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Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in State Department fuels Ukrainegate

Due to the dominance of neocons in the State Department the  use of force became not a last resort but the default option in the USA foreign policy, which impoverish nation, enrich MIC and engager the the USA as a country.

News Coordinated set of leaks as a color revolution tool Recommended Links Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Nulandgate Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate Fiona Hill as Soros mole in Trump administration FBI and CIA contractor Crowdstrike and very suspicious DNC leak saga
Samantha Power Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration Manafort and his Ukrainian connections Robert Kagan Madeleine Albright as a precursor of Hillary Clinton Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton      
Obama administration participation in the intelligence services putsch against Trump Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate  Ukrainian Security Services role in Spygate (aka Russiagate) House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate Creepy neocon Joe Biden and fleecing of Ukraine Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit UA officials role in fueling Russiagate and Ukrainegate Civil war in Ukraine Ukraine debt enslavement
Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Post-Russiagate remorse -- the second Iraq WDM fiasco Brennan elections machinations Wiretaps of Trump and his associates during Presidential elections Infiltration of Trump campaign Stephan Halper and attempts to entrap members of Trump team Andrew McCabe and his close circle of "fighters with organized crime" Appointment of a Special Prosecutor gambit Susan Rice unmasking campaign as an attempt to derail Trump by Obama administration
Strzokgate Steele dossier Special Prosecutor Mueller and his fishing expedition "Seventeen agencies" memo about Russian influence on elections Joseph Misfud and MI6 connection to Russiagate FBI contractor Fusion GPS Anti Trump Hysteria MSM as attack dogs of color revolution Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism
Rick Perry induced Trump blunder Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak Color revolutions Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite  Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners"  Poroshenko presidency  War is Racket The problem of control of intelligence services in democratic societies History of American False Flag Operations
US and British media are servants of security apparatus MSM as fake news industry Media-Military-Industrial Complex Neoconservatism New American Militarism Bernie Sanders betrayal of his supporters Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war Elite Theory And the Revolt of the Elite
Control of the MSM during color revolution is like air superiority in the war The Deep State The Iron Law of Oligarchy Principal-agent problem Pope Francis on danger of neoliberalism Militarism and reckless jingoism of the US neoliberal elite Skeptic Quotations Politically Incorrect Humor Hypocrisy and Pseudo-democracy
All State department critters who testified in Ukrainegate hearings used very dishonest terminology, as well as content. All of the them subscribed to the "Full spectrum Dominance" doctrine" and  as such can be classified as neocons. Add to this sad list Fiona Hill and  Alexander Vindman  testomonies and you see a gallery of slick self-dealers. Their well being, as typical neocons,  clearly depends of threat inflation. Some of those testimonies were vomit-inducing (Fiona Hill). I'll bet they all still have well-paid employment and continue to spread their warmongering crap without any accountability.

It is clear than ever that the problem of American intervention in Ukraine is the result of  dominance of neocons in the USA foreign policy.  The United States has slowly slid away from any plausible claim of standing for peace in the world. The ideal of peace was one that America long promoted, enshrining it in law and institutions, and the end of the Cold War offered an unparalleled opportunity to advance the cause. But US elite as represented by leaders of both parties chose another path -- the path of unhinged militarism.  Wars has come to seem inevitable and eternal, in practice and even desirable.  This cannibalization of the USA elite is an interesting phenomena, which suggest that the existence of the USSR was the major positive factor for the USA, as it prevented the USA elite from becoming crazy, unhinged warmongers and forced it to care more about the USA population, implicitly limiting military spedings. 

When the USA assumed the global leadership after World War II, it felt compelled to establish the United Nations to halt the "scourge of war," as the U.N. Charter says right at the start. At America's urging, the organization outlawed the use of force, except where authorized by its Security Council or used in self-defense.  Since 1990th the USA violated the US charter with impunity multiple times.

Many expected that the legal constraints on the USA warmongering -- including international obligations, domestic statutes and constitutional duties -- ought to have returned to the fore after the Cold War, when the rationale for America's vast mobilization in the second half of the 20th century seized to exist. And even this rational in a form of the existence of the USSR was by-and-large bogus --  while it adhered to a hostile Marxist ideology, which it tried without much success to expand to other countries, while its own economy crumbled,  the USSR did not represent any security threat to the USA.

After the dissolution of the USSR the USA foreign policy establishment adopted the "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine. And it is still in place today despite disastrous results. Bill Clinton and the next two presidents, subscribed to the liberal internationalist and neoconservative creeds that embraced armed force. They all  treated international law cavalierly, essentially abandoning any pretence of the following international norms and treaties.  The neocons in State Department blatantly violated existing treaties when it suit them pursuing aggressive and, in retrospect, stupid, damaging for the USA and extremely costly for US taxpayers foreign policy. The use of force became not a last resort; but the first resort (The infinity war - The Washington Post)

Once such arguments gained currency, their authors lost control of them. Conservative hawks found that a law-optional approach suited their agenda as well, and their liberal counterparts, if they disagreed at all, did so mostly as a matter of tactics, not principle. George W. Bush benefited from this permissive context when he launched the Iraq War, whose illegality was flagrant and catalytic, since it was unauthorized by the United Nations and relied on the administration's dangerous claim that "anticipatory self-defense" justifies invasion. The world took notice. Russia, in particular, seized on the new U.S. position as a spectacular excuse to make incursions of its own in Georgia in 2008 and in Ukraine in 2014.

Obama won election in part because he ran against the Iraq War. In office, however, he cemented more than reversed America's disregard of international constraints on warmaking. While failing to end the war in Afghanistan, his administration exceeded the Security Council's authorization by working to overthrow Libyan leader Moammar Gaddafi, converting a permission slip to avert atrocity into a blank check for regime change. Then, to punish the Islamic State, Obama bombed Syria on a contrived rationale -- one that allowed attacks against nations unwilling or unable to control terrorists on their territory. When he nearly struck again in response to Bashar al-Assad's use of chemical weapons, Obama laid the legal foundation for Trump to strike the Syrian government, again without a U.N. sign-off. Once highly valued, then defied only with controversy, international law now scarcely figures in U.S. decisions of war and peace.

Like international law, U.S. domestic law enshrines an expectation of peace, setting a high bar for the resort to war. If war is to be waged, the Constitution requires Congress to declare it -- a purposeful grant of authority to the branch of government that best reflects the diverse interests of the people and therefore should be harder to rouse to conflict than one commander in chief. Yet the nation has drifted from that tradition, too. After defaulting on its constitutional obligation during the Cold War (partly on the grounds that the speed of a potential nuclear strike required a president who could respond quickly), Congress declined to reassert its authority after the Soviet threat passed.

In the 1990s, Congress might at least have kept faith with the WPR, which it passed in 1973 to rein in future presidents. The resolution calls for Congress to authorize "hostilities" within 60 days of their start; otherwise U.S. forces must withdraw. Throughout the 1980s and 1990s, members of the House of Representatives brought presidents to court for taking military action in violation of the statute -- in El Salvador , the Persian Gulf War and Kosovo , for example. But advocates of the strategy all but gave up, and Congress itself increasingly deferred to presidential wars in the age of terrorism. By the time Obama intervened in Libya, the WPR lay in tatters. In a final indignity during the Libya operation, one administration lawyer explained that "hostilities" was an " ambiguous term of art " that might exclude aerial bombardment, so Congress did not need to approve a war that toppled a regime.

Disasters such as Afghanistan, Iraq, Lybia, Syria, Yemen followed. Trillions of dollars were wasted.

The coup d'état in Ukraine (called by Washington propagandists "The Revolution of Dignity") was a part of  Brzezinski's Gran Chessboard plan -- the attempt to encircle Russia with NATO. The US can now threaten Russia from Ukraine, Poland, Rumania, Baltic State and Georgia. And most of the dying in unleashed by the USA (or, at least, with the USA encouragement, as Provisional Government was drank with their victory after the coupe and was incline to reckless actions)  Western Ukrainian far right nationalists who came to power in 2014 are the USA puppet; Poroshenko was probably the USA agent in the past. But they profess such a level of Russophobia that the current neo-McCarthyism campaign in the USA looks pretty mild in comparison. In any case the ciovil war was unleashed by them. And tens of thousand civilians were killed. Specifically Donetsk and Lugansk area civilians. So who cares. "Let it Bleed"

The USA now keep permanent  presence of military advisors/trainer force in Ukraine and  supplied the country with sophisticated weapons such as Javelins (which might be resold to people whom the USA fight in other war theaters).  Presence of foreign military force is usually called occupation. Such a presence formally is called occupation of the country. What The USA get as a blowback is unclear. The only thing which is clear that that will be  a blowback, and probably no less strong then in case of Afghan war.  Russians are clearly incensed by  February 2014 coup and only presence of Putin at the helm prevented full stale occupation of Eastern Ukraine and possible nuclear hit on the USA.  And it created a real flashing point with Russia. It seems that when it comes to our policy in Ukraine and pretty much the rest of the world it looks like "Groundhog Day" every day. I would suggest we send all those neocons to the frontline, but this of course is a wishful thinking.  Trump actually gave a green light for the war party. Do they think Putin is going to blink, or he will keep his finger on the button and say: "I dare you".

In any case Ukraine became a part of the bigger game of provoking Russia (continuing the foreign policy adopted by previous three  administrations - Clinton, Bush II and Obama) . Why they are doing that, especially those who have children is completely unclear to me.

The Foreign Policy Blob Versus Trump: are the attacks on Trump's Ukraine conduct causing real damage? by Hunter DeRensis

October 30, 2019

Ever since the whistleblower complaint from inside the CIA first surfaced against President Donald Trump, a steady stream of national security and State Department officials have testified about their consternation at his dealings with Ukraine. The dominant impression that they have left, however, is that they are blurring the line between what constitutes unsavory behavior when it comes to pressuring Ukraine for information on domestic political opponents, on the one hand, and what are legitimate policy disagreements. Indeed, it appears that they are, more often than not, substituting their own political judgments for the president’s when it comes to the conduct of American foreign policy—something that should concern Democrats as much as Republicans. A whole caste of government officials seems to believe that for an American president to aim to improve relations with Russia is an illegitimate, even treasonous, aspiration.

Today was no exception. Consider the testimony of State Department official Catherine Croft. In her brief opening statement, she declared, “As the Director covering Ukraine, I staffed the President's December 2017 decision to provide Ukraine with Javelin anti-tank missile systems. I also staffed his September 2017 meeting with then-President Petro Poroshenko on the margins of the UN General Assembly. Throughout both, I heard—directly and indirectly—President Trump describe Ukraine as a corrupt country.” The implication was that Trump had no business complaining about corruption in Ukraine. But why not? The persistence of corruption, which President Volodymyr Zelensky was elected by an overwhelming majority to combat, is hardly a secret.

Perhaps even more revealing was Croft’s declaration to the House Intelligence Committee that in November 2018 the White House refused to approve the release of a statement condemning Russia for seizing three Ukrainian ships located close to Crimea. It sounds damning at first glance. But once again, why shouldn’t Trump have practiced restraint in this instance if he was intent on improving relations with Russia, a platform that he was elected on? As it happens, the Zelensky campaign depicted the ship incident as a political provocation on the part of the Poroshenko government.

The implicit assumptions that appear to guide these veteran members of the bureaucracy were even more obvious in the case of Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman. As the media has underscored, he is the first person to testify in the impeachment inquiry who participated in the July 25 phone call between President Donald Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky. Initially, Trump’s defenders sought to portray him as guilty of “espionage” or dual loyalty because he emigrated to America as a toddler. But this was always preposterous. More telling is that Vindman, no less than Croft, epitomizes a mindset that seems to regard a deviation from the strictures of the foreign policy establishment as by definition unacceptable.

In his opening statement, Vindman declared, that Ukraine is a “frontline state and a bulwark against Russian aggression.” He added, “the U.S. government policy community’s view is that the election of President Volodymyr Zelenskyy and the promise of reforms will lock in Ukraine’s Western-leaning trajectory, and allow Ukraine to realize its dream of a vibrant democracy and economic prosperity.” But what if Trump has a different view of matters than the “U.S. government policy community’s view”? After all, Trump was elected in part on his explicit declarations that he would not rely on the experts who had plunged America into Iraq and Libya.

Consider as well the attention that Vindman has lavished upon Trump’s phone call with Zelensky. According to Vindman, portions of the call he considered important were not included in the document kept by the government that was released to the last month. This includes President Trump claiming there are recordings of former Vice President Joe Biden discussing Ukrainian corruption, and President Zelensky specifically referring to Biden’s son’s company, Burisma Holdings. The document released by the administration includes Zelensky talking about “the company” and Trump saying, “Biden went around bragging that he stopped the prosecution,” which is an interpretation of a video of Joe Biden describing how the Obama administration made firing Ukrainian prosecutor general Viktor Shokin a prerequisite for receiving foreign aid. Vindman’s recollection of the call does not change the substance of what was already understood. However, the changes in language are being portrayed as more analogous to Richard Nixon editing the White House tapes than the routine process that produced a routine document. “Lt. Col. Alexander S. Vindman, who heard President Trump’s July phone call with Ukraine’s president and was alarmed, testified that he tried and failed to add key details to the rough transcript,” blared the New York Times headline.

For two months, major media outlets have described the document as a “transcript,” as a shorthand term. But as the document, and TNI’s previous reporting makes clear, it is not a transcript in the strict sense of the term. “This is what’s known as a memorandum of conversation: MEMCON. It is a standard tool that is used throughout the government and the procedures can vary from agency to agency, or who your boss is. But generally, they’re all done about the same way,” explains Peter Van Buren, a former Foreign Service Officer in the State Department.

“In my own experience in government for 24 years it’s a pretty standardized practice. The idea is, for all sorts of reasons, most interactions are not recorded. Instead, they’re memorialized through this process of MEMCON. Typically, while there are many people who may be listening in or present at a meeting, someone (or sometimes two people) are designated as official notetakers and they take down the conversation. And they’re not trying necessarily to get an exact word-for-word account, but they’re certainly trying to get an idea for idea. And in many cases when you’re dealing at the White House level, they are getting it pretty much word for word,” Van Buren tells TNI.

As a participant on the phone call, Vindman would have been one of the early editors. As the process continued, officials higher than him made changes, just like the editor of a magazine would for a writer. The precise reasons for the changes are open-ended and probably unknowable. There exists no evidence that the changes were nefarious or anything other than mundane word choice. The document released to the public is the official U.S. government record of what happened.

John Marshall Evans, a former U.S. Foreign Service officer and Ambassador to Armenia, narrows down what should be the focus of this inquiry—and what it’s actually becoming. “The issue is indeed not one of policy, which the President can change, but of the purpose that was pursued in the July 25th call: whether it was in the national interest or a private gain,” he says. So far, no one has shown that Trump demanded that the Ukrainian government produce a specific result or fabricate evidence about the Bidens.

Speaker Nancy Pelosi is supposed to hold a House vote on the impeachment inquiry tomorrow, after a barrage of criticism from Republicans for moving forward without one. Whether the open hearings and public testimony will provide any more substance than a parade of national security bureaucrats ventilating their grievances about a president who sought to take a different course in foreign policy is questionable.


Hunter DeRensis is a reporter at the National Interest.
 

 


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[Jun 28, 2020] Russian position for Start talks: "We don't believe the US in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever".

Highly recommended!
Jun 28, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com

START. Talks began in Vienna with a childish stunt by the American side . I wouldn't expect any results: the Americans are fatally deluded . As for the Russians: " We don't believe the U.S. in its current shape is a counterpart that is reliable, so we have no confidence, no trust whatsoever ".Russian has a word for that: недоговороспособны and it's characterised US behaviour since at least this event (in Obama's time). Can't make an agreement with them and, even if you do, they won't keep it.

[Jun 26, 2020] Gaslighting Nobody, The Blob Struggles for Primacy by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Jun 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The national security elite now wants us to believe we are seeing things that aren't really there. 'Gaslight' lobbycard, from left, Charles Boyer, Ingrid Bergman, 1944. (Photo by LMPC via Getty Images)

Ten years ago, "restraint" was considered code for "isolationism" and its purveyors were treated with nominal attention and barely disguised condescension. Today, agitated national security elites who can no longer ignore the restrainers -- and the positive attention they're getting -- are trying to cut them down to size.

We saw this recently when Peter Feaver, Hal Brands, and William Imboden, who all made their mark promoting George W. Bush's war policies after 9/11, published "In Defense of the Blob" for Foreign Affairs in April. My own pushback received an attempted drubbing in The Washington Post by national security professor Daniel Drezner ( he of the Twitter fame ): "For one thing, her essay repeatedly contradicts itself. The Blob is an exclusive cabal, and yet Vlahos also says it's on the wane."

One can be both, Professor. As they say, Rome didn't fall in a day. What we are witnessing are individuals and institutions sensing existential vulnerabilities. The restrainers have found a nerve and the Blob is feeling the pinch. Now it's starting to throw its tremendous girth around.

The latest example is from Michael J. Mazarr, senior political scientist at the Rand Corporation, which since 1948 has essentially provided the brainpower behind the Military Industrial Congressional Complex. Mazarr published this voluminous warrant against restrainers in the most recent issue of The Washington Quarterly, which is run by the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Its editorial board reeks of the conventional internationalist thinking that has prevailed over the last 70 years.

In "Rethinking Restraint: Why It Fails in Practice," Mazarr insists that the critics have it all wrong: "American primacy" is way overstated and the U.S. has been more moderate in military interventions than it's given credit for. Moreover, he says, the restrainers divide current "US strategy into two broad caricatures -- primacy or liberal hegemony at one extreme, and restraint at the other. Such an approach overlooks a huge, untidy middle ground where the views of most US national security officials reside and where most US policies operate."

There is much to unpack in his nearly 10,000-word brief, and much to counter it. For example, Monica Duffy Toft has done incredible research into the history of U.S. interventions over the last 70 years, in part studying the number of times we've used force in response to incidents of foreign aggression. While the United States engaged in 46 military interventions from 1948 to 1991, from 1992 to 2017, that number increased fourfold to 188 (chart below). Kind of calls Mazarr's "frequent impulse to moderation" theory into question.

But I would like to zero in on the most infuriating charge, which mimics Drezner, Brands, Feaver, et al.: that the idea of a powerful, largely homogeneous foreign policy establishment dominating top levels of government, think tanks, media, and academia is really all in our heads. It's not real.

This weak attempt to gaslight the rest of us is an insult to George Cukor's 1944 Hollywood classic . It's unworthy. In the section "There is No Sinister National Security Elite," Mazarr turns to Stephen Walt (who wrote an entire book on the self-destructive Blob) and Andrew Bacevich (who has written that the ideology of American exceptionalism and primacy "serves the interests of those who created the national security state and those who still benefit from its continued existence"). This elite, both men charge, enjoy "status, influence, and considerable wealth" in return for supporting the consensus.

To this Mazarr contends, "Apart from collections of anecdotes, those convinced of the existence of such a homogenous elite offer no objective evidence -- such as surveys, interviews, or comprehensive literature reviews -- to back up these sweeping claims." Then failing to offer his own evidence, he argues:

on specific policy questions -- whether to go to war or conduct a humanitarian intervention, or what policy to adopt toward China or Cuba or Russia or Iran -- debates in Washington are deep, intense, and sometimes bitter. To take just a single example from recent history, the Obama administration's decision to endorse a surge in Afghanistan came only after extended deliberation and soul-searching, and it included a major, and highly controversial, element of restraint -- a very public deadline to begin a graduated withdrawal.

Let's go back to 2009, because some of us actually remember these "deep, intense, and sometimes bitter" times.

First, the only "bitter debates" were between the military, which wanted to "surge" 40,000 troops into Afghanistan in the first year of Obama's presidency, and the president, who had promised to bring the war to an end. After months, Obama "compromised" when in December 2009, he announced a plan for 30,000 new troops (which would bring the then-current number to 98,000) and a timetable for withdrawal of 18 months hence, which really pleased no one , not even the outlier restrainers, like Mazarr suggests.

In fact, restrainers knew the timetable was bunk, and it was. In 2011, there were still 100,000 troops on the ground. In fact, it didn't get down to pre-2009 levels until December 2013.

But let it be clear: the only contention in December 2009 was over the timetable (the hawks at the Heritage Foundation and AEI wanted an open-ended commitment) and whether the president should have been more deferential to his generals (General Stanley McCrystal had just been installed as commander in Afghanistan and the mainstream media was fawning ). Otherwise, every major think tank in town and national security pundit blasted out press releases and op-eds supporting the presidents strategy with varying degrees of enthusiasm. None, aside from the usual TAC suspects, raised a serious note against it. Examples:

John " Eating Soup with a Knife " Nagl, Center for a New American Security : "This strategy will protect the Afghan population with international forces now and build Afghan security forces that in time will allow an American drawdown–leaving behind a more capable Afghan government and a more secure region which no longer threatens the United States and our allies." Each of the CNAS fellows on this press release offer a variation on the same theme, with some more energetic than others. Ditto for this one from The Council on Foreign Relations .

Vanda Felhab-Brown, Brookings Institution : "there would have been no chance to turn the security situation around, take the momentum away from the Taliban, and hence, enable economic development and improvements in governance and rule of law, without the surge."

David Ignatius, The Washington Post : "Obama has made what I think is the right decision: The only viable 'exit strategy' from Afghanistan is one that starts with a bang -- by adding 30,000 more U.S. troops to secure the major population centers, so that control can be transferred to the Afghan army and police."

Ahead of Obama's decision (during the "bitter debate"), the Brookings Institution's Michael O'Hanlon, a fixture on The Washington Pos t op-ed pages and cable news shows -- was pushing for the maximum : "President Barack Obama should approve the full buildup his commanders are requesting, even as he also steels the nation for a difficult and uncertain mission ahead."

Meanwhile, all of the so-called progressive national security groups, including the Center for American Progress, Third Way, and the National Security Network, heralded Obama's plan as "a smarter, stronger strategy that stated clear objectives and is based on American security interests, namely preventing terrorist attacks."

"Counterintuitively," they said in a joint statement , "sending more troops will allow us to get out more quickly."

Anthony Cordesman at the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) has always been a thoughtful skeptic, but he never fails to offer a hedge on whatever new plan comes down the pike. Here he is on Obama's surge , exemplifying how difficult it was/is for the establishment to just call a failure a failure:

The strategy President Obama has set forth in broad terms can still win if the Afghan government and Afghan forces become more effective, if NATO/ISAF national contingents provide more unity of effort, if aid donors focus on the fact that development cannot succeed unless the Afghan people see real progress where they live in the near future, and if the United States shows strategic patience and finally provides the resources necessary to win.

