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Due to the size introductory article was converted to a separate page: Neocon foreign policy as a disaster for the USA
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|The aide said that guys like me were "in what we call the reality-based community," which he defined as people who "believe
that solutions emerge from your judicious study of discernible reality." ... "That's not the way the world really works anymore,"
he continued. "We're an empire now, and when we act, we create our own reality.
And while you're studying that reality-judiciously, as you will-we'll act again, creating other new realities, which you can study too, and that's how things will sort out. We're history's actors and you, all of you, will be left to just study what we do."
An unnamed aide to George W. Bush (later attributed to Karl Rove:
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Mao , May 24 2020 20:56 utc | 30FBI Document Reveals That Without Direct Israeli 'Intervention' Trump Would Have Lost 2016 Election
May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
>Uncle Volodya says, "We become slaves the moment we hand the keys to the definition of reality entirely over to someone else, whether it is a business, an economic theory, a political party, the White House, Newsworld or CNN."
"The receptivity of the masses is very limited, their intelligence is small, but their power of forgetting is enormous. In consequence of these facts, all effective propaganda must be limited to a very few points and must harp on these in slogans until the last member of the public understands what you want him to understand by your slogan."
We're going to do something just a bit different today; the event I want to talk about is current in the future, actually but the reference which is the subject of the discussion is almost a year old. and the event it discusses is coming up to its sixth anniversary. The past event was the downing of Malaysia Airlines flight MH-17 over Ukraine, the future event is the trial in absentia of persons accused by the west of having perpetrated that disaster, and the reference is this piece, by Mark Galeotti, for the Moscow Times: "Russia's Roadmap Out of the MH17 Crisis" .
You all know Mr. Galeotti, I'm sure. Here's his bio, for Amazon:
"Professor Mark Galeotti is a senior researcher at UMV, the Institute of International Relations Prague, and coordinator of its Centre for European Security. Formerly, he was Professor of Global Affairs at New York University and head of History at Keele University. Educated at Cambridge University and the LSE, he is a specialist in modern Russian politics and security and transnational organized crime. And he writes other things for fun, too "
Yes, yes, he certainly does, as you will see. But this bio is extremely modest, albeit he most likely wrote it himself. Mr. Galeotti also authored an excellent blog, In Moscow's Shadows , which was once a go-to reference for crime and legal issues in Russia, a subject in which he seems very well-informed. The blog is still active, although he seems mostly to use it now to advertise podcasts and sell books. That's understandable it's evident from the blur of titles appended to his name that he's a very busy man. Always has been, really; either as a student or an educator. He also speaks with confidence on the details of military affairs and equipment despite never having been in the military or studied engineering; his education has pretty much all been in history, law or political science.
I know what you will say many of the greatest reference works on pivotal battles, overall military campaigns and affairs were written by those who had no personal military experience themselves. Mr. Galeotti studied under Dominic Lieven, whose "Russia Against Napoleon" was perhaps the greatest work of military history, rich with detail and insight, that I have ever read. It won him the Wolfson prize for History for 2010, a well-deserved honour. Yet so far as I could make out, Mr. Lieven never served a day in uniform, and if you handed him an AK-47 and said "Here; field-strip this", your likely response would be a blank look. He most certainly was not a witness to the subject military campaign. No; his epic work on Napoleon's invasion of Russia was informed by research, reading the accounts of others who were there at the time, poring over reams of old documents and matching references to get the best picture we have been afforded to date of Napoleon's ignominious defeat through a combination of imperial overreach, a poor grasp of logistics and, most of all, resistance by an adversary who refused to be drawn into playing to Napoleon's strength the decisive, crushing battle in which the enemy could not retreat, and in which Napoleon would commit all the reserves and crush his enemy to dust.
So it is perfectly possible for an inquisitive mind with no military experience to put together an excellent reference on military happenings which already took place, even if the owner of that mind was not present for the actual event. Given human nature and the capabilities afforded by modern military equipment, it is even possible to forecast future military events with a fair degree of accuracy, going merely by political ambitions and enabling factors, without any personal military experience. After all, the decision-makers who give the orders that send their military forces into battle are often not military men themselves.
Returning for a moment to Mr. Galeotti, it is quite believable that an author with no military background could compose such works as "Armies of the Russian-Ukrainian War" , although there is no serious evidence that Russia is a part of such a conflict in any real military strength. You could write such a book entirely from media references and documentation, which in this case would come almost entirely from the side which claims it is under constant attack by the other Ukraine. Likewise "Kulikovo 1380; the Battle that Made Russia" . None of us were around in 1380, so we all have to go by historical references, and whoever collects them all into a book first is likely to be regarded as an expert.
No, it's more when we get into how stuff works that I have an issue with it. Like " Spetsnaz: Russia's Special Forces ". Or " The Modern Russian Army ". I'm kind of skeptical about how someone could claim to know the actual internal workings of either organization simply from reading about them in popular references, considering that more than half the material on Russia written in English in western references is rubbish heavily influenced by politics and policy. We would not have to look very far to find examples in which ridiculous overconfidence by one side that it had the other side's number resulted in a horrible surprise. In fact, we would not have to look very far to find an example of this particular author confidently averring to know something inside-out, only to find that version of reality could not be sustained . And I would no more turn to a Senior Non-Resident Fellow at the Institute of International Relations Prague for expert analysis of the "Combat Vehicles of Russia's Special Forces" than I would ask a house painter to cut my hair. Unless I see some recollections of a college-age Galeotti tinkering with drivetrains and differentials until the sun went down from a pure love of mechanics, I am going to go ahead and assume that he knows what the vast majority of us knows about military vehicles he could pick one out of a lineup which included a melon, a goat and an Armored Personnel Carrier, and if it had a flat tire he could probably fix it given time and the essential equipment.
Just before we move on, the future event: the MH-17 'trial' has been postponed until June 8th , to give defense attorneys more time to prepare after the amazingly fortuitous capture of a 'key witness' in Eastern Ukraine. I'm not going to elaborate here on what a kicking-the-can-down-the-road crock this is; we'll pick that up later. The whole MH-17 'investigation' has been such a ridiculous exercise in funneling the pursuit to a single inescapable conclusion that Russia shot it down irrespective of how many points have to be bent to fit the curve that no matter how it comes out, it will stand as perhaps the greatest example of absurd western self-justification ever recorded.
There are a couple of ways of solving a mystery crime. One is to collect evidence, and follow where it takes you. Another is to decide who you want to have been responsible, and then construct a sequence of events in which they might have done it. To do that, especially in this case, we will have to throw out a few assumptions, such as all that stuff about means, motive and opportunity. In the absence of a believable scenario, that is. Let's look at what we have, and what we need, and see how we get from there to here.
First, we need for Ukraine not to have been responsible. That's going to be awkward, because it looks as if the aircraft was shot down by a missile, but the missile had to have come from inside Ukraine, because the aircraft was too far from the nearest point in Russia at the moment it was stricken for the missile to have come from there. But we need Russia to have been responsible, and not Ukraine. Therefore we need a sequence of events in which a Russian missile launcher capable of shooting down an airliner at cruising altitude was inside Ukraine, in a position from which it could have taken the shot.
You know what? We are going to have to look at means, motive and opportunity, just for a second. My purpose in doing so is to illustrate just how improbable the western narrative is, starting from square one. The coup in Ukraine and anyone who believes it was a 'grass-roots revolution' might as well stop reading right here, because we are going to just get further apart in our impressions of events followed by the triumphant promise from the revolutionaries to repeal Yanukovych's language laws and make Ukrainian the law of the land touched off the return of Crimea to its ancestral home in the Russian Federation. Crimea was about 65% ethnic Russian by population at the time, and only about 15% Ukrainian, and Crimea had made several attempts to break free of Ukraine before that yet for some reason the west refused steadfastly to accept the results of a referendum which voted in favour of Crimea becoming a part of the Russian Federation, as if it were more believable that a huge ethnic-Russian majority preferred to learn Ukrainian and be governed by Kiev.
Be that as it may, Washington reacted very angrily; much more so than Europe, considering the distance between the United States and Ukraine versus its proximity to Europe. Perhaps that is owed simply to Washington's assumption that every corner of the world looks to it for leadership, and that it must have a position ready on any given situation, regardless how distant. So Washington insisted there must be sanctions against Russia, for stealing Crimea from its rightful owner, Ukraine. We're not really going to get into struggles for freedom and the right to self-determination right now, except to state that the USA considers nothing more important in some cases, while in others it is completely irrelevant. Washington demanded sanctions but much of Europe was reluctant .
"It is notoriously difficult to secure EU agreement on sanctions anywhere because they require unanimity from the 28 member states. There were wide differences over the numbers of Russians and Crimeans to be punished, with countries such as Greece, Cyprus, Bulgaria and Spain reluctant to penalise Moscow for fear of closing down channels of dialogue. The 21 named were on an original list that ran to about 120 people Expanding the numbers on the sanctions list is almost certain to be discussed at the EU summit on Thursday and Friday. Some EU states are torn about taking punitive measures against Russia for fear of undoing years of patient attempts to establish closer ties with Moscow as well as increase trade. The EU has already suspended talks with Russia on an economic pact and a visa agreement The German foreign minister, Frank-Walter Steinmeier, said any measure must leave "ways and possibilities open to prevent a further escalation that could lead to the division of Europe" .
The original list of those to be sanctioned was 120 people. The haggling reduced that to 21. Only 7 of those were Russians. Putin was not included. That was pretty plainly not the United Front That Speaks With One Voice that Washington had envisioned, and the notion that Europe would buy into sanctions that might really do some damage to Russia, albeit there would be economic costs to Europe as well, was a dim prospect.
Gosh you know what we need? An atrocity which can be quickly tied to Russia, and which will so appall the EU member states that resistance to far-reaching sanctions will collapse. That's called 'motive'. It's just not a motive for Russia. Having just gone far out on a limb and taken back Crimea, to the obvious and vocal fury of the United States, it is a bit of a stretch that Russia was looking for what else it could do that would stir up the world against it.
Means, now. That presents its own dilemma. Because Russia could have shot down an airliner from its own territory. Just not with the weapon chosen. The S-400 could have done it; it has the range, easily. But if you were setting up a scenario in which something happened that you wanted to blame on Russia, but they didn't really do it, you must have the weapon to do it yourself, or access to it. By any reasonable construct, Ukraine must be a suspect as well there was a hot war going on in Ukraine, Ukraine controlled both the airspace and the aircraft that was lost, and the aircraft was lost over Ukrainian territory. But Ukraine doesn't have the S-400. You could use a variety of western systems, but it would quickly be established that the plane was shot down with a weapon that Russia does not have. In order for the narrative to be believable, Russia must have the weapon but if it wasn't Russia, then whoever did it must have the weapon, too.
Enter the Buk system, with the 9K37 SA-11 missile. It's got the range, it's got the altitude, the Russians have it in active service. Oooo problem. It's got the range, but only if it was fired from inside Ukraine.
Which brings us back to Mr. Galeotti, an expert in Russian combat systems; enough of an expert to write books on them, anyway. And he plainly believes it was an SA-11 missile fired from a single Buk TELAR (Transporter/Erector/Launcher and Radar) which brought down the Boeing; he says that's what the evidence demonstrates, although by this time (2019) most of the world has backed away from saying Putin showed up with no shirt on to close the firing switch personally (cue the instant British-press screaming headlines before the dust had even settled, "PUTIN'S MISSILE!!!" "PUTIN KILLED MY SON!!!"). Now the story is that the disgraceful deed was done by 'Ukrainian anti-government militants', using a weapon supplied by Russia.
"In this context, a full reversal of policy seems near-enough impossible. The evidence suggests that while the fateful missile was fired by Ukrainian anti-government militants, it was supplied by the Russian 53rd Air Defense Brigade under orders from Moscow and in a process managed by Russian military intelligence.
To admit this would not only be to acknowledge a share in the unlawful killing of 298 innocents, but also an unpicking of the whole Kremlin narrative over the Donbass. It would mean admitting to having been an active participant in this bloody compound of civil war and foreign intervention, to having armed the militants without due thought as to the consequences, and to having lied to the world and the Russian people for half a decade."
We don't really have the scope in this piece to broaden the discussion to Russia's probable actual involvement. Suffice it to say that despite non-stop allegations by Poroshenko throughout his presidency of entire battalions of active-service Russian Army soldiers inside Ukraine, zero evidence has ever been provided of any such presence, although there have been some clumsy attempts to fabricate it . To argue that the Russian Army has been trying to overrun Ukraine for six years now, but has been unable to do so because of the combat prowess of the Ukrainian Army is to imply a belief in leprechauns. This is only my own inexpert opinion, but it seems likely to me the complete extent of Russia's involvement, militarily, is the minimum which prevents Eastern Ukraine from being overrun by the Ukrainian military, and including the rebel areas' own far-from-inconsequential military forces. I'm always ready to entertain competing theories, though; be sure to bring your evidence. Meanwhile, the Ukrainian Constitution prohibits using the country's military forces against its own citizens. The logic of 'Have cake, and eat it" cannot apply here either the Ukrainian state is in direct and obvious violation of its own constitution or the people of the breakaway regions are not Ukrainian citizens.
Anyway, back to the Buk system. And not a moment before time, either I just re-read that sanctimonious stab above, again; " having armed the militants without due thought as to the consequences " What, exactly, is the ridiculous nature of the accusation being presented here? That the Russians gave an anti-aircraft system to the 'militants' without considering they might use it to shoot down an aircraft? How did they not see that coming? The Ukrainian Army shot down a civilian airliner in October of 2001 , and lied about it for as long as it could interestingly, it took place during joint Ukrainian-Russian air defense exercises on the Crimean peninsula, and Russia tried hard to avoid assigning blame to Ukraine, while at least one Israeli television station claimed the Russians had shot down their own aircraft. This disaster and subsequent lying did not prevent the USA from giving the Javelin missile to Ukraine did it not occur to them that they might use it to shoot tanks? No due thought to the consequences, obviously.
The Buk air-defense system normally consists of at least 4 TELAR launchers , each with 4 missiles on the launch rails, a self-propelled acquisition radar designated by NATO nomenclature as Snow Drift (the radar on the nose of the TELAR unit itself is designated Fire Dome), and a self-propelled command post, for a minimum of 6 vehicles. Also usually part of the system is a mobile crane, to reload the launchers. If you were going to supply an air-defense system to militant rebels, why wouldn't you give them the whole system? In a pinch, you might be able to get away without the command post vehicle, although it is the station that collates all the input from the sensors and makes the decision to assign targets for acquisition, tracking and engagement. If you didn't give them the crane vehicle, and perhaps a logistics truck with some reloads, they would be limited to the missiles that came already mounted once those were fired, they'd have to abandon the system, because they couldn't reload it. Seems a little wasteful, don't you think?
What about the acquisition radar? Because acquiring targets is all about scanning capability and situational awareness. We're going to assume for a moment that you don't use an air defense system exclusively to hunt for airliners, but that you want to defend yourself against ground-attack aircraft like the Sukhoi SU-25. Because, when you think about it, who is more likely to be trying to kill you ? A Malaysian Airlines Boeing 777, or an SU-25? The latter is not quite as fast as an airliner at its cruising height of 30,000 ft+, but it is very agile and will be nearly down in the treetops if it is attacking you. You need to be able to search all around, all the time.
That's where the acquisition radar comes in. A centimetric waveband search radar, the Snow Drift (called the 9S18M1 by its designer) has 360-degree coverage and from 0 to 40 degrees of height in a 6-second sweep in anti-aircraft mode, with a 160 km detection range, obviously dependent on target altitude. An airliner, being a large target not attempting to evade detection, and at a high altitude, would quite possibly be detected at the maximum range of which the system is capable. But then the operators would certainly know it was an airliner. And the narrative says whoever shot it down probably did so by accident.
Maybe if it was his first day on the job. Let's talk for a minute about air-defense deconfliction. It would be nice if your Command parked you somewhere that there was nothing around you but enemies. Well, not as nice as parking you across the street from a pulled-pork barbecue joint with strippers and cold beer, but from a defense standpoint, it'd be nice to know that anything you detected, you could shoot. Know something? It's never like that. Your own aircraft are flying around as if they didn't even know you are dangerous, and as everyone now knows, civilian airliners continue their transport enterprises irrespective of war except in rare instances in which high-flying aircraft have been shot down by long-range missiles. That rarely happens. Why? Because an aircraft flying a steady course, at 30,000 ft+ and not descending, is no threat to you on the ground. From that altitude it can't even see you in the ground clutter, and it'd be quite a bombardier that could hit a target the size of a two-car garage with a bomb dropped from 30,000 ft while flying at 400 knots.
And unless you are an idiot, you know it is an airliner. When you are deployed into the field in an air-defense role, you know where the commercial airlanes are that are going to be active. You know what a commercial-aviation profile looks like aircraft at 30,000 ft+ altitude, flying at ≥400 knots on a steady course, squawking Mode 3 and Charlie = airliner. Might as well take a moment here to talk about IFF ; Identification Friend or Foe. This is a coded pulse signal transmitted by all commercial aircraft whenever they are in flight unless their equipment is non-functional, and you are not allowed to take off with it in that state. Mode C provides the aircraft's altitude, taken automatically from its barometric altimeter. All modern air search radars have IFF capability, and a dashed line just below the raw video of the air track can be interrogated with a light-pen to provide the readout. You already know how high the plane is if you have a solid radar track, but Mode C provides a confirmation.
Military aircraft have IFF transponders, too; in fact, most of the modes are reserved for military use. But military aircraft often turn off their IFF equipment, because it provides a giveaway who and where they are. In Ukraine, which uses mostly Soviet military aircraft, both sides are capable of reading each other's IFF, so all the more reason not to transmit. Foreign nations typically cannot read each other's IFF except for the modes which are for both military and civilian use, other than those nations who are allies. Anyway, the point I wanted to make is that the Snow Drift acquisition radar has IFF, and if it detected an airliner-like target at 160 km., the operator would have that much more time to interrogate it and determine it was an airliner. Just to reiterate, the western narrative holds that the destruction of the airliner was a mistake.
I'm going a little further with my inexpert opinion, to say that the Buk system was selected as the 'murder weapon', because it provides a limited autonomous capability. To be clear, the Fire Dome radar on the nose of the TELAR does have a limited search capability, and once the radar is locked on to a target, the TELAR vehicle is completely autonomous. The purpose of the surveillance radar is to detect the target from far beyond the Fire Dome's range, assign it to a TELAR and thereby direct it to the elevation and bearing of the target so that the TELAR's radar knows exactly where to look, and continue to update its position until the TELAR to which it was assigned has locked on to the target.
That autonomous capability is probably what made it attractive to those building the scenario; consider. A complete Buk system of 6, maybe 7 vehicles could hardly get all the way inside Ukraine to the firing position without being noticed and perhaps recorded. But perhaps a single TELAR could do it. The aircraft could be shot down by an SA-11 missile and blamed on Russia Ukraine has access to plenty of SA-11's. But it is a weapon in the Russian active-service inventory. Further, Galeotti's commitment to the allegation that the single TELAR was provided by Russia's 53rd Air Defense Brigade tells us he supports the crackpot narrative offered by Bellingcat, the loopy citizen-journalist website headed by failed financial clerk Eliot Higgins. Bellingcat claims the Buk TELAR was trucked into Ukraine on the back of a flatbed, took the shot that slew MH-17, and was immediately withdrawn back to Russia.
Ummm .how was that an accident? The Russians gave the Ukrainian militants a single launcher with no crane or reload missiles, so it was limited to a maximum of four shots. Its ability to defend itself from ground attack was almost nil, since the design purpose of mounting a Fire Dome radar on each TELAR is not to make the launcher units autonomous; it is to permit concurrent engagements by several launchers, all coordinated by the acquisition radar and command post. Without a radar of its own on the launcher, the firing unit would have to wait until each engagement was completed before it could switch to a new target, but with a fire-control guidance radar on each TELAR, multiple targets can be assigned to multiple launchers, while the search radar limits itself to acquisition and target assignment.
The Fire Dome radar mounted on the TELAR can search a 120-degree sector in 4 seconds, at an elevation of 6 to 7 degrees. Its search function is maximized for defense against ground attack aircraft, and a single launcher is not looking at 240 degrees of potential air threat axis during each sweep. It is not looking high enough to see an airliner at 30,000 ft+. More importantly for a system which was not designed to shoot down helpless airliners, it leaves two-thirds of a circle unobserved all the time it is searching for a target. And the Russians provided this to the 'militants' for air defense? They should be shot.
A single TELAR with no reloads and no acquisition radar would have to be looking directly at the target when it was activated in order to even see it; it takes 15 seconds for the launcher to swing into line and elevation even when that information is transmitted to it from the acquisition radar. It takes 4 seconds for a scan to be completed when there is a whole two-thirds of a circle that it is not even looking at, and you have to manually force it to search above 7 degrees because it is not designed to shoot down airliners. All this time, the target is crossing the acquisition scope at 400 knots+. Fire Dome has integrated IFF, so if it did by some miracle pick up an airliner in its search, the operator would know from transmitted IFF that he was looking at an airliner. A single TELAR with no reload capability sent on an air-defense mission would have its ass ripped in half by ground-attack aircraft that it never saw if the autonomous capability is so good, why don't the Ukrainians use them as a single unit? Think of how much air-defense coverage they could provide! Do you see the Ukrainian air-defense units employing the Buk that way? Never. Not once. Four TELARS, acquisition radar vehicle, command vehicle, just the way the system was designed to operate.
Just because it has a limited capability to function in a given capacity should not suggest you would employ it that way. You can use a hockey stick to turn off the bedroom light, and you won't even have to get out of bed. Would you do that? I hope not.
A one-third effective capacity in the air defense role together with the covert delivery and immediate withdrawal suggests that the Russians provided the 'militants' with a single TELAR for the express purpose of shooting down a defenseless airliner. Except nobody is saying that. It was a mistake. Well, except for Head of the Security Service of Ukraine Valentyn Nalyvaichenko, who claimed "Terrorists and militants have planned a cynical terrorist attack on a civilian aircraft Aeroflot AFL-2074 Moscow-Larnaka that was flying at that time above the territory of Ukraine." He further claimed that this was motivated by a desire to 'justify an invasion'. I'm pretty sure if any western authority could prove anything even close to that, we would not have had to wait 6 years for a trial.
Which brings us to the covert delivery and extraction. As part of his personal investigation, Max van der Werff drove the route Bellingcat claimed was the extraction route by which the single TELAR, on its flatbed, was returned to Russia. He verified that there is a highway overpass on the route which is too low for a load that tall to pass underneath. When he pointed this out to Higgins, he was told there is a bypass spur which goes around it, which would allow the flatbed to regain the road beyond without having gone through the overpass. Max drew his attention to the concrete barriers which blocked that road at the top of the hill, and which locals claimed had been in place long before the destruction of MH-17. And that was the end of that conversation. I cannot say enough about the quality of Max's work and his diligent, patient dissection of the evidence . His diagrams of the entry and egress routes as provided by Bellingcat illustrate how little sense they make. It was imperative the guilty Russians get the fuck out of Dodge with the greatest possible dispatch so they drove 100 kilometers out of their way? Don't even terrorist murderers have GPS now?
Similarly, the simpleminded flailing of the Ukrainian investigators suggests they do not even have much of a grasp of how Surface-To-Air missiles work. In excited posts like this one , the BBC discloses that an exhaust vent from the tail section of a 'Buk missile' (the missile is actually the SA-11, while Buk is the entire system) was found in the wreckage of the crashed plane, while this one even shows terminally-stunned head prosecutor Fred Westerbeke standing next to what is allegedly part of the rocket body of an SA-11, including legible inventory markings, also 'found at the crash scene'.
Let me review for you how an SA-11 missile shoots down an aircraft. Does it pierce it like a harpoon, blow up in a thunderous explosion, and ride the doomed aircraft down to the crash site? It certainly does not. The missile blasts out of the launcher and flies to the target via semiactive homing, which means it has an onboard seeker that updates the missile trajectory, while the radar on the launcher also communicates with it and the missile and the target are brought together in intercept. When the proximity fuse of the missile this is the important part senses that the missile's warhead is close to the target, the internal explosive detonates, and a shower of prefragmented shrapnel pierces the area of the plane near where the missile detonated, usually the front, because the missile is constantly adjusting to make sure it stays with the target until intercept.
MH-17 traveled on, mostly intact, for miles before it crashed into the ground; the crash site was some 13 miles from where the plane was hit. The missile self-destructed miles away from the crash site, and the only parts of it which accompanied the plane to its impact point were the shrapnel bits of the exploded warhead. The body of the missile, together with the exhaust vent, fell back to the ground somewhere quite close to where the plane was hit, not where it fell. Once the missile's fuel is exhausted, either because it ran out or because it was consumed in the explosion triggered by the proximity fuse, the missile parts do not fly around in formation, seeking out the wreckage and coming gently to rest in it where they can later be found by investigators. I don't know how many times I have to say this, because this is certainly not the first, but there would not be any missile parts in the wreckage of MH-17 because the missile would have blown up in front of the plane without ever touching it. The missile does not hit the plane. The pieces of the warhead do. But reality has to take a back seat to making out an airtight case.
There is no telling what kind of ordnance might be found in the wreckage itself, as the Ukrainian Army continued to shell the site for days after the crash; doubtless various artillery shells could be found at the crash site, as well, but it would be quite a leap of faith to suggest a Boeing 777 was shot down by artillery. What you would not find is pieces of the SAM that shot it down.
Several witnesses claimed to have seen an SU-25 near the plane before it exploded. They quite possibly did the Ukrainian Air Force was observed to be using civilian airliners as cover to allow them to get close to Eastern-Ukrainian villages which might be protected by hand-held launchers known as MANPADS (for Man-Portable Air Defense System), reasoning the defenders would not shoot if they were afraid they might hit a civil aircraft. Once they were close enough to the village or other target to make an attack run, they would then return to the vicinity of the airliner for protection while withdrawing; the rebel side complained about this illegal and immoral practice a month before the destruction of MH-17. But there is no evidence I am aware of linking the destruction of MH-17 to an attack by aircraft.
It may no longer be possible to look at the shooting-down of the Malaysian Boeing objectively; the event has become a partisan rush to judgment which was rendered immediately, after which an investigation began which plainly had as its goal proving the accusations already made. Means and motive clearly favour the accusers rather than the accused, and opportunity is mostly irrelevant as a consideration. Ukraine obviously had to be a suspect the destruction of the aircraft occurred over Ukraine while Ukraine was in control of it and the airspace in which it traveled. Yet Ukraine was allowed to lead the investigation, and to gather and safeguard evidence, while the owner of the aircraft Malaysia was excluded until the investigation had been in progress for four months. Russia was not allowed any part in it save to yield whatever evidence the investigators demanded, while all its theories were widely mocked. Demonstrations set up by Almaz-Antey, the designers and builders of the SA-11, were unattended by any investigating nation small wonder they do not have Clue One how the missile works, and believe they are going to find big chunks of it in the wreckage, perhaps with Putin's passport stuck to one of them. If any of these conditions prevailed in an investigation which favoured Russia, NATO would scream as if it were being run over with spiked wheels if the Boeing had been shot down over Russia, who thinks Russia would have been heading the investigation, and custodian of the evidence?
Nor is that by any means all. The Dutch investigation which concluded with the preliminary report implied that nothing of any investigative value was found on the Cockpit Voice Recorder (CVR) or the Flight Data Recorder (FDR). Nothing to indicate what might have happened to the aircraft just that it was flying along, and suddenly it wasn't. How likely is that? No transcript was provided, and I guess that would be expected if there was no information at all. Funny how often that happens with Malaysian airliners; they really need to look at their quality control. Oh; except they don't build the aircraft. Boeing does. I could see there not being any information after the plane began to break up, because both the CVR and the FDR are in the tail , and that broke off before the fuselage hit. But the microphones are in the ceiling of the cockpit and in the microphone and earpiece of the pilots' headsets, which they wear at all times while in flight. The last audio claimed to have been recorded was a course alteration sent by Ukrainian ATC.
According to the Malaysian government, there was an early plan by NATO for a military operation involving some 9000 troops to 'secure the crash site', which was forestalled by a covert Malaysian operation which recovered the 'black boxes' and blocked the plan. I have to say that given the many, many other unorthodox and bizarre happenings in the conduct of what was supposed to be a transparent and impartial international investigation, it's getting so nothing much is unbelievable. The Malaysian Prime Minister went on record as believing that the western powers had already concluded that Russia was responsible, and were mostly just going through the motions of investigating.
The telephone recordings presented by the SBU as demonstrating Russian culpability were analyzed by OG IT Forensic Services, a Malaysian firm specializing in forensic analysis of audio, video and digital materials for court proceedings, which concluded the recordings were cut, edited and fabricated . Yet they are relied upon as important evidence of guilt by the Dutch and the JIT.
The conduct of the investigation has been all the way across town from transparent, and in fact seems to represent a clique of cronies getting their heads together to attempt nailing down a consistent narrative, which is in the judgment of forensic professionals based upon clumsy fabrications. The investigators plainly have no understanding of how the weapons systems involved perform, or they would not claim confidently to have discovered pieces of the very missile that destroyed the plane in the wreckage of it. But rather than take an objective look at how this flailing is perceived, they continue to rely on momentum and the appearance of getting things done while being scrupulously impartial, all the while that more mountains of evidence are collected, which they cannot disclose to the public, although it is all right to let the prime suspect keep it safe under wraps.
Make of that what you will.
" Bullshit is unavoidable whenever circumstances require someone to talk without knowing what he is talking about. Thus the production of bullshit is stimulated whenever a person's obligations or opportunities to speak about some topic exceed his knowledge of the facts that are relevant to that topic. "
-Harry G. Frankfurt
May 24, 2020 | christiansfortruth.com
According to recently released FBI documents, Donald Trump's longtime confidant, Roger Stone, who was convicted last year in Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, was in contact with one or more apparently well-connected Israelis at the height of the 2016 US presidential campaign, one of whom warned Stone that Trump was "going to be defeated" unless Israel intervened in the election :
The exchange between Stone and this Jerusalem-based contact appears in FBI documents made public on Tuesday. The documents -- FBI affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants in the criminal investigation into Stone -- were released following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organizations.
A longtime adviser to Trump, Stone officially worked on the 2016 presidential campaign until August 2015, when he said he left and Trump said he was fired. However he continued to communicate with the campaign, according to Mueller's investigation.
The FBI material, which is heavily redacted, includes one explicit reference to Israel and one to Jerusalem, and a series of references to a minister, a cabinet minister, a "minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs," the PM, and the Prime Minister . In all these references the names and countries of the minister and prime minister are redacted.
Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel's prime minister in 2016 , and the Israeli government included a minister without portfolio, Tzachi Hanegbi, appointed in May with responsibility for defense and foreign affairs. One reference to the unnamed PM in the material reads as follows:
"On or about June 28, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME. MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC."
Netanyahu made a state visit to Italy at the end of June 2016 .
The explicit reference to Israel appears early in the text of a May 2018 affidavit by an FBI agent in support of an application for a search warrant, and relates to communication between Stone and Jerome Corsi, an American author, commentator and conspiracy theorist. " On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [NAME REDACTED] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct," the affidavit states .
The explicit reference to Jerusalem appears later in the same document , in the context of communication between Stone and his unnamed contact in the Israeli capital. "On or about August 12, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you. STONE replied, "I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R" The "he" is an apparent reference to Trump.
The redacted material features numerous references to an "October surprise," apparently relating to a document dump by Wikileaks' Julian Assange, intended to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and salvage Trump's .
Referring to the Israeli mentions in a report on the documents late Tuesday, the US website Politico noted: "The newly revealed messages often raise more questions than answers. They show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign."
Mueller's investigation identified significant contact during the 2016 campaign between Trump associates and Russians, but did not allege a criminal conspiracy to tip the outcome of the presidential election.
This story first appeared last month, at the height of the COVID-19 plandemic, which conveniently and not coincidentally allowed all the mainstream media in America to ignore it.
Of course, this story is seen as a positive development from the Israeli (and evangelical) perspective because a Trump presidency was an essential part fulfilling an aggressive Zionist "wish list" which included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, annexing the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and perhaps a major move against Iran in the second term.
This story also explains why the jewish-controlled press saturated the airwaves with fake stories of "Russian" intervention in the election -- and why we will be seeing similar non-stop stories of "Chinese" intervention in the upcoming 2020 election in November.
We can only guess what further information about Israel's involvement in the election was redacted from this FBI document, but there can be little doubt that the orders to help Trump win came from the very top -- from Netanyahu himself.
And Netanyahu hasn't wasted a second of Trump's presidency in expanding Israel's power, territory and influence. As one Jewish media pundit claimed , Donald Trump has been " the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world." Trump has even bragged that he is so popular among Israelis that they would elect him Prime Minister if he ran.
And even if the brain-dead American public found out about this Israeli intervention (i.e., "subversion of our democracy"), they would probably just shrug it off -- after all, Israel is our "most trusted friend and ally," goyim .
May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
Mark Chapman May 24, 2020 at 9:17 amJust take a look at the progressive schooling of 'diplomats' who end up in American ambassadorial and consular posts. Where do they come from? The Heritage Institute, Legatum, the American Enterprise Institute, and various other America-Triumphant think tanks. Look at Michael McFaul, and his absurd just-a-ole-homeboy-who-loves-Russia video he put out before taking up his official duties in Moscow. And he barely had the dust of New York off his shoes before he was huddling with the Russian opposition. I don't know why Russia even affects to be surprised by their attitudes.
May 24, 2020 | original.antiwar.com"A 'Neocon' is neither new or conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell." – Edward Abbey
Being an unrepentant Neocon, such as William (Bill) Kristol, means never having to say you're sorry. To qualify, you need to be an ideologue, who also has paid no price for recklessly cheerleading 4,488 U.S. troops to their deaths in the illegal and immoral Iraq War, plus another 32,223 who were seriously wounded (2003-2011).
It also helps to have a significant media platform and not to give a good hoot about how many innocent Iraqis died via the U.S.-led invasion and/or the occupation of that country. (Try an estimated 655,000.)
By the way, false prophet, Kristol: Our troops found "No" Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.
Let me formally introduce – William Kristol, age 67, out of New York City, now Northern Virginia, warmonger extraordinaire, ultra-conservative, and currently editor at large of Bulwark magazine.
For years, we've heard Kristol on the TV/Cable/Network shows making outrageous statements, like this one: "The war in Iraq could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East." (09/18/2001).
The other day, May 20, 2020, Kristol was the subject of a puff piece profile in the Washington Post , by reporter KK Ottesen. The article made no mention of Kristol's disgusting role in promoting the Iraq War. Instead, he was given the opportunity to rip President Donald Trump on how he has been mismanaging the coronavirus crisis. (Well, heck, everybody knows that.)
There was also no mention by the reporter of the possible real reasons that Kristol was dumping on Trump. One could be that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had trashed Kristol's and the Neocons' support of the Iraq War.
And, also Trump has indicated he doesn't have any plans to reignite another of Kristol's favorites schemes – "a Cold War with Russia." These are just two of the reasons the "Neocons, like Kristol, can't stomach Trump," according to the commentator, JP Sottile, of Consortium News.
The idea that Kristol is some kind of genuine dissenter and is opposing Trump because he's concerned about the quality of his leadership is pure nonsense. The Washington Post allowed Kristol to use the paper for this dubious exercise and it has no one to blame but itself.
During last year's Democratic presidential primary, Kristol took a swipe at the candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and posted a tweet that said: "#Never Sanders." The popular antiwar candidate responded to Kristol: "Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq War? I make no apologies for opposing it." Sanders then added this zinger: "I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran."
The Neocon replied: "I will defend my views on Iraq as you defend yours." Sen. Sanders underscored how Kristol had called for regime change in Iraq as early at 1998; and that Kristol also predicted the conflict would last "only two months;" and that he had repeatedly argued for the Bush-Cheney Gang to send in more troops. As early at 2006, Kristol was urging the US to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, asking, "Why wait?"
Flashback: The first time I laid eyes on the cunning Neocon, Kristol was at a pro-Iraq War rally held on the National Mall, on April 12, 2003, in Washington, D.C., G. Gordon Liddy and the late, ex-U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) were there, along with some other Right Wing types.
What was really weird about the whole affair was the appearance of that so-called comedian, Ben Stein. He showed up on a huge video screen endorsing the war. It should have had "a warning label" on it!
I recall a lady in the modest crowd of about fifty at that event saying of Kristol: "Oh, look how small he is!" She was right. Kristol is, indeed, on the very short side. I'd say that he comes in at about 5 ft. 4 or 5 inches. It seems that, as a result of his tiny body frame, his head appears more massive than it really is. The rally was boring. I didn't stay long.
In a way, Kristol reminded me, in a physical sense, of the late actor Peter Lorre. Whether Kristol has a "Little Man (Napoleon) Complex," or not, I will leave to the experts in the field. All I know for sure is that he's a relentlessly angry, pusher of costly and unnecessary wars.
(During the Iraq War, there were countless protest actions mounted by ten of thousands of splendid antiwar activists across the country. Many of them were held on the National Mall, and other sites in our nation's capital.)
Here is another gem from Kristol: "The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably." (April 28, 2003) And, then there is this whopper from the slippery Neocon: "The Iraqi elections of Jan. 30, 2005 could be a key moment perhaps the key moment so far in vindicating the 'Bush/Cheney Doctrine' as the right response to 9/11." (March 7, 2005)
Of course, it wouldn't be fair to leave out this one from Kristol: "It is much more likely that the situation in Iraq will stay more or less the same, or improve, in either case, Republicans will benefit from being the party of victory." (Nov. 30, 2005)
As a result of an onslaught of Kristol's articles and media appearances in support of the Iraq invasion, the Washington Post 's Richard Cohen dubbed the conflict: "Kristol's War!" Right on, Mr. Cohen.
The estimated cost of the Iraq War to the U.S. taxpayers runs to a high of around $1.7 trillion!
If Kristol has any regrets with respect to his amoral advocacy for the Iraq War (which was launched by the Bush-Cheney Gang based on a pack of rotten lies) and/or about the staggering US casualties in Iraq, I have never heard him express them.
If Kristol has any empathy for the innocent Iraqi dead and wounded, the Iraqi women and children who have suffered and are continuing to suffer from that conflict, along with the tens of thousands of Iraqi homes that have been destroyed, and also for those 3.8 million Iraqis made into refugees, then he's kept those kinds of feelings to himself.
(The other amazing thing about Kristol is how he's repeatedly able to get his distorted views on our televisions and in our newspapers. It's like he has to only press a button and there he is. It is all so – Orwellian!)
In any event, when the name of William Kristol, the Neocon, is mentioned, I think callous indifference to human life and suffering.
The next time the Neocon Kristol visits the Arlington National Cemetery, over in Virginia, to honor our Iraqi War dead, will be his FIRST! Despite all of the above, he continues to argue for a U.S.-led attack on Iran. Kristol insists: "Invading Iran is not a bad idea!"
If warmongering isn't a Hate Crime and/or a Hate Speech, then maybe it should be. (Peace Movement, please copy.) That would give the heartless Kristol something to think about when he advocates for the launching of yet another monstrosity, like the Iraq War.
Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is Byline Baltimore . Contact the author. Reprinted from the Baltimore Post-Examiner with the author's permission.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
uncle tungsten , May 25 2020 0:44 utc | 56vk #4
Pompeo Warns US May Stop Sharing Intelligence With Australia Over Victoria Inking Deal With China's BRI
The battle for Australia's soul has begun.
Lets reverse that point, shall we. There is a US spy base in Australia at a place called Pine Gap. Without it being operational the USA would lose its 3 dimensional vision across the planet.
This Bannon/Trump bluster is weak as p!ss as 'sharing intelligence' is the cornerstone of the five eyes perversion that gives the USA some superiority in intelligence matters. So if sharing intelligence were withdrawn by the USA with Australia it would have meaningless consequences.
On the other hand if Australia ceased its intelligence sharing and shut down all the data traffic out of Australia - the USA would go ballistic. Not that the Oz government would ever do such a thing being a craven water carrier for the new world order etc...
Pompeo is blathering bullsh!t and he knows it and we all know it.
Odd that you would reiterate his brainless threat vk.
May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com
moscowexile May 24, 2020 at 4:10 amHave they nothing better to do than peddle their Russophobia?
Wouldn't it be more useful to allocate $ 250,000 to save someone's lives, @StateDept ? Instead of "Exposing Russian Health Disinformation"
📸 Medical aid 🇷🇺✈️🇺🇸 in NYC and Moscow pic.twitter.com/BVFxDVJJAH
-- Russia in USA 🇷🇺 (@RusEmbUSA) May 23, 2020
Anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 4:50 am GMT
May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
sarz , says: Show Comment
Here's the best scenario: Trump wins re-election, and gives the neocons what they've been egging for all along – WWIII, simultaneous war on all fronts, with Syria, Iran, Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Ukraine, China, Russia, Venezuela. Let's see the empire stretched so thin it eventually craters and goes bankrupt. The only way to save America is for it to die in its present form. When the country is completely bankrupt, when the people are so sick of war, then maybe, just maybe, we will wise up, rise up and do a Mussolini on all the neocons who've been killing this country from within since the days of Woodrow Wilson.anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 11:13 am GMT
@UncommonGround Joshua Landis:BannedHipster , says: Website Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:14 pm GMT
Top Biden advisor says Democrats will continue Trump's policy in Syria.
Tony Blinken says Biden would:
– Keep US troops in Syria
– Deny Assad oil
– Keep Idlib for rebels
– Refuse to negotiate w Damascus until US "effectuates more positive outcome"
Donald Trump's father and grandfather were connected to Jewish organized crime. Donald Trump first got big on Twitter promoting the "birther" conspiracy theories about Obama which Trump was getting from the Israeli Jew Orly Taitz. These conspiracy theories were designed to demonize Obama for trying to end the sanctions on Iran and prevent a war.BannedHipster , says: Website Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:32 pm GMT
Zionist Jews were quite aware that Donald Trump was their guy – he has always been consistently popular in Israel. Zionist Jews knew that Donald Trump could give them everything they wanted: takeover all of Jerusalem, annex the Golan Heights, and eventually annex Palestine and ethnically cleanse the Palestinians – all going on right now with the support of Trump and Jared Kushner's hand-picked Mike Pompeo.
Hey, Trump fans – Trump DID in fact "drain the swamp." He (well, Jared Kushner) fired anyone who dared to oppose anything Israel wanted and replaced them with yes-men Zionist flunkies.
How much longer till the MAGA-tard realize they were tricked?
This is almost certainly false and confusing the issue:
" In 1927 Frederick Trump was one of seven people in KKK cap and gown arrested in a near riot."
Donald Trump's father was arrested during a riot at a Klan rally – but he almost certainly wasn't "in KKK cap and gown" – it's far more likely he was the one rioting AGAINST the Klan, as a member of the Jewish "Anti-fascist" terrorist group, which was a Jewish Communist group then in the early stages.
Trump's uncle was a member of a Jewish fraternity and often claimed that his father was Jewish, but that is probably false. Trump's grandfather supposedly owned brothels. Consider: what kind of people own brothels, houses of prostitution, basically, human trafficking? Organized crime.
Trump isn't Jewish, Trump's father wasn't Jewish and neither was his grandfather. What Trump and his family is, is non-Jewish members of Jewish organized crime.
Why confuse the issue? Half of Trump's children and grandchildren are now either Jewish, Israelis, or married to Jews and Israelis.
Trump and his entire family going back to his grandfather, are shabbos goyim.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Piotr Berman , May 23 2020 19:01 utc | 7Trump is mostly concerned with giving handouts to the MIC because he thinks "the economy" is based on jobs in the MIC since that is what they tell him is where US manufacturing is now based.
Posted by: Kali | May 23 2020 18:16 utc | 2
To a degree, it is true. However, the problem with MIC as an economic stimulant is rather pitiful multiplier effect. For starters, the costs are hopelessly bloated. Under rather watchful Putin, Russia does its piece of arms race at a very small fraction of American costs. By the same token, pro-economy effects of arms spending in USA are seriously diluted -- the spending is surely there, but the extend of activity is debatable For example, in aerospace, there is a big potential for civilian applications of technologies developed for the military. Scant evidence in Boeing that should be a prime beneficiary. The fabled toilet seat (that cost many thousands of dollars) similarly failed to find civilian applications. Civilians inclined to overpriced toilets, like Mr. Trump himself, rely on low-tech methods like gold-plating.
A wider problem is shared by entire GOP: aversion to any government programs, and least of all industry promoting programs, that could benefit ordinary citizens. This is the exclusive domain of the free market! Once you refuse to consider that, only MIC remains, plus some boondogles like interstate highways. Heaven forfend to improve public transit or to repair almost-proverbial crumbling dams and bridges.
Charles D , May 23 2020 19:19 utc | 11We have to ask cui bono - who benefits from a new nuclear arms race? General Electric, Boeing, Honeywell International, Lockheed Martin, Northrop Grumman et al. No one else really. Since these corporations also own the Congress and have zillions to fund Trump's re-election, they will probably get the go-ahead to spend the rest of the world into oblivion.vk , May 23 2020 19:42 utc | 12Apart from the obvious fact that the MIC is the only viable engine of propulsion of the American "real economy" (a.k.a. "manufacturing"), there's the more macabre fact that, if we take Trump's administration first military papers into consideration, it seems there's a growing coterie inside the Pentagon and the WH that firmly believes MAD can be broken vis-a-vis China.DontBelieveEitherPr , May 23 2020 19:58 utc | 15
Hence the "Prompt Global Strike" doctrine (which is taking form with the commission of the new B-21 "Raider" strategic bomber, won by Northrop Grumman), the rise of the concept of "tactical nukes" (hence the extinction of the START, and the Incirlik Base imbroglio post failed coup against Erdogan) and, most importantly, the new doctrine of "bringing manufacture back".
