traffic which routinely does the same without incident.

Owners of LNG Carriers likewise play up how safe they are, and to the best of my knowledge there has never been a serious accident. However, on the scale of supply the USA is suggesting it wishes to achieve for itself, there could be no days taken off for bad weather, and carriers would have to transit the North Atlantic in winter – which is not generally a fun place to be. Most of my concern with the shipped method is its inherent unreliability compared with pipeline gas.

Northern Star , June 16, 2017 at 12:31 pm
"But Gazprom could block a lot of those cargoes by stepping up export volumes and selling them at prices below what can be achieved by U.S. LNG. Gazprom can export pipeline gas to Europe for $3.50 per million Btu (MMBtu) while American LNG would need prices of $4 to $5/MMbtu. Currently, Gazprom sells gas to Europe at a price of about $5.80/MMBtu on average, but could lower the price to beat U.S. LNG"

I do not see how the USA could begin to economically prevail over the Russians in a
"gas' war..given the above numbers.

"Of course, viewed another way, the growing U.S. export capacity – the mere existence of a competing source of supply – should push down the price that Gazprom is able to charge, a victory for Europe and a blow to Gazprom. Without U.S. LNG, its proponents argue, Russia would not be forced to accept lower prices. "It's the start of the price war between U.S. LNG and pipeline gas," said Thierry Bros, an analyst at Société Générale, according to the WSJ."

Moreover doesn't keeping a lid (cap) on what the Russians can charge for Gazprom gas ipso facto prevent the Americans from competitively pricing their LNG product..particularly in view of the first quote????
Either I'm a little dense today,or the American strategy here makes no sense whasoever.!!!!

http://oilprice.com/Energy/Energy-General/US-To-Undermine-Russias-Gas-Monopoly-In-Europe.html

marknesop , June 16, 2017 at 1:51 pm
The latter – the American strategy makes no sense, and its proponents are so high on can-do that you might have to shoot them to get them down. The USA cannot supply either the volume or the consistency of supply to snatch the gas market from Russia, and that must be evident to all but the crazy. As usual, Washington just hopes to get itself into the mix so it will have a seat at the table, because it cannot bear being left out of things and has long been of the opinion that America makes its own reality. Once again, if America owned or controlled substantial gas reserves on the continent and it were practical for the USA to run its own pipeline to Europe, it might be in with a chance if it had sufficient supply, and it is attempts to do that that we should be watching out for. There was speculation much earlier that control of substantial gas holdings was exactly what Burisma Holdings and Hunter Biden were up to in Ukraine, but gas extraction is not practical there right now and id assay results had been positive you can bet there would be a lot more American pressure to bring the war to a close.

On that note, I noticed over at Sputnik yesterday that Turchynov was pressuring Poroshenko to bag the ATO and turn it into a full-press military operation, which is just what recent reports said they did not dare to do in case the Ukrainian Army loses. The same report said Poroshenko is about to sign legislation which orders by decree that Donbas resume its place as part of Ukraine. If they say "Pound sand up your ass" as we know they will, Poroshenko may have little alternative to throwing everything he has at them. Of course, I can't find it now; I knew I should have drawn attention to it when I saw it.

I'm sure Russia is watching carefully.

Northern Star , June 16, 2017 at 12:49 pm
I assume the (shipped) American LNG would have to be regasified at a european import terminal. Consulting page six at the link, is it not problematic to then transport the regasified lng product to its (receiving) nation destination. The whole scheme smacks of going around the well to get an expensive cup of water!!!!!
http://documents.jdsupra.com/c6c4403f-ad9f-4740-b184-9fc1f88550ab.pdf
marknesop , June 16, 2017 at 1:53 pm
The liquid LNG can only be unloaded at an LNG terminal, and so far as I am aware a feature of them is that they are connected to a gas hub, so that they can regasify the product directly into the system.
likbez says: June 16, 2017 at 9:05 pm
What I do not understand is why Russians can't increase natural gas consumption dramatically and need to export that much: is it so difficult to build several large chemical plants, increase usage in city transport as less polluting fuel to 100%, promote dual fuel private cars, etc.

In this case they can export saved oil instead using regular tankers which is much simpler then LNG.

I think the current suppression of oil prices by Wall Street (and the new US method of production using along with production of shale oil a parallel production stream of junk bonds which will never be repaid) can't last forever. "Break even" oil price for most shale wells is probably over $60 per barrel. If not $80.

Also without capital investment the annual decline of conventional fields is around 5% a year (most of those fields are really old). Which means approximately 5 million barrels per day are taken off the market automatically each year (no OPEC action is needed), if zero capital investment are done.

Of course Sechin is IMHO a corrupt player here, who cares mostly about his own pocketbook (and stupidly increased investment just before the crash, which later required bailout of the company by the government), but still Russian government has the means to enforce its will even on rogue players.

[Jun 15, 2017] The appointment of the special prosecutor was the part of the plan of Russiagate color revolution from the very beginning

Jun 15, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova, June 14, 2017 at 09:00 PM

Fred,

"Mr. Comey said during the testimony that it was up to Mr. Mueller to decide whether the president's actions amounted to obstruction of justice."

Comey probably lied. This was probably the plan hatched from the very beginning of this color revolution by Comey and other members of anti-trump conspiracy such as Brennan: to raise Russiagate or anything else to the level which allow to appoint special prosecutor and to sink Trump using this mechanism, because digging by itself produces the necessary result.

Obstruction of justice is the easiest path to remove Trump, a no-brainer so to speak, the charge which can be used to remove any any past and future US president with guaranteed result.

The other, more Trump-specific, is of financial deals within the Trump empire. Especially his son-in-law deals.

In this sense Trump is now hostage like Clinton previously was. He can fight for survival, by unleashing some war, like Clinton did with Yugoslavia. Which probably is OK for neocons because war for them is the first, the second and the third solution to any problem. But as a result the US standing in the globe probably will be further damaged.

BTW, in your zeal to republish this neocon propaganda, do you understand that Hillary was a head of one of those 17 intelligence agencies in the past?

The State Department's Bureau of Intelligence and Research (INR) has ties to the Office of Strategic Services from World War II, but was transferred to State after the war. INR now reports directly to the Secretary of State, harnessing intelligence from all sources and offering independent analysis of global events and real-time insight.

Headquarters : Washington, D.C.

Mission : This agency serves as the Secretary of State's primary advisor on intelligence matters, and gives support to other policymakers, ambassadors, and embassy staff.

Budget : $49 million in 2007, according to documents obtained by FAS.

This all drama makes no sense for me. Trump folded. He proved to be not a fighter. The attempt to bring members of his family close to White house is a huge liability for him now in view of possible digging of the past of his son in law by the special Prosecutor. Who is recruiting the most rabid Hillary hacks for the job ;-).

But the key question is what DemoRats will gain with the current vice president elevated to the new level?

Other then a blowback from the remaining part of Trump supporters. Pat Buchanan was talking about civil war recently, which is probably exaggeration, but the probably direction of reaction is probably guessed right:

http://www.cnsnews.com/commentary/patrick-j-buchanan/are-we-nearing-civil-war

Not that I trust him with such a prediction, but still this is a danger.

[Jun 15, 2017] Many Americans know that MSM are either feeding them unadulterated bs or lying by omission so they actually make a real effort to find out more – whether they agree with it or not – but are faced with having to wade through rivers of spam in comments. It is dispiriting to say the least.

Notable quotes:
"... Lots of people out there (Hello lurkers!) know that the Pork Pie News Networks are either feeding them unadulterated bs or lying by omission so actually make a real effort to find out more – whether they agree with it or not – but are faced with having to wade through rivers of f/ktard commenters. It is dispiriting to say the least. ..."
"... That may well be the idea, particularly those organizations that want to hose a and discredit alternative media sites (sic the JTRIG program and the likes of Brigade 77 and digilogues that have been running for years). If you can hack it, you probably think a) does this make sense? b) who is bono? c) timing, timing, timing.. d) is anything logically missing from the picture/story? e) if so, what conclusions can we draw from that? etc. It's not easy. ..."
"... Once upon a time we had newspaper columnists to do our thinking for us who we would religiously read. Now it is each one for themselves. What a pain in the ass. Fortunately we have the Kremlin Stooge and a bunch of other sites to help! :-) ..."
"... Don't miss the link to TTG's comment on leaks at Sic Semper Tyrannis! ..."
"... Yet again, you do not get this kind of information from the Pork Pie News Networks, the same ones who cosy up to the security services in return for juicy tidbits and also rubbish 'alternative news/websites/blogs'. ..."
"... the notion of compartmentalized operational security and broad state electronic surveillance of the population are mutually exclusive. ..."
Jun 09, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
at Al, June 7, 2017 at 7:17 am

Vis the Reality Winner leaking 'proof' of Russian hacking of US elections, PavewayIV's comment on Moon of Alabama says it all:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/do-not-trust-the-intercept-or-how-to-burn-a-source.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b8d28a09f7970c

####

He's one of a handful of good commenters there among the nutbags, antisemites, conspiracy theorists etc. It's one of the things that really bugs me about great (supposedly) alternative news/opinion/blogs. They always get immediately contaminated by all sorts of narcissistic 'tards who just want to s/t the bed for everyone else, particularly the flyby trolls. Lots of people out there (Hello lurkers!) know that the Pork Pie News Networks are either feeding them unadulterated bs or lying by omission so actually make a real effort to find out more – whether they agree with it or not – but are faced with having to wade through rivers of f/ktard commenters. It is dispiriting to say the least.

That may well be the idea, particularly those organizations that want to hose a and discredit alternative media sites (sic the JTRIG program and the likes of Brigade 77 and digilogues that have been running for years). If you can hack it, you probably think a) does this make sense? b) who is bono? c) timing, timing, timing.. d) is anything logically missing from the picture/story? e) if so, what conclusions can we draw from that? etc. It's not easy.

Once upon a time we had newspaper columnists to do our thinking for us who we would religiously read. Now it is each one for themselves. What a pain in the ass. Fortunately we have the Kremlin Stooge and a bunch of other sites to help! :-)

et Al , June 7, 2017 at 7:43 am
'Ghostship' elucidates how Reality Winner would have access to top class info;

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/do-not-trust-the-intercept-or-how-to-burn-a-source.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01b7c9000590970b

####

My only thoughts are, wouldn't such info be compartmentalized (standard operating procedure, innit?), i.e. a 'translator' would not have free and unlimited access, but rather have access to only very specific highly secret info? If there are that many translators out there, then compartmentalization would work very well. It is totally counter intuitive, nay stupid , to allow free range to anyone but the top of the top. More people, more chance of leaks, accidents or incomptence.

et Al , June 7, 2017 at 7:50 am
Ah, I should have read on. PavewayIV again:

http://www.moonofalabama.org/2017/06/do-not-trust-the-intercept-or-how-to-burn-a-source.html#c6a00d8341c640e53ef01bb09a3288d970d

####

Don't miss the link to TTG's comment on leaks at Sic Semper Tyrannis!

Yet again, you do not get this kind of information from the Pork Pie News Networks, the same ones who cosy up to the security services in return for juicy tidbits and also rubbish 'alternative news/websites/blogs'.

marknesop , June 7, 2017 at 8:09 pm
Indeed it is; Secret and Top secret information is made available to those who

(1) are cleared to the appropriate level, and

(2) have the need to know.

It's "and". Not "or". Top Secret information may not be viewed by anyone with a Top Secret security clearance – only by those who need to know that information to carry out their duties related to it.

Information may actually specify, "Top Secret – Eyes Only" in which the personnel holding a Top Secret clearance who may view the material are either listed, or it is restricted only to the addressee.

yalensis , June 8, 2017 at 2:34 am
I dunno, because that whole Snowden thing revealed a lot of holes in the American security apparatus. Snowden himself was surprised just how much stuff he was able to access, and he was just a contractor at the time, not even a permanent employee.
marknesop , June 8, 2017 at 5:37 am
Well, yes, because the notion of compartmentalized operational security and broad state electronic surveillance of the population are mutually exclusive.