That's a lot of "ifs," but they provide amazing cover for those who don't want to admit the cause is lost -- or can't -- because their work depends on giving the military and State Department something to do. This is what happens when your think tank relies on government contracts and grants and arms industry money . According to The New York Times, major defense contractors Lockheed Martin and Boeing gave some $77 million to a dozen think tanks between 2010 and 2016.

They aren't getting the money to advocate that troops, contractors, NGO's, and diplomats come home and stay put. Money and agenda underwrites who is heading the think tanks, who speaks for the national security programs, and who populates conferences, book launches, speeches, and television appearances. Mazarr doesn't think this can be quantified but it's rather easy. Google "2009 Afghanistan conference/panel/speakers" and plenty of events come up. Pick any year, the results are predictable.

Here's a Brookings Panel in August 2009 , assessing the Afghanistan election, including Anthony Cordesman, Kimberly Kagan, and Michael O'Hanlon. Not a lot of "diversity" there. Here's a taste of the 2009 annual CNAS conference, which featured the usual suspects, including David Petraeus, Ambassador Nicholas Burns, and 1,400 people in attendance. Aside from Andrew " Skunk at the Garden Party " Bacevich, there was little to distinguish one world view from another among the panelists. (CNAS was originally founded in support of Hillary Clinton's 2008 campaign; she spoke at the inaugural conference in 2007. Former president Michele Flournoy later landed in the E-Ring of the Pentagon.) Meanwhile, here's a Hudson Institute tribute to David Petraeus, attended by Scooter Libby, and a December 2009 Atlantic Council panel with -- you guessed it -- Kimberly Kagan and two military representatives thrown in to pump up McChrystal and NATO and staying the course.

On top of it all, these events and their people never failed to get the attention of the major corporate media, which just loved the idea of warrior-monk generals "liberating" Afghanistan through a "government in a box" counterinsurgency (COIN) strategy.

Honestly, thank goodness for Cato , which before the new Quincy Institute, was the only think tank to feature COIN critics like Colonel Gian Gentile , and not just as foils. The Center for the National Interest also harbored skeptics of the president's strategy. But they were outnumbered too.

This is what I want to convey. Mazarr boasts there is a galaxy of opinion today over U.S. policy in Iran, China, Russia, NATO. I would argue there is a narrow spectrum of technical and ideological disagreement in all these cases, but nowhere was it more important to have strong, competing voices than during the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, and there was none of that in any realistic sense of the word.

I challenge him and the others to take down the straw men and own the ecosystem to which they owe their success in Washington (Mazarr just published a piece called "Toward a New Theory of Power Projection" for goodness sake). Stop trying to pretend what is there isn't. Realists and restrainers are happy to debate the merits of our different approaches, but gaslighting is for nefarious lovers and we're no Ingrid Bergman. about the author

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.

[Jun 14, 2020] Jeane J. Kirkpatrick 30 Years Unheeded

Highly recommended!
The national security establishment does represent the actual government of dual "double government". And it is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the elected branches of government. Instead it controls them and is able to stage palace coups to remove "unacceptable" Presidents like was the case with JFK, Nixon and Trump.
For them is are occupied country and then behave like real occuplers.
Notable quotes:
"... In Trumpian fashion, Kirkpatrick then goes on to warn Americans about the danger of an unaccountable "deep state" in foreign policy that is immune to popular pressures. ..."
"... She says that, no, "it has become more important than ever that the experts who conduct foreign policy on our behalf be subject to the direction of and control of the people." ..."
"... She points out that because America had for much of the twentieth century assumed global responsibilities, our foreign policy elites had developed "distinctive views" that are different from those of the electorate. ..."
"... foreign policy elites "grew accustomed to thinking of the United States as having boundless resources and purposes . . . which transcended the preferences of voters and apparent American interests . . . and eventually developed a globalist attitude." ..."
"... In support of Kirkpatrick's concern, Tufts professor Michael Glennon has more recently argued that the national security establishment has now become so "distinctive" in their separation from our constitutional processes that they represent one wing of a now "double government" that is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the popular branches of government. The Russiagate investigations and the attempt to disable the Trump presidency, aided by many in the establishment, would appear to confirm Kirkpatrick's warning that foreign policy elites want no part of the electoral preferences of voting Americans. ..."
"... Kirkpatrick died in 2006 and had, like many neoconservatives, evolved from a Humphrey Democrat into a member of the GOP establishment. With William Bennett and Jack Kemp, in 1993 she cofounded a neoconservative group, Empower America, which took a very aggressive stance against militant Islam after the 9/11 attacks. However, she was quite ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq and was quoted in The Economist ..."
Jun 14, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

Kirkpatrick's essay begins by insisting that, because of world events since 1939, America has given to foreign affairs "an unnatural focus." Now in 1990, she says, the nation can turn its attention to domestic concerns that are more important because "a good society is defined not by its foreign policy but its internal qualities . . . by the relations among its citizens, the kind of character nurtured, and the quality of life lived." She says unabashedly that "there is no mystical American 'mission' or purposes to be 'found' independently of the U.S. Constitution and government."

One cannot fail to notice that this perspective is precisely the opposite of George W. Bush's in his second inauguration. According to Bush, America's post –Cold War purpose was to follow our "deepest beliefs" by acting to "support the growth of democratic movements and institutions in every nation and culture." For three decades neoconservative foreign policy has revolved around "mystical" beliefs about America's mission in the world that are unmoored from the actual Constitution.

In Trumpian fashion, Kirkpatrick then goes on to warn Americans about the danger of an unaccountable "deep state" in foreign policy that is immune to popular pressures. She rejects emphatically the views of some elitists who argue that foreign policy is a uniquely esoteric and specialized discipline and must be cushioned from populism. She says that, no, "it has become more important than ever that the experts who conduct foreign policy on our behalf be subject to the direction of and control of the people."

She points out that because America had for much of the twentieth century assumed global responsibilities, our foreign policy elites had developed "distinctive views" that are different from those of the electorate. Again, in Trumpian fashion, she argued that foreign policy elites "grew accustomed to thinking of the United States as having boundless resources and purposes . . . which transcended the preferences of voters and apparent American interests . . . and eventually developed a globalist attitude."

In support of Kirkpatrick's concern, Tufts professor Michael Glennon has more recently argued that the national security establishment has now become so "distinctive" in their separation from our constitutional processes that they represent one wing of a now "double government" that is not unaccountable to, and unsupervised by, the popular branches of government. The Russiagate investigations and the attempt to disable the Trump presidency, aided by many in the establishment, would appear to confirm Kirkpatrick's warning that foreign policy elites want no part of the electoral preferences of voting Americans.

Kirkpatrick concludes her essay with thoughts on "What should we do?" and "What we should not do." Remarkably, her first recommendation is to negotiate better trade deals. These deals should give the U.S. "fair access" to foreign markets while offering "foreign businesses no better than fair access to U.S. markets." Next, she considered the promotion of democracy around the world and, on this subject, she took the John Quincy Adams position : that "Wherever the standard of freedom and Independence has been or shall be unfurled, there will her heart, her benedictions and her prayers be." However, she insisted: "it is not within the United States' power to democratize the world."

When Kirkpatrick goes on to discuss America's post –Cold War alliances, she makes clear that she is advocating, quite simply, an America First foreign policy. Regarding the future of the NATO alliance, a sacrosanct pillar of the American foreign policy establishment, she argued that "the United States should not try to manage the balance of power in Europe." Likewise, we should be humble about what we can accomplish in Eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union: "Any notion that the United States can manage the changes in that huge, multinational, developing society is grandiose." Finally, with regard to Asia: "Our concern with Japan should above all be with its trading practices vis-à-vis the United States. We should not spend money protecting an affluent Japan, though a continuing alliance is entirely appropriate."

She famously concludes her essay by making the plea for the United States to become "a normal country in a normal time" and "to give up the dubious benefits of superpower status and become again an unusually successful, open American republic."

Kirkpatrick became Ronald Reagan's United Nations ambassador because her 1979 article in Commentary , "Dictatorships and Double Standards," caught the eye of the future president. In that article, she sensibly points out that authoritarian governments that are allies of the United States should not be kicked to the curb because they are not free and open democracies. The path to democracy is a long and perilous one, and nations without republican traditions cannot be expected to make the transition overnight. Regarding the world's oldest democracy, she remarked: "In Britain, the road from the Magna Carta to the Act of Settlement, to the great Reform Bills of 1832, 1867, and 1885, took seven centuries to traverse."

While at the time neoconservatives opportunistically embraced her for this position as a tactic to fight the Cold War, the current foreign policy establishment would consider Kirkpatrick's argument to be beyond the bounds of decent conversation, as it would lend itself to an accommodation with authoritarian Russia as a counterweight to totalitarian China.

Kirkpatrick died in 2006 and had, like many neoconservatives, evolved from a Humphrey Democrat into a member of the GOP establishment. With William Bennett and Jack Kemp, in 1993 she cofounded a neoconservative group, Empower America, which took a very aggressive stance against militant Islam after the 9/11 attacks. However, she was quite ambivalent about the invasion of Iraq and was quoted in The Economist as saying that George W. Bush was "a bit too interventionist for my taste" and that Bush's brand of moral imperialism is not "taken seriously anywhere outside a few places in Washington, DC."

The fact that Kirkpatrick's recommendations in her 1990 essay coincide with some of Donald Trump's positions in the 2016 campaign (if not with many of his actual actions as president) make her views, ipso facto, not serious. The foreign policy establishment gives something like pariah status to arguments that we should negotiate better trade deals, reconsider our Cold War alliances and, most especially, subject American foreign policy to popular preferences. If she were alive today and were making the arguments she made in 1990, then she would be an outcast. That a formidable intellectual like Kirkpatrick would be dismissed in such a fashion is a sign of how obtuse our foreign policy debate has become.

William S. Smith is Senior Research Fellow and Managing Director of the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His recent book, Democracy and Imperialism , is from the University of Michigan Press. He studied political philosophy under Professor Jeane Kirkpatrick as an undergraduate at Georgetown University.

[May 24, 2020] About Pompeo threat to cut Australia from the fives eyes intelligence flows

From MoA comment 57: "Warmongering shit bags endlessly flatulent about their moral superiority while threatening to nuke nations on the other side of the globe daily. ... the greatness of the US consists of how gullible its hyper-exploited populace has been to a long series of Donald Trumps who use the resources of the land and people for competitive violence against other nations. the world heaves a collective hallelujah that this bullshit is about to end. "
Notable quotes:
"... 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. ..."
"... Pompeo is blathering bullsh!t and he knows it and we all know it ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

uncle tungsten , May 25 2020 0:44 utc | 56

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

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

moscowexile May 24, 2020 at 4:10 am

Have they nothing better to do than peddle their Russophobia?

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

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

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

[May 24, 2020] Just 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

May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman May 24, 2020 at 9:17 am

Just 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 16, 2020] No One Should Be Missing Kissinger

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 ago

Yeah, right. It will only get worse.

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.
https://www.rt.com/news/488...
https://www.rt.com/news/488...
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/48...

Also, it is worth mentioning the Soviet diplomacy's response to Keenan's Long Telegram, for parity:
http://www-personal.umd.umi...

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.

Tim Chapman kouroi 4 days ago
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 ago
The United States acts and talks like an empire, or need I trot out that quote fromt hat Bush-era apparatchik again?

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?

Tim 4 days ago
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 • edited
In 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 ago
Henry 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 ago
Kissinger 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 • edited
Kissinger 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.

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 about

Connecticut Farmer TheSnark 2 days ago
You 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
"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.

=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.

[May 16, 2020] John Solomon 'Everything about the Schiff-show is falling apart' - YouTube

May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Rosco Coltrane , 2 days ago (edited)

Why isn't Schiff in Jail. Isn't Barry's Alumni worried about the rule of law?

Juju Rellama , 2 days ago

She [Amb. Yovanovitch's] hated Trump. Blamed him for her failed career. Whistleblowers don't have long careers

Will Hunt , 2 days ago

Nothing but lies for 4 years from Dems. Pathetic and disgusting. A Coup, Imagine that?

mark spannar , 2 days ago

She needs to be put in jail. The American people demand and deserve justice .

Cy Todd , 2 days ago (edited)

"Wasn't completely honest"... mistress of understatements. She lied. The left's narrative is imploding. Corrupt Ambassador, and the left whined when she was fired. Belongs in prison... in Ukraine.

fiddlemastr jay , 2 days ago

Yovanovitch is just another piece of Rhodes Scholar trash.

ZW , 2 days ago

Is she lied she better be charged with a flipping crime. Time to stop playing coy.

RM SemFl , 2 days ago

Yovanovitch sat their and lied the whole time. Why isn't she being charged?

JDSwamp , 2 days ago

She's Princeton. The quality! The Ivy! Yovanovitch LIED under oath.

imaGINAtion , 2 days ago

During the impeachment sham hearing, Yovanovitch said she had not recall anything about the well known national scandal Burisma in Ukraine. Surprising, isn't it?

Noam Pitlik , 2 days ago

Schiff doesn't strike me as the 'fall on his sword' type. Maybe he will spill the beans someday.

Dave Wo , 2 days ago

Yeah.... Yovanovitch is a liar. Throw her in prison for lying to congress.

Vladim IANCU , 2 days ago

The entire Obama Administration was, for eight long years, a string of crimes and cover-ups by the then President and all his partners in wrongdoings. When is Lady Justice going to prevail?

[May 15, 2020] "We lied, we cheated, we stole", version 2.0

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 07, 2020] Angry Bear " "cannot remember a single International Crisis in which the United States had no global presence at all"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is. ..."
"... "McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere." ..."
"... The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern. ..."
"... And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country. ..."
"... Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ). ..."
"... Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425 ..."
"... Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. ..."
"... And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch. ..."
May 07, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , May 6, 2020 11:53 pm

Hi run75441,

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

http://ronpaulinstitute.org/archives/neocon-watch/2017/may/08/neocon-anne-applebaum-give-me-money-to-fight-russian-disinformation/

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 Russians Are Coming, The Russians Are Coming!" In screeching screed after screeching screech, Applebaum is, like most neocons, a one trick pony: the US government needs to spend more money to counter the threat of the month. Usually it's Russia or Putin. But it can also be China, Iran, Assad, Gaddafi, Saddam, etc.

Nothing new, nothing interesting.

Anne Applebaum is a bitter neocon. She is furious that people no longer read the Washington Post as the authoritative voice of US foreign policy. She has apparently made a tidy fortune warning us that the Russians are coming, but she wants even more. The Washington Post still views her as an expert, but the American people, as she herself complains, are no longer interested in her worn-out fantasies. She is buried in defense industry funded think tanks and she does the bidding of her masters. Every intelligent American reader should ridicule her as the propagandist she is.

As for McMaster paper see Daniel Larison take on the subject in his brilliant post "McMaster and the Myths of Empire" https://www.theamericanconservative.com/larison/mcmaster-and-the-myths-of-empire/

Here is what he said:

"McMaster's dangerous China hawkishness calls to mind something that Jim Mattis said about him regarding a different issue when they served together in the Trump administration: "Oh my God, that moron is going to get us all killed." His aggressiveness towards China is not driven by an assessment of the threat from China, but comes from his tendency to advocate for aggressive measures everywhere."

And as a China scholar McMaster is not the best choice either:

McMaster uses the same "paper tiger image" to portray China as an unstoppable aggressor that can nonetheless be stopped at minimal risk.

I have heard from other colleagues that several CN scholars met w/ McMaster before he wrote this (while working on his book) and corrected him on many issues. He apparently ignored all of their views. This is what we face people: a simple, deceptive narrative is more seductive.

-- Michael

likbez, May 7, 2020 6:22 pm

The main thrust here is the US abandoning the world to China and a much weaker Russia. I am calling for the US to play a much broader role in the world as it has economic and strategic value

The road to hell is paved with good intentions. This is definitely above my pay grade, but the problem that I see here is that it is very unclear where "a much broader role in the world" ends and where "imperial overstretch" starts.

The country which spends over trillion dollars on "defense" is by definition an imperial country and its foreign policy priorities are not that difficult to discern.

And due to well fed MIC which maintains an army of lobbyists and along with FIRE sector controls Capitol Hill this is a Catch 22 situation (we can't abandon neocon Full Spectrum Dominance doctrine and can't continue as it will bankrupt the country) which might not end well for the country.

Note how unprepared the country was to COVID-19 epidemic. Zero strategic thinking as if the next epidemic was not in the cards at least since swine fly ( https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2009_swine_flu_pandemic_in_the_United_States ).

Some experts now claim that this is criminal incompetence on the part of Trump administration. "So, what does it mean to let thousands die by negligence, omission, failure to act, in a legal sense under international law?" asked Gonsalves, an assistant professor of epidemiology of microbial diseases at the Yale School of Public Health, in a tweet Wednesday morning. https://twitter.com/gregggonsalves/status/1257988303443431425

Please note that Trump campaigned in 2016 on the idea of disengagement from foreign wars and abandoning the global neoliberal empire built by his predecessors as well as halting neoliberal globalization. That's how he got anti-war independents to vote for him.

And what we got? We got this warmonger McMaster, bombing Syria on false flag chemical attack pretext, conflict with Russia over North Stream II and Ukraine, and the assassination of Soleimani. Such a bait and switch.

[May 07, 2020] The 'Blob' Strikes Back by Daniel Larison

Notable quotes:
"... If America's adversaries were made of strawmen, the defenders of the foreign policy "Blob" would have a foolproof strategy for defeating them. Unfortunately, a recent defense of the U.S. foreign policy establishment's record is no more successful than the policies that its authors have supported. ..."
"... The authors of the FA piece want to identify the "Blob" with expert knowledge, but many of the loudest critics of the "Blob" find fault with it because so many policy debates are not informed by genuine country or regional expertise. ..."
May 07, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Realism & Restraint The 'Blob' Strikes Back

A recent defense of the foreign policy establishment is no more successful than the policies its authors supported.

If America's adversaries were made of strawmen, the defenders of the foreign policy "Blob" would have a foolproof strategy for defeating them. Unfortunately, a recent defense of the U.S. foreign policy establishment's record is no more successful than the policies that its authors have supported.

Writing for the Foreign Affairs website last week, Hal Brands, Peter Feaver, and Will Inboden attempt to rebut critics of the so-called "Blob," but in their attempt they demonstrate many of the very flaws in analysis and inability to admit error that their critics have pointed out over the years. The real record of the U.S. foreign policy establishment over the last thirty years has been much less impressive than its defenders claim, and it has helped to create many more avoidable calamities than they admit.

The authors of the FA piece want to identify the "Blob" with expert knowledge, but many of the loudest critics of the "Blob" find fault with it because so many policy debates are not informed by genuine country or regional expertise. Think back to the Iraq war debate. On the pro-war side, there were legions of pundits and politicians that knew little or nothing about Iraq and the surrounding region. The few historians and specialists they could find to promote the war were extreme ideologues. On the opposing side, you had the vast majority of regional experts and trained officials at the State Department. The U.S. invaded Iraq despite the overwhelming consensus among people that knew the country and region best that it would be a disaster. War supporters had no use for that expertise because it did not line up with what they wanted to do. The "Blob" prevailed by overruling and ignoring the experts.

Many prominent foreign policy professionals from both parties jumped on the pro-war bandwagon because they weren't terribly interested in what the experts had to say and because backing military action to exercise American "leadership" is what these people usually do. Even those that didn't really believe the case for war said nothing because it was politically safer for them to conform. We have seen this happen many other times. The conventional view endorsed by the "Blob" often has nothing to do with expert knowledge, and it frequently flies in the face of that expertise.

It would help to start with accurate definitions. What do critics of U.S. foreign policy mean when we talk about the "Blob"? The term refers in part to the tendency towards groupthink, aggression, and interference in other countries' affairs among foreign policy pundits and think tankers. It is a criticism of the reflexive bias towards "action," which almost always involves advocacy for military options, and the disparagement of diplomatic engagement that usually goes with it. Members of the "Blob" promote and claim to believe in a number of far-fetched myths about "credibility" and America's "indispensable" role in the world that provide ready-made justifications for sanctioning and bombing a long list of other countries. They usually twist themselves into knots to avoid acknowledging U.S. responsibility for the consequences of our government's actions, but they are the first to decry American "inaction" when something unfortunate beyond our control happens on the other side of the world. If one or more of those things describes you, you might be part of the "Blob."

One of the biggest failings of the "Blob" is its resistance to learning and reevaluating core assumptions. This is one reason why the U.S. keeps making similar mistakes decade after decade. The "Blob" not only spreads dangerous myths, but it clings to them all the more desperately when those myths are discredited by experience. The U.S. can destabilize entire regions for decades, but they will continue to insist that the U.S. military presence is "stabilizing" and cannot end. U.S. interventions consistently leave countries in worse shape than they were in before the U.S. intervened, but that does not lessen their eagerness for the next intervention.

The authors allow that the "Blob" makes mistakes, but asserts that it "learns from them and changes course." That is simply not true. The only learning that does seem to take place concerns how some of the same awful policies get labeled. Advocates for regime change usually avoid using that phrase now, but they still demand regime change in substance. Supporters of illegal warfare still advocate for illegal war, but now they call it "restoring deterrence." Aggressive U.S. policies have predictably led to hostile responses from other states, but the "Blob" doesn't acknowledge the U.S. role in provoking the responses.

When presented with evidence of groupthink, the authors relabel it as "the wisdom of professional crowds." When presented with the familiar litany of U.S. foreign policy failures, they claim that the record is actually successful. When presented with the record of near-constant use of force since the end of the Cold War, they declare that the U.S. "hardly ran amok in search of monsters to destroy," and then rattle off a list of countries that the U.S. didn't attack. You could hardly ask for more of a self-parody of what critics call the "Blob" than boasting about all of the places that the U.S. could have invaded but didn't. Look at all that restraint! This is akin to defending an arsonist by pointing to all of the buildings that he didn't set on fire.

Perhaps biggest flaw in the defense of the "Blob" is the very American-centric habit of taking credit for all positive post-Cold War developments around the world:

In short, after 1989, the deep global engagement favored by the Blob kept the world moving forward on a generally positive track, rather than regressing to the historical mean of tyranny, depression, and war.