The USA is suffering from a structural valorization problem. The only way out is finding new vital space through which it can initiate a new cycle of valorization. The only significant vital space to be carved out in the 21st Century is China, with its 600 million-sized middle class (the world's largest middle class, therefore the world's largest potential consumer market). It won two decades with the opening of the ex-Soviet vital space, but it was depleted in the 2000s, finally exploding in 2006-2008.
How many decades does the Americans think they can earn by a hypothetical unilateral destruction of China?Having a treaty that limits power (in this case nuclear) on the same level for the US and any other country is simply totally against the ideology of US Superority/Exeptionalism.bevin , May 23 2020 20:33 utc | 19
That seems to be the driving (psychological and ideological) factor behind this charade.
And like this sick ideology always ends: It too will backfire.
@gepay: another problem is people that disagree with Bernhard on COVID, but then use this disagreement to not read his artciles anymore.
So many people only want to read what they want to hear, and run away at the first real different view.
The narcissism, that our neoliberal societies inducded in its people the last decade shows.. And seeing both sides and everything in between is not possible anymore for a majority it seems.
And living in a bubble is so comforting and easy in todays world. On MSM and on Alt Media alike."...that may well fit Trump's plans of pushing all arms control regimes into oblivion."Piotr Berman , May 23 2020 20:38 utc | 21
It's not just arms control regimes, as the WHO business showed. This is the Roy Cohn agenda showing up again- the old GOP objection to the UN and all other international organisations. It is pure ideology-the US has gained immensely from dominating the organisations of which it is a part, leaving them makes no sense at all.
As to 'spending China to oblivion". This only works when every Pentagon dollar spent forces China or Russia to spend a dollar themselves. In such a contest the richest country wins. But that only works in the context of pre-nuclear warfare. With the nuclear deterrent it becomes possible to opt out of all the money wasting nonsense represented by the Pentagon budget, sit back and say, as the Chinese diplomat evidently did, "Just try it."
Which adds up to the conclusion that it is wholly irrational of the United States to denounce treaties designed to reduce the likelihood of nuclear weapons being used: it is to the advantage of Washington that other powers, potential rivals, are forced to build up conventional forces because they are bound by treaty not to rely on nuclear weapons.
So, again: pure ideology designed for domestic consumption and advanced by the most reactionary elements in American society- the Jesse Helms good ol' boys who make the neo-cons look almost human.He likes economic war (against everybody), they want actual war. Laguerre | May 23 2020 20:17 utcJen , May 23 2020 21:17 utc | 24
Trump has a primitive mercantile mind. There is nothing inherently wrong about mercantilism, but a primitive version of anything tends to be mediocre at best. Thus he loves war that give profit, like Yemen where natives are bombed with expensive products made in USA (and unfortunately, also UK, France etc., but the bulk goes to USA). Then he loves wars the he thinks will give profit, like "keeping oil fields in Syria". Some people told him that oil fields are profitable (although they can go bankrupt just like casinos).
Privately, I think that Trump wanted to make a war with Iran, but the generals explained him what kind of disaster that would be.
One difference is that Democrats are aligned with uber Zionist of slightly less rabid variety than Republicans. A bit like black bears vs grizzlies. Unfortunately, like in the animal kingdom, when the push comes to shove, black bears defer to grizzlies, so on the side of Palestinians etc. there is no difference.Billingslea's "spending ... into oblivion" statement reflects the belief, still widespread among US neocon political / military elites, that the Soviet Union was brought down and destroyed by its attempts to keep up with US military spending throughout the 1980s. This alone tells us how steeped in past fantasy the entire US political and military establishment must be. Compared to Rip van Winkle, these people are comatose.
Spending the enemy into oblivion may be "tried and true" practice but only when the enemy is much poorer than yourself in arms production and in one type of weapons manufacture. That certainly does not apply to either Russia or China these days. Both nations think more strategically and do not waste precious resources in parading and projecting military power abroad, or rely almost exclusively on old, decaying technologies and a narrow mindset obsessed with always being top dog in everything.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgKurt Zumdieck , May 22 2020 18:24 utc | 4If Washington lured the Soviet Union into it's demise in Afghanistan, which left that minor empire in shambles - socially, militarily, economically - it was the nuclear conflagration at Chernobyl that put the corpse in the ground.....
(Watch the GREAT HBO five-part tragedy on it and you will see that the brutally heroic response of the Soviets, that saved the Western World at least temporarily, but is the portrait of self-sacrifice)
What was lost in the Soviets fumbling immediate post-explosion cover-up was the trust of their Eastern European satellite countries. That doomed that empire. So much military might was given up in Afghanistan, then on Chernobyl, it was not clear if the Soviets had the wherewithal to put down the rebellions that spread from Czechoslovakia to East Germany and beyond.
Covid-19 will do the same to the American Empire.
As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse.
Loss of trust by the many craven satellites, in America's fractured response, to Covid-19 will put the final nail in its coffin.
A hot-shooting War may come next, but the empire cannot win it.
William Gruff , May 23 2020 14:25 utc | 79"I will believe my eyes." --oldhippie @76oldhippie , May 23 2020 11:47 utc | 71
It would be nice if that were so, but it is very unlikely.
"So tired of reading propaganda."
Is that why you regurgitate it onto forums? Kinda like purging the system, eh?
If you are going to be judging China's economic health by their pollution levels then in the future you will find yourself convinced that they have never recovered, even when it becomes inescapably obvious that they have. The fact is that China's pollution levels are never going back to 2019 levels, but that has nothing to do with their economic health.
It really never ceases to amaze me how deeply rooted and pervasive the delusions and sense of exceptionality is in America. It is woven into the thinking, from the lowest levels to the very top of their thoughts, of even the very most intelligent Americans. It is apparently a phenomenon that operates at an even deeper level than mass media brainwashing, as it seems it was just as much a problem in every empire in history. That is, I am sure citizens of the Roman Empire had the same blinding biases embedded deep below their consciousness. I guess Marx was entirely correct to say that consciousness arises from material conditions, and being citizen of an empire must be one of those material conditions that gives rise to this all-pervasive and unconscious sense of exceptionality.Go over to EOSDIS Worldview and take a look at satellite photos of China. Simple toggle in lower left hand corner will take you to photos of same day, earlier years. Or any day in satellite record.Paul , May 23 2020 12:47 utc | 72
The skies over China are clear. Chinese industry is not back at work. It may be that China at 50% or even at 20% is a manufacturing powerhouse compared to a crumbling US. But until China is back at work the thread so far is about the historical situation six months ago.
Xi used to do elaborately staged state appearances with well planned camera angles, fabulous lighting, pomp and circumstance. He enjoyed the trappings of power and knew how to use the trappings of power. Hasn't done that kind of state appearance since January.The Empire has no respect for international agreements, laws or anything that interferes with maintaining US global hegemony.lizzie dw , May 23 2020 12:55 utc | 73China and the US are so different. The citizens of China cannot vote. The population's movements are micromanaged by the government. This is not the case here (yet). And I hope it is never the case. I agree with the premise that there are those in our government who are living in a dream of the past and that is over, unless we want to destroy the world. But China's government is so repressive. The rules must be obeyed. We seem to be compliant so far of some of our government officials stepping over the bounds allowed by our Constitution, due to the fear of C-19 engendered by the deep state (aka the bsmsm). But we will not do that forever and our government cannot just start shooting big crowds of us as they can and have done in China. Theirs is all top down rule, which is not the case here. Also, although it is probably heretical to say this I am glad that the US has many cases of C-19. We will eventually get herd immunity. IMO, China can lock down as many millions of citizens as they wish; they cannot stop this virus and as time goes by they will have as many deaths and as many cases as everybody else. Well, that is off the topic of the article. In the end I agree that we are fighting weird battles we can never win and we citizens need to keep informing our government employees that we just want to trade and make money, not threaten companies and countries and lose money.
May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com
anonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT
Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training
Seems rather typical of those making policy, not knowing much about the area they're assigned to. If a person did know Arabic and had an understanding of the culture they wouldn't get hired as they'd be viewed with suspicion, suspected of being sympathetic to Middle Easterners. How and why these neocons can come back into government is puzzling and one wonders who within the establishment is backing them. Judging by the quotes her father certainly seems deranged and not someone to be allowed anywhere near any policy making positions.
Flynn also seems to be a dolt what with his 'worldwide war against radical Islam'. Someone should clue him in that much of this radical Islam has been created and stoked by the US who hyped up radical Islam, recruiting and arming them to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was there, remember? Flynn, a general, is unaware of this? Islamic jihadists are America's Foreign Legion and have been used all over the Muslim world, most recently in Syria. Does this portend war with Iran? Possibly, but perhaps Trump wouldn't want to go it alone but would want the financial support of other countries. They've probably war-gamed it to death and found it to be a loser.
May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com
The Global War on Terror or GWOT was declared in the wake of 9/11 by President George W. Bush. It basically committed the United States to work to eliminate all "terrorist" groups worldwide, whether or not the countries being targeted agreed that they were beset by terrorists and whether or not they welcomed U.S. "help." The GWOT was promoted with brain-dead expressions like "there's a new sheriff in town" which, after the destruction of large parts of the Middle East and Central Asia, later morphed into the matrix of the God-awful belief that something called "American Exceptionalism" existed.
With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional. That is generally how Donald Trump and hardline Republicans see the world, that sovereignty exercised by foreign governments is and should be limited by the reach of the U.S. military. Surrounding a competitor with military bases and warships is a concept that many in Washington are currently trying to sell regarding a suitable response to the Chinese economic and political challenge.
Secretary of State Mike Pompeo puts it another way, that the U.S. is a "force for good," but it was former Secretary Madeleine Albright who expressed the fantasy best , stating that " if we have to use force, it is because we are America; we are the indispensable nation. We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists. Either way, the U.S. gets to make the decisions over life and death, which, since the GWOT began, have destroyed or otherwise compromised the lives of millions of people, mostly concentrated in Asia.
One aspect of the American heavy footprint that is little noted is the ruin of many formerly functioning countries that it brings with it. Iraq and Libya might have been dictatorships before the U.S. intervened, but they gave their people a higher standard of living and more security than has been the case ever since.
Libya, destroyed by Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton, had the highest standard of living in Africa. Iraq is currently one of the world's most corrupt countries, so corrupt that there have been massive street demonstrations recently against the government's inability to do anything good for the its own people. Electricity and water supplies are, for example, less reliable than before the U.S. intervened seventeen years ago.
Add Afghanistan to the "most corrupt" list after 19 years of American tutelage and one comes up with a perfect trifecta of countries that have been ruined. In a more rational world, one might have hoped that at least one American politician might have stood up and admitted that we have screwed up royally and it is beyond time to close the overseas bases and bring our troops home. Well, actually one did so in explicit terms, but that was Tulsi Gabbard and she was marginalized as soon as she started her run. Alluding to how Washington's gift to the world has been corruption would be to implicitly deny American Exceptionalism, which is a no-no.
The failures of the American foreign policy since George W. Bush have been accredited to the so-called neoconservatives, who successfully hijacked the Bush presidency. Paul Wolfowitz, Doug Feith, Scooter Libby and the merry crowd at the American Enterprise Institute had a major ally in Vice President Dick Cheney and were pretty much able to run wild, creating a casus belli for invading Iraq that was largely fabricated and which was completely against actual U.S. interests in the region. Apparently no one ever told Wolfie that Iraq was the Arab bulwark against Iranian ambitions and that Tehran would be the only major beneficiary in taking down Saddam Hussein. Since Iraq, the chameleonlike neocons have had a prominent voice in the mainstream media and have also played major roles in the shaping the foreign and national security policies of the presidencies that have followed George W. Bush.
Ironically, neocons mostly were critics of Donald Trump the candidate because he talked "nonsense" about ending "useless wars" but they have been trickling back into his administration since he has made it clear that he is not about to end anything and might in fact be planning to attack Iran and maybe even Venezuela. The thought of new wars, particularly against Israel's enemy Iran, makes neocons salivate.
The disastrous American occupation of Iraq from 2003-2004 was mismanaged by something called the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA), which might have been the most corrupt quasi-government body to be seen in recent history. At least $20 billion that belonged to the Iraqi people was wasted, together with hundreds of millions of U.S. taxpayer dollars. Exactly how many billions of additional dollars were squandered, stolen, given away, or simply lost will never be known because the deliberate decision by the CPA not to meter oil exports means that no one will ever know how much revenue was generated during 2003 and 2004.
Some of the corruption grew out of the misguided neoconservative agenda for Iraq, which meant that a serious reconstruction effort came second to doling out the spoils to the war's most fervent supporters. The CPA brought in scores of bright, young true believers who were nearly universally unqualified. Many were recruited through the Heritage Foundation or American Enterprise Institute websites, where they had posted their résumés. They were paid six-figure salaries out of Iraqi funds, and most served in 90-day rotations before returning home with their war stories. One such volunteer was former White House Press Secretary Ari Fleischer's older brother Michael who, though utterly unqualified, was named director of private-sector development for all of Iraq.
The $20 billion disbursed during the 15-month proconsulship of the CPA came from frozen and seized Iraqi assets held in the U.S. Most of the money was in the form of cash, flown into Iraq on C-130s in huge plastic shrink-wrapped pallets holding 40 "cashpaks," each cashpak having $1.6 million in $100 bills. Twelve billion dollars moved that way between May 2003 and June 2004, drawn from the Iraqi accounts administered by the New York Federal Reserve Bank. The $100 bills weighed an estimated 363 tons.
Once in Iraq, there was virtually no accountability over how the money was spent. There was also considerable money "off the books," including as much as $4 billion from illegal oil exports. Thus, the country was awash in unaccountable cash. British sources report that the CPA contracts that were not handed out to cronies were sold to the highest bidder, with bribes as high as $300,000 being demanded for particularly lucrative reconstruction contracts. The contracts were especially attractive because no work or results were necessarily expected in return.
Many of its staff, like Michael Fleischer, were selected for their political affiliations rather than their knowledge of the jobs they were supposed to perform and many of them were not surprisingly neocons. One of them has now resurfaced in a top Pentagon position. She is Simone Ledeen , daughter of leading neoconservative Michael Ledeen. Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training, she nevertheless became in 2003 a senior advisor for northern Iraq at the Ministry of Finance in Baghdad.
Simone has now been appointed deputy assistant secretary of defense (DASD) for the Middle East, which is the principal position for shaping Pentagon policy for that region. Post 9/11, Ledeen's leading neocon father Michael was the source of the expressions "creative destruction" and "total war" as relating to the Muslim Middle East, where "civilian lives cannot be the total war's first priority The purpose of total war is to permanently force your will onto another people." He is also a noted Iranophobe, blaming numerous terrorist acts on that country even when such claims were ridiculous. He might also have been involved in the generation in Italy of the fabricated Iraq Niger uranium documents that contributed greatly to the march to war with Saddam.
Apparently Simone's gene pool makes her qualified to lead the Pentagon into the Middle East, where she no doubt has views that make her compatible with the Trump/Pompeo current spin on the Iranian threat. The neocon Foundation for Defense of Democracies (FDD) gushed "Simone Ledeen has worked at the Pentagon & Treasury and at a major bank. Exactly what we should want for such a position." Of course, FDD, the leading advocate of war with Iran, also wants someone who will green light destroying the Persians.
Ledeen, a Brandeis graduate with an MBA from an Italian university, worked in and out of government in various advisory capacities before joining Standard Chartered Bank. One of her more interesting roles was as an advisor to General Michael Flynn in Afghanistan at a time when Flynn was collaborating with her father on a book that eventually came out in 2016 entitled The Field of Fight: How We Can Win the Global War Against Radical Islam and its Allies. The book asserts that there is a global war going on in which "We face a working coalition that extends from North Korea and China to Russia, Iran, Syria, Cuba, Bolivia, Venezuela and Nicaragua." The book predictably claims that Iran is at the center of what is an anti-American alliance.
The extent to which Simone has absorbed her father's views and agrees with them can, of course, be questioned, but her appointment is yet another indication, together with the jobs previously given to John Bolton, Mike Pompeo and Elliot Abrams , that the Trump Administration is intent on pursuing a hardline aggressive policy in the Middle East and elsewhere. It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.
Philip Giraldi, Ph.D. is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.
Beavertales , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 1:31 pm GMT'Maximum Pressure' is being exerted on Trump.KA , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 5:35 pm GMT
How was he leveraged to order the assassination of Iran's general Qasem Soleimani?
It's all about manufacturing new threats to his presidency, and then offering to switch them off when he trades something the neocons want. The politics of extortion.If "??Operation Iraqi Freedom"? may accurately be regarded as Wolfowitz's War in its conception, then the aftermath of the war should be viewed as the Kissinger-Feith Occupation" and continuation of illegal sanctions by "Democrat, Bill Clinton, and his meretricious Middle East foreign policy team of Samuel "Sandy" Berger, Madeleine "??it's worth it"? Albright, Dennis Ross, and Australian import, Martin Indyk. " but it was "KA , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 5:38 pm GMT
Kissinger's partner and frontman in Baghdad, Paul "??Jerry"? Bremer, which has effectively destroyed Iraq as a nation-state, " and But within weeks of the invasion, Garner's tenure as head of the post-war planning office was over: he was replaced by Paul Bremer, a terrorism expert and protege of Henry Kissinger. Bremer immediately countermanded all three of Garner's "musts". [My emphasis.] When, eventually, Garner confronted Rumsfeld, telling him: "There is still time to rectify this," Rumsfeld refused to do so. And who was assisting Dr. Kissinger to program the new U.S. proconsul in Baghdad? Who was Paul Bremer's primary contact at the Pentagon, overseeing the occupation from Washington, with the blessing of Don Rumsfeld? None other than the award winning hyperZionist zealot, Douglas "clean break" Feith, the man who had advised Likud icon, Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to attack Iraq, Syria and Lebanon in 1996 and tear up the Oslo "peace process ". Feith is a protege of Richard Perle. Feith is on the Advisory Board of JINSA ,. Feith is a face card in the deck of the Institute for Advanced Strategic and Political Studies, headquartered in Jerusalem. The law office he founded in 1986, Feith & Zell, is based in Israel, catering to Jewish-American "??settlers"? on the West Bank. "
https://www.takimag.com/article/the_kissinger_connection/If nothing else, Bob Woodward's last fat book on Iraq, State of Denial, has performed a valuable public service by ejecting the furtive Kissinger from the shadows. Woodward reports that vice president Dick Cheney confided to him (Woodward) in the summer of 2005: "I probably talk to Henry Kissinger more than I talk to anybody else. He just comes by and I guess at least once a month, Scooter [Libby] and I sit down with him." [Page 406.] Woodward goes on to state: "The president also met privately with Kissinger every couple of months, making the former secretary the most regular and frequent outside adviser to Bush on foreign affairs." https://www.takimag.com/article/the_kissinger_connection/Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT
We know who did what ,when and how .Regarding Madeleine Albright: "She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists."Meena , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:20 am GMT
I think 'liberal interventionist' is a bit too weak for the 'lovely' Ms Albright and her (in)famous quote.
Instead, let's try, "That is the basic credo of psychopathically sadistic zionist monsters who exquisitely enjoy the thought of Arab children dying agonizingly slow deaths of preventable diseases and starvation."
Ah, yes. That's a much more accurate assessment of the situation ..Nixon is recorded as saying, "Any settlement will have to be imposed by both the US and the Soviet Union". Yet, as he had told the Russian ambassador to Washington, "I don't want to anger the American Jews who hold important positions in the press, radio and television".
The Jewish lobby has enormous influence on Congress. Nixon wanted to wait until he had won his reelection and concluded the withdrawal of US forces from Vietnam and then he could face down the Jewish lobby. Later he told the ambassador, "I will deliver the Israelis".
In one of his final acts in office, he ordered a complete cutoff of assistance to Israel. It was not to be.
Watergate consumed his presidency. https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/21/a-machiavellian-us-in-the-middle-east/
Was this Watergate a payback? Carter lost. So did Bush Sr and Kennedys died .
May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com
Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12: 22 pm GMTRealist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT
With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.
That is correct and that is because it works the majority of Americans are stupid.
Do you see a solution suggested here?Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.
The neocons never went anywhere. Trump is a minion of the Deep State and staffs his administration accordingly.@BLHiram of Tyre , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
My point is simple and ineluctable, whatever our demerits, our great republic is supposed to weed out psychopaths like Brennan long before they get as close as he has to destroying the whole shebang.
Never happens all administrations are full of psychopaths.Frankly nothing new. Every Empire sought to rule the world and committed a long list of atrocities in the process. "The empire on which the sun never sets", in reference to the British Empire (the one currently still ruling the world), comes from Xerxes' "We shall extend the Persian territory as far as God's heaven reaches. The sun will then shine on no land beyond our borders." as he invaded Greece.
That said, a word on the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski Doctrine and their Pentagon world map would be on point here
May 22, 2020 | www.unz.com
Nikolai Vladivostok , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:21 am GMTI've long since concluded, there is no president who can withdraw the US from the Forever Wars. Obama couldn't. Trump can't. Biden/Harris/Oprah/Gabbard/Pence won't.Anon  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
There are a half-dozen permanent US policies that Americans don't get to vote on, and the Permawar is one of them.My God, Buchanan, I am staggered by the arrogance of this column. Where in the name of all that's holy did you ever get the idea that America has the right to impose on anyone, from Afghans through to Venezuelans, your (perceived) systems of thought, values and democracy? How many American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan can even speak the local language? Understand the local customs? None!!! They swan around in their sunglasses and battle gear thinking that they are they return of the Terminator and wander why the locals absolutely hate their collective guts! It's time that you collectively learned that America is NOT the world's sheriff and that, as Benjamin Franklin said "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".animalogic , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 7:00 am GMTPat is not entirely wrong -- he hints at the explanation for failure:swamped , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 8:14 am GMT
"As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.
Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself."
As Imperialists there has never been anything but the (Elite) "national interest".
In short, these so called "losing" wars have been wars of aggression -- ie "bad" wars. All Pat's talk of conversion, democracy etc is just so much nonsense."While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity" although they might be better persuaded to convert to Christianity – traditional Christianity – than to embrace secular democracy and its "values".Donald Duck , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 10:07 am GMT
Why would anyone want to embrace homosexuality, transgenderism, rad-feminism, opioids, prozac, inequality, broken homes, mass shootings, mountainous debt, corrupt media, puppet politicians & the rest of the filth & perversion that passes for "values" in secular democracies like America or Western Europe?
Indeed, why would anyone in these decadent countries even want to defend these venal "values", let alone try to spread them around the world like the Chinese plague?
No, "they are not trying to change us" but maybe they should.As the British and French ultimately found out it costs more to run an empire than to loot it. So the long retreat ensues. One would have thought that the Americans might have learned this from history, but no! After all they were "the exceptional people, they stood taller than the others and saw further." Errrm, no they didn't. Like their forbears they got bogged down as well getting into debt which was only bailed out by their insistence that they would not convert the dollar into gold.paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
Human nature and stupidity has got a long track-record and it isn't going to end anytime soon.The writer, and most commenters' are still under the erroneous belief that AMerica goes to war in places then AMerica wins or loses or wastes lives or kill children. This is the saddest part of the Yankee war machine: Americans joining the Army because they think theya re joining the fight to defend the American Dream.Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT
You-all are corporate gunmonkeys, fighting and killing and burning and bombing, not in the name of freedom or apple pie, but in the name of Gulf Oil, Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Monsanto, PHBBillington, whatever Devil Rumsfeld calls his sack of shit these days .
America has not won any war anywhere, even their civil war was mostly just clearing the land for the banks. That is because it is not America at war, she just supplies the cannon fodder. And cannons. And radiactive scrapmetal to make bullets to mow down women and children in the name of Investor Confidence.
But then, that is what your Zionist bible tells you to do, isn't it?Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm GMT
What Does Winning Mean in a Forever War?
Winning a war is not in the interest of the Deep State. Being at war makes the Deep State more wealthy and powerful not winning at war.@Anonanonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm GMT
I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."
If by the US you mean most of the people you may be right. But the people in the US have no say in the actions of the US government which is controlled by psychopaths.Afghanistan is hardly even a country as the average American might define one. There's really nothing to "win"; we only occupy. The infrastructure is primitive so it's not cost effective to try to take whatever natural resources they may have, if any, so there's nothing they have that we want. The Taliban were not "ousted". In the face of massive firepower they split up and scattered; they're still there. After all, the US has been negotiating with them for a peace deal of some sort hasn't it? "Democracy crusades" is just a propaganda fig leaf to bamboozle stupid Americans. It's amazing that there's people who actually believe stuff like that but PT Barnum had it right. "Eventually, we give up and go home". That's because they live there and we don't. "They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers" willing to fight and die. They don't want foreign robo-soldiers pointing guns at them in their own country. We have our own version, it's called "Remember the Alamo", men who stood their ground against the odds.Amerimutt Golems , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT@AnonRurik , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT
If a country is not willing to do that, and I would hope the United States is not willing to do that, then they (we) should go home and leave the Afghans to murder each other without our assistance. If they return to supporting terrorism or go whole hog in producing opium, perhaps the US should decapitate their entire government and let the next batch of losers give governing a try. I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."
The growth in opium cultivation correlates with CIA activities in the area and the $3 billion from American taxpayers which financed Mujahideen 'terrorism' against the Russians and their local proxies just to avenge the fall of Saigon.
In 1980 Afghanistan accounted for about only 5% of total world heroin production. This was mainly for the local market and neighbor Iran.
That is how you get forever wars.follyofwar , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm GMT
They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.
If I may..
another way of looking at this, and I feel a profound respect for the Afghans, and only wish we were made of the same mettle. If only ((they)) could say of us..
They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not (((ours)))).
They are not trying to change ((((us. We))) are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.
IOW, we white Westerners, have proved willing to surrender and submit to all of it. Without nary a peep of protest. Even as ((they)) send us around the globe to kill people like these Afghans, for being slightly inconvenient to their agenda. [And so the CIA can reconstitute its global heroin trafficking operation$.]
If only history would look back on this epic moment, at the last Death throes of the West, and say of whitey, that he refused to surrender his values and faith and traditions and tribe and God, and culture and civilization and honor.. to ((those)) who would pervert his values, and mock his faith, and trash his traditions, and exterminate his tribe, while mocking his God, and poisoning his culture, and destroying his civilization and all because at the end of the day, he had no honor.
These men may be backwater, illiterate villagers,
but at least they have enough mettle and honor, to tell the Beast that they would rather die killing as many of the Beast's stupid goons as they're able, than ever sacrifice their sacred honor- or lands or sovereignty, or the destinies of their children – over to the fiend, which is more than I can say for Western "man".
They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.
Would that the Swedish people had a Nano-shred of the blood-honor of an Afghan, Barbara Spectre would be pounding sand.
Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.
Obviously, there is a great deal we need to learn from them.
What will the Taliban do when we leave?
They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.
Um.. Pat. Whose land is it anyways? Is it such a horror that Afghans should be dominant in Afghanistan ?
The Taliban was welcomed into most of the regions it governed, because they drove out local war lords who often treated the villager's children as their sex toys, and the foreign (CIA) opioid growers and traffickers. And it was the Taliban that put an end to all of that. They're harsh, but they're effective, and that is their land, not ours.
Also, the Taliban offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden, if the West could provide a shred of proof that he had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. (he didn't ; ) But the West had zero proof, (as the FBI admits to this day), that they have zero proof that ties Bin Laden to 9/11.
And n0w that we all know 9/11 was an Israeli false flag, intended to use the American military as their bitch, to burn down 'seven nations in five years' .. that the Jewish supremacists wanted destroyed, our whole pretext for being over there has been a sham from day one. Duh.
I remember long ago when I had a subscription to National Geographic and this photo came out, I cut the picture out, and stuck it somewhere to look at- it was so visceral and haunting.
Leave them alone. I don't care how many Jews at the WSJ demand whitey has to stay and die for Israel. (Afghanistan is on Iran's border, and that's why we have to stay, to menace all those anti-Semites over there, trying to gas all the Jews and make soap).
Good on Trump for calling out the ((WSJ)).@paranoid goy I very much doubt if many are joining the military to "defend the American Dream." Most are more practical and are joining to escape poverty, even if it might cost them their lives. Recruiters will now be inundated with volunteers since there are no jobs in the covid depression.Exile , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm GMTIf the neo-con clown car Trump has permitted to run foreign policy since his election gets us into a war with Iran and/or Venezuela before November, will Pat still be stumping for him, or will we see the return of non-election-year Pat?VinnyVette , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm GMTExcellent question Pat! Unfortunately there is no answer, we've been at "forever war" seemingly forever, and the whole point as Eisenhower so preciently warned us is THE objective.Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMTIt's not 'forever war'. It is Empire. Empire exists to continue and expand. War is about win or lose. Empire is about keep and dominate.Marshal Marlow , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:56 am GMT
US wars are not to win and then depart. It is to keep occupying and controlling.
And US is rich enough to buy off the local elites as collaborators forever.@Anon
If they return to supporting terrorism
The thing is that the Afghan government wasn't supporting terrorism. Rather, it had no on-going control anywhere except the cities, which made the tribal areas useful hideouts / bases for a raft of groups.
I well remember the prelude to the invasion where the US was demanding that its government (which merely happened to be Taliban that year) hand over OBL in 72hrs. The truth was that the US knew Afghanistan didn't have the capability to do that and it merely wanted to use OBL as an excuse to invade and continue the encirclement of the old soviet states.
May 22, 2020 | theintercept.com
In his extraordinary election-advocating op-ed, Hayden, Bush/Cheney's CIA chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA's antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate's stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly "pro-Putin" positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared ). As has been true since President Harry Truman's creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments -- through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots -- is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.
The CIA's antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump's presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:Democrats, early in Trump's presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump's most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news .
This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
The all-consuming Russiagate narrative that dominated the first three years of Trump's presidency further served to elevate the CIA as a noble and admirable institution while whitewashing its grotesque history. Liberal conventional wisdom held that Russian Facebook ads, Twitter bots and the hacking and release of authentic, incriminating DNC emails was some sort of unprecedented, off-the-charts, out-of-the-ordinary crime-of-the-century attack, with several leading Democrats (including Hillary Clinton) actually comparing it to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor . The level of historical ignorance and/or jingostic American exceptionalism necessary to believe this is impossible to describe. Compared to what the CIA has done to dozens of other countries since the end of World War II, and what it continues to do , watching Americans cast Russian interference in the 2016 election through online bots and email hacking (even if one believes every claim made about it) as some sort of unique and unprecedented crime against democracy is staggering. Set against what the CIA has done and continues to do to "interfere" in the domestic affairs of other countries -- including Russia -- the 2016 election was, at most, par for the course for international affairs and, more accurately, a trivial and ordinary act in the context of CIA interference. This propaganda was sustainable because the recent history and the current function of the CIA has largely been suppressed. Thankfully, a just-released book by journalist Vincent Bevins -- who spent years as a foreign correspondent covering two countries still marred by brutal CIA interference: Brazil for the Los Angeles Times and Indonesia for the Washington Post -- provides one of the best, most informative and most illuminating histories yet of this agency and the way it has shaped the actual, rather than the propagandistic, U.S. role in the world.
Entitled "The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World," the book primarily documents the indescribably horrific campaigns of mass murder and genocide the CIA sponsored in Indonesia as an instrument for destroying a nonaligned movement of nations who would be loyal to neither Washington nor Moscow. Critically, Bevins documents how the chilling success of that morally grotesque campaign led to its being barely discussed in U.S. discourse, but then also serving as the foundation and model for clandestine CIA interference campaigns in multiple other countries from Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil to the Philippines, Vietnam, and Central America: the Jakarta Method.
Our newest episode of SYSTEM UPDATE, which debuts today at 2:00 p.m. on The Intercept's YouTube channel , is devoted to a discussion of why this history is so vital: not just for understanding the current international political order but also for distinguishing between fact and fiction in our contemporary political discourse. In addition to my own observations on this topic, I speak to Bevins about his book, about what the CIA really is and how it has shaped the world we still inhabit, and why a genuine understanding of both international and domestic politics is impossible without a clear grasp on this story.
May 22, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
Herman , May 17, 2020 at 09:00
Interesting comparison between the aspirations of De Gaulle and Putin.
"Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists."
Agree with Johnstone.
OlyaPola , May 19, 2020 at 11:55
"Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. "
Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest.
The exceptions to such strategies lay within constructs of settler colonialism which were addressed primarily through warfare – "The United States of America", Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kenya, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola refer – to facilitate such future strategies.
"I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar."
As outlined elsewhere the concept of a multi-polar world is not synonymous with the concept of colonialism except for the colonialists who consistently seek to encourage such conflation through myths of we-are-all-in-this-togetherness.
May 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com
In France, confinement has been generally well accepted as necessary, but that does not mean people are content with the government -- on the contrary. Every evening at eight, people go to their windows to cheer for health workers and others doing essential tasks, but the applause is not for President Macron.
Macron and his government are criticized for hesitating too long to confine the population, for vacillating about the need for masks and tests, or about when or how much to end the confinement. Their confusion and indecision at least defend them from the wild accusation of having staged the whole thing in order to lock up the population.
What we have witnessed is the failure of what used to be one of the very best public health services in the world. It has been degraded by years of cost-cutting. In recent years, the number of hospital beds per capita has declined steadily. Many hospitals have been shut down and those that remain are drastically understaffed. Public hospital facilities have been reduced to a state of perpetual saturation, so that when a new epidemic comes along, on top of all the other usual illnesses, there is simply not the capacity to deal with it all at once.
The neoliberal globalization myth fostered the delusion that advanced Western societies could prosper from their superior brains, thanks to ideas and computer startups, while the dirty work of actually making things is left to low-wage countries. One result: a drastic shortage of face masks. The government let a factory that produced masks and other surgical equipment be sold off and shut down. Having outsourced its textile industry, France had no immediate way to produce the masks it needed.
Meanwhile, in early April, Vietnam donated hundreds of thousands of antimicrobial face masks to European countries and is producing them by the million. Employing tests and selective isolation, Vietnam has fought off the epidemic with only a few hundred cases and no deaths.
You must have thoughts as to the question of Western unity in response to Covid–19.
In late March, French media reported that a large stock of masks ordered and paid for by the southeastern region of France was virtually hijacked on the tarmac of a Chinese airport by Americans, who tripled the price and had the cargo flown to the United States. There are also reports of Polish and Czech airport authorities intercepting Chinese or Russian shipments of masks intended for hard-hit Italy and keeping them for their own use.
The absence of European solidarity has been shockingly clear. Better-equipped Germany banned exports of masks to Italy. In the depth of its crisis, Italy found that the German and Dutch governments were mainly concerned with making sure Italy pays its debts. Meanwhile, a team of Chinese experts arrived in Rome to help Italy with its Covid–19 crisis, displaying a banner reading "We are waves of the same sea, leaves of the same tree, flowers of the same garden." The European institutions lack such humanistic poetry. Their founding value is not solidarity but the neoliberal principle of "free unimpeded competition."
How do you think this reflects on the European Union?
The Covid–19 crisis makes it just that much clearer that the European Union is no more than a complex economic arrangement, with neither the sentiment nor the popular leaders that hold together a nation. For a generation, schools, media, politicians have instilled the belief that the "nation" is an obsolete entity. But in a crisis, people find that they are in France, or Germany, or Italy, or Belgium -- but not in "Europe." The European Union is structured to care about trade, investment, competition, debt, economic growth. Public health is merely an economic indicator. For decades, the European Commission has put irresistible pressure on nations to reduce the costs of their public health facilities in order to open competition for contracts to the private sector -- which is international by nature.
Globalization has hastened the spread of the pandemic, but it has not strengthened internationalist solidarity. Initial gratitude for Chinese aid is being brutally opposed by European Atlanticists. In early May, Mathias Döpfner, CEO of the Springer publishing giant, bluntly called on Germany to ally with the U.S. -- against China. Scapegoating China may seem the way to try to hold the declining Western world together, even as Europeans' long-standing admiration for America turns to dismay.
Meanwhile, relations between EU member states have never been worse. In Italy and to a greater extent in France, the coronavirus crisis has enforced growing disillusion with the European Union and an ill-defined desire to restore national sovereignty.
Corollary question: What are the prospects that Europe will produce leaders capable of seizing that right moment, that assertion of independence? What do you reckon such leaders would be like?
The EU is likely to be a central issue in the near future, but this issue can be exploited in very different ways, depending on which leaders get hold of it. The coronavirus crisis has intensified the centrifugal forces already undermining the European Union. The countries that have suffered most from the epidemic are among the most indebted of the EU member states, starting with Italy. The economic damage from the lockdown obliges them to borrow further. As their debt increases, so do interest rates charged by commercial banks. They turned to the EU for help, for instance by issuing eurobonds that would share the debt at lower interest rates. This has increased tension between debtor countries in the south and creditor countries in the north, which said nein . Countries in the eurozone cannot borrow from the European Central Bank as the U.S. Treasury borrows from the Fed. And their own national central banks take orders from the ECB, which controls the euro.
What does the crisis mean for the euro? I confess I've lost faith in this project, given how disadvantaged it leaves the nations on the Continent's southern rim.
The great irony is that "a common currency" was conceived by its sponsors as the key to European unity. On the contrary, the euro has a polarizing effect -- with Greece at the bottom and Germany at the top. And Italy sinking. But Italy is much bigger than Greece and won't go quietly.
The German constitutional court in Karlsruhe recently issued a long judgment making it clear who is boss. It recalled and insisted that Germany agreed to the euro only on the grounds that the main mission of the European Central Bank was to fight inflation, and that it could not directly finance member states. If these rules were not followed, the Bundesbank, the German central bank, would be obliged to pull out of the ECB. And since the Bundesbank is the ECB's main creditor, that is that. There can be no generous financial help to troubled governments within the eurozone. Period.
Is there a possibility of disintegration here?
The idea of leaving the EU is most developed in France. The Union Populaire Républicaine, founded in 2007 by former senior functionary François Asselineau, calls for France to leave the euro, the European Union, and NATO.
The party has been a didactic success, spreading its ideas and attracting around 20,000 active militants without scoring any electoral success. A main argument for leaving the EU is to escape from the constraints of EU competition rules in order to protect its vital industry, agriculture, and above all its public services.
A major paradox is that the left and the Yellow Vests call for economic and social policies that are impossible under EU rules, and yet many on the left shy away from even thinking of leaving the EU. For over a generation, the French left has made an imaginary "social Europe" the center of its utopian ambitions.
" Europe" as an idea or an ideal, you mean.
Decades of indoctrination in the ideology of "Europe" has instilled the belief that the nation-state is a bad thing of the past. The result is that people raised in the European Union faith tend to regard any suggestion of return to national sovereignty as a fatal step toward fascism. This fear of contagion from "the right" is an obstacle to clear analysis which weakens the left and favors the right, which dares be patriotic.
Two and a half months of coronavirus crisis have brought to light a factor that makes any predictions about future leaders even more problematic. That factor is a widespread distrust and rejection of all established authority. This makes rational political programs extremely difficult, because rejection of one authority implies acceptance of another. For instance, the way to liberate public services and pharmaceuticals from the distortions of the profit motive is nationalization. If you distrust the power of one as much as the other, there is nowhere to go.
Such radical distrust can be explained by two main factors -- the inevitable feeling of helplessness in our technologically advanced world, combined with the deliberate and even transparent lies on the part of mainstream politicians and media. But it sets the stage for the emergence of manipulated saviors or opportunistic charlatans every bit as deceptive as the leaders we already have, or even more so. I hope these irrational tendencies are less pronounced in France than in some other countries.
I'm eager to talk about Russia. There are signs that relations with Russia are another source of European dissatisfaction as "junior partners" within the U.S.–led Atlantic alliance. Macron is outspoken on this point, "junior partners" being his phrase. The Germans -- business people, some senior officials in government -- are quite plainly restive.
Russia is a living part of European history and culture. Its exclusion is totally unnatural and artificial. Brzezinski [the late Zbigniew Brzezinski, the Carter administration's national security adviser] spelled it out in The Great Chessboard : The U.S. maintains world hegemony by keeping the Eurasian landmass divided.
But this policy can be seen to be inherited from the British. It was Churchill who proclaimed -- in fact welcomed -- the Iron Curtain that kept continental Europe divided. In retrospect, the Cold War was basically part of the divide-and-rule strategy, since it persists with greater intensity than ever after its ostensible cause -- the Communist threat -- is long gone.
I hadn't put our current circumstance in this context. US-backed, violent coup in Ukraine, 2014.
The whole Ukrainian operation of 2014 [the U.S.–cultivated coup in Kyiv, February 2014] was lavishly financed and stimulated by the United States in order to create a new conflict with Russia. Joe Biden has been the Deep State's main front man in turning Ukraine into an American satellite, used as a battering ram to weaken Russia and destroy its natural trade and cultural relations with Western Europe.
U.S. sanctions are particularly contrary to German business interests, and NATO's aggressive gestures put Germany on the front lines of an eventual war.
But Germany has been an occupied country -- militarily and politically -- for 75 years, and I suspect that many German political leaders (usually vetted by Washington) have learned to fit their projects into U.S. policies. I think that under the cover of Atlantic loyalty, there are some frustrated imperialists lurking in the German establishment, who think they can use Washington's Russophobia as an instrument to make a comeback as a world military power.
But I also think that the political debate in Germany is overwhelmingly hypocritical, with concrete aims veiled by fake issues such as human rights and, of course, devotion to Israel.
We should remember that the U.S. does not merely use its allies -- its allies, or rather their leaders, figure they are using the U.S. for some purposes of their own.
What about what the French have been saying since the G–7 session in Biarritz two years ago, that Europe should forge its own relations with Russia according to Europe's interests, not America's?
At G7 Summit in Biarritz, France, Aug. 26, 2019. (White House)
I think France is likelier than Germany to break with the U.S.–imposed Russophobia simply because, thanks to de Gaulle, France is not quite as thoroughly under U.S. occupation. Moreover, friendship with Russia is a traditional French balance against German domination -- which is currently being felt and resented.
Stepping back for a broader look, do you think Europe's position on the western flank of the Eurasian landmass will inevitably shape its position with regard not only to Russia but also China? To put this another way, is Europe destined to become an independent pole of power in the course of this century, standing between West and East?
At present, what we have standing between West and East is not Europe but Russia, and what matters is which way Russia leans. Including Russia, Europe might become an independent pole of power. The U.S. is currently doing everything to prevent this. But there is a school of strategic thought in Washington which considers this a mistake, because it pushes Russia into the arms of China. This school is in the ascendant with the campaign to denounce China as responsible for the pandemic. As mentioned, the Atlanticists in Europe are leaping into the anti–China propaganda battle. But they are not displaying any particular affection for Russia, which shows no sign of sacrificing its partnership with China for the unreliable Europeans.
If Russia were allowed to become a friendly bridge between China and Europe, the U.S. would be obliged to abandon its pretensions of world hegemony. But we are far from that peaceful prospect.
Patrick Lawrence, a correspondent abroad for many years, chiefly for the International Herald Tribune , is a columnist, essayist, author and lecturer. His most recent book is "Time No Longer: Americans After the American Century" (Yale). Follow him on Twitter @thefloutist . His web site is Patrick Lawrence . Support his work via his Patreon site .
Josep , May 19, 2020 at 02:04
It recalled and insisted that Germany agreed to the euro only on the grounds that the main mission of the European Central Bank was to fight inflation, and that it could not directly finance member states.
I once read a comment elsewhere saying that, back in 1989, both Britain (under Margaret Thatcher) and the US objected to German reunification. Since they could not stop the reunification, they insisted that Germany accept the incoming euro. A heap of German university professors jumped up and protested, knowing fully well what the game was: namely the creation of a banker's empire in Europe controlled by private bankers.
Thorben Sunkimat , May 20, 2020 at 13:45
France and Britain rejected the german reunification. The americans were supportive, even though they had their demands. Mainly privatisation of german public utilities. After agreeing to those demands the americans persuaded the british and pressured the french who agreed to german reunification after germany agreed to the euro.
So why did france want the euro?
The German central bank crashed the European economy after reunification with high interest rates. This was because of above average growth rates mainly in Eastern Germany. Main function of the Bundesbank is to keep inflation low, which is more important to them than anything else. Since Germany's D Mark was the leading currency in Europe the rest of Europe had to heighten their interest rates too, witch lead to great economic problems within Europe. Including France.
OlyaPola , May 21, 2020 at 05:30
"namely the creation of a banker's empire in Europe controlled by private bankers."
Resort to binaries (controlled/not controlled) is a practice of self-imposed blindness. In any interactive system no absolutes exist only analogues of varying assays since "control" is limited and variable. In respect of what became the German Empire this relationship predated and facilitated the German Empire through financing the war with Denmark in 1864 courtesy of the arrangements between Mr. von Bismark and Mr. Bleichroder. The assay of "control of bankers" has varied/increased subsequently but never attained the absolute.
It is true that finance capital perceived and continues to perceive the European Union as an opportunity to increase their assay of "control" – the Austrian banks in conjunction with German bank assigning a level of priority to resurrecting spheres of influence existing prior to 1918 and until 1945.
One of the joint projects at a level of planning in the early 1990's was development of the Danube and its hinterland from Regensburg to Cerna Voda/Constanta in Romania but this was delayed in the hope of curtailment by some when NATO bombed Serbia in 1999 (Serbia not being the only target – so much for honesty-amongst-theives.)