But to the very best of my knowledge Snowden did not reveal any secrets of America's defense systems, its operational structure, its past military operations or its future plans in that area, if he knew them. The damaging information he disclosed all related to American spying on foreign leaders and the American electorate

[Jun 15, 2017] Comeys Lies of Omission by Mike Whitney

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Donald Trump is not the target of an FBI investigation. Donald Trump has never been the target of an FBI investigation. The FBI is not investigating Trump for collusion, improper relations with a foreign government, treason or any of the other ridiculous things he's been falsely accused of in the fake media. In fact, the FBI is not investigating him at all. ..."
"... So, there was no counter-intelligence case on Trump? There was no investigation of collusion with Russia? But how can that be, after all, Trump has been hectored and harassed by the media from Day 1? His appointments have been blocked, his political agenda has been derailed, and the results of the 2016 elections have been effectively repealed due to the relentless attacks of the media, political elites and high-ranking leaders in the Intelligence Community. Now Comey admits that Trump is not guilty of anything, he's not even a suspect. ..."
"... Trump repeatedly asked Comey to announce that he wasn't under investigation. According to Comey, Trump "emphasized the problems this was causing him" and (Trump) said "We need to get that fact out." But Comey repeatedly refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Why? ..."
"... It's true, he admitted it himself. Following his first meeting with Trump on January 6, he started recording contents of his private conversations with the president-elect on a secure FBI laptop in his car outside Trump Tower. He didn't even wait until he got back to the office, he did it in the goddamn parking lot. That's what you call "eager". In his testimony he admitted that he kept notes of his private meetings with Trump "from that point forward." ..."
"... Does that sound like the normal activities of dedicated public servant acting in behalf of the elected government or does it sound like someone who's on an assignment to dig up as much dirt as possible on the target of a political smear campaign. ..."
"... Comey is a man with zero integrity. Did you know that? ..."
"... In short, the memo Comey that approved gave a thumbs-up on waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture – all violations of domestic and international law. Then, there's warrantless wiretapping. ."("Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director", ACLU) ..."
"... Repeat: "He approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration (including) torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention." How does that square with the media's portrayal of Comey as a man of unshakable integrity and honor? ..."
"... In my mind, Comey tipped his hand when he said that he leaked the memo of his private conversation with Trump to the media in order to precipitate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Think about that for a minute. Here's what he said: ..."
"... because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel ..."
"... Listen to Comey. The man is openly admitting that leaking the memo was all part of a very clearly-defined political strategy to force the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was the political objective from the get go. He doesn't even try to hide it. He wasn't trying to protect himself from 'mean old' Trump. That's baloney! He was laying the groundwork for a massive and expansive investigation into anything and anyone even remotely connected to the Trump team, a gigantic fishing expedition aimed at taking down Trump and his closest allies. That's what Comey's been up to. Only his plan didn't work, did it, because the 'leaked memo' didn't lead to the appointment of the special prosecutor. Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump's ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that's all it took. ..."
"... In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenberg had to step in and give Comey his pink slip before the media could cry "obstruction", creating the perfect opportunity to appoint "hired gun" Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now that the dominoes are in motion, Comey can trundle off to some comfy job at one of the many rightwing Washington think tanks while Mueller gathers together his team of superstar prosecutors to launch their first broadsides on the White House. ..."
"... Clearly, Trump was not trying to impede the investigation. But even if he was, it is a particularly murky area of the law and difficult to prove. ..."
"... lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com . ..."
"... Excellent article. The politicized charge 'obstruction of justice' is nebulous, arcane and insufferably highfalutin, which makes the entire investigation a very appealing opportunity to launch a politically correct witch hunt. Watch the MSM cheer it on. ..."
"... But the endgame is not exclusively about Russia. Ancillary targets include Russia's teetering allies, Syria and Iran. Cui Bono? ..."
"... Good takes all, Mike, and they're the truth. But I'd fire Rosenburg for his betrayals, then fire Mueller for his political selections, all Democrats, most with contributor or employment connections to the Clintons, the Foundation, or the Global Initiative. Those would be a firings for cause and I would fire all their allies, too. Immediately, I'd demand a Grand Jury hearing and have appointed another Special Prosecutor. Nixon wasn't impeached over the Saturday Night Massacre, he was impeached because they had the goods on him. ..."
"... The endless investigations can be terminated by the President on whim. The Congress can then impeach and hold a trial. They would all look like fools because there's nothing there, only their desire to do Trump in. Trump should fire, fire, fire wherever the politics lead in whatever agency. A lot of this is Clinton-driven, too. Jeff Sessions also needs to get on board, carry the frustrated Clinton investigations to a Grand Jury, flip it all back on them and indict Comey, Rosenberg and all their little buddies down below that leaked. Anyone who leaks, lies or obstructs goes to jail. ..."
"... It may sound strange, but I do not believe this entire escapade is about Donald Trump or Russia. It is about our Neocon overlords asserting their unconstitutional primacy over the sovereign will of the American People. ..."
"... If the American people had their way, all our "Neocon overlords" would be in federal prison or Guantanamo Bay, and all their assets seized to pay down the heinous 20 trillion debt their lies have created. ..."
"... Presumably Comey was deeply involved in Obama's illegal spying. ..."
"... Learned thus far; the deep state has more power than the Senate, the HOUSE and all members of the voting public.. Its not about Trump, its about you voters.. you people out their in vote land did not vote for the person the deep state elected.. therefore your elected persons must go.. somehow, he must go.. and believe me the DEEPSTATE has pledged to make it so.. ..."
"... Mueller was not appointed via the congressional "special prosecutor" statute (which was allowed to lapse.) He was appointed by the Justice Departement which means that Trump appointed the man whose job is to destroy him. Why would Trump agree to that when he can simply fire Rosenstein and instal someone who'll get rid of Mueller. Sure, the Washington Post will moan and groan, but who cares. ..."
"... A little discouraged. Don' t think the swamp is drainable. Trump agenda will never be enacted under these circumstances. Maybe Trump should fire Rosenstein and Mueller and then resign, loudly proclaiming truth about swamp. Don't like Pence but maybe few things can get done. Trump underestimated deep state. They ARE in charge. What will the people do ? Become more apathetic? ..."
"... Alternatively, Trump could go out swinging. Fire Rosenstein and Mueller and rally base and see what happens. Can't go on as is. The death by a thousand cuts. ..."
"... In light of Mueller's early actions corroborating his status as an establishment thug and lackey, Trump should fire him, and should fire Rosenstein, particularly since he has the power to do so, and Comey's testimony admits that the leak was intended to get somebody, probably his longtime associate Mueller, in as special prosecutor. As the article shows, the whole thing has been an effort by the power structure to continue its nihilistic war policies. Trump's other proven faults are not the issue. Our survival and the restoration of the rule of law are what is at stake. ..."
"... The problem is that this leads back to the same questions of why Russia is Washington's sworn enemy anyway. Furthermore, what is Trump's motivation in pushing for a detente with Russia, potentially jeopardizing first his candidacy, and now his presidency, with a generally unpopular among the electorate position? ..."
"... I tend to agree with some of the comments above, that this has to do with the Neocons, their hold on power and their plans for Middle Eastern conquest. Russia stands in the way of a lot of their plans. Still, Trump's stance on Russia, and who or what else is behind that, to me is the great mystery in all this. And, to be clear, I don't believe in any kind of ridiculous collusion or blackmail scenario. ..."
"... Trump needs to stage a false flag assasination attempt. Blame it on operatives within the FBI and the upper echelons of congress. Invite bikers for Trump and other patriots to washington, putting them on the payroll and arming them while stating "Due to the assasination attempt I can no longer trust the secret service or Washington establishment for protection." He then needs to have this army occupy both Capitol hill, the CIA and the FBI. etc etc. Its time for Trump to flex his inner Yeltsin. ..."
"... Uh, because he is a tool of the criminal elite who really run the show, which is one reason he was rewarded with a directorship at HSBC in an earlier time. He made beaucoup bucks there they made beaucoup bucks laundering hundreds of billions of drug cartel money. Apple tree. ..."
"... I don't care much for Trump, finding many of his specific domestic policies noxious; but I do have a dog in the fight when the Deep State tries to overturn the election of the Chief Magistrate of the nation because he might upset their applecart. He already fucked with their so-called "trade" deals by deep sixing the TPP, and then he is talking about speaking respectfully with Russia, implicitly rejecting the unipolarity of American Hegemony. What further proof did the Deep State require to set a soft coup into motion? ..."
"... Comey's having previously taken a job as general counsel of Bridgewater, including a reported and unmerited $3+ million severance on leaving, was sufficient reason for Trump to fire him on day one. Comey's due diligence had to have made him aware of–and therefore he apparently wanted to be in on–Dalio's deranged, Stalinesque corporate culture of backstabbing absolutely everyone under the guise of openness. ..."
"... Were Trump to take hysterical pieces like this post seriously it would likely precipitate him into war with Russia. Fortunately that won't be necessary, because Trump can order the FBI to do or stop doing things; the pres has that constitutional authority as Dershowitz has said repeatedly from the begining, so there is no case against Trump for obstruction. Dershowitz has also said anything (jaywalking) is in theory an "impeachable offense" , because impeachment is completely political. ..."
"... JULY 10 = ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SETH RICH MURDER How about something big on July 10? The date shouldn't be wasted. Over 66,000 people have signed the petition to make this point. There are only 3 days left, but it could still make the 100K mark. ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.unz.com

"The Democrats are not fighting Trump over his assault on health care, his attacks on immigrants, his militaristic bullying around the world, or even his status as a minority president who can claim no mandate after losing the popular vote. Instead, they have chosen to attack Trump, the most right-wing president in US history, from the right, denouncing him as insufficiently committed to a military confrontation with Russia."

- Patrick Martin, "The Russians are coming! The Russians are coming", World Socialist Web Site

Donald Trump is not the target of an FBI investigation. Donald Trump has never been the target of an FBI investigation. The FBI is not investigating Trump for collusion, improper relations with a foreign government, treason or any of the other ridiculous things he's been falsely accused of in the fake media. In fact, the FBI is not investigating him at all.

Last week, former FBI Director James Comey admitted publicly what he has known all along: that Trump was not a suspect in the Russia hacking probe and never has been. Here's the story from Politico:

"Comey assured Trump he wasn't under investigation during their first meeting. He said he discussed with FBI leadership before his meeting with the president-elect whether to disclose that he wasn't personally under investigation. "That was true; we did not have an open counter-intelligence case on him," Comey said." (Politico)

So, there was no counter-intelligence case on Trump? There was no investigation of collusion with Russia? But how can that be, after all, Trump has been hectored and harassed by the media from Day 1? His appointments have been blocked, his political agenda has been derailed, and the results of the 2016 elections have been effectively repealed due to the relentless attacks of the media, political elites and high-ranking leaders in the Intelligence Community. Now Comey admits that Trump is not guilty of anything, he's not even a suspect.

What's going on here? Why didn't Comey clear the air earlier so the American people would know that their president wasn't in bed with a foreign power? Why did he allow this farce to continue when he knew there was no substance to the claims? Did he enjoy seeing Trump twisting in the wind or was there some more sinister "political" motive behind his omission?

Trump repeatedly asked Comey to announce that he wasn't under investigation. According to Comey, Trump "emphasized the problems this was causing him" and (Trump) said "We need to get that fact out." But Comey repeatedly refused to publicly acknowledge the truth. Why?