How much did post-Cold War U.S. actions contribute to this outcome? Isn't it likely that much of the world would have been "moving forward" as it did with or without the U.S.? In other words, how much can the U.S. really take credit for the successes of other nations after the end of the Cold War? To make the balance come out in their favor, the authors need to claim that the U.S. deserves credit for almost all of it, but that hardly seems credible.

One of the unintentionally funniest parts of the "Blob" defense is the claim that there is accountability for failure:

The American foreign policy establishment, finally, is generally more pragmatic than ideological. It values prudence and security over novelty and creativity. It knows that thinking outside the box may be useful in testing policy assumptions, but the box is usually there for a reason, and so reflexively embracing the far-out option is dangerous. Its members have made many mistakes, individually and collectively, but several features of the system enforce accountability over time. Foreign policy failures, for example, are politically toxic and often spur positive change.

This is a bold claim to make when the complete lack of accountability is one of the most distinctive features of the "Blob." Not only do many of the same failed policies continue on for decades, but many of the same people that advocated for failed and disastrous policies in the past keep resurfacing to advocate for new ones. Foreign policy failures should be toxic, but for some reason they never seem to do any harm to the people responsible for them. There is almost no political or professional price to be paid for being consistently, horribly wrong about foreign policy. One reason for this is the network of institutions that employ former government officials so that people responsible for bad policies never go away. Another is the reluctance of "Blob" members to enforce accountability among themselves. So long as someone sticks with the consensus view of the U.S. role in the world, there is virtually nothing that he or she can do to be expelled from the polite company of the foreign policy establishment. Stray outside of the narrow confines of that consensus, however, and you will quickly find yourself persona non grata.

The weakest part of their argument is the attempt to conflate other critics of the "Blob" with the Trump administration's open hostility to expertise:

How about the critics' third argument, that escaping the influence of the Blob would make American policy more effective and the country more secure? As it happens, a real-time test of that proposition has been running for over three years.

This not the first time that defenders of conventional foreign policy have tried to blur the lines between Trump and some of his staunchest non-interventionist and realist critics, and it is no more convincing now than it was before. Trump has not governed as a conventional foreign policy president, but neither has he seriously challenged most of the conventional U.S. role in the world. Trump has left us with the worst of both worlds in which a largely Blobby foreign policy has been executed by inexperienced and ignorant officials. When critics attack the "Blob," we are objecting to the failure to rely on expertise in making policy. The choice does not have to be between Blobby stagnation and Trumpian incompetence, but it is unsurprising that defenders of the discredited "Blob" want to keep it that way. about the author Daniel Larison is a senior editor at TAC , where he also keeps a solo blog . He has been published in the New York Times Book Review , Dallas Morning News , World Politics Review , Politico Magazine , Orthodox Life , Front Porch Republic, The American Scene, and Culture11, and was a columnist for The Week . He holds a PhD in history from the University of Chicago, and resides in Lancaster, PA. Follow him on Twitter . email


Dodo11 hours ago

Trump and his team have destroyed US foreign relations. They bully allies and boast to Americans as their "success".

Americans believe the nonsense - US helped allies before so now they must sacrifice for US causes without asking any compensation support them with full heart.

Even worse, some even believe the worthless Republican's "American value" is what allies should sacrifice for. Sorry, they need genuine silver and gold, not your worthless "value".

Of course, veteran of US diplomats feel sad that the alliance structure built up is destroyed.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) Dodo10 hours ago
Don't be silly. There was nothing to destroy yet before Trump and his team entered their offices, due to the destruction thereof having been already brought about by the said "veteran diplomats".
Alex (the one that likes Ike)9 hours ago
Jumpin' Jehoshaphat. In their feeble, piteous attempts of relabeling they seem to have forgotten the ancient arcane art of rebranding. Just read it (bold mine):
the wisdom of professional crowds


Oxymoronic, right? Well, frankly, I'm not sure about "oxy".

chris chuba8 hours ago
The Blob remains in power because the biggest cost of their failures is born by countries we don't really care about, a small number of volunteer military men, and money that we borrow. The Blob will remain in power until we squander most of our collective power and we can no longer inflict their will on others and we become increasingly irrelevant. Until then it will be very painful to watch.

Which brings me to the Coronavirus outbreak. It easily penetrated our shores and we are by any honest measure the world leader in number of deaths and economic devastation despite the fact that the first outbreak did not reach New York until March 1 from Europe. Our response? We closed travel from the EU on March 15, our Defense establishment convinced every MSM outlet that Russia, China, and Iran was waging and information war against the U.S. falsely claiming that we mishandled the situation (we are good a deceiving ourselves, aren't we), we are gearing up for a Cold War against China, but we were able to get the Blue Angels to fly over 5 cities on a days notice. Is it too late to take the blue pill?

Vhailor chris chuba3 hours ago
You are right regarding the Blob - I would add that most (if not all) of them have zero skin in the game and I bet that neither of those chickenhawks served in the military.
Feral Finster7 hours ago
The War on Iraq provides a most instructive example. Those in foreign policy circles who knowingly lied, those who knowingly parroted conscious lies, none of these people paid any price for their lies, not personal or professional. Instead, they were rewarded for being loyal accomplices.

Those who called out the lies were cast into outer darkness.

Unless and until those responsible for the stupid wars pay a very real and very personal price for their crimes, nothing will change. For sociopaths learn only from reward and punishment, but they do learn.

Mick Price6 hours ago
Trump's foreign policy, while based on almost complete ignorance, was light-years ahead of the blob. In fact the worst of his actions were when he actually believed the blob and/or did what they wanted. I mean really he hasn't started a war, he actually threatened to withdraw from Europe if they don't pay for the protection, which at best means NATO is toast and at worst means the yanks don't subsidize the europeans. What's so bad about his foreign policy.
marku52 Mick Price6 hours ago
Well, endorsing very visible assassination as a foreign policy tool is one that will rebound badly some day. And he was proud of that one.
Feral Finster Mick Price5 hours ago
Trump has used his veto power three times already - twice to stop US involvement in the genocidal war on Yemen, and again today to prevent him from making war on Iran.

Meanwhile, Trump has failed twice to pull out of Syria. What a pathetic weaking cuck he is!

blimbax5 hours ago
That picture reminds me of a line up, except usually at a line up there is only one truly guilty party.

Few photographs better symbolize the problem with American foreign policy. At least Colin Powell showed some redemptive recognition of failure, at least at one time.

EdMan35 minutes ago
I want to push back on the the notion that the State Dept. were on the right side of history regarding the decision to invade Iraq. Many of those opposed to the war were still in favor of maintaining the embargo and no-fly zones against Iraq into perpetuity. If the war's supporters were wrong in proposing a bad solution, many of their opponents were wrong in offering no solution at all.

Except the status quo.

In fact, this is "The Blob" - the defenders of the status quo, more than anything else. As Larison observed, the few historians and specialists who supported the Iraq invasion were extreme ideologues. At the same time, many of them weren't.

[May 05, 2020] The departing ambassador is a female from the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. A Ukrainian "Nationalist" by descent. Incapable of thinking of the interests of this unfortunate country.

May 05, 2020 | www.unz.com

Alfred , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT

@Derer Georgia's lunatic who is now Ukraine deputy prime minister

I think Saakashvili has not made it yet. He is being opposed by a lot of the Jews who control this "country". Last week, the guy investigating "corruption" was sacked. His replacement was a Jew. It is just so funny. Like a theater.

Almost all the oligarchs are Jewish – courtesy of the World Bank and (((Western))) banks. It is amazing that in a country of allegedly 42 million they cannot find an ethnic Slav to get the job. I do not use the term Ukrainian as it is not really one country.

Forget the bluster. I suspect they want to bring in Saakashvili because he can bring in more loans from the IMF. His backers are in the USA.

BTW, the new American ambassador to Ukraine is a retired US Army general. That should give you some idea as to their line of thinking. However, I suspect that he is too knowledgeable to want to start a war with Russia.

Alfred , says: Show Comment May 2, 2020 at 6:00 am GMT
@Derer Georgia's lunatic who is now Ukraine deputy prime minister

I think Saakashvili has not made it yet. He is being opposed by a lot of the Jews who control this "country". Last week, the guy investigating "corruption" was sacked. His replacement was a Jew. It is just so funny. Like a theater.

Almost all the oligarchs are Jewish – courtesy of the World Bank and (((Western))) banks. It is amazing that in a country of allegedly 42 million they cannot find an ethnic Slav to get the job. I do not use the term Ukrainian as it is not really one country.

Forget the bluster. I suspect they want to bring in Saakashvili because he can bring in more loans from the IMF. His backers are in the USA.

BTW, the new American ambassador to Ukraine is a retired US Army general. That should give you some idea as to their line of thinking. However, I suspect that he is too knowledgeable to want to start a war with Russia.

The departing ambassador is a female from the Ukrainian diaspora in Canada. A Ukrainian "Nationalist" by descent. Incapable of thinking of the interests of this unfortunate country.

[May 01, 2020] Coutriers and coutisans vs neocon blobsters and blobstresses in State Department and elsewhere

Blobsters are simply prostitute to the military industrial complex. No honesty, no courage required (Courage is replaced with arrogance in most cases.) Pompeo is a vivid example of this creatures of Washington swamp.
Notable quotes:
"... historically courtiers themselves led their troops on the battlefield and considered it a question of honor for one or both of their oldest sons pursuing a military career, while Renaissance courtesans were among the most intellectual and educated women of their epoch. Neither is true for blobsters and blobstresses. ..."
"... In French and (I think) most other romance languages, the words for courtier and courtesan are the same. Something to think about. ..."
May 01, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Alex (the one that likes Ike) 13 hours ago

Courtiers and courtesans. That's rich.

On the other hand, though, historically courtiers themselves led their troops on the battlefield and considered it a question of honor for one or both of their oldest sons pursuing a military career, while Renaissance courtesans were among the most intellectual and educated women of their epoch. Neither is true for blobsters and blobstresses.

LFM Alex (the one that likes Ike) 5 hours ago
In French and (I think) most other romance languages, the words for courtier and courtesan are the same. Something to think about.

[May 01, 2020] The Blob Attacks Gaslighting or Just Gasbagging by Kelley Beaucar Vlahos

Apr 30, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

It's always fun to see the Washington foreign policy and Nat-Sec establishment get up on its hind legs at their critics. It doesn't happen often, and when it does it's usually when someone has touched a raw nerve, penetrating the bubble, if only momentarily. One time that comes to mind is when TAC's Andrew Bacevich -- he's really good at this -- called out elite bubble denizens Peter Feaver and Hal Brands for what he said was "close to being a McCarthyite smear" against realist thinkers in a Commentary piece entitled, "Saving Realism from the So-Called Realists."

The two men (Feaver cut his teeth in George W. Bush's National Security Council during the height of the Iraq War; Brands is an academic with a perch at the neoconservative AEI) implored TAC to publish a response, writing: "The stakes of debates about American grand strategy are high, and so it is entirely proper that these debates be conducted with passion and intensity. But it is equally vital that they be conducted without resort to the sort of baseless ad hominem attacks that impede intellectual discourse rather than encouraging it."

Hrumph. It is not surprising now that both Feaver and Brands (joined by William Inboden, also in Bush's wartime NSC), are at it again, this time with a longer treatise in Foreign Affairs , entitled, "In Defense of the Blob ." The last four years have been rough for the establishment. President Trump, after running on a platform of getting out of endless wars, is a Jacksonian who refuses to hide his contempt for this entrenched policy class and all of their attending courtiers and courtesans, most of whom are leftovers from the Obama, Bush and even Clinton Administrations. Their "accumulated" knowledge means nothing to this president, as he has plowed his own mercurial course in North Korea, Syria, Iran and the Middle East.

If that wasn't bad enough, Trump's rip in the Washington Blob's time-space-continuum has allowed realists and restrainers to quantum leap into the space like no other administration before. Suddenly, conservatives of all stripes are talking TAC's language. Money is pouring into colleges and think tanks now, all with the goal of pursuing approaches outside the status quo of hyper-militarization and American hegemony. The wars have been largely maligned as failures of the two previous administrations and their "experts." The Quincy Institute, populated by scholars from both the Right and Left, has risen up to directly challenge the idea of a necessary militarized "liberal world order" to secure peace across the globe.

"In Defense of the Blob" is filled with so many straw men, lies, and misdirections that the only takeaway is that we must have hit one hell of a nerve this time. The authors' peculiar attempt to gaslight their critics, suggesting that we are seeing things that aren't there, is weak. Like:

Blob theorists view the establishment as a club of like-minded elite insiders who control everything, take care of one another, and brush off challenges to conventional wisdom. In reality, the United States actually has a healthy marketplace of foreign policy ideas. Discussion over American foreign policy is loud, contentious, diverse, and generally pragmatic -- and as a result, the nation gets the opportunity to learn from its mistakes, build on its successes, and improve its performance over time.

No, no, and no. As a reporter in this ecosystem for more years than I care to admit, I can say with absolute certainty the reality is the opposite. The major policy think tanks in Washington are rife with three sources of funding: government, private defense companies, and very wealthy neoliberal and neoconservative foundations ( think Carnegie on the left , Scaife on the right ). The National Security and "Grand Strategy" programs at elite schools are no different. They all have one thing in common: the status quo. As a result, the output is hardly dynamic, it's little more than dogmatic, conventional thinking about world problems that keep bureaucrats in jobs and always meddling, the military amped up with more hammers and nails to hit, and politicians (and attending administrative class) favorable to either or both of these goals in Washington, preferably in power.

This is a closed club that offers only gradations of diversity just like Democrats and Republicans during the war: No one argued about "liberating" Iraq, only about the tactics. That was why it was so easy for Hillary Clinton's Nat Sec team in-waiting to create the Center for a New American Security in 2008 and transition to an Obama think tank shop in 2009. Plug and play one for the other, counterinsurgency under Bush? Meh. Under Obama? Let's do this! They all had a plan for staying in Afghanistan, and they made sure we were, until this day.

This doesn't even include the orbit of research centers like RAND and the Center for Naval Analysis, which actually get government funding to churn out reports and white papers, teach officer classes, lead war gaming, and put on conferences. Do you really think they call for less funding, killing programs, eliminating lily pads, or egads, pulling out of entrenched strategic relationships that might not make sense anymore? Never. The same players get the contracts and produce just what the government wants to hear, so they can get more money. If they don't get contracts they don't survive. It's how the swamp works.

As for it being a cabal? This ecosystem -- the Blob -- is a revolving door of sameness, a multigenerational in-crowd of status-driven groupthink inhabiting a deep state that is both physical and of the mind. It's a lifestyle, and a class. To get anywhere in it, you not only have to have the right pedigree, but the right way of thinking. Ask anyone who has attempted to break in with the "wrong credentials," or marched off the reservation in the early years of Iraq only to be flung to the professional margins. Conference panels, sanctioned academic journals, all run by the same crowd. Check the Council on Foreign Relations yearbook, you'll catch the drift. You can be a neocon, you can be a "humanitarian" interventionist, but a skeptic of American exceptionalism and its role in leading the post-WWII international system? Ghosted.

The worst element of the Feaver/Brands/Inboden protest is not so much their pathetic attempt to suggest that sure, Somalia, Iraq, Afghanistan, and Libya "were misconceived and mishandled," but they were "no worse" than failures in the preceding decades, like the "bloody stalemate in Korea," or "catastrophic war in Vietnam." (This completely denies that the same consensus thinking has been leading our global and military policies for the last 75 years, therefore the same people who blundered us into Vietnam were also responsible for backing the contras in Nicaragua, and then blowing up wedding parties in Pakistan three decades later).

No, the worst is the straw man they present when they suggest that "scrapping professionalism for amateurism would be a disaster." No one has ever suggested that was on offer. If anything, there has been every attempt, by TAC and the aforementioned new movements, to shift new voices -- academics, military strategists, politicians, policy wonks and journalists -- who represent fresh, outside thinking into the forefront, at the levers of power, to make a difference. People like Andrew Bacevich, Stephen Walt, Doug Macgregor, Chris Preble, Mike Desch, are hardly lightweights, but to the Borg, they are antibodies, therefore amateurs.

But Bacevich, Walt, et. al, did not keep their mouths shut or try to obfuscate the truth during 18 years of failure in Afghanistan. That was left to the friends and colleagues of our esteemed Feaver, Brands, and Inboden. They cannot deny the Blob's sins because it's all in black & white in the Afghanistan Papers . That's what has really hit a nerve, the raw exposure. Still, they cry, the Blob is "not the problem," but the "solution." We think not. And we think they protest too much.

Kelley Beaucar Vlahos is Executive Editor of TAC . Follow her on Twitter @Vlahos_at_TAC


kouroi a day ago

Three comments:
1. Great article.
2. When the world will see the back of US troops out of Afghanistan, the way the USSR troops pulled out, then I'll say that Trump really is different.
3. "As a reporter in this ecosystem for more years than I care to admit". Actually, it doesn't show...
Kent TheSnark 11 hours ago
Most Russians would say that US foreign policy had nothing to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union. So while not being a failure, it wasn't in any way a victory either. And Saddam Hussein invaded Kuwait after that country began side drilling into Iraqi reserves and stealing them. Hussein complained bitterly to the international community, and invaded only after nothing was done. How was our attack a good thing? We could of just forced the Kuwaiti's to stop stealing Iraqi oil.
kouroi TheSnark 9 hours ago • edited
Now wait a minute. The thing is that several narratives could be constructed here. You have the narrative that you are constructing here (to which usually one starts with the glorious beginning of how the US defeated the the evil Nazi Germany).

The Cold War I and now the Cold War II is fundamentally the war between the idea that private property is paramount and the idea that commons/socialized property under the aegis of the state (preferably the nation state) is preferable. And from this perspective the Korean war was a draw and Vietnam war was a defeat for the Mammon. Cuba is also a shining example of the crappy US politics. Then you have the Pinochet dictatorship, installation of the Shah in 1953, Lumumba's killing and all kind of other shenanigans (i.e. Operation Gladius in Italy/Europe, etc.).

And I wouldn't call the Yugoslav war a high mark either.

The containment strategy worked initially because all the socialist countries started from the rubble of WWII, with minimal industrial base and massive population losses. The stupidity of the containment strategy is brought to light by the evolution of Vietnam after the war. Things are getting more and more relaxed there. Even Keenan admitted that this containment thing was/is fundamentally problematic.

Now Cold War II (started by Obama with the TPP that had as its main pillar the destruction/privatization [for funny US money] of China's SOE) is being pursued as a continuation of the same basic idea driving CWI, but also because the technological genie was freed from its bottle. The ugly truth is that the US is really not that good at real, real competition (see the history of how inefficient and incapable of technological advancement the US Steel industry is compared with European Steel Industry; but fundamentally this is a disease of monopolies). US benefited tremendously of the European conflicts with a massive influx of educated people (i.e. check Einstein) and it still benefits from all the foreign graduate students (lots of Chinese) that are for research based academia the the main workhorses. The way medical research cannot be done without the lab mice, same research in general cannot be conducted without the graduate students.

So, the fact that the US cannot withstand real, real competition (especially after the hollowing out of the industrial base due to finacialization), really scares the hell out of ruling elites. So all kind of malevolent narratives of the Manichean sorts are spun out and fed to hoi polloi.

It is obviously that you and I live in parallel universes though...

kouroi kouroi 3 hours ago
Concerning the lack of US competitive prowess and bullying approaches (beside NS2, or punishing buyers of Russian weapons), fresh from the news:

"Moscow is studying a report published by the US Department of Energy (DOE), which mentions Washington's intention to squeeze Russia out of nuclear technology markets, the Russian Foreign Ministry said in a statement.

"We are currently studying the report of the working group on nuclear fuel published by the US Department of Energy. A significant part of the report is devoted to pushing Russia and China from the international market for goods and services related to nuclear energy. Moreover, there is every reason to believe that not only subsidies of the relevant US industries will be used, but also non-economic methods", the ministry said, responding to a request for a comment on the report.

In particular, the report outlines a possible strategy of seeking the "adaptation" of national legislation of some countries in order to ensure the privileged position of US suppliers with the active participation of Washington, the ministry said. "There is nothing new here", it added.

Over the past decade, Washington has paid very little attention to the development of its own nuclear energy, and therefore lags behind leaders in most areas, from uranium mining to the construction of nuclear reactors and spent nuclear fuel management, the ministry added.

"Now the US authorities apparently intend to improve the situation", it suggested, adding that this requires significant financial investments.

In order to achieve it, it is necessary to occupy a significant share of the international nuclear energy market, and the US administration is well aware that it is impossible to do this through fair competition in an acceptable time because of the lag, the ministry said.

"Therefore, Washington intends to use non-economic leverage. Such actions by the United States raise the question of what the principles of free trade advocated by Washington stand for and whether, in principle, one should adhere to any rules in relations with a state that itself does not comply with any rules and changes them in a way that is beneficial for it at the moment", it concluded.

On 23 April, the US Department of Energy released a report from a nuclear fuel working group, established by President Donald Trump in July, to "outline a strategy to restore American nuclear energy leadership", according to the DOE's statement."

Tradcon 20 hours ago • edited
Its always funny how the "experts" and "professionals" are those who want to uphold the status quo. If you hold the opposite view you're a "amateur" or "demagogue".

"What makes you more of an expert than them?"
"I pushed for and oversaw three wars! I have far more experience!"

Excellent article.

EdMan 20 hours ago
"The National Security and 'Grand Strategy' programs at elite schools are no different."

I absolutely loved this bit because it's so true. Thank God for Kelley pointing this out. It's indicative of the broader malaise in higher education; they've become centers for political indoctrination. If you look at the people that comprise the faculty at these schools, many of them are establishment heavyweights; Eliot A. Cohen, arch-neoconservative, is Dean of the School of Advanced International Studies at Johns Hopkins University, for example, and served in the Bush administration. By comparison, Stephen Walt has never served in any administration.

These schools charge unbelievable amounts of money to churn out more Eliot Cohens, more Samantha Powers, etc. Even the military officers who take a turn in policymaking circles or serve on a staff somewhere are staunch defenders of the institutions. In fact, the total lack of intellectual diversity is downright disturbing; it's like brainwashing.

Worst of all? The folks who aren't establishment but still have representation in policymaking circles are all hardliners! Think Frank Gaffney, Fred Fleitz, so on.

Bankotsu 18 hours ago • edited
These people from the blob can't even get real jobs in private sector.

They are unemployable.

They have zero employment skills.