This project was resurrected in a limited form primarily downstream from Vidin/Calafat from 2015 onwards given that some states of the former Yugoslavia were not members of the European Union and some were within spheres of influence of "The United States of America".
As to France, "Vichy" and Europa also facilitated the resurrection of finance capital and increase in its assay of control after the 1930's, some of the practices of the 1940's still being subject to dispute in France.
mkb29 , May 18, 2020 at 16:33
I've always admired Diana Johnstone's clear headed analyses of world/European/U.S./ China/Israel-Palestine/Russia/ interactions and the motivation of its "players". She has given some credence to what as been known as French rationalism and enlightenment. (Albeit as an American expat) Think Descartes, Diderot, Sartre , and She loves France in her own rationalist-humanist way.
Linda J , May 18, 2020 at 13:21
I have admired Ms. Johnstone's work for quite awhile. This enlightening interview spurs me to get a copy of the book and to contribute to Consortium News.
Others may be interested in the two-part video discovered yesterday featuring Douglas Valentine's analysis of the CIA's corporate backers and their global choke-hold on governments and their influencers in every region of the world.
worldblee , May 18, 2020 at 12:26
Not many have the long distance perspective on the world, let alone Europe, that Diana Johnstone has. Great interview!
Drew Hunkins , May 18, 2020 at 11:03
"Decades of indoctrination in the ideology of "Europe" has instilled the belief that the nation-state is a bad thing of the past. The result is that people raised in the European Union faith tend to regard any suggestion of return to national sovereignty as a fatal step toward fascism. This fear of contagion from "the right" is an obstacle to clear analysis which weakens the left and favors the right, which dares be patriotic."
Bingo! A marvelous point indeed! Quick little example -- Bernard Sanders should have worn an American flag pin on his suit during the 2020 Dem primary campaign.
chris , May 18, 2020 at 04:46
A very good analysis. As an American who has relocated to Spain several years ago, I am always disappointed that discussions of European politics always assume that Europe ends at the Pyrenees. Admittedly, Spanish politics is very complicated and confusing. Forty years of an unreconstructed dictatorship have left their mark, but the country´s socialist, communist and anarchic currents never went away. I like to say that the country is very conservative, but at least the population is aware of what is going on.
Perhaps what Ms. Johnston says about the French being just worn out, with no stomach for more violent conflict also applies to the Spanish since their great ideological struggle is more recent. The American influence during the Transition (which changed little – as the expression goes: The same dog but with a different collar) was very strong, and remains so. Even so, there is popular support for foreign and domestic policies independent of American and neoliberal control, but by and large the political and economic powers are not on board. I do not think Spain is willing to make a break alone, but would align itself with an European shift away from American control.
As Ms. Johnston says, Europe currently lacks leaders willing to take the plunge, but we will see what the coming year brings.
Sam F , May 17, 2020 at 17:45
Thank you Diana, these are valuable insights. Since WWII the US has itself been occupied by tyrants, using Russophobia to demand power as fake defenders.
1. Waving the flag and praising the lord on mass media, claiming concern with human rights and "Israel"; while
2. Subverting the Constitution with large scale bribery, surveillance, and genocides, all business as usual nowadays.
In the US, the form of government has become bribery and marketing lies; it truly knows no other way.
It may be better that Russia and China keep their distance from the US and maybe even the EU:
1. The US and EU would have to produce what they consume, eventually empowering workers;
2. Neither the US nor EU are a political or economic model for anyone, and should be ignored;
3. Neither the US nor EU produces much that Russia and China cannot, by investing more in cars and soybeans.
It will be best for the EU if it also rejects the US and its "neolib" economic and political tyranny mechanisms:
1. Alliance with Russia and China will cause substantial gains in stability and economic strength;
2. Forcing the US to abandon its "pretensions of world hegemony" will soon yield more peaceful prospects; and
3. Isolating the US will force it to improve its utterly corrupt government and society, maybe 40 to 60 years hence.
Drew Hunkins , May 17, 2020 at 15:40
" French philosophy .By constantly attacking, deconstructing, and denouncing every remnant of human "power" they could spot, the intellectual rebels left the power of "the markets" unimpeded, and did nothing to stand in the way of the expansion of U.S. military power all around the world "
Brilliant. Exactly right. This was the progenitor to our contemporary I.D. politics which seems to be solely obsessed with vocabulary, semantics and non-economic cultural issues while rarely having a critique of corporate capitalism, militarism, massive inequality and Zionism. And it almost never advocates for robust economic populist proposals like Med4All, U.B.I., debt jubilee, and the fight for $15.
Drew Hunkins , May 17, 2020 at 15:10
The book is phenomenal. I posted a customer review over on Amazon for this stupendous work. Below is a copy of my review:
(5 stars) One of the most important intellects pens her magisterial lasting legacy
Reviewed in the United States on March 31, 2020
Johnstone's been an idol of mine ever since I started reading her in the 1990s. She's clearly proved her worthiness over the decades by bucking the mainstream trend of apologetics for corporate capitalism, neoliberalism, globalism and imperialistic militarism her entire career and this astonishing memoir details it all in what will likely be the finest book of 2020 and perhaps the entire decade.
Her writing style is beyond superb, her grasp of the overarching politico-socio-economic issues that have rocked the world over the past 60 years is as astute and spot-on as you will find from any global thinker. She's right up there with Michael Parenti, James Petras, John Pilger and Noam Chomsky as seminal figures who have documented and brought light to tens of thousands (millions?) of people across the globe via their writings, interviews and speaking engagements.
Johnstone has never been one to shy away from controversial topics and issues. Why? Simple, she has the facts and truth on her side, she always has. Circle in the Darkness proves all this and more, she marshals the documentation and lays it out as an exquisite gift for struggling working people around the world.
From her groundbreaking work on the NATO empire's sickening war on sovereign Serbia, the dead end of identity politics and trans bathroom debates, to her critique of unfettered immigration and open borders, and her dismissal of the absurd Russsiagate baloney, better than anyone else, Johnstone has kept her intellect carefully honed to the real genuine kitchen table bread and butter issues that truly matter. She recognized before most of the world's scholars the perils of rampant inequality and saw the writing on the wall as to where this grotesque economic system is taking us all: down a dystopian slope into penury and police-state heavy-handedness, with millions unable to come up with $500 for an emergency car repair or dental bill.
Whenever she comes out with a new article or essay I immediately drop everything and devour it, often reading it twice to let her wisdom really soak in. So too Circle of Darkness is an extremely well written beautiful work that will scream out to be re-read every few years by those with a hunger to know exactly what was going on since the Korean War era through today regarding liberal thought, neocon and neoliberal dominance with its capitalist global hegemony and the take over of Western governments by the parasitic financial elite.
There will never be another Diana Johnstone. Circle in the Darkness will stand as her lasting legacy to all of us.
Bob Van Noy , May 17, 2020 at 14:43
"As our circle of knowledge expands, so does the circumference of darkness surrounding it" ~Albert Einstein
Many Thanks CN, Patrick Lawrence, and Joe Lauria. Once again I must commend CN for picking just the appropriate response to our contemporary dilemma.
The quote above leads Diana Johnstone's new book and succinctly describes both the universe and our contemporary experience with our digital age. President Kennedy and Charles de Gaulle of France would agree that colonialism was past and that a new world (geopolitical) approach would become necessary, but that philosophy would put them against some great local and world powers. Each of them necessarily had different approaches as to how this might be accomplished. They were never allowed to present their specific proposals on a world stage. Let's hope a wiser population will once again "see" this possibility and find a way to resolve it
Aaron , May 17, 2020 at 14:18
Well over the span of all of those decades, the consistent, inexorable theme seems to be a trend of the rich getting richer and the poor getting poorer, a small number of individuals, not really states, gaining wealth and power, so everybody else fights over the crumbs, blaming this or that party, alliance, event or whatever, but behind it all there are two flower gardens, indeed the rich are all flowers of their golden garden, and the poor are all flowers of their garden.
It's like the Europeans and the 99 percent in America have all fallen for the myth of the American dream, that if we are just allowed more free, unfettered economic opportunity, it's just up to us to pick ourselves up by the bootstraps and become a billionaire.
The mask competition and fiasco shows the importance of a country simply making things in their own country, not on the other side of the world, it's not nationalism it's just a better way to logistically deliver reliable products to the citizens.
AnneR , May 17, 2020 at 13:42
Regarding French colonialism – as I recall the French were especially brutal in their forced withdrawal from Algeria, both toward Algerians in their homeland and to Algerians within France itself.
And the French were hardly willing, non-violent colonialists when being fought by the Vietnamese who wanted to be free of them (quite rightly so).
As for the French in Sub-Saharan Africa – they have yet to truly give up on their presumed right to have troops within these countries. They did not depart any of their colonies happily, willingly – like every other colonial power, including the UK.
And, as for WWII – she seems, in her reminiscences, to have mislaid Vichy France, the Velodrome roundups of French Jews, and so on ..
Ms Johnstone clearly has been looking backwards with rose-tinted specs on when it comes to France.
Randal Marlin , May 18, 2020 at 13:00
There may be some truth to AnneR's claim that Ms Johnstone has been looking with rose-tinted specs when it comes to France, but it is highly misleading for her to talk about "the French" regarding Algeria. I spent 1963-64 in Aix-en-Provence teaching at the Institute for American Universities and talked with some of the "pieds-noirs," (French born in Algeria).
After French President Charles de Gaulle decided to relinquish French control over Algeria, having previously reassured the colonial population that "Je vous ai compris" ("I have understood you"), there followed death threats to many French colonizers who had to flee Algeria immediately within 24 hours or get their throats slit – "La valise ou le cercueil" (the suitcase or the coffin).
In the fall of 1961, I saw Parisian police stations with machine-gun armed men behind concrete barriers, as an invasion by the colonial French paratroopers against mainland France was expected. The "Organisation Armée Secrète," OAS, (Secret Armed Organization) of the colonial powers, threatened at the time to invade Paris.
As an aside, giving a sense of the anger and passion involved, when the death of John F.Kennedy in November 1963 was announced in the historic, right-wing café in Aix, Les Deux Garçons, a huge cheer went up when the media announcer proclaimed "Le Président est assassinée. Only, that was because they thought de Gaulle was the president in question. A huge disappointment when they heard it was President Kennedy. To get a sense of the whole situation regarding France and Algeria I recommend Alistair Horne's "A Savage War of Peace."
OlyaPola , May 19, 2020 at 11:23
"They did not depart any of their colonies happily"
Some hold that they never departed, but mutated tools including CFA zones and "intelligence" relations in furtherance of "changing" to remain qualitatively the same. Just as "The United States of America" is a system of coercive relations not synonymous with the political geographical area designated "The United States of America", the colonialism of former and present "colonial powers" continues to exist, since the "independence" of the colonised was always, and continues to be, framed within linear systems of coercive relations, facilitated by the complicity of "local elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest, and the acquiescence of "local others" for myriad reasons.
Despite the "best" efforts of the opponents and partly in consequence of the opponents' complicity, the PRC and the Russian Federation like "The United States of America" are not synonymous with the political geographical areas designated as "The People's Republic of China and The Russian Federation", are in lateral process of transcending linear systems of coercive relations and hence pose existential threats to "The United States of America".
The opponents are not complete fools but the drowning tend to act precipitously including flailing out whilst drowning; encouraging some to dispense with rose- tinted glasses, despite such accessories being quite fashionable and fetching.
OlyaPola , May 20, 2020 at 04:32
" .. their colonies "
Perception of and practice of social relations are not wholly synonymous. A construct whose founding myths included liberty, egality and fraternity – property being discarded at the last moment since it was judged too provocative – experienced/experiences ideological/perceptual oxymorons in regard to its colonial relations, which were addressed in part by rendering their "colonies" department of France thereby facilitating increased perceptual dissonance.
Like many, Randal Marlin draws attention below to the perceptions and practices of the pied-noir, but omits to address the perceptions and practices of the harkis whom were also immersed in the proselytised notion of departmental France, and to some degree continue to be.
This understanding continues to inform the practices and problems of the French state.
Lolita , May 17, 2020 at 12:05
The analysis is very much inspired from "Comprendre l'Empire" by Alain Soral.
Dave , May 17, 2020 at 11:27
Do not fail to read this interview in its entirety. Ms Johnstone analyzes and describes many issues of national and global importance from the perspective of an USA expat who has spent most of her career in the pursuit of what may be termed disinterested journalism. Whether one agrees or disagrees in whole or in part the perspectives she presents, particularly those which pertain to the demise (hopefully) of the American Empire are worthy of perusal.
Remember that this is not a polemic; it's a memoir of a lifetime devoted to reporting and analyzing and discussion of most of the significant issues confronting global and national politics and their social ramifications. And a big thanks to Patrick Lawrence and Consortium News for posting the interview.
PEG , May 17, 2020 at 09:11
Diana Johnstone is one of the most intelligent, clear-minded and honest observers of international politics today, and her book "Circle in the Darkness" – which expands on the topics and insights touched on in this interview – is certainly among the best and most compelling books I have ever read, putting the events of the last 75 years into objective context and focus (normally something which only historians can do, if at all, generations after the fact).
After reading Circle in the Darkness, I have ordered and am now reading her books on Hillary Clinton (Queen of Chaos) and the Yugoslav wars (Fool's Crusade), which are very worthwhile and important. I would recommend that her many articles over the years, appearing in such publications such as In These Times, Counterpunch and Consortium News, be reprinted and published together as an anthology. Through Circle in the Darkness, we have Diana Johnstone's "Life", but it would be good also to have her "Letters".
Herman , May 17, 2020 at 09:00
Interesting comparison between the aspirations of De Gaulle and Putin.
"Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists."
Agree with Johnstone.
OlyaPola , May 19, 2020 at 11:55
"Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. "
Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest.
The exceptions to such strategies lay within constructs of settler colonialism which were addressed primarily through warfare – "The United States of America", Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kenya, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola refer – to facilitate such future strategies.
"I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar."
As outlined elsewhere the concept of a multi-polar world is not synonymous with the concept of colonialism except for the colonialists who consistently seek to encourage such conflation through myths of we-are-all-in-this-togetherness.
May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org
n 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then in his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, as a how-to manual on approaching regime change in the Middle East and for the destruction of the Oslo Accords.
The "Clean Break" policy document outlined these goals:Ending Yasser Arafat's and the Palestinian Authority's political influence, by blaming them for acts of Palestinian terrorism Inducing the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Launching war against Syria after Saddam's regime is disposed of. Followed by military action against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.
"Clean Break" was also in direct opposition to the Oslo Accords, to which Netanyahu was very much itching to obliterate. The Oslo II Accord was signed just the year before, on September 28th 1995, in Taba, Egypt.
During the Oslo Accord peace process, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused Rabin's government of being "removed from Jewish tradition and Jewish values." Rallies organised by the Likud and other right-wing fundamentalist groups featured depictions of Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform or in the crosshairs of a gun.
In July 1995, Netanyahu went so far as to lead a mock funeral procession for Rabin, featuring a coffin and hangman's noose.
The Oslo Accords was the initiation of a process which was to lead to a peace treaty based on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and at fulfilling the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination." If such a peace treaty were to occur, with the United States backing, it would have prevented much of the mayhem that has occurred since.
However, the central person to ensuring this process, Yitzak Rabin, was assassinated just a month and a half after the signing of the Oslo II Accord, on November 4th, 1995. Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel seven months later. "Clean Break" was produced the following year.
On November 6th, 2000 in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, who was the chief negotiator of the Oslo peace accords, warned those Israelis who argued that it was impossible to make peace with the Palestinians:
Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism, and not in order to offer them a Jewish Sparta or – God forbid – a new Massada."
On Oct. 5, 2003, for the first time in 30 years, Israel launched bombing raids against Syria, targeting a purported "Palestinian terrorist camp" inside Syrian territory. Washington stood by and did nothing to prevent further escalation.
"Clean Break" was officially launched in March 2003 with the war against Iraq, under the pretence of "The War on Terror". The real agenda was a western-backed list of regime changes in the Middle East to fit the plans of the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Israel.
However, the affair is much more complicated than that with each player holding their own "idea" of what the "plan" is. Before we can fully appreciate such a scope, we must first understand what was Sykes-Picot and how did it shape today's world mayhem.Arabian Nights
WWI was to officially start July 28th 1914, almost immediately following the Balkan wars (1912-1913) which had greatly weakened the Ottoman Empire.
Never one to miss an opportunity when smelling fresh blood, the British were very keen on acquiring what they saw as strategic territories for the taking under the justification of being in war-time, which in the language of geopolitics translates to "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" .
The brilliance of Britain's plan to garner these new territories was not to fight the Ottoman Empire directly but rather, to invoke an internal rebellion from within. These Arab territories would be encouraged by Britain to rebel for their independence from the Ottoman Empire and that Britain would support them in this cause.
These Arab territories were thus led to believe that they were fighting for their own freedom when, in fact, they were fighting for British and secondarily French colonial interests.
In order for all Arab leaders to sign on to the idea of rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, there needed to be a viable leader that was Arab, for they certainly would not agree to rebel at the behest of Britain.
Lord Kitchener, the butcher of Sudan, was to be at the helm of this operation as Britain's Minister of War. Kitchener's choice for Arab leadership was the scion of the Hashemite dynasty, Hussein ibn Ali, known as the Sherif of Mecca who ruled the region of Hejaz under the Ottoman Sultan.
Hardinge of the British India Office disagreed with this choice and wanted Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud instead, however, Lord Kitchener overruled this stating that their intelligence revealed that more Arabs would follow Hussein.
Since the Young Turk Revolution which seized power of the Ottoman government in 1908, Hussein was very aware that his dynasty was in no way guaranteed and thus he was open to Britain's invitation to crown him King of the Arab kingdom.
Kitchener wrote to one of Hussein's sons, Abdallah, as reassurance of Britain's support:
If the Arab nation assist England in this war that has been forced upon us by Turkey, England will guarantee that no internal intervention take place in Arabia, and will give Arabs every assistance against foreign aggression."
Sir Henry McMahon who was the British High Commissioner to Egypt, would have several correspondences with Sherif Hussein between July 1915 to March 1916 to convince Hussein to lead the rebellion for the "independence" of the Arab states.
However, in a private letter to India's Viceroy Charles Hardinge sent on December 4th, 1915, McMahon expressed a rather different view of what the future of Arabia would be, contrary to what he had led Sherif Hussein to believe:
[I do not take] the idea of a future strong united independent Arab State too seriously the conditions of Arabia do not and will not for a very long time to come, lend themselves to such a thing."
Such a view meant that Arabia would be subject to Britain's heavy-handed "advising" in all its affairs, whether it sought it or not.
In the meantime, Sherif Hussein was receiving dispatches issued by the British Cairo office to the effect that the Arabs of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) would be given independence guaranteed by Britain, if they rose up against the Ottoman Empire.
The French were understandably suspicious of Britain's plans for these Arab territories. The French viewed Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as intrinsically belonging to France, based on French conquests during the Crusades and their "protection" of the Catholic populations in the region.
Hussein was adamant that Beirut and Aleppo were to be given independence and completely rejected French presence in Arabia. Britain was also not content to give the French all the concessions they demanded as their "intrinsic" colonial rights.
Enter Sykes and Picot.
... ... ...
Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing hundreds of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire.
In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.
The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel's "prescription" and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police. Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.
In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews.
Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947.
Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.A New Strategy for Securing Whose Realm?
Despite what its title would have you believe, "Clean Break" is neither a "new strategy" nor meant for "securing" anything. It is also not the brainchild of fanatical neo-conservatives: Dick Cheney and Richard Perle, nor even that of crazed end-of-days fundamentalist Benjamin Netanyahu, but rather has the very distinct and lingering odour of the British Empire.
"Clean Break" is a continuation of Britain's geopolitical game, and just as it used France during the Sykes-Picot days it is using the United States and Israel.
The role Israel has found itself playing in the Middle East could not exist if it were not for over 30 years of direct British occupation in Palestine and its direct responsibility for the construction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which set a course for destruction and endless war in this region long before Israel ever existed.
It was also Britain who officially launched operation "Clean Break" by directly and fraudulently instigating an illegal war against Iraq to which the Chilcot Inquiry, aka Iraq Inquiry , released 7 years later, attests to.
This was done by the dubious reporting by British Intelligence setting the pretext for the U.S.' ultimate invasion into Iraq based off of fraudulent and forged evidence provided by GCHQ, unleashing the "War on Terror", aka "Clean Break" outline for regime change in the Middle East.
In addition, the Libyan invasion in 2011 was also found to be unlawfully instigated by Britain.
In a report published by the British Foreign Affairs Committee in September 2016, it was concluded that it was "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" .
The report concluded that the Libyan intervention was based on false pretence provided by British Intelligence and recklessly promoted by the British government.
If this were not enough, British Intelligence has also been caught behind the orchestrations of Russia-Gate and the Skripal affair .
Therefore, though the U.S. and Israeli military have done a good job at stealing the show, and though they certainly believe themselves to be the head of the show, the reality is that this age of empire is distinctly British and anyone who plays into this game will ultimately be playing for said interests, whether they are aware of it or not.
Originally published by Strategic Culture
Almondson ,Yossi B said:
Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism
Ever heard of Dumbo? He's a flying elephant.
The crusade in the ME will continue, with Israel the top dog until America's military support is no longer there. Even without the Israeli eastern european invaders, the area is primed for perpetual tribal warfare because the masses are driven by tribalist doctrines and warped metaphysics dictated by insane and inhumane parasites (priests). It is the epicenter of a spiritual plague that has infected most of the planet.
paul ,There is complete continuity between the activities of Zionist controlled western countries and those of the present day.
In the 1930s, there were about 300,000 adult Palestinian males. Over 10% were killed, imprisoned and tortured or driven into exile. 100,000 British troops were sent to Palestine to destroy completely Palestinian political and military organisations. Wingate set up the Jew terror gangs who were given free rein to murder, rape and burn, in preparation for the complete ethnic cleansing of the country.
We see the same ruthless, genocidal brutality on an even greater scale in the present day, serving exactly the same interests. Nothing has ever come of trying to negotiate with the Zionists and their western stooges – just further disasters. It is only resolute and uncompromising resistance that has ever achieved anything. Hezbollah kicking their Zionist arses out of Lebanon in 2000 and keeping them out in 2006. Had they not done so, Lebanon would still be under Zionist occupation and covered with their filthy illegal settlements.
They have never stopped and they never will. The objective is to create a vast Zionist empire comprising the whole of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and parts of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This plan has never changed and it never will. The Zionist thieves will shortly steal what little is left of Palestine. But the thieving will not end there. It will just move on to neighbouring countries.
The prime reason they have been able to get away with this is not their control of British and US golems. It is by playing the old, dirty colonial games of divide and rule, with the Quisling stooge dictators serving their interests. They have always been able to set Sunni against Shia, and different factions against others. The dumb Arabs fall for it every time. Their latest intrigues are directed at the destruction of Iran, the next victim on their target list after Iraq, Libya and Syria. And the Quisling dictators of Saudi Arabia are openly agitating for this and offering to pay for all of it. Syria sent troops to join the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, though Iraqi troops fought and died in Syria in 1973 against Israel. Egypt allows Israel to use its airspace to carry out the genocidal terror bombing of Gaza.
All this is contemptible enough and fits into racist stereotypes of Arabs as stupid, irrational, corrupt, easily bought, violent and treacherous. This of course does not apply to the populations of those countries, but it is a legitimate assessment of their Quisling dictators, with a (very) few honourable exceptions.
Seamus Padraig ,Of course, Arab rulers who don't tow the Zionist line generally get overthrown, don't they? And that usually requires the efforts/intervention of FUKUS, doesn't it? So you can't really pretend that 'Arab stupidity' is the main factor.
Richard Le Sarc ,The fact that, as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was bombing Lebanon 'back to the Stone Age', under Talmudic Judaism, killing civilians is not just permissible, but a mitzvah, or good deed, explains Zionist behaviour. Other doctrines allow an entire 'city' eg Gaza, to be devastated for the 'crimes' of a few, and children, even babies, to be killed if they would grow up to 'oppose the Jews'. Dare mention these FACTS, seen everyday in Israeli barbarity, and the 'antisemitism' slurs flow, as ever.
Julia ," is that this age of empire is distinctly British"
.it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.
''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."
I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.
Julia ," is that this age of empire is distinctly British"
.it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.
''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."
I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.
Richard Le Sarc ,The antithesis of the truth. It is US politicians who flock to AIPAC's meeting every year to pledge UNDYING fealty to Israel, not Israeli politicians pledging loyalty to the USA. It is Israeli and dual loyalty Jewish oligarchs funding BOTH US parties, it is US politicians throwing themselves to the ground in adulation when Bibi the war criminal addresses the Congress with undisguised contempt, not Israeli politicians groveling to the USA. The master-servant relationship is undisguised.
Pyewacket ,In Daniel Yergin's The Prize, a history of the Oil industry, he provides another interesting angle to explain British interest in the region. He states that at that time, Churchill realised that a fighting Navy powered by Coal, was not nearly as good or efficient as one using Oil as a fuel, and that securing supplies of the stuff was the best way forward to protect the Empire.
BigB ,Yergin would be right. The precursor of the First World War was a technological arms race and accelerated 'scientific' perfection of arsenals – particularly naval – in the service of imperialism. British and German imperialism. The full story involves the Berlin to Cairo railway and the resource grab that went with it. I'm a bit sketchy on the details now: but Churchill had a prominent role, rising to First Lord of the Admiralty.
Docherty and Macgregor have exposed the hidden history. F W Engdahl has written about WW1 being the first oil war.
Andreas Schlüter ,And don´t forget which of the US Military command regions into which the US Military divided the WHOLE World is named "US CENTCOM"!
„One Thing Must be Clear to the World: The US Power Elite Regards the Whole Globe as Their Colony!": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/one-thing-must-be-clear-to-the-world-the-us-power-elite-regards-the-whole-globe-as-their-colony/
In 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu
No source link for this!
By the way 1996 was during the Clinton administration. Warren Christopher was secretary of state and John Deutch was the Director of Central Intelligence . George Tenet was appointed the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director.
Reg ,Here you go, sonny boy
Richard Le Sarc ,Antsie, what are you going to deny next? The USS Liberty? Deir Yassin? The Lavon Affair? Sabra, Shatilla? Qana (twice)? The Five Celebrating Israelis on 9/11?Does not impress.
May 20, 2020 | www.amazon.com
Today when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending. Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can't have big wars without big government. Such big expenditures are now threatening to harm the national economy. How did this situation come to be?
In this book you'll learn how in the critical twenty years after World War II the United States changed from being a continental democratic republic to a global imperial superpower. Since then nothing has ever been the same again. In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.
By buying this book you will discover:
- - How the end of European colonialism created a power vacuum that the United States used to create a new type of world empire backed by the most powerful military force in human history.
- - Why the Central Intelligence Agency was created and used to interfere in the internal affairs of other nations when the United States Constitution had no mechanism for such imperial activities.
- - How national security bureaucrats got President Harry Truman to approve of a new wild budget busting arms race after World War II that is still going on to this day.
- - Why President Eisenhower really gave his famous warning against the "military-industrial complex."
- - Why during the Kennedy administration the nuclear arms race almost led to the end of the world during the Cuban Missile Crisis.
- - How President Kennedy tried to deal with what had grown into a "permanent government" of power elite national security bureaucrats in the executive branch of the federal government that had become more powerful than the individual president himself.
In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.
Jeff Marzano 5.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview Of The Cold War , May 10, 2018LCH Burris 5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful February 8, 2016
Good Overview Of The Cold War
This book provides a good overview of the so called Cold War I thought.
I read this book as part of my ongoing research about the assassination of President Kennedy. At this point in my research I need to move past the nuts and bolts of the assassination like how many times JFK was shot and things like that. Those aren't the most important questions. The important issues are who wanted John Kennedy dead and why and how were they able to do something like that. There had to be some major reasons why they would commit such a monumental crime. And those reasons are revealed in books like this somewhere.
When I say 'they' I mean the Military Industrial Complex. I have no doubt that John Kennedy was stabbed in the back by treasonous elements within his own country. It's hard for me to tell how extensive this conspiracy really went and into what areas of the Military Industrial Complex. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs Of Staff are on the suspect list though. There was no love lost between President Kennedy and the military and intelligence establishments. Mr. Swanson tells how Robert Kennedy was concerned that the military brass might kill his brother during the ominous Cuban Missile Crisis.
Some of those generals like Curtis 'Bombs Away' Lemay lost their marbles during World II I think. Lemay didn't seem to understand what nuclear weapons really are. Lemay seemed to speak about the use of nuclear weapons in World War II terms like they were just another type of bomb.
Near the end of the book Mr. Swanson mentions some things Jackie Kennedy said her husband John was planning to do:
- Attend a peace summit in Moscow.
- Remove J. Edgar Hoover as the director of the FBI.
- Replace Dean Rusk in the State Department.
- Get control of the government's policy in Vietnam.
That list right there is an excellent starting point for understanding some of the many reasons why the War State wanted John Kennedy dead.
Mr. Swanson talks about an important government directive called NSC-68. This National Security Council directive labelled any country that refused to bow to the will of the United States a communist sympathizer. And any country that got on that list was then subject to the CIA's evil machinations.
Some authors such as the great Fletcher Prouty felt the entire Cold War was a myth that was fabricated by the War State to justify their own existence.
For me the assassination of President Kennedy and the quagmire in Vietnam confirm that hypothesis. Those are two historical realities which indicate that the War State had flown off the rails.
- JFK: The CIA, Vietnam, and the Plot to Assassinate John F. Kennedy
- JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Died and Why It Matters
- The Devil's Chessboard: Allen Dulles, the CIA, and the Rise of America's Secret Government
- The Brothers: John Foster Dulles, Allen Dulles, and Their Secret World War
- The Man Who Killed Kennedy: The Case Against LBJ
- The Dark Side of Lyndon Baines Johnson
- Countdown to Darkness: The Assassination of President Kennedy Volume II (Volume 2)
- Brothers: The Hidden History of the Kennedy Years
- Mary's Mosaic: The CIA Conspiracy to Murder John F. Kennedy, Mary Pinchot Meyer, and Their Vision for World Peace: Third EditionBob Valdez 4.0 out of 5 stars How the US came to be influenced by the military-industrial complex , September 28, 2015
Having studied this period of history for over 45 years, as a history major in exactly this subject at University.
And as a consumer of what must be in excess of 3-400 books on this subject, I can say this is quite simply the best one-volume analysis of U.S. defense policy 1945 - 1964 that has been produced. The bulk of it presents facts known to students of the period, plus certain additional lesser-known facts revealed by recent declassifications in both the US and Russia.
However, it re-analyzes these facts to produce a masterful synthesis more clearly stated here than I have seen in any other volume.
The only complaint is that the book should be more fully footnoted -- not only to source some of the factual statements, but also to explain the author's chain of reasoning from the source to the statement -- as well as be re-published with a proper index and bibliography. In a sense, the author has under-rated himself. Properly footnoted and indexed, this would be not merely an excellent popular read but a work of scholarship with which students of the field would have to reckon from now on.Phil Dragoo 5.0 out of 5 stars Ike named it; it buried JFK; Swanson reveals it July 23, 2019
How the US came to be influenced by the military-industrial complex
This book is a pretty well done tome about how the military-industrial complex came to be. The overall layout is much like a history book but if the reader is patient it begins to unfold with some level of comfort after a few dozen pages. The properly told story is long overdue and it probably will not have wide acceptance but that is the overall sign of our times. The author does not go into enough detail to tie in today's US government administration and how deep the corruption has grown.
If you wish to be an informed voter or just a more informed citizen, reading such books as this one will help bring you around to becoming a bit better enlightened. Read, recognize, respond. All comes in time.
Ike named it; it buried JFK; Swanson reveals it.
Verified Purchase Ike named it -- it buried JFK
Michael Swanson's The War State is a keystone work in understanding modern America's lone superpower position.
While Preparata's Conjuring Hitler presents Montagu Norman and Bank of England as financing the rise of the Third Reich as the initiation of the modern military-intelligence age, and Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers introduces Dulles & Dulles as the twin inventors of America's role as stage manager, Michael Swanson raises the curtain on Eisenhower's finale, the introduction of the Colossus astride Washington .
The War State punctuates Robert Wilcox' Target: Patton, the removal of the threat of premature end to the Cold War, and David Martin's signal work uncovering the termination of the first Secretary of Defense James Forrestal for resisting the Truman-Marshall military steroid injection, itself inextricably entwined with the Acheson-enabled Korean War.
The National Security Act of 1947 and its follow-on codas, the 1948 plausible deniability agreement and 1949 amendments, lead to the SAC/ICBM buildup, the preamble to Northwoods and the dream of a first strike.
The Vietnam War fought over the dead body of the thirty-fifth president is examined in John Newman's two editions of JFK and Vietnam, and the sequence of subsequent research works, all adding to Douglas Horne's view of JFK's War with the National Security Establishment, as well as James Douglass' eerie scene through a glass darkly, JFK and the Unspeakable.
We are gifted with Michael Swanson's concise and unitized depiction of the threat President Eisenhower succeeded in naming January 1961 despite repeated attempts to airbrush the indictment from history.
Why are we faced with unending war in Afghanistan against a shadowy enemy first introduced by April Glaspy's invitation to Saddam Hussein echoing Acheson's omission of Korea in the January 1950 Press Club speech?
Why do towers fall in unprecedented fashion defying laws of physics?
As Litvinenko and Felshtinsky's Blowing Up Russia reveals Putin as the rebranding mastermind of Golitsyn and Bezemov, and Xi Jinping rides the dragon into the fifth millenium, Oceania's capital remains in the orbit of the Pentagon and Langley and the constellation of corporations involved in Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett's Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil.
Michael Swanson pulls the construct from the mist and plants it front and center in the dramatic end of the Republic and the bulletins from the frontlines of Big Brother's proxy wars in the nonaligned quadrangle.
It isn't personal -- it's business.
SkyNet and The Matrix and the gigantic digital nemeses of Person of Interest are mere terms of art.
The military-industrial complex is as real as LBJ's heart attack -- and exposed in The War State.
May 20, 2020 | www.amazon.com
"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s
Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.
For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."
By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."The Adventures of Straw Man Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2013 This has been the essential function of US Russia policy, as David Foglesong shows in his century-long tour.>
The usefulness of Russia as bogeyman for all that is wrong in the world - a contrasting foil to the virtues of "us" - has defined this relationship ever since the first democratic stirrings in Russia following the Emancipation of '61. In this it followed Britain, who'd long demonized Russia since imperial rivalries over the Crimea.
This trope was also successful for reactionaries in blocking progressive legislation at home. Ronald Reagan was perhaps the most successful in this linkmanship: "socialized medicine" was the first step to the gulags.
The crusade against US civil rights - of which Reagan was also a part in his early career - as Communist-inspired tinkering with the Constitution was much less successful. His support for free trade unions in the Soviet Bloc while crushing them at home underscored the irony.
But Foglesong is much too generous in evaluating Reagan's human decency as a policy motive. Reagan pursued his grand rollback strategy by any means necessary, mixing hard tactics (contras, death-squad funding, mujahadin, Star Wars) with soft (democracy-enhancement, human rights, meeting with Gorbachev). Solidarity activists in Poland might remember his crusading fondly; survivors of the Salvadoran civil war will not.
The "crisis" with the Putin regime currently empowered shows the missionary impulse yet alive: projecting one's reforming instincts upon others rather than at home. T he flak over Pus*y Riot following this book's publication - while ignoring the crucifixion of the Dixie Chicks - demonstrates the double standard is too convenient to be allowed to wither. The empire must always be evil, precisely because it reflects our own image like a Buddhist truth mirror.
I do find it puzzling that Foglesong made no mention of Maurice Hindus, the prolific popular "explainer" of Russia in over a dozen mid-century books; and the notorious defector Victor Kravchenko and his best-selling memoir of the 1940s (ghost-written by Eugene Lyons, another popular anti-Soviet scribe). Both were much more influential in the public and political mind than many of the more obscure missionary authors Foglesong does cite. Nevertheless, Foglesong has offered a generous helping of cultural/political history that shows no signs of growing stale.
indah nuritasari , Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2012A Good Book About America and The Cold War
This book tells a fascinating story of American efforts to liberate and remake Russia since the 1880s. It starts with the story of Tsar Alexander II's asasination on March 1, 1881 and how James William Buel, a Missoury Journalist wrote it in his book "Russian Nihilism and Exile Life in Siberia."
The story continues until The Reagan era and "the Evil Empire," 1981-1989.
This book is very interesting and useful for history lovers, students, journalists, or general public. Here you can find all the "dark and exciting stuff" about the cold war, including the involvement of the journalists, political activists, diplomats, and even engineers.
It is really helpful for me as a new immigrant in the US to help me understand the US position and role in the Cold War Era. The language used in this book, though, is " kind of dry". A little editing for the next edition could be really helpful!!
Apr 30, 2020 | www.newsmax.com
Yet another bombshell development emerged Thursday in the case of former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn: the release of additional exculpatory evidence FBI officials had withheld from the courts and the defense for three years.
Crucially, this includes evidence that the Bureau's official "302 report" filed by the lead agent who interviewed Flynn was edited multiple times, including by an official who never participated in the interview.
Thursday's revelations come on top of yesterday's disclosures indicating an apparent attempt by FBI officials to trap Flynn into committing a criminal offense during an interview.
The new revelation could prove even more significant: In addition to the apparently calculated effort to get Flynn to commit perjury or obstruction, top FBI figures, including FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, repeatedly altered the "302 report" that was filed after the Flynn interview.
That interview was conducted under highly unusual circumstances. Ordinarily, an FBI interview of a top West Wing official would be requested through the White House Counsel's office, and would be conducted in the presence of legal counsel representing the official being interviewed.
That did not occur in the case of the FBI's interview with Flynn, and Comey later stated that under "a more organized administration" he "probably wouldn't have gotten away with it."
Initially, when the lead FBI agent handling the case was asked whether Flynn lied during the interview, he stated that he did not believe so.
But over the coming days Strzok and Page would edit and revise the agent's 302 report repeatedly, according to a document providing text messages between FBI officials that the defense counsel finally received this week.
Prosecutors and investigators are required to turn over information that might tend to indicate a suspect's innocence to the defense counsel prior to trial and sentencing. Most legal analysts would consider the information withheld from Flynn's legal team potentially exculpatory.
An inside source familiar with efforts to defend Gen. Flynn tells Newsmax an unadulterated, original 302 document exists that was created by the lead agent from his notes of the interview with Flynn.
Jonathan Turley, the George Washington University law professor who testified before the House during President Trump's impeachment, wrote Thursday the decision to keep the case open occurred when "Special counsel Robert Mueller decided to bring the dubious charge."
In a column posted on TheHill.com on Thursday, Turley said the case against Flynn should be dismissed. "Justice demands a dismissal of his prosecution," he wrote.
At the time Flynn was being prosecuted, Mueller was seeking evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 campaign.
Critics say he was prosecuting Flynn to get him to turn state's witness against Trump, but the general never implicated him.
Mueller eventually determined there was no evidence of a Russian-collusion conspiracy. But by then Flynn, under intense financial pressure from the prosecution and buckling under the threat that his son could be drawn into a legal quagmire, had pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.
He has since requested to withdraw that plea, and he is awaiting sentencing.
President Trump weighed in on the controversial case Thursday morning tweeting, "What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!"
Later the president told reporters he believes Flynn is "in the process of being exonerated."
Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik reacted strongly on Thursday to the news FBI officials to altered a 302 report and reopened the case when the initial analysis indicated no crime had been committed.
Kerik told Newsmax Thursday that if evidence or records had been unduly altered under his watch as police commissioner, he would have referred the matter to the district attorney for possible prosecution.
"They intentionally went back and doctored the original 302," he said. "That's because they were not looking for the truth.
"They were looking for a mechanism to trap Gen. Flynn, to prosecute him, to get him fired in order to go after the president. That was their motive, that was their agenda. It's absolutely clear at this point they were not looking for the truth."
Kerik added, "This was done at the highest levels of the FBI. At the most senior level of the FBI, they falsified records, they suppressed evidence.
"This is irresponsible, it's outrageous They used and abused their authority to deprive Gen. Flynn of his constitutional right to freedom," he said.
According to the source, as supported by text messages also obtained by Newsmax, Stzrok, who also participated in the Flynn interview, rewrote the 302 extensively -- although a text message from him stated he tried not to "completely re-write it so as to save [redacted] voice," presumably a reference to the lead agent who originally wrote it.
Stzrok then shared the document with a "pissed off" Page, who had not participated in the interview, and who revised it significantly again, according to the Newsmax source.
The objective of the interview was to probe whether Flynn had violated the Logan Act, an 18th-century statute that has never been used in any criminal conviction. The Act makes it a crime for a U.S. citizens to interfere with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Many legal scholars find the law to be unconstitutional.
The documents received by Newsmax indicate the case had virtually been closed – suggesting the lead agent was satisfied no crime had been committed -- prior to it being reopened by the direct intervention of Strzok and Page.
The documents, for example, show the probe of Flynn was about to be put to bed when the lead agent received a text from Strzok stating, "Hey, if you haven't closed [the case], don't do so yet."
Apparently, Page was pleasantly surprised to find the matter had not yet been closed.
On Feb. 10, 2017, Page texted Strzok, "This document pisses me off. You didn't even attempt to make this cogent and readable? This is lazy work on your part."
Strzok replied, "Lisa you didn't see it before my edits that went into what I sent you. I was 1) trying to completely re-write the thing so as to save [the lead agent's] voice and 2) get it out to you for general review and comment in anticipation of needing it soon."
Wednesday's revelation included notes of a meeting conducted a short time after the 2016 election between FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The notes stated, "What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"
The notes were written by then-FBI head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap.
May 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comAuthored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,
Seldom mentioned among the motives behind the persistent drumming on alleged Russian interference was an over-arching need to help the Security State hide their tracks.
The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.")
But that was then. This is now.
Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.
All that's left is to discover how this all happened.
Attorney General William Barr, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr commissioned to investigate this whole sordid mess seem intent on getting to the bottom of it. The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.Writing on the Wall
Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family.
Plus, former NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers reportedly is cooperating. The handwriting is on the wall. It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played.
But former directors James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan, captains of Obama's Security State, can take little solace from Barr's remarks Monday to a reporter who asked about Trump's recent claims that top officials of the Obama administration, including the former president had committed crimes. Barr replied:
"As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concerns over potential criminality is focused on others."
In a more ominous vein, Barr gratuitously added that law enforcement and intelligence officials were involved in "a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president. It was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history."
Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"?
The outrage voiced by the Post called to mind disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok's indignant response to criticism of the FBI by candidate Trump, in a Oct. 20, 2016 text exchange with FBI attorney Lisa Page:
Strzok: I am riled up. Trump is a f***ing idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer.
Strzok -- I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY
Page -- I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.
Strzok -- Donald just said "bad hombres"
Strzok -- Trump just said what the FBI did is disgraceful.
Less vitriolic, but incisive commentary came from widely respected author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald on May 14, four days after Trump coined "Obamagate": ( See "System Update with Glenn Greenwald -- The Sham Prosecution of Michael Flynn").
For a shorter, equally instructive video of Greenwald on the broader issue of Russia-gate, see this clip from a March 2019 Democracy Now! -sponsored debate he had with David Cay Johnston titled, "As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston":
(The entire debate is worth listening to). I found one of the comments below the Democracy Now! video as big as a bummer as the commentator did:
"I think this is one of the most depressing parts about the whole situation. In their dogmatic pushing for this false narrative, the Russiagaters might have guaranteed Trump a second term. They have done more damage to our democracy than Russia ever has done and will do ." (From "Clamity2007")
In any case, Johnston, undaunted by his embarrassment at the hands of Greenwald, is still at it, and so is the avuncular Frank Rich -- both of them some 20 years older than Greenwald and set in their evidence-impoverished, media-indoctrinated ways.
... ... ...
Uncle Frank, 40 seconds agoQABubba, 47 minutes ago (Edited)
So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think.
But when journalists are revealed to be issuing paid-for propaganda/lies mixed with their own internal opinions, and their publisher allows it to be presented as if it were reporting rather than opinion, said writers, editors, and publishers are relegated to obscurity and derision.
Their work will never be taken seriously again by anyone who wasn't already brain-washed.
They don't get that, I guess.1911A1, 55 minutes ago
There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA.
General Flynn was so involved with Turkey he should have been registered as a foreign agent.
And as I have said before, the real crime was laundering Russian Mafia/Heroin money through Deutsche Bank into New York real estate. It is curious that Turkey is also a huge transport spot for heroin into the EU. And France and other EU nations have a migrant population that lives off the drug trade.
Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel.Question_Mark, 43 minutes ago
The MSM disinformation campaign with consistent common talking points is not difficult to see with a little discernment. The bigger question is has this happened organically or is there a larger agency manipulating the public discourse?1surrounded2, 1 hour ago
4AM secure drop from Senior Executive Services ( SES ) is a threat to our democracy.
Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [insert name of community here] community.Moribundus, 3 hours ago
" It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played. "
Come on, Ray, I know you are not that stupid, but you ARE that libtarded.
Obama's very obvious role in all of this: KINGPIN .Moribundus, 3 hours ago
Amazon.com The American Mission and the 'Evil Empire' The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 (8580000721935) Foglesong,
"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s
Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.
For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."