Comey never answered that question to Trump, but he did explain his reasoning to the Senate Intelligence Committee last week. He said he didn't want to announce that Trump was not part of the Bureau's Russia probe because "it would create a duty to correct, should that change."

A "duty to correct"? Are you kidding me? What kind of bullshit answer is that? How many hours of legal brainstorming did it take to come up with that lame-ass excuse?

Let's state the obvious: Comey wanted to maintain the cloud of suspicion that was hanging over Trump because it helped to feed the perception that Trump was a traitor who collaborated with Russia to win the election. By remaining silent, Comey helped to fuel the public hysteria and reinforce the belief that Trump was guilty of criminal wrongdoing. That is why Comey never spoke out before, it's because his silence was already achieving the result he sought which was to inflict as much damage as possible on Trump and his administration.

Did you know that Comey was spying on Trump from Day 1?

It's true, he admitted it himself. Following his first meeting with Trump on January 6, he started recording contents of his private conversations with the president-elect on a secure FBI laptop in his car outside Trump Tower. He didn't even wait until he got back to the office, he did it in the goddamn parking lot. That's what you call "eager". In his testimony he admitted that he kept notes of his private meetings with Trump "from that point forward."

Does that sound like the normal activities of dedicated public servant acting in behalf of the elected government or does it sound like someone who's on an assignment to dig up as much dirt as possible on the target of a political smear campaign.

Isn't that what Comey was really up to?

Comey is a man with zero integrity. Did you know that?

"There's one very big problem with describing Comey as some sort of civil libertarian: some facts suggest otherwise. While Comey deserves credit for stopping an illegal spying program in dramatic fashion, he also approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration during his time as deputy attorney general. Those included torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention.

On 30 December 2004, a memo addressed to James Comey was issued that superseded the infamous memo that defined torture as pain "equivalent in intensity to the pain accompanying serious physical injury, such as organ failure". The memo to Comey seemed to renounce torture but did nothing of the sort. The key sentence in the opinion is tucked away in footnote 8. It concludes that the new Comey memo did not change the authorizations of interrogation tactics in any earlier memos.

In short, the memo Comey that approved gave a thumbs-up on waterboarding, wall slams, and other forms of torture – all violations of domestic and international law. Then, there's warrantless wiretapping. ."("Let's Check James Comey's Bush Years Record Before He Becomes FBI Director", ACLU)

Repeat: "He approved or defended some of the worst abuses of the Bush administration (including) torture, warrantless wiretapping, and indefinite detention." How does that square with the media's portrayal of Comey as a man of unshakable integrity and honor?

It doesn't square at all, does it? The media is obviously lying. Now ask yourself this: Can a man who rubber-stamped waterboarding be trusted? No, he can't be trusted because he's already proved himself to be inherently immoral.

Would a man like Comey agree to use his position and authority to try to "undo" the damage he did prior to the election when he announced the FBI was reopening its investigation of Hillary Clinton? In other words, was Comey being blackmailed to gather illicit material on Trump?

I think it's very likely, although entirely unprovable. Even so, Comey has been way too eager to frame Trump for things for which he is not guilty. Why has he been so eager? Was he really just protecting himself as he says or was he gathering information to build a legal case against Trump?

In my mind, Comey tipped his hand when he said that he leaked the memo of his private conversation with Trump to the media in order to precipitate the appointment of a special prosecutor. Think about that for a minute. Here's what he said:

"My judgment was I needed to get that out into the public square. So I asked a friend of mine to share the content of the memo with a reporter. I didn't do it myself for a variety of reasons, but I asked him to because I thought that might prompt the appointment of a special counsel , so I asked a close friend of mine to do it."

Listen to Comey. The man is openly admitting that leaking the memo was all part of a very clearly-defined political strategy to force the appointment of a special prosecutor. That was the political objective from the get go. He doesn't even try to hide it. He wasn't trying to protect himself from 'mean old' Trump. That's baloney! He was laying the groundwork for a massive and expansive investigation into anything and anyone even remotely connected to the Trump team, a gigantic fishing expedition aimed at taking down Trump and his closest allies. That's what Comey's been up to. Only his plan didn't work, did it, because the 'leaked memo' didn't lead to the appointment of the special prosecutor. Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump's ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that's all it took.

In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenberg had to step in and give Comey his pink slip before the media could cry "obstruction", creating the perfect opportunity to appoint "hired gun" Robert Mueller as special counsel. Now that the dominoes are in motion, Comey can trundle off to some comfy job at one of the many rightwing Washington think tanks while Mueller gathers together his team of superstar prosecutors to launch their first broadsides on the White House.

Whoever wrote this script deserves an Oscar. This is really first-rate political theater.

Now it's up to Mueller to prove that Trump tried to obstruct the investigation by asking Comey to go easy on former national security advisor General Michael Flynn. (According to Comey, Trump said, "I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go. He is a good guy. I hope you can let this go.") It might sound like obstruction, but there are real problems with this type of prosecution particularly the fact that Trump denies the allegations. Also, Comey has acknowledged that Trump expressed his support for the overall goals of the investigation when he said, "that if there were some 'satellite' associates of his who did something wrong, it would be good to find that out."

Clearly, Trump was not trying to impede the investigation. But even if he was, it is a particularly murky area of the law and difficult to prove. Here's a short clip from an article by Professor Jonathan Turley at George Washington University who helps to clarify the point:

"The desire for some indictable or impeachable offense by President Trump has distorted the legal analysis to an alarming degree. Analysts seem far too thrilled by the possibility of a crime by Trump. The legal fact is that Comey's testimony does not establish a prima facie - or even a strong - case for obstruction.

It is certainly true that if Trump made these comments, his conduct is wildly inappropriate. However, talking like Tony Soprano does not make you Tony Soprano .

The crime of obstruction of justice has not been defined as broadly as suggested by commentators The mere fact that Trump asked to speak to Comey alone would not implicate the president in obstruction. .

It would be a highly dangerous interpretation to allow obstruction charges at this stage. If prosecutors can charge people at the investigation stage of cases, a wide array of comments or conduct could be criminalized. It is quite common to have such issues arise early in criminal cases. Courts have limited the crime precisely to avoid this type of open-ended crime where prosecutors could threaten potential witnesses with charges unless they cooperated.

We do not indict or impeach people for being boorish or clueless or simply being Donald Trump." ("James Comey's testimony doesn't make the case for impeachment or obstruction against Donald Trump", USA Today)

The fact that the obstruction charge won't stick is not going to stop Mueller from rummaging around and making Trump's life a living Hell. Heck no. He's going to dig through his old phone records, bank accounts, tax returns, shaky land deals, ex girl friends, whatever it takes. His prosecutorial tentacles will extend into every nook and cranny of Trump's private life and affairs until he latches onto some particularly sordid incident or transaction he can use he can use to disgrace, discredit, and demonize Trump to the point that impeachment proceedings seem like a welcome relief. It should be obvious by now, that the deep state elites who launched this coup are not going to be satisfied until Trump is forced from office and the results of the 2016 presidential election are wiped out.

But, why? Why is Trump so hated by these people?

Trump is not being attacked because of his reactionary political agenda, but because he's been deemed insufficiently hostile to Washington's sworn enemy, Russia. It's all about Russia. Trump wanted to "normalize" relations with Moscow which pitted him against the powerful US foreign policy establishment. Now Trump has to be taught a lesson. He must be crushed, humiliated and exiled. And that's probably the way this will end.

MIKE WHITNEY lives in Washington state. He is a contributor to Hopeless: Barack Obama and the Politics of Illusion (AK Press). Hopeless is also available in a Kindle edition . He can be reached at fergiewhitney@msn.com .

Fran Macadam Website, June 14, 2017 at 5:04 pm GMT

Somebody else sure is in charge of America other than 300 million ordinary Americans, though it certainly isn't Russians.

Mike Whitney, June 15, 2017 at 3:30 am GMT

Let me get this straight: Comey leaks a memo to the NY Times saying that Trump pressured him to go easy on Flynn. He hoped that the leak would result in an "obstruction" charge against Trump. But it doesn't work.

So, Rod Rosenstein–who has convenently replaced Sessions– talks Trump into firing Comey. Why?

Because Rosenstein is working for the other team and he needs Trump to do something stupid that REALLY looks like obstruction, so he fires the head of the FBI. (Again, according to Salon, firing Comey was Rosenstein's idea)

A week later, Rosenstein –without consulting Trump– appoints deep state handyman and political assassin, Bob Mueller. So, in effect, Rosenstein appointed a special prosecutor to address the appearence of obstruction that he created when he told Trump to fire Comey.
How's that for symetry!

Then on Tuesday, Rosenstein was asked what he would do if the president ordered him to fire Mueller. Rosenstein said, "I'm not going to follow any orders unless I believe those are lawful and appropriate orders." He added later: "As long as I'm in this position, he's not going to be fired without good cause," which he said he would have to put in writing.

Oh man, this thing has "set up" written all over it. The whole thing stinks to high heaven

Countercoup, Part 5: After Comey, Sessions Hearings the #TrumpRussia Con is Failing – Rogue Money, June 15, 2017 at 5:05 am GMT

[ ] Comey's defenders were left sputtering that the fired FBI director had repeatedly affirmed the 'fact' of Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election, and that Comey had called Trump a liar. The President's response was to hint again that he had recordings of his conversations with Comey, to which the ex-director cockily declared 'Lordy I hope there are tapes'. This of course, is a bluff by Comey and his derp state/Trump hating media backers, since Comey's entire argument for obstruction of justice rests on his feelings/interpretations of a conversation alone with the President, rather than any actual evidence of obstructing actions by Administration officials. The only thing known for sure as of this posting is that the U.S. Secret Service says it does not have recordings of the private Trump-Comey conversation. Meaning the President may have used a personal recording device to protect himself from Comey's subsequent write up and self-serving leaked recollections of their conversation. For more on the crookedness of Comey, read this summary by Mike Whitney at Unz Review. [ ]

utu, June 15, 2017 at 5:09 am GMT

@Mike Whitney I can see the reason for Trump being furious with Sessions.

Mark Green, June 15, 2017 at 6:17 am GMT

Excellent article. The politicized charge 'obstruction of justice' is nebulous, arcane and insufferably highfalutin, which makes the entire investigation a very appealing opportunity to launch a politically correct witch hunt. Watch the MSM cheer it on.

Meanwhile, the broad and well-earned suspicions surrounding the Clintons and their money-laundering foundation will be moved aside and slowly forgotten, as planned.

Trump's enemies will use this open-ended 'investigation' to cloud and sully every action the President makes. It is a legalistic act of war using the courts as cover. Disgraceful.

But the endgame is not exclusively about Russia. Ancillary targets include Russia's teetering allies, Syria and Iran. Cui Bono?

jilles dykstra, June 15, 2017 at 6:51 am GMT

Seen from Europe the hearings by the USA Senate seem a comedy, if it was not serious. In my view the effort is to prevent talks with Russia, in order to get a normal relation with that country. At all costs Russia must remain the dangerous enemy of the USA. Why ?

I suppose on the on hand the desire for USA world domination, on the other hand the fear, that existed in the USA since the 1917 Lenin coup, that Europe's trade relations with the east would become more important than across the Atlantic.

Antony C. Sutton, ´Wall Street and the Bolshevik Revolution', 1974 New Rochelle, N.Y.

Jim Christian, June 15, 2017 at 9:54 am GMT

@Mike Whitney

Good takes all, Mike, and they're the truth. But I'd fire Rosenburg for his betrayals, then fire Mueller for his political selections, all Democrats, most with contributor or employment connections to the Clintons, the Foundation, or the Global Initiative. Those would be a firings for cause and I would fire all their allies, too. Immediately, I'd demand a Grand Jury hearing and have appointed another Special Prosecutor. Nixon wasn't impeached over the Saturday Night Massacre, he was impeached because they had the goods on him.