Kent Bankotsu 14 hours ago
Depends on whether you consider 100% government financed companies like Lockheed Martin to be private sector.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) 13 hours ago
Courtiers and courtesans. That's rich.

On the other hand, though, historically courtiers themselves led their troops on the battlefield and considered it a question of honor for one or both of their oldest sons pursuing a military career, while Renaissance courtesans were among the most intellectual and educated women of their epoch. Neither is true for blobsters and blobstresses.

LFM Alex (the one that likes Ike) 5 hours ago
In French and (I think) most other romance languages, the words for courtier and courtesan are the same. Something to think about.
Gio Con 9 hours ago
When the voices against US hegemony and permanent war are loud and taken seriously, then we can hope for change. But if the same underlying assumptions about the need for military aggression to "promote democracy," and the targeting of Russia and China as convenient enemies, are transferred to the "new thinkers," then nothing will change. The question is, can an aggressive capitalist system, dependent on unlimited growth, survive in a peaceful world?
Gio Con 9 hours ago
When the voices against US hegemony and permanent war are loud and taken seriously, then we can hope for change. But if the same underlying assumptions about the need for military aggression to "promote democracy," and the targeting of Russia and China as convenient enemies, are transferred to the "new thinkers," then nothing will change. The question is, can an aggressive capitalist system, dependent on unlimited growth, survive in a peaceful world?
Feral Finster 9 hours ago
Let's not kid ourselves. Trump has proven too weak and easily manipulated to even pull a few troops out of Syria.
Notfor Yu 4 hours ago
The Bush era foreign policy model is over, its a failed policy and everyone knows it. Obama didn't have a foreign policy other than appeasement and capitulation.

Trump has a new model, treat foreign policy more like business. Negotiate as is done in business, the goal is to get what you want and if the other guy gets something he wants than fine.

Of course the Trump approach derails the entire US State Dept, security council, and all the media talking heads, so they will oppose it.

kouroi Notfor Yu 3 hours ago
Not really true. Trump seems to have a zero sum approach to business, a win/lose attitude rather than win/win or only some win on the parties. The exit from JPCOA and the maximalist approach to Iran, the way Austria-Hungary approached Serbia in August 1918, is actual Trump attitude.

[Feb 29, 2020] A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. ..."
"... The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not. ..."
Feb 29, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , February 29, 2020 7:38 pm

A very interesting and though provoking presentation by Ambassador Chas Freeman "America in Distress: The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change"

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mvILLCbOFo4

I think this would be very informative for anybody seriously interested in the USA foreign policy. Listening to him is so sad to realize that instead of person of his caliber we have Pompous Pompeo, who forever is frozen on the level of a tank repair mechanical engineer, as the Secretary of State.

Published on Feb 24, 2020

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior.

The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School.

He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.

He is the author of several books including the most recent

Interesting times: China, America, and the shifting balance of prestige (2013)

[Feb 28, 2020] Chas Freeman America in Distress The Challenges of Disadvantageous Change

Highly recommended!
I think everybody should listen the initial 47 minutes
Notable quotes:
"... Wanted to add that the malaise that is gripping the U.S. institutions is completely visible, it is not the opaque and obsequies portrait drawn by the punditry, news organizations, and elites. Seems most obvious to those of us outside the beltway that can clearly delineate between the failure of DC and the projections and marketing to the population that passes as wonky prose. Stupidity lacks the clarity, but brings the temerity making the facade not so subtle. ..."
"... Literally the only endorsement I've heard of Tulsi Gabbard - and a strikingly convincing one ..."
"... Isn't it just a question of the profits in the military business? ..."
Feb 24, 2020 | www.youtube.com

https://youtu.be/mvILLCbOFo4

In the United States and other democracies, political and economic systems still work in theory, but not in practice. Meanwhile, the American-led takedown of the post-World War II international system has shattered long-standing rules and norms of behavior. The combination of disorder at home and abroad is spawning changes that are increasingly disadvantageous to the United States. With Congress having essentially walked off the job, there is a need for America's universities to provide the information and analysis of international best practices that the political system does not.

Ambassador Chas W. Freeman, Jr. is a senior fellow at Brown University's Watson Institute for International and Public Affairs, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of Defense, ambassador to Saudi Arabia (during operations Desert Shield and Desert Storm), acting Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, and Chargé d'affaires at both Bangkok and Beijing. He began his diplomatic career in India but specialized in Chinese affairs. (He was the principal American interpreter during President Nixon's visit to Beijing in 1972.)

Ambassador Freeman is a much sought-after public speaker (see http://chasfreeman.net ) and the author of several well-received books on statecraft and diplomacy. His most recent book, America's Continuing Misadventures in the Middle East was published in May 2016. Interesting Times: China, America, and the Shifting Balance of Prestige, appeared in March 2013. America's Misadventures in the Middle East came out in 2010, as did the most recent revision of The Diplomat's Dictionary, the companion volume to Arts of Power: Statecraft and Diplomacy. He was the editor of the Encyclopedia Britannica entry on "diplomacy."

Chas Freeman studied at the Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México and in Taiwan, and earned an AB magna cum laude from Yale University as well as a JD from the Harvard Law School. He chairs Projects International, Inc., a Washington-based firm that for more than three decades has helped its American and foreign clients create ventures across borders, facilitating their establishment of new businesses through the design, negotiation, capitalization, and implementation of greenfield investments, mergers and acquisitions, joint ventures, franchises, one-off transactions, sales and agencies in other countries.


Trade Prosper , 3 days ago (edited)

Well worth the watch and hope more see it, especially the presentation in the initial 47 minutes. We Americans take our deficits and the $ as the reserve currency far too lightly.

strezztechnoid , 2 days ago

Wanted to add that the malaise that is gripping the U.S. institutions is completely visible, it is not the opaque and obsequies portrait drawn by the punditry, news organizations, and elites. Seems most obvious to those of us outside the beltway that can clearly delineate between the failure of DC and the projections and marketing to the population that passes as wonky prose. Stupidity lacks the clarity, but brings the temerity making the facade not so subtle.

yes it's me , 3 days ago

Literally the only endorsement I've heard of Tulsi Gabbard - and a strikingly convincing one

Bob Trajkoski , 3 days ago

Way the US is Warmongering state and threat to humanity, on the planet.? Nukes in the hand's of gangsters

strezztechnoid , 2 days ago (edited)

No, not mercenaries, this is a protection racket. The U.N. address in late 2018 by the President (the laughter spoke volumes) was about as insightful as a "goodfellas" scene where the shakedown of the little guy is highlighted. It was the speeches by other countries at the meeting that was most informative.

A definitive pullback from U.S. hegemony was palpable, real, and un-moderated. Large and small countries all expressed an unwillingness to be held under the thumb of the global bully. This is the result of having an over abundance of a particle within D.C.; not the electron, photon, or neutron...but the moron.

Frank , 3 days ago

Aura of imperial purpose.

Dan Good , 7 hours ago

Isn't it just a question of the profits in the military business?

[Feb 03, 2020] White House Warriors: How the National Security Council Transformed the American Way of War

Highly recommended!
This book sheds some light into the story of how Administrative assistants to Present became independent heavily influenced by CIA body controlling the USA foreign policy and to a large extent controlling the President. Recent revolt of NSC (Aka Ukrainegate) shows that the servant became the master
The books contains some interesting information about forming NSC by Truman --- the father of the US National Security State. And bureaucratic turf war the preceded it. It wwas actually Eisenhower who created forma position of a "special assistant to the president for national security affairs"
The author also cover a little bit disastrous decision to launch a "surge" (ironically by the female chickenhawk Meghan O'Sullivan), -- which attests neocon nature of current NSC and level of indoctrination of staffers in "Full Spectrum Dominance" doctrine quite clearly. That's why a faction of NSC launched a coup d'état against Trump in t he form of Ukrainegate and probably was instrumental in Russiagate as well.
Notable quotes:
"... Starting in the 1960s, the NSC dethroned the State Department in providing analysis, intelligence, and even some diplomacy to the diplomat in chief. In the years after September 11th, the staff also began to take greater responsibility, especially for planning, from the military and the rest of the Pentagon. Both departments have struggled and often failed to reclaim lost ground and influence in Washington. ..."
"... Yet war is a hard thing to try to manage from the Executive Office Building. Thousands of miles from the frontlines and far from harm, the NSC make recommendations based on what they come to know from intelligence reports, news sources, phone calls, video-teleconferences, and visits to the front. Even with advice based only on this limited and limiting view, the NSC staff has transformed how the United States fights its wars. ..."
"... Although presidents bear the ultimate responsibilities for these decisions, the NSC staff played an essential, and increasing, role in the thinking behind each bold move. In conflict after conflict, a more powerful NSC staff has fundamentally altered the American way of war. It is now far less informed by the perspective of the military and the view from the frontlines. It is less patient for progress and more dependent on the clocks in the Executive Office Building and Washington than those in theater. It is far more combative, less able to accept defeat, and more willing to risk a change of course. ..."
"... The NSC common law's kept the peace in Washington for years after Iran-Contra. The restrictions against outright advocacy and outsized operational responsibilities were accepted by those at the White House as well as in the agencies during Republican and Democratic administrations. Yet as many in Washington believed the world grew more interconnected and the national security stakes increased, especially after September 11th, a more powerful NSC has given staffers the opportunity to bend, and occasionally break, the common laws, as they have been expected to and allowed to take on more responsibilities for developing strategies and new r ideas from those in the bureaucracy and military. ..."
"... ...Meanwhile, others, including the anonymous author of the infamous September 2018 New York Times opinion piece, believe government officials who comprise a "steady state" amid Trump's chaotic presidency are "unsung heroes" resisting his worst instincts and overreaches. 13 Thus, it is no surprise that more and more Americans are concerned: a 2018 poll found that 74 percent of Americans feel a group of officials arc able to control government policy without accountability. ..."
"... it is no wonder some Americans have taken to assuming the worst of their public servants. ..."
"... Each member of the NSC staff needs to remember that their growing, unaccountable power has helped give evidence to the worries about a deep state. Although no one in Washington gives up influence voluntarily, the staff, even its warriors, need to remember it is not just what they fight for but whether a fight is necessary at all. ..."
"... ... Too many in Washington, including at the Executive Office Building, have forgotten that public service is a privilege that bestows on them great responsibility. Although the NSC has long justified its actions in the name of national security, the means with which its members have pursued that objective have made for a more aggressive American way of war, a more fractious Washington, and more conspiracies about government. ..."
"... The question is for what and for whom they will fight in the years and wars ahead. ..."
Feb 03, 2020 | www.amazon.com

The men and women walking the hushed corridors of the Executive Office Building do not look like warriors. Most are middle-aged professionals with penchants for dark business suits and prestigious graduate degrees, who have spent their lives serving their country in windowless offices, on far-off battle-fields, or at embassies abroad. Before arriving at the NSC, many joined the military or the nation's diplomatic corps, some dedicated themselves to teaching and writing about national security, and others spent their days working for the types of politicians who become presidents. By the time they joined the staff, each had shown the pluck -- and the good fortune -- required to end up staffing a president.

When each NSC staffer first walks up the steps to the Executive Office Building, he or she joins an institution like no other in government. Compared to the Pentagon and other bureaucracies, the staff is small, hierarchically flat with only a few titles like directors and senior directors reporting to the national security advisor and his or her deputies. Compared to all those at the agencies, even most cabinet secretaries, the staff are also given unparalleled access to the president and the discussions about the biggest decisions in national security.

Yet despite their access, the NSC staff was created as a political, legal, and bureaucratic afterthought. The National Security Council was established both
to better coordinate foreign policy after World War II and as part of a deal to create what became known as the Defense Department. Since the army and navy only agreed to be unified under a single department and a civilian cabinet secretary if each still had a seat at the table where decisions about war were expected to be made, establishing the National Security Council was critical to ensuring passage of the National Security Act of 1947. The law, as well as its amendments two years later, unified the armed forces while also establishing the Joint Chiefs of Staff and the Office of the Secretary of Defense, as well as the CIA.

... ... ...

Fans of television's the West Wing would be forgiven for expecting that once in the Oval Office, all a staffer needs to do to change policy is to deliver a well-timed whisper in the president's car or a rousing speech in his company. It is not that such dramatic moments never occur, but real change in government requires not just speaking up but the grinding policy work required to have something new to say.

A staffer, alone or with NSC and agency colleagues, must develop an idea until feasible and defend it from opposition driven by personal pique, bureaucratic jealousy, or substantive disagreement, and often all three.

Granted none of these fights are over particularly new ideas, as few proposals in war are truly novel. If anything, the staffs history is a reminder of how little new there is under the guise of national security. Alter all, escalations, ultimatums, and counterinsurgency are only innovative in the context of the latest conflicts. The NSC staff is usually proposing old ideas, some as old as war itself like a surge of troops, to new circumstances and a critical moment.

Yet even an old idea can have real power in the right hands at the right time, so it is worth considering how much more influence the NSC brings to its fights today.

... ... ...

A larger staff can do even more thanks to technology. With the establishment of the Situation Room in 1961 and its subsequent upgrades, as well as the widespread adoption of email in the 1980s, the classified email system during the 2000s, and desktop video teleconferencing systems in the 2010s, White House technology upgrades have been justified because the president deserves the latest and the fastest. These same advances give each member of the staff global reach, including to war zones half a world away, from the safety of the Executive Office Building.

The NSC has also grown more powerful along with the presidency it serves. The White House, even in the hands of an inexperienced and disorganized president like Trump, drives the government's agenda, the news media's coverage, and the American public's attention. The NSC staff can, if skilled enough, leverage the office's influence for their own ideas and purposes. Presidents have also explicitly empowered the staff in big ways -- like putting them in the middle of the policymaking process -- and small -- like granting them ranks that put them on the same level as other agency officials.

Recent staffers have also had the president's ear nearly every day, and sometimes more often, while secretaries of state and defense rarely have that much face time in the Oval Office. Each has a department with tens of thousands (and in the Pentagon's case millions) of employees to manage. Most significantly, both also answer not just to the president but to Congress, which has oversight authority for their departments and an expectation for regular updates. There are few more consequential power differences between the NSC and the departments than to whom each must answer.

Even more, the NSC staff get to work and fight in anonymity. Members of Congress, journalists, and historians are usually too busy keeping track of the National Security Council principals to focus on the guys and gals behind the national security advisors, who are themselves behind the president. Few in Washington, and fewer still across the country, know the names of the staff advising the president let alone what they arc saying in their memos and moments with him.

Today, there arc too many unnamed NSC staffers for anyone's good, including their own. Even with the recent congressional limit on policy staffers, the NSC is too big to be thoroughly managed or effective. National security advisors and their deputies are so busy during their days that it is hard to keep up with all their own emails, calls, and reading, let alone ensure each member of the staff is doing their own work or doing it well. The common law and a de tacto honor system has also struggled to keep staff in check as they try to handle every issue from war to women's rights and every to-do list item from drafting talking points to doing secret diplomacy.

Although many factors contribute to the NSC's success, history suggests they do best with the right-size job. The answer to better national security policy and process is not a bigger staff but smaller writs. The NSC should focus on fewer issues, and then only on the smaller stuff, like what the president needs for calls and meetings, and the big, what some call grand strategic, questions about the nation's interests, ambitions, and capacities that should be asked and answered before any major decision.

... ... ...

Along the way, the staff has taken on greater responsibilities from agencies like the departments of state and defense as each has grown more bureaucratic and sclerotic. Starting in the 1960s, the NSC dethroned the State Department in providing analysis, intelligence, and even some diplomacy to the diplomat in chief. In the years after September 11th, the staff also began to take greater responsibility, especially for planning, from the military and the rest of the Pentagon. Both departments have struggled and often failed to reclaim lost ground and influence in Washington.

As a result, today the NSC has, regretfully, become the strategic engine of the government's national security policymaking. The staff, along with the national security advisor, determine which issues -- large and small -- require attention, develop the plans for most of them, and try to manage day-to-day the implementation of each strategy. That is too sweeping a remit for a couple hundred unaccountable staffers sitting at the Executive Office Building thousands of miles from war zones and foreign capitals. Such immense responsibility also docs not make the best use of talent in government, leaving the military and the nation's diplomats fighting with the White House over policies while trying to execute plans they have less and less ownership over.

... ... ...

Although protocol still requires members of the NSC to sit on the backbench in National Security Council meetings, the staff s voice and advice can carry as much weight as those of the principals sitting at the table, just as the staff has taken on more of each department's responsibilities, the NSC arc expected to be advisors to the president, even on military strategy. With that charge, the staff has taken to spending more time and effort developing their own policy ideas -- and fighting for them.

Yet war is a hard thing to try to manage from the Executive Office Building. Thousands of miles from the frontlines and far from harm, the NSC make recommendations based on what they come to know from intelligence reports, news sources, phone calls, video-teleconferences, and visits to the front. Even with advice based only on this limited and limiting view, the NSC staff has transformed how the United States fights its wars.

The American way of war, developed over decades of thinking and fighting, informs how and why the nation goes to battle. Over the course of American history and, most relevantly, since the end of World War II, the US military and other national security professionals have developed, often through great turmoil, strategic preferences and habits, like deploying the latest technology possible instead of the largest number of troops. Despite the tremendous planning that goes into these most serious of undertakings, each new conflict tests the prevailing way of war and often finds it wanting.

Even knowing how dangerous it is to relight the last war, it is still not easy to find the right course for a new one. Government in general and national security specifically are risk-averse enterprises where it is often simpler to rely on standard operating procedures and stay on a chosen course, regardless of whether progress is slow and the sense of drift is severe. Even then, many in the military, who often react to even the mildest of suggestions and inquiries as unnecessary or even dangerous micromanagement, defend the prevailing approach with its defining doctrine and syndrome.

As Machiavelli recommended long ago, there is a need for hard questions in government and war in particular. He wrote that a leader "ought to be a great askcr, and a patient hearer of the truth." 7 From the Executive Office Building, the NSC staff, who are more distanced from the action as well as the fog of war, have tried to fill this role for a busy and often distracted president. They are, however, not nearly as patient as Machiavelli recommended: they have proven more willing, indeed too willing at times, to ask about what is working and what is not.

Warfighters are not alone in being frustrated by questions: everyone from architects to zookeepers believes they know how best to do their job and that with a bit more time, they will get it right. Without any of the responsibility for the doing, the NSC staff not only asks hard questions but, by avoiding implementation bias, is willing to admit, often long before those in the field, that the current plan is failing. A more technologically advanced NSC, with the ability to reach deep into the chain of command and war zones for updates, has also given the staff the intelligence to back up its impatience.

Most times in history, the NSC staff has correctly predicted that time is running against a chosen strategy. Halperin. and others on the Nixon NSC, were accurate in their assessments of Vietnam. Dur and his Reagan NSC colleagues were right to worry that diplomacy was moving too slowly in Lebanon. Haass and Vershbow were correct when they were concerned with how windows of opportunity for action were shrinking in the Gulf and Balkans respectively, just as O'Sullivan was right that things needed to change relatively soon in Iraq.

Yet an impatient NSC staff has a worse track record giving the president answers to what should come next. The NSC staff naturally have opinions and ideas about what can be done when events and war feel out of control, but ideas about what can be done when events and war feel out of control, but the very distance and disengagement that allow' the NSC to be so effective at measuring progress make its ideas less grounded in operational realities and more clouded by the fog of Washington. The NSC, often stridently, wants to do something more, to "go big when wc can," as one recent staffer encouraged his president, to fix a failing policy or win a w r ar, but that is not a strategy, nor does that ambition make the staff the best equipped to figure out the next steps."

With their proposals for a new plan, deployment, or initiative, the staff has made more bad recommendations than good. The Diem coup and the Beirut mission are two examples, and particularly tragic ones at that, of NSC staff recommendations gone awry. The Iraq surge was certainly a courageous decision, but by committing so many troops to that country, the manpower w r as not available for a war in Afghanistan that was falling off track. Even the more successful NSC recommendations for changes in US strategy in the Gulf War and in Bosnia did not end up exactly as planned, in part because even good ideas in war rarely do.

Although presidents bear the ultimate responsibilities for these decisions, the NSC staff played an essential, and increasing, role in the thinking behind each bold move. In conflict after conflict, a more powerful NSC staff has fundamentally altered the American way of war. It is now far less informed by the perspective of the military and the view from the frontlines. It is less patient for progress and more dependent on the clocks in the Executive Office Building and Washington than those in theater. It is far more combative, less able to accept defeat, and more willing to risk a change of course.

And it is characterized by more frequent and counterproductive friction between the civilian and military leaders.

... ... ...

Through it all, as the NSC's voice has grown louder in the nation's war rooms, the staff has transformed how Washington works, and more often does not work. The NSC's fights to change course have had another casualty: the ugly collapse of the common law' that has governed Washington policymaking for more than a generation. The result today is a government that trusts less, fights more, and decides much slower.

National security policy- and decision-making was never supposed to be a fair fight. Eliot Cohen, a civil-military scholar with high-level government experience, has called the give-and-take of the interagency process an "unequal" dialogue -- one in which presidents are entitled to not just make the ultimate decision but also to ask questions, often with the NSC's help, at any time and about any topic.* Everyone else, from the secretaries of state and defense in Washington dow r n to the commanders and ambassadors abroad, has to expect and tolerate such presidential interventions and then carry out his orders.

Even an unfair fight can have rules, however. The NSC common law's kept the peace in Washington for years after Iran-Contra. The restrictions against outright advocacy and outsized operational responsibilities were accepted by those at the White House as well as in the agencies during Republican and Democratic administrations. Yet as many in Washington believed the world grew more interconnected and the national security stakes increased, especially after September 11th, a more powerful NSC has given staffers the opportunity to bend, and occasionally break, the common laws, as they have been expected to and allowed to take on more responsibilities for developing strategies and new r ideas from those in the bureaucracy and military.

... ... ...

...Meanwhile, others, including the anonymous author of the infamous September 2018 New York Times opinion piece, believe government officials who comprise a "steady state" amid Trump's chaotic presidency are "unsung heroes" resisting his worst instincts and overreaches. 13 Thus, it is no surprise that more and more Americans are concerned: a 2018 poll found that 74 percent of Americans feel a group of officials arc able to control government policy without accountability.

In an era when Americans can see on reality television how their fish are caught, meals arc cooked, and businesses are financed, it is strange that few have ever heard the voice of an NSC staffer. The Executive Office Building is not the only building out of reach: most of the government taxpayers' fund is hard, and getting harder, to see. With bigger security blockades, longer waits on declassification, and more severe crackdowns on leaks, it is no wonder some Americans have taken to assuming the worst of their public servants.