By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."Kidbuck, 5 hours ago
America's imperialism rules: Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.ChaoKrungThep, 4 hours ago
Trump hasn't engaged in a fight in his life. He's a sissy at heart wants to negotiate. He can't even do that right. He's caved on nearly every campaign promise he made. The only thing his administration fights for is their salary and their retirement. Hillary still waddles free and farts in his general direction.Save_America1st, 9 hours ago
Trump the Mafia punk, like his dad, and draft dodger like his German grand dad. Barr, old CIA asset from the Clinton-Mena coke smuggling op. This crappy crew is running their masters' game in front of the redneck rabble who are dumber than their mutts.Posa, 9 hours ago
Geez...how far behind can most of these assholes be after all these years????
For one...there was no "Russia-gate". It was all a hoax from the beginning, and anyone with a few functioning brain cells knew that from the start.
And as of about 3 years ago we have all known this as "Obamagate" for the most part...we all knew the corruption of the hoax totally led up to O-Scumbag.
And now as of the recent disclosures it is a total fact.
Haven't most of you been watching Dan Bongino for over 2 years now and haven't you read his books? Haven't you been reading Sarah Carter and John Soloman among others for nearly 3 years now???
Surely, you haven't been just sitting around sucking leftist media **** for over 3 years, right???????? I'm sure you haven't.
So why is this article even necessary on ZeroHedge?????
We already knew and have known the truth since before even the 2016 election. Drop it.BaNNeD oN THe RuN, 5 hours ago (Edited)
So funny. The 85 Year old "American century' is palpably disintegrating before our very eyes. In particular the Deep State permanent bureaucracy is completely untethered and facing what seems to be a Great Reckoning in the form of Barr- Durham. Cognitve Derangement prevails in the press and spills overto the body politic. The country teeters a slo-mo Civil War. Meanwhile, The dollar is disintegrating and we seem to face an economic abyss, the Terminal Depression. Real "last Days of Rome" stuff.LetThemEatRand, 11 hours ago
The Israeli dual citizens like Adelson and Mercer bought the Presidency.
Mossad was the organization handling the mole Seth Rich.
Blaming Russia also worked for those 2 groups because it deflected attention away from (((them))).
Ray McGovern, being ex-intel, must know this to be true.yojimbo, 8 hours ago
Russiagate. The supposed target of said coup d'etat just Presided over the largest bailout of banks ever by a factor of five or more. Trump supporters are asleep for the bailout, Trump haters are asleep for the bailout. Let's fight about transgender bathrooms and Russiagate, shall we?
I glance at the MSM, so here is a Guardian article along strongly TDS lines https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/19/will-donald-trump-end-up-in-prison-arwa-mahdawi
It's projection again, implying Obama gate is fake, like Russiagate actually was.. Tough to even want to get through!
May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog,
For years former President Obama remained more or less off the grid. It could be argued that it is not uncommon for an ex-president to stay out of the limelight. Several Presidents have done this even claiming it was for the good of the country and in an effort not to interfere with the country moving forward. Obama has recently reemerged and injected himself into the public spotlight, at times taking aim at President Trump and the way his administration is handling various situations. It is not surprising that President Trump is not pleased.
While our memory has a way of removing rough edges from events we should not try to whitewash the past and rewrite history to present a different picture of what really happened. Because of the stark contrast in the demeanor and style of Trump and Obama, the media has "photo shopped" reality. Obama has been painted as, a thoughtful, intelligent, capable man full of hope and able to bring us together. He did, after all, bring America's economy back from the brink of disaster following the Great Recession. Trump, on the other hand, is often portrayed as a divisive, dishonest, braggart, and a buffoon. The fact is during Obama's time as President the country suffered scandal upon scandal upon scandal, it might be fair to say we had "scandals galore."
Mosul, Reduced To Rubble On Obama's Watch
And then, there was Mosul. The destruction of Mosul and the many lives lost there stand as a monument of Obama's failings. We should not forget that during Obama's watch the once-proud Iraqi city of Mosul was reduced to rubble. This was done as a coalition of anti-ISIS forces try to retake the city. The very roots of ISIS were fed by America and its botched policies. The saying, "never throw stones if you live in a glass house" would lead people to think Obama should have remained in the shadows.
Looking back, there were so many, big and small scandals such as the fast and furious, the operation that sent guns into the hands of drug gangs in Mexico, they became difficult to track. In Las Vegas, the GSA went on a spending spree. A large number of sexual assaults occurring in the military. Solyndra which should be placed in the dictionary and defined as "what happens when politicians and bureaucrats play businessman with taxpayer money" failed. The CIA had a "prostitutes fiasco" in South America. Fisker Automotive failed, this deal reeked of government cronyism and waste. Add to this what looked like a "Benghazi coverup" (including the way it was handled in the second presidential debate) add the DOJ doing an over the top and wiretapping the Associated Press.
Trump Will Leave None Of This Unaddressed
We should not forget some of the following if truth be told. The resurfacing of Mr. Obama and images of him opining with his chin tilted slightly upward motivated me to look back at some posts written during his time as President. Remember, because of his persona, a degree of optimism was in the air as he took office, across the world many people saw him as the answer to taking the whole world forward. Below are a few of those with links to the original as well as a few other comments on what history has revealed as major policy blunders flowing from his time in office.
Other major faux-pas, blunders or missteps of the Obama administration include;
- Generated the destabilizing "Arab Spring"
- Failed in helping Iraq stabilize
- Horribly mishandling the situation in Syria and in doing so fund the creation of ISIS
- Underestimating ISIS
- Aiding in turning Libya into a failed state
- Obama care failed to reduce health care cost but transferred them to other payers
- Failed to lessen racial strife, note Ferguson, Missouri, and other events
- Destabilizing Ukraine in a pissing war with Putin
- IRS, when it targeted conservative groups
- Fast and Furious - where the US illegally sold guns in Mexico
To say we were awash in scandals during the Obama era is an understatement, fortunately for Obama, most Americans have the attention span of a gnat .
To be clear, not everyone will agree with what I have listed as "faux-pas, blunders or missteps" but some will. Time tends to reveal whether the decisions we make are great, good, so-so, or were horribly wrong. If you feel this post was overly biased, unto you I say, sorry, sorry, sorry.
In an effort to be transparent I confess I'm not a fan of either of these men and to be fair this post is not a critique of Trump's time in office. While some people may try or continue to paint Obama as Mr. Clean, a closer look at history rapidly dispels that image.
May 14, 2020 | theintercept.comGen. Michael Flynn, President Obama's former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017, to a single count of lying to the FBI about two conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Flynn served as a Trump transition team official (Flynn was never charged for any matters relating to his relationship with the Turkish government). As part of the plea deal, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended no jail time for Flynn , and the plea agreement also seemingly put an end to threats from the Mueller team to prosecute Flynn's son.
Last Thursday, the Justice Department filed a motion seeking to dismiss the prosecution of Flynn based, in part, on newly discovered documents revealing that the conduct of the FBI, under the leadership of Director James Comey and his now-disgraced Deputy Andrew McCabe (who himself was forced to leave the Bureau after being caught lying to agents ), was improper and motivated by corrupt objectives. That motion prompted histrionic howls of outrage from the same political officials and their media allies who have spent the last three years pushing maximalist Russiagate conspiracy theories.
But the prosecution of Flynn -- for allegedly lying to the FBI when he denied in a January 24 interrogation that he had discussed with Kislyak on December 29 the new sanctions and expulsions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration -- was always odd for a number of reasons. To begin with, the FBI agents who questioned Flynn said afterward that they did not believe he was lying (as CNN reported in February 2017: "the FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say"). For that reason, CNN said, "the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against" him.
More importantly, there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual -- let alone criminal -- about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it , "it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work." What newly released documents over the last month reveal is what has been generally evident for the last three years: The powers of the security state agencies -- particularly the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the DOJ -- were systematically abused as part of the 2016 election and then afterward for political rather than legal ends.
While there was obviously deceit and corruption on the part of some Trump officials in lying to Russiagate investigators and otherwise engaging in depressingly common D.C. lobbyist corruption , there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation, and personal vendettas . The former category (corruption by Trump officials) has received a tidal wave of endless media attention, while the latter (corruption and abuse of power by those investigating them) has received almost none.
For numerous reasons, it is vital to fully examine with as much clarity as possible the abuse of power that drove the prosecution of Flynn. To begin with, cable and other news outlets that employed former Obama-era intelligence operatives, generals, and prosecutors to disseminate every Russiagate conspiracy theory they could find -- virtually always without any dissent or even questioning -- have barely acknowledged these explosive new documents.
More disturbingly, liberals and Democrats -- as part of their movement toward venerating these security state agencies -- have completely jettisoned long-standing, core principles about the criminal justice system, including questioning whether lying to the FBI should be a crime at all and recognizing that innocent people are often forced to plead guilty -- in order to justify both the Flynn prosecution and the broader Mueller probe.
But the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: The powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. In other words, we know now that these agencies did exactly what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned they would do to Trump when he appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program shortly before Trump's inauguration:Because U.S. politics is now discussed far more as tests of tribal loyalty ("Whose side are you on?") than actual ideological or even political beliefs ("Which policies do you favor or oppose?"), it is very difficult to persuade people to separate their personal or political views of Flynn ("Do you like him or not?") from the question of whether the U.S. government abused its power in gravely dangerous ways to prosecute him.
This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
Flynn is a right-wing, hawkish general whose views on the so-called war on terror are ones utterly anathema to my own beliefs. That does not make his prosecution justified. One's views of Flynn personally or his politics (or those of the Trump administration generally) should have absolutely no bearing on one's assessment of the justifiability of what the U.S. government did to him here -- any more than one has to like the political views of the detainees at Guantanamo to find their treatment abusive and illegal , or any more than one has to agree with the views of people who are being censured in order to defend their right of free expression .
The ability to distinguish between ideological questions from evidentiary questions is vital for rational discourse to be possible, yet has been all but eliminated at the altar of tribal fealty. That is why evidentiary questions completely devoid of ideological belief -- such as whether one found the Russiagate conspiracy theories supported by convincing evidence -- have been treated not as evidentiary matters but as tribal ones: to be affiliated with the left (an ideological characterization), one must affirm belief in those conspiracy theories even if one does not find the evidence in support of them actually compelling. The conflation of ideological and evidentiary questions, and the substitution of substantive political debates with tests of tribal loyalty, are indescribably corrosive to our public discourse.
As a result, whether one is now deemed on the right or left has almost nothing to do with actual political beliefs about policy questions and everything to do with one's willingness to serve the interests of one team or another. With the warped formula in place, U.S. politics has been depoliticized , stripped of any meaningful ideological debates in lieu of mindless team loyalty oaths on non-ideological questions.
Our newest SYSTEM UPDATE episode, debuting today, is devoted to enabling as clear and objective an examination as possible of the abuses that drove the Flynn prosecution -- including these critical, newly declassified documents -- as well the broader Russiagate investigations of which it was a part. These abuses have received far too little attention from the vast majority of the U.S. media that simply excludes any questioning or dissent of their prevailing narratives about all of these matters.
Notably, we invited several of the cable stars and security state agents who have been pushing these conspiracy theories for years to appear on the program for a civil discussion, but none were willing to do so -- because they are so accustomed to being able to spout these theories on MSNBC, CNN, and in newspapers without ever being meaningfully challenged. Regardless of one's views on these scandals, it is unhealthy in the extreme for any media to insulate themselves from a diversity of views.
As the journalist Aaron Maté demonstrated when he brilliantly challenged The Guardian's Luke Harding about his bestselling book claiming to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- one of the few times a Russiagate conspiracy advocate was forced to confront a knowledgeable critic -- those claims often cannot survive even minimal critical scrutiny. That's why media outlets have insulated these conspiracy theory advocates, as well as their audiences, from any dissent or even critical questioning.
Today's SYSTEM UPDATE episode, which we believe provides the most comprehensive examination to date of these new documents relating to the Flynn prosecution and how this case relates to the broader Russiagate investigative abuses, can be viewed above or on The Intercept's YouTube channel .
May 19, 2020 | theintercept.com
What is particularly valuable about Smith's article is its perfect description of a media sickness borne of the Trump era that is rapidly corroding journalistic integrity and justifiably destroying trust in news outlets. Smith aptly dubs this pathology "resistance journalism," by which he means that journalists are now not only free, but encouraged and incentivized , to say or publish anything they want, no matter how reckless and fact-free, provided their target is someone sufficiently disliked in mainstream liberal media venues and/or on social media:
[Farrow's] work, though, reveals the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald Trump: That if reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices, the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness can seem more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives.
That can be a dangerous approach, particularly in a moment when the idea of truth and a shared set of facts is under assault.
In assailing Farrow for peddling unproven conspiracy theories, Smith argues that such journalistic practices are particularly dangerous in an era where conspiracy theories are increasingly commonplace. Yet unlike most journalists with a mainstream platform, Smith emphasizes that conspiracy theories are commonly used not only by Trump and his movement (conspiracy theories which are quickly debunked by most of the mainstream media), but are also commonly deployed by Trump's enemies, whose reliance on conspiracy theories is virtually never denounced by journalists because mainstream news outlets themselves play a key role in peddling them:
We are living in an era of conspiracies and dangerous untruths -- many pushed by President Trump, but others hyped by his enemies -- that have lured ordinary Americans into passionately believing wild and unfounded theories and fiercely rejecting evidence to the contrary. The best reporting tries to capture the most attainable version of the truth, with clarity and humility about what we don't know. Instead, Mr. Farrow told us what we wanted to believe about the way power works, and now, it seems, he and his publicity team are not even pretending to know if it's true.
Ever since Donald Trump was elected , and one could argue even in the months leading up to his election, journalistic standards have been consciously jettisoned when it comes to reporting on public figures who, in Smith's words, are "most disliked by the loudest voices," particularly when such reporting "swim[s] ably along with the tides of social media." Put another way: As long the targets of one's conspiracy theories and attacks are regarded as villains by the guardians of mainstream liberal social media circles, journalists reap endless career rewards for publishing unvetted and unproven -- even false -- attacks on such people, while never suffering any negative consequences when their stories are exposed as shabby frauds.
https://www.youtube.com/embed/OOhRRr6c1wA?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1 infiltrated and taken over the U.S. government through sexual and financial blackmail leverage over Trump and used it to dictate U.S. policy; Trump officials conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election; Russia was attacking the U.S. by hacking its electricity grid , recruiting journalists to serve as clandestine Kremlin messengers , and plotting to cut off heat to Americans in winter. Mainstream media debacles -- all in service of promoting the same set of conspiracy theories against Trump -- are literally too numerous to count, requiring one to select the worst offenses as illustrative .In March of last year, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi -- writing under the headline "It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD" -- compared the prevailing media climate since 2016 to that which prevailed in 2002 and 2003 regarding the invasion of Iraq and the so-called war on terror: little to no dissent permitted, skeptics of media-endorsed orthodoxies shunned and excluded, and worst of all, the very journalists who were most wrong in peddling false conspiracy theories were exactly those who ended up most rewarded on the ground that even though they spread falsehoods, they did so for the right cause.
Glenn Beck 2009 + Maddow 2019 is the greatest crossover event in history pic.twitter.com/D1NElGBq3U-- Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) January 31, 2019
Under that warped rubric -- in which spreading falsehoods is commendable as long as it was done to harm the evildoers -- the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the most damaging endorsers of false conspiracy theories about Iraq , rose to become editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, while two of the most deceitful Bush-era neocons, Bush/Cheney speechwriter David Frum and supreme propagandist Bill Kristol, have reprised their role as leading propagandists and conspiracy theorists -- only this time aimed against the GOP president instead of on his behalf -- and thus have become beloved liberal media icons. The communications director for both the Bush/Cheney campaign and its White House, Nicole Wallace, is one of the most popular liberal cable hosts from her MSNBC perch.
Join Our Newsletter Original reporting. Fearless journalism. Delivered to you. I'm in Exactly the same journalism-destroying dynamic is driving the post-Russiagate media landscape. There is literally no accountability for the journalists and news outlets that spread falsehoods in their pages, on their airwaves, and through their viral social media postings. The Washington Post's media columnist Erik Wemple has been one of the very few journalists devoted to holding these myth-peddlers accountable -- recounting how one of the most reckless Russigate conspiracy maximialists, Natasha Bertrand, became an overnight social media and journalism star by peddling discredited conspiratorial trash (she was notably hired by Jeffrey Goldberg to cover Russigate for The Atlantic); MSNBC's Rachel Maddow spent three years hyping conspiratorial junk with no need even to retract any of it; and Mother Jones' David Corn played a crucial, decisively un-journalistic role in mainstreaming the lies of the Steele dossier all with zero effect on his journalistic status, other than to enrich him through a predictably bestselling book that peddled those unhinged conspiracies further.
Wemple's post-Russiagate series has established him as a commendable, often-lone voice trying -- with futility -- to bring some accountability to U.S. journalism for the systemic media failures of the past three years. The reason that's futile is exactly what Smith described in his column on Farrow: In "resistance journalism," facts and truth are completely dispensable -- indeed, dispensing with them is rewarded -- provided "reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices."
That describes perfectly the journalists who were defined, and enriched, by years of Russiagate deceit masquerading as reporting. By far the easiest path to career success over the last three years -- booming ratings, lucrative book sales, exploding social media followings, career rehabilitation even for the most discredited D.C. operatives -- was to feed establishment liberals an endless diet of fearmongering and inflammatory conspiracies about Drumpf and his White House. Whether it was true or supported by basic journalistic standards was completely irrelevant. Responsible reporting was simply was not a metric used to assess its worth.
It was one thing for activists, charlatans, and con artists to exploit fears of Trump for material gain: that, by definition, is what such people do. But it was another thing entirely for journalists to succumb to all the low-hanging career rewards available to them by throwing all journalistic standards into the trash bin in exchange for a star turn as a #Resistance icon. That , as Smith aptly describes, is what "Resistance Journalism" is, and it's hard to identify anything more toxic to our public discourse.
Perhaps the single most shameful and journalism-destroying episode in all of this -- an obviously difficult title to bestow -- was when a national security blogger, Marcy Wheeler, violated long-standing norms and ethical standards of journalism by announcing in 2018 that she had voluntarily turned in her own source to the FBI, claiming she did so because her still-unnamed source "had played a significant role in the Russian election attack on the US" and because her life was endangered by her brave decision to stop being a blogger and become an armchair cop by pleading with the FBI and the Mueller team to let her work with them. In her blog post announcing what she did, she claimed she was going public with her treachery because her life was in danger, and this way everyone would know the real reason if "someone releases stolen information about me or knocks me off tomorrow."
To say that Wheeler's actions are a grotesque violation of journalistic ethics is to radically understate the case. Journalists are expected to protect their sources' identities from the FBI even if they receive a subpoena and a court order compelling its disclosure; we're expected to go to prison before we comply with FBI attempts to uncover our source's identity. But here, the FBI did not try to compel Wheeler to tell them anything; they displayed no interest in her as she desperately tried to chase them down.
By all appearances, Wheeler had to beg the FBI to pay attention to her because they treated her like the sort of unstable, unhinged, unwell, delusional obsessive who, believing they have uncovered some intricate conspiracy, relentlessly harass and bombard journalists with their bizarre theories until they finally prattle to themselves for all of eternity in the spam filter of our email inboxes. The claim that she was in possession of some sort of explosive and damning information that would blow the Mueller investigation wide open was laughable. In her post, she claimed she "always planned to disclose this when this person's role was publicly revealed," but to date -- almost two years later -- she has never revealed "this person's" identity because, from all appearances, the Mueller report never relied on Wheeler's intrepid reporting or her supposedly red-hot secrets.
Like so many other Russiagate obsessives who turned into social media and MSNBC/CNN #Resistance stars, Wheeler was living a wild, self-serving fantasy, a Cold War Tom Clancy suspense film that she invented in her head and then cast herself as the heroine: a crusading investigative dot-connecter uncovering dangerous, hidden conspiracies perpetrated by dangerous, hidden Cold War-style villains (Putin) to the point where her own life was endangered by her bravery. It was a sad joke, a depressing spectacle of psycho-drama, but one that could have had grave consequences for the person she voluntarily ratted out to the FBI. Whatever else is true, this episode inflicted grave damage on American journalism by having mainstream, Russia-obsessed journalists not denounce her for her egregious violation of journalistic ethics but celebrate her for turning journalism on its head.
Why? Because, as Smith said in his Farrow article, she was "swim[ing] ably along with the tides of social media and produc[ing] damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices" and thus "the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness [were] more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives." Margaret Sullivan, the former New York Times public editor and now the Washington Post's otherwise reliably commendable media reporter, celebrated Wheeler's bizarre behavior under the headline: "A journalist's conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI."
Despite acknowledging that "in their reporting, journalists talk to criminals all the time and don't turn them in" and that "it's pretty much an inviolable rule of journalism: Protect your sources," Sullivan heralded Wheeler's ethically repugnant and journalism-eroding violation of those principles. "It's not hard to see that her decision was a careful and principled one," Sullivan proclaimed.
She even endorsed Wheeler's cringe-inducing, self-glorifying claims about her life being endangered by invoking long-standard Cold War clichés about the treachery of the Russkies ("Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening."). The English language is insufficient to convey the madness required to believe that the Kremlin wanted to kill Marcy Wheeler because her blogging was getting Too Close to The Truth, but in the fevered swamps of resistance journalism, literally no claim was too unhinged to be embraced provided that it fed the social media #Resistance masses.
Sullivan's article quoted no critics of Wheeler's incredibly controversial behavior -- no need to: She was on the right side of social media reaction. And Sullivan never bothered to return to wonder why her prediction -- "Wheeler hasn't named the source publicly, though his name may soon be known to all who are following the Mueller investigation" -- never materialized. Both CNN and, incredibly, the Columbia Journalism Review published similarly sympathetic accounts of Wheeler's desperate attempts to turn over her source to the FBI and then cosplay as though she were some sort of insider in the Mueller investigation. The most menacing attribute of what Smith calls "Resistance Journalism" is that it permits and tolerates no dissent and questioning: perhaps the single most destructive path journalism can take. It has been well-documented that MSNBC and CNN spent three years peddling all sorts of ultimately discredited Russiagate conspiracy theories by excluding from their airwaves anyone who dissented from or even questioned those conspiracies. Instead, they relied upon an increasingly homogenized army of former security state agents from the CIA, FBI, and NSA to propound, in unison, all sorts of claims about Trump and Russia that turned out to be false, and peppered their panels of "analysts" with journalists whose career skyrocketed exclusively by pushing maximalist Russiagate claims, often by relying on the same intelligence officials these cable outlets sat them next to.This trend -- whereby diversity of opinion and dissent from orthodoxies are excluded from media discourse -- is worsening rapidly due to two major factors. The first is that cable news programs are constructed to feed their audiences only self-affirming narratives that vindicate partisan loyalties. One liberal cable host told me that they receive ratings not for each show but for each segment , and they can see the ratings drop off -- the remotes clicking away -- if they put on the air anyone who criticizes the party to which that outlet is devoted (Democrats in the case of MSNBC and CNN, the GOP in the case of Fox).
That NBC & MSNBC hired as a "news analyst" John Brennan - who ran the CIA when the Trump/Russia investigation began & was a key player in the news he was shaping as a paid colleague of their reporters - is a huge ethical breach. And it produced this: pic.twitter.com/nPlaq5YVxf-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 2, 2019
But there's another more recent and probably more dissent-quashing development: the disappearance of media jobs. Mass layoffs were already common in online journalism and local newspapers prior to the coronavirus pandemic , and have now turned into an industrywide massacre . With young journalists watching jobs disappearing en masse, the last thing they are going to want to do is question or challenge prevailing orthodoxies within their news outlet or, using Smith's "Resistance Journalism" formulation, to "swim against the tides of social media" or question the evidence amassed against those "most disliked by the loudest voices."
Affirming those orthodoxies can be career-promoting, while questioning them can be job-destroying. Consider the powerful incentives journalists face in an industry where jobs are disappearing so rapidly one can barely keep count. During Russiagate, I often heard from young journalists at large media outlets who expressed varying degrees of support for and agreement with the skepticism which I and a handful of other journalists were expressing, but they felt constrained to do so themselves, for good reason. They watched the reprisals and shunning doled out even to journalists with a long record of journalistic accomplishments and job security for the crime of Russiagate skepticism, such as Taibbi (similar to the way MSNBC fired Phil Donahue in 2002 for opposing the invasion of Iraq), and they know journalists with less stature and security than Taibbi could not risk incurring that collective wrath.
All professions and institutions suffer when a herd, groupthink mentality and the banning of dissent prevail. But few activities are corroded from such a pathology more than journalism is, which has as its core function skepticism and questioning of pieties. Journalism quickly transforms into a sickly, limp version of itself when it itself wages war on the virtues of dissent and airing a wide range of perspectives.
I do not know how valid are Smith's critiques of Farrow's journalism. But what I know for certain is that Smith's broader diagnosis of "Resistance Journalism" is dead-on, and the harms it is causing are deep and enduring. When journalists know they will thrive by affirming pleasing falsehoods, and suffer when they insist on unpopular truths, journalism not only loses its societal value but becomes just another instrument for societal manipulation, deceit, and coercion.
Jan 20, 2019 | theintercept.comBuzzFeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles," but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."
But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.
Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)
On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false:
C-SPAN Confirms It Was Briefly Hacked by Russian News Site https://t.co/NUFD662FMz pic.twitter.com/POstGFzvNE-- Fortune Tech (@FortuneTech) January 12, 2017
Kremlin-funded Russian news network RT interrupted C-SPAN's online feed for about ten minutes Thursday afternoon https://t.co/Z25LqoCW2H-- New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 12, 2017
Holy shit. Russia state propaganda (RT) "hacked" into C-SPAN feed and took over for a good 40 seconds today? In middle of live broadcast. https://t.co/pwWYFoDGDU-- Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) January 12, 2017
RT America ominously takes over C-SPAN feed for ten minutes @tommyxtopher reviews today's events for #shareblue https://t.co/uiiU5awSMs-- Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 12, 20179. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)
After investigation, C-SPAN has concluded that the RT interruption was not the result of a hack, but rather routing error.-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 18, 2017
On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:
Breaking: Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont https://t.co/LED11lL7ej-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 31, 2016
NEW: "One of the world's leading thugs, [Putin] has been attempting to hack our electric grid," says VT Gov. Shumlin https://t.co/YgdtT4JrlX pic.twitter.com/AU0ZQjT3aO-- ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2016
https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ktNVW_TblI?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=18. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)
Washington Post retracts story about Russian hack at Vermont utility https://t.co/JX9l0926Uj via @nypost-- Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) January 1, 2017
On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."
Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):
Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q-- Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016
Just want to note I hadn't heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat "allies" https://t.co/jQKnWzjrBR-- Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) November 25, 20167. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)
Marty, I would like to more about PropOrNot, "experts" cited in the article. Their website provides little in the way of ID. https://t.co/ZiK8pKzUwx-- Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) November 25, 2016
On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network. 6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)
On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.
But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.
An @NBCNews exclusive: After more than a year of mystery, Russia is the main suspect in the sonic attacks that sickened 26 U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in Cuba. @MitchellReports has the latest. pic.twitter.com/NEI9PJ9CpD-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 11, 2018
Wow >> U.S. has signals intelligence linking the sonic attacks on Americans in Cuba and China to *Russia* https://t.co/FbNla0vu9W-- Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) September 11, 2018
Following NBC report about sonic attacks, @SenCoryGardner renews calls for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terror https://t.co/wrnubfecom-- Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) September 11, 2018
5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)
Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 20164. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)
It's time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia. https://t.co/D8oSmyVAR4 pic.twitter.com/07dRyEmPjX-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.
Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:
Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump's campaign, the Guardian has been told. https://t.co/Fc2BVmXipk-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2018
The sourcing on this is a bit thin, or at least obscured. But it's the ultimate Whoa If True. It's...ballgame if true.-- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2018
https://www.youtube.com/embed/4A2cuuRK2NU?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=73. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)
The Guardian reports that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the same month that Manafort joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, a meeting that could carry vast implications for the Russia investigation https://t.co/pYawnv4MHH-- Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 27, 2018
On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either: 2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)
BREAKING: President Trump personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 18, 2019
BOOM! https://t.co/QDkUMaEa7M pic.twitter.com/9kcZZ8m1gt-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) January 18, 2019
The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date. We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh-- Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019
If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.-- Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019
Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's about time for him to show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act. https://t.co/ekG5VSBS8G-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 18, 2019
UPDATE: A spokesperson for the special counsel is disputing BuzzFeed News' report. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn pic.twitter.com/GWWfGtyhaE-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 19, 2019
To those trying to parse the Mueller statement: it's a straight-up denial. Maybe Buzzfeed can prove they are right, maybe Mueller can prove them wrong. But it's an emphatic denial https://t.co/EI1J7XLCJe-- Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) January 19, 2019
. @Isikoff : "There were red flags about the BuzzFeed story from the get-go." Notes it was inconsistent with Cohen's guilty plea when he said he made false statements about Trump Tower to Congress to be "consistent" with Trump, not at his direction. pic.twitter.com/tgDg6SNPpG-- David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 19, 2019
We at The Post also had riffs on the story our reporters hadn't confirmed. One noted Fox downplayed it; another said it "if true, looks to be the most damning to date for Trump." The industry needs to think deeply on how to cover others' reporting we can't confirm independently. https://t.co/afzG5B8LAP-- Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) January 19, 2019
Washington Post says Mueller's denial of BuzzFeed News article is aimed at the full story: "Mueller's denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate."-- andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 19, 2019
If you're one of the people tempted to believe the self-evidently laughable claim that there's something "vague" or unclear about Mueller's statement, or that it just seeks to quibble with a few semantic trivialities, read this @WashPost story about this https://t.co/0io99LyATS pic.twitter.com/ca1TwPR3Og-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019
You can spend hours parsing the Carr statement, but given how unusual it is for any DOJ office to issue this sort of on the record denial, let alone this office, suspect it means the story's core contention that they have evidence Trump told Cohen to lie is fundamentally wrong.-- Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 19, 2019
New York Times throws a bit of cold water on BuzzFeed's explosive -- and now seriously challenged -- report that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: https://t.co/9N7MiHs7et pic.twitter.com/7FJFT9D8fW-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 19, 2019
I can't speak to Buzzfeed's sourcing, but, for what it's worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.-- Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 19, 20191. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)
FWIW in all our reporting I haven't found any in the Trump Org that have met with or been interviewed by Mueller. https://t.co/U4eV1MZc8p-- John Santucci (@Santucci) January 18, 2019
The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).
There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.
To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.
Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:
Knowingly soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes violates the Federal Election Campaign Act. If it's worth over $2,000 then penalties include fines & IMPRISONMENT. @DonaldJTrumpJr may be in bigly trouble. #FridayFeeling https://t.co/dRz6Ph17Er-- Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 8, 2017
boom https://t.co/9RPPltRq8k pic.twitter.com/eyYHkOMEPi-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 8, 2017
CNN is leading the way in bashing BuzzFeed but it's worth remembering CNN had a humiliation at least as big & bad: when they yelled that Trump Jr. had advanced access to the WL archive (!): all based on a wrong date. They removed all the segments from YouTube, but this remains: pic.twitter.com/0jiA50aIku-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019
- ABC News' Brian Ross is fired for reporting Trump told Flynn to make contact with Russians when he was still a candidate; in fact, Trump did that after he won.
- The New York Times claimed Manafort provided polling data to Russian oligarch Oleg Deripaska, a person "close to the Kremlin"; in fact, he provided them to Ukrainians, not Russians.
- Crowdstrike, the firm hired by the DNC, claimed they had evidence that Russia hacked Ukrainian artillery apps; they then retracted it .
- Bloomberg and the WSJ reported Mueller subpoenaed Deustche Bank for Trump's financial records; the NYT said that never happened .
- Rachel Maddow devoted 20 minutes at the start of her show to very melodramatically claiming a highly sophisticated party tried to trick her by sending her a fake Top Secret document modeled after the one published by the Intercept, and said it could only have come from the U.S. Government (or the Intercept) since the person obtained the document before it was published by us and thus must have had special access to it; in fact, Maddow and NBC completely misread the metadata on the document ; the fake sent to Maddow was created after we published the document, and was sent to her by a random member of the public who took the document from the Intercept's site and doctored it to see if she'd fall for an obvious scam. Maddow's entire timeline, on which her whole melodramatic conspiracy theory rested, was fictitious.
- The U.S. media and Democrats spent six months claiming that all "17 intelligence agencies" agreed Russia was behind the hacks; the NYT finally retracted that in June, 2017: "The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community."
- AP claimed on February 2, 2018, that the Free Beacon commissioned the Steele Dossier; they thereafter acknowledged that was false and noted, instead: "Though the former spy, Christopher Steele, was hired by a firm that was initially funded by the Washington Free Beacon, he did not begin work on the project until after Democratic groups had begun funding it."
- The national media have offered multiple, conflicting accounts of how and why the FBI investigation into Trump/Russia began.
- Widespread government and media claims that accused Russian agent Maria Butina offered "sex for favors" were totally false (and scurrilous).
- After a Russian regional jet crashed on February 11, 2018, shortly after it took off from Moscow, killing all 71 people aboard, Harvard Law Professor and frequent MSNBC contributor Laurence Tribe strongly implied Putin purposely caused the plane to go down in order to murder Sergei Millian, a person vaguely linked to George Papadopoulos and Jared Kushner; in fact, Millian was not on the plane nor, to date, has anyone claimed they had any evidence that Putin ordered his own country's civilian passenger jet brought down.
May 19, 2020 | www.oxfordscholarship.com
- (p.81) 5 Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump
- The Dark Double
- Andrei P. Tsygankov
- Oxford University Press
Abstract and Keywords
The chapter extends the argument about media and value conflict between Russia and the United States to the age of Donald Trump. The new value conflict is assessed as especially acute and exacerbated by the US partisan divide. The Russia issue became central because it reflected both political partisanship and the growing value division between Trump voters and the liberal establishment. In addition to explaining the new wave of American Russophobia, the chapter analyzes Russia's own role and motives. The media are likely to continue the ideological and largely negative coverage of Russia, especially if Washington and Moscow fail to develop a pragmatic form of cooperation.
Keywords: Russia, Trump, US elections, narrative of collusion, partisan divide
This chapter addresses the new development in the US media perception of the Russian threat following the election of Donald Trump as the United States' president. The election revealed that US national values could no longer be viewed as predominantly liberal and favoring the global promotion of democracy, as supported by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. During and after the election, the liberal media sought to present Moscow as not only favoring Trump but being responsible for his election and even ruling on behalf of the Kremlin. Those committed to a liberal worldview led the way in criticizing Russia and Putin for assaulting liberal democratic values globally and inside the United States. This chapter argues that the Russia issue became so central in the new internal divide because it reflects both political partisanship and the growing division between the values of Trump voters and those of the liberal establishment. The domestic political struggle has exacerbated the divide. Russia's otherness, again, has highlighted values of "freedom," seeking to preserve the confidence of the liberal self. (p.82)
The Narrative of Trump's "Collusion" with Russia
During the US presidential election campaign, American media developed yet another perception of Russia as reflected in the narrative of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. 1 Having originated in liberal media and building on the previous perceptions of neo-Soviet autocracy and foreign threat, the new perception of Russia was that of the enemy that won the war against the United States. By electing the Kremlin's favored candidate, America was defeated by Russia. As a CNN columnist wrote, "The Russians really are here, infiltrating every corner of the country, with the single goal of disrupting the American way of life." 2 The two assumptions behind the new media narrative were that Putin was an enemy and that Trump was compromised by Putin. The inevitable conclusion was that Trump could not be a patriot and potentially was a traitor prepared to act against US interests.
The new narrative was assisted by the fact that Trump presented a radically different perspective on Russia than Clinton and the US establishment. The American political class had been in agreement that Russia displayed an aggressive foreign policy seeking to destroy the US-centered international order. Influential politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, commonly referred to Russian president Putin as an extremely dangerous KGB spy with no soul. Instead, Trump saw Russia's international interests as not fundamentally different from America's. He advocated that the United States to find a way to align its policies and priorities in defeating terrorism in the Middle East -- a goal that Russia shared -- with the Kremlin's. Trump promised to form new alliances to "unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism" and to eradicate it "completely from the face of the Earth." 3 He hinted that he was prepared to revisit the thorny issues of Western sanctions against (p.83) the Russian economy and the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. Trump never commented on Russia's political system but expressed his admiration for Putin's leadership and high level of domestic support. 4
Capitalizing on the difference between Trump's views and those of the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, the liberal media referred to Trump as the Kremlin-compromised candidate. Commentators and columnists with the New York Times , such as Paul Krugman, referred to Trump as the "Siberian" candidate. 5 Commentators and pundits, including those with academic and political credentials, developed the theory that the United States was under attack. The former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, wrote in the Washington Post that Russia had attacked "our sovereignty" and continued to "watch us do nothing" because of the partisan divide. He compared the Kremlin's actions with Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and warned that Russia was likely to perform repeat assaults in 2018 and 2020. 6 The historian Timothy Snyder went further, comparing the election of Trump to a loss of war, which Snyder said was the basic aim of the enemy. Writing in the New York Daily News , he asserted, "We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump." 7
The election of Trump prompted the liberal media to discuss Russia-related fears. The leading theory was that Trump would now compromise America's interests and rule the country on behalf of Putin. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called for actions against Russia and praised "patriotic" Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for being tough on Trump. 8 MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked whether Trump was actually under Putin's control. Citing Trump's views and his associates' travel to Moscow, she told viewers, "We are also starting to see (p.84) what may be signs of continuing [Russian] influence in our country, not just during the campaign but during the administration -- basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation." 9 Another New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, published a column titled "There's a Smell of Treason in the Air," arguing that the FBI's investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's collusion "with a foreign power so as to win an election" was an investigation of whether such collusion "would amount to treason." 10 Responding to Trump's statement that his phone was tapped during the election campaign, the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum tweeted that "Trump's insane 'GCHQ tapped my phone' theory came from . . . Moscow." McFaul and many others then endorsed and retweeted the message. 11
To many within the US media, Trump's lack of interest in promoting global institutions and his publicly expressed doubts that the Kremlin was behind cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) served to exacerbate the problem. Several intelligence leaks to the press and investigations by Congress and the FBI contributed to the image of a president who was not motivated by US interests. The US intelligence report on Russia's alleged hacking of the US electoral system released on January 8, 2017, served to consolidate the image of Russia as an enemy. Leaks to the press have continued throughout Trump's presidency. Someone in the administration informed the press that Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in elections on March 18, 2018, despite Trump's advisers' warning against making such a call. 12
In the meantime, investigations of Trump's alleged "collusion" with Russia were failing to produce substantive evidence. Facts that some associates of Trump sought to meet or met with members of Russia's government did not lead to evidence of sustained contacts or collaboration. It was not proven that the Kremlin's "black dossier" on Trump compiled by British intelligence officer (p.85) Christopher Steele and leaked to CNN was truthful. Russian activity on American social networks such as Facebook and Twitter was not found to be conclusive in determining outcomes of the elections. 13 In February 2018, a year after launching investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the US 2016 presidential elections, yet their connection to Putin or Trump was not established. On March 12, 2018, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr stated that he had not yet seen any evidence of collusion. 14 Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the Russia investigation, announced the end of the committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election. 15
Trump was also not acting toward Russia in the way the US media expected. His views largely reflected those of the military and national security establishment and disappointed some of his supporters. 16 The US National Security Strategy and new Defense Strategy presented Russia as a leading security threat, alongside China, Iran, and North Korea. The president made it clear that he wanted to engage in tough bargaining with Russia by insisting on American terms. 17 Instead of improving ties with Russia, let alone acting on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump contributed to new crises in bilateral relations that had to do with the two sides' principally different perceptions. While the Kremlin expected Washington to normalize relations, the United States assumed Russia's weakness and expected it to comply with Washington's priorities regarding the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan and nuclear and cyber issues. 18 Trump also authorized the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in US history and ordered several missile strikes against Assad's Russia-supported positions in Syria, each time provoking a crisis in relations with Moscow. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Rachel Maddow suspected of being appointed on Putin's advice to "weaken" the State Department and "bleed out" (p.86) the FBI, 19 was replaced by John Bolton. The latter's foreign policy reputation was that of a hawk, including on Russia. 20
Responding to these developments, the media focused on fears of being attacked by the Kremlin and on Trump not doing enough to protect the country. These fears went beyond the alleged cyber interference in the US presidential elections and included infiltration of American media and social networks and attacks on congressional elections and the country's most sensitive infrastructure, such as electric grids, water-processing plants, banking networks, and transportation facilities. In order to prevent such developments, media commentators and editorial writers recommended additional pressures on the Kremlin and counteroffensive operations. 21 One commentator recommended, as the best defense from Russia's plans to interfere with another election in the United States, launching a cyberattack on Russia's own presidential elections in March 2018, to "disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin's regime." 22 A New York Times editorial summarized the mood by challenging President Trump to confront Russia further: "If Mr. Trump isn't Mr. Putin's lackey, it's past time for him to prove it." 23 The burden of proof was now on Trump's shoulders.
Opposition to the "Collusion" Narrative
In contrast to highly critical views of Russia in the dominant media, conservative, libertarian, and progressive sources offered different assessments. Initially, opposition to the collusion narrative came from the alternative media, yet gradually -- in response to scant evidence of Trump's collusion -- it incorporated voices within the mainstream.
The conservative media did not support the view that Russia "stole" elections and presented Trump as a patriot who wanted to make America great rather than develop "cozy" relationships with (p.87) the Kremlin. Writing in the American Interest , Walter Russell Mead argued that Trump aimed to demonstrate the United States' superiority by capitalizing on its military and technological advantages. He did not sound like a Russian mole. Challenging the liberal media, the author called for "an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press" and wrote that "if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama's." 24 Instead of viewing Trump as compromised by the Kremlin, sources such Breitbart and Fox News attributed the blame to the deep state, "the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats," including the intelligence agencies, that seeks to "derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency" by engaging in accusations and smear campaigns. 25
Echoing Trump's own views, some conservatives expressed their admiration for Putin as a dynamic leader superior to Obama. In particular, they praised Putin for his ability to defend Russia's "traditional values" and great-power status. 26 Neoconservative and paleoconservative publications like the National Review , the Weekly Standard, Human Events Online , and others critiqued Obama's "feckless foreign policy," characterized by "fruitless accommodationism," contrasting it with Putin's skilled and calculative geopolitical "game of chess." 27 A Washington Post / ABC News poll revealed that among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump's approach on Russia relative; 40% of all respondents approved. 28 This did not mean that conservatives and Republicans were "infiltrated" by the Kremlin. Mutual Russian and American conservative influences were limited and nonstructured. 29 The approval of Putin as a leader by American conservatives meant that they shared a certain commonality of ideas and were equally critical of liberal media and globalization. 30
Progressive and libertarian media also did not support the narrative of collusion. Gary Leupp at CounterPunch found the (p.88) narrative to be serving the purpose of reviving and even intensifying "Cold War-era Russophobia," with Russia being an "adversary" "only in that it opposes the expansion of NATO, especially to include Ukraine and Georgia." 31 Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com questioned the narrative by pointing to Russia's bellicose rhetoric in response to Trump's actions. 32 Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani at Intercept reminded readers that, overall, Trump proved to be far more confrontational toward Russia than Obama, thereby endangering America. 33 In particular Trump severed diplomatic ties with Russia, armed Ukraine, appointed anti-Russia hawks, such as ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michal Pompeo to key foreign policy positions, antagonized Russia's Iranian allies, and imposed tough sanctions against Russian business with ties to the Kremlin. 34
The dominant liberal media ignored opposing perspectives or presented them as compromised by Russia. For instance, in amplifying the view that Putin "stole" the elections, the Washington Post sought to discredit alternative sources of news and commentaries as infiltrated by the Kremlin's propaganda. On November 24, 2016, the newspaper published an interview with the executive director of a new website, PropOrNot, who preferred to remain anonymous, and claimed that the Russian government circulated pro-Trump articles before the election. Without providing evidence on explaining its methodology, the group identified more than two hundred websites that published or echoed Russian propaganda, including WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report , left-wing websites such as CounterPunch, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig , and Naked Capitalism , as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. 35 Another mainstream liberal outlet, CNN, warned the American people to be vigilant against the Kremlin's alleged efforts to spread propaganda: "Enormous numbers of (p.89) Americans are not only failing to fight back, they are also unwitting collaborators -- reading, retweeting, sharing and reacting to Russian propaganda and provocations every day." 36
However, voices of dissent were now heard even in the mainstream media. Masha Gessen of the New Yorker said that Trump's tweet about Robert Mueller's indictments and Moscow's "laughing its ass off" was "unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate." 37 She pointed out that Russians of all ideological convictions "are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous." 38 The editor of the influential Politico , Blake Hounshell, confessed that he was a Russiagate skeptic because even though "Trump was all too happy to collude with Putin," Mueller's team never found a "smoking gun." 39 In reviewing the book on Russia's role in the 2016 election Russian Roulette , veteran New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers noted that the Kremlin's meddling "simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns" and that the veracity of many accusations remained unclear. 40
The high-intensity Russophobia within the American media, overblown even by the standards of previous threat narratives, could no longer be explained by differences in national values or by bilateral tensions. The new fear of Russia also reflected domestic political polarization and growing national unease over America's identity and future direction.