The endless investigations can be terminated by the President on whim. The Congress can then impeach and hold a trial. They would all look like fools because there's nothing there, only their desire to do Trump in. Trump should fire, fire, fire wherever the politics lead in whatever agency. A lot of this is Clinton-driven, too. Jeff Sessions also needs to get on board, carry the frustrated Clinton investigations to a Grand Jury, flip it all back on them and indict Comey, Rosenberg and all their little buddies down below that leaked. Anyone who leaks, lies or obstructs goes to jail.

This IS manageable, Jeff Sessions needs to man up here, or another AG needs to be in his place.

alexander, June 15, 2017 at 10:01 am GMT

Dear Mr. Whitney,

Thank you for a fine article. It may sound strange, but I do not believe this entire escapade is about Donald Trump or Russia. It is about our Neocon overlords asserting their unconstitutional primacy over the sovereign will of the American People.

If the American people had their way, all our "Neocon overlords" would be in federal prison or Guantanamo Bay, and all their assets seized to pay down the heinous 20 trillion debt their lies have created.

Rather than be held to ACCOUNT for the gigantic mess they have made, the stupid wars they "lied us into", and the trillions they have pilfered from the taxpayer in the process They put on this " Comey (dog) and Mueller (pony) show to deflect from their stupendous failures and horrendous criminality.

On day ONE of his Presidency, Donald Trump should have called in "the Marines", and started seizing assets (up ,down, left and right) to recoup the losses our nation has endured.

The American people should be witnessing a Nuremberg like trial, today, where all our treasonous, defrauding "elites" are admonished, shamed, and sentenced before the entire world.

LondonBob, June 15, 2017 at 10:30 am GMT

@Mike Whitney Yes the role of Rosenstein and his background needs exploring. Firing Comey was the right thing to do I think, he and they would have worked something anyway.

Frank Qattrone and Martha Stewart could tell you that you can do nothing wrong but they can still put you in prison. Trump needs to be careful and get some good advice, I think so far he hasn't taken this seriously enough. Seems clear Mueller has a conflict and that a special counsel was appointed on false pretext.

LondonBob, June 15, 2017 at 10:33 am GMT

Presumably Comey was deeply involved in Obama's illegal spying.

Notaboutrump_but_about you voters, June 15, 2017 at 12:29 pm GMT

Learned thus far; the deep state has more power than the Senate, the HOUSE and all members of the voting public.. Its not about Trump, its about you voters.. you people out their in vote land did not vote for the person the deep state elected.. therefore your elected persons must go.. somehow, he must go.. and believe me the DEEPSTATE has pledged to make it so..

Mike Whitney, June 15, 2017 at 12:55 pm GMT

Why should Trump hire his own executioner? Would you? Would you try to help the people who are trying to frame you for nothing? Comey already admitted that there wasn't even an investigation. Why wasn't there an investigation? Because they have nothing on Trump. Nothing. That's why Comey "the waterboarder" agreed to frame him on the obstruction charge. Because they have Nothing.

Mueller was not appointed via the congressional "special prosecutor" statute (which was allowed to lapse.) He was appointed by the Justice Departement which means that Trump appointed the man whose job is to destroy him. Why would Trump agree to that when he can simply fire Rosenstein and instal someone who'll get rid of Mueller. Sure, the Washington Post will moan and groan, but who cares.

If Congress thinks there is enough evidence here to prosecute Trump, LET THEM APPOINT THEIR OWN SPECIAL PROSECUTOR.

Agent76, June 15, 2017 at 1:15 pm GMT

Jun 8, 2017 Comey's Testimony What's EVERYBODY Missing?

Jason Bermas breaks down the Comey testimony, and reveals what everyone is missing!

Jul 7, 2016 Justice Vs. "Just Us": Of Course the FBI Let Hillary off the Hook

The only thing that surprises me is that anyone is surprised by this.

pepperinmono, June 15, 2017 at 1:30 pm GMT

A little discouraged. Don' t think the swamp is drainable. Trump agenda will never be enacted under these circumstances. Maybe Trump should fire Rosenstein and Mueller and then resign, loudly proclaiming truth about swamp. Don't like Pence but maybe few things can get done. Trump underestimated deep state. They ARE in charge. What will the people do ? Become more apathetic?

Alternatively, Trump could go out swinging. Fire Rosenstein and Mueller and rally base and see what happens. Can't go on as is. The death by a thousand cuts.

exiled off mainstreet, June 15, 2017 at 2:06 pm GMT

In light of Mueller's early actions corroborating his status as an establishment thug and lackey, Trump should fire him, and should fire Rosenstein, particularly since he has the power to do so, and Comey's testimony admits that the leak was intended to get somebody, probably his longtime associate Mueller, in as special prosecutor. As the article shows, the whole thing has been an effort by the power structure to continue its nihilistic war policies. Trump's other proven faults are not the issue. Our survival and the restoration of the rule of law are what is at stake.

I emigrated to Canada 10 years ago, fortunately being a dual citizen. One of the major reasons I did so was the Martha Stewart case mentioned by a commenter above. I didn't think much of Martha Stewart personally, but if she could be prosecuted despite the fifth amendment for a statement made not under oath exclusively on the say-so of a government agent, then there was no longer due process in the yankee imperium.

The fact the courts had allowed this "law" to go unchallenged was proof that the rule of law no longer obtained. That was a key factor in my deliberations about what to do. I also find it discouraging that counterpunch apparently did not see fit to publish this Whitney article, probably because it is too much on point and they don't want to fully break with the traditional left, which has destroyed itself by being taken over by fascists like the Clintons and Tony Blair. The yankee imperium needs a figure like Corbyn to put things right again, not a sell-out like Sanders.

pepperinmono, June 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

Republicans in Congress surely don't like Trump. However, they better start getting on board with him. They are tied together, whether they like it or not.

art guerrilla Website, June 15, 2017 at 2:12 pm GMT

what i find so weird, is the almost immediate flip-flop of so-called progressives/dem'rats yelling full-throatedly for violence against -not just all things t-rumpian- ALL those who fail ANY trivial PC litmus test they have their about-face on -essentially- renouncing nonviolence, adopting Empire's motto of 'might makes right', and going full berserker against the rest of the 99% is too sudden and severe to be anything but an astroturf wannabe purple revolution with hillary's puppet masters pulling the strings

IF they were actually calling for jihad against EMPIRE, instead of their fellow pathetic nekkid apes, i could get behind that but their petulant excuses for why they should be given free reign to 'punch a nazi' (ie ANYONE who disagrees with me), the disgusting shilling for hillary/dem'rats/Empire is maddening
.
don't give a shit about t-rump; but they hound him out of office, i will consider that a direct assault on my small-dee democracy, that a duly elected official is run off by hijacking the mechanisms of state to pursue the agenda of the 1% is not right, though done numerous times
.
i think they might find that 100+ million PISSED-OFF, nothing-to-lose unemployed may consider that the straw that broke the camel's back, and soros and his cabal of deep state slime won't like the pushback when bubba gets out of the recliner
.
come the revolution idiot dem'rats appear to be itching for, just WHICH SIDE do stupid libtards think the police, natl guard, military, etc are going to come down on ? ? ?
(hint: NOT the libtard side )

SolontoCroesus, June 15, 2017 at 2:20 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney nb. from the essay:

"Instead, someone had to whisper in Trump's ear that he should fire Comey and, ah ha, that's all it took. In other words, Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosen berg had to step in"

We know what you meant. They all look alike.

JL, June 15, 2017 at 2:23 pm GMT

The problem is that this leads back to the same questions of why Russia is Washington's sworn enemy anyway. Furthermore, what is Trump's motivation in pushing for a detente with Russia, potentially jeopardizing first his candidacy, and now his presidency, with a generally unpopular among the electorate position?

I tend to agree with some of the comments above, that this has to do with the Neocons, their hold on power and their plans for Middle Eastern conquest. Russia stands in the way of a lot of their plans. Still, Trump's stance on Russia, and who or what else is behind that, to me is the great mystery in all this. And, to be clear, I don't believe in any kind of ridiculous collusion or blackmail scenario.

nsa, June 15, 2017 at 2:42 pm GMT

We here in Ft. Meade are having a good laugh. One of our assets, a shyster named Rosenstein (that's Scottish, isn't it?) gives Trumpenstein a little pinprick in the back (not even a stab) and the silly old jooie tool folds like a cheap lawn chair. No wall, no tax cuts, no ending the jooie wars for the izzies, no mass deportations, no curbing the jooie central bank .just tacky soap opera histrionics for the few interested in the doings in wash dc.

nickels, June 15, 2017 at 2:52 pm GMT

Trump needs to stage a false flag assasination attempt. Blame it on operatives within the FBI and the upper echelons of congress. Invite bikers for Trump and other patriots to washington, putting them on the payroll and arming them while stating "Due to the assasination attempt I can no longer trust the secret service or Washington establishment for protection." He then needs to have this army occupy both Capitol hill, the CIA and the FBI. etc etc. Its time for Trump to flex his inner Yeltsin.

The Alarmist, June 15, 2017 at 3:20 pm GMT

"Why has he been so eager?"

Uh, because he is a tool of the criminal elite who really run the show, which is one reason he was rewarded with a directorship at HSBC in an earlier time. He made beaucoup bucks there they made beaucoup bucks laundering hundreds of billions of drug cartel money. Apple tree.

Joe Franklin, June 15, 2017 at 3:46 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Put Rosenstein under oath and ask him about any communications and agreements and meetings he may have had with Comey or Mueller before he appointed a special prosecutor. Do the same thing with Comey and Mueller in regard to Rosenstein. Trump's attorney should do these interrogations.

Agent76, June 15, 2017 at 4:31 pm GMT

@JL

Know this and it is all NATO and their aggression in the world of the empire. Nov 29, 2016 The Map That Shows Why Russia Fears War With USA

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 5:11 pm GMT

I feel that, despite the exhaustive process, this one has to be played- all 19 holes. Everyone is going to demand a good stiff one at the nineteenth. Given his resume, Rosenstein was a good choice by Trump. Sessions may regret his recusal but, Rosenstein may feel that his Frosted Flakes breakfast will carry the day. One should not prejudice him. Trump may have snagged a few and ended up in a sand trap but, he's still below par and we're only on the forth fairway. I did some digging and found that Rod's from Philly. Just thought I would throw that in.
You can't judge a book by it's cover. The guy will be a good caddy.

anon, June 15, 2017 at 7:00 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Trump should directly appeal to the American people( his base and large number of disaffected Clinton supporters)

JerseyJeffersonian, June 15, 2017 at 8:12 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney Thank you, Mr. Whitney. This comment and comment #12 delineate the mechanics of the set-up with laser-like precision.

We are in your debt for articulating the hinge points of this assault on the Constitutional order. I don't care much for Trump, finding many of his specific domestic policies noxious; but I do have a dog in the fight when the Deep State tries to overturn the election of the Chief Magistrate of the nation because he might upset their applecart. He already fucked with their so-called "trade" deals by deep sixing the TPP, and then he is talking about speaking respectfully with Russia, implicitly rejecting the unipolarity of American Hegemony. What further proof did the Deep State require to set a soft coup into motion?

DanCT, June 15, 2017 at 9:02 pm GMT

Comey's having previously taken a job as general counsel of Bridgewater, including a reported and unmerited $3+ million severance on leaving, was sufficient reason for Trump to fire him on day one. Comey's due diligence had to have made him aware of–and therefore he apparently wanted to be in on–Dalio's deranged, Stalinesque corporate culture of backstabbing absolutely everyone under the guise of openness.

Dalio may be very rich, but he's an evil man who we may assume saw in Comey a kindred spirit. Having a Ray Dalio protege leading the FBI suggests agents supported him, if that's actually the case, out of fear and not allegiance.