The American people need to know the NSC's war stories if for no other reason than each makes clear that there is no organized deep state in Washington. If one existed, there would be little need for the NSC to fight so hard to coordinate the government's various players and parts. However, this history also makes plain that though the United States can overcome bad decisions and survive military disasters, a belief in a deep state is a threat to the NSC and so much more.

... ... ...

Each member of the NSC staff needs to remember that their growing, unaccountable power has helped give evidence to the worries about a deep state. Although no one in Washington gives up influence voluntarily, the staff, even its warriors, need to remember it is not just what they fight for but whether a fight is necessary at all. Shortcuts and squabbles may make sense when every second feels like it counts, but the best public servants do what is necessary for the president even as they protect, for years to come, the health of the institutions and the very democracy in which they serve. As hard as that can be to remember when the clock in the Oval Office is ticking, doing things the right way is even more important than the latest crises, war, or meeting with the president.

... ... ...

... Too many in Washington, including at the Executive Office Building, have forgotten that public service is a privilege that bestows on them great responsibility. Although the NSC has long justified its actions in the name of national security, the means with which its members have pursued that objective have made for a more aggressive American way of war, a more fractious Washington, and more conspiracies about government.

Centuries ago, Plato argued that civilians must hope for warriors who could be trusted to be both "gentle to their own and cruel to their enemies." At a time when many doubt government and those who serve in it, the NSC staff s history demonstrates just what White House warriors arc capable of. The question is for what and for whom they will fight in the years and wars ahead.

... ... ...

The legendary British double agent Kim Philby wrote: "just because a document is a document it has a glamour which tempts the reader to give it more weight than it deserves An hour of a serious discussion with a trustworthy informant is often more valuable than any number of original documents. Of course, it is best to have both."

Alexandra Jones , September 15, 2019

The Untold History of the NSC

A must-read for anyone interested in history or foreign policy. Gans pulls back the curtain on arguably the most powerful yet opaque body in foreign policy decision-making, the National Security Council. Each chapter recounts a different administration -- as told through the work of an NSC staffer. Through these beautifully-written portraits of largely unknown staffers, Gans reveals the chilling, outsized influence of this small, unelected institution on American war and peace. From this perspective, even the policy success stories seem more luck than skill -- leaving readers concerned about the NSC's continued unchecked power.

[Feb 01, 2020] Even After the Afghanistan Papers, the Washington 'Blob' Still Embraces Staying Forever

Feb 01, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

Even After the Afghanistan Papers, the Washington 'Blob' Still Embraces Staying Forever January 30, 2020 Written by
Mark Perry
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James Clad, a former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asia, remembers the exact moment, back in 2001, when he learned that the U.S. had invaded Afghanistan. As chance would have it, he was in a meeting with a dozen or so South Asia experts at the Council on Foreign Relations. "It was in early October of 2001," he recalls, "and word came that U.S. warplanes had attacked three Afghan cities. Well, you could have heard a pin drop. I looked around the room and everyone was studying their shoes. And I thought, 'well, this isn't going to work.' And we all knew it. All of us. This was going to be a morass."

Clad wasn't alone in his thinking. In the wake of the December 9 publication of the Afghanistan Papers in the Washington Post, retired CIA officer Robert Grenier, who ran covert operations in support of the 2001 U.S. intervention, reflected on the papers' key finding – that U.S. officials lied about the 18-year campaign, hiding "unmistakable evidence" that the Afghan war had become unwinnable. "Frankly, it strikes me as weird that people should only be waking up to this now," he told me. "The Washington Post series doesn't convey anything which those who've been watching with even moderate attention should long since have understood."

Which may be why the papers, comprising some 2000-plus pages of interviews with generals, diplomats, aid workers and Afghan officials conducted by SIGAR, the Pentagon's Office of the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction, landed with a thud – "a bombshell that has yet to explode," as one commenter described it . For good reason: celebrated as a second Pentagon Papers (the 1971 documents that bared the lies of the Vietnam War) the Afghanistan revelations didn't actually reveal anything that foreign policy officials, or the American people, didn't already know: that the U.S. was not winning and could not win in Afghanistan, that senior U.S. diplomats and U.S. military commanders knew this soon after the 2001 intervention, that the hundreds of billions of dollars spent to build a responsive Afghan government was squandered, misspent, diverted or stolen, and that officials consistently misled the American people about the prospects for victory in the war – promoting optimistic assessments in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

"In news conferences and other public appearances," the Post report noted, "those in charge of the war have followed the same talking points for 18 years. No matter how the war is going – and especially when it is going badly – they emphasized how they are making progress." Among the most outspoken critics quoted by the papers is retired Lt. Gen. Douglas Lute, who served as the Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama years. "We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan – we didn't know what we were doing," Lute told SIGAR officials in an oft-quoted judgment . "What are we trying to do here? We didn't have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking."

In truth, the big "reveal" of the Afghanistan Papers came after their release, when most of official Washington reacted to their publication with a collective shrug. Despite this, though not surprisingly, while the State Department and White House remained silent on the revelations, Secretary of Defense Mark Esper and Joint Chiefs of Staff Chairman Mark Milley rejected the claim that officials had purposely misled the public about the war. "I know there's an assertion out there of some sort of coordinated lie over the course of 18 years," Milley told reporters . "I find that a bit of a stretch. More than a bit of a stretch, I find that a mischaracterization." Optimistic reports on the war in Afghanistan, he argued, were "honest assessments" that were "never intended to deceive the Congress or the American people." While Milley's response was unusually strident, it was not a surprise for most Pentagon reporters, many of whom knew that senior military officers and Pentagon policy makers were carefully studying proposals that would keep U.S. troops in Afghanistan for at least the next five years – if not longer.

Among these is a paper authored by Michael O'Hanlon, the high profile Foreign Policy Director of Research at the influential Brookings Institution. Entitled "5,000 Troops for 5 Years," O'Hanlon's offering was previewed in an op-ed in The Hill in late October, presented formally by Brookings officials on the same day as the Post published the Afghanistan Papers, then circulated to a wider audience in an O'Hanlon-authored op-ed in USA Today on January 3. O'Hanlon provides a less outspoken critique of the Post story than Milley (calling it "badly misleading" and arguing that U.S. officials "have been consistently and publicly realistic about the difficulty of making progress" in the war), while acknowledging the "limits of the possible" in a "beleaguered and weak country." Even so, O'Hanlon says in taking issue with the Post report, the Afghanistan mission "has not been an abject failure" because, as he argues, the Afghan government "continues to hold all major and midsize cities" and the U.S. has "not again been attacked by a group that plotted or organized its aggression from within Afghan borders."

O'Hanlon concedes that while these are modest accomplishments, they are sustainable "at a far lower cost in blood and treasure than before." Here then, is O'Hanlon's payoff: "The United States needs a policy that recognizes Afghanistan for what it is – a significant, but not a top-tier, U.S. strategic interest – and builds a plan accordingly. That overall strategy should still seek peace, but its modest military element should be steady and stable, and not set to a calendar. Roughly 5,000 troops for at least five years could be the crude mantra."

O'Hanlon's proposal has gained traction among a number of senior military officers who are frustrated with a war that drains military assets and erodes readiness, but who are loathe to concede Afghanistan to the Taliban – an outcome they believe is certain to follow a full U.S. withdrawal. Then too, O'Hanlon confirms, his proposal reflects the thinking of a large swath of Washington's foreign policy community. "I think I am codifying and encapsulating and distilling the wisdom of a lot of people here, with a couple of my own twists," he told me in response to a series of questions I posed to him in an email exchange. "I think the chances of something like this [being adopted] are therefore pretty good."

Indeed, the O'Hanlon proposal seems to have something for everyone: it foregoes the large nation building expenditures that have characterized the U.S. intervention ($7 billion to $8 billion each year – "not trivial, but only 1 percent of the defense budget"), it maintains enough military capacity to check the growth of ISIS or al-Qaeda (the U.S. would maintain "two or three major airfields and hubs of operations" in the country), it allows time for the U.S. to put in place a more effective Afghan military presence (O'Hanlon provides five specific recommendations on how this can be done), it signals the Taliban that the U.S. will not leave the country out of frustration (that they cannot simply "stall for time"), and perhaps most crucially, it gelds the controversy surrounding the conflict by taking it out of public view: "By laying out a plan designed to last for several years," O'Hanlon writes, "Washington would be avoiding the drama and the huge consumption of policy bandwidth associated with annual Afghanistan policy reviews that have typified the late Obama and early Trump years." Which is to say:

maintaining a presence in Afghanistan at 5,000 troops ("I'd rather see 5,000 as a rough goal not a formal or legislated ceiling or floor," O'Hanlon says) over an extended period takes the war off the nation's front pages – it regularizes the U.S. deployment at an acceptable cost (that's what sustainable means) and it makes the war in Afghanistan publicly palatable.

If any of this sounds familiar, it's because it is. "5,000 Troops for 5 Years" seemingly institutionalizes what then-Afghan commander General David Petraeus called "Afghanistan Good Enough" in August of 2010: "This isn't to say that there's any kind of objective of turning Afghanistan into Switzerland in three to five years or less," he said at the time. "Afghan good enough is good enough." At the time, any number of pundits predicted that the Petraeus statement would come back to haunt him, but his mantra has been adopted by senior military officers who cite the O'Hanlon paper as a means of, if not exactly winning the Afghanistan war, at least not losing it – if victory isn't possible, they argue, then "good enough" is next best. Or, as one senior military officer told me, the O'Hanlon proposal recasts the political calculus of Vermont Senator George Aiken on Vietnam, who said that the U.S. should "declare victory and get out." In this case, the officer said, O'Hanlon is proposing that "the U.S. declare a stalemate and stay in."

The O'Hanlon proposal details what has been quietly talked about in military circles for the last decade, but was given credence in a monograph written by retired Army Colonel David Johnson ("Doing What You Know") published in 2017. Johnson, whose paper circulated widely in Army circles, argues that "good enough" might well be the most appropriate model for fighting counter-insurgencies – a form of warfare that has traditionally been outside of the U.S. military's "strategic culture." In these conflicts, what Johnson calls a "least bad outcome" might be all that the U.S. military should expect. In Afghanistan, this means accepting limits to success. "In Afghanistan, what is good enough is a government that can successfully protect itself and take the fight to the Taliban with minimal U.S. support," Johnson wrote. "Whether the Kabul government is corrupt or not representative is secondary to its ability to prevent Afghanistan from again becoming a terrorist haven. That would be good enough."

That this model might well be adopted in Afghanistan (and in Iraq), and in any of the other "grey zone" conflicts of the Middle East, is no longer at issue. The model is already in place, while O'Hanlon's 5000 Troops for 5 Years is fast becoming a reality. But the adoption of the program has come at a price – in Afghan lives. While the U.S. has continued to withdraw troops from Afghanistan, it has escalated its air campaign against the Taliban (U.S. aircraft dropped 7423 bombs on Afghanistan in 2019 – more than any other year), thereby embracing a strategy that allows U.S. deployments to remain in place, but without the consequent escalation in U.S. casualties. ("More U.S. troops die in training accidents than in Afghanistan so, you know, there's that," a senior military officer told me.) Meanwhile, Afghan civilian casualties have spiked, reaching unprecedented levels in the period of July to September of 2019. That trend is likely to continue.

And so, the results of the Washington Post's publication of the Afghanistan Papers "bombshell" in December have now come sharply into focus: Afghanistan is off the nation's front pages, American casualties are "sustainable," the war continues – and, ironically, the chances for ending it are now even more remote than before the Post published its revelations.

[Jan 27, 2020] The Dangers of Conflating and Inflating Interests

Notable quotes:
"... Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this? ..."
"... The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them ..."
"... To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do. ..."
"... These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem. ..."
"... Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security. ..."
Jan 27, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

ormer ambassador William Taylor wrote an op-ed on Ukraine in an attempt to answer Pompeo's question about whether Americans care about Ukraine. It is not very persuasive. For one thing, he starts off by exaggerating the importance of the conflict between Russia and Ukraine to make it seem as if the U.S. has a major stake in the outcome:

Here's why the answer should be yes: Ukraine is defending itself and the West against Russian attack. If Ukraine succeeds, we succeed. The relationship between the United States and Ukraine is key to our national security, and Americans should care about Ukraine.

Taylor exaggerates what the conflict is about by saying that Ukraine is defending "the West." That's not true. Ukraine is defending itself. The U.S. does not have a vital interest in this conflict, but Taylor talks about it as if we do. He says that the relationship with Ukraine is "key" to our national security, but that is simply false. To say that it is key to our national security means that we are supposed to believe that it is crucially important to our national security. That suggests that U.S. national security would seriously compromised if that relationship weakened, but that doesn't make any sense. We usually don't even talk about our major treaty allies this way, so what justification is there for describing a relationship with a weak partner government like this?

The op-ed reads like a textbook case of clientitis, in which a former U.S. envoy ends up making the Ukrainian government's argument for them. The danger of exaggerating U.S. interests and conflating them with Ukraine's is that we fool ourselves into thinking that we are acting out of necessity and in our own defense when we are really choosing to take sides in a conflict that does not affect our security. This is the kind of thinking that encourages people to spout nonsense about "fighting them over there so we don't have to fight them here." If we view Ukraine as "the front line" of a larger struggle, that will also make it more difficult to resolve the conflict. When a local conflict is turned into a proxy fight between great powers, the local people will be the ones made to suffer to serve the ambitions of the patrons. Once the U.S. insists that its own security is bound up with the outcome of this conflict, there is an incentive to be considered the "winner," but the reality is that Ukraine will always matter less to the U.S. than it does to Russia.

If this relationship were so important to U.S. security, how is it that the U.S. managed to get along just fine for decades after the end of the Cold War when that relationship was not particularly strong? As recently as the Obama administration, our government did not consider Ukraine to be important enough to supply with weapons. Ukraine was viewed correctly as being of peripheral interest to the U.S., and nothing has changed in the years since then to make it more important.

Taylor keeps repeating that "Ukraine is the front line" in a larger conflict between Russia and the West, but that becomes true only if Western governments choose to treat it as one. He concludes his op-ed with a series of ideological assertions:

To support Ukraine is to support a rules-based international order that enabled major powers in Europe to avoid war for seven decades. It is to support democracy over autocracy. It is to support freedom over unfreedom. Most Americans do.

These make for catchy slogans, but they are lousy policy arguments. This rhetoric veers awfully close to saying that you aren't on the side of freedom if you don't support a particular policy option. In my experience, advocates for more aggressive measures use rhetoric like this because the rest of their argument isn't very strong. It is possible to reject illegal military interventions of all governments without wanting to throw weapons at the problem.

Taylor has set up the policy argument in such a way that there seems to be no choice, but the U.S. doesn't have to support Ukraine's war effort. He oversells Ukraine's importance to the U.S. to justify U.S. support, because an accurate assessment would make the current policy of arming their government much harder to defend. Ukraine isn't really that important to U.S. security and our security doesn't require us to provide military assistance to them. Of course, our government has chosen to do it anyway, but this is just one more optional entanglement that the U.S. could have avoided without jeopardizing American or allied security.

[Jan 24, 2020] Martin Indyk An Important Neoliberal Defects From the Blob

Notable quotes:
"... Today Israel's IDF faces a combat hardened army in Syria, a combat hardened irregular military force in Lebanon, and increasingly hardened resistance in its own backyard with Hamas. And Iranian ground forces are not pushovers. ..."
Jan 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Martin Indyk: An Important Neoliberal Defects From the Blob

Let's hope the former ambassador's heresy about withdrawing from the Middle East catches fire and spreads. Then-VP of Brookings Martin Indyk in 2017. (Sharon Farmer/sfphotoworks)

January 22, 2020

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12:01 am

Andrew J. Bacevich Within the inner precincts of the American foreign policy establishment, last names are redundant. At a Washington cocktail party, when some half-sloshed AEI fellow whispers, "Apparently, Henry is back in Beijing to see Xi," there's no need to ask, "Which Henry?" In that world, there is only one Henry, at least only one who counts.

Similarly, there is only one Martin. While Martin Indyk may not equal Henry Kissinger in star power, he has for several decades been a major player in U.S. policy regarding Israel and the Middle East more broadly. Founder of the Washington Institute for Near East Policy, senior director on the National Security Council, twice U.S. ambassador to Israel, assistant secretary of state for Near East affairs, presidential envoy -- not a bad resume for someone who was born in London, raised in Australia, and became a U.S. citizen only in his 40s.

Throughout his career, Martin has been deeply invested in the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" and in the proposition that the United States has a vital interest in pursuing that process to a successful conclusion. More broadly, he has subscribed to the view that the United States has vital interests at stake in the Middle East more generally, with regional stability and the well-being of the people living there dependent on the United States exercising what people in Washington call "leadership." In this context, of course, leadership tends to be a euphemism for the use or threatened use of military power.

These are, of course, establishment notions, to which all members of the "Blob" necessarily declare their fealty. Indeed, at least until Trump came along, to dissent from such views was to become ineligible for appointment to even a mid-level post in the State Department, the Pentagon, or the White House.

Yet Martin has now publicly recanted.

In an extraordinary op-ed published in the Wall Street Journal (of all places), he asserts that "few vital interests of the US continue to be at stake in the Middle East." Policies centered on ensuring the free flow of Persian Gulf oil and the survival of Israel have become superfluous. "The US economy no longer relies on imported petroleum," he correctly notes. "Fracking has turned the US into a net oil and natural-gas exporter." As a consequence, Persian Gulf oil "is no longer a vital interest -- that is, one worth fighting for. Difficult as it might be to get our heads around the idea, China and India need to be protecting the sea lanes between the Gulf and their ports, not the US Navy."

As for the Jewish State, Martin notes, again correctly, that today Israel has the capacity "to defend itself by itself." Notwithstanding the blustering threats regularly issued by Tehran, "it is today's nuclear-armed Israel that has the means to crush Iran, not the other way around."

Furthermore, Martin has had his fill of the peace process. "A two-state solution to the Palestinian problem is a vital Israeli interest, not a vital American one," he writes, insisting that "it's time to end the farce of putting forward American peace plans only to have one or both sides reject them."

Martin does identify one vital U.S. interest in the Middle East: averting a nuclear arms race. Yet "we should be wary of those who would rush to battle stations," he cautions. "Curbing Iran's nuclear aspirations and ambitions for regional dominance will require assiduous American diplomacy, not war."

That last sentence captures the essence of Martin's overall conclusion: he proposes not disengaging from the Middle East but demilitarizing U.S. policy. "After the sacrifice of so many American lives, the waste of so much energy and money in quixotic efforts that ended up doing more harm than good," he writes, "it is time for the US to find a way to escape the costly, demoralising cycle of crusades and retreats."

Now such sentiments appear regularly in the pages of The American Conservative and on the website of the Quincy Institute for Responsible Statecraft . Yet in establishment circles, a willingness to describe U.S. policy in the Middle East as quixotic is rare indeed. As for acknowledging that we have done more harm than good, such commonsense views are usually regarded as beyond the pale.

Martin deserves our congratulations. We must hope that his heresy catches fire and spreads throughout the Blob. In the meantime, if he's in need of office space, the Quincy Institute stands ready to help.

Welcome to the ranks of the truth tellers, comrade.

Andrew Bacevich is TAC's writer-at-large and president of the Quincy Institute. His new book, The Age of Illusions: How America Squandered Its Cold War Victory , has just been published.

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Mark Thomason 2 days ago

"Martin has been deeply invested in the Israeli-Palestinian "peace process" and in the proposition that the United States has a vital interest in pursuing that process to a successful conclusion. More broadly, he has subscribed to the view that the United States has vital interests at stake in the Middle East more generally, with regional stability and the well-being of the people living there"

No. The only use he ever had for the peace process was as cover for what Israel was really doing.

The only interest he ever cared about was Israel, not the stability or well-being of any other people but the hawks among Israelis.

He perverted US policy from the inside, in pursuit of those ends of those Lobby partisans. He has never been anything else.

Bianca Mark Thomason 10 hours ago • edited
And is about to pervert it AGAIN. One must be a total ignoramus not to notice American public's changing attitude towards Israel, as well as Israel's high powered lobbyists.
Before the change turns into an outright hostility, the apologists of the Empire are defusing the nascent rage. So, HE is the one to be PRAISED for being so wise, and deserving our support?
This leopard will keep on changing spots, but never his nature.
He is and will remain ardent apologist of American Empire -- for as long as this Empire serves his primary interest. And that interest is clear -- interest of Israel AND all of its citizens around the globe.
Joao Alfaiate a day ago
It is disheartening to read Bacevich praise Indyk-who was, after all, one of the architects of our disastrous Middle East "policy". I guess the Quincy Institute wants to hew a path closer to the mainstream narrative. What will be next? An apologia for Doug Feith and Richard Perle?
liveload 20 hours ago • edited
Indyk's comments read like a neo-con who's lost favor and power. This is not a good sign. This points to the internecine warfare within the halls of conceptual power being closer to decided. With the diplomats out, it leaves the apocalypse cult as the de-facto winner.

Expect more ludicrous demands of US vassals and more effort to attack Iran. They're not going to stop. Where the oil comes from doesn't matter, what currency is used to conduct trade does.

Bianca liveload 9 hours ago
It is exactly so -- internecine warfare. But I do not see them loosing power. They are losing NARRATIVE both internationally and domestically. This is a beginning of crafting a new narrative to stem the rising hostility against Israel centric militaristic foreign policy orientation.

Thus switching to "diplomacy", as military posturing just brings about dead ends to defend.
He wants results, So, change the narrative, diffuse anti-Israeli tide, and become a beacon of reason and wholesomeness. Who can resist these new spots?

foodoo 17 hours ago
Martin Indyk has already done maximal damage. His opportunity to actually help the situation has long past.
He is and always was an Israeli-firster
redsocs 13 hours ago • edited
There was never anything Quixotic about US foreign policy in the ME. As for Israel/Palestine, the policy, and "Martin" was central to it, was to pretend to negotiate in good faith while Israel occupied "the land from the river to the sea." In Iraq, except for Cheney's oil lust, it was to carry out the neo-con chant of "the road to Iran is through Iraq." As for Iran, it has been to barely resist Israel's, and US Israel-firster's, pressure for war, though it may still happen.
Steve Naidamast 4 hours ago
You mean to say that some establishment guy finally got fed up with all the bullshit?