The narrative of collusion in the media was symptomatic of America's declining confidence in its own values. Until the intervention in Iraq in 2004, optimism and a sense of confidence prevailed in American social attitudes, having survived even the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. The (p.90) country's economy was growing and its position in the world was not challenged. However, the disastrous war in Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and Russia's intervention in Georgia in August 2008 changed that. US leadership could no longer inspire the same respect, and a growing number of countries viewed it as a threat to world peace. 41 Internally, the United States was increasingly divided. Following presidential elections in November 2016, 77% of Americans perceived their country as "greatly divided on the most important values." 42 The value divide had been expressed in partisanship and political polarization long before the 2016 presidential elections. 43 The Russia issue deepened this divide. According to a poll taken in October 2017, 63% of Democrats, but just 38% of Republicans, viewed "Russia's power and influence" as a major threat to the well-being of the United States. 44
During the US 2016 presidential elections, Russia emerged as a convenient way to accentuate differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, which in previous elections were never as pronounced or defining. The new elections deepened the partisan divide because of extreme differences between the two main candidates, particularly on Russia. Donald Trump positioned himself as a radical populist promising to transform US foreign policy and "drain the swamp" in Washington. His position on Russia seemed unusual because, by election time, the Kremlin had challenged the United States' position in the world by annexing Crimea, supporting Ukrainian separatism, and possibly hacking the DNC site.
The Russian issue assisted Clinton in stressing her differences from Trump. Soon after it became known that DNC servers were hacked, she embraced the view that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. She accused Russia of "trying to wreak havoc" in the United States and threatened retaliation. 45 In his turn, Trump used Russia to challenge Clinton's commitment to national security (p.91) and ability to serve as commander in chief. In particular, he drew public attention to the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server for professional correspondence, and even noted sarcastically that the Russians should find thirty thousand missing emails belonging to her. The latter was interpreted by many in liberal media and political circles as a sign of Trump's being unpatriotic. 46 Clinton capitalized on this interpretation. She referred to the issue of hacking as the most important one throughout the campaign and challenged Trump to agree with assessments of intelligence agencies that cyberattacks were ordered by the Kremlin. She questioned Trump's commitments to US national security and accused him of being a "puppet" for President Putin. 47 Following Trump's victory, Clinton told donors that her loss should be partly attributed to Putin and the election hacks directed by him. 48
Clinton's arguments fitted with the overall narrative embraced by the mainstream media since roughly 2005 characterizing Russia as abusive and aggressive. Clinton viewed Russia as an oppressive autocratic power that was aggressive abroad to compensate for domestic weaknesses. Previously, in her book Hard Choices , then-secretary of state Clinton described Putin as "thin-skinned and autocratic, resenting criticism and eventually cracking down on dissent and debate." 49 This view was shared by President Obama, who publicly referred to Russia as a "regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness." 50 During the election's campaign, Clinton argued that the United States should challenge Russia by imposing a no-fly zone in Syria with the objective of removing Assad from power, strengthening sanctions against the Russian economy, and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the potential threat of Russia's military invasion.
Following the elections, the partisan divide deepened, with liberal establishment attacking the "unpatriotic" Trump. Having (p.92) lost the election, Clinton partly attributed Trump's victory to the role of Russia and advocated an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. In February 2017 the Clinton-influenced Center for American Progress brought on a former State Department official to run a new Moscow Project. 51 As acknowledged by the New Yorker , members of the Clinton inner circle believed that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed DNC hacking by the Kremlin. "We understand the bind they were in," one of Clinton's senior advisers said. "But what if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack . . .' A large majority of Americans would have sat up and taken notice . . . it is bewildering -- it is baffling -- it is hard to make sense of why this was not a five-alarm fire in the White House." 52
In addition to Clinton, many other members of the Washington establishment, including some Republicans, spread the narrative of Russia "attacking" America. Republican politicians who viewed Clinton's defeat and the hacking attacks in military terms included those of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, who stated, "When you attack a country, it's an act of war," 53 and former vice president Dick Cheney, who called Russia's alleged interference in the US election "a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin" that "in some quarters that would be considered an act of war." 54 A number of Democrats also engaged in the rhetoric of war, likening the Russian "attack," as Senator Ben Cardin did, to a "political Pearl Harbor." 55
Rumors and leaks, possibly by members of US intelligence agencies, 56 and activities of liberal groups that sought to discredit Trump contributed to the Russophobia. In addition to the DNC hacking accusations, many fears of Russia in the media were based on the assumption that contacts, let alone cooperation with the (p.93) Kremlin, was unpatriotic and implied potentially "compromising" behavior: praise of Putin as a leader, possible business dealings with Russian "oligarchs," and meetings with Russian officials such Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. 57
There were therefore two sides to the Russia story in the US liberal media -- rational and emotional. The rational side had to do with calculations by Clinton-affiliated circles and anti-Russian groups pooling their resources to undermine Trump and his plans to improve relations with Russia. Among others, these resources included dominance within the liberal media and leaks by the intelligence community. The emotional side was revealed by the liberal elites' values and ability to promote fears of Russia within the US political class and the general public. Popular emotions of fear and frustration with Russia already existed in the public space due to the old Cold War memories, as well as disturbing post–Cold War developments that included wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. In part because of these memories, factions such as those associated with Clinton were successful in evoking in the public liberal mind what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" or "the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy." 58 Mobilized by liberal media to pressure Trump, these emotions became an independent factor in the political struggle inside Washington. The public display of fear and frustration with Russia and Trump could only be sustained by a constant supply of new "suspicious" developments and intense discussion by the media.
Russia's Role and Motives
Russia's "attacking" America and Trump's "colluding" with the Kremlin remained poorly substantiated. Taken together, the DNC hacking, Trump's and Putin's mutual praise, and Trump associates' (p.94) contacts with Russian officials implied Kremlin infiltration of the United States' internal politics. Yet viewed separately, each was questionable and unproven. Some of these points could have also been made about Hillary Clinton, who had ties to Russian -- not to mention Saudi Arabian -- business circles and Ukrainian politicians. 59 Political views cannot be counted as evidence. Contacts with Russian officials could have been legitimate exchanges of views about two countries' interests and potential cooperation. Even the CIA- and the FBI-endorsed conclusion that Russia attacked the DNC servers was questioned by some observers on the grounds that forensic evidence was lacking and that it relied too much on findings by one cybersecurity company. 60 In general, discussion of Russia in the US media lacked nuances and a sense of proportion. As Jesse Walker, an editor at Reason magazine and author of The United States of Paranoia , pointed out,
There's a difference between thinking that Moscow may have hacked the Democratic National Committee and thinking that Moscow actually hacked the election, between thinking the president may have Russian conflicts of interest and thinking he's a Russian puppet . . . when someone like the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman declares that Putin "installed" Donald Trump as president, he's moving out of the realm of plausible plots and into the world of fantasy. Similarly, Clinton's warning that Trump could be Putin's "puppet" leaped from an imaginable idea, that Putin wanted to help her rival, to the much more dubious notion that Putin thought he could control the impulsive Trump. (Trump barely seems capable of controlling himself.) 61
The loose and politically tendentious nature of discussions, circulation of questionable leaks and dossiers complied by unidentified (p.95) individuals, and lack of serious evidence led a number of observers to conclude that the Russia story was more about stopping Trump than about Russia. The Russian scandal was symptomatic of the poisonous state of bilateral relations that Democrats exploited for the purpose of derailing Trump. US-Russia relations became a hostage of partisan domestic politics. As one liberal and tough critic of Putin wrote, Democratic lawmakers' rhetoric of war in connection with the 2016 elections "places Republicans -- who often characterize themselves as more hawkish on Russia and defense -- in a bind as they try to defend to the new administration's strategy towards Moscow." 62 Another observer noted that Russiagate performed "a critical function for Trump's political foes," allowing "them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative." 63
The described lack of confidence was reflected in the exaggerated fear that Russia was capable of destroying the West's values. However, Russia and Putin were neither omnipresent nor threatening to destroy the United States' political system. A number of analysts, such as Mark Schrad, identified fears of Russia as "increasingly hysterical fantasies" and argued that Russia was not a global menace. 64 If the Kremlin was indeed behind the cyberattacks, it was not for the reasons commonly broached. Rather than trying to subvert the US system, it sought to defend its own system against what it perceived as a US policy of changing regimes and meddling in Russia's internal affairs. The United States has a long history of covert activities in foreign countries. 65 Washington's establishment has never followed the advice given by prominent American statesmen such as George Kennan to let Russians "be Russians" and "work out their internal problems in their own manner." 66 Instead, the United States assumes that America defines the rules and boundaries of proper behavior in international politics, while others must simply follow the rules.
(p.96) Russia's basic motives remain defensive even when the Kremlin relies on assertive tactics. Russia's assertiveness, even in cyberspace, is of a reactive nature and is a response to US policies. Experts observe that Russia's conception of cyber and other informational power serves the overall purpose of protecting national sovereignty from encroachments by the United States. 67 Rather than fighting a full-scale information war with the West, Russia seeks to increase its status and strengthen its bargaining position in relations with the United States. 68 The Kremlin has been proposing to negotiate rules of cooperation in the cyber area since early in the twenty-first century. Motivated by an insistence on "cyber-sovereignty," Russia regularly proposes resolutions at the United Nations to prohibit "information aggression," In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly, Russia proposed an "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," stipulating that states subscribing to the code would pledge to "not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability." 69
Overall, what the Kremlin challenges is the United States' post–Cold War behavior that undermines Russia's status as a great power. Although Russia is not in a position to directly challenge the United States and the US-centered international order, the Kremlin hopes to gain external recognition as a great power by relying on low-cost methods and revealing the vulnerability of Western nations. Russia's capabilities and presence in global cyber and media space are limited, and the Kremlin is motivated by asymmetric deployment of its media, information, and cyber power.
May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
William Gruff , May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"
Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?
May 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Yhe president announced on Friday that he was firing Steve Linick, the State Department's Inspector General. One possible reason that Linick was removed may have been that he was conducting an investigation into the bogus emergency declaration that the administration used to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year:
House Democrats have discovered that the fired IG had mostly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's widely criticized decision to skirt Congress with an emergency declaration to approve billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, aides on the Foreign Affairs Committee tell me.
"I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick's firing," Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement sent to me. "His office was investigating -- at my request -- Trump's phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia."
If Linick was investigating the bogus emergency declaration, he would have come across reporting that showed how a former Raytheon lobbyist serving at the department was instrumental in pushing through the plan to expedite arms sales that benefited his old employer. He would have discovered that there was no genuine emergency that justified going around Congress. Once his investigation was concluded, it would have found that the emergency declaration was made in bad faith and that the law was abused so that the administration could proceed with arms sales that Congress opposed.
Another reason for the firing was to protect Mike Pompeo from an investigation into the Secretary's abuses of government resources for personal purposes:
The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands and chores such as handling dry cleaning, walking the family dog and making restaurant reservations, said a congressional official familiar with the matter.
The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a statement immediately on Friday objecting to Linick's firing and suggesting that it might be an illegal act of retaliation. There will now be a Congressional investigation into the circumstances surrounding Linick's firing. If Trump hoped to reduce the scrutiny on Pompeo by getting rid of Linick, he will be disappointed. It remains to be seen how much of a price Pompeo will pay for this, but the price is likely higher now than it would have been if he hadn't pushed for removing the inspector general.
Pompeo reportedly recommended Linick's removal. This is not the first time that Pompeo has been accused of misusing government resources. There was a report last summer that a whistleblower alleged that Pompeo and his wife were using Diplomatic Security agents as their personal errand boys:
Democrats on a key House congressional committee are investigating allegations from a whistleblower within the State Department about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his family's use of taxpayer-funded Diplomatic Security -- prompting agents to lament they are at times viewed as "UberEats with guns".
Congressional investigators, who asked for the committee not to be named as they carry out their inquiries, tell CNN that a State Department whistleblower has raised multiple issues over a period of months, about special agents being asked to carry out some questionable tasks for the Pompeo family.
Pompeo has also repeatedly used government resources for domestic travel that seems to have more to do with advancing the Secretary's political ambitions in Kansas. There has been widespread speculation that he has used official trips in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a possible Senate campaign . If so, it would be a flagrant violation of the Hatch Act. That prompted a call for a special counsel investigation into Pompeo's travel. If Pompeo and his wife have been using a political appointee as a gofer, that would be more of the same abusive behavior.
Linick has previously clashed with other Trump administration officials at State. Last year, he released a damning report on Brian Hook over his treatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iranian-American official who was apparently targeted for political retaliation because of her policy views and ethnic background. The fired inspector general was well-respected at the department, and his firing at Pompeo's urging will likely cause further demoralization at a department that has already been run into the ground under the Secretary's dismal leadership.
The Secretary of State seems to think that government funds and personnel are at his disposal for his personal errands and political activities. Linick was doing exactly what an inspector general is supposed to be doing by investigating the allegations against him, and then he was conveniently fired on Pompeo's recommendation. You could hardly ask for a more straightforward case of a corrupt official using his influence to remove the person responsible for scrutinizing his conduct. If Linick was also fired because he was in the process of exposing the administration's dishonest push for more arms sales to the Saudi coalition, that makes his removal all the more outrageous and sinister.
JMWB • an hour agoMike Pompeo is a Tea Party darling. The Tea Party's motto should be : Austerity, fiscal responsibility, and integrity for Thee, but not for Me.Feral Finster JMWB • 33 minutes agoMike Pompeo's idea of austerity is only a double order of french fries.
May 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Dr Anon 36 minutes agomtumba, 29 minutes ago
Another woman who should be at home taking care of her husband, home and children.rockstone, 44 minutes ago
What the **** do you have against husbands and children?
She closes by defiantly claiming "I wasn't silenced in 2017, and I won't be silenced now."
By all means Evelyn, keep talking. Especially after your lawyers tell you to shut up.
May 18, 2020 | www.unz.com
A POWERFUL NETWORK OF POLITICAL OPERATIVES, A GLOBAL VACCINE MAFIA AND THEIR MAN IN WASHINGTON.
Last Friday, a group of Democratic Senators " demanded " that the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) Robert Kadlec, "accurately disclose all his personal, financial and political ties in light of new reporting that he had failed to do so previously" after it was revealed that he had failed to note all "potential conflicts of interest" on his nomination paperwork.
The report in question, published last Monday by The Washington Post , detailed the ties of Kadlec to a man named Fuad El-Hibri, the founder of a "life sciences" company first known as BioPort and now called Emergent Biosolutions. Kadlec had previously disclosed his ties to El-Hibri and Emergent Biosolutions for a separate nomination years prior, but had failed to do so when nominated to head ASPR.
Though The Post does note Kadlec's recent failure to disclose these connections, the article largely sanitizes Kadlec's earlier yet crucial history and even obfuscates the full extent of his ties to the BioPort founder, among other glaring omissions. In reality, Kadlec has much more than his ties to El-Hibri looming large as "potential conflict of interests," as his decades-long career in shaping U.S. "biodefense" policy was directly enabled by his deep ties to intelligence, Big Pharma, the Pentagon and a host of corrupt yet powerful characters.
Thanks to a long and deliberate process to introduce biodefense policy, driven by Robert Kadlec and his sponsors, $7 billion dollars-worth of federally-owned vaccines, antidotes and medicines held in strategically arranged repositories across the country in case of a health emergency are now in the hands of one single individual. Those repositories, which compose the Strategic National Stockpile (SNS), are the exclusive domain of HHS' ASPR, a post created under Kadlec's watchful eye and tailored over the years to meet his very specific requirements.
From this perch, Robert Kadlec has final say on where the stockpile's contents are sourced, as well as how, when and where they are deployed. He is the sole source procurer of medical material and pharmaceuticals, making him the best friend of Big Pharma and other healthcare industry giants who have been in his ear every step of the way.
Kadlec assures us, however, that the fact that he now holds the very office he worked so long to create is merely a coincidence. "My participation in the ASPR project began at that time when I was working for the chairman of the Subcommittee on Bioterrorism and Public Health Preparedness The bill was made law and the ASPR was created. It just was a coincidence that, 12 or 14 years later, I was asked to become the ASPR," Kadlec stated in 2018.
It was all a random twist of fate, Kadlec asserts, that saw him occupy ASPR at this crucial moment in U.S. history. Indeed, with the country now in the middle of a WHO-declared coronavirus pandemic, Kadlec now has full control over the far-reaching "emergency" powers of that very office, bestowed upon him by the very law that he had written.
The story of how a former USAF flight surgeon came to have the exclusive dealer license over the single biggest stash of drugs in the history of the world is as disturbing as it is significant in light of current events, particularly given that Kadlec now leads the coronavirus response for all of HHS. Yet, Kadlec's rise to power is not a case of an evil mastermind conquering a uniquely vulnerable point of the nation's resources. Instead, it is a case of a man deeply enmeshed in the world of intelligence, military intelligence and corporate corruption dutifully fulfilling the vision of his friends in high places and behind closed doors.
In this third installment of " Engineering Contagion: Amerithrax, Coronavirus and the Rise of the Biotech-Industrial Complex ," Kadlec is shown to hail from a tight-knit group of "bioterror alarmists" in government and the private sector who gained prominence thanks to their penchant for imagining the most horrific, yet fictitious scenarios that inspired fear among Presidents, top politicians and the American public. Among those fictitious scenarios was the "Dark Winter" exercise discussed in Part I .
Some of these alarmists, among them "cold warriors" from Fort Detrick's days of openly developing offensive weapons, would engage in unsettling anthrax experiments and studies while developing suspect ties in 2000 to a company called BioPort. As noted in Part II of this series, BioPort stood to lose everything in early September 2001 due to controversy over its anthrax vaccine. Of course, the 2001 anthrax attacks that followed shortly thereafter would change everything, not just for BioPort, but U.S. biodefense policy. With the stage set, Kadlec would quickly spring into action, guiding major policy changes on the heels of subsequent major events and disasters, culminating in his crowning as King of the stockpile.
THE ACCIDENTAL MADMAN
Robert Kadlec describes himself as having been an "accidental tourist" regarding his introduction to biological warfare. An Air Force physician who had specialized in tropical diseases, Kadlec would later say his interest in the field began when he was assigned to be a special assistant for Chemical and Biological Warfare to the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), advising then-head of Special Operations Command Maj. Gen. Wayne Downing, on the eve of the first Gulf War.
Kadlec would later state that he had witnessed firsthand how the military, immediately prior to the Gulf War, had "lacked the necessary protective equipment, detectors, and medical countermeasures including vaccines and antibiotics against the immediate threats posed by Iraq," allegedly prompting him to want to better U.S. biodefense efforts.
While holding this post at JSOC, Kadlec was privy to the advice of William C. Patrick III , a veteran of the U.S.' bioweapons program who had developed the U.S.' method for weaponizing anthrax and held no less than five classified patents related to the toxin's use in warfare. Patrick, who had left government service in 1986 to become a consultant, advised the Pentagon -- then headed by Dick Cheney -- that the risk of a biological weapons attack by Iraq, particularly anthrax, was high. Patrick's warning prompted the U.S. military to vaccinate tens of thousands of its troops using the controversial anthrax vaccine "anthrax vaccine adsorbed (AVA)." Kadlec would personally inject AVA into around 800 members of the U.S. Armed Forces.
Kadlec would later note in Congressional testimony that no definitive proof of an alleged Iraqi biological weapons program was found during the war or afterwards, but nevertheless claimed elsewhere that "the Iraqis later admitted they had procured large quantities of a biological agents-anthrax and botulism toxin," suggesting that Patrick's warnings had had some basis in reality.
However, Kadlec failed to point out that these anthrax and botulism samples had been sold, with the U.S. government's full approval, to Iraq's Ministry of Education by a U.S. private non-profit called the American Type Culture Collection. Donald Rumsfeld, who was then an envoy for the Reagan administration and running a pharmaceutical company later sold to Monsanto, would also be involved in the shipment of these samples to Iraq.
Following the war, American microbiologist Joshua Lederberg was tasked by the Pentagon to head the investigation into "Gulf War Syndrome," a phenomenon that studies later linked to the adverse effects of the anthrax vaccine. Lederberg's task force argued that evidence regarding an association between the symptomology and the anthrax vaccine was insufficient. However, he would later come under fire after it was reported that he sat on the board of the American Type Culture Collection, the very company that had shipped anthrax to Iraq's government between 1985 and 1989 with the U.S. government's blessing. Lederberg later admitted that the investigation he led had not spent enough "time and effort digging out the details". The taskforce's findings were later harshly criticized by the Government Accountability Office.
Dr. Lederberg would prove to be an early, if not seminal, influence on Robert Kadlec's outlook regarding the subject of biowarfare. The Nobel Laureate and long-time president of Rockefeller University was one of the fathers of bioterror alarmism in the United States, alongside William C. Patrick III and other members of a tight-knit group of "cold warrior" microbiologists. Kadlec and Lederberg would go on to collaborate on several books and policy studies throughout the late 1990s and into 2001.
Years later, at a Congressional hearing, Kadlec would say that Lederberg's words "resonate constantly with me and serve as a practical warning." Aside from Lederberg, Kadlec was also writing numerous books and articles with Randall Larsen, who would later hire the Medical doctor to teach "military strategy and operations" at the National War College, where Larsen's close friend William C. Patrick III also taught .
A POISONED OASIS
Many of Kadlec's bioterror ravings have been preserved in 25-year old textbooks, like a U.S. Air War College textbook entitled " Battlefield of the Future " where Kadlec calls on the government to create a massive stockpile of drugs and vaccines to protect the population from a biological weapons attack, particularly anthrax or smallpox. In one chapter, Kadlec argued that stockpiles of necessary antibiotics, immunoglobulins and vaccines would have to be procured, maintained, and be readily available to administer within hours."
Kadlec's views on the matter at the time of writing were greatly influenced by his first tour as a UNSCOM weapons inspector in Iraq in 1994, where he was accompanied by William Patrick, among others. Kadlec would later return to Iraq in the same capacity in 1996 and 1998 in search of Iraq's alleged stores of weaponized anthrax that Patrick had been so sure were there, but had never materialized.
After three visits, Kadlec would later confess that, despite what Kadlec called "the most intrusive inspection and monitoring regime ever conceived and implemented" by the UN, the UNSCOM weapons inspectors, including himself and William Patrick, "failed to uncover any irrefutable evidence of an offensive BW program." Kadlec would later return to Iraq on two separate occasions following the 2003 U.S. invasion of country, again finding no proof of the program's existence.
By 1995, Kadlec was already imbued with the bioweapons alarmism that had been championed by Lederberg and Patrick. That year, he fleshed out several "illustrative scenarios" regarding the use of "biological economic warfare" against the United States. One of these fictional scenarios, titled "Corn Terrorism," involves China planning "an act of agricultural terrorism" by clandestinely spraying corn seed blight over the Midwest using commercial airliners. The result of the "Corn Terrorism" scenario is that "China gains significant corn market share and tens of billions [of] dollars of additional profits from their crop," while the U.S. sees its corn crop obliterated, causing food prices to rise and the U.S. to import corn. Another scenario, entitled "That's a 'Lousy' Wine," involves "disgruntled European winemakers" covertly releasing grape lice they have hidden in cans of patι to target California wine producers.
Around this same time, in 1994, the relatively young Congressional Office of Technology Assessment or OTA , which informed policy decisions around questions of technological and scientific complexity on matters of national security, was cut by the new Republican majority that took both houses in the pivotal 1994 midterms elections. At the time of its defunding, Lederberg sat on the OTA's Technology Assessment Advisory Council (OTA-TAAC), along with pharma industry insiders from Bristol-Myers Squibb, Lilly Research Labs and pre-merger Smith-Kline, and chaired one of its last study panels.
In OTA's place, an independent, non-profit entity called The Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS) was co-founded by Special Consultant to President H.W. Bush's Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board (PFIAB) and a former CIA program monitor, Michael S. Swetnam, who was reportedly " tasked with profiling Osama Bin Laden before the September 11th attacks were enacted ."
The defunding of the OTA and subsequent creation of PIPS transferred policy-making on what are, perhaps, the most sensitive issues of national security away from Congress and into a private foundation teeming with operators from the vast underbelly of the military industrial complex (MIC). Former military officers, DARPA scientists , NASA policy experts, FBI agents, CIA operatives and defense contractors like Northrop Grumman can all be found on their member rolls and in their boardrooms.
PIPS and its sponsors would shadow Robert Kadlec's career in government from the very beginning and remain in close proximity to him today. One PIPS-linked individual would work particularly closely with Kadlec, Tevi Troy a senior fellow at PIPS and an adjunct fellow at the much more polished Hudson Institute, itself a major funder of PIPS. Troy has long been integral in shaping Kadlec's biodefense policy agenda, which would remain conspicuously static and unchanging throughout the career he was just beginning.
By 1996, talks had begun within military leadership regarding what would become the Pentagon's mandatory anthrax vaccination program, a policy tirelessly promoted by Joshua Lederberg, who was involved in "investigating" the links between the anthrax vaccine and Gulf War Syndrome. The private talks took place in parallel with a public push to bring biological warfare to the forefront of American public consciousness. One particularly egregious example occurred when then-Secretary of Defense William Cohen went on ABC News with a five-pound bag of sugar, stating that "this amount of anthrax could be spread over a city -- let's say the size of Washington. It would destroy at least half the population of that city."
At the same time, Joshua Lederberg was also advocating for the stockpiling of a smallpox vaccine, which the U.S. military also took to heart, giving a company called DynPort an exclusive multi-million dollar contract to produce a new smallpox vaccine in 1997. Soon after, BioPort, DynPort's sister company , was formed and would soon come to monopolize the production of that vaccine.
By the time BioPort (now known as Emergent Biosolutions) had controversially gained control over this lucrative Pentagon contract in 1998, then-President Bill Clinton was publicly warning that the U.S. must "confront the new hazards of biological and chemical weapons," adding that Saddam Hussein specifically was "developing nuclear, chemical and biological weapons and the missiles to deliver them." However, there was no intelligence to back up these claims, especially after the failed attempts by weapon inspectors, like Robert Kadlec and William Patrick, to find any evidence of an Iraqi biological weapons program.
Despite the lack of evidence regarding Iraq's alleged "WMD" programs, Clinton's concern over a biological weapons threat was said to have been the result of his reading of "The Cobra Event", a novel about how a genetically-modified pathogen called "brainpox" ravages New York City. The novel's author, Richard Preston, had been advised on biowarfare and genetically-modified pathogens by none other than William Patrick. Patrick, then an adviser to the CIA, FBI and military intelligence, also participated in closed door meetings with Clinton on biological weapons, claiming that their use was inevitable and that the deadliest of pathogens could easily be made in a "terrorist's garage."
It is also likely that Clinton's alarmism over biological and chemical weapons had been informed, in part, by a roundtable hosted at the White House on April 10, 1998. This " White House Roundtable on Genetic Engineering and Biological Weapons ," included a group of "outside experts" spear-headed by Joshua Lederberg and included several other bioterror alarmists, such as: Jerome Hauer, then-serving as Director of New York City's Office of Emergency Management (who also was advised by William Patrick III) and Thomas Monath, a vaccine industry executive and chief science advisor to CIA director George Tenet.
Discussed in-depth at the roundtable were "both the opportunities and the national security challenges posed by genetic engineering and biotechnology" as well as "classified material relating to threat assessments and how the United States responds to particular scenarios."
Robert Kadlec, despite being a Republican, remains very fond of Bill Clinton, perhaps because the former president was so attentive to the dire predictions of the "biodefense experts" who shadowed Kadlec's own career. Kadlec credits the former president with doing a "lot of good things" and making important contributions to the advancement of the biotech industrial complex's policy agenda.
Clinton would issue several executive orders and Presidential Decision Directives (PDDs) during this period, such as PDD-62, which specifically addressed preparations for a "WMD" attack on the U.S. and called for the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), then-led by Donna Shalala, to lead the national response to a WMD attack. Fortuitously for Kadlec, PDD-62 also called for the construction of a national stockpile of vaccines, antibiotics and other medical supplies.
At the time, Kadlec was already evangelizing the public about a seemingly imminent, doomsday anthrax attack he was certain would strike at any second. As quoted in a 1998 article from the Vancouver Sun , Kadlec speculated:
"If several kilograms of an agent like anthrax were disseminated in New York City today, conservative estimates put the number [of] deaths occurring in the first few days at 400,000. Thousands of others would be at risk of dying within several days if proper antibiotics and vaccination were not started immediately. Millions of others would be fearful of being exposed and seek or demand medical care as well. Beyond the immediate health implications of such an act, the potential panic and civil unrest would create an equally large response."
Kadlec's doomsday speculations about biological weapons attacks had caught the attention of Randall Larsen, the then-director of the National War College's Department of Military Strategy and Operations, who hired Kadlec because he "had become convinced that the most serious threat to national security was not Russian or Chinese missiles, but a pandemic either man-made or naturally occurring." Soon after, Kadlec and Larsen would collaborate closely , co-authoring several studies together.
Meanwhile, their colleague at the National War College, William Patrick III was simultaneously working for the U.S. military and intelligence contractor, the Battelle Memorial Institute, where he was secretly developing a genetically-modified, more potent form of anthrax for a classified Pentagon program.
THE BIOTERROR INTELLIGENTSIA
A year after hiring Robert Kadlec to teach at the National War College, Randall Larsen was also involved in the creation of a new organization called the ANSER Institute for Homeland Security (ANSER-IHS), and served as its director. This Institute for Homeland Security, first initiated and funded in October 1999, was an extension of the ANSER Institute, which itself had been spun off from the RAND Corporation in the late 1950s. The RAND Corporation is a national security-focused "think tank" with long-standing ties to the Ford and Rockefeller Foundations and the Carnegie Corporation.
ANSER's expansion through ANSER-IHS was foreshadowed by the entry of "homeland defense" into popular political discourse within the Washington Beltway. The term is alleged to have first originated from a National Defense Panel report submitted in 1997 and is credited to Defense Panel member and former CIA officer with ties to the agency's Phoenix program, Richard Armitage. Armitage was part of the group known as the " Vulcans ," who advised George W. Bush on foreign policy matters prior to the 2000 presidential election.
As journalist Margie Burns pointed out in a 2002 article , the need for "homeland defense" as a major focus of U.S. government policy, including the push to create a new "homeland security" agency, was dramatically amplified following its alleged coining by Armitage in 1997. This was thanks, in part, to a web of media outlets owned by South Korean cult leader and CIA asset Sun Myong Moon, including the Washington Times, Insight Magazine and UPI , all of which published numerous articles penned by ANSER analysts or that heavily cited ANSER reports and employees regarding the need for a greatly expanded "homeland security" apparatus.
One such article, published by Insight Magazine in May 2001 and entitled " Preparing for the Next Pearl Harbor ," heavily cites ANSER and its Institute for Homeland Security as being among "the nation's top experts" in warning that a terrorist attack on the U.S. mainland was imminent. It also stated that "the first responders on tomorrow's battlefield won't be soldiers, but city ambulance workers and small-town firefighters."
ANSER-IHS was created at the behest of ANSER's CEO , Dr. Ruth David, who became ANSER's top executive after leaving a lengthy career at the CIA, where she had served as the agency's Deputy Director for Science and Technology. On ANSER-IHS's board at the time, alongside David, were Joshua Lederberg and Dr. Tara O'Toole, then-director of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-defense Studies who would later co-write the Dark Winter exercise .
Though first created in 1999, ANSER-IHS did not officially launch until April 2001. That same month, Robert Kadlec, at the National War College, sponsored the paper " A Micro-threat with Macro-Impact: The Bio-Threat and the Need for a National Bio-Defense Security Strategy ." That paper starts by citing several former CIA officials as well as Dr. O'Toole (who now works for the CIA's venture capital arm, In-Q-Tel) as proof that a bioterrorist attack is "perhaps the greatest threat the U.S. faces in the next century" and that such an attack would inevitably target "Americans on American soil."
This Kadlec-sponsored report also called for the creation of the National Homeland Security Agency (NHSA), the framework for which was contained in H.R. 1158, introduced a month prior in March 2001. The paper urged that the creation of this new cabinet-level agency be enacted "quickly, so the resulting single executive agent (identified from here on as the NHSA) can begin its critical work." It also argued that this agency include "a deputy director position specifically responsible for preparing and responding to a bio-attack."
Other measures recommended in the paper included greatly expanding the national defense stockpile; creating a national disease reporting system; and the creation of real-time, automated bio-threat detectors. The latter would be initiated soon after the publication of this paper, resulting in the controversial Biological Aerosol Sentry and Information Systems (BASIS). BASIS was discussed in Part I of this series, particularly its role in "induc[ing] the very panic and social disruption it is intended to thwart" during and after the 2001 anthrax attacks that would occur months later. BASIS was developed largely by Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, whose national security fellow former Defense Threat Reduction Agency (DTRA) director Jay Davis, was then-chairman of ANSER's board of directors.
Also notable is the fact that Kadlec's April 2001 report cites the largely discredited yet still influential Ken Alibek on several occasions, including his allegation that anyone with internet access and a few bucks could produce and unleash weapons-grade anthrax with ease. Some of the nation's top anthrax experts would discredit this claim, with the exception of William C. Patrick III.
This is likely because it was Patrick who had been asked by the CIA to "vet" Alibek after he had first defected from the Soviet Union 1992, making Patrick responsible for determining the credibility of Alibek's controversial claims, including his incorrect assertions that Saddam Hussein had overseen a massive biological weapons program. Regarding their meeting, Patrick would later say "I won't say we fell in love, but we gained an immediate respect for one another."
At the time of Alibek's defection, Robert Kadlec who had been assigned to the Pentagon's Office of the Secretary of Defense for Counter-proliferation policy after the Gulf War would later recall during 2014 Congressional testimony having "witnessed the efforts to ascertain the truth behind the former Soviet Union's BW [biological weapons] effort" that had intimately involved Alibek and Patrick. Kadlec would also note that "the fate of these agents [related to the Soviet Union's BW program] and associated weapons," including those described by Alibek, "was never satisfactorily resolved."
Alibek's shocking yet dubious claims were often used and promoted by Joshua Lederberg (who had debriefed other Soviet bioweapons researchers after their defections), Patrick and others to support their favored "biodefense" policies as well as the need for "defensive" bioweapons research, including clandestine efforts to genetically-engineer anthrax on which Patrick and Alibek would later collaborate.
SETTING THE WHEELS IN MOTION
Just a few months before ANSER-IHS' "official" launch, another organization with a related focus was launched -- the Nuclear Threat Initiative (NTI). Created by media mogul Ted Turner and former Senator Sam Nunn in January 2001, NTI aimed not only to "reduce the threat" posed by nuclear weapons, but also chemical and biological weapons.
In announcing NTI's formation on CNN , the network Turner had founded, Nunn stated that while "nuclear weapons pose the gigantic danger, but biological and chemical weapons are the most likely to be used. And there are thousands of scientists in the former Soviet Union that know how to make these weapons, including chemical, biological and nuclear, but don't know how to feed their families." Nunn continued, stating that NTI hoped "to begin to help, some hope for gainful employment for people that we don't want to end up making chemical and biological and nuclear weapons in other parts of the world." NTI's mission in this regard likely came as welcome news to Joshua Lederberg, who had long advocated that the U.S. offer employment to bioweapons researchers from the former Soviet Union to prevent their employ by "rogue regimes."
Alongside Nunn and Tuner on NTI's board was William Perry, a former Secretary of Defense; former Senator Dick Lugar, for whom the alleged U.S. bioweapons lab in Georgia is named; and Margaret Hamburg, who was NTI's Vice President overseeing its work on biological weapons. Margaret Hamburg's father, David Hamburg, a long-time president of the Carnegie Corporation, was also an advisor and "distinguished fellow" at NTI. David Hamburg was a longtime close advisor , associate , and friend of Joshua Lederberg.
Both Sam Nunn and Margaret Hamburg of NTI, as well as top officials from ANSER, would come together in June 2001 to participate in an exercise simulating a bioweapons attack called "Dark Winter." Nunn would play the role of president in the exercise and Hamburg played the head of HHS in the fictional scenario. Jerome Hauer, then-managing director of the intelligence-linked outfit Kroll Inc. and a Vice President at the military-intelligence contractor Scientific Applications International Corporation (SAIC), played the head of FEMA.
The Dark Winter exercise itself was largely written by Tara O'Toole (ANSER-IHS board member) and Thomas Inglesby of the Johns Hopkins Center for Civilian Bio-defense Studies as well as Randall Larsen of ANSER-IHS. Robert Kadlec also participated in the creation of the script and appears in the fictional, scripted news clips used in the exercise.
As detailed in Part I of this series, the Dark Winter exercise eerily predicted many aspects of what would follow just months later during the 2001 anthrax attacks, including predictions that threatening letters would be sent to members of the press with the promise of biological weapons attacks involving anthrax. Dark Winter also provided the initial narrative for the 2001 anthrax attacks, which held that Iraq and Al Qaeda had been jointly responsible. However, soon after the attacks, evidence quickly pointed to the anthrax having originated from a domestic source linked to military experiments. In addition, several Dark Winter participants and authors either had apparent foreknowledge of those attacks (especially Jerome Hauer) and/or were involved in the FBI controversial investigation into the attacks (including Robert Kadlec).
On the day of September 11, 2001, Kadlec and Randall Larsen were set to begin co-teaching a course on "Homeland Security" at the National War College. It's course syllabus draws from quotes on the imminent threat of bioterrorism from Joshua Lederberg as well as Dark Winter participant and former CIA director James Woolsey, who called a biological weapons attack "the single most dangerous threat to U.S. national security in the foreseeable future."
The course was also set to include its own lengthy use of the Dark Winter exercise, where students would re-enact the June 2001 exercise as part of an end-of-semester research project. However, given the events that took place on September 11, 2001, Kadlec never went on to teach that course, as he instead went to the Pentagon to focus on the "bio-terror threat" in the weeks that preceded the 2001 anthrax attacks.
THE AFTER (ANTHRAX) PARTY
Immediately after the events of September 11, 2001, Kadlec became a special advisor on biological warfare to then-Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld and his deputy Paul Wolfowitz. In the days that followed, Rumsfeld openly and publicly stated that he expected America's enemies, specifically Saddam Hussein, to aid unspecified terrorist groups in obtaining chemical and biological weapons, a narrative that was analogous to that used in the Dark Winter exercise that Kadlec had helped create.
In the immediate aftermath of 9/11, Dark Winter's other co-authors -- Randall Larsen, Tara O'Toole and Thomas Inglesby -- personally briefed Dick Cheney on Dark Winter, at a time when Cheney and his staff had been warned by another Dark Winter figure, Jerome Hauer, to take the antibiotic Cipro to prevent anthrax infection. It is unknown how many members of the administration were taking Cipro and for how long.
Hauer, along with James Woolsey and New York Times reporter Judith Miller (who also attended Dark Winter), would spend the weeks between 9/11 and the public disclosure of the anthrax attacks making numerous media appearances (and, in Miller's case, writing dozens of reports) regarding the use of anthrax as a biological weapon. Members of the controversial think thank the Project for a New American Century (PNAC), which included Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld among its ranks, also warned that a biological weapons attack was set to follow on the heels of 9/11. These included Richard Perle, then advising the Rumsfeld-led Pentagon, and Robert Kagan and Bill Kristol of The Weekly Standard .
One would think that all of these well-timed warnings would have left this clique of government insiders the least surprised once the anthrax attacks were publicly disclosed on October 4, 2001. However, despite constantly warning of doomsday anthrax attack scenarios for a decade and advising the Pentagon on this very threat immediately beginning just weeks prior, Robert Kadlec would subsequently claim to have yelled, "You gotta be sh*ttin' me!" when he first learned of the attacks.
Another pre-attack anthrax prophet, Judith Miller, would recall becoming distraught and despondent upon receiving a letter that appeared to contain anthrax. Her first reaction was to call William C. Patrick III, who calmed her down and told her that the anthrax powder contained in the letter "was most likely a hoax." Indeed, Patrick would prove correct in his analysis as the powder in the letter Miller had opened was, in fact, harmless.
Kadlec quickly began contributing to the FBI's controversial investigation into the attacks, known by its case name "Amerithrax." Kadlec was tasked with following up on the alleged presence of bentonite in the anthrax used in the attacks. Bentonite was never actually found in any of the anthrax samples tested by the FBI, but claims that it had been found were used to link the anthrax used in the attacks to Iraq's alleged use of bentonite in its biological weapons program, the very existence of which still lacked conclusive evidence.
This erroneous claim was first mentioned to Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz by Peter Jahrling, a Fort Detrick scientist, who claimed during a briefings that the spores "appeared to have been treated" with a "particular chemical additive" resembling bentonite. Jahrling then added that Iraq's government had used bentonite to "suspiciously" produce bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a "nonlethal cousin" of anthrax widely used in agriculture. "Everyone grabbed on to that," Kadlec would later remember of Jahrling's haphazard link between bentonite and a harmless, distant cousin of anthrax.
Tasked by Wolfowitz with shoring up evidence for the bentonite "smoking gun," Kadlec would contact a Navy scientist that had accompanied him and William Patrick to Iraq in their unsuccessful efforts to find proof of Iraq's biological weapons back in 1994, James Burans. Burans was unconvinced of the bentonite connection and other government scientists soon agreed.
Nonetheless, media outlets continued to play up the bentonite-anthrax claim as proving Iraq's role in the anthrax attacks, despite findings to the contrary. By late October 2001, one nationwide poll found that 74% of respondents wanted the U.S. to take military action against Iraq, despite a lack of evidence connecting the country to either 9/11 or the anthrax attacks. A month later, Rumsfeld would draw up plans in consultation with Wolfowitz regarding justifications for initiating war with Iraq, including discovering links between Saddam Hussein and the anthrax attacks and initiating disputes with Iraq over WMD inspections.
While the Kadlec-advised Pentagon was seeking to link the anthrax attacks to Iraq, the NTI headed by Dark Winter "president" Sam Nunn kicked its agenda into over-drive, earmarking "$2.4 million in initial grants to finance scientific collaboration with scientists who once worked in the former Soviet Union's covert biological weapons program." NTI also set aside millions more for transforming former Soviet Union bioweapons labs into "vaccine production facilities" and "helping identify Western drug companies willing to work with former Soviet bioweaponeers on commercial ventures."
CLOSED DOOR INVESTIGATION
William C. Patrick III would also become involved the FBI's Amerithrax investigation, even though he was initially suspected of involvement in the attacks. However, after having passed a lie detector test, he was added to the FBI's "inner circle" of technical advisors on the Amerithrax case, despite the fact that Patrick's protege , Stephen Hatfill, was the FBI's top suspect at the time. Hatfill was later cleared of wrongdoing and the FBI eventually blamed a Fort Detrick scientist named Bruce Ivins for the crime, hiding a "mountain" of evidence exonerating Ivins to do so, according to the FBI's former lead investigator.
In the 1990s, Patrick had told associates of his desire to find someone who would carry on his work, eventually finding this person in Stephen Hatfill. Hatfill and Patrick's friendship was close, with one bioterror expert calling them "like father and son." Hatfill traveled together often and, on occasion, Hatfill would drive Patrick to his consulting jobs at the military and intelligence contractor SAIC. In 1999, Patrick would return the favor by helping Hatfill score a job at SAIC. A year later, Jerome Hauer, a friend to both Hatfill and Patrick, would join SAIC as a Vice President.
That same year, Hatfill offered Patrick another consulting job at SAIC and commissioned Patrick to perform a study describing "a fictional terrorist attack in which an envelope containing weapons-grade anthrax is opened in an office." The Baltimore Sun would later report that Patrick's study for SAIC discussed the "danger of anthrax spores spreading through the air and the requirements for decontamination after various kinds of attacks" as well as how many grams of anthrax would need to be placed within a standard business envelope in order to conduct such an attack.
Patrick's involvement in this SAIC study is particularly interesting given that he was also involved in another project involving anthrax at the time, this one managed by Battelle Memorial Institute. In 1997, the Pentagon created plans to genetically engineer a more potent variety of anthrax, spurred by the work of Russian scientists who had recently published a study that found that a genetically engineered strain of anthrax was resistant to the standard anthrax vaccine, at least in animal studies.
The stated goal of the Pentagon's plan, per a 2001 report in The New York Times , was "to see if the [anthrax] vaccine the United States intends to supply to its armed forces is effective against that strain." Battelle's facility at West Jefferson, Ohio was contracted by the Pentagon to create the genetically-modified anthrax, a task that was overseen by Battelle's then-program manager for all things bioweapons, Ken Alibek. A 1998 article in the New Yorker noted that William Patrick, also a consultant for Battelle and Alibek's "close friend," was working with Alibek on a project involving anthrax at the time. It would later be revealed that access to the very anthrax strain used in the attacks, the Ames strain, was controlled by Battelle.
In addition, the FBI's supposed "smoking gun" used to link Bruce Ivins' to the anthrax attacks was the fact that a flask in Ivins' lab labeled RMR-1029 was determined to be its "parent" strain. Yet, it would later be revealed that portions of RMR-1029 had been sent by Ivins to Battelle's Ohio facility prior to the anthrax attacks. An analysis of the water used to make the anthrax also revealed that the anthrax spores had been created in the northeastern United States and follow-up analyses narrowed down the only possible sources as coming from one of three labs: Fort Detrick, a lab at the University of Scranton, or Battelle's West Jefferson facility.
After Ivins' untimely "suicide" in 2008, Department of Justice civil attorneys would publicly challenge the FBI's assertions that Ivins had been the culprit and instead "suggested that a private laboratory in Ohio" managed by Battelle "could have been involved in the attacks."
Patrick's work with Battelle on creating a more potent form of anthrax, as well as his work with SAIC in studying the effect of anthrax sent through the mail, began around the same time that BioPort had secured a monopoly over the production of the anthrax vaccine, recently made mandatory for all U.S. troops by the Pentagon. As detailed in Part II of this series, BioPort's facility that produced its anthrax vaccine was, at the time, rife with problems and had lost its license to operate. Despite the Pentagon having given BioPort millions to use for renovations of the factory, much of that money instead went towards senior management bonuses and redecorating executive offices. Millions more simply "disappeared."