Sean, June 15, 2017 at 9:05 pm GMT

Were Trump to take hysterical pieces like this post seriously it would likely precipitate him into war with Russia. Fortunately that won't be necessary, because Trump can order the FBI to do or stop doing things; the pres has that constitutional authority as Dershowitz has said repeatedly from the begining, so there is no case against Trump for obstruction. Dershowitz has also said anything (jaywalking) is in theory an "impeachable offense" , because impeachment is completely political.

They want Trump to quit and are predicting impeachment in an attempt to get him to just go, but even if Trump got fed up and wanted to quit, he couldn't now, because without the protection of office, his fortune (at least) would be destroyed. As for the Russia innuendo, it is always open to Trump to humiliate Russia with a military initiative (in Syria for example), which would prove he has nothing to hide. As a major conflict with Russian proxies beckoned, the country would look askance at scarce domestic intelligence resources being used for an old tax or sexual harassment line of investigation against the sitting president. Knowing what kind of a man he is, who can doubt that Trump wouldn't hesitate to kill Russians if that is what it took to turn the heat on his opponents..

Sam J., June 15, 2017 at 9:33 pm GMT

@Joe Franklin " Put Rosenstein under oath "

That's a good idea. Should be public. He needs to be fired any way. The person or persons who recommended Rosenstein need to be fired also.

annamaria, June 15, 2017 at 9:58 pm GMT

@Fran Macadam " the Russians did not "interfere in our Democracy" either. We have no democracy."

https://www.counterpunch.org/2017/06/15/the-russians-didnt-do-it/

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 10:05 pm GMT

@Mike Whitney

A week later, Rosenstein –without consulting Trump– appoints deep state handyman and political assassin, Bob Mueller

I missed this. Is there a reference, please?

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 10:10 pm GMT

@alexander

If the American people had their way, all our "Neocon overlords" would be in federal prison or Guantanamo Bay, and all their assets seized to pay down the heinous 20 trillion debt their lies have created.

Agree

RobinG, June 15, 2017 at 10:26 pm GMT

@Mark Green "Ancillary targets" are American citizens. (Syria and Iran are much clearer direct targets.)

Trump has done some great things. Recognition of Fake News and the Deep State threatened a much bigger awakening. So Trump had to be diminished. Sure, he's a mixed bag, but his defeat of Killary was a blessing. His direct communication (Twitter) and exposure of the MSM was brilliant.

As you say, 'obstruction of justice' is nebulous. Going on the defensive is a loser's game. There must be a counter-attack. What have we got? Please, if you have something better, something simpler to put in meme and slogan, let's have it, but I see Who Killed Seth Rich as a powerful offensive. You don't even have to solve it. Just get the case broadcast. Do you know that only this week, Seth Rich's neighbor has come out as a witness? (NOT a witness of the shooting, but of the immediate aftermath, police, etc. Seth may have been totally beat down before he was shot.)

JULY 10 = ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY OF SETH RICH MURDER How about something big on July 10? The date shouldn't be wasted. Over 66,000 people have signed the petition to make this point. There are only 3 days left, but it could still make the 100K mark.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appoint-special-prosecutor-investigate-murder-seth-rich-alleged-wikileaks-email-leaker

PLEASE SIGN. Either way, THE ANNIVERSARY LOOMS.

RobinG, June 15, 2017 at 10:36 pm GMT

@Jim Christian

"..carry the frustrated Clinton investigations to a Grand Jury, flip it all back on them and indict Comey, Rosenberg and all their little buddies down below that leaked "

YES, SO TRUE!! Big mistake to let Clinton off the hook. And what was her involvement in the murder of Seth Rich? Investigate the DNC, Lynch, Comey, Clinton – all of them.

https://petitions.whitehouse.gov/petition/appoint-special-prosecutor-investigate-murder-seth-rich-alleged-wikileaks-email-leaker

Appoint a Special Prosecutor to investigate the murder of Seth Rich, the alleged Wikileaks email leaker.

Sowhat, June 15, 2017 at 10:54 pm GMT

@Sam J. "...Put Rosenstein under oath..."

That's a good idea. Should be public. He needs to be fired any way. The person or persons who recommended Rosenstein need to be fired also. Putting him under is an excellent idea. Trump needs to hear it or read it. IMO, Rosenstein doesn't have a resumè that him suspect.

[Jun 15, 2017] The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party -- a party of Wall Street and the CIA-can be transformed into a peoples party

Jun 15, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
Northern Star , June 13, 2017 at 10:51 am
"The event was a political fraud from beginning to end. The basic thread running through all of the workshops and demagogic speeches was the fiction that the Democratic Party-a party of Wall Street and the CIA-can be transformed into a "people's party."
LOL!!! Totally spot the F on!!!!!

"Sanders lent his support to the neo-McCarthyite campaign of the Democrats and the military-intelligence apparatus, which sees Russia as the chief obstacle to US imperialism's drive for regime change in Syria and Iran. "I find it strange we have a president who is more comfortable with autocrats and authoritarians than leaders of democratic nations," Sanders said. "Why is he enamored with Putin, a man who has suppressed democracy and destabilized democracies around the world, including our own?"

Sanders?? No fool like an old fool and tool of TPTB

marknesop , June 13, 2017 at 11:42 am
Oh, I doubt he's a fool; the creed of the western political class is recognition of its own and their interests over the interests of the majority. It is technically true that Putin is destabilizing governments around the world – 'democracies', if you will – but it would presuppose that western leaders are his accomplices. Because it is through them and their crackdowns and restrictions and surveillance, which they say they must introduce for our own protection (because, you know, freedom isn't free) that discontent and destabilization are born. Reply

[Jun 15, 2017] Keynes point. Cut the deficit in the good times, spend money in the bad times. Austerity doesnt work, and this was proved as Keynes economics brought the US out of the great depression

Notable quotes:
"... "This legislation takes a small but important step toward eliminating the tremendous regulatory burden imposed on financial institutions One principal reason banks are unable to make loans is the bewildering array of statutory and regulatory restrictions and paperwork requirements imposed by Congress and the regulatory agencies. While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community." ..."
Jun 15, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com
et Al , June 14, 2017 at 10:52 am
Successive Conservative governments have forced significant cuts on county/city councils who have passed them on by reducing or stopping services. Looking at the news on Google Nudes UK we find out that there have long been significant concerns about the fire worthiness of many council run (though often privately managed) tower blocks and state housing. This will only be bad for the Conservatives however they try to spin it. It's clear proof that ass-terity kills.

I came across a couple of articles in The London Economic that pointed out the last Labor government public spending was at a record low of 37% of GDP, the lowest of any government since 1945 and also perforating Conservative propaganda about spending. Found it:

The London Economic: Next time someone says 'Money Tree' send them this
http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/tle-pick/next-time-someone-says-money-tree-send/05/06/

This underlines Keynes point. Cut the deficit in the good times, spend money in the bad times. Austerity doesn't work, and this was proved as Keynes economics brought the US out of the great depression .

####

And don't forget to click through to the linked '5 Tory Narratives that simply aren't true' : http://www.thelondoneconomic.com/news/economics/five-labour-narratives-simply-arent-true/31/05/

As for Russia, it stockpiled cash from high energy sales that allowed it to weather financial crises and sanctions. So, who are the morons now?

marknesop , June 14, 2017 at 12:28 pm
Well, for starters, John McCain is a moron who argued strenuously , in the initial slide of the global financial crisis, for further banking-industry deregulation.

"This legislation takes a small but important step toward eliminating the tremendous regulatory burden imposed on financial institutions One principal reason banks are unable to make loans is the bewildering array of statutory and regulatory restrictions and paperwork requirements imposed by Congress and the regulatory agencies. While a case can certainly be made that every law and regulation is intended to serve a laudable purpose, the aggregate effect of the rapidly increasing regulatory burden imposed on banks is to cause them to devote substantial time, energy and money to compliance rather than meeting the credit needs of the community."

You know, I don't believe the great majority of people are aware just what simpletons their leaders are. We tend to think they have benefited from the very best educations – which, in the main, they have – and that consequently they are a great deal smarter than everyone else; that's why they're leaders. I'm sure each has a certain sector or subject in which they are unusually bright and in which their counsel is wise and informed. But overall, they are no smarter than you or I and every bit as prone to listen to bad advice or partisan gossip if it suits what they already believe. Our statues have feet of clay.

Speaking of McCain, remember when he exuberantly tweeted "Dear Vlad; the Arab Spring is coming to a neighbourhood near you"?

I liked Adajo's response, albeit it came three years later: "Dear John, let's recap: Russia is stronger than ever, and Mr. Vlad dominates. You destroyed Ukraine for nothing."

[Jun 14, 2017] WOW: President of Russia Vladimir Putin Says US Presidents Are Puppets, Men in Dark Suits Rule Washington with The Same Orders

Jun 14, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Warren , June 13, 2017 at 3:56 am

https://twitter.com/Lukewearechange/status/874035691570835457

Luke Rudkowski ‏ Verified account @ Lukewearechange Jun 11

Luke Rudkowski @Lukewearechange

WOW: President of Russia Vladimir Putin Says US Presidents Are Puppets, 'Men in Dark Suits' Rule Washington with The Same Orders

6:48 PM - 11 Jun 2017 · Brooklyn, NY 1,370 1,370 Retweets 1,624 1,624 likes

[Jun 14, 2017] US Senate adopts amendment on more sanctions against Russia

Notable quotes:
"... "in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria," ..."
"... "broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways" ..."
"... "robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference." ..."
"... "corrupt Russian actors" ..."
"... "involved in serious human rights abuses," ..."
"... "those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government" ..."
"... "those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets." ..."
"... "I have yet to have a bilateral, one-on-one, a poolside conversation with a single counterpart in any country: in Europe, Middle East, even South-East Asia, that has not said to me: please, address your relationship with Russia, it has to be improved," ..."
"... "ridiculous pretexts" ..."
"... "[Members of] Congress try to tie the president's hands, trying to remove his ability to make foreign policy, and they are doing it for a simple reason – they do not want the relations with Russia to improve," ..."
"... "Republicans are launching a pre-emptive strike against their own president." ..."
"... "the whole pretext of the sanctions is absurd," ..."
"... "Nobody would go down to the Senate of the House floor and say what exactly did they do, how did they meddle in our relations, because nobody knows," ..."
"... "an entire inter-agency intelligence community review" ..."
"... "few hand-picked analysts who had come to this conclusion." ..."
"... "Who is in Syria illegally occupying territory, who is violating Syrian sovereignty? The US military," he said, dubbing the sanctions "a reflection of lack of any creativity" in the Senate. ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.rt.com
A measure codifying into law the US sanctions against Russia was approved in the Senate by a veto-proof majority of 97 to 2. The amendment requires congressional review before any sanctions are lifted, and allows for new ones. Amendment 232 has been attached to Bill 722 imposing sanctions against Iran, which the Senate is currently debating.

Known as the Crapo Amendment, after Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the measure was endorsed by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland).

The sanctions against Russia are "in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria," according to the sponsors.

The Senate adopted amendment #232 as modified (Russia sanctions) to S. 722, Iran Sanctions, 97-2.

- Senate D Floor Watch (@DSenFloor) June 14, 2017

Under the amendment, any executive sanctions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration cannot be lifted without congressional review.

The amendment also allows "broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways" and authorizes "robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference."

New sanctions would be imposed on "corrupt Russian actors" and those "involved in serious human rights abuses," anyone supplying weapons to the Syrian government or working with Russian defense industry or intelligence, as well as "those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government" and "those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets."

Read more Tillerson says allies pleading with US to 'improve Russia relations' as Senate agrees new sanctions

Senators Rand Paul (R-Kentucky) and Mike Lee (R-Utah) voted against the amendment, while Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) abstained.