In any event, Indyk is wrong to believe that Israel can defeat Iran in a conflict. Israeli nuclear weapons are really of little consequence in such a situation as the majority of them must be delivered by aircraft which Iran will simply shoot down. Those that are siloed will most likely meet the same fate. But in either case Russia will not allow any such conflict to go nuclear.

In terms of conventional capabailities, the IDF has never been a very good military unit since it basically has only entered engagements with less than equally capable opponents. However, that has all been changing since Hezbollah's defeat of the IDF in 2006.

Today Israel's IDF faces a combat hardened army in Syria, a combat hardened irregular military force in Lebanon, and increasingly hardened resistance in its own backyard with Hamas. And Iranian ground forces are not pushovers.

The Israeli navy is meaningless in this situation so it is only in the air that Israel now has any claim to fame. However, instead of increasing its Air Force with modernized F15x models, Israel has opted to acquire the F35, which no amount of avionics can make the air-frame fly better. Iran still uses the F14 as a heavy fighter, which Israel also requires for her situation making the acquisition of the F35 rather odd.

In the end, it will be Iranian missile development that places that nation in a position to deal a death blow to the Israeli state.

[Jan 23, 2020] The crimes of Iraq war still are unpunished

Jan 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Jan 23 2020 22:33 utc | 106

"The REAL 'terrorists' –-death is not a laughing matter, murder is a crime."

Vanessa Beeley provides a short, incomplete, list.

I look at the pictures of today's refugees and see the faces of yesterday's. I see the conditions they inhabit, the squalor and filth, and I see the same in pictures from the past. I read the words of hatred directed at those innocents and recall the same words being said of their predecessors.

And the source of the words and plight of the innocents both present and past come from the same portals or power--The Imperialist West and its Zionist progeny. How many millions have died to enrich their purse, to increase the size of the estates, to serve as their slaves? How many more in the future will share their fate?

Will humans ever evolve to become peaceful animals and save themselves?

[Jan 22, 2020] Trump is Right Afghanistan is a 'Loser War'

Notable quotes:
"... Washington Post ..."
"... A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America ..."
"... But it was and is true. Indeed, when I visited Afghanistan back when U.S. troop levels were near their highest, "off camera," so to speak, military folks were quite skeptical of the war. So were Afghans, who had little good to say about their Washington-created and -supported government unless they were collecting a paycheck from it. An incoming president could be forgiven for suspecting that his predecessor had poured more troops into the conflict only to put off its failure until after he'd left office. ..."
"... Accounts like that from Rucker and Leonnig are beloved by the Blob. America's role is to dominate the globe, irrespective of cost. Those officials pursuing this objective, no matter how poorly, are lauded. Any politician challenging Washington's global mission is derided. ..."
"... President Trump has done much wrong. However, he deserves credit for challenging a failed foreign policy that's been paid for by so many while benefiting so few. It is "crazy" and "stupid," as he reportedly said. Why should Americans keep dying for causes that their leaders cannot adequately explain, let alone justify? Let us hope that one day Americans elect a president who will act and not just talk. ..."
Jan 22, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

fter three years of the Trump presidency, the Washington Post is breathlessly reporting that Donald Trump is a boor who insults everyone, including generals used to respect and even veneration. He's had the impertinence to ask critical questions of his military briefers. For shame!

President Trump's limitations have been long evident. The Post 's discussion, adapted by Carol D. Leonnig and Philip Rucker from their upcoming book, A Very Stable Genius: Donald J. Trump's Testing of America , adds color, not substance, to this concern. It seems that in the summer of 2017, Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis, Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, and others were concerned about the president's international ignorance and organized a briefing at the Pentagon to enlighten him.

Was that a worthwhile mission? Sure. Everyone in the policy world marvels at the president's lack of curiosity, absent knowledge, bizarre assumptions, and perverse conclusions. He doesn't get trade, bizarrely celebrates dictatorship, fixates on Iran, doesn't understand agreements, acts on impulse, and exudes absolute certainty. Yet he also captures the essence of issues and shares a set of inchoate beliefs held by millions of Americans, especially those who feel ignored, insulted, disparaged, and dismissed. Most important, he was elected with a mandate to move policy away from the bipartisan globalist conventional wisdom.

The latter was evidently the main concern of these briefers. The presentation as described by the article exuded condescension. That attitude very likely was evident to Trump. The briefing was intended to inform, but even more so to establish his aides' control over him. While they bridled at Trump's manners, they were even more opposed to his substantive opinions. And that made the briefing sound like a carefully choreographed attack on his worldview.

For instance, Mattis used charts with lots of dollar signs "to impress upon [the president] the value of U.S. investments abroad. [Mattis] sought to explain why U.S. troops were deployed in so many regions and why America's safety hinged on a complex web of trade deals, alliances, and bases across the globe." Notably, Mattis "then gave a 20-minute briefing on the power of the NATO alliance to stabilize Europe and keep the United States safe."

No doubt Secretary Mattis sincerely believed all that. However, it was an argument more appropriately made in 1950 or 1960. The world has since changed dramatically.

Of course, this is also the position of the Blob, Ben Rhodes' wonderful label for the Washington foreign policymaking community. What has ever been must ever be, is the Blob's informal mantra. America's lot in life, no matter how many average folks must die, is to litter the globe with bases, ships, planes, and troops to fight endless wars, some big, some small, to make the world safe for democracy, sometimes, and autocracy, otherwise. If America ever stops fulfilling what seems to be the modern equivalent of Rudyard Kipling's infamous "white man's burden," order will collapse, authoritarianism will advance, trade will disappear, conflict will multiply, countries will be conquered, friends will become enemies, allies will defect, terrorists will strike, liberal values will be discarded, all that is good and wonderful will disappear, and a new dark age will envelope the earth.

Trump is remarkably ignorant of the facts, but he does possess a commonsensical skepticism of the utter nonsense that gets promoted as unchallengeable conventional wisdom. As a result, he understood that this weltanschauung, a word he would never use, was an absolute fantasy. And he showed it by the questions he asked.

For instance, he challenged the defense guarantee for South Korea. "We should charge them rent," he blurted out. "We should make them pay for our soldiers." Although treating American military personnel like mercenaries is the wrong approach, he is right that there is no need to protect the Republic of Korea. The Korean War ended 67 years ago. The South has twice the population and, by the latest estimate, 54 times the economy of the North. Why is Seoul still dependent on America?

If the Blob has its way, the U.S. will pay to defend the ROK forever. Analysts speak of the need for Americans to stick around even after reunification. It seems there is no circumstance under which they imagine Washington not garrisoning the peninsula. Why is America, born of revolution, now acting like an imperial power that must impose its military might everywhere?

Even more forcefully, it appeared, did Trump express his hostile views of Europe and NATO. Sure, he appeared to mistakenly believe that there was an alliance budget that European governments had failed to fund. But World War II ended 70 years ago. The Europeans recovered, the Soviet Union collapsed, and Eastern Europeans joined NATO. Why is Washington expected to subsidize a continent with a larger population than, and economy equivalent to, America's, and far larger than Russia's? Mattis apparently offered the standard bromides, such as "This is what keeps us safe."

How? Does he imagine that without Washington's European presence, Russia would roll its tanks and march to the Atlantic Ocean? And from there launch a global pincer movement to invade North America? How does adding such behemoths as Montenegro keep the U.S. "safe"? What does initiating a military confrontation with Moscow over Ukraine, historically part of the Russian Empire and Soviet Union, have to do with keeping Americans "safe"? The argument is self-evidently not just false but ridiculous.

Justifying endless wars is even tougher. Rucker and Leonnig do not report what the president said about Syria, which apparently was part of Mattis's brief. However, Trump's skepticism is evident from his later policy gyrations. Why would any sane Washington policymaker insist that America intervene militarily in a multi-sided civil war in a country of no significant security interest to the U.S. on the side of jihadists and affiliates of al-Qaeda? And stick around illegally as the conflict wound down? To call this policy stupid is too polite.

Even more explosive was the question of Afghanistan, to which the president did speak, apparently quite dismissively. Unsurprisingly, he asked why the U.S. had not won after 16 years -- which is longer than the Civil War, World Wars I and II, and the Korean War combined. He also termed Afghanistan a "loser war." By Rucker's and Leonnig's telling, this did not go over well: "That phrase hung in the air and disgusted not only the military men and women in uniform sitting along the back wall behind their principals. They all were sworn to obey their commander in chief's commands, and here he was calling the way they had been fighting a loser war."

But it was and is true. Indeed, when I visited Afghanistan back when U.S. troop levels were near their highest, "off camera," so to speak, military folks were quite skeptical of the war. So were Afghans, who had little good to say about their Washington-created and -supported government unless they were collecting a paycheck from it. An incoming president could be forgiven for suspecting that his predecessor had poured more troops into the conflict only to put off its failure until after he'd left office.

The fault does not belong to combat personnel, but to political leaders and complicit generals, who have misled if not lied in presenting a fairy tale perspective on the conflict's progress and prognosis. And for what? Central Asia is not and never will be a vital issue of American security. Afghanistan has nothing to do with terrorism other than its having hosting al-Qaeda two decades ago. Osama bin Laden was killed in Pakistan. In recent years, it's Yemen that's hosted the most dangerous national affiliate of al-Qaeda. So why are U.S. troops still in Afghanistan?

Accounts like that from Rucker and Leonnig are beloved by the Blob. America's role is to dominate the globe, irrespective of cost. Those officials pursuing this objective, no matter how poorly, are lauded. Any politician challenging Washington's global mission is derided.

President Trump has done much wrong. However, he deserves credit for challenging a failed foreign policy that's been paid for by so many while benefiting so few. It is "crazy" and "stupid," as he reportedly said. Why should Americans keep dying for causes that their leaders cannot adequately explain, let alone justify? Let us hope that one day Americans elect a president who will act and not just talk.

Doug Bandow is a senior fellow at the Cato Institute. He is a former special assistant to President Ronald Reagan and author of several books, including Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire .

[Jan 21, 2020] The Revelations of WikiLeaks: No. 6 -- US Diplomatic Cables Spark 'Arab Spring,' Expose Spying at UN Elsewhere

Notable quotes:
"... Today we resume our series ..."
"... with little more than a month before the extradition hearing for imprisoned ..."
"... publisher Julian Assange begins. This is the sixth in a series that is looking back on the major works of the publication that has altered the world since its founding in 2006. The series is an effort to counter mainstream media coverage, which is ignoring ..."
"... work, and is instead focusing on Julian Assange's personality. It is ..."
"... uncovering of governments' crimes and corruption that set the U.S. after Assange, ultimately leading to his arrest on April 11 last year and indictment under the U.S. Espionage Act. ..."
"... Special to Consortium News ..."
"... Der Spiegel ..."
"... to the Winter Fund Drive. ..."
"... World Socialist Website ..."
"... Foreign Policy ..."
"... The Guardian ..."
"... The New York Times ..."
"... The Green Left ..."
"... The Green Left Weekly ..."
"... The Guardian ..."
"... CORRECTION: CableDrum is an independent Twitter feed and is not associated with ..."
"... as was incorrectly reported here. ..."
Jan 21, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

January 14, 2020 • 7 Comments

WikiLeaks ' publication of "Cablegate" in late 2010 dwarfed previous releases in both size and impact and helped cause what one news outlet called a political meltdown for United States foreign policy.

Today we resume our series The Revelations of WikiLeaks with little more than a month before the extradition hearing for imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange begins. This is the sixth in a series that is looking back on the major works of the publication that has altered the world since its founding in 2006. The series is an effort to counter mainstream media coverage, which is ignoring WikiLeaks' work, and is instead focusing on Julian Assange's personality. It is WikiLeaks' uncovering of governments' crimes and corruption that set the U.S. after Assange, ultimately leading to his arrest on April 11 last year and indictment under the U.S. Espionage Act.

'A Political Meltdown for US Foreign Policy'

By Elizabeth Vos
Special to Consortium News

O f all WikiLeaks' releases, probably the most globally significant have been the more than a quarter of a million U.S. State Department diplomatic cables leaked in 2010, the publication of which helped spark a revolt in Tunisia that spread into the so-called Arab Spring, revealed Saudi intentions towards Iran and exposed spying on the UN secretary general and other diplomats.

The releases were surrounded by a significant controversy (to be covered in a separate installment of this series) alleging that WikiLeaks purposely endangered U.S. informants by deliberately revealing their names. That allegation formed a major part of the U.S. indictment on May 23 of WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange under the Espionage Act, though revealing informants' names is not a crime, nor is there evidence that any of them were ever harmed.

WikiLeaks ' publication of "Cablegate," beginning on Nov. 28, 2010, dwarfed previous WikiLeaks releases, in both size and impact. The publication amounted to 251,287 leaked American diplomatic cables that, at the time of publication, Der Spiegel described as"no less than a political meltdown for United States foreign policy."

Cablegate revealed a previously unknown history of diplomatic relations between the United States and the rest of the world, and in doing so, exposed U.S. views of both allies and adversaries. As a result of such revelations, Cablegate's release was widely condemned by the U.S. political class and especially by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton.

The Twitter handle Cable Drum, called it,

" The largest set of confidential documents ever to be released into the public domain. The documents will give people around the world an unprecedented insight into U.S. Government foreign activities. The cables, which date from 1966 up until the end of February 2010, contain confidential communications between 274 embassies in countries throughout the world and the State Department in Washington DC. 15,652 of the cables are classified Secret."

Among the historic documents that were grouped with Cablegate in WikiLeaks ' Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy are 1.7 million that involve Henry Kissinger, national security adviser and secretary of state under President Richard Nixon; and 1.4 million related to the Jimmy Carter administration.

Der Spiegel reported that the majority were "composed by ambassadors, consuls or their staff. Most contain assessments of the political situation in the individual countries, interview protocols and background information about personnel decisions and events. In many cases, they also provide political and personal profiles of individual politicians and leaders."

Cablegate rounded out WikiLeaks' output in 2010, which had seen the explosive publication of previous leaks also from Army intelligence analyst Chelsea Manning including " Collateral Murder ," the " Afghan War Diaries " and " Iraq War Logs ," the subject of earlier installments in this series. As in the case of the two prior releases, WikiLeaks published Cablegate in partnerships with establishment media outlets.

The "Cablegate" archive was later integrated with the WikiLeaks Public Library of U.S. Diplomacy , which contains over 10 million documents.

Global U.S. Empire Revealed

The impact of "Cablegate" is impossible to fully encapsulate, and should be the subject of historical study for decades to come. In September 2015 Verso published " The WikiLeaks Files: The World According to U.S. Empire ," with a foreword by Assange. It is a compendium of chapters written by various regional experts and historians giving a broader and more in-depth geopolitical analysis of U.S. foreign policy as revealed by the cables.

"The internal communications of the US Department of State are the logistical by-product of its activities: their publication is the vivisection of a living empire, showing what substance flowed from which state organ and when. Only by approaching this corpus holistically – over and above the documentation of each individual abuse, each localized atrocity – does the true human cost of empire heave into view," Assange wrote in the foreword.

' WikiLeaks Revolt' in Tunisia

The release of "Cablegate" provided the spark that many argue heralded the Arab Spring, earning the late-November publication the moniker of the " WikiLeaks Winter ."

Eventually, many would also credit WikiLeaks' publication of the diplomatic cables with initiating a chain-reaction that spread from the Middle East ( specifically from Egypt) to the global Occupy Wall Street movement by late 2011.

The first of the Arab uprisings was Tunisia's 28-day so-called Jasmine Revolution, stretching from Dec. 17, 2010, to Jan. 14, 2011, described as the "first WikiLeaks revolution."

Cables published by WikiLeaks revealed the extent of the Tunisian ruling family's corruption, and were widely accessible in Tunisia thanks to the advent of social media platforms like Twitter. Then-President Zine El Abidine Ben Ali had been in power for over two decades at the time of the cables' publication.

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One State Department cable, labeled Secret , said:

"President Ben Ali's extended family is often cited as the nexus of Tunisian corruption. Often referred to as a quasi-mafia, an oblique mention of 'the Family' is enough to indicate which family you mean. Seemingly half of the Tunisian business community can claim a Ben Ali connection through marriage, and many of these relations are reported to have made the most of their lineage."

A June 2008 cable said: "Whether it's cash, services, land, property, or yes, even your yacht, President [Zine el Abidine] Ben Ali's family is rumored to covet it and reportedly gets what it wants."

Symbolic middle finger gesture representing the Tunisian Revolution and its influences in the Arab world. From left to right, fingers are painted as flags of Libya, Egypt, Tunisia, Sudan and Algeria. (Khalid from Doha, CC BY 2.0, Wikimedia Commons)

The cables revealed that Ben Ali's extended family controlled nearly the entire Tunisian economy, from banking to media to property development, while 30 percent of Tunisians were unemployed. They showed that state-owned property was expropriated to be passed on to private ownership by family members.

"Lax oversight makes the banking sector an excellent target of opportunity, with multiple stories of 'First Family' schemes," one cable read. ""With real estate development booming and land prices on the rise, owning property or land in the right location can either be a windfall or a one-way ticket to expropriation," said another.

The revolt was facilitated once the U.S. abandoned Ali. Counterpunch reported that: "The U.S. campaign of unwavering public support for President Ali led to a widespread belief among the Tunisian people that it would be very difficult to dislodge the autocratic regime from power. This view was shattered when leaked cables exposed the U.S. government's private assessment: that the U.S. would not support the regime in the event of a popular uprising."

The internet and large social media platforms played a crucial role in the spread of public awareness of the cables and their content amongst the Tunisian public. "Thousands of home-made videos of police repression and popular resistance have been posted on the web. The Tunisian people have used Facebook, Twitter and other social networking sites to organize and direct the mobilizations against the regime," the World Socialist Website wrote.

Foreign Policy magazine reported:

"WikiLeaks acted as a catalyst: both a trigger and a tool for political outcry. Which is probably the best compliment one could give the whistle-blower site." The magazine added: "The people of Tunisia shouldn't have had to wait for Wikileaks to learn that the U.S. saw their country just as they did. It's time that the gulf between what American diplomats know and what they say got smaller."

The Guardian published an account in January 2011 by a young Tunisian, Sami Ben Hassine, who wrote: "The internet is blocked, and censored pages are referred to as pages "not found" – as if they had never existed. And then, WikiLeaks reveals what everyone was whispering. And then, a young man [Mohamed Bouazizi] immolates himself. And then, 20 Tunisians are killed in one day. And for the first time, we see the opportunity to rebel, to take revenge on the 'royal' family who has taken everything, to overturn the established order that has accompanied our youth."

Protester in Tunis, Jan. 14, 2011, holding sign. Translation from French: "Ben Ali out." (Skotch 79, CC0, Wikimedia Commons)

On the first day of Chelsea Manning's pretrial in December 2011, Daniel Ellsberg told Democracy Now:

"The combination of the WikiLeaks and Bradley Manning exposures in Tunis and the exemplification of that by Mohamed Bouazizi led to the protests, the nonviolent protests, that drove Ben Ali out of power, our ally there who we supported up 'til that moment, and in turn sparked the uprising in Egypt, in Tahrir Square occupation, which immediately stimulated the Occupy Wall Street and the other occupations in the Middle East and elsewhere. I hope [Manning and Assange] will have the effect in liberating us from the lawlessness that we have seen and the corruption -- the corruption -- that we have seen in this country in the last 10 years and more, which has been no less than that of Tunis and Egypt."

Clinton Told US Diplomats to Spy at UN

The cables' revelation that the U.S. State Department under then-Secretary-of-State Clinton had demanded officials act as spies on officials at the United Nations -- including the Secretary General -- was particularly embarrassing for the United States.

El Pais summarized the bombshell: "The State Department sent officials of 38 embassies and diplomatic missions a detailed account of the personal and other information they must obtain about the United Nations, including its secretary general, and especially about officials and representatives linked to Sudan, Afghanistan, Somalia, Iran and North Korea.

El Pais continued: "Several dispatches, signed 'Clinton' and probably made by the office of Secretary of State, Hillary Clinton, contain precise instructions about the myriad of inquiries to be developed in conflict zones, in the world of deserters and asylum seekers, in the engine room of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, or about the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Russia and China to know their plans regarding the nuclear threat in Tehran."

Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton & UN Secretary General Ban Ki-Moon in 2012. (Foreign and Commonwealth Office/Flickr)

CNN described the information diplomats were ordered to gather: "In the July 2009 document, Clinton directs her envoys at the United Nations and embassies around the world to collect information ranging from basic biographical data on foreign diplomats to their frequent flyer and credit card numbers and even 'biometric information on ranking North Korean diplomats.' Typical biometric information can include fingerprints, signatures and iris recognition data."

Der Spiegel reported that Clinton justified the espionage orders by emphasizing that "a large share of the information that the US intelligence agencies works with comes from the reports put together by State Department staff around the world."

Der Spiegel added: "The US State Department also wanted to obtain information on the plans and intentions of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his secretariat relating to issues like Iran, according to the detailed wish list in the directive. The instructions were sent to 30 US embassies around the world, including the one in Berlin."

Philip J. Crowley as assistant secretary of state for public affairs in 2010. (State Department)

The State Department responded to the revelations, with then- State-Department-spokesman P.J. Crowley reportedly disputing that American diplomats had assumed a new role overseas.

"Our diplomats are just that, diplomats," he said. "They represent our country around the world and engage openly and transparently with representatives of foreign governments and civil society. Through this process, they collect information that shapes our policies and actions. This is what diplomats, from our country and other countries, have done for hundreds of years."

In December 2010, just after the cables' publication, Assange told Time : "She should resign if it can be shown that she was responsible for ordering U.S. diplomatic figures to engage in espionage in the United Nations, in violation of the international covenants to which the U.S. has signed up."

Saudis & Iran

A diplomatic cable dated April 20, 2008, made clear Saudi Arabia's pressure on the United States to take action against its enemy Iran, including not ruling out military action against Teheran:

"[Then Saudi ambassador to the US Abbdel] Al-Jubeir recalled the King's frequent exhortations to the US to attack Iran and so put an end to its nuclear weapons program. 'He told you to cut off the head of the snake,' he recalled to the Charge', adding that working with the US to roll back Iranian influence in Iraq is a strategic priority for the King and his government. 11. (S) The Foreign Minister, on the other hand, called instead for much more severe US and international sanctions on Iran, including a travel ban and further restrictions on bank lending. Prince Muqrin echoed these views, emphasizing that some sanctions could be implemented without UN approval. The Foreign Minister also stated that the use of military pressure against Iran should not be ruled out."