In 2000, not long after receiving its first Pentagon bail-out, BioPort contracted none other than Battelle Memorial Institute. The deal gave Battelle "immediate exposure to the vaccine" it was using in connection with the genetically-modified anthrax program that involved both Alibek and Patrick. That program then began using the BioPort-manufactured vaccine in tests at its West Jefferson facility. At the time, Battelle was also lending "technical expertise" to BioPort and hired 12 workers to send to BioPort's troubled Michigan facility "to keep the operation running."
At the time, a BioPort spokeswomen stated "We have a relationship with Battelle to extend our reach for people we are trying to attract for critical positions on our technical side. They're also assisting with our potency testing as really sort of a backup. They're validating our potency tests." Reports on the BioPort-Battelle contract stated that the terms of their agreement were not publicly disclosed, but also noted that the two companies had "previously worked together on an unsuccessful bid to make other vaccines for the government."
As previously noted in Part II of this series, BioPort was set to lose its contract for anthrax vaccine entirely in August 2001 and the entirety of its anthrax vaccine business was rescued by the 2001 anthrax attacks, which saw concerns over BioPort's corruption replaced with fervent demands for more of its anthrax vaccine.
RUMSFELD SAVES BIOPORT
One of the post-attack advocates for salvaging the BioPort anthrax vaccine contract was Donald Rumsfeld, who stated after the attacks that, "We're going to try to save it, and try to fashion some sort of an arrangement whereby we give one more crack at getting the job done with that outfit [BioPort]. It's the only outfit in this country that has anything under way, and it's not very well under way, as you point out."
While Rumsfeld and others worked to salvage the troubled BioPort-anthrax vaccine deal, another recurrent figure in this sordid saga, Jerome Hauer, would also play a key role in pushing for increased purchases of BioPort's most lucrative and most controversial product. In addition to being managing director of Kroll Inc. and a Vice President at SAIC, Hauer was also a national security advisor to HHS Secretary Tommy Thompson on September 11, 2001. It was also this same day that Hauer would also tell top administration officials to take Cipro to prevent anthrax infection.
Hauer played a key role advising HHS leadership as the anthrax attacks unfolded. After the attacks, Hauer pushed Thompson to create the Office of Public Health Preparedness (OPHP) within HHS, which was created later that year. It was first headed by D.A. Henderson, a close associate of Joshua Lederberg and the original founder of the Johns Hopkins Working Group on Civilian Biodefense, which included Jerome Hauer and Henderson's protege Tara O'Toole. Hauer himself would come to replace Henderson as OPHP just a few months later.
Subsequent legislation, shaped in part by Robert Kadlec, would see OPHP give way to the position of Assistant Secretary for Public Health Emergency Preparedness (ASPHEP), a position Hauer would also fill. Hauer would use this post to push for the stockpiling of vaccines, including BioPort's anthrax vaccine. Hauer and his deputy, William Raub, would then help push the Pentagon to restart vaccinating the troops, despite long-standing concerns over the vaccine's safety. Soon after leaving HHS in 2004, Hauer would quickly be added to the board of directors of BioPort under its new name Emergent Biosolutions, a post he still holds today.
ALL SYSTEMS GO
In the aftermath of the anthrax attacks, Robert Kadlec's doomsday predictions for bioterror incidents went into over-drive. "It's not your mother's smallpox," Kadlec would tell the LA Times in late October 2001, "It's an F-17 Stealth fighter it's designed to be undetectable and to kill. We are flubbing our efforts at biodefense. We don't think of this as a weapon we look naively at this as a disease." As the article notes, this "stealth fighter" strain of smallpox did not exist. Instead, Kadlec who now had Rumsfeld's ear on issues of biodefense expected that such a strain might soon be genetically engineered.
Of course, at the time, the only government known to be genetically engineering a pathogen was the U.S., as reported by the New York Times ' Judith Miller . Miller reported in October 2001 that the Pentagon, in the wake of the anthrax attacks, had approved "a project to make a potentially more potent form of anthrax bacteria" through genetic modification, a project that would be conducted by the Battelle Memorial Institute.
This was the continuation of the project, which had involved William Patrick and Ken Alibek, and the Pentagon moved to restart it after the attacks, though it is unclear if either Patrick or Alibek continued to work on the subsequent iteration of Battelle's efforts to produce a more virulent strain of anthrax. That project was paused a month prior when Miller and other journalists disclosed the existence of the program in an article published on September 4, 2001.
After news broke of the Pentagon's plans to again begin developing more potent anthrax strains, accusations were made that the U.S. was violating the bioweapons convention. However, the U.S. narrowly avoided having to admit it had violated the convention given that, just one month after the Dark Winter exercise in July 2001, the U.S. had rejected an agreement that would have enforced its ban on biological weapons.
The New York Times noted specifically that the genetically-modified anthrax experiments being performed by Battelle's West Jefferson facility were a "significant reason" behind the Bush administration's decision to reject the draft agreement and the U.S. government had argued at the time that "unlimited visits to pharmaceutical or defense installations by foreign inspectors could be used to gather strategic or commercial intelligence." Of course, one of those "pharmaceutical or defense installations" was ultimately the source of the anthrax used in the attacks.
On the heels of the chaos of late 2001, Kadlec's vision for U.S. biodefense policy was rapidly coming to fruition before his very eyes. The first enabling statute for the SNS was the Public Health Security and Bioterrorism Preparedness Act of 2002, largely motivated by the anthrax attacks, which directed the Secretary of HHS to maintain a " Strategic National Stockpile (SNS)." The legislation had been the direct result of a process begun years earlier when Congress earmarked funding for the CDC to stockpile pharmaceuticals in 1998. The program was originally called the National Pharmaceutical Stockpile (NPS) program.
Kadlec's role in directing subsequent developments in the SNS and other related legislative developments was considerable given that, in 2002, he became director for biodefense on the recently created Homeland Security Council. His work on the council, which he left in 2005, resulted in the Bush administration's "National Biodefense Policy for the 21st Century," which unsurprisingly echoed the recommendations of the paper Kadlec had sponsored at the National War College.
On March 1, 2003, the NPS became the Strategic National Stockpile program and was managed jointly by DHS and HHS after George W. Bush issued Homeland Security Presidential Directive (HSPD-5). Two days before, Secretary of Homeland Security, Tom Ridge and then Secretary of HHS Tommy Thompson had presented the Project BioShield Act to Congress. It was a sweeping piece of legislation that established what would become a government money teller-window for Big Pharma, called the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA), among other entities and powers, not least of which was moving control of the SNS away from DHS and closer to HHS.
Soon after BioShield was signed into law, BioPort/Emergent BioSolutions co-founded a lobby group called the Alliance for Biosecurity as part of its strategy to easily secure lucrative BioShield contracts. That lobby group saw Emergent BioSolutions join forces with the University of Pittsburgh's Center for Biosecurity, which was then-led by Tara O'Toole and advised by Randall Larsen.
With this framework in place, the Kadlec-drafted National Biodefense Policy for the 21st Century was used as the framework for Bush's Homeland Security Presidential Directive 10 ( HSPD-10 ), which further expanded BioShield, the SNS and other controversial programs. Project BioShield was made law in 2004 and, one year later, Kadlec joined Senator Richard Burr's subcommittee on bioterrorism and public health. There, Kadlec served as staff director on the committee that drafted the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Act (PAHPA), containing the specific policy directives for the roll out of Project BioShield and creating Kadlec's future position at HHS.
PAHPA was passed the following year in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina and established the statutory relationship between the various agencies enacted or included in the BioShield legislation . This includes delegating to the newly creation position of HHS Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response (ASPR) to "exercise the responsibilities and authorities of the Secretary [of HHS] with respect to the coordination of "the stockpile and to oversee the advanced research and development of medical counter-measures funded by BARDA, but conducted by Big Pharma. ASPR was also given the leadership role in directing HHS' response to a national health emergency.
Serving alongside Kadlec in the White House throughout this entire process was Tevi Troy, a Special Assistant to the President for Domestic Policy; a role which made him the White House's lead adviser on health care, labor, education and other issues with a special focus on crisis management . Troy, who had come up through the department of labor as deputy assistant for policy was already a Senior fellow at both the Hudson Institute and its satellite think tank, the Potomac Institute for Policy Studies (PIPS), where the real policy development work was undertaken.
Both Troy and Kadlec would exit the administration at the end of Bush's first term and not return until the latter half of his second term. In the meantime, the wheels had been set in motion with the passing of Project BioShield and PAHPA and, soon after their passage, panic over a "Bird flu" outbreak began, which had spread first in 33 cities in Vietnam and then led to an outbreak of the poultry-killing disease that affected all of Eurasia, Africa and the Middle East. The outbreak sparked panic in the U.S. in late 2005, thanks in large part to over-the-top warnings made by Tommy Thompson's successor as head of HHS, Michael Leavitt.
Despite the fact that Leavitt's claims were wildly inaccurate, some administration officials benefited financially from the fear-mongering, such as Donald Rumsfeld, whose stock holdings in the pharmaceutical company Gilead netted him $5 million once the scare had ended. Part of the reason for Gilead's jump in profitability resulted from the decision of the Pentagon and other U.S. government agencies to stockpile 80 million doses of Tamiflu, a drug promoted to treat the Bird Flu that was originally developed by Gilead. Rumsfeld had been the top executive at Gilead before joining the George W. Bush administration. Aside from those who benefited monetarily, the Bird Flu scare also gave a considerable boost to the biodefense "stockpile" agenda that Kadlec and other insiders supported.
Kadlec would return to the White House as Special Assistant for Homeland Security and Senior Director for Biological Defense Policy in 2007 to further solidify his eventual grip on the Strategic National Stockpile and the office of ASPR, along with his Hudson Institute/PIPS sidekick, Tevi Troy, concurrently appointed Deputy Director of HHS. This put Troy in charge of implementing the very policies enshrined in PAHPA and the departmental changes enacted as part of Project BioShield.
The Bush administration came to its inevitable conclusion as Barack Obama was elected and sworn in, early 2009. Kadlec and Troy, once again, left their government posts and disappeared into their private sector lairs. But, that same year, the first practice run for Kadlec's freshly retrofitted SNS took place when the "Swine Flu" (H1N1) pandemic triggered its "largest deployment" ever, distributing nearly 13 million antiviral regimens, as well as medical equipment and other drugs nationally and internationally in conjunction with BARDA . Gilead (and Rumsfeld) again profited handsomely, as did other large pharmaceutical companies, which were eager to restock the SNS after its large-scale deployment.
The virus' origins have been a matter of controversy for several years, alternatively identified as having sprung from pigs in Mexico or Asia. One of the last studies conducted in 2016 claims to have definitively traced the source to hogs in Mexico. Regardless of its true origins, interested observers were able to glean vital data from the exercise to prepare for the "next one."
Departing HHS Deputy Director Tevi Troy soon took a gig as a high-powered lobbyist for the JUUL e-cigarette company , which had run into some regulatory barriers as a result of the Tobacco Control Act, which had just been signed by then-President Obama. Margaret Hamburg, founding member of the NTI, was then Commissioner of the FDA and stalled enforcement of the new regulations; a tacit non-enforcement policy had persisted at the FDA until the recent vaping flavor ban, which followed renewed health concerns raised by a 2018 NIH report .
Why a former HHS official would take up the mantle to promote the use of a product known to be injurious to health can be answered by looking at Dr. Troy's close links with PIPS and the Hudson Institute. Couched in free-market rhetoric, these institutions are vehicles for the policy initiatives their billionaire funders want to see implemented, with its subsidiary think tanks, like PIPS, serving as satellites orbiting closer to the center of power.
As an adjunct fellow of the Hudson Institute and senior fellow at PIPS, Tevi Troy appears to play a pivotal role coordinating between the two. The Hudson Institute was founded in 1961 by former RAND military strategist, systems theorist and Dr. Strangelove inspiration Herman Kahn. After Kahn's passing in 1983, the Institute was "heavily recruited" by the Lilly Endowment the largest private foundation in the United States , by far and became a magnet for the same radical conservative billionaire networks that patronize it today.
Among its biggest donors are familiar names like Microsoft, Lockheed Martin Corporation, The Charles Koch Foundation, Boeing and Emergent BioSolutions. In 2004, Lilly Endowment returned to Washington D.C., announcing it would " return to its roots of national security and foreign policy " as a result of the war on terror becoming an "overarching national concern".
PIPS and the Hudson Institute would come to play a central role in Kadlec's upcoming efforts to make biodefense a national priority with him at the helm of a vastly expanded office of ASPR. But, it would be a few years yet. Meanwhile, there was more to be done in the area of legislation, not to mention private enterprise.
Building on all previous versions of Kadlec's original PAHPA, the Pandemic and All-Hazards Preparedness Reauthorization Act (PAHPRA) of 2013 established two more instruments that strengthened his ultimate goal. First, the PHEMCE Strategy and Implementation Plan (SIP) was codified into law, which formalized the original legislation's ties to the budget office and secondly, it streamlined the Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) facility for the FDA to fast-track drug approvals.
SHOW ME THE MONEY
Soon upon returning to the private sector, Robert Kadlec helped found a new company in 2012 called "East West Protection," which develops and delivers "integrated all-hazards preparedness and response systems for communities and sovereign nations." The company also "advises communities and countries on issues related to the threat of weapons of mass destruction and natural pandemics."
Kadlec formed the company with W. Craig Vanderwagen, the first HHS ASPR after the post's creation had been largely orchestrated by Kadlec. The other co-founder of East West Protection was Fuad El-Hibri, the founder of BioPort/Emergent Biosolutions, who had just stepped down as Emergent's CEO earlier that year.
El-Hibri has numerous business connections to the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia, where he and his father, Ibrahim El-Hibri, had once sold stockpiles of anthrax vaccine to the Saudi government for an exorbitant price per dose. East West Protection chased after the opportunity to fit the Kingdom with a custom-built biodefense system, but ultimately failed to finalize the deal despite El-Hibri's connections. Instead, East West Protection sold its products to a handful of U.S. states.
Kadlec was the firm's director from its founding until at least 2015 , later selling his stake in the company to El-Hibri. Upon being nominated to serve as ASPR in the Trump administration, Kadlec failed to disclose his ties to East West Protection and El-Hibri and he has since claimed to only have been involved in the founding of the firm, despite evidence to the contrary .
Robert Kadlec's forays into the private sector during this period went far beyond East West Protection. Kadlec's consultancy firm, RPK Consulting, netted him in $451,000 in 2014 alone, where he directly advised Emergent Biosolutions as well as other pharmaceutical companies like Bavarian Nordic. Kadlec was also a consultant to military and intelligence contractors, such as the DARPA-backed firm Invincea and NSA contractor Scitor, which was recently acquired by SAIC.
Kadlec's consulting work for intelligence-linked companies earned him the praises of spooks turned entreprenuers, including Steve Cash a former CIA officer and founder of Deck Prism , itself a consultancy firm that retained Kadlec. Cash recently told The Washington Post that "Everybody loves Dr. Bob [Kadlec]," adding that he was a "national treasure."
ON BIOWARFARE'S EVE
Kadlec had certainly been accumulating a treasure chest of power aided by some very cozy relationships in the consulting business and, by now, the stage had been set for a big push to create an official body within the halls of the legislature; an embedded consultancy firm, of sorts, to promote the designs of the biowarfare clique.
That year, Robert Kadlec put together a Blue Ribbon Study Panel sponsored jointly by the Hudson Institute and a PIPS subsidiary institution called the Inter-University Center for Terrorism Studies ( IUCTS ), managed by Dr. Yonah Alexander. Kadlec's Blue Ribbon Panel was chaired by Senator Joe Lieberman and included the indispensable input of Tom Daschle, Donna Shalala and other members of the biowarfare policy club.
The study panel issued a report in late 2015 entitled " A National Blueprint for Biodefense " calling for 33 specific initiatives, such as the creation of a " biodefense hospital system " and implementing a "military-civilian collaboration for biodefense." In addition, the panel recommended that the office of the Vice President lead a White House "Coordination Council" to oversee and guide biodefense policy.
An official body called the Bipartisan Commission on Biodefense would be formed shortly thereafter with all the Blue Ribbon Panel members and many others like Commission co-chair Tom Ridge and, perhaps unsurprisingly, Tevi Troy and Yonah Alexander, who serve as Ex-officio members. Alongside them is Lewis "Scooter" Libby, former Chief of Staff to Dick Cheney and Senior Vice President of the Hudson Institute, which also happens to be the fiscal sponsor of the Commission.
In the acknowledgements , the panel's 2015 report includes an homage to Robert Kadlec to whom they bestow credit for the achievement, which only "exists because of the foresight, forbearance, and perpetual optimism of Dr. Robert Kadlec. Bob understood that as much progress as had been made in the national effort to prevent and prepare for biological threats, it is not yet enough. He knew that with the right impetus, we could do much more, and he envisioned this Panel as a means to that end. We are glad he did."
Kadlec mounted this last offensive while serving as Deputy Staff Director for Senator Richard Burr's Senate Select Committee on Intelligence, a position he would hold until the eve of Donald Trump's election in 2016. Trump would then nominate him to the office of the ASPR and Kadlec would be confirmed in early August of the following year.
Only one piece of the puzzle was left, but it wouldn't be very long before Robert Kadlec would become the biggest capo of them all with a subtle change that was introduced in the 2018 PAHPRA :
Title III Sec 301
1) DELEGATION TO ASPR. -- Subsection (a)(1) of section 319F2 of the Public Health Service Act (42 U.S.C. 247d6b) is amended by striking ''in collaboration with the Director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention'' and inserting ''acting through the Assistant Secretary for Preparedness and Response.''
May 17, 2020 | www.amazon.com
An Unconventional Life Unfolds Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2018 Verified Purchase
In the interest of full disclosure, I am writing this review before having finished the book. I've had the book for almost a year, but have only recently dared look through it. It is massive. I bought the book because I have never believed in Obama, I always thought he was the personification of the empty suit: lots of talk, little accomplishment. I finally turned to this book when I realized I had been confused about when Obama had been a community organizer. I thought it had been after Harvard Law, but he actually worked for a couple of years before attending law school. Having checked out some of the later events, I ran across his former girlfriend's asssertion that in 1986 he decided he was born to be President. This sent me to the beginning of the book to try to find out how that happened. (Or even if it did.) I'm not there yet, but I do have a handle on how the book was written and why it's so massive.
Obama's supposed autobiographies have been pretty well debunked as "historical fiction." They were not concerned with facts. Garrow's book is an antidote to the pretty fictional accounts Obama has used to his advantage, and Garrow has made every effort to nail down as many facts as possible. He not only has the facts, he interviews the participants, seeks out multiple sources, and even checks the newspapers of the day when necessary. This makes for a lot of verification of even the most insignificant details. But then again, we now have the details of Obama's life, maybe more than we may have wanted. Garrow does not provide analysis. He is concerned with the facts and only the facts as he's been able to verify them. But Barack's has been an unusual life, and so maybe the details count.
Barack's Kenyan father came from a tribe that recognizes multiple wives. He left a first wife in Kenya and married at least once in the US to Barack's mother. The marriage was at his grandfather's insistence. They never lived together. In fact, Barack's mother never lived with either of her husbands until she eventually followed the 2nd to Indonesia. But as long as she was in Hawaii, she lived with her parents. The only exception was that about a month after Barack's birth, she took her baby back to Washington State, where she had grown up, and she lived there for the following year, while Barack's father was in Hawaii. As soon as he left to attend Harvard, she returned to Hawaii with the baby and moved back in with her parents. It is so unusual for a first time mother to move that far away from her own mother. Most first time mothers are uncertain and anxious about taking care of a new baby.
I am struck that, once in Indonesia, Barack never picked up the language. By the 4th grade, he was having trouble communicating with friends his own age. I thought that odd. When I was 6, my family moved to northern Italy in June. In September, I was enrolled in the 1st grade of an Italian school. By December, I could speak & write Italian. (Writing Italian is pretty easy - it is spelled as it sounds.) My parents were never fluent and I was the family interpreter during our three year stay there. But, given my own experience, I found it very odd that Barack never learned Indonesian. He was there at the time to do so. God knows, I've failed to learn any other language as an adult! You gotta do it as a kid for it to be painless.
Barack's mother was unhappy with her 2nd husband when she perceived that he was becoming a successful businessman. Most wives appreciate success. It generally comes with more money. But that is not how Barack's mother viewed it.
Garrow confirms that Barack's grandfather's good friend in Hawaii was indeed an active Communist with an extensive FBI dossier. The FBI was watching him, but never accused him of espionage. Oahu is known for its naval bases, so I wondered. Garrow makes no mention of the grandfather being a Communist, so we can assume that there is no verification of that. Just that the two men were pretty close friends.
Being one of the few people who recognized Bill Ayres name when he appeared as a neighbor & friend of the Obamas in Chicago, I looked up some of the Ayres association. Apparently, Obama met Valerie Jarrett through the Ayres, who were close friends of her parents, and her parents were on the left politically.
I am intrigued by this biography of our most opaque president. I'm not sure I'll make it through the w-h-o-l-e book. But I do think that Obama's life was unusual enough to warrant care that incidents are not taken out of context, so I might struggle through to the end. I'm not sure how long that will take me. But I'm retired now, so perhaps this can be my retirement project!
Book Reviewer , Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2017A Brilliant Sorrowful Book!
This book is brilliant because it was written by an author, David Garrow, who's not only mastered the art of beautiful prose but also possesses unparalleled skills in researching his subjects (which is why he won the Pulitzer for 'Bearing the Cross', the bio of Martin Luther King, Jr.). Alas, this book is also sorrowful because it is clear Garrow began his biography of Barack Hussein Obama honestly believing in the hope and change his subject promised - only to be bitterly disappointed by the man his research ultimately uncovered. As 'Rising Star' describes it, Obama began his life in Chicago as an idealistic community organizer whose ambition was to change the world. Alas, this ambition was not realized when he failed to secure any funding (a failure that would sadly be repeated again and again). Undeterred, Obama simply shifted his focus to public office and prepared to run for the Illinois state legislature. That position, he felt sure, would give him the funds he needed to make his dreams come true. But there was a problem. The voters in Obama's district were black - and he wasn't. That is, he was not perceived by them as such and, to be honest, Barack had never thought of himself as black either. Up until the moment he first ran for public office, Barack had never defined himself along racial lines but instead along emotional ones - that of a lost child abandoned by his father and mother. By and large, Barack's life had been devoid of black associations. He had next to no black friends growing up in Hawaii; in college he'd persisted in avoiding black friendships, teachers and the black movement as a whole. The black persona was simply not how he defined himself - but it would have to be if he hoped to achieve public office in Chicago. What to do? Well, the solution which all of Barack's advisers gave was for him to marry a woman who WAS black. Thus, Barack abandoned the beautiful half-white, half-Japanese woman, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, whom he'd been living with for nearly two years in Chicago (and whom he'd originally intended to marry) and instead proposed marriage to Michelle Robinson. It was a political move which Barack would pay bitterly for.
Michelle was not interested in politics, she hated it. What she loved was money. However, in the beginning of their marriage she grudgingly acquiesced to Barack's low-paying position with the Illinois State legislature because Michelle herself was earning a six-figure salary at Sidley Austin. But then suddenly, mysteriously, Michelle left the firm AND forfeited her law license (after barely 3 years of practice) to take a public job which paid barely one-third of her old income. She was not pleased about this and immediately demanded that her husband leave politics and get a job at a prestigious law firm that would bring in the salary she craved. Barack balked at that and instead began working three jobs at once (state legislature, law school professor and lawyer) to bring in the money. But it wasn't enough for her. He then tried to placate her by promising her they would get rich from his book 'Dreams Of My Father' (which Garrow takes great pains to insist was NOT written with the help of Bill Ayers). Alas, the book was a flop. Michelle's anger at her husband's failure to make money provoked countless arguments between the two of them; fights which she had no qualms displaying in public, humiliating Barack constantly in front of friends and strangers. At this point, Barack bargained desperately with Michelle to allow him to run for U.S. Representative; surely this would bring in the funds she craved. Alas, he not only badly lost the election but plunged into debt up to his ears. Barack had truly hit bottom. And then? Suddenly money began pouring in for him.
Garrow gives no explanation as to why, he merely describes how Barack for the first time in his life was in charge of the allocation of millions of dollars in public funds which he began distributing as political patronage right and left. Shortly afterwards, Barack announced he would run for the United States Senate, a hugely expensive venture. But once again, he mysteriously came into possession of huge sums of money which would more than pay for that run. His fortunes had changed, he was no longer the penniless spouse Michelle had sneered at. Alas - and this is where the sorrow enters Garrow's writing - Barack himself had changed as well. He was no longer the idealistic community organizer of the past, no longer the fun-loving and outgoing person he'd once been. Instead, he was a cold, withdrawn individual who distanced himself from his old friends, abandoned his old alliances, displayed loyalty to no one but Michelle (and Valerie Jarrett). Garrow never puts it into words but it's clear nonetheless; Barack had sold out.
Needless to say, the Leftist establishment does NOT view Garrow's book kindly. It's bad enough 'Rising Star' uncovers Obama's failures, it's worse that Garrow's astounding research is so precise, so accurate it's impossible to disprove his revelations of those failures. It's no comfort to Obama's disillusioned followers that Garrow is as upset as they. I'm certain in my heart he would have given anything to have come up with a different conclusion for his subject. Alas, however, Garrow is a prisoner of his phenomenal skills as a researcher and his own honesty. The result is a brilliant sorrowful book on a man who ultimately betrayed the hope he had promised to the world - and himself.
May 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com
God's Warrior , 3 weeks ago
44, the biggest fraudulent, groomed 'president' in USA history. Imagine if legal citizens knew the TRUTH about corruption within the political arena? Thank you, @TuckerCarlson
May 15, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Papa Adelson's Emerging Tawdry Ties to the CIA
New evidence shows nexus between the casino magnate's elite security team and U.S. targeting of Julian Assange. Chairman and chief executive officer of the Las Vegas Sands Corporation Sheldon Adelson arrives ahead of the inauguration of the US embassy in Jerusalem on May 14, 2018. (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP via Getty Images)What's worse than a Sheldon Adelson bankrolling President Trump's 2016 election, leading to big payoffs for him in U.S.-Israeli policy and his own people (John Bolton), nested in the inner sanctum? What's worse than a Sheldon Adelson influencing U.S. trade policy in China, mostly because of his titanic casino interests in Macau?
How about a Sheldon Adelson providing his elite security team as an interlocutor for covert, illegal CIA operations overseas.
Sounds like a bad spy thriller but read this impressive deep dive by Max Blumenthal at The Grayzone this morning. It's a stomach turner as well as a page turner.
We reported here back in December that a Spanish company, UC Global, hired to provide security for the Ecuadorian embassy in London, was reportedly pulling double duty for the CIA by installing a separate surveillance system in the building that streamed and recorded Assange, his lawyers, and his visitors in every room, including the bathroom. This is clearly a breach of international law, specifically on the inviolability of diplomatic premises . The Grayzone has since obtained more court records and conducted numerous witness interviews that establish how insidious this spy operation was, and how close Adelson's massive private security apparatus was to it.
At the embassy, visitors' phones were seized by UC Global guards, with passwords, SIM cards and International Mobile Equipment Identity numbers copied. Embassy officials and at least one U.S. congressman were also secretly surveilled. More:
The ongoing investigation detailed black operations ranging from snooping on the Wikileaks founder's private conversations to fishing a diaper from an embassy trash can in order to determine if the feces inside it belonged to his son. According to witness statements obtained by The Grayzone, weeks after Morales proposed breaking into the office of Assange's lead counsel, the office was burglarized. The witnesses also detailed a proposal to kidnap or poison Assange. A police raid at the home of Morales netted two handguns with their serial numbers filed off along with stacks of cash.
One source close to the investigation told The Grayzone an Ecuadorian official was robbed at gunpoint while carrying private information pertaining to a plan to secure diplomatic immunity for Assange.
Throughout the black operations campaign, US intelligence appears to have worked through Adelson's Las Vegas Sands, a company that had previously served as an alleged front for a CIA blackmail operation several years earlier. The operations formally began once Adelson's hand-picked presidential candidate, Donald Trump, entered the White House in January 2017.
The center of this tawdry tale is a status-seeking mercenary (Morales) who was clearly bedazzled to be working in "the first division," which is what he told his team after a trip to a security expo in Las Vegas in 2016.
Morales had just signed on to guard Queen Miri , the $70 million yacht belonging to one of the most high profile casino tycoons in Vegas: ultra-Zionist billionaire and Republican mega-donor Sheldon Adelson.
This brought Morales into contact with Israeli-American named Zohar Lahav, "who personally recruited Morales, then managed the relationship between the Spanish security contractor and Sands on a routine basis. After their first meeting in Vegas, the two security professionals became close friends, visiting each other overseas and speaking frequently," according to Blumenthal.
During the spying operation, Lahav worked directly under Brian Nagel, the Director of Global Security for Las Vegas Sands. A former associate director of the US Secret Service and cyber-security expert, Nagel was officially commended by the CIA following successful collaborations with federal law enforcement and intelligence agencies.
After the election in 2016, newly inaugurated President Trump appointed Mike Pomeo his CIA chief. At this point Pompeo, as you remember, clearly made Assange a target for termination . The security scheme at the embassy, according to Blumenthal, kicked in from there. With meticulous reporting, including a ton of witness testimony from former UC Global employees who saw what Morales was doing as not only illegal, but selling "all the information to the enemy, the U.S.," Blumenthal pieces together a convincing case that Morales was working on behalf of the CIA with the elite Sands' security apparatus not only as the go-between, but the expert assist.
Today, Morales faces criminal charges ranging from violations of Assange's privacy and the secrecy of his client-attorney privileges, as well as misappropriation, bribing a government official, and money laundering. Morales has denied the charges.
If you are still not persuaded, recall that Adelson was accused of working with the CIA at his casinos in Macau, providing a recruiting ground for agents so they could spy on Beijing. This was back in 2015, long before Trump's entrance onto the scene.
Read the whole thing. Considering the powerful role Adelson has played in the White House it is worth taking seriously, whether you think Assange is deserves one's sympathy or not.
Kelley Beaucar Vlahos, executive editor, has been writing for TAC since 2007, focusing on national security, foreign policy, civil liberties and domestic politics. She served for 15 years as a Washington bureau reporter for FoxNews.com, and at WTOP News in Washington from 2013-2017 as a writer, digital editor and social media strategist. She has also worked as a beat reporter at Bridge News financial wire (now part of Reuters) and Homeland Security Today, and as a regular contributor at Antiwar.com. A native Nutmegger, she got her start in Connecticut newspapers, but now resides with her family in Arlington, Va.
J Villain • 2 days agoDoesn't matter. Like Jeffery Epstein, Adelson is protected. Also the US doesn't recognize international law even exists.William Burns J Villain • a day ago
I have long suspected that US tax money is sent to Israel, part of that is funnelled off and laundered through Adelson's casinos and then used to buy influence in the US both directly but also through super pacs to make sure the US money to Israel never stops. No one in Washington wants to put a stop to it because every one is getting paid.Right now, I wouldn't say being "protected like Jeffrey Epstein" would really make anyone all that safe.J Villain J Villain • 16 hours ago • editedJust to follow up on this. While there are millions of unemployed Americans, many of who can't pay their bills. The top priority over in the senate is giving Israel $38B so every one can get paid by AIPAC in time for the elections.Blood Alcohol • a day ago
This is while Israel is preparing to seize the rest of Palestine which will then require another massive US tax payer funded hand out to build infrastructure and put military forces in there."I'm Shocked, SHOCKED To Find There's Gambling Going On In Here!" And add to that, Spying by Israel. You know the usual.
May 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Firstly, Larry Johnson and Robert Willmann know more about this case than I do. It now appears, if this report today is to be believed, that Emmett Sullivan is now inclined to charge General Flynn with contempt of court and perjury. I have to ask; for what? This is Kafkaesque.
For agreeing to a plea deal that Flynn knew was false? For failing to plead innocence? For reversing his plea when it was demonstrated that the prosecution case against him was utterly untrue and corrupt?
"Judge", I use the term loosely, Sullivan seems to be so ensnared in the coils of judicial procedure that he has forgotten that truth and justice matter. That is the nicest construct I can put on it. I think it's time for Sidney Powell to rip this judge to shreds. I await Larry and Roberts comments.
Fred , 14 May 2020 at 12:00 PMWalrus,walrus , 14 May 2020 at 12:13 PM
Flynn was told by his lawyers from Covington & Burling that he was guilty. Covington & Burling were not only wrong they made no effort to get the exculpatory evidence and purposely withheld what evidence they did possess - repeatedly - from Flynn's new lawyer.
But then that has already been reported on publicly and discussed here. Perhaps your memory is faulty.
Sydney Powell can only appeal the conduct of the Judge. This serves as a nice distraction from the unconstitutional conduct of the Obama administration in wiretapping political opponents; as well as multiple members of Congress, multiple governors and state health officials in response to China's biological attack against the US and Western nations.Fred,turcopolier , 14 May 2020 at 12:17 PM
Yes, I agree with you. Sullivan trying to charge Flynn with perjury and contempt of court is a deliberate distraction. I would have thought the people who should be charged are the ones who constructed and prosecuted the bogus charge in the first place.walrusDeap , 14 May 2020 at 12:32 PM
Sullivan is in no sense an unbiased jurist.How many defendants automatically claim they are "not guilty, your honor" when asked to enter their plea, even when there is still gunpowder on their hands?Jim , 14 May 2020 at 12:34 PM
Do they also get charged with perjury after their guilt is established, beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers? You lied to the court - you said you were innocent. Double time in the slammer for you.
Defendant statements of either their own guilt or innocence should be "privileged" and therefore not actionable. Those statements are fundamental to our trust in our judicial system, and should never later be claimed perjury or false statements if the defendant changes their mind or a jury makes their ultimate finding.Thank you Larry and Walrus.Mark K Logan , 14 May 2020 at 12:43 PM
Although different people at different times, and different circumstances: a comparison.
Then CIA Agent Valerie Plame outing [she is currently a Democrat candidate for a New Mexico congressional seat].
And, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn [NSA-designee] outing.
Outing, that is: leaking their identities, by government officials[s], to . . . .and release of classified information.
How do the actions taken by government compare and contrast, at the time of outing/leaking crimes.
1] Both leaks went to the Washington Post.
2] Substance of the Plame and Flynn leaks related to . . .
WAP published Plame's identity, July 14, 2003. George Bush the younger, then president. Robert David Sanders "Bob" Novak put his name to this at WAP. [Her husband, Joseph C. Wilson 4th, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", in The New York Times, July 6, 2003, disputed Bush/Cheney administration claims, their claims of WMD in Iraq.]
WAP published Flynn's identify, Jan. 12, 2017. Barack Obama, then president. David Reynolds Ignatius put his name to it at WAP. Flynn disputed Obama administration "facts" about their Syrian war in particular, and more generally, in west Asia/near East/middle east.]
3] Investigation at the time or no investigation at the time.
Executive Order 12333 of Dec. 4, 1981 requires actions on such matters.
In the Plame matter, the CIA, on July 24, 2003 made a phone call to the DOJ about this, according to the CIA. They followed this up with a July 30, 2003 letter.
Government records show "on 24 July 2003, a CIA attorney left a phone message for the Chief of the Counterespionage Section of DoJ noting concerns with recent articles on this subject and stating that the CIA would forward a written crimes report pending the outcome of a review of the articles by subject matter experts. By letter dated 30 July 2003, the CIA reported to the Criminal Division of DoJ a possible violation of criminal law concerning the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. The letter also informed DoJ that the CIA's Office of Security had opened an investigation into this matter. This letter was sent again to DoJ by facsimile on 5 September 2003."
[[ see: https://web.archive.org/web/20060705062919/http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf ">http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf">https://web.archive.org/web/20060705062919/http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf ]]
Sept. 30, 2003, Bush famously stated, viz. the identities of the leaker[s]: "I want to know who it is ... and if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."
Dec. 30, 2003 a Special Counsel was also appointed to investigate the Plame matter, as well.
Then AG John Ashcroft recused himself and thus declined to make this SC appointment.
Patrick Fitzgerald was named the Special Counsel by then Deputy AG James Comey.
We know many more details now about the Plame matter, than about what, if any, investigation may, or may not have, begun, at the time of the Flynn outing and release of classified information.
What we do know, so far, about the Flynn matter is that, at the time, there was no attempt -- or at least, we don't know if there was -- any attempt from the Flynn outing on Jan. 12, 2017, to Jan. 20 of that year, when Obama was still president:
a] if the CIA asked for an investigation
b] if then AG Lynch did
c] if DAG at the time Yates did
d] if Obama did
We also don't know if, beginning Jan. 20
a] if then acting AG Yates did
b] if President Trump did
c] if the CIA did
Once Jeff Sessions was confirmed as AG, we don't know if he did, nor do we know if DAG Rod Rosenstein did.
Nor do we know if the CIA did.
We do know Rosenstein appointed Mueller as SC to investigate Flynn, among other things.
And we now know there was no predicate for any of the Mueller SCO appointment; thus, Rosenstein, too: what was he doing?
We do know that at some point after Bill Barr was confirmed as AG last year, that he began to investigate outing of Flynn and release of classified information, that is, actual crimes.
It is a fair question to ask when he actually began investigation on the Flynn outing, and leaking of classified material related to that.
And to ask when, or if, the CIA, since Jan. 20, 2017, ever did.
We do know there were many public enemies of Flynn at highest levels of DOJ, FBI, CIA, and the office Clapper was in charge of at the time, Director of National Intelligence.
And we know Obama is an enemy of Flynn. If the CIA never took any steps, prior to the Barr confirmation as AG -- and I have no way of knowing whether they did or did not, viz. the Flynn outing and leak of classified information, ---what, if any, might or should be, if any, the consequences of that? And, ditto the DOJ.
As an aside: Judge Emmett Sullivan's ongoing tomfoolery and slapdash in the Flynn criminal case puts in relief, sharp relief, just how upside down this entire issue has become.
It appear this judge want to protect the likes of Obama, and Yates, and the long list of villains whose mission remain: Destroy Flynn at all costs.
-30-Walrus,Keith Harbaugh , 14 May 2020 at 12:49 PM
Flynn's guilty plea being sworn to under penalty of perjury is no small matter, and the DOJs actions have been, in total, extremely odd.
It may be unwise to read too much into this at this point. The DOJ has wasted a couple of years and no doubt millions of dollars worth of the court's time. Sullivan is providing a platform wherein the DOJ will have to fully explain itself in this matter. Both past and present DOJs, that is.What is most relevant here is: What did Flynn know at the time he pled guilty, and what was his state of mind at that time.Bill H , 14 May 2020 at 01:01 PM
I give links to two copies of the "Declaration of Michael T. Flynn", which addresses those issues, together with some discussion by me, here:
As a general observation, there has been a tidal wave of criticism in American media over the DOJ dropping the charges against Flynn.
I have made an attempt to follow what the American MSM are saying about this, and the hostility to both Flynn and Barr is just overwhelming.
Surely that overwhelming media opinion had an effect on Judge Sullivan's bad decision.Perhaps I'm missing something. I know the FBI can listen in on phone calls made to foreign nationals, but how can the FBI legally listen in on phone calls made by the NSC Director of the President-Elect, regardless of who he is talking to?FakeBot , 14 May 2020 at 01:12 PMGeneral Flynn's original law team belonged to Covington & Burling. That's where Eric Holder made partner. Since his time as Attorney General, Holder has returned to that law firm. Like Fred said, they sandbagged the case.turcopolier , 14 May 2020 at 01:45 PMBillHakaPatience , 14 May 2020 at 01:48 PM
The intercept by NSA or CIA would be legal because of Kisliak's nationality.My husband's default TV channel is MSNBC, programming which I often overhear. A fair-minded observer can't help but notice that Obama apologists only mention that Flynn plead guilty twice. They NEVER emphasize the beyond-mitigating aspects of the matter, e.g., that his counsel at the time (which was a law firm also employing former Obama AG Eric Holder) was either incompetent or purposefully negligent in advising him to do so. Nor do they mention that Flynn was threatened with the prospect of his son being prosecuted using rarely-enforced FARA laws. The apologists also fail to remind their audiences that the FBI investigation of Flynn was about to be closed -- much less do they report that he was NEVER charged with perjury in the first place!The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 01:50 PM
The convenient and expedient failure to fully inform people has become typical among the MSM/Democrats/NeverTrumpers, et al. Their efforts to misinform, to perpetuate ignorance, continue to play out not only in the entire Obamagate scandal but it seems also when it comes to COVID-19 policy. No wonder zombie-themed entertainment is so popular in recent years. SMFH...Jim,The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 02:10 PM
Flynn wasn't outed. He was a widely known public figure for years. Trump and Pence announced Flynn lied to them and the FBI when he was fired. I'm not if this was mentioned in the press before Trump's announcement.Walrus,walrus , 14 May 2020 at 04:59 PM
Flynn swore before two judges under penalty of perjury that he lied to the FBI. He then swore that he didn't lie to the FBI when he asked to withdraw his guilty plea. There's the conundrum. If we had the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations, we would know the answer to one of your questions. We could compare that to his guilty plea. We would then know if the prosecution's case was false. In that case both the prosecution and Flynn would be liable for perjuring themselves. It would also constitute prosecutorial misconduct IMO. Barr is doing Flynn a disservice by not releasing those transcripts.TTG, there is this legal thing called the litigation privilege that, I think, covers what an accused can say in a trial. Plenty of people plead guilty to charges that they know to be false without the slightest demur by anyone..Fred , 14 May 2020 at 05:03 PM
Furthermore, Flynn may have become convinced by his lawyers that he had, in effect lied to the FBI. In addition, since he was not under oath or cautioned by the FBI at the time, even if he deliberately did lie for perhaps political or strategic reasons how is that a crime? People lie to people all the time.
To put that another way, is telling a female FBI agent "I'll still respect you in the morning" going to get you 20 years?TTG,TV , 14 May 2020 at 05:28 PM
So all those mass incarcerated black men who pled guilty are really guilty because prosecutorial misconduct and defective legal advice neither happen to them nor are mitigating when a plea of guilty is made? "swore before two judges under penalty of perjury" The DOJ dropped the charges, it is up to the to prosecute for the new accusation that pleading guilty was actually perjury. Good luck at a jury trial with that.
"Sullivan is providing a platform wherein the DOJ will have to fully explain itself in this matter."
So he is willfully refusing to dismiss the case so the DOJ can give him an explanation - other than the one they already gave him in the motion to dismiss? Justice Sullivan, on behalf of the Judiciary, is now taking it upon itself to determine what the executive branch of government was thinking in this case? To get that explanation he has appointed a former member of the judiciary, one who had previously worked side by side with Andrew Weissman. No bias there. You don't need to be a lawyer to see how ludicrous the suggestion and the judges actions appear.Sullivan, like most of the Federal judiciary, is just another swamp creature.Jim , 14 May 2020 at 05:35 PM
He apparently slept through the class in law school where they said that the state has to prosecute the case, a judge can't - even as much as he may want to.The issue is both: the criminal leak of classified information; and the criminal outing -- the identity of Flynn -- related to classified information leak. Those are indissolubly linked.Bobo , 14 May 2020 at 05:58 PM
The issue is also this, thanks to Judge Emmett Gilbert & Sullivan, who wrote May 13, 2020:
"ORDERED that amicus curiae shall address whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury. . . and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law."
Who would be charging Flynn with "criminal contempt for perjury"? And/Or, "and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law"?
Perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan will keep the case open until after the November presidential election, or the November 2024 election, or the next one, so that another DOJ -- not headed by Bill Barr -- can so charge Flynn.
Or perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan is inviting Congress to name a Special Prosecutor.
Who might that be? James Comey? Andrew Weissmann? Sally Yates?
After all, how dare anyone expose Barry as anything but "the scandal free" administration. This is Gilbert & Sullivan's motive, as I see it, my opinion, based on what I have seen so far: To protect Barry, among others. And do that via keeping alive a prosecution of Flynn, based on DOJ/FBI/CIA skullduggery. [Another theory is the judge wants to throw the book at Covington for misconduct; perhaps both or one or the other are at play, I don't have the evidence at this time to clearly say.]
As for Trump and Pence, that is grist for another mill.
For all we know, Trump and Pence may have wanted Flynn gone and they did not care how it was done. And they did not want their finger prints on it; and for all we know, Trump and Pence were not opposed to the Mueller SC appointment.
These are also things we actually just don't have clear answers to, just yet.
But that sideshow is irrelevant to this legal proceeding/circus per the May 13 order.
However, it may [or may not] be relevant to whether or not Trump and Pence actually wanted Flynn gone – using the "Flynn lied" as an excuse to be rid of him.
Pence, at the time, had no business speaking about what was essentially classified information, at the time, by the way; he did, on national TV, and Flynn was the patsy.
Did Trump and Pence, and their administration, sit on their hands as well, and do nothing about the criminal leak of classified information linked to the outing of Flynn?
Claiming he lied could suggest they also were not interested in the crime of leaking classified information and his outing.
At least Bush said or claimed to wanted to get to the bottom of the Plame matter. Did Trump and Pence, at the time?
And if they did want to get to the bottom of it, I would like to see evidence that they did so, and/or evidence that they were thwarted in doing so.
Surely, Trump and Pence can argue this was why they were not opposed to Mueller appointment.
We don't know all the contents of the scope memo Rosenstein wrote, as the boss of Mueller, -- whether or not investigation of the criminal leak and outing of Flynn was or was not part of Mueller's scope of work.
We don't know because chunks of scope memo are still redacted and not available to the public.