Earlier this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers that US allies around the world had asked Washington to improve relations with Russia, and warned that further measures against Moscow could hinder ongoing progress in the fight against terrorism in Syria.

"I have yet to have a bilateral, one-on-one, a poolside conversation with a single counterpart in any country: in Europe, Middle East, even South-East Asia, that has not said to me: please, address your relationship with Russia, it has to be improved," Tillerson said on Tuesday, testifying before the Senate appropriations subcommittee about the proposed State Department budget.

'Pre-emptive strike against Trump'

The executive director of the Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity, Daniel McAdams, told RT he believes that sanctions were imposed under "ridiculous pretexts" and are ultimately designed to hinder any attempts of the current US administration to improve Russia-US ties.

"[Members of] Congress try to tie the president's hands, trying to remove his ability to make foreign policy, and they are doing it for a simple reason – they do not want the relations with Russia to improve," McAdams told RT. He added that by striking an agreement with the Democrats on the issue "Republicans are launching a pre-emptive strike against their own president."

As far as the formal justification of yet another anti-Russian move is concerned, McAdams believes that "the whole pretext of the sanctions is absurd," in particular, the refrain of Russia's alleged meddling in the US elections.

"Nobody would go down to the Senate of the House floor and say what exactly did they do, how did they meddle in our relations, because nobody knows," McAdams said.

A US intelligence report, from which stem the bulk of allegations implicating Russia could not be regarded as "an entire inter-agency intelligence community review" as claimed, he noted, because it was compiled by a "few hand-picked analysts who had come to this conclusion."

Citing Russia's alleged "aggression" in Syria as one of the reasons to roll over a new round of sanctions is another example of the inadequacy of the measure, McAdams argued.

"Who is in Syria illegally occupying territory, who is violating Syrian sovereignty? The US military," he said, dubbing the sanctions "a reflection of lack of any creativity" in the Senate.

[Jun 14, 2017] Senate Overwhelmingly Approves New Sanctions To "Punish" Russia

Notable quotes:
"... The bipartisan legislation, which passed with an overwhelming 97-2 vote, slaps new sanctions on Russia and restricts President Trump from easing them in the future without first receiving congressional approval. ..."
"... Known as the Crapo Amendment, after Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the measure was endorsed by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland). The deal was attached to an Iran sanctions bill that is expected to pass later this week. While top Republican senators had initially wanted to give the White House space to try improving U.S.-Russia relations, but ultimately decided talks with Russia have been moving too slowly. ..."
"... The sanctions against Russia are "in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria," according to the deal's sponsors. ..."
"... The biggest neocon in Congress, John McCain, was delighted with the outcome: "We must take our own side in this fight. Not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) before the vote. "It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common purpose, and with action." ..."
Jun 14, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
This post was originally published on this site

The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved new sanctions to punish Russia for "meddling" in the 2016 election.

The bipartisan legislation, which passed with an overwhelming 97-2 vote, slaps new sanctions on Russia and restricts President Trump from easing them in the future without first receiving congressional approval. The only two senators to vote against the measure were Sens. Mike Lee (R-UT) and Rand Paul (R-KY), while Chris Van Hollen (D-Maryland) abstained.

Known as the Crapo Amendment, after Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), chairman of the Senate Banking, Housing and Urban Affairs Committee, the measure was endorsed by Foreign Relations Committee Chairman Bob Corker (R-Tennessee) and ranking member Ben Cardin (D-Maryland). The deal was attached to an Iran sanctions bill that is expected to pass later this week. While top Republican senators had initially wanted to give the White House space to try improving U.S.-Russia relations, but ultimately decided talks with Russia have been moving too slowly.

The sanctions against Russia are "in response to the violation of the territorial integrity of the Ukraine and Crimea, its brazen cyber-attacks and interference in elections, and its continuing aggression in Syria," according to the deal's sponsors.

The amendment also allows " broad new sanctions on key sectors of Russia's economy, including mining, metals, shipping and railways " and authorizes " robust assistance to strengthen democratic institutions and counter disinformation across Central and Eastern European countries that are vulnerable to Russian aggression and interference ."

New sanctions would be imposed on " corrupt Russian actors " and those "involved in serious human rights abuses," anyone supplying weapons to the Syrian government or working with Russian defense industry or intelligence, as well as "those conducting malicious cyber activity on behalf of the Russian government" and "those involved in corrupt privatization of state-owned assets."

The biggest neocon in Congress, John McCain, was delighted with the outcome: "We must take our own side in this fight. Not as Republicans, not as Democrats, but as Americans," said Sen. John McCain (R-AZ) before the vote. "It's time to respond to Russia's attack on American democracy with strength, with resolve, with common purpose, and with action."

As AP adds , lawmakers took action against Russia in the absence of a forceful response from President Donald Trump. While the president has sought to improve relations with Moscow and rejected the implication that Russian hacking of Democratic emails tipped the election his way, non-stop "anonymous sources" have repeatedly leaked "news" to the NYT and WaPo, suggesting Trump colluded with Russia and/or was being probed by the FBI. Following Comey's testimony, which confirmed there is no "there" there, the media attacks against Trump have shifted, and now accuse the president of obstruction of justice and interference with the FBI's investigation into Mike Flynn.

Speaking earlier on Wednesday, Vladimir Putin's spokesman Dmitry Peskov said told reporters the Kremlin will hold out with its reaction until the U.S. decides on new sanctions against Russia.

"We wouldn't like to enter this sanctions spiral again. But that's not our choice." Indeed, and with the US having made Russia's choice for them, we now look for Moscow's response.

Incidentally, earlier this week, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson told lawmakers that US allies around the world had asked Washington to improve relations with Russia , and warned that further measures against Moscow could hinder ongoing progress in the fight against terrorism in Syria.

"I have yet to have a bilateral, one-on-one, a poolside conversation with a single counterpart in any country: in Europe, Middle East, even South-East Asia, that has not said to me: please, address your relationship with Russia, it has to be improved ," Tillerson said on Tuesday, testifying before the Senate appropriations subcommittee about the proposed State Department budget.

Unfortunately, for the US Military Industrial Complex, which stands to profit only in times of (near) war, a detente with Russia, or any other nation for that matter, is not an option.

SHsparx , Jun 14, 2017 5:35 PM

Rand should have been POTUS.

Pinto Currency - SHsparx , Jun 14, 2017 5:38 PM

Russia needs to ship its palladium because London's metal market is gone sideways without it (and the bond market will dump):

http://www.safehaven.com/article/44504/palladium-blows-the-whistle-on-th...

PrayingMantis - Drimble Wedge , Jun 14, 2017 6:08 PM

... >>> ... " ... The U.S. Senate on Wednesday approved new sanctions to punish Russia for "meddling" in the 2016 election . ... " ...

... well, here's what the Russians said at ... http://www.whatdoesitmean.com/index2314.htm ... yesterday, June 13, 2017 ...

... >>> " US Spends $70 Billion To Influence Russian Election, Then Admits Its Own Nation Is Insane ..."

... the report ... " ... shockingly states that the United States has spent between $70-$100 billion to influence the election outcome in Russia ( https://www.rt.com/politics/391255-upper-house-votes-to-set/ ) ... - but then freely admits that the majority of its own American citizens are actually insane.

... According to this report, the Security Council today voiced "strong support" for lawmakers who are launching a dedicated commission to monitor foreign nations attempts to influence internal Russian politics and work on proposals to counter and prevent such moves - and that Speaker Valentina Matviyenko warned was a "grave threat" as up to $100 billion was sent to Russia from abroad each year "not for charity and not for social or medical aid, but for political activities". ...

... To the American people being able to know the truth about this "fake news" propaganda being filled into their heads, this report sadly notes, is not to be seen as nearly all of them, on an hourly basis, are pummeled with lies and hysteria falsely claiming Russia interfered in their election - when the facts, instead, prove, beyond all doubt, that the US is world's largest interferer in the elections of other nations ( http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=18700 ), including last year in Israel where the Obama regime paid over $350,000 to destroy that nations prime minister ( http://www.cnsnews.com/blog/michael-w-chapman/ ).

At the exact same time that these American people are being brainwashed into believing every lie their "fake news" propaganda media tells them, this report continues, these people remain unaware that their leftist-communist "overlords" have classified nearly all of them as being insane. ... " ...

... is this just a classic case of the "meddler-Pot" blame-sanctioning the "meddler-Kettle" for what the meddler-Pot had been known to do? ...

...

doctor10 - PrayingMantis , Jun 14, 2017 6:11 PM

the real "meddlers" were the DNC ...

who is Seth Rich?

Alt RightGirl - doctor10 , Jun 14, 2017 6:17 PM

Those ki3sters are asking for it.

Let's vote them out in 2018.

And put Bernie out to pasture in a FEMA camp.

Sanders Fraud Family: Claims of Nepotism over a "Sweetheart Deal" for Bernie Sanders' Step-Daughter

Art Van Delay - Alt RightGirl , Jun 14, 2017 6:24 PM

We need to keep the RINOs out of Senate

2018 !

fx - Art Van Delay , Jun 14, 2017 6:40 PM

Rand Paul would have been assassinated long ago if he were elected Potus. Trump has been bought or simply tricked or forced into compliance. I suspect the tricked thingy since the Donald isn't exactly shining, intellectually, regarding most subjects other than pussies, women, real estate and immigration.

Got The Wrong No - HockeyFool , Jun 14, 2017 5:59 PM

The vote was 97-2. So the Republicans are also saying the Russians hacked the Election. Trump doesn't have a chance.

ZeroIntelligence - Pinto Currency , Jun 14, 2017 5:40 PM

Imagine if countries that had elections tampered by USCIAFBI slapped sanctions on US for a change. Wouldn't that be KOORAAZZYY?!

GUS100CORRINA - ZeroIntelligence , Jun 14, 2017 5:59 PM

Article Title: Senate Overwhelmingly Approves New Sanctions To "Punish" Russia

\The Senate on Wednesday overwhelmingly approved new sanctions to punish Russia for "meddling" in the 2016 election. The bipartisan legislation, which passed with in a 97-2 vote, slaps new sanctions on Russia and restricts President Trump from easing them in the future without first receiving congressional approval.

My Response: NOT GOOD!!! I really hate where this is headed!!!!!!!

In a society where all lies, all deceptions, all corruptions are accepted, that society will lose control of everything. Chaos will begin to take over, and the only way that chaos will be slowed down will be when dictatorial control, or maybe even a police state is formed, where thought and behavior is fixed, and anybody out of bounds is punished. Eventually, the chaos has to be controlled. We're not headed toward socialism; we could very well be headed toward a dictatorship in our world. Is this hard to grasp?

Remember the America that was, some of you? This is not a Christian nation; there's no such thing. It never has been a Christian nation. Even the founding fathers of America were not true Christians but they did understand that Christianity was a fixed necessity because it established divine law; and when people knew that this was law from God, it controlled their behavior. Biblical ethics, biblical patterns of morality were honored, respected, and expected. Marriage, family, virtue, work, relationships, success were all connected to noble ideals that are found in Scripture. That's long gone and unlikely to ever appear in the lifetime of anybody reading this because evil men just get worse and worse.

Raffie - Pinto Currency , Jun 14, 2017 5:44 PM

NJo proof so why they doing this again?

Full Court Luge... - SHsparx , Jun 14, 2017 5:47 PM

They'd have done the same to him. Trump should definitely listen to him on foreign policy, but the fact is the MIC is exerting MASSIVE pressure in that arena.

FoggyWorld - Full Court Lugenpresse , Jun 14, 2017 5:56 PM

Cutest recent trick is MacMaster just hired one of Susan Rice's closest assistants to work for him! Is anyone home at the WH?