Dyncorp & the 'Dancing Boys' of Afghanistan

The cables indicate that Afghan authorities asked the United States government to quash U.S. reporting on a scandal stemming from the actions of Dyncorp employees in Afghanistan in 2009.

Employees of Dyncorp, a paramilitary group with an infamous track-record of alleged involvement in sex trafficking and other human rights abuses in multiple countries, were revealed by Cablegate to have been involved with illegal drug use and hiring the services of a "bacha bazi," or underage dancing boy.

A 2009 cable published by WikiLeaks described an event where Dyncorp had purchased the service of a "bacha bazi." The writer of the cable does not specify what happened during the event, describing it only as "purchasing a service from a child," and he tries to convince a journalist not to cover the story in order to not "risk lives."

Although Dyncorp was no stranger to controversy by the time of the cables' publication, the revelation of the mercenary force's continued involvement in bacha bazi provoked further questions as to why the company continued to receive tax-payer funded contracts from the United States.

Sexual abuse allegations were not the only issue haunting Dyncorp. The State Department admitted in 2017 that it "could not account for" more than $1 billion paid to the company, as reported by Foreign Policy .

The New York Times later reported that U.S. soldiers had been told to turn a blind eye to the abuse of minors by those in positions of power: "Soldiers and Marines have been increasingly troubled that instead of weeding out pedophiles, the American military was arming them in some cases and placing them as the commanders of villages -- and doing little when they began abusing children."

Australia Lied About Troop Withdrawal

Prime Minister Kevin Rudd of Australia, left, with U.S. President Barack Obama, in the Oval Office, Nov. 30, 2009, to discuss a range of issues including Afghanistan and climate change. (White House/Pete Souza)

The Green Left related that the cables exposed Australian Prime Minister Kevin Rudd's double talk about withdrawing troops. "Despite government spin about withdrawing all 'combat forces,' the cables said some of these forces could be deployed in combat roles. One cable said, "[d]espite the withdrawal of combat forces, Rudd agreed to allow Australian forces embedded or seconded to units of other countries including the U.S. to deploy to Iraq in combat and combat support roles with those units."

US Meddling in Latin America

Cables revealed that U.S. ambassadors to Ecuador had opposed the presidential candidacy of Raphael Correa despite their pretense of neutrality, as observed by The Green Left Weekly .

Additional cables revealed the Vatican attempted to increase its influence in Latin America with the aid of the U.S. Further cables illustrated the history of Pope Francis while he was a cardinal in Argentina, with the U.S. appearing to have a positive outlook on the future pontiff.

Illegal Dealings Between US & Sweden

WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange wrote in his affidavit :

"Through the diplomatic cables I also learned of secret, informal arrangements between Sweden and the United States. The cables revealed that Swedish intelligence services have a pattern of lawless conduct where US interests are concerned. The US diplomatic cables revealed that the Swedish Justice Department had deliberately hidden particular intelligence information exchanges with the United States from the Parliament of Sweden because the exchanges were likely unlawful."

Military Reaction

On Nov. 30, 2010, the State Department declared it would remove the diplomatic cables from its secure network in order to prevent additional leaks. Antiwar.com added: "The cables had previously been accessible through SIPRNet, an ostensibly secure network which is accessible by millions of officials and soldiers. It is presumably through this network that the cables were obtained and leaked to WikiLeaks ."

The Guardian described SIPRNet as a "worldwide US military internet system, kept separate from the ordinary civilian internet and run by the Defence Department in Washington."

Political Fury

On Nov. 29, 2010, then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton said of the "Cablegate" release:

"This disclosure is not just an attack on America's foreign policy; it is an attack on the international community, the alliances and partnerships, the conventions and negotiations that safeguard global security and advance economic prosperity."

The next day, former Arkansas Gov. Mike Huckabee called for Chelsea Manning's execution, according to Politico .

Some political figures did express support for Assange, including U.K. Labor leader Jeremy Corbyn, who wrote via Twitter days after Cablegate was published: "USA and others don't like any scrutiny via wikileaks and they are leaning on everybody to pillory Assange. What happened to free speech?"

Other notable revelations from the diplomatic cables included multiple instances of U.S. meddling in Latin America, the demand by then-Secretary of State Hillary Clinton that diplomatic staff act as spies , the documentation of misconduct by U.S. paramilitary forces, the fallout of the 2008 financial crisis in Iceland, the deployment of U.S. nuclear weapons in Germany and other European countries, that the Vatican attempted to increase its influence in Latin America with the aid of the U.S. , that U.S. diplomats had essentially spied on German Chancellor Angele Merkel, and much more.

Der Spiegel reported on Hillary Clinton's demand that U.S. diplomats act as spies:

"As justification for the espionage orders, Clinton emphasized that a large share of the information that the U.S. intelligence agencies works with comes from the reports put together by State Department staff around the world. The information to be collected included personal credit card information, frequent flyer customer numbers, as well as e-mail and telephone accounts. In many cases the State Department also requested 'biometric information,' 'passwords' and 'personal encryption keys.' "

Der Spiegel added: "The U.S. State Department also wanted to obtain information on the plans and intentions of UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon and his secretariat relating to issues like Iran, according to the detailed wish list in the directive. The instructions were sent to 30 U.S. embassies around the world, including the one in Berlin."

Elizabeth Vos is a freelance reporter and co-host of CN Live.

CORRECTION: CableDrum is an independent Twitter feed and is not associated with WikiLeaks as was incorrectly reported here.

jmg , January 15, 2020 at 09:53

A truly great series, thank you.

The Revelations of WikiLeaks -- Consortium News Series

1. The Video that Put Assange in US Crosshairs -- April 23, 2019
2. The Leak That 'Exposed the True Afghan War' -- May 9, 2019
3. The Most Extensive Classified Leak in History -- May 16, 2019
4. The Haunting Case of a Belgian Child Killer and How WikiLeaks Helped Crack It -- July 11, 2019
5. Busting the Myth WikiLeaks Never Published Damaging Material on Russia -- September 23, 2019
6. US Diplomatic Cables Spark 'Arab Spring,' Expose Spying at UN & Elsewhere -- January 14, 2020

For an updated list with links to the articles, a Google search is:

"The Revelations of WikiLeaks" site:consortiumnews.com For an updated list with links to the articles, a Google search is:

"The Revelations of WikiLeaks" site:consortiumnews.com

– – –

Consortium News wrote:
> Today we resume our series The Revelations of WikiLeaks with little more than a month before the extradition hearing for imprisoned WikiLeaks publisher Julian Assange begins.

Yes and, shockingly, Julian has been allowed only 2 hours with his lawyers in the last month, crucial to prepare the extradition hearings. See:

Summary from Assange hearing at Westminster Magistrates Court this morning -- Tareq Haddad -- Thread Reader -- Jan 13th 2020

[Jan 14, 2020] DiGenova Calls Out Soros' Control Over State Department and FBI

Nov 19, 2019 | canadianpatriot.org
The Open Society and Anti-Defamation League have gone ballistic last week demanding for the unprecedented eternal banning of Joe diGenova from Fox News or else.

DiGenova (former Federal Attorney for the District of Columbia) committed a grievous crime indeed, calling out the unspeakable "philanthropist" George Soros on Fox News' Lou Dobbs Show on Nov. 14 as a force controlling a major portion of the American State Department and FBI. To be specific, DiGenova stated: "no doubt that George Soros controls a very large part of the career foreign service of the United States State Department. He also controls the activities of FBI agents overseas who work for NGOs -- work with NGOs. That was very evident in Ukraine. And Kent was part of that. He was a very big protector of Soros." DiGenova was here referencing State Department head George Kent who's testimony is being used to advance President Trump's impeachment.

Open Society Foundation President Patrick Gaspard denounced Fox ironically calling them "McCarthyite" before demanding the network impose total censorship on all condemnation of Soros. Writing to Fox News' CEO, Gaspard stated: "I have written to you in the past about the pattern of false information regarding George Soros that is routinely blasted over your network. But even by Fox's standards, last night's episode of Lou Dobbs tonight hit a new low This is beyond rhetorical ugliness, beyond fiction, beyond ludicrous."

Of course, the ADL and Gaspard won't let anyone forget that any attack on George Soros is an attack on Jews the world over, and so it goes that the ADL President Jonathan Greenblatt jumped into the mud saying "Invoking Soros as controlling the State Dept, FBI, and Ukraine is trafficking in some of the worst anti-Semitic tropes." He followed that up by demanding Fox ban DiGenova saying: "If Mr. DiGenova insists on spreading anti-Semitic conspiracy theories, there is absolutely no reason for Fox News to give him an open mic to do so. Mainstream news networks should never give a platform to those who spread hate."

Even though the MSM including the Washington Post, NY Times and other rags, not to mention countless Soros-affiliated groups have come out on the attack, DiGenova's statements cannot be put back in the bottle, and their attacks just provoke more people to dig more deeply into the dark dealings of Soros and the geopolitical masterclass that use this a-moral, former Nazi speculator as their anti-nation state mercenary.

A Little Background on Soros

As has been extensively documented in many locations , ever since young Soros' talents were identified as a young boy working for the Nazis during WWII (a time he describes as the best and most formative of his life), this young sociopath was recruited to the managerial class of the empire becoming a disciple of the "Open Society" post-nation state theories of Karl Popper while a student in London. He latter became one of the first hedge fund managers with startup capital provided by Evelyn Rothschild in 1968 and rose in prominence as a pirate of globalization, assigned at various times to unleash speculative attacks on nations resisting the world government agenda pushed by his masters (in some cases even attacking the center of power- London itself in 1992 which provided an excuse for the London oligarchs to stay out of the very euro trap that they orchestrated for other European nations to walk into).

https://www.youtube.com/embed/SGWizajL7tA?feature=oembed

After the Y2K bubble, Soros began devoting larger parts of his resources to international drug legalization, euthanasia lobbying, color revolutions and other regime change programs under the guise of "Human Rights" organizations which have done a remarkable job destroying the sovereignty of Sudan, Libya, Iraq, and Syria to name a few. Since the economic crisis of 2008-09 (which his speculation helped create through unbounded currency and derivatives speculation), Soros has begun to advocate a new world governance system centred on what has recently been called the "Green New Deal" which has less to do with saving nature, and everything to do with depopulation.

So when the ADL, and Open Society attacks someone for being anti-semitic, you know that whomever they are attacking are probably doing something useful.

[Dec 23, 2019] Ukraine, Trump, Biden -- The Real Story Behind 'Ukrainegate'

Dec 23, 2019 | astutenews.com

The argument to be presented here is that Trump, in this phone call, and generally, was trying not only to obtain help with evidence-gathering in the "Crowdstrike" matter (which A.G. Barr is now investigating, and which also is the reason why Trump specifically mentioned "Crowdstrike" at the only instance in the phone-call where he was requesting a "favor" from Zelensky), but to change the policy toward Ukraine that had been established by Obama (via Obama's coup and its aftermath). This is a fact, which will be documented here. Far more than politics was involved here; ideology was actually very much involved. Trump was considering a basic change in US foreign policies. He was considering to replace policies that had been established under, and personnel who had been appointed by, his immediate predecessor, Barack Obama. Democrats are extremely opposed to any such changes. This is one of the reasons for the renewed impeachment-effort by Democrats. They don't want to let go of Obama's worst policies. But changing US foreign policy is within a President's Constitutional authority to do.

Trump fired the flaming neoconservative John Bolton on 10 September 2019. This culminated a growing rejection by Trump of neoconservatism -- something that he had never thought much about but had largely continued from the Obama Administration, which invaded and destroyed Libya in 2011, Syria in 2012-, Yemen in 2015-, and more -- possibly out-doing even George W. Bush, who likewise was a flaming neocon. Trump's gradual turn away from neoconservatism wasn't just political; it was instead a reflection, on his part, that maybe, just maybe, he had actually been wrong and needed to change his foreign policies, in some important ways. (He evidently still hasn't yet figured out precisely what those changes should be.)

For example, on 15 November 2019, the impeachment focus was on the testimony of Marie Yovanovitch, whom Trump had recently ( in May 2019 ) fired as the Ambassador to Ukraine. Democrats presented her as having been the paradigm of professionalism and nonpartisanship in America's foreign service. She was actually a neoconservative who had been appointed as an Ambassador first by President George W. Bush on 20 November 2004, after her having received an M.S. from the National War College in 2001.

Obama appointed her, on 18 May 2016, to replace Geoff Pyatt ( shown and heard in this video confidentially receiving instructions from Obama's agent controlling Ukraine-policy, Victoria Nuland ) as the Ambassador to Ukraine. Obama had selected Yovanovitch because he knew that (just like Pyatt) she supported his polices regarding Ukraine and would adhere to his instructions. Yovanovitch was part of Obama's team, just as she had previously been part of George W. Bush's team.

All three of them were staunch neoconservatives, just as Ambassador Pyatt had been, and just as Victoria Nuland had been, and just as Joe Biden had been.

A neoconservative believes in the rightfulness of American empire over this entire planet, even over the borders of the other nuclear superpower, Russia. Obama's standard phrase arguing for it was "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation" , meaning that all other nations are "dispensable." This imperialistic belief was an extension of Yale's 'pacifist' pro-Nazi America First movement , which was supported by Wall Street's Dulles brothers in the early 1940s , and which pro-Nazi movement Trump himself has prominently praised. Unlike the progressive US President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, who had planned the UN in order to be the anti -imperialist emerging first-ever global world government of nations, which would democratically set and ultimately enforce international laws of a new global federation of nations -- a global democratic federation of sovereign republics -- neoconservatives are US imperialists, who want instead to destroy the UN, and to extend American power over the entire world, make America not only the policeman to the world but the lawmaker for the world, and the judge jury and executioner of the world, the global dictator. The UN would be weakened to insignificance. This has gradually been occurring. It continued even after what had been thought to have been the 1991 end of the Cold War, and after Obama won a Nobel Peace Prize in 2009 for his deceptive rhetoric. Yale's John Bolton was the leading current proponent of the America First viewpoint, much more straightforward in his advocacy of it than the far wilier Obama was; and, until recently, Trump supported that unhedged advocacy for the neoconservative viewpoint: US imperialism. Regarding the campaign to take over Russia, however, he no longer does -- he has broken with Bolton on that central neoconservative goal, and he is trying to reverse that policy, which had been even more extreme than Obama's policy towards Russia was (which policy had, in fact , produced the coup in Ukraine).

When the Cold War had supposedly ended in 1991, it ended actually only on the Russian side, but secretly it continued and continues on as policy on the American imperialists' side . The neoconservative side, which controlled the US Government by that time (FDR's vision having been destroyed when Ronald Reagan entered the White House in 1981), has no respect whatsoever for Russia's sovereignty over its own land, and certainly not over the land of Russia's neighbors, such as Ukraine, which has a 1,625-mile border with Russia. Neoconservatives want US missiles to be pointed at Moscow all along Russia's border. That would be as if Russia had wanted to position Russian missiles all along Canada's and Mexico's borders with the US; it would disgust any decent person, anywhere, but neoconservatives aren't decent people. Neoconservatives (US imperialists) seek for all of Russia's neighbors to become part of the US empire, so as to isolate Russia and then become able to gobble it up. All neoconservatives want this ultimately to happen. Their grasp for power is truly limitless. Only in the tactical issues do they differ from one-another.

In her testimony behind closed doors to Senators, on 11 October 2019 , Yovanovich stated her views regarding what America's policies toward Ukraine should be, and these were Obama's policies, too; these views are the neoconservative outlook [and my own comments in brackets here will indicate her most egregious distortions and lies in this key passage from her]:

Because of Ukraine's geostrategic position bordering Russia on its east, the warm waters of the oil-rich Black Sea to its south, and four NATO allies to its west, it is critical to the security of the United States [this is like saying that Mexico and Canada are crucial to the security of Russia -- it's a lie] that Ukraine remain free and democratic [meaning, to neoconservatives, under US control] , and that it continue to resist Russian expansionism [like Russia cares about US expansionism over all of the Western Hemisphere? Really? Is that actually what this is about? It's about extending US imperialism on and across Russia's border into Russia itself] Russia's purported annexation of Crimea [but, actually, "Clear and convincing evidence will be presented here that, under US President Barack Obama, the US Government had a detailed plan, which was already active in June 2013, to take over Russia's main naval base, which is in Sevastopol in Crimea, and to turn it into a US naval base." ] , its invasion of Eastern Ukraine, and its defacto control over the Sea of Azov, make clear Russia's malign intentions towards Ukraine [not make clear Russia's determination not to be surrounded by enemies -- by US-stooge regimes. For Russia to avoid that is 'malign', she says] . If we allow Russia's actions to stand, we will set a precedent that the United States will regret for decades to come. So, supporting Ukraine's integration into Europe and combating Russia' s efforts to destabilize Ukraine [Oh, America didn't do that destabilization ?] have anchored our policy since the Ukrainian people protested on the Maidan in 2014 and demanded to be a part of Europe and live according to the rule of law [But Ukrainians before Obama's takeover of Ukraine in February 2014 didn't actually want to be part of the EU nor of NATO, and they considered NATO to be a threat to Ukraine. "In 2010, Gallup found that whereas 17% of Ukrainians considered NATO to mean 'protection of your country,' 40% said it's 'a threat to your country'." ] That was US policy when I became ambassador in August 2016 [after Obama's successful coup there took over its media and turned Ukrainian opinion strongly against Russia] , and it was reaffirmed as that policy as the policy of the current administration in early 2017. [Yes, that's correct, finally a truthful assertion from her. When Trump first came into office, he was a neoconservative, too.] The Revolution of Dignity [ you'll see here the 'dignity' of it ] and the Ukrainian people's demand to end corruption forced the new Ukrainian Government to take measures to fight the rampant corruption that long permeated that country's political and economic systems [and that still do, and perhaps more now than even before] .

That's just one example -- it's about the role of Ambassador Yovanovitch. But the focus of Ukrainegate isn't really that. It's not Yovanovitch. It is what Trump was trying to do, and what Joe Biden was trying to do, and what Obama had actually done. It is also about Joe Biden's son Hunter, because this is also about contending dynasties, and not only about contending individuals. Trump isn't certain, now, that he wants to continue being a full-fledged neoconservative, and to continue extending Obama's neoconservative policies regarding Ukraine. So: this is largely about what those policies actually were. And here is how Joe Biden comes into the picture, because Democrats, in trying to replace President Donald Trump by a President Mike Pence, are trying to restore, actually, Barack Obama's policy in Ukraine, a policy of which the Bidens themselves were very much Obama's agents, and Mike Pence would be expected to continue and extend those policies. Here will be necessary to document some personal and business relationships that the US news-media have consistently been hiding and even lying about, and which might not come up even in the expected subsequent Senate hearings about whether to replace Trump by Pence:

The real person who was the benefactor to, and the boss of, Vice President Joe Biden's son, Hunter Biden, at the Ukrainian gas-exploration company Burisma Holdings, was not the person that the American press says was, Mykola Zlochevsky, who had been part of the Ukrainian Government until Ukraine's President Viktor Yanukovych was overthrown in February 2014, but it was instead Ihor Kolomoysky, who was part of the newly installed Ukrainian Government, which the Obama Administration itself had actually just installed in Ukraine (and that phone-conversation appointing Ukraine's new leader is explained here ), in what the head of the "private CIA" firm Stratfor has correctly called "the most blatant coup in history." ( Here's more explanation of that coup which was done by Obama. )

One cannot even begin accurately to understand the impeachment proceedings against America's current President Donald Trump ("Ukrainegate"), unless one first knows and understands accurately what the relationships were between Trump and the current Government of Ukraine, and the role that the Obama Administration had played in forming that Government (installing it), and the role that Hunter Biden had been hired to perform for his actual boss at Burisma, Kolomoysky, soon after Obama (via Obama's agent Victoria Nuland) had installed Ukraine's new Government.

As I had written on 28 September 2019 , "In order to understand why Ukraine's President Voldomyr Zelensky doesn't want the dirt about Joe Biden to become public, one needs to know that Hunter Biden's boss and benefactor at Burisma Holdings was, at least partly, Zelensky's boss and benefactor until Zelensky became Ukraine's President, and that revealing this would open up a can of worms which could place that former boss and benefactor of both men into prison at lots of places ."

That article, at the phrase " dug up in 2012," discussed and linked to a careful 2012 study of Burisma which had actually been done in Ukraine by an investigative nonprofit (Antac) funded by America's billionaire George Soros (who was another major funder of the 2014 Ukrainian coup , as well as of Barack Obama's political career itself) in order to help to bring down Yanukovych. However, what this study found was not the incriminating evidence against Zlochevsky which had been hoped. It found instead that the person who owned the controlling interest in Burisma was not really the Yanukovych-supporter Mykola Zlochevsky; it was, in fact, the Ukrainian billionaire Ihor Kolomoysky, who supported Yanukovych's overthrow. Kolomoysky, shortly after the coup, became appointed as the governor in a region of Ukraine, by the Obama Administration's post-coup Ukrainian Government. Obama's financial backer Soros knew, or should have known, that Zlochevsky had sold almost all of his Burisma holdings to Kolomoysky in 2011, but Obama's Administration was nonetheless trying to get the newly installed Ukrainian Government to prosecute Zlochevsky because Zlochevsky was associated with the Ukrainian President whom Obama had just overthrown. Hunter Biden's function was to help to protect Mr. Kolomoysky against being targeted by the newly installed Government in the anti-corruption campaign that the Obama Administration and the EU were pressing upon that new Ukrainian Government. Hunter Biden was to serve as a US fixer for his new boss Kolomoysky, to deflect the anti-corruption campaign away from Kolomoysky as a target and toward Zlochevsky as a target. And Hunter's father, Joe Biden, followed through on that, by demanding that Ukraine prosecute Zlochevsky, not Kolomoysky. Soros isn't really against corruption; he is against corruption by countries that he wants to take over, and that he uses the US Government in order to take over. Neoconservatism is simply imperialism, which has always been the foreign-affairs ideology of aristocrats and of billionaires. (In America's case, that includes both Democratic and Republican billionaires.) So, it's just imperialism in America. All billionaires who care at all about international relations are imperialists; and, in America, that's called "neoconservative." The American issue regarding Ukraine was never actually Ukraine's corruption. Corruption is standard and accepted throughout the US-and-allied countries; but against countries they want to take over it becomes a PR point in order to win acceptance by the gulls, of their own country's imperialism and its own associated corruption. "Our country's corruption is acceptable, but yours is not," is the view. That's the standard imperialist view. Neoconservatism -- imperialism anywhere, actually -- is always based on lies. Imperialism, in fact, is part of nationalism, but it is excluded by patriotism; and no nationalist is a patriot. No patriot is a nationalist. Whereas a nationalist supports his country's billionaires, a patriot supports his country's residents -- all of them, his countrymen, on a democratic basis, everyone having equal rights, not the richest of the residents having the majority or all of the rights. A nationalist is one-dollar-one-vote; a patriot is one resident one vote. The only people who are intelligently nationalist are billionaires and the agents they employ. All other nationalists are their gulls. Everyone else is a patriot. Ordinarily, there are far more gulls than patriots.