Presumably, AG Barr is investigation this; he came back on the scene last year.
What happened before him, going back to Jan. 20, 2017? And, what happened from Jan. 12 to Jan. 2020, with respect to the Obama administration, on this crime?
Did anyone, prior to Barr, do anything, or try to do anything?
If this was not part of Rosenstein's scope memo to Mueller, what can one conclude?
-30-In recent years we have seen numerous individuals released from jail due to their innocence being found by DNA and other scientific processes. A good number of those individuals had plead guilty. In the Sullivan courtroom Flynn plead quietly twice (once to Sullivan the other to Contreras) but now pleads innocent and the government has decided to drop the case. But Judge Sullivan now questions what to do with Flynn and is asking for help from the legal community to determine what to do. It has become a circus or Sullivan wants his pound of flesh. Time will tell but if it is not to the benefit of Flynn then it's off to the Appeals Court where it will be justly determined.The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 07:36 PM
After insinuating that Flynn was a traitor this Judge should drop the case quickly but no he wants make himself like a bigger Idiot.Walrus,blue peacock , 14 May 2020 at 09:23 PM
Flynn's case never went to trial. It went straight to a guilty plea and was awaiting the sentencing phase. If the DOJ dropped charges before this guilty plea or at any time during a trial, I doubt we would be in this mess. What Flynn signed onto is straightforward. I don't know if this litigation privilege would apply to this Defendant's Acceptance.
"The preceding statement is a summary, made for the purpose of providing the Court with a factual basis for my guilty plea to the charge against me. It does not include all of the facts known to me regarding this offense. I make this statement knowingly and voluntarily and because I am, in fact, guilty o f the crime charged. No threats have been made to me nor am I under the influence o f anything that could impede my ability to understand this Statement o f the Offense fully."
"I have read every word of this Statement of the Offense, or have had it read to me. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, after consulting with my attorneys, I agree and stipulate to this Statement of the Offense, and declare under penalty of perjury that it is true and correct."Sullivan is addressing the guilty plea by Flynn and his subsequent withdrawal of that plea. creating the charge of perjury to the court.Vegetius , 14 May 2020 at 10:29 PM
Barr is opening up the DOJ to prosecutorial misconduct if the reason for the withdrawal is exculpatory information that was not provided defendant prior to his guilty plea.
Sullivan is exploiting this discrepancy. I am neither a legal expert nor lawyer so will stand corrected.Down with the kritarchy!Outrage Beyond , 14 May 2020 at 11:51 PMIt seems to be a last minute desperation play by Sullivan to keep Obama out of the frying pan.Jack , 15 May 2020 at 12:46 AM
Just today, the neocon-infested Washington Post ran an editorial, apparently by one of their DNC-affiliated writers, which attempted to jape the whole Obamagate narrative through a paroxysm of superlatives, mocking it as some gigantic and wholly imaginary conspiracy. This effort reminded me of their similar jocularity phase relative to Trump during the 2016 primary season.
I suspect the reality is just the sleazy truth of Obama being just as much of a crooked bastard as Bush. The Obama gang, of course, is desperate to prevent the tarnishing of Saint Barry.
If Flynn does get off in the end, might he sue Obama and at some point depose him? An interesting thought experiment.From the Twitter-in-Chief:robt willmann , 15 May 2020 at 09:37 AMWhere is the 302? It is missing. Was it stolen or destroyed? General Flynn is being persecuted! #OBAMAGATE
I find this hilarious. It is like POTUS is a helpless bystander. Does he not realize it is his DOJ that has "stolen or destroyed" the 302? Does he not know that he can declassify all of "Obamagate"?
Or is his intent to just troll everyone?
And what about him throwing Flynn to the hyenas by firing him?Walrus,JerseyJeffersonian , 15 May 2020 at 12:36 PM
When Judge Sullivan said three days ago that he was going to make a schedule for outside persons and organizations to file written arguments, it was essentially an invitation for arguments against the government's request to dismiss the case. I started to put together an article about that brazen move.
Now Sullivan has abandoned that move and has exposed himself as an advocate singularly against the defendant Flynn, which of course is not his role. His order of Wednesday, 13 May, appointed John Gleeson, a former federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, to present arguments against the motion to dismiss Flynn's case and whether Flynn should be the subject of a proceeding for criminal contempt of court for perjury.
Judge Sullivan's new order indicates that he has improperly invested his ego in the case, and that something is likely going on behind the curtain.Jack,
With all that is emerging from the recent releases of sworn testimony from various actors surrounding the Flynn case, and the Russiagate hoohaw exposing the motivations of these individuals, can it be doubted that given the depth of the duplicity on exhibit here that it is entirely possible (indeed, likely) that something as incriminating as the "missing" 302 was destroyed to cover the tracks?
Although some of the principals left of their own volition, and others were removed through being fired, it is clear that others acted as "stay behind" forces of the Deep State to continue the coup from inside the DOJ, FBI, and IC. Under these circumstances, it is not at all clear that President Trump was (and is now) substantially in command of these agencies. Incriminating documents and recordings may well have been preemptively destroyed on the sayso of the "stay behind" plotters still in high positions, so calls for declassification of already disappeared evidence would be futile.
No, it doesn't look good that Flynn was fired, but at the time, and with what was known at that time , and given Flynn's plea, what could be expected? Now that things have subsequently been revealed, it looks like a bad call; hindsight is, as the saying has it, 20/20.
May 17, 2020 | astutenews.com
May 16, 2020
Source: InfoBrics Former U.S. President Barack Obama is coming under increasing pressure, led by what President Donald Trump is calling "Obamagate." This comes as Mexico has requested to finally clarify the affair with the secret sale of American weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Mexico is asking for the case to be clarified after almost ten years.
In this secret operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, weapons from the U.S. were sold to Mexican drug cartels. The U.S. claimed that about 2,000 automatic weapons were sold to Mexicans so that the Barack Obama administration could follow their path to the drug cartels. Instead, these weapons were used in massacres. Mexican authorities are now seeking answers from the United States.
In addition to selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, Obama is responsible for a lot of global upheaval on the world stage – primarily the so-called "Arab Spring" that should be more accurately described as the "Arab Winter" as it brought death and destruction across the Arab world.
The sale of these weapons to Mexican drug cartels is another ugly legacy of Obama's rule that liberals like to view as one of the best periods of American history. Let's not forget that in 2009 Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for his apparent "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people."
The majority of U.S. media will most likely try and find appropriate excuses so they can minimize Obama's role in these scandals. It is completely clear that the battle over who will be in the White House in the next four years is now taking focus on the Obama era as of opposed to Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 80,000 Americans and infected more than 1.3 million people.
With endless tweets by Donald Trump dedicated to Obama over the past few days, it is as if the presidential battle in November will be fought between him and Obama, and not Democrat сandidate Joe Biden .
The reason for Trump's many tweets against the former president was because of Obama's private conversation that was leaked to the public in which he criticized the suspension of the investigation against Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn , while he called Trump's fight against the coronavirus epidemic a "chaotic disaster."
The American president started tweeting on the morning of May 10 and stopped late in the evening, making over a hundred tweets against Obama. This exchange between Obama and Trump is not common in American politics as former presidents usually do not interfere in the politics of their successors. However, there are suggestions that Obama still has connections to the deep state and is actively undermining Trump.
Obama, who openly admitted he would remain active in politics and wished he could contend for a third term, could be exerting influence through Hillary Clinton and Biden. It is likely Obama is becoming more public as Trump's opponent Biden is proving inadequate and incapable of defeating Trump.
The battle between Obama and Trump started with the announcement that the Ministry of Justice is terminating the investigation against former Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn, who was probably the shortest-serving national security adviser in history, was sacked at the beginning of his term on charges of lying to Vice President Mike Pence about talks with the Russian ambassador to Washington. His removal triggered a chain of failed investigations and campaigns against Trump and his alleged links to Russian interference during the U.S. presidential election, which also ended in a failed impeachment.
In private conversations that leaked to the public, Obama described Flynn's acquittal as a threat to the rule of law.
Trump also retweeted statements from CIA agent Buck Sexton, in which he accused Obama of sabotaging the Trump administration in the first days of his term. Sexton also called former FBI Director Andrew McCabe "a dishonorable partisan scumbag who has done incalculable damage to the reputation of the FBI and should be sitting in a cell for lying under oath"
Trump then continued with accusations on Twitter and said that Obama committed "the biggest political crime in American history, by far!" and ended briefly with "Obamagate."
As for the affair with the secret operation of selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, journalists of Forbes in 2011 wondered whether that operation would become Obama's "Watergate," and it appears that it very well could be. Obama's attempts to smear Trump has not only backfired, but it could have very serious legal ramifications against him and others in his administration.
May 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Hawk Elliot Abrams, reborn as a U.S. envoy, is at the spear point of recent aggressive moves in Venezuela. US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams addresses the Atlantic Council on the future of Venezuela in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2019. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)
May 14, 2020|
12:01 amBarbara Boland As we await answers on who funded the plot to use a handful of mercenaries and ex-Green Berets to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro , it's worth taking a closer look at the man behind regime change policy, the special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.
Called the "neocon zombie" by officials at the State Department, Abrams is known as an operator who doesn't let anything stand in his way. He has a long history of pursuing disastrous policies in government.
"Everything Abrams is doing now is the same thing he was doing during the Reagan administration. He's very adept at manipulating the levers of power without a lot of oversight," a former senior official at the State Department told The American Conservative. The official added that Abrams is "singularly focused" on pursuing regime change in Venezuela.
A little background on Abrams: when he served as Reagan's assistant secretary of state for human rights, he concealed a massacre of a thousand men, women, and children by U.S.-funded death squads in El Salvador. He was also involved in the Iran Contra scandal, helping to secure covert funding for Contra rebels in Nicaragua in violation of laws passed by Congress. In 1991, he pled guilty to lying to Congress about the America's role in those two fiascos -- twice.
But then-president George H.W. Bush pardoned Abrams. He went on to support "measures to scuttle the Latin American peace process launched by the Costa Rican president, Óscar Arias" and use "the agency's money to unseat the Sandinistas in Nicaragua's 1990 general elections," according to Brian D'Haeseleer.
Under President George W. Bush, Abrams promoted regime change in Iraq.
Abrams was initially blocked from joining the Trump administration on account of a Never Trump op-ed he'd penned. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo succeeded in bringing him onboard last year, despite his history of support for disastrous regime change policies.
It's no surprise that with Abrams at the helm, U.S. rhetoric and actions towards Venezuela are constantly "escalating," Dr. Alejandro Velasco, associate professor of Modern Latin America at New York University, said an interview with TAC.
In just the last month, Washington has placed bounties on the heads of President Nicolás Maduro and a dozen current and former Venezuelan officials. The U.S. also deployed the largest fleet ever to the Southern Hemisphere.
Meanwhile, Abrams announced the " Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela ," which calls on Maduro's government to embrace a power-sharing deal. The plan doesn't explain how Venezuelan leaders with bounties on their heads are supposed to come to the table and negotiate with Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's legitimate leader. Abrams has also said that the U.S. does not support a coup.
A few days after recommending a power-sharing arrangement, and 18 years after the U.S. backed a putsch against Hugo Chavez, Abrams warned that if Maduro resisted the organization of a "transitional government," his departure would be far more "dangerous and abrupt." To many, Abrams' aggressive rhetoric against Maduro made it sound like the U.S. was "effectively threatening him with another assassination attempt," like the one Washington had "tacitly supported" in 2018.
Two weeks after Abrams' warning, Operation Gideon began. Jordan Goudreau, an American citizen, former Green Beret, and three-time Bronze Star recipient for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with Javier Nieto, a retired Venezuelan military captain, posted a video from an undisclosed location saying they had launched an attack that was meant to begin a rebellion that would lead to Maduro's arrest and the installation of Juan Guaido.
In a public relations coup for Maduro, the plot was quickly foiled. Given that American citizens were involved and have produced a contract allegedly signed by Guaido, the incident has severely harmed the reputations of both the U.S. and the Venezuelan opposition.
Both President Trump and Pompeo have denied that the U.S. had any "direct" involvement with Goudreau's plot.
However, the Trump administration has given billions of dollars from USAID to Venezuela, and that money is largely untraceable due to concerns about outing supporters of Guaido.
"With all the cash and arms sloshing around in Venezuela," it is not hard to imagine how U.S. funding could inadvertently wind up supporting something like this, said Velasco.
There are other signs that the U.S. may have been more involved in the plot than they are saying publicly.
For one, American mercenaries don't carry passports identifying themselves as American nor do they return to the U.S. where they can be brought up on charges for their work, said Sean McFate, professor of war and strategy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the National Defense University.
In order to sell weapons or training to another nation, it is necessary to receive permission from the State Department. It's unclear whether Goudreau and his band did so. But Goudreau's social media posts look like a pretty "clear cut" violation of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) said Peter Singer, a senior fellow at New America.
We know that months before the fated coup, the CIA met with Goudreau in Jamaica and allegedly warned him off the project. According to the AP, Goudreau is now under investigation for arms trafficking . Members of Congress have asked the State Department what they knew of Goudreau's plans. Given the illegal nature of the supposedly unauthorized project, it's very strange that the ringleader is at present in Florida, talking to the press and posting on social media.
Besides that warning, it seems no one in government tried to stop this calamitous operation.
And it's not just regime change. Last year, Abrams advocated granting special immigration status for the 70,000 Venezuelans residing illegally in the U.S. as a way to "pressure Maduro" even though Trump ran on the promise to severely limit the number of people granted Temporary Protected Status.
It was in pursuit of special status for Venezuelans that Abrams showed himself to be "incredibly pompous, bull-headed, and willing to destroy anyone who opposes him, in a personal way, including by trashing their reputations in the media," another senior State Department official told TAC. Abrams is not above hiding policy options he doesn't like and offering only those he favors to Pompeo to present to Trump, sources said.
Abrams ultimately prevailed and Venezuelans received refugee status from the Trump administration, despite the fact that it betrayed Trump's campaign promises.
According to Velasco, there are some people in the administration who believe that Venezuelans are the "new Cubans" -- that they will become a solid, loyal Republican vote in the swing state of Florida if they're granted special status. They also believe that Venezuelan expats want to see the U.S. remove Maduro. There are "many Cold Warriors" who believe all it will take is a "little push" for Venezuelans to rise up and take out Maduro, said Velasco.
The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on whether Abrams is pursuing a military confrontation in Venezuela.
"Cold Warrior" beliefs are dangerous. While "Operation Gideon" was especially clownish, had it been more sophisticated, it could have easily sparked a world war. The Russians, Iranians, and Chinese are all operating in Venezuela.
That specter is even more concerning now that Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov has said that Russian special services are on standby to help Venezuela's investigation of the mercenaries. about the author Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .
May 16, 2020 | astutenews.comThe reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or "World Order") in which "Might makes right," and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster "law," ruling on an international level. It is what Hitler and his Axis of fascist imperialists had imposed upon the world until the Allies -- U.S. under FDR, UK under Churchill, and U.S.S.R. under Stalin -- defeated it, and established the United Nations. Furthermore, America's leaders deceived the American public into perpetrating this invasion and occupation, of a foreign country (Iraq) that had never threatened the United States; and, so, this invasion and subsequent military occupation constitutes the very epitome of "aggressive war" -- unwarranted and illegal international aggression. (Hitler, similarly to George W. Bush, would never have been able to obtain the support of his people to invade if he had not lied, or "deceived," them, into invading and militarily occupying foreign countries that had never threatened Germany, such as Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This -- Hitler's lie-based aggressions -- was the core of what the Nazis were hung for, and yet America now does it.)
As Peter Dyer wrote in 2006, about "Iraq & the Nuremberg Precedent" :
Invoking the precedent set by the United States and its allies at the Nuremberg trial in 1946, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war of aggression. There was no imminent threat to U.S. security nor to the security of the world. The invasion violated the U.N. Charter as well as U.N. Security Council Resolution #1441.
The Nuremberg precedent calls for no less than the arrest and prosecution of those individuals responsible for the invasion of Iraq, beginning with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleez[z]a Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.
Take, for example, Condoleezza Rice, who famously warned "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." (That warning was one of the most effective lies in order to deceive the American public into invading Iraq, because President Bush had had no real evidence, at all, that there still remained any WMD in Iraq after the U.N. had destroyed them all, and left Iraq in 1998 -- and he knew this; he was informed of this; he knew that he had no real evidence, at all: he offered none; it was all mere lies .)
So, the Nuremberg precedent definitely does apply against George W, Bush and his partners-in-crime, just as it did against Hitler and his henchmen and allies.
The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it .
On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet "The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq" and wrote that "our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion," and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.
On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered "US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone" , and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime's invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).
On 29 September 2015, I headlined "GALLUP: 'Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World'," and linked to Gallup's survey of 1,000 individuals in each of 148 countries around the world, which found that Iraq had the highest "Negative Experience Score." That score includes "sadness," "physical pain," "anger," and other types of misery -- and Iraq, after America's invasion, has scored the highest in the entire world, on it, and in the following years has likewise scored at or near the highest on "Negative Experience Score." For example: in the latest, the 2019, Gallup "Global Emotions Report" , Iraq scores fourth from the top on "Negative Experience Score," after (in order from the worst) Chad, Niger, and Sierra Leone. (Gallup has been doing these surveys ever since 2005, but the first one that was published under that title was the 2015 report, which summarized the 2014 surveys' findings.) Of course, prior to America's invasion, there had been America's 1990 war against Iraq and the U.S. regime's leadership and imposition of U.N. sanctions (which likewise were based largely on U.S.-regime-backed lies , though not totally on lies like the 2003 invasion was), which caused massive misery in that country; and, therefore, not all of the misery in Iraq which showed up in the 2015 Global Emotions Report was due to only the 2003 invasion and subsequent military occupation of that country. But almost all of it was, and is. And all of it was based on America's rulers lying to the public in order to win the public's acceptance of their evil plans and invasions against a country that had never posed any threat whatsoever to Americans -- people residing in America . Furthermore, it is also perhaps relevant that the 2012 "World Happiness Report" shows Iraq at the very bottom of the list of countries (on page 55 of that report) regarding "Average Net Affect by Country," meaning that Iraqis were the most zombified of all 156 nationalities surveyed. Other traumatized countries were immediately above Iraq on that list. On "Average Negative Affect," only "Palestinian Territories" scored higher than Iraq (page 52). After America's invasion based entirely on lies, Iraq is a wrecked country, which still remains under the U.S. regime's boot, as the following will document:
Bush's successors, Obama and Trump, failed to press for Bush's trial on these vast crimes, even though the American people had ourselves become enormously victimized by them, though far less so than Iraqis were. Instead, Bush's successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter. In fact, the "Defense One" site bannered on 26 September 2018, "US Official: We May Cut Support for Iraq If New Government Seats Pro-Iran Politicians" , and opened with "The Trump administration may decrease U.S. military support or other assistance to Iraq if its new government puts Iranian-aligned politicians in any 'significant positions of responsibility,' a senior administration official told reporters late last week." The way that the U.S. regime has brought 'democracy' to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators' bidding, against Iraq's neighbor Iran. This specific American dictator, Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America's fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America's anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives. "The U.S. threat, to withhold aid if Iran-aligned politicians occupy any ministerial position, is an escalation of Washington's demands on Baghdad." The article went on to quote a "senior administration official" as asserting that, "if Iran exerts a tremendous amount of influence, or a significant amount of influence over the Iraqi government, it's going to be difficult for us to continue to invest." Get the euphemisms there! This article said that "the Trump administration has made constraining Iran's influence in the region a cornerstone of their foreign policy." So, this hostility toward Iran must be reflected in Iraq's policies, too. It's not enough that Trump wants to destroy Iran like Bush has destroyed Iraq; Trump demands that Iraq participate in that crime, against Iraq's own neighbor. This article said that, "There have also been protests against 'U.S. meddling' in the formation of a new Iraqi government, singling out Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk for working to prevent parties close to Iran from obtaining power." McGurk is the rabidly neconservative former high G.W. Bush Administration official, and higher Obama Administration official, who remained as Trump's top official on his policy to force Iraq to cooperate with America's efforts to conquer Iran. Trump's evil is Obama's evil, and is Bush's evil. It is bipartisan evil, no matter which Party is in power. Though Trump doesn't like either the Bushes or Obamas, all of them are in the same evil policy-boat. America's Deep State remains the same, no matter whom it places into the position of nominal power. The regime remains the same, regardless.
On April 29th, the whistleblowing former UK Ambassador Craig Murray wrote :
Nobody knows how many people died as a result of the UK/US Coalition of Death led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, by proxy, Syria and Yemen. Nobody even knows how many people western forces themselves killed directly. That is a huge number, but still under 10% of the total. To add to that you have to add those who died in subsequent conflict engendered by the forced dismantling of the state the West disapproved of. Some were killed by western proxies, some by anti-western forces, and some just by those reverting to ancient tribal hostility and battle for resources into which the country had been regressed by bombing.
You then have to add all those who died directly as a result of the destruction of national infrastructure. Iraq lost in the destruction 60% of its potable drinking water, 75% of its medical facilities and 80% of its electricity. This caused millions of deaths, as did displacement. We are only of course talking about deaths, not maiming.
UK's Prime Minister Tony Blair should hang with the U.S. gang, but who is calling for this? How much longer will the necessary prosecutions wait? Till after these international war-criminals have all gone honored to their graves?
Although the International Criminal Court considered and dismissed possible criminal charges against Tony Blair's UK Government regarding the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, the actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that "the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute" (which was only "Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians" and which ignored the real crime, which was "aggressive war" or "the crime of aggression" -- the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg). Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world's most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn't, Barack Obama repeatedly said that "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation" , which likewise means that every other nation is "dispensable." The criminal International Criminal Court accepts this, and yet expects to be respected.
The U.S. regime did "regime change" to Iraq in 2003, and to Ukraine in 2014 , and tried to do it to Syria since 2009 , and to Yemen since 2015, and to Venezuela since 2012, and to Iran since 2017 -- just to mention some of the examples. And, though the Nuremberg precedent certainly applies, it's not enforced. In principle, then, Hitler has posthumously won WW II.
Hitler must be smiling, now. FDR must be rolling in his grave.
The only way to address this problem, if there won't be prosecutions against the 'duly elected' (Deep-State-approved and enabled) national leaders and appointees, would be governmental seizure and nationalization of the assets that are outright owned or else controlled by America's Deep State. Ultimately, the Government-officials who are s'elected' and appointed to run the American Government have been and are representing not the American people but instead represent the billionaires who fund those officials' and former officials' careers . In a democracy, those individuals -- the financial enablers of those politicians' s'electoral' success -- would be dispossessed of all their assets, and then prosecuted for the crimes that were perpetrated by the public officials whom they had participated in (significantly funded and propagandized for) placing into power. (For example, both Parties' Presidential nominees are unqualified to serve in any public office in a democracy.)
Democracy cannot function with a systematically lied-to public . Nor can it function if the responsible governmental officials are effectively immune from prosecution for their 'legal' crimes, or if the financial string-pullers behind the scenes can safely pull those strings. In America right now, both of those conditions pertain, and, as a result, democracy is impossible . There are only two ways to address this problem, and one of them would start by prosecuting George W. Bush.
Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .
May 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Thomas Meaney debunks the myth of Henry Kissinger:
Since leaving office, too, Kissinger has rarely challenged consensus, let alone offered the kind of inconvenient assessments that characterized the later career of George Kennan, who warned President Clinton against NATO expansion after the Soviet Union's collapse. It is instructive to measure Kissinger's instincts against those of a true realist, such as the University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer. As the Cold War ended, Mearsheimer was so committed to the "balance of power" principle that he made the striking suggestion of allowing nuclear proliferation in a unified Germany and throughout Eastern Europe. Kissinger, unable to see beyond the horizon of the Cold War, could not imagine any other purpose for American power than the pursuit of global supremacy.
Although he has criticized the interventionism of neoconservatives, there is scarcely a U.S. military adventure, from Panama to Iraq, that has not met with his approval. In all his meditations on world order, he has not thought about how contingent and unforeseen America's rise as global superpower actually was. Nothing in the country's republican tradition prior to the Second World War demanded it.
The contrast between the worldviews and careers of Kennan and Kissinger is instructive, and it helps to explain why the Washington foreign policy consensus has gotten so many things wrong over the decades. Meaney mentions that as early as 1965 Kissinger was privately admitting that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, but publicly he supported it and went on to preside over its continuation and escalation for many years. During the same period, Kennan spoke out against the war, and urged full withdrawal. Kennan famously said:
There is more respect to be won in the opinion of this world by a resolute and courageous liquidation of unsound positions than by the most stubborn pursuit of extravagant or unpromising objectives.
Kissinger insisted on just the opposite: that the cynical and stubborn pursuit of extravagant and unpromising objectives was necessary to prove American resolve. Kissinger couldn't have been more wrong, as subsequent events showed beyond any doubt, but his profound wrongness had little or no effect on his standing in the U.S. It is no accident that Kissinger has repeatedly endorsed pursuing such objectives up to and including the invasion of Iraq. The blunders that Kennan warned against and correctly foresaw would be costly and wasteful are the same ones that Kissinger approved and defended.
Our government usually listens to and employs the Kissingers to make our foreign policy, and it ignores and marginalizes the Kennans once they start saying inconvenient things. Kissinger had great success in advancing himself, and he has continued to be a fixture in the foreign policy establishment almost fifty years after he last served in government, because he knows how to provide arguments that lend legitimacy to dubious and aggressive policies. He made bogus claims about "credibility" in the '60s that helped to perpetuate one war, and later generations of hawks have used the same claims to justify involvement in new ones. Despite all the evidence that his "credibility" arguments were nonsense, Kissinger's reputation has bizarrely continued to improve over time.
Meaney also compares Kissinger with Hans Morgenthau:
Like Kissinger, Morgenthau had become well known with a popular book about foreign policy, "Politics Among Nations" (1948). And he shared Kissinger's belief that foreign policy could not be left to technocrats with flowcharts and statistics. But, unlike Kissinger, Morgenthau was unwilling to sacrifice his realist principles for political influence [bold mine-DL]. In the mid-sixties, working as a consultant for the Johnson Administration, he was publicly critical of the Vietnam War, which he believed jeopardized America's status as a great power, and Johnson had him fired.
The different responses to Vietnam are telling. Kennan and Morgenthau could see very clearly that U.S. intervention was unnecessary and senseless, and they said as much. Kissinger could see the same thing, but he pretended otherwise to gain influence. U.S. foreign policy then and later would have benefited greatly from having more honest assessments of irresponsible policies and fewer cynical endorsements of unnecessary wars. If we are to learn anything from Kissinger's example, it is that we should strive to be as unlike him as we can be.
kouroi • 4 days agoYeah, right. It will only get worse.Tim Chapman kouroi • 4 days ago
See Orwell's 1984 in full swing: How US erases history of WWII and the Soviet Union's overwhelming contribution to defeating Hitler's Germany.
Also, it is worth mentioning the Soviet diplomacy's response to Keenan's Long Telegram, for parity:
While Mr. Larison has to / must continue his excellent work as a chronicler of US imperial madness, his and his peers' advice will continue to be ignored (ideally this advice would not even exist and no record of it would pass beyond government doors or "respectable" opinionators because TINA) regardless of public opinion pools and election promises and voting results.
Only a US societal quasi collapse, or the establishment of US as an endemic source of Covid-19 (or similar diseases), or Saudis selling their oil for other currencies beside US dollars, or a faster rising of ocean levels, or a full blown and rapid economic war and disengagement with China will potentially re-balance things. But it might be too late, and the US would have by then forgotten how to use certain intellectual tools the way Australian Aborigines and Tasmanians have forgotten to make and use bows and arrows.It's amusingly daft to describe the US as having engaged in imperial madness, but ludicrous to assert that Australian Aborigines ever used bows and arrows.Feral Finster Tim Chapman • 4 days agoThe United States acts and talks like an empire, or need I trot out that quote fromt hat Bush-era apparatchik again?Tim • 4 days ago
And talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. If Kouroi used the term "boomerangs" instead of "bows and arrows", would that make you happy?Thanks for that. I have always had a vague awareness that HK was a problematic factor, but, being preoccupied with the daily grind, never scrutinized the record much. This short comparative piece is good for clarity. Perhaps the saddest thing of all, though, is that after all these decades, the HK perspective has become accepted by the Neo- factions (cons? libs? does it matter?) as a default position. Makes US seem like we're in the thrall of a military-industrial complex or something.Mark Pietrzyk • 4 days ago • editedIn defense of Kissinger, he was skeptical of the expansion of NATO to the Baltic states and was much more open to diplomacy with Russia than most hawks in the GOP. But you're right that too often Kissinger was afraid to make waves by opposing military interventions. https://www.washingtonpost....DUNK Mark Pietrzyk • 4 days agoHenry Kissinger called US soldiers "dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy" and he's been advising Trump since 2016.Bag Man • 4 days agoKissinger is an example that this old adage is true. "Only the Good Die Young". The devil is waiting for him. Kissinger is responsible for murdering and torturing many.TheSnark • 4 days ago • editedKissinger was a brilliant historian and diplomat, with deep insights into how the world works. However he was also a careerist who was willing to bend his views to achieve and stay in power. For better or worse, he shaped US foreign policy for many years, and strongly influenced it for many more.Connecticut Farmer TheSnark • 2 days ago
Kennan was also a brilliant historian and diplomat, who had a huge impact on US policy with his Long Telegram. But once the policy was accepted, he had little influence over its long-term implementation because he refused to compromise and work with (manipulate?) lesser beings.
And today, our foreign policy is run by people who know little of the world and none of its history, and could care less. But they are great at PR and political manipulation. I'll take either Kissinger or Kennan over any of them. Whatever their flaws, at least they knew what they were talking aboutYou are correct in your description of Kissinger as a "careerist". Unfortunately, unlike Kissinger George Kennan never became SoS, so he never had the president's=marco01= • 4 days ago • edited
"ear." Some would argue that Truman should have picked him over Dean Acheson to succeed George Marshall. One can only wonder how history would have panned out.=marco01= • 4 days ago • edited....as early as 1965 Kissinger was privately admitting that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, but publicly he supported it and went on to preside over its continuation and escalation for many years.
How could he stubbornly persist knowing that every day Americans were losing their lives - for years. This guy must be a sociopath.....as early as 1965 Kissinger was privately admitting that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, but publicly he supported it and went on to preside over its continuation and escalation for many years.
How could he stubbornly persist knowing that every day Americans were losing their lives - for years. This guy must be a sociopath.
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Absaalookemensch , 1 week ago
Adam Schiff is a model Democrat. He has no integrity, decency, honesty. He's a model Democrat.
May 15, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
WHY IS THE US IN SYRIA?
Washington longer bothers to prettify – the boot is straight to the face. ISIS?
Forget ISIS says Jeffrey : " My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians ".
An amazing confession, in the same class as " We lied, we cheated, we stole ".
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Washington now says it's all about defeating the Russians . While it's not the first time this has been thrown around in policy circles (recall that a year after Russia's 2015 entry into Syria at Assad's invitation, former CIA Deputy Director Mike Morell admitted in a TV interview he views that the US should be in the business of "killing Russians and Iranians covertly" ).
And now the top US special envoy to region, James Jeffrey, has this to say on US troops in Syria :
"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."
Ironically, Jeffrey's official title has been Special Envoy for the Global Coalition to Defeat ISIL, but apparently the mission is now to essentially "give the Russians hell". His comments were made Tuesday during a video conference hosted by the neocon Hudson Institute :
Asked why the American public should tolerate US involvement in Syria, Special Envoy James Jeffrey points out the small US footprint in the fight against ISIS. "This isn't Afghanistan. This isn't Vietnam. This isn't a quagmire. My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."
He also emphasized that the Syrian state would continue to be squeezed into submission as part of long-term US efforts (going back to at least 2011) to legitimize a Syria government in exile of sorts. This after the Trump administration recently piled new sanctions on Damascus. As University of Oklahoma professor and expert on the region Joshua Landis summarized of Jeffrey's remarks: "He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government."
"My job is to make it a quagmire for the Russians."
Special US envoy to Syria - James Jeffery
He pledged that the United States will continue to deny Syria - international funding, reconstruction, oil, banking, agriculture & recognition of government. https://t.co/MSAkQqAmdh-- Joshua Landis (@joshua_landis) May 12, 2020
But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks). But no doubt both Putin and Assad have understood Washington's real proxy war interests all along, which is why last year Russia delivered it's lethal S-300 into the hands of Assad (and amid constant Israeli attacks).
As for oil, currently Damascus is well supplied by the Iranians, eager to dump their stock in fuel-starved Syria amid the global glut. Trump has previously voiced that part of US troops "securing the oil fields" is to keep them out of the hands of Russia and Iran.
* * *
Recall the CIA's 2016 admission of what's really going on in terms of US action in Syria:
May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Tom Luongo via Gold, Goats, 'n Guns blog,
From the beginning of the story RussiaGate was always about Barack Obama . I didn't always see it that way, certainly. My seething hatred for all things Hillary Clinton is a powerful blind spot I admit to freely.
But, it's clear that Obama was always the vector through which the entire investigation into Donald Trump pointed. He's the only one with the power to have marshaled the forces arrayed against Trump for the past four years.
We've known this for a couple of years now but there were a seemingly endless series of distractions put in place to obfuscate the truth...
Donald Trump was not a Russian agent.
What's clear now is the President Obama's administration was regularly engaged in illegally using NSA database access to spy on Americans and political opponents . This operation pre-dates Trump by a few years.
It was de rigeur by the time the election cycle ramped up in 2016. The timing of events is during that time period paints a very damning picture. This article from Zerohedge by way of Conservative Treehouse lays out the timing, the activities and the shifts in the narrative that implicate Obama beyond any doubt.
On April 18, 2016, following the preliminary audit results, Director Rogers shut down all FBI contractor access to the database after he learned FISA-702 "about"(17) and "to/from"(16) search queries were being done without authorization. Thus begins the first discovery of a much bigger background story.
And that's when everything changed. Because at that point, having lost access Obama's spy team needed another way into the NSA database. Enter Fusion GPS, Christopher Steele and the ridiculous dossier used to issue FISA warrants on Carter Page and all the rest of it.
The details are all there for anyone with eyes willing to see, the question is whether anyone deep in the throes of Trump Derangement Syndrome will take their eyes off the shadow play in front of them long enough to look.
I'm not holding my breath.
Obama is guilty of the highest crimes a President can be guilty of, utilizing Federal law enforcement and intelligence services to spy on a political opponent during an election. This is after eight years of ruinous wars, coups both successful and not, drone-striking U.S. citizens and generally carrying on like the vandal he is.
OBAMAGATE! pic.twitter.com/pFbb6hgDhF-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) May 12, 2020
... ... ...
These people obviously missed the key point about Goebbels' Big Lie theory of propaganda. For it to work there has to be a nugget of truth to wrap the lie in before you can repeat it endlessly to make it real. And that's why RussiaGate is dead. Long live ObamaGate.
Obama's people have been covering for him for nearly four years now. They have been exposed as bald-faced liars by the transcripts of their impeachment testimonies to Adam Schiff and the House Intelligence Committee.
None of them were willing to testify under oath, and be guilty of perjury, to the effect that Trump was colluding with the Russians. But, they'd say it on TV, Twitter and anywhere else they could to attack Trump with patent nonsense.
Now that the heat is rising and the apparatus they used to control turns its attention to what they did, enough of them will roll over and give Attorney General William Barr what he wants. Some of them will fall on their sword for Obama.
But I don't think Trump will be satisfied with that. He has to know that Obama is the key to truly draining the Swamp if that is, in fact, his goal. Because if he doesn't attack Obama now, Obama will be formidable in October. Both men are fighting for their lives at this point.
Trump was supposed to roll over and play nice. But Pat Buchanan rightly had him pegged at the beginning of this back in January of 2017, saying that Trump wasn't like Nixon, he wouldn't walk away to protect the office of the Presidency. He would fight to the bitter end because that's who he is.
And here we are coming into the home stretch and the bitter end is staring these people in the face. They've lost all credibility, corrupted whole swaths of the Federal government beyond recognition and activated every resource they have in the media and the chattering classes to make manifest a bald-faced lie. And it didn't work. Now the desperation sets in. The exoneration of Gen. Michael Flynn, the release of the transcripts and conflicting stories told by John Brennan, James Clapper, James Comey and the rest all point to something beyond sinister.
You can smell the fear now. From Bill Kristol to John Brennan they can see the end of their project, whether it was for a New American Neocon Century or just the cynical push for a transnational oligarchy based around the European Union, their Utopian dreams have run into the immovable object of a people refusing to believe their lies anymore.
... ... ...
* * *
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May 13, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comFormer CIA director John Brennan suppressed intelligence which indicated that Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because "she was a known quantity," vs. the unpredictable Donald Trump, according to Fox News ' Ed Henry.
During a Tuesday night discussion with Tucker Carlson, Henry said that Brennan "also had intel saying, actually, Russia wanted Hillary Clinton to win because she was a known quantity, she had been secretary of state, and Vladimir Putin's team thought she was more malleable, while candidate Donald Trump was unpredictable."
Perhaps Russian President Vladimir Putin has fond memories of the time Bill Clinton hung out at his 'private homestead' during the same trip where he collected a $500,000 payday for a speech at a Moscow bank, right before the Uranium One deal was approved.
And as Breitbart 's Joel Pollak notes, Henry's claim backs up a similar allegation by former National Security Council chief of staff Fred Fleitz , who said on April 22:
House Intelligence Committee staff told me that after an exhaustive investigation reviewing intelligence and interviewing intelligence officers, they found that Brennan suppressed high-quality intelligence suggesting that Putin actually wanted the more predictable and malleable Clinton to win the 2016 election .
Instead, the Brennan team included low-quality intelligence that failed to meet intelligence community standards to support the political claim that Russian officials wanted Trump to win, House Intelligence Committee staff revealed. They said that CIA analysts also objected to including that flawed, substandard information in the assessment.
Fox 's Henry said that he has obtained independent confirmation of the pro-Clinton Russia claim made by Fleitz .
Brennan's concealment of this key information was yet another link in the chain of the Obama administration's plot to smear Donald Trump as a Russian asset - a hoax supported by the Clinton-funded Steele dossier, which the FBI knew was Russian disinformation (or, more likely, Steele's Russophobic fantasies) before they used it as a predicate to spy on Trump aide Carter Page during the 2016 election.
And now, Brennan is a contributor on MSNBC. How fitting.
May 12, 2020 | www.unz.com
Wally , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 3:08 pm GMT@JoaoAlfaiate – You mean the Syria where US troops sent by Obama are being withdrawn by Trump.
– What Syrian oil has Trump stolen? None.
– Obama was the first president in US history to be at war for every single day of his eight year presidency.
– Obama approved military action in seven countries, including Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya, Pakistan, Somalia, Syria and Yemen as well as special operations on a smaller scale all over the globe.
Obama's Horrible Record: 'Obama on Mount Rushmore: Move Over Guys, Room for One More Con Artist'
May 12, 2020 | www.unz.com
LondonBob , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 8:00 am GMTThe optimistic version is that Trump, like many US Presidents, freed from the need to campaign for reelection, will take a harsher line on Israel. The alternative is that freed from that need he will escalate in the region and start an unpopular war for Israel against Iran. I just don't know.Séamus Ó Néill , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 8:16 am GMT
Still be interested in your thoughts on the Roger Stone revelations.Friedman, Trump, Pompeo etc, etc are insanely delusional. The Zionists have killed the goose that laid the golden egg. America is bankrupt and in terminal decayLudwig Watzal , says: Website Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 10:26 am GMTDavid Friedman should be charged with treason. When does Donald Trump appoint a US ambassador to Israel? But Giraldi's article tells more about the mentality, servility, and corruption of the American political and media class. Not only is Congress an Israeli Occupied Territory but also the White House. A saying has to be modified regarding the American people: The Zionists can fool people all the time.fayez chergui , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 10:46 am GMTThe Lavon affair, the attack on the USS Liberty and 9/11, the nec plus ultra.Realist , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 10:48 am GMT@TrinityMoi , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 11:07 am GMT
NO WAY should we have dual citizens in Washington, D.C. for this reason alone.
NO WAY should we have dual citizens in the US.
FIFY@Wally I think PG and all of us need to relax. The tipping point of America's downward slide began with its bloody, crazed response to 9/11. Covid-19 has accelerated the downward trajectory. One more big screw-up, and it's curtains for the Greatest Nation Since The Beginning of Time (i.e. The USofA).Moi , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 11:08 am GMT
The American Zio nut-jobs are right–bring on the rapture. LOL!!!
PS:My only fear is that, when the rapture arrives, the US and Israel don't take the rest of humanity down with them.@Z-man Right. Sheldon Adelson owns the Orange Man, lock, stock and barrel.Z-man , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:01 pm GMT@Moi Adelson and others are buying Trump's re election bid but if he was completely under the Shylocks (plural) spells the MSM/Deep State/Owned Government would be performing virtual fellatio on Donald and they're not.eah , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:19 pm GMT
One hint on how it will go is if 'meat head' Pompeo, a zeolot Christian Zionist with that crazed shit eating grin, is removed early on in Trump's second term. If he isn't replaced with a real, pragmatic America First patriot then greater Iz'rael will be closer than ever to fruition and only Jesus can help us then.What's the need for annexation when they already exercise nearly complete control?Crony Virus , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:26 pm GMT@fayez chergui Zionism is cut from the same cloth as Nazism and Bolshevism, and cut by the same hand – the Anglo-American banking establishment. Insider Anthony C. Sutton has documented this quite well, as has Bill Clinton mentor Carroll Quigley. Zionism is really a bizarre parody of Nazism, right down to the tribal "master race" fantasy, the concentration camps, and the internal, hated, ethnic "other." Israel was created with an alliance between Nazis and self-hating, atheist, Zionist Jews – Nazi troop ships brought whole Jewish factories and villages to Palestine before the war. They betrayed the observant Jews of Europe.paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:38 pm GMT
But yes, Mossad works with the CIA to do these false flags...@Z-manparanoid goy , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 12:51 pm GMT
I think they hate him because they don't completely own him like they completely own sleepy Joe Biden.
The only time I ever see the media truly attack Trump, is when he is too slow to war, enforced vaccination, war, money for Israel, war
Yep, that MSM sure hates Trump when he drags his feet at their agenda (21).@Z-manJoaoAlfaiate , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 1:20 pm GMT
the MSM/Deep State/Owned Government would be performing virtual fellatio on Donald and they're not.
The role of the media (and the "Opposition", of course) is to gadfly your government towards the aims of Zion. Your government wants to raise taxes but cannot justify it? The Press will inform the people of the urgent need to subsidise transgender bathrooms. The bathrooms will never be built, or a few only, the rest of the billions wil go where billions go Pentagon needs more money? MSM is there to show you the White Helmet footage ashen corpses that turn out to be actors. Or how about a politician " with the acceptance rating of a fucking mother Theresa" to hold up a vial of white powder in Congress and call it anthrax?
If you think for one moment Trump or anyone else is speaking off the script, forget it. Ever since Reagan, the White House has been occupied by actors and special effect cameramen. Be careful you aren't watching the wrong show .
"But it's the only show in town!"@paranoid goy And the only time the media praises Trump is when he is attacking Syria or stealing Syria's oil.annamaria , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 2:19 pm GMT@A123 Great. The Jewish State has been working on the Law of Expulsion for non-Jewish citizens. This law should become reciprocal towards all Israelis living outside Israel. Go home. Speak Hebrew, oscillate for hours at the Roman theater wall (wailing wall), and negotiate with your Muslim cousins on your own. Leave western civilization alone.Just another serf , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 2:28 pm GMT
Expulsion of nearly all remaining Palestinians, even the ones who are Israeli citizens, will no doubt come next and has in fact been called for by some Jewish politicians.
These Jewish politicians and their progeny should be shown a door when they desire to live outside Israel. Go home.
The Jewish State and Israel-firsters have been promoting the Wars for Eretz Israel against secular Iraq, Syria, and Libya by manipulating the US congress. The Jewish State has been arming the jihadis to kill the civilian populations in Syria and Libya. Millions died, including thousands and thousands of children (the latter actually makes zionists rejoice). The Jewish State has been arming and supporting Ukrainian Banderites (the self-proclaimed neo-Nazi). The gigantic hole in the sanctimonious narrative of the incomparable Jewish suffering is impossible to hide. The holobiz profiteering schema is collapsing.