Got The Wrong No - Dr.Vannostrand , Jun 14, 2017 6:39 PM

The Dem the deep state, the Media and now the Republicans by the look of this vote are all trying to Impeach him. What reality are you living in?

Up voting yourself is part of your reality. LMAO

ZeroIntelligence , Jun 14, 2017 5:36 PM

I wonder if US citizens overwhelmingly approve of these sanctions.............

Endgame Napoleon - ZeroIntelligence , Jun 14, 2017 5:55 PM

I don't. They have not even told us why they know that Russia interfered with the election, as opposed to leaks interfering with the election. Even if they did interfere, foreign policy issues of any kind other than protecting Westerners against terrorist mass murders did not alter the outcome of the election. It was bread-and-butter issues that won it for Trump, along with resistance to the multiculturalist bashing by the ism patrol, which is really just an agressive form of snobbery.

[Jun 14, 2017] Mattis Ready to Blame Russia for Qatar Diplomatic Split by Jason Ditz

Jun 14, 2017 | news.antiwar.com
Says He Thinks Russia Just Wants to Break All of the World's Alliances

assume that last week's report in CNN that Russia had used "fake news" to start the controversy was true, and to elaborate on their motives for that.

appeared only too eager to make that assumption, as requested, insisting that the he believed this reflected Russia's "shortsighted way" of thinking , and that they want to disrupt all alliances across the planet, not just alliances involving the US, or even just alliances related directly to Europe.

The narrative blaming Russia for the Qatar split does not have any evidence to substantiate it, and Sen. Warren went out of her way to ensure none might be revealed today. It is worth pointing out, however, that President Trump personally took credit for the split himself when it first happened, crediting it to his visit to Saudi Arabia just days prior.

Rather, it originates from Qatari state media having quoted the Qatari Emir saying something the Saudis didn't like, and subsequently attributing the quote to "hackers." US media outlets saw the word hackers, and naturally assumed Russia, and it appears that as with everything, this has quickly become something everyone is willing to assume is the case.

Mattis went on in the course of his testimony to insist he's seen "no indication" that Russian President Vladimir Putin wanted to have a positive relationship with the United States, apparently taking no note of the several times when Putin literally said that around the 2016 election, and was openly courting diplomatic normalization with the US. Rather, Mattis insists Putin has " chosen to be competitive ."

The Senate is said to be moving forward on a new round of sanctions against Russia, and some legislation to prevent the Trump Administration from easing the sanctions in any way. There appears to be little interest in gathering actual evidence against Russia to justify this move, and rather seem confident that they can just keep everyone assuming allegations in the media are true.

[Jun 14, 2017] NBC Butchered Putins Thoughtful Responses to Megyn Kelly. Good for Ratings - and Warmongers by Gilbert Doctorow

Notable quotes:
"... In the NBC version, Putin's answer has been cut to one empty introductory statement that "Russia is on its way to becoming a democracy" bracketed by an equally empty closing sentence. In the full, uncut version , Putin responds to Kelly's allegations point by point and then turns the question around asking what right the USA and the West have to question Russia's record when they have been actively doing much worse than what was in Kelly's charges. He asks where is Occupy Wall Street today, why US and European police use billy clubs and tear gas to break up demonstrations, when Russian police do nothing of the sort, and so on. ..."
"... In a word, you intentionally made Putin sound like an empty authoritarian, when he is in fact a very sophisticated debater who outranked your Megyn at every turn during the open panel discussion in the Forum, to the point she was the laughing stock of the day. ..."
"... Kelly is like all Yanks, she sells herself for Money. A hired serf does what its told, says what its told to say or they are out-the-door on their arse. She may be a cool smart lady but has to tow- the-line. tom • 6 days ago ..."
"... "If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be". ..."
"... CONFIRMED: DNC paid the 'Russian' founder of CrowdStrike to hack its server so it could be blamed on Russia!... ..."
"... She's a media whore...nothing more, nothing less.... ..."
"... Putin was fantastic on Kelly's show he is greatly admired by millions and millions in the west. ..."
Jun 08, 2017 | russia-insider.com

An open letter to NBC News about Megyn Kelly's manipulative and shameful interview with Vladimir Putin Thu, Jun 8, 2017 | 7080 90

Dear NBC News Team,

Congratulations! You have graduated from fake news to falsified news, arriving at a journalistic level that is identical to that in the Soviet Union in its heyday.

A couple of days ago, the political talk show moderated by Vladimir Soloviev on state television channel Rossiya 1 broadcast two versions of a segment from Megyn Kelly's interview with Vladimir Putin last Friday in the St Petersburg on the sidelines of the International Economic Forum. One was the complete, uncut version that was aired on RT. The other was the cut-to-shreds version that you put on air for the American audience. ( Watch here, beginning 4 minutes into the program .)

The segment was Megyn Kelly's aggressive question to Putin, asking his response to what she said was Americans' understanding of his government, namely one that murders journalists, suppresses political opposition, is rife with corruption, etc., etc. In the NBC version, Putin's answer has been cut to one empty introductory statement that "Russia is on its way to becoming a democracy" bracketed by an equally empty closing sentence. In the full, uncut version , Putin responds to Kelly's allegations point by point and then turns the question around asking what right the USA and the West have to question Russia's record when they have been actively doing much worse than what was in Kelly's charges. He asks where is Occupy Wall Street today, why US and European police use billy clubs and tear gas to break up demonstrations, when Russian police do nothing of the sort, and so on.

In a word, you intentionally made Putin sound like an empty authoritarian, when he is in fact a very sophisticated debater who outranked your Megyn at every turn during the open panel discussion in the Forum, to the point she was the laughing stock of the day.

Who wins from these games? You are only preconditioning the American public for the war that is coming, whether by intention or by accident. And there will be no one left to have the last laugh after the first day of that war. So you can forget about your stock options and retirement schemes, ladies and gentlemen of the News Team.

have a nice day

Gilbert Doctorow

Brussels

Gilbert Doctorow is an independent political analyst based in Brussels. His latest book Does Russia Have a Future? was published in August 2015. His forthcoming book Does the United States Have a Future? will be published on 1 September 2017.

rosewood11 6 days ago

The thing that everyone in the American media wants to ignore is this: If any President of any nation knew that one of the candidates in the national election of his biggest rival intended to start a nuclear war with his country as soon as they were elected, do you think he might be tempted to do anything possible to avoid the war? hillary clinton intended to go to nuclear war with Russia and everybody knew it. Why wouldn't Mr. Putin be tempted to try to keep her out of office. He says he didn't do so, and because I trust him (something I'm not so stupid as to do with hillary!!!), I choose to believe him. However, I wouldn't blame him if he had pulled out all the stops to keep her out of office, and can only thank him or any other "patriotic Russian" who saved America from a fate worse than death--namely having a fourth-degree black magic witch as President!!! And that's in addition to saving the lives of millions of people on both sides of the oceans.

You mentioned in the article that RT ran an uncut version of Megyn Kelly's interview with Vladimir Putin. I tried going to the link you provided, but the show was in Russian without subtitles. Is there a version of the full interview offered anywhere with subtitles or voice-over for those of us in the US who would like to see it? I'd like to know what else Mr. Putin said. see more

Peter Paul 1950 rosewood11 6 days ago

Try you tube and enter "putin megyn kelly" and you'll find dozens of clips ... and as to why Putin never intervened may become clear if you take notice of the following .... already in the beginning of 2016 the Russians must have discovered that plans existed to murder Trump ... I read a leaked message that the Russians were ready for war should that occur ... and apparently sent a secret message ... long before the election they had already figured out that Trump was going to win the election because they knew of Hillary's true intentions also ... they had no need to intervene because there are and were forces opposed to her then existing plans to ignite war ... and there must be much more to that, because Putin sent an escort to Antarctica before Kyrill even went there .... and later met the Pope in Mexico ... Kyrill went on to declare a Holy War against Terror a year ago ... a long time before the election took place .... and Kerry slipped off on election day to visit Antarctica himself ... and fell out of bed and bumped his head doing so ... see more

Peter Paul 1950 see more

rosewood11 Peter Paul 1950 5 days ago I agree with Astrid (below) in thanking you for the youtube hint. You mentioned the Antarctic. I notice all the globalists seem to be making that a "destination," but I've never seen Putin go himself (good!!!). Anybody know what the fascination is--Is Steve Quayle right? see more

Peter Paul 1950 rosewood11 5 days ago

One can't really be sure who is right and if any kind of exaggeration plays a large part of all the tales that have become more public thanks to the internet ...
... it's shrouded in mystery that almost anything seems to make some kind of sense ... I first heard of the Nazi connection with the discovery and founding of Newschwabenland and Project High Jump with Admiral Byrd in a private conversation decades in my younger years, but only through the internet was it possible to find out more ... everyone seem so make it a great mystery that there is something there nobody dares to make official ... even Vault 7 appears to add to all the whisperings by adding a collection of photos without comment ... much room for speculation ... but it does seem to be of some importance ... see more

Richard Burton rosewood11 4 days ago

Kelly is like all Yanks, she sells herself for Money. A hired serf does what its told, says what its told to say or they are out-the-door on their arse. She may be a cool smart lady but has to tow- the-line. tom 6 days ago

"If a nation expects to be ignorant and free, in a state of civilization, it expects what never was and never will be".

- Thomas Jefferson to Charles Yancey (1816)

RussG 6 days ago

Putin should sue NBC for falsifying his interview. And, Putin should never agree again to an interview by one of the US MSM. Vasya Pypkin 6 days ago Faked or falsified news. Could the author provide an example of similar news falsification by Soviet Union media. After many years I find that Soviet media actually was telling truth but smart assses among our population tended to believe lies by Western voices. Many who are still alive regret.

Otherwise good article. The western media is nothing but lies cloaka. Soviet media also was not entertaining enough mostly talking about industries, crops, health and other substantial and important things while life was stable and predictable.

Now Russian population is being constantly entertained, but there is little to report on industrial front and there is no confidence in future. Ruble is up and down and crude same. Was it worth to fjkuck up great country to have more entertainment and some artifial sausages varieties while losing what is the most important for human beings. Sorry for a rant. AMHants 6 days ago Surprise surprise, George Eliason - Op Ed News, was right, all along:

CONFIRMED: DNC paid the 'Russian' founder of CrowdStrike to hack its server so it could be blamed on Russia!...

http://themillenniumreport.... Nofearorfavor 5 days ago

But we all expected this .... It is only that by law, Russia should be able to sue any newscast for editing and thus misrepresenting in particular -- the Russian president's words and thoughts, because of occupying the highest office in Russia. As Gilbert said, the gravity of what it could portend for Americans, is mounting daily...

Rossiya 1 would perhaps be more cautious second time around ... make it a condition that what the president or any official of the Russian Federation said on tape, should be broadcast in full and no editing -- or face have their pants sued off . What a shameless and gutless excuse for a journalist this Kelly is!

Strange Quark 5 days ago

The West has never been a democracy! During the Cold War the so called "democracy" was just a voting facade to hide the fact that the West is OLIGARCHY. What choice do American citizens have in their elections? TWO (that is 2!) parties which both run basically the same imperialist, neocolonialist, hegemonic policy. And economic policy is also the same - neoliberal meaning privatization, outsourcing, policies that favor the rich and harm the poor... Only bloody revolutions can change things. You cannot change the system with voting pencils! Pencils have never changed anything anywhere. Robert Keith 6 days ago Megyn Kelly is, granted, a step above your run-of-the-mil, blond, airhead, TV talking head. I don't know whether President Putin suffered from the juxtaposition, what with her typical-for-TV mundane questions, but, probably not, because it allowed him to give down-to-earth answers to the questions that most Americans seem to be asking themselves, inane though they be. He is very skilled at this, because he makes himself available to his countryman in the same way on a regular basis it seems.