Information hasn't yet been published regarding what Trump's agent Rudolph Giuliani has found regarding Burisma, but the links in the present article link through to the evidence that I am aware of, and it's evidence which contradicts what the US-and-allied press have been reporting about the Bidens' involvement in Ukraine. So: this information might be what Trump's team intend to reveal after the Democratic-Party-controlled House of Representatives indicts Trump (send to the Republican Senate a recommendation to replace him by Mike Pence as America's President), if they will do that; but, regardless, this is what I have found, which US-and-allied news-media have conspicuously been not only ignoring but blatantly contradicting – contradicting the facts that are being documented by the evidence that is presented here .Consequently, the links in this article prove the systematic lying by America's press, regarding Ukrainegate.

After the Soros-funded Antac had discovered in 2012 that Kolomoysky ruled Burisma, the great independent Australian investigative journalist who has lived for 30 years in and reported from Moscow, John Helmer , headlined on 19 February 2015 one of his blockbuster news-reports, "THE HUNT FOR BURISMA, PART II -- WHAT ROLE FOR IGOR KOLOMOISKY, WHAT LONDON MISSED, WHAT WASHINGTON DOESN'T WANT TO SEE" , and he linked there not only to Ukrainian Government records but also to UK Government records, and also to corporate records in Cyprus, Panama, and elsewhere, to document that, indeed, Kolomoysky controlled Burisma. So, all of the US-and-allied 'news'-reporting, which merely assumes that Zlochevsky controlled this firm when Hunter Biden became appointed to its board, are clearly false. (See this, for example, from Britain's Guardian , two years later, on 12 April 2017, simply ignoring both the Antac report and the even-more-detailed Helmer report, and presenting Zlochevsky -- Kolomoysky's decoy -- as the appropriate target to be investigated for Burisma's alleged corruption.) So: when Joe Biden demanded that Ukraine's Government prosecute Zlochevsky, Biden was not, as he claims he was, demanding a foreign Government to act against corruption; he was instead demanding that foreign Government (Ukraine) to carry out his own boss, Barack Obama's, agenda, to smear as much as he could Viktor Yanukovych -- the Ukrainian President whom Obama had overthrown. This isn't to say that Yanukovych was not corrupt; every post-Soviet Ukrainian President, and probably Prime Minister too, has been corrupt. Ukraine is famous for being corrupt. But, this doesn't necessarily mean that Zlochevsky was corrupt. However, Kolomoysky is regarded, in Ukraine, as being perhaps the most corrupt of all Ukrainians.

Perhaps Kolomoysky's major competitor has been Victor Pinchuk, who has long been famous in Washington for donating heavily to Bill and Hillary Clintons' causes. For example, on 11 March 2018, the independent investigative journalist Jeff Carlson, bannered "Victor Pinchuk, the Clintons & Endless Connections" and he reported that

Victor Pinchuk is a Ukrainian billionaire.

He is the founder of Interpipe, a steel pipe manufacturer. He also owns Credit Dnipro Bank, some ferroalloy plants and a media empire.

He is married to Elena Pinchuk, the daughter of former Ukrainian President Leonid Kuchma.

Pinchuk's been accused of profiting immensely from the purchase of state-owned assets at severely below-market prices through political favoritism.

Pinchuk used his media empire to deflect blame from his father-in-law, Kuchma, for the September 16, 2000 murder of journalist Georgiy Gongadze. Kuchma was never charged but is widely believed to have ordered the murder. A series of recordings would seem to back up this assertion.

On April 4 through April 12 2016, Ukrainian Parliamentarian Olga Bielkov had four meetings – with Samuel Charap (International Institute for Strategic Studies), Liz Zentos (National Security Council), Michael Kimmage (State Dept) and David Kramer (McCain Institute).

Doug Schoen filed FARA documents showing that he was paid $40,000 a month by Victor Pinchuk (page 5) – in part to arrange these meetings.

Schoen attempted to arrange another 72 meetings with Congressmen and media (page 10). It is unknown how many meetings took place.

Schoen has worked for both Bill and Hillary Clinton.

Schoen helped Pinchuk establish ties with the Clinton Foundation. The Wall Street Journal reported how Schoen connected Pinchuk with senior Clinton State Department staffers in order to pressure former Ukrainian President Yanukovych to release Yulia Tymoshenko – a political rival of Yanukovych – from jail.

The relationship between Pinchuk and the Clintons continued.

A large network of collaborators, all connected to NATO's PR agency the Atlantic Council, were also discussed and linked to; and, in one of the video clips, Victoria Nuland headed a panel discussion in Munich Germany at which numerous leading Democratic Party neoconservatives, and neoconservative foreign leaders, discussed how wonderful the "Deep State" is, and praised the Republican neocon John McCain, who had helped Victoria Nuland to install the fascist Government of Ukraine.

On 6 October 2019, Helmer headlined "UKRAINIAN OLIGARCH VICTOR PINCHUK IS PUTTING HIS MONEY ON JOE BIDEN FOR PRESIDENT AT $40,000 PER MONTH – THAT'S $3,000 MORE PER MONTH THAN BURISMA WAS PAYING HUNTER BIDEN" . He reported:

Joe Biden's campaign for president, as well as his defence against charges of corrupt influence peddling and political collusion in the Ukraine, are being promoted in Washington by the Ukrainian oligarch Victor Pinchuk through the New York lobbyist, candidate adviser and pollster, Douglas Schoen (left).

This follows several years of attempts by Pinchuk and Schoen to buy influence with Donald Trump, first as a candidate and then as president; with Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani; and with John Bolton, Trump's National Security Adviser in 2018 and 2019. Their attempts failed.

Pinchuk has been paying Schoen more than $40,000 every month for eight years. The amount of money is substantially greater than Biden's son Hunter Biden was paid by Pinchuk's Ukrainian rival Igor Kolomoisky through the oil company Burisma and Rosemont Seneca Bohai, Biden's New York front company.

Pinchuk's message for the Democratic candidates and US media, according to Schoen's Fox News [4] broadcast in August, is: "Stop killing your own, stop beating up on your own frontrunner, Joe Biden."

On November 12th, the New York Times headlined "Ukraine's President Seeks Face-to-Face Meeting With Putin" and reported that Zelensky is now sufficiently disturbed at the declining level of the EU's and Trump Administration's continuing support for Ukraine's Government, so that Zelensky is desperately trying to restore friendly relations with Russia. The next day, that newspaper bannered "A Ukrainian Billionaire Fought Russia. Now He's Ready to Embrace It." This report said: "Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia ." Kolomoysky, in other words, who had been on Obama's team in Ukraine, no longer is on the US team under Trump. A reasonable inference would be that Kolomoysky increasingly fears the possibility of being prosecuted. Continuation of the Obama plan for Ukraine seems increasingly unlikely.

Here are some crimes for which Kolomoysky might be prosecuted:

Allegedly, Kolomoysky, along with the newly appointed Ukrainian Interior Minister, Arsen Avakov, masterminded the 2 May 2014 extermination of perhaps hundreds of people who had been trapped inside Odessa's Trade Unions Building after those victims had distributed anti-coup flyers.

Allegedly, Kolomoysky, on 20 March 2015, brought to a board meeting of Ukraine's gas-distribution company UkrTransNafta, of which Kolomoysky was a minority shareholder, his hired thugs armed with guns , in an unsuccessful attempt to intimidate the rest of the board to impose Kolomoysky's choice to lead the company. Ukraine's President, Petro Poroshenko, soon thereafter, yielded to the pressure from Ukraine's bondholders to fire Kolomoysky as a regional governor, and then nationalized Ukraine's biggest bank, PrivatBank, which had looted billions of dollars from depositors' accounts and secreted the proceeds in untraceable offshore accounts, so that the bank had to be bailed out by Ukraine's taxpayers. (Otherwise, there would have been huge riots against Poroshenko.) Zelensky is squeezed between his funder and his public, and so dithers. For example, on 10 September 2019, the Financial Times reported that "The IMF has warned Ukraine that backsliding on Privatbank's nationalisation would jeopardise its $3.9bn standby programme and that officials expect Ukraine to push for recovery of the $5.5bn spent on rescuing the bank." Stealing $5.5B is a big crime, and this was Obama's Ukrainian Government. Will it also be Trump's?

There are others, but those could be starters.

So, both Kolomoysky and Zelensky are evidently now considering to seek Moscow's protection, though Kolomoysky had previously been a huge backer of, and helped to fund, killing of the Donbassers who rejected the Obama-imposed Russia-hating Ukrainian regime.

Any such prosecutions could open up, to international scrutiny, Obama's entire Ukrainian operation. That, in turn, would expose Obama's command-complicity in the ethnic cleansing operation , which Kolomoysky's co-planner of the 2 May 2014 massacre inside the Odessa Trade Unions Building, Arsen Avakov, euphemistically labelled the "Anti Terrorist Operation" or "ATO," to eliminate as many as possible of the residents in the former Donbass region of Ukraine, where over 90% of the voters had voted for Yanukovych.

It could also open up the enormous can of worms that is George Soros, because though Trump doesn't at all care about corruption in Ukraine (nor should he, since that's a Ukrainian domestic matter and therefore not appropriate and certainly not a matter of US national-security interest), Soros himself was quite possibly breaking both national and international laws in his interventions in Ukraine, and possibly also in his related investments or his threats not to invest there. Not only was he deeply involved in the coup but afterward he was regularly advising Victoria Nuland. Whether even America's laws against insider-trading were violated should also be considered.

If Putin offers no helping hand to Zelensky, what will happen to Ukraine, and to Ukrainians? Might Trump finally campaign for the United States to become one of the "States Parties" to the International Criminal Court , so that Obama, Nuland, Soros, and others who had overthrown Ukraine's democratically elected Government could be tried there? How would Trump be able to immunize himself for such crimes as his own 14 April 2018 unprovoked missile-attack against Syria ? How likely is it that he would ever actually become a supporter of international law, instead of an imperialist (such as he has always been) and therefore opponent of international law? He, after all, is himself a billionaire, and no billionaire has ever fought for international law except in an instance where he benefited from it -- never for international law itself . Trump isn't likely to be the first. But here's how it could happen:

Donald Trump has surrounded himself with neoconservatives. There's not much distance between his policies toward Ukraine versus Barack Obama's and Joe Biden's. However, after Trump becomes impeached in the House (if that happens) and the impeachment trial starts in the Republican US Senate, there will then be a perfect opportunity for Trump to embarrass the Democratic Party profoundly by exposing not only Joe Biden but Biden's boss Obama as having caused the war in Ukraine . In order for him to do that, however, he'd also need to expose the rot of neoconservatism. Nobody in Washington does that, except, perhaps the rebelling Democrat, Tulsi Gabbard, and she's rejected in the national polls now by the public within her own Party . Neoconservatism is the uniform foreign-policy ideology of America's billionaires, both Republican and Democratic, and this is why Washington is virtually 100% neocon. In America, wealth certainly doesn't trickle down, but ideology apparently does -- and that's not merely neoliberalism but also its international-affairs extension: neoconservatism. Nonetheless, if a Trump re-election ticket were Trump for President, and Gabbard for Vice President, it might be able to beat anything that the Democrats could put up against it, because Trump would then head a ticket which would remain attractive to Republicans and yet draw many independents and even the perhaps 5% of Democrats who like her. Only Sanders, if he becomes the Democratic nominee (and who is the least-neoconservative member of the US Senate), would attract some of Gabbard's supporters, but he wouldn't be getting any money from the 607 people who mainly fund American politics. The 2020 US Presidential contest could just go hog-wild. However, America's billionaires probably won't let that happen. Though there are only 607 of therm, they have enormous powers over the Government, far more than do all other Americans put together. The US Supreme Court made it this way, such as by the 1976 Buckley decision , and the 2010 Citizens United decision .

So: while justice in this impeachment matter (and in the 2020 elections) is conceivable, it is extremely unlikely. The public are too deceived -- by America's Big-Money people.

As the neoconservative Democratic Representative from Vermont, Peter Welch, said in the impeachment hearings, on November 19th :

And you know, I'll say this to President Trump. You want to investigate Joe Biden? You want to investigate Hunter Biden? Go at it. Do it. Do it hard. Do it dirty. Do it the way you do, do it. Just don't do it by asking a foreign leader to help you in your campaign. That's your job, it's not his.

My goal in these hearings is two things. One is to get an answer to Colonel Vindman's question ["Is it improper for the President of the United States to demand a foreign government investigate a United States citizen and political opponent?"] . And the second coming out of this is for us as a Congress to return to the Ukraine policy that Nancy Pelosi and Kevin McCarthy both support, it's not investigations, it's the restoration of democracy in Ukraine and the resistance of Russian aggression.

Though Zelensky had won Ukraine's Presidency by a record-shattering 73% because he had promised to end the war (which the US had started), America's Deep State are refusing to allow that -- they want to force him to accept more US-made weapons and more US training of Ukraine's troops in how to use them against its next-door neighbor Russia.

Furthermore, in some respects, Trump is even more neoconservative than Obama was. Trump single-handedly nullified Obama's only effective and good achievement, the Iran nuclear deal. Against Iran, Trump is considerably more of a neocon than was Obama. Trump has squeezed Iranians so hard with his sanctions as to block other countries from buying from and selling to Iran; and this blockade has greatly impoverished Iranians, who now are rioting against their Government. Trump wants them to overthrow their Government. His plan might succeed. Trump's biggest donor, Sheldon Adelson , hates Iranians, and Trump is his man. On Iran, Trump remains a super-neocon. Perhaps Adelson doesn't require him to hate Russians too.

Furthermore, on November 17th, the same day when riots broke out in Iran against Iran's Government, Abdullah Muradoğlu headlined in Turkey's newspaper Yeni Safak , "Bolivia's Morales was overthrown by a Western coup just like Iran's Mosaddeg" , and he presented strong circumstantial evidence that that coup, too -- which had occurred on November 10th -- had been a US operation. How could Trump criticize Obama for the coup against Ukraine when Trump's own coup against Bolivia is in the news? America is now a two-Party fascist dictatorship. One criminal US President won't publicly expose the crimes of another criminal US President who was his predecessor.

The next much-discussed witness that the Democrats brought forth to testify against Trump was America's Ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, on November 20th. Sondland was a hotels and real-estate tycoon like Trump. Prior to Trump's becoming President, Sondland had had no experience in diplomacy. At the start of 2017, "four companies registered to Sondland donated $1 million to the Donald Trump inaugural committee" ; and, then, a year later, Trump appointed him to this Ambassadorial post. Sondland evasively responded to the aggressive questioning by Senate Democrats trying to get him to say that Trump had been trying to "bribe" Zelensky. Then, the Lawfare Blog of the staunchly neoconservative Brookings Institution's Benjamin Wittes headlined "Gordon Sondland Accuses the President of Bribery" and Wittes asserted that "today, Amb. Gordon Sondland, testifying before the House in the ongoing impeachment inquiry, offered a crystal clear account of how President Trump engaged in bribery." But Sondland provided no evidence except his opinion, which can be seen online at "Opening Statement before the United States House of Representatives" , when he said:

Fourth, as I testified previously, Mr. Giuliani's requests were a quid pro quo for arranging a White House visit for President Zelensky. Mr. Giuliani demanded that Ukraine make a public statement announcing investigations of the 2016 election/DNC server and Burisma. Mr. Giuliani was expressing the desires of the President of the United States, and we knew that these investigations were important to the President.

However, in his prior (closed-door) 17 October 2019 testimony to the Senators, he had said (pp. 35-6) that on September 9th:

I asked the President, what do you want from Ukraine? The President responded, nothing. There is no quid pro. The President repeated, no quid pro. No quid pro quo multiple times. This was a very short call. And I recall that the President was really in a bad mood. I tried hard to address Ambassador Taylor's concerns because he is valuable and [an] effective diplomat, and I took very seriously the issues he raised. I did not want Ambassador Taylor to leave his post and generate even more turnover in the Ukraine Mission."

That "Ambassador Taylor" was William. B. Taylor Jr. , a West Point, Army, and NATO neoconservative, whom George W. Bush had made US Ambassador to Ukraine in 2006-9, and whom Trump, at the suggestion of Trump's neoconservative Secretary of State Mike Pompeo , had appointed to succeed Ambassador Yovanovitch in May.

The testimony of all of these people was entirely in keeping with their neoconservatism and was therefore extremely hostile toward anything but preparing Ukraine to join NATO and serve on the front line of America's war to conquer Russia . Trump might be too stupid to understand anything about ideology or geostrategy, but only if a person accepts neoconservatism is the anger that these subordinates of his express toward him for his being viewed by them as placing other concerns (whether his own, or else America's for withdrawing America from Obama's war against Russia) suitable reason for Congress to force Trump out of office. Given that Trump, even in Sondland's account, did say "The President responded, nothing. There is no quid pro. The President repeated, no quid pro. No quid pro quo multiple times," there is nothing that's even close to a "beyond a reasonable doubt" standard which is provided by their personal feelings that Trump had a quid-pro-quo about anything regarding Ukraine -- a policy of Obama's that Trump should instead firmly have abandoned and denounced as soon as he became President. Testimony from his own enemies, whom Trump had been stupid enough to have appointed, when he hadn't simply extended Obama's neoconservative policies and personnel regarding Ukraine, falls far short of impeachable. But right and wrong won't determine the outcome here anyway, because America has become a two-party, one-ideology, dictatorship.

This is what happens when billionaires control a country . It produces the type of foreign policies the country's billionaires want, rather than what the public actually need. This is America's Government, today. It's drastically different than what America's Founders had hoped. Instead of its representing the states equally with two Senators for each, and instead of representing the citizens equally, with proportional representation in the US House, and instead of yet a third system of the Electoral College for choosing the Government's Chief Executive and Commander-in-Chief, it has become thoroughly corrupted to being, in effect, one-dollar-one-vote -- an aristocracy of wealth controlling the entire Government -- exactly what the Founders had waged the Revolution in order to overthrow and prevent from ever recurring: a dictatorial aristocracy, as constituting our Government.

PS: Though I oppose almost everything that the hearings' Ranking Minority Member, the neoconservative (and, of course, also neoliberal) Republican Devin Nunes , stands for, I close here with his superb summary of the hearings, on November 21st , in which he validly described the Democrats' scandalously trashy Ukrainegate case against Trump (even though he refused to look deeper to the issues I raise in this article -- he dealt here merely with how "shoddy" the case the Democrats had presented was):

Throughout these bizarre hearings, the Democrats have struggled to make the case that President Trump committed some impeachable offense on his phone call with Ukrainian president Zelensky. The offense itself changes depending on the day ranging from quid pro quo to extortion, to bribery, to obstruction of justice, then back to quid pro quo. It's clear why the Democrats have been forced onto this carousel of accusations. President Trump had good reason to be wary of Ukrainian election meddling against his campaign and of widespread corruption in that country. President Zelensky, who didn't even know aid to Ukraine had been paused at the time of the call, has repeatedly said there was nothing wrong with the conversation. The aid was resumed without the Ukrainians taking the actions they were supposedly being coerced into doing.

Aid to Ukraine under President Trump has been much more robust than it was under President Obama, thanks to the provision of Javelin anti-tank weapons. As numerous witnesses have testified, temporary holds on foreign aid occur fairly frequently for many different reasons. So how do we have an impeachable offense here when there's no actual misdeed and no one even claiming to be a victim? The Democrats have tried to solve this dilemma with a simple slogan, "he got caught." President Trump, we are to believe, was just about to do something wrong and getting caught was the only reason he backed down from whatever nefarious thought crime the Democrats are accusing him of almost committing.

I once again urge Americans to continue to consider the credibility of the Democrats on this Committee, who are now hurling these charges for the last three years. It's not president Trump who got caught, it's the Democrats who got caught. They got caught falsely claiming they had more than circumstantial evidence that Trump colluded with Russians to hack the 2016 election. They got caught orchestrating this entire farce with the whistleblower and lying about their secret meetings with him. They got caught defending the false allegations of the Steele dossier, which was paid for by them. They got caught breaking their promise that impeachment would only go forward with bipartisan support because of how damaging it is to the American people.

They got caught running a sham impeachment process between secret depositions, hidden transcripts, and an unending flood of Democrat leaks to the media. They got caught trying to obtain nude photos of President Trump from Russian pranksters pretending to be Ukrainians, and they got caught covering up for Alexandra Chalupa, a Democratic National Committee operative, who colluded with Ukrainian officials to smear the Trump campaign by improperly redacting her name from deposition transcripts, and refusing to let Americans hear her testimony as a witness in these proceedings. That is the Democrats pitiful legacy in recent years. They got caught.

Meanwhile, their supposed star witness testified that he was guessing that President Trump was tying Ukrainian aid to investigations despite no one telling him that was true, and the president himself explicitly telling him the opposite, that he wanted nothing from Ukraine. Ladies and gentlemen, unless the Democrats once again scramble their kangaroo court rules, today's hearing marks the merciful end of this spectacle in the Impeachment Committee, formerly known as the Intelligence Committee. Whether the Democrats reap the political benefit they want from this impeachment remains to be seen, but the damage they have done to this country will be long lasting. Will this wrenching attempt to overthrow the president? They have pitted Americans against one another and poison the mind of fanatics who actually believe the entire galaxy of bizarre accusations they have levelled against the president since the day the American people elected him.

I sincerely hope the Democrats in this affair [end this] as quickly as possible so our nation can begin to heal the many wounds it has inflicted on us. The people's faith in government and their belief that their vote counts for something has been shaken. From the Russia hoax to this shoddy Ukrainian sequel, the Democrats got caught. Let's hope they finally learn a lesson, give their conspiracy theories a rest, and focus on governing for a change. In addition, Mr. Chairman, pursuant to House Rule XI, clause 2(j)(1), the Republican