The supremacist zio-idiots cannot help themselves but igniting a disgust towards everything Jewish. Time for the Jewish Communities worldwide to come to their senses.This surreal performance by Pelosi in front of some Jewish PAC doesn't get nearly the attention it deserves. It allows us a glimpse into the "minds" of our leaders. And it's terrifying.Trinity , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 2:46 pm GMT
https://www.youtube.com/embed/U1LmnQRnw8I?feature=oembedWe all know that Israel has indeed attacked Americans in the Lavon Affair and the USS Liberty and their fingerprints are all over 911. And exactly how many Jonathan Pollards live among us in America? How many Julius and Ethel Rosenbergs? How many Professor Charles Liebers? Remarkably, with all this corona virus talk going on 24/7, Lieber's name seems to have disappeared for some strange reason. Then we have the JFK assassination which Israel is one of the most likely suspects in the assassination of an American president. Dr. Carl (((Weiss))) shot presidential candidate Huey Long. Jacob (((Rubenstein))) shot and killed Oswald. Was Jack Ruby a paid assassin silencing Oswald before he could spill the beans? haha. What do you think? You wonder how often a Jewish assassin was involved in some way in throughout history in the killing of a Western leader or political candidate? Would make for an interesting list. And more recently we have the Neo-Commies better known as the (((Neocons))) who have taken over America's foreign policy and give the President his marching orders. On the other side of the coin, or at least (((they))) pretend to be on the other side of the coin, the (((Neo-Bolsheviks))) who promote open borders, anti-White racism, homosexual marriage, etc. But strangely one thing the Neocons and Neo-Bolsheviks all agree on is wars for Israel, closed borders for Israel, and the same rules that MUST be adhered to by the West do not apply to Israel. How many Jeffrey Epsteins and Jonathan Pollards are working in America still? How many Sheldon Adelsons, George Soros aka George Schwartz, and other Jewish Zionist are out there buying Western leaders and ordering them around like dogs? Yep, pretty safe to say that Israel annexed America decades ago, we know at least as far back as Woodrow Wilson, long before Israel even existed that World Jewry was pulling the strings behind the scenes.anarchyst , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 3:02 pm GMT@Jake Your "friend" espouses what is very wrong with Protestantism.SolontoCroesus , says: Show Comment May 12, 2020 at 3:16 pm GMT
The "dog-eat-dog" materialism that is espoused by Protestants comes directly from the talmudic judaic way of thinking and is not Christian in any sense.
According to Protestant "ethics", "good works" cannot be a factor in "salvation" and are of no use. Protestant "Salvation" is achieved by grace and mercy alone–not by the performance of "good works".
A person can be a "bad" person all of his life, taking unfair advantage of others, embezzling from others, in general abusing others that he has dealt with, sinning constantly, and upon his deathbed profess a belief in Jesus Christ and automatically be "saved" .
Whereas a non-religious person who has been a good person all of his life, performing "good works" not for any personal gain, but because "it is the right thing to do" , being altruistic, attempting to ease the pain of his fellow man will not achieve "salvation" because he does not profess the same belief in Jesus Christ.
Something is very wrong with this picture.
"Good works" have always been a major part of the Catholic faith and have been used for the betterment of all mankind. From Catholic institutions such as hospitals and universities, to Catholic schools and other institutions, the whole narrative of mankind has been uplifted to a much greater degree than that of "dog-eat dog" , "got to get ahead (at any cost)" Protestantism.
Yes, the Catholic Church has its "warts" and problems, but in essence, has been a great driver in the advancement of all of mankind.
". . . realize how much Israel can do for the U.S. – for example, by putting groundbreaking Israeli innovations on the market in the U.S. first." [Friedman]
Sure, steal the technology, re-engineer it, and then quietly arrange sweetheart trade deals through one's co-religionists to sell it back to the suckers in the United States. [Giraldi]
If only it were as innocent as merely stealing from USA.
Rick Wiles slowly and persistently pulls back the mask : Israelis are the "groundbreaking innovators" of "contact tracing"; Bibi declared that "We must start with the children: inject them with microchips so an alarm will go off when someone comes near them . . ."
May 11, 2020 | www.unz.com
Anonymous  Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 11, 2020 at 10:43 am GMT
To achieve their goals, the pro-NATO propagandists often exploit the so-called 'Russian threat' concept; however, this merely provides a cover for their aggressive actions to silence and discredit opposing opinions and sources of information they deem to be counter to their own interests.
The reason behind their activity is simple – they must justify their existence in reports to their sponsors. They are constantly and fiercely working to engineer 'successful actions' regardless of their validity. In order to continue securing funding to expose and defeat an imaginary enemy, they must create imaginary victories, irrespective of reality.
Uh, the author obviously knows better so why promote this narrative? These operatives are not going after "wrong", or "invalid" targets to justify their funding. They're specifically hired to do what they're doing now.
May 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com
RionE23 , 2 days agoshannon11590 , 1 day ago
I'm sick of politicians getting a free pass by "resigning" no, they break the law they go to jail.. just like the rest of us.
Adam Schiff simply needs to be criminally prosecuted and imprisoned for the countless number of criminal acts that he committed while in Congress.
May 11, 2020 | www.zerohedge.comJohn Durham has supercharged his review into the origins of the Russiagate hoax orchestrated by the Obama administration during and after the 2016 US election - adding additional top prosecutors to explore different components of the original probe, according to Fox News .
Durham, the U.S. Attorney for Connecticut tasked with by Attorney General Bill Barr with investigating the actions taken against the Trump team, has tapped Jeff Jensen - U.S. attorney for the Eastern District of Missouri who had been investigating the Michael Flynn case. Also added to the team is interim U.S. Attorney for the District of Columbia, Timothy Shea, according to Fox 's sources.
" They farmed the investigation out because it is too much for Durham and he didn't want to be distracted ," said one source, adding "He's going full throttle, and they're looking at everything. "
Word of Durham's beefed-up team comes amid worsening tensions between the Trump administration and congressional Democrats, who have been making the case that the Justice Department's reviews have become politicized given the decision last week to drop the Flynn case - a move which House Judiciary Committee Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) called "outrageous."
" The evidence against General Flynn is overwhelming ," said Nadler - who probably wasn't referring to handwritten notes by one of the FBI agents who interviewed Flynn which exposed their perjury trap . Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his perfectly legal communications with a Russian ambassador - a plea he made while under severe financial strain due to legal expenses, and to save his son from the FBI 'witch hunt.' Flynn would later withdraw his plea as evidence mounted that he was set up.
The DOJ determined that the bureau's 2017 Flynn interview -- which formed the basis for his guilty plea of lying to investigators -- was "conducted without any legitimate investigative basis."
Breadcrumbs were being dropped in the days preceding the decision that his case could be reconsidered. Documents unsealed the prior week by the Justice Department revealed agents discussed their motivations for interviewing him in the Russia probe – questioning whether they wanted to "get him to lie" so he'd be fired or prosecuted, or get him to admit wrongdoing. Flynn allies howled over the revelations, arguing that he essentially had been set up in a perjury trap. In that interview, Flynn did not admit wrongdoing and instead was accused of lying about his contacts with the then-Russian ambassador – to which he pleaded guilty. - Fox News
Jensen, the U.S. attorney now working with Durham, was reportedly the one who recommended dropping the Flynn case to Barr.
When asked whether he thought the FBI conspired against Flynn, Barr told CBS News on Thursday "I think, you know, that's a question that really has to wait [for] an analysis of all the different episodes that occurred through the summer of 2016 and the first several months of President Trump's administration," adding that Durham is "still looking at all of this."
"This is one particular episode, but we view it as part of a number of related acts ... and we're looking at the whole pattern of conduct," Barr added, saying that they're investigating actions taken before "and after ... the election."
And according to Fox' s source, Durham is investigating a "pattern of conduct" which includes lying to the FISA court to obtain warrants to spy on Trump campaign adviser Carter Page .
President Trump has long-referred to the investigation as a "witch hunt" - which Barr and Durham are now untangling.
"Barr talks to Durham every day," a source recently told Fox News . " The president has been briefed that the case is being pursued, and it's serious. "
President Trump on Friday offered a vague, but ominous, warning as the Durham probe proceeds.
" It was a very dangerous situation what they did ," Trump said during an interview with "Fox & Friends" Friday. " These are dirty politicians and dirty cops and some horrible people and hopefully they're going to pay a big price in the not too distant future. "
Trump was specifically reacting to newly released transcripts of interviews from the House Intelligence Committee's Russia investigation that revealed top Obama officials acknowledged they knew of no "empirical evidence" of a conspiracy despite their concerns and suspicions. - Fox News
Durham's probe is expected to wrap up by the end of the summer. Right as Trump is expected to face off against Joe Biden - who was VP while most of this was going on .
May 11, 2020 | www.washingtonexaminer.comR ep. Lee Zeldin demanded that Rep. Adam Schiff be stripped of his post as chairman of the House Intelligence Committee and resign because of his role in the Russia investigation.
"Adam Schiff should not be the chair of the House Intelligence Committee. His gavel should be removed. He should be censured. He should resign," Zeldin said Monday on Fox News. "There's a lot that should happen, but Nancy Pelosi isn't going to punish Adam Schiff. In fact, that's the reason why he has the gavel in the first place."
Republicans have been critical of Schiff in recent weeks after reports suggested that Schiff was trying to block the release of some of the transcripts of the investigation's 53 witness interviews.
Some of the transcripts were eventually released and undercut claims used by Democrats to push for impeachment.
"He's the chair of the House Intelligence Committee, which became the House Impeachment Committee because of the way he writes these fairy-tale parodies," Zeldin said.
The Republican from New York suggested that Schiff and Democrats who impeached Trump and tried to remove him from office were aided by friends in the media.
"It's actually one that the Democrats reward. It's one that the media rewards," Zeldin said. "So, I'm not going to expect any repercussions even though he should resign today."
May 11, 2020 | www.youtube.com
Travis Moorman , 3 hours agoLostInPA , 3 hours ago
It would be even more scary if Obama wasn't in on it.
Yates is up to her eyeballs in this coup attempt. She's trying to CYA like Rice. They going to jail.
May 10, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
And you have to ask yourself one question. They all stuck with the same exact propaganda, the same exact his information, that the Trump administration, that the Trump campaign conspired with Russia, even though they had no evidence whatsoever, and they manufactured that evidence against the president."
"And this is why all of them need to be investigated" explained Carter.
May 09, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
" Former Deputy Attorney General Sally Yates told special counsel Robert Mueller's team that she first learned the FBI possessed and was investigating recordings of Flynn's late 2016 conversations with a Russian envoy following a Jan. 5, 2017, national security meeting at the White House. It wasn't Comey who told her, but former President Barack Obama.
Yates, who was briefly the acting attorney general during the early days of the Trump administration before getting fired, also laid out how in the ensuing days, Comey kept the FBI's actions cloaked in secrecy and repeatedly rebuffed her suggestions that the incoming Trump team be made aware of the Flynn recordings.
These revelations appear in declassified FBI interview notes of the Mueller team's conversation with Yates in August 2017, highlighted by the Justice Department on Thursday as U.S. Attorney for D.C. Timothy Shea moved to drop its criminal charges against Flynn.
"One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yate s," Attorney General William Barr said during a Thursday interview with CBS News. "Deputy Attorney General Yates, I've disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings And, you know, Director Comey ran around that."
Yates told Mueller's team she first learned of the Flynn recordings following a White House meeting about the Intelligence Community Assessment attended by Yates, Comey, Vice President Joe Biden , then-CIA Director John Brennan, then-Director of National Intelligence James Clapper, then-national security adviser Susan Rice, and others. Obama asked Yates and Comey to stay behind when the meeting concluded.
Obama "started by saying that he had 'learned of the information about Flynn' and his conversation with Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak," Yates said, according to the notes. "Obama specified he did not want any additional information on the matter but was seeking information on whether the White House should be treating Flynn any differently." washington examiner
Obama did not want any additional information on the matter? Careful CYA. From the account of this meeting it is clear that Obama and Biden knew that Comey was intent on pursuing Flynn. If that is so, then subsequent events indicate that Obama did not act to stop Comey, and since Comey was hiding his effort against Flynn from main Justice, it must be that someone on high was encouraging him. Now, who would that be? pl
Jack , 09 May 2020 at 12:40 PMSirDeap , 09 May 2020 at 01:01 PM
All this was known in DC for the past few years. Everyone on the HSPCI knew what the closed door testimony was. Clapper was categorical that there was "no empirical evidence of collusion". The Crowdstrike CEO was categorical that he had no definitive evidence that the Russians exfiltrated data from the DNC servers. Yet Schiff, Clapper, Brennan and all the media hacks were on TV every night screaming Russia! Russia! and Collusion! Collusion!
Devin Nunes was spot on and correct that there was an attempted coup. All the media and even many Republicans called him a conspiracy theorist.
SST maintaining its glorious tradition was spot on in its analysis with the limited data available that there was a coup and the traitors were not those in the Trump campaign but the leadership in law enforcement and intelligence. A big shoutout to you, Larry and David Habakkuk.
Trump himself was like deer caught in the headlights. Furiously tweeting but not doing much of anything else while his own nominees at the DOJ and FBI were plotting and acting to destroy his presidency. Devin Nunes imploring him to declassify and expose all the evidence from the FISA applications, the 302s, the internal communications among the plotters including the prolific FBI lovers. He still hasn't.
What happens next? Will the whole coup be exposed in its entirety? Will anyone be held to account?
If Trump doesn't care enough even when his ass was being fried to disclose all the evidence with the stroke of his pen and if all he cares is to tweet "witch-hunt" and "Drain the Swamp", how realistic is it that any of the coup plotters will be tried for treason?Barry was doing his usual thing, the signature move of his entire political career: .... voting "present". His CYA equivalent of no comment.Jim Henely , 09 May 2020 at 01:07 PM
Plausible deniability was a high art form for Barry. Where was Barry Soetoro between 16:00 and 22:00 on Sept 11, 2012? We still do not know.I'm revealing my age by using this expression from the Watergate era, but "what did Obama, Biden and Comey know, and when did they know it?"RussianBot , 09 May 2020 at 01:40 PMSo Obama used Yates to go after Flynn. They have really worked a number on Flynn to discredit him, and it almost worked. Now it would appear their scheme is starting to unravel a bit.Keith Harbaugh , 09 May 2020 at 02:12 PM
Is Obama being thrown under the bus here? Are Comey and Yates (or others) trying to cover their asses now that Flynn is free? Did Trump and his allies always know this and waited for the right moment to reveal it for better effect? The game is at hand.
Yahoo released a leaked call today of Obama criticizing Trump's response over coronavirus. Here's the big headline Yahoo is running:
Exclusive: Obama says in private call that 'rule of law is at risk' in Michael Flynn case
https://news.yahoo.com/obama-irule-of-law-michael-flynn-case-014121045.htmlThe Flynn case was invoked by Obama as a principal reason that his former administration officials needed to make sure former Vice President Joe Biden wins the November election against President Trump. "So I am hoping that all of you feel the same sense of urgency that I do," he said. "Whenever I campaign, I've always said, 'Ah, this is the most important election.' Especially obviously when I was on the ballot, that always feels like it's the most important election. This one -- I'm not on the ballot -- but I am pretty darn invested. We got to make this happen."Obama misstated the charge to which Flynn had previously pleaded guilty. He was charged with false statements to the FBI, not perjury.
Misstated seems like a stretch. The call sounds scripted and I suspect the leak was deliberate.Sundance covered in great detail the context in which that 2017-01-05 meeting occurred:EmJay72159508 , 09 May 2020 at 04:50 PM
A YouTube video of Barry's cry of dismay (and fear) over the dismissal of charges against Flynn is here:
https://youtu.be/tbQ8P3GhD-cBrennan was encouraging Comey. I just learned something recently. Brennan spent time in Indonesia around the same time that Obama's mother lived there. It has been reported that Obama and Brennan had a fairly close relationship. I wonder how long they have known each other.JMH , 09 May 2020 at 04:58 PMKeith Harbaugh,Keith Harbaugh , 09 May 2020 at 07:35 PM
O'Biden's Dad just wheeled around the corner in a wood paneled station wagon and dressed down the neighborhood kids who took O'Biden's ball. A humiliating experience for O'Biden who sits in the passenger seat as a mere spectator.Sundance just posted an astoundingly detailed account ofJack , 09 May 2020 at 09:30 PM
how illegal surveillance was conducted by unauthorized FBI-contractors
while the GOP was sorting out the candidates for its 2016 presidential nomination:
The open question is: Just who were those contractors?
Surely that is known to some, and is significant to current politically-charged inquiries.
Just why that information has not become public is a good question.
Can anyone provide a reliable source for that information?Fred , 09 May 2020 at 09:55 PMIt is unsurprising @realDonaldTrump enjoys wallowing in his fetid self-indulgence, but I find it surreal that so many other government officials encourage his ignorance, incompetence, & destructive behavior.
BTW, history will be written by the righteous, not by his lickspittle.
Is Brennan always like this? His tweets seem unhinged."Deputy Attorney General Yates"JerseyJeffersonian , 09 May 2020 at 10:33 PM
She served as Acting AG, accepting the post when Trump was inaugurated. What did she tell him about his whole affair? Was the opposition to the EO 13769 just an excuse to have herself fired so she would not have to either perjure herself or reveal the truth to Trump?
"All this was known in DC for the past few years."
You left out that Paul Ryan was Speaker of the House because the Republicans were in the majority then and the HPSCI under his term as speaker did not subpoena a very large group of people, didn't ask relevant questions, didn't release information to the public and thus ensuring the left took over the House after the 2016 elections.I, too, coincidentally just concluded a close reading of the Conservative Tree House post that Mr. Harbaugh just recommended. It is, indeed, well worth such a close reading. There have been various puzzling things along the way these last few years for which this post provides explanations. Of particular utility, is its inclusion of a timeline of the arc of the episodes of illegal government surveillance that began (?) with the IRS spying of 2012, and how - and why - it evolved from that episode into the massive abuses of the FISA process of which we are becoming increasingly aware as revelations are forthcoming.Jack , 10 May 2020 at 03:51 AM
CTH's work is superb, but I do want to say that I am also supremely grateful for all of the good work and analysis from Larry Johnson, and other contributors, as well as for the trenchant comments of Col. Lang. Multivalent sources of information, analysis, and comment provide one with the parallax requisite to understanding this web of perfidy. My gratitude also is owing to all of you Members of the Committee of Correspondence, each of whom brings personal observations and insights to bear, always much to my benefit.Fred,Jim , 10 May 2020 at 05:42 AM
I did see a clip of Matt Gaetz calling out Ryan and Trey Gowdy from preventing them from issuing subpoenas. Why do you think the Republican leadership in the House and Senate did not want to investigate?["One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yates," Attorney General William Barr said during a Thursday interview with CBS News. "Deputy Attorney General Yates, I've disagreed with her about a couple of things, but, you know, here she upheld the fine tradition of the Department of Justice. She said that the new administration has to be treated just like the Obama administration, and they should go and tell the White House about their findings And, you know, Director Comey ran around that."]Fred , 10 May 2020 at 09:19 AM
This is fascinating because: this, what Barr is discussing, on national TV, . . . this particular dimension, this Yates/Comey playing hide the bacon has nothing at all to do with actual Brady material in the Lt. Gen. Flynn case.
Barr is referring to the Special Counsel Mueller Office's interview with Yates on Aug. 15, 2017, entered into the system three weeks later. Her interview occurred more than two months prior to Flynn's coerced guilty plea.
This SCO document was released to the court May 7 as exhibit 4 attached to the DOJ motion to end the prosecution of Flynn. It was produced in line with request by defense for Brady material.
What Barr forgets to say is: This SCO interview of Yates shows that Comey and Yates talked on the phone -- prior to -- the notorious Jan. 24, 2017 FBI interview of Flynn.
"Comey . . . informed her that two agents were on their way to interview Flynn at the White House," the SCO said, according to the new court filing.
Yates took no action, -- she did nothing to order Comey to abort this soon-to-happen FBI interview of Flynn, this SCO interview of her shows.
She was Comey's boss, the Acting Attorney General, at the time.
It shows that she was upset precisely because she wanted the FBI to coordinate with the DOJ -- on getting Flynn screwed -- even suggesting, she told the SCO, that consideration that Flynn be recorded, instead of memorialized using standard 302 form – in-writing-only.
Yates wanted Flynn fired, she told the SCO.
Yates apparently was unable on her own to figure out, as the AG, the FBI and DOJ -- none of them had any predicate, no "materiality," nothing "tethered" to any crime, as there was no crime. And if she did not know these basic facts, had no awareness of them, then: why was she the AG in the first place?
And what did Yates glean, right after this Jan. 24 interview of Flynn?
"Yates received a brief readout of the interview the night it happened, and a longer readout the following day," which begs the question of why the original 302 of this was never produced by the DOJ, to the defense; and also, why Covington law firm never asked to see this before allowing Flynn to make his plea.
"Yates did not speak to the interviewing agents herself, but understood from others that their assessment was that Flynn showed no 'tells' of lying," the SCO report says.
Based on her personal preference, rather than DOJ norms, she went to the White House, and her expectation was they would fire Flynn. I fail to see how this nonsense by Yates seem to escape Barr's notice. Or, is something else also going on?
She personally went to the White House, and her smear campaign against Flynn began, went on and on and on, even after she was fired after being Acting AG for just ten days.
In her brief stint as Acting AG: Yates refused to tell the White House Counsel if Flynn was being investigated, when the WHC asked her, directly, about this, according to what she told the SCO. Can't blame this fact on the unctuous Comey.
She did tell the SCO that she wanted the WHC to know Flynn had been interviewed by the FBI – and that she had concerns about Flynn, and she said those concerns related to the Logan Act. Yates told SCO her concerns were because of the Logan Act, and that she expressed this to the White House.
The Washington Examiner reporting that "It wasn't Comey who told her, but former President Barack Obama" -- about the Flynn-Kislyak phone call --- this is interesting, very interesting, if true, assuming Yates was telling the SCO the truth. This is what she claims in her August 2017 interview with SCO.
But this bit of information is hardly Brady material [how is whether Obama or Comey told her materially germane to the Flynn case, viz. Brady material?].
The question the SCO should have been concerned about is: who actually leaked the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak telephone call to the media?
Is this a serious crime? Or is this OK?
We still do not know this answer, and AG Barr has not told us. Nor has his boss, Trump.
It is interesting that Barr chose to highlight that Comey went around Yates' back in Comey ordering FBI to interview Flynn, but not that Yates knew of the Flynn interview before it went down, and sat on her arse about it.
In fairness to Comey, they were, as the FB of Investigations, conducting the investigation, which is their job, however rogue this FBI's I actually was, targeting Flynn.
The Flynn-Kislyak telephone call, occurring late December of 2016, was reported by the Washington Post on Jan. 12, 2017, eight days before Trump was sworn in.
And who leaked this, has anyone been prosecuted, will anyone be?
Obama still president, Loretta Lynch still AG, Yates still Deputy AG, Comey FBI director, McCabe Deputy FBI director, etc.
Starting Jan. 20 and for ten days, Yates was the AG. She appeared bent on destroying Flynn, and did nothing that I know of to prosecute who leaked the Flynn-Kislyak telephone call to WAPO. Did someone on high perhaps ask her not to?
Nor was Comey and McCabe investigating this as best I can tell. Yet this was an actual, clear cut crime we all saw, plain as day. Or maybe this is OK? Was someone on high asking them not to?
I watched Barr say, during his interview with CBS news, [following the May 7 release of documents to the court]: "One thing people will see when they look at the documents is how Director Comey purposely went around the Justice Department and ignored Deputy Attorney General Yates," Barr told Catherine Herridge.
And my first thought was: why is Barr doing an apparent CYA for Yates?
What office might she want to be running for in the future; is she a cooperating witness in the wider Durham probe, why is Yates being portrayed as someone other than what she was: A leader in the effort to destroy Michael Flynn.
She was the AG, and she failed to hold Comey accountable at the time; this is a fact, apparently, that reflects poorly on her.
She told the White House -- as best she could -- that Flynn was a piece of dung, and told the SCO, in their interview of her, that she expected the White House to fire Flynn. This reflects poorly on her.
And threatened Logan Act prosecution of Flynn to the White house. This reflects poorly on her.
She smeared Flynn in a CNN interview on May 16, the day before Mueller was appointed. This reflects poorly on her.
Well, who leaked the Flynn-Kislyak telephone call, and did Yates act on that?
Folks that "should have known better" -- far and wide, smeared Flynn, justified the lawlessness against him; one of many examples, titled: "Leaking Flynn's name to the press was illegal, but utterly justified" published by TheHill.com.
She wasn't the only one, but Yates was smack dab in the middle of enabling and perpetuating a long-running smear campaign against Flynn, to destroy him by any means necessary. This reflects poorly on her.
Why is Barr carrying water for her.
As for Obama, he did nothing to stop Comey in 2016 when Comey announced he was exonerating Clinton. Nor did AG Lynch, even though that is not the function of the FBI -- an act of insubordination, by the way, for which Rosenstein officially fired him in May 2017, which set, somehow, in motion the Mueller SC appointment by Rosenstein.
If Comey is such a rogue, and Barr is now claiming Yates tried to do the right thing, in spite of Comey, then why didn't Yates fire Comey Jan. 24 right on the spot? And end the fiasco right then and there?
In her May 16, 2017 CNN interview she only has kind words to say about him.
AS for who on high was encouraging Comey's extra legal free-lancing in the Clinton and Flynn matters is a pertinent question.
Who were the enablers, in other words?
Barr appears to imply Comey did it all on his own, which is not entirely accurate. Perhaps this also implies that Durham will prosecute Comey? I don't know if anyone will be prosecuted at all. Time will tell.
It is clear Comey's enablers would, by rank, have been, viz. the Clinton matter: Obama and Lynch.
In the Flynn matter: Trump and Yates.
Simple logic dictates that: if Main Justice was "not in the loop" then, for Clinton matter, this means Obama was enabling Comey to exonerate her; and also dictate that, for Flynn, that Trump was the one "on high" enabling Comey.
If there are others on high, they were not in the chain of command as I understand the current US Government structure.
-30-Jack,Bobo , 10 May 2020 at 09:50 AM
You seem to think Trump was informed of all the relevant information about the FBI's conduct during his first ten days in office. Because Barr, being appointed AG two years after these events, has yet to indict anyone in the case, Trump was actually enabling Yates in destroying Flynn? Neither appear to be logical conclusions to me.So on a December 29, 2016 The Obama administration placed sanctions on Russia that evolved to Flynn, at the instruction of the incoming Trump administration, contacting the Russian ambassador requesting that they not retaliate or heighten the situation.
On January 5th Ms. Yates learned from Obama of the Flynn intervention.
Rather than contact Trump directly Obama went along with the Comey Logan Act thoughts.
The decision to enact sanctions obviously involved State, CIA, DNI and FBI but why not Justice or did it. But why was the incoming Trump administration not consulted.
There was only one Machiavellian thinker in that group and it wasn't the idiot who got his panties all twisted up.
May 10, 2020 | thehill.cominvestigation of Michael Flynn , the more it appears he was targeted precisely because, as the national security adviser to the incoming Trump administration, he signaled that the new administration might undo Obama administration policies -- which is kind of what the American people voted for in 2016.
Some will say that Gen. Flynn was investigated for legitimate criminal or national security reasons. Yet, the FBI's ultimate interview of Flynn addressed none of the grounds that the FBI used to open the original case against him. For those of us who have run FBI investigations, that is more than odd.
Heavily redacted FBI documents that have been released indicate Flynn was one of several Trump campaign members who merited their own subfile investigation under the larger, now infamous " Crossfire Hurricane " debacle. Flynn even got his own cool codename -- "Crossfire Razor." (No, the FBI isn't usually that absurd. But absurdity colored that entire period of time.)
For the record, Flynn clearly exercised poor judgment as a result of being interviewed by the FBI. The larger question is whether the team under then-Director James Comey had a legitimate basis to conduct the interview at all.
FBI documents show that a Foreign Agent Registration Act ( FARA ) case was opened against Flynn. The stated reasons, in rank order, for initiating the investigation were that he was a member of the Trump campaign; he had "ties" to various Russian state-affiliated entities; he traveled to Russia; and he had a high-level top-secret clearance -- for which, by the way, he was polygraphed regularly to determine if he was a spy.
None of the listed reasons is unusual activity for the kind of positions he held. Overall it is pretty thin justification for investigating an American citizen. Yet, most chillingly, the Crossfire Hurricane team stated it was investigating Flynn "specifically" because he was "an adviser to then Republican presidential candidate Donald J. Trump for foreign policy issues."
Let me be clear: That is not a legitimate justification to investigate an American citizen.
There is a theme that runs through the entire Crossfire Hurricane disaster, which has been publicly articulated by Comey and his deputy director, Andrew McCabe : They saw themselves as stalwarts in the breach defending America from a presidential candidate who they believed was an agent of Russia .
... ... ...
Kevin R. Brock, former assistant director of intelligence for the FBI, was an FBI special agent for 24 years and principal deputy director of the National Counterterrorism Center (NCTC). He is a founder and principal of NewStreet Global Solutions , which consults with private companies and public safety agencies on strategic mission technologies.
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.orgjinn , May 10 2020 15:20 utc | 5Russiagate has been an obvious coup attempt from the beginning, and several attempts have followed...
That is not at all obvious.
Russiagate was obviously designed to look like a coup attempt, but you have to be extremely gullible to believe any of it is real.
The recent Flynn bruhaha is a perfect example of the phoniness surrounding Russiagate.
The FBI investigators that interviewed Flynn believed he had not been deceptive and any fool who was paying attention at the time believed he was not guilty because 2 weeks before that FBI interview the news media had reported that the phone call with Kislyak had been recorded by the FBI and that there was nothing improper or illegal that would motivate Flynn to lie about his talk with Kislyak. The story that Flynn lied to the FBI is unbelievable on its face.
Don't blame the FBI for creating this fake story. Trump is the one and only one that created the fake Flynn-lied-to-the-FBI story, Before Trump created the phony story that Flynn had lied to the FBI nobody else had at that time believed Flynn lied to the FBI.
But once Trump had created the phony story that Flynn lied to the FBI then all the gullible morons started to believe the phony story. And even Flynn himself goes along with Trump's phony story because he is a good soldier that follows command.
Trump says he fired Flynn for lying to the FBI
Before Comey's testimony to Congress that suggested that Trump was twisting Comey's arm to let Flynn go for lying to the FBI no one had ever said that Flynn lied to the FBI. That story was created by Trump and reported by Comey.
And then Mueller and Flynn and Comey all helped Trump foist that phony story that Flynn lied to the FBI onto the public.
The implication of Comey's testimony to Congress was that in order to get Flynn off a charge of Lying to the FBI Trump first tried to cajole Comey to go easy on Flynn and when that did not work Trump fired Comey.
The problem with that whole BS story is that the crux of it (that Flynn lied to the FBI) never happened. It was entirely invented by Trump to make it look like Trump was engaged in mortal combat with the deep state. But it was all staged and fake (i.e. Kayfabe)
jinn , May 10 2020 15:42 utc | 7Russigate falls apart:Jackrabbit , May 10 2020 17:01 utc | 16
Russiagate was designed to fall apart.
It was obvious all along that all the stories that came out in the Mueller Report were badly written sit-com material - the script for a comic soap opera. And they were all scripted to fall apart when examined closely.
What I could never figure out was what this guy Mueller was going to say when he was dragged in front of Congress and required to answer tough questions about all the garbage he had produced. I thought for sure that for Mueller the jig would be up there was no way the farce would not be revealed for all to see.
And then it happened. Mueller testified and it turned out Mueller could not remember any of it.
Senator: Did you say XYZ?
Mueller: Is that in the report??
Senator: yes it is.
Mueller: Then it is true.
Making Mueller Senile and unable to remember anything was brilliant - pure genius. The rest of the Russiagate script was mediocre at best.bevin @ May 10 16:41
It was a transparently false narrative designed, by the most incompetent election campaign team in history ...
Occam's razor says Hillary threw the election. No seasoned politician would make the mistakes that she made - especially when they yearn to make history (as the first woman president) and the entire establishment (left and right) is counting on them to win.
Believing what is evidently incredible has long been a test of loyalty ...
And you prove your loyalty with the belief that Hillary lost because of an "incompetent election campaign".
May 10, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Prof K , May 10 2020 16:05 utc | 9
Posted by: Prof K | May 10 2020 16:05 utc | 9Obama weighed in this week...on Flynn. Why?
What is he trying to preempt?
He only steps in at critical moments to stop something, as he did before SC to block Bernie.
Now this. How does it relate to Russiagate and his potential liability?
Likklemore , May 10 2020 17:08 utc | 18@ ProfK 9Jackrabbit , May 10 2020 17:31 utc | 19
Whether or not General Flynn is loathed or liked, there is Supreme Court decisions setting precedence for dropping a case when found to be wrapped in prosecutorial misdeeds:
As for the first 'black' president out from the shadows;
Obama, the petit constitutional law scholar, signed the NDAA National Defence Authorization Act which allows imprisonment of Americans forever has no standing to claim the "rule of law is at risk" and he may want to call Eric Holder.
Now why is Obama against General Flynn? Hmmm. Good question. Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security? LINKLikklemore @ May10 17:08Likklemore , May 10 2020 18:11 utc | 22Did the FBI target Michael Flynn to protect Obama's policies, not national security?
Gen. Flynn: Obama Administration made a "wilful decision" to support Sunni extremists (a Jihadi proxy army) against Assad . This directly contradicts the phony narrative of Obama as peace-loving black man (as certified by his Nobel Prize!).
!!@ Jackrabbit 19
Thanks for that additional link. And that's why Obama could not standby with Flynn in the NSA role. Recall Hillary's on Trump- "if he is elected we'll hang" (paraphrased)
In 2008 I posted at another blog this: "Obama is a fraud and my view does not hang on the controversial birther movement. " From whence he came? He made a speech at the Democratic National Convention; 3 years in the Senate, then runs to occupy the White House. The media puff pieces. "Hope and Change, Yes, We Can" Watch for the broken promises."
Fast Forward to 2011 he signs NDAA. "How Obama disappointed the world." Der Spiegel had such an article 9 Aug.2011. But he was re-(S)-elected.
May 08, 2020 | www.unz.com
Appealing to his base of support, Trump has notoriously pardoned Chief Petty Officer Edward Gallagher, a Navy seal who was clearly guilty of murder in Afghanistan, and even met with him afterwards in the White House. Regarding Gallagher, Senate Armed Services Committee Democrat Jack Reed of Rhode Island said in a November that "The White House's handling of this matter erodes the basic command structure of the military and the basic function of the Uniform Code of Military Justice."
Trump is now meddling in the treatment of Navy Captain Brett Crozier, who was relieved of his command after he went public with complains about the spread of coronavirus on his ship. In early April the president said "I may just get involved." In the military services such interference even has a name, "undue command influence." Clearly, the White House is seeking to squeeze every bit of political advantage it can from the Crozier story.
Congressman Smith has also described the situation in a colorful fashion as "The president has made it clear as far as he is concerned the single most important attribute that anybody in the federal government can have is a willingness to kiss the president's ass as often as possible" which "undermines your ability to be competent, to make decisions based on what is the right thing to do as opposed to what is going to feed the president's limitless ego."
To be sure, Donald Trump is not about to change and if he is re-elected one can only expect four more years of the same, but public confidence in government can only be maintained if there is at least some belief that decision making is a rational process. Trump has clearly turned that axiom on its head in his tendency to blame other parts of the government for what are manifestly his own failings. His characterization of senior officials, many of whom he himself appointed, as "losers" casts the entire government in a bad light. Whether the strategy of divide and conquer within one's own administration will work out for Trump will certainly be decided in November.
Philip Giraldi, Ph.D., is Executive Director of the Council for the National Interest.
May 08, 2020 | news.antiwar.com
Jason Ditz Posted on May 7, 2020 May 7, 2020 Categories News Tags Russia , Syria , TrumpUS envoy on the Syrian conflict James Jeffrey said on Thursday that the US expects Russia to be increasingly willing to cooperate with the US on the future of Syria, saying he believes Russia is getting frustrated with President Assad .
Jeffrey cited Russian media coverage as showing indication of more flexibility on Syria's post-war constitutional committee, saying that " it's very clear at this point to Russia that they're not going to get a military victory. "
That would broadly depend on how Russia is calculating victory. The Assad government has survived the war, which is certainly something that many didn't expect earlier in the conflict. What Syria will look like in the long run ultimately depends on the new constitution.
Which is where the US and Russia split is coming from. The US has insisted any post-war scenario would mandate full regime change, forbidding Assad and others from ever running for office. Russia, however, has said such details should be left up to Syria's voters.
Jeffrey's comments suggest that the US is still holding out for better terms. This may also put the continued US involvement in Syria, which President Trump insists is just about oil, in a different context, one keeping the US in the conversation at the UN for when the war finally ends.
May 08, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
"Avaaz claims to unite practical idealists from around the world.  Director Ricken Patel said in 2011, "We have no ideology per se. Our mission is to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want. Idealists of the world unite!"  In practice , Avaaz often supports causes considered progressive, such as calling for global action on climate change , challenging Monsanto, and building greater global support for refugees.   
During the 2009 Iranian presidential election protests , Avaaz set up Internet proxy servers to allow protesters to upload videos onto public websites. 
Avaaz supported the establishment of a no-fly zone over Libya, which led to the military intervention in the country in 2011. It was criticized for its pro-intervention stance in the media and blogs. 
Avaaz supported the civil uprising preceding the Syrian Civil War . This included sending $1.5 million of Internet communications equipment to protesters, and training activists. Later it used smuggling routes to send over $2 million of medical equipment into rebel-held areas of Syria. It also smuggled 34 international journalists into Syria.   Avaaz coordinated the evacuation of wounded British photographer Paul Conroy from Homs . Thirteen Syrian activists died during the evacuation operation.   Some senior members of other non-governmental organizations working in the Middle East have criticized Avaaz for taking sides in a civil war.  As of November 2016, Avaaz continues campaigning for no-fly zones over Syria in general and specifically Aleppo . (Gen. Dunford, Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff of the United States, has said that establishing a no-fly zone means going to war against Syria and Russia.  ) It has received criticism from parts of the political blogosphere and has a single digit percentage of its users opposing the petitions, with a number of users ultimately leaving the network. The Avaaz team responded to this criticism by issuing two statements defending their decision to campaign. wiki
Yes, pilgrims, my professional deformation leads me to find pattern where there may be none. BUT, OTOH, there may BE a pattern. It would be logical for there to exist connective tissue that relates the Sorosistas, The Clintonistas, the media freaks, Tom Perez' DNC, etc., etc., ad nauseam. ...
And then, there is Neil Ferguson the British epidemiologist who sold #10 on the idea of a national lock-down that looks to destroy the UK economy and political system. Antonia Staats his married mistress is a major figure in AVAAZ. He broke curfew twice to get a little bit of that. Coincidence? pl
Outrage Beyond , 07 May 2020 at 06:41 PMEven a small amount of google searching suggests that Avaaz is simply another Zionist-funded pro-Israel controlled opposition cutout type of organization. Funded by Zionist George Soros. Main honcho Ricken Patel is associated with Zionist lobby group J Street.Deap , 07 May 2020 at 06:46 PM
Per the commentary above, supported the regime change operation in Syria (a longstanding Zionist goal, refer to the Clean Break plan.)
Bottom line: not a leftist organization. Faux leftist, controlled opposition, Zionist. Neocons are probably delighted with Avaaz.It was a ground hog day nightmare when I read the AVAAZ website and found all the "progressive" chestnuts, alive, well and kicking into high gear. This AVAAZ agenda fuels the politics in my state, California, so I know each element well plus how each of of them has failed us so badly. They all teeter on OPM, which the state wide corona shut down has decimated.Deap , 07 May 2020 at 07:04 PM
What pillow talk went on between AVAAZ agent Antonia Staats and her Imperial College of London paramour Neil Ferguson right before he briefed Trump/Pence on their corona "we are all gonna die" projections.
It all happened so fast - from runs on toilet paper in Australia reported on March 2 to global shutdown on March 16 due to this Imperial College model in just two weeks. Who and what communication network was behind this radical global shift that generated virtually no push back? The message quickly became one case of corona and we are all gonna die. How did that find such a willing audience?
I keep hearing that same echo in my nightmares, never let a crisis go to waste - now with this very distinct German accent on the face of a red-lipped blonde. Too weird to see this AVAAZ "global" network is so darn interested in over-turning a US Supreme Court Citizens United ruling - the old Hilary Clinton rallying cry. What is with that - they care in Malaysia?
Thank you for sunshining this very curious operation and its all too familiar cast of known characters lurking in its history, shadows, funding and leadership circle. Injecting them with Lysol is the better plan.
It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations, but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's.
It does explain where a lot of the Bernie Sanders fervor comes from and how it sustains this energy despite defeat in the US election polls. The AVAAZ agenda winning the hearts and minds of many young people around the world. It will be their world to inherit, if they go down this path; not ours. God speed to all of them. Namaste. Dahl and naan for everyone.A little internet search also questions if AVAAZ is an intelligence community funded operation, linking key Obama administration players.turcopolier , 07 May 2020 at 07:11 PM
Good indoor fun during our national lockdowns - track AVAAZ in all its permutations and recurrent players. Samantha Powers and her hundreds of FISA unmasking requests comes to mind as well as her role in the AVAAZ games played in Syria.
Some AVAAZ fodder from a random internet search: Tinfoil hat fun times - keep digging.
......."Curiously, however, the absence of routine information on the Avaaz website -- board of directors, contact information, etc. -- raises the possibility that the organization is one of innumerable such groups created around the world by intelligence organizations with secret funding to advance hidden agendas.
This was the gist of a 2012 column by Global Research columnist Susanne Posel, headlined Avaaz: The Lobbyist that Masquerades as Online Activism. She alleged that Avaaz purports to be a global avenue for dissent, but channels reform energies on the most sensitive issues into such pro-U.S. positions as support for Israel and the Free Syrian Army......."AVAAZHarlan Easley , 07 May 2020 at 08:06 PM
It is interesting that AVAAZ stopped accepting foundation and corporate money years ago. So, where do they get their money?Looking at him and her. She is out of his league. He is beta soy boy material.Fred , 07 May 2020 at 08:16 PM
You're probably right.Deap,J , 07 May 2020 at 09:48 PM
"Who and what communication network ..." ... " but who can even explore let alone touch the world of global NGO's."
Have you noticed how fast Project Veritas gets shut down, how Twitter, FB, etc silence any effective opposition to the message of the left?
"It is one thing to sic Barr-Durham on US government operations,..."
Perhaps now that FlynnFlu is evaporating in the disinfecting sunlight some sunshine should be applied to the H1B visa holders at the aformentioned social media companies and add in Google, Bing, Oath etc. and see how many Communist operatives are there, in addition to "essential employee" non-citizen lefty's pushing the anti-American propaganda. A dinner invitation to Jeff Bezos and his paramore might provide some interesting conversation on just who at Amazon might be involved in the same type of anti-western operations; compare their corporate response to distribution operations in the US vs. France as an example.
Furthermore, observe the Google leadership team discussion of the 2016 elections.
Minute 12:30 CFO Ruth Porat
Minute 27:00 Q&A Sergey Brin response on matching donations to employee causes.
Make sure to watch minute 52 on H1B visa holders. With 30,000,000 unemployed Americans just how many of those visas does Google need now? (I don't recall any organization telling China they need open borders immigration since thier hispanic/african/caucasian population percentages are effectively zero, so we might wonder who has been behind that message for the past few decades and why it is only directed at Western democracies).
And the inevitable campaign against "low information" voters and "fake news". I wonder what their take on Russian election interference is now? (Russia cyber trolling! minute 54:44.)
56:20 The inevitable arc of "progress". Make sure you join the fight for Hilary's values. That's the actual corporate leadership message. See the final round of applause at 1:01. Our new overlords know best. Too bad they don't own a mirror, or an ability to reflect on why someone can see the same data and come to a different conclusion of than these experts.
That's just a scratch on the surface. How much money flowed through the Clinton Global Initiative, which NGOs got some cleansed proceeds, which elections were influenced, professors and research sponsored, local communities "organzied". There's plenty to look at and "Isreal, Soros, Zionists" are the least of it.State sponsorship?james , 07 May 2020 at 11:04 PMavaaz always struck me like some intel agency psyc op... maybe israel like the poster outrage beyond implies.. either way - one could read stay away based on everything about them..eakens , 08 May 2020 at 01:26 AMAvaaz means change in Farsi. Interesting.LondonBob , 08 May 2020 at 03:31 AMA friend of a friend is a research scientist at Imperial in biology, he is as lefty as they get and I think would be happy to falsify his research to serve his political goals. Besides Imperial is a hard science uni, UCL is top in the University of London for medicine.CK , 08 May 2020 at 08:34 AM
Soros and his organisations should be made persona non grata, as the Russians and Hungarians have. Extraordinary his influence in the EU, he has picked up where the Soviet Union left off, funding every organisation that demoralises society, from gay rights to immigration promotion to ethnic lobbies, even in Eastern European countries where there are no minorities.An unusual thing happens once; it could be happenstance.turcopolier , 08 May 2020 at 08:59 AM
The thing happens again; it is Reconnaissance.
The thing happens yet again; it is war.
JA. Pols , 08 May 2020 at 09:17 AM
That is for us to learn.We came, we saw, he died (cackle)... Assad must go...BABAK MAKKINEJAD , 08 May 2020 at 09:33 AM
Promoting chaos....Cui bono?
eakenDiana Croissant , 08 May 2020 at 09:35 AM
Avaaz means "song" in Persian.The one woman standing up to a pompous judge who has called her "selfish" for wanting to earn the money it takes to feed her child is the heroine of this week's news.
Hers is the story of our Democratic Republic, born in the Age of Reason. Voltaire's Candide comes to the best conclusion for the way our elected representatives should make decisions: what works best to help INDIVIDUALS tend their own gardens is the form of government we should pursue.
It's true that young people have hearts and good intentions, but older people in most cases have brains and understand human nature better.
This older person--even when she was young--always distrusted a popular uprising or growing movement.
And if Obama and Hillary are for it, I know I am against it. (That's a more specific life lesson I've learned.)
May 07, 2020 | angrybearblog.com
likbez , May 6, 2020 11:53 pm
I do not share your enthusiasm about those two authors.
Anne Applebaum is married to "Full spectrum Dominance doctrine". Like any neocon she a regular well-paid MIC prostitute
Neocon Anne Applebaum has never seen a bed she did not expect to find an evil Russian lurking beneath. More than a quarter of a century after the end of the Cold War, she cannot let go of that hysterical feeling that, "The Russia