If one searched elsewhere for the full video, which was available (on this blog), he came across very well, I must say. We will spare the readership any comment on the relative merits of his performance in comparison to what we night have heard from our Chief Executive.

disqus_xp4GYx7DZk Robert Keith 6 days ago

She's a media whore...nothing more, nothing less.... see more

Isabella Jones 6 days ago

Well, yes it's infuriating, but it was also so very predictable. When I complained about this wretched woman and her boring, predicted and repetitive questions leaving unasked anything to do with the forum leaders speeches and the masses of trade discussion that had happened during the meeting, I was told by many "that this is how Putin can show the West the truth".

No - he can't, because we know they manipulate, cut, change, and frame it to make it look any way they want. Only those who need no convincing got to see the whole truth - and most of us know it already.

The only thing to do is ignore America, treat it like the meaningless 3 rd World country it is rapidly sinking into - and get intelligent moderators from elsewhere. see more

Peter Isabella Jones 6 days ago

"... the meaningless 3 rd World country it is rapidly sinking into ..."

*Exactly* the conclusion at which the known French demographer and historian Emmanuel Todd arrived in his 2001 book "Après L'Empire: essai sur la décomposition du système américain" ("After the Empire: The Breakdown of the American Order"). His scientific analysis was based primarily on purely demographic data, in addition to other factors: https://www.amazon.com/Afte... . An interesting reading.

See also his 2003 interview on that topic to Neue Zürcher Zeitung, titled "Das eingebildete Imperium", https://www.nzz.ch/article8... the English translation "The Conceited Empire" is at http://www.countercurrents.... . see more

Isabella Jones Peter 6 days ago

Interesting. I had not heard of this man - so thank you for the link Peter. He seems to be thinking along the same lines as Dmitry Orlov, but coming from an Academic and Historian view point. Orlov just saw much of the Russian collapse - he has family in Russia, it is his native language, and he lived there during part of the 1990's if I understand him correctly. He drew a parallel between USSR and America - coming to the same conclusion as this Msr. Todd.

We are all wondering, of course "when". ?

It's like knowing the very obese man next door who already has heart and BP problems coupled with Diabetes, but takes no exercise and eats fast food like a hungry pig, is going to have a massive physical break down and die.

It's just that there 's no way of predicting exactly when. Nofearorfavor Isabella Jones 5 days ago I remember when Putin agreed to be interviewed by Charlie Rose in Sep 2015, condition was that CBS produced the full 60 minutes uncut, which then ran into over 60 minutes. However found this interesting article on State of the Nation about the interview ... El Maestro wiping the floor with Rose and not doing anything to help along his flagging ratings ....now this Kelly tried to do the same and she fell flat on her face... no journalistic integrity at all ...

http://stateofthenation2012...

Pretty sorry ass she is ..

L Garou 3 days ago NBC/CIA..

Edward Mercer L Garou 2 days ago

Clarification? see more

L Garou Edward Mercer 2 days ago

You can't spell M$M without the CIA..

chris chuba 4 days ago

My recommendation for anyone who is being interviewed for American TV is to find out how long the TV segment is and only allow the total interview time to be 1.5 times that amount to only allow reasonable editing, not the standard butchery. So in this case, a 15 minute interview would be sourced by 25 minutes, not the two hours that Putin must have given Kelly since he spent a day with her.

In all fairness, they had to butcher the question on Russian democracy, journalist killings, etc because Kelly chose to spend 95% of the air time on moronic questions about 'election meddling' as if that deserved more than one question and the expected denial. What the heck did Kelly expect Putin to day about election meddling, yet she kept going back to it. see more

Augustine 4 days ago

Unlike in America, in the Soviet Union the people knew that there was no truth in the Pravda nor news in the Izvestya. Nowadays there are more Bolsheviks in New York than in St. Petersburg. see more

Richard Burton 4 days ago

nbc are msnbc the same degenerate-infested propaganda US/ BS.

Putin was fantastic on Kelly's show he is greatly admired by millions and millions in the west.

Of course the lying bums, the democrats hate it that their 'Miss Piggy' Clinton was beaten, they will keep on their crap for years, nbc and many other so-called news outlets are democrat-lapping rats who spew-out the lies, hate and shit everyday, those slime at cnn are the same pork as is the US poodle Canada's cbc. see more

angrywhiteman 4 days ago

More info on US democracy:

BREAKING : This Powerful Seth Rich Video is GOING VIRAL http://truthfeed.com/breaki...

Voter Fraud Federal Investigator Found Murdered http://yournewswire.com/vot...

"The answer to why Seth Rich was killed, and why he gave to WikiLeaks is now out" https://kauilapele.wordpres...

http://stateofthenation2012... see more

Wanda Gumm 6 days ago

Where Megyn failed, NBC succeeds in editorializing Putin as the village idiot. How long before these horse-driven dimwits drown in the cesspools they dig for others? I don't see any way out of this but war. It's not the fictitious 'deep state' Russia should be concerned with, but Trump himself. Playing the Elder.

[Jun 14, 2017] If it looks like the Russians did it, I can guarantee you it was not the Russians

Notable quotes:
"... Some news now trickling into the blogosphere that the Democratic National Convention paid Crowdstrike – that's the cyber-security firm headed by Dmitri Alperovich with links to the Chalupa sisters and the Ukrainian diaspora in North America – to hack into its own server. ..."
insider.foxnews.com
Jun 09, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Jen , June 8, 2017 at 5:07 pm

Here's my good (?) deed for the day.

Some news now trickling into the blogosphere that the Democratic National Convention paid Crowdstrike – that's the cyber-security firm headed by Dmitri Alperovich with links to the Chalupa sisters and the Ukrainian diaspora in North America – to hack into its own server.

"DNC Russian Hackers Found!"
http://stateofthenation2012.com/?p=62536

"CONFIRMED: DNC paid the 'Russian' founder of CrowdStrike to hack its server so it could be blamed on Russia!"
http://themillenniumreport.com/2017/06/dnc-hackers-finally-identified/

Global Commenter , June 8, 2017 at 5:42 pm

Earlier noted in this brilliant piece:

http://www.eurasiareview.com/07062017-sanctioning-russia-analysis/

Excerpt –

"In the US, talk of a Donald Trump-Russian government collusion against Hillary Clinton gets more attention than some other possibilities. Cyber-security developer John McAfee said: "If it looks like the Russians did it, I can guarantee you it was not the Russians." There's a wave of anti-Russian sentiment, as evidenced by the lack of US mass media and body politic condemnation to former National Security Agency (NSA) Director James Clapper's bigoted anti-Russian comment.

The subject of anti-Russian propaganda brings to mind the pro-Kiev regime leaning Atlantic Council and its cyber-security member CrowdStrike. Entities like them are silent in instances like when Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko falsely stated that Jews in Crimea are prohibited from observing their faith, since that area's reunification with Russia."

[Jun 14, 2017] James Clapper as one of instigators of Russiagate and probably one of the architects of color revolution against Trump

Jun 09, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

et Al , June 7, 2017 at 4:01 am

James Clapper, former Director of the CIA who lied directly to Congress about whether it was spying on American citizens has very recently said to the Australian Press Club that "I think you compare the two, that Watergate pales, really, in my view, compared to what we're confronting now." and "Is there a smoking gun with all the smoke? I don't know the answer to that. I think it's vital, though, we find that out.".

https://www.theguardian.com/us-news/2017/jun/07/james-clapper-says-watergate-pales-in-comparison-with-trump-and-russia-scandal?google_editors_picks=true

You really cannot make this up and be believed.

marknesop , June 7, 2017 at 5:47 am
As has become textbook with modern press roll-overs, they are trying to substitute momentum for evidence, and achieve critical mass without having to cite any real facts you could hang your hat on later. Everyone involved will shake their heads as if coming out of a dream, and say, "Well, we all thought "
J.T. , June 7, 2017 at 6:31 am
Hence the reason why I'm barely following the 'Russiagate' coverage anymore. I realized I was being played, so I left.

[Jun 14, 2017] Oliver Stone interview is further evidence of hostile press, but he manages to rise above it.

Jun 14, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
Carolinian , June 13, 2017 at 2:18 pm

If not already linked

https://consortiumnews.com/2017/06/12/oliver-stone-reveals-a-vulnerable-putin/

At one point Stone watches Dr. Strangelove with Putin

After watching the movie with Stone, Putin reflects on its enduring message. "The thing is that since that time little has changed," Putin says. "The only difference is that the modern weapon systems have become more sophisticated, more complex. But this idea of retaliatory weapons, and the inability to control such weapon systems still hold true to this day. It has become even more difficult, more dangerous."

Stone then gives Putin the movie's DVD case, which Putin carries into an adjoining office before realizing that it is empty. He reemerges, holding the empty case with the quip, "Typical American gift."

Montanamaven , June 13, 2017 at 2:38 pm

Oliver Stone interview is further evidence of hostile press, but he manages to rise above it. Oliver Stone Interview

MyLessThanPrimeBeef , June 13, 2017 at 3:21 pm

Perhaps Nixon was not so paranoid about resisting the media, which has grown ever more powerful in the last 40 plus years, since Watergate.

To the extent they are thought of as guarding the nation's health, who will guard the guards, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

This battle between Trump and the media is long overdue, I believe.

Will we see a swing back by the media toward the middle? We will see.

John , June 13, 2017 at 3:52 pm

The media is a privatized neoliberal corporate parasite. It has only one function extracting money from the host. It is amoral and pragmatically political. It will say anything to make money.

Huey Long , June 13, 2017 at 6:14 pm

To the extent they are thought of as guarding the nation's health, who will guard the guards, Quis custodiet ipsos custodes?

I nominate George Smiley.

Annotherone , June 13, 2017 at 7:37 pm

We accidentally caught Stephen Colbert interviewing Oliver Stone last evening on a Late Show – I was disgusted by Colbert's treatment of Stone – also disgusting was the audience (obviously coached and organised to jeer and boo). No doubt Colbert was under orders from his corporate bosses – though maybe that's being too kind to him. Controlling the minds of the masses!

lyman alpha blob , June 13, 2017 at 8:18 pm

Just watched that and it was awful, but also very clarifying. Colbert's selling out just like Maddow did – she was actually pretty good on Air America a decade ago when she had a show with Daily Show creatrix Liz Winstead.

Colbert and the audience just assume demonization of Putin is justified while being oblivious to the log (or forest might be more apt) in Uncle Sugar's eye. Wonder how they would describe him if Russian domestic security forces routinely gunned down hundreds or thousands of Russian citizens every year. Some might consider that a sign of a very oppressive government .

Frustrating to watch people fall for this villain du jour schtick every single time.

Plenue , June 13, 2017 at 10:26 pm

I haven't paid attention to Colbert since 2013, when he played a role in the attempt to resuscitate Kissinger's public image (he later allowed Kissinger onto his show for a friendly interview). Oddly I can't seem to find the full video itself, but here's an ABC report on it:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WaqhA5qTf7I

So he had already sold out before he even left Comedy Central.

Roger Smith , June 13, 2017 at 3:06 pm

I saw a preview of this on twitter recently. There is the analogous "President" of a country, driving himself, a body guard, and Oliver Stone down the highway. It was such a typical scene, no black limos, no cargo helicopters, no long walks and slow camera pans, just some dudes in traffic. I was wondering if Seinfeld was in the back.

[Jun 13, 2017] Democrats hope to parlay the latest furor surrounding the Russia investigations into political victory in the Midwest

Jun 13, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
New Cold War

"National Democrats hoping to parlay the latest furor surrounding the Russia investigations into political victory in the Midwest may want to take a different tack" [ NBC ]. "The party has targeted Iowa's 1st Congressional District, currently represented by Republican Rod Blum, as a battleground in the 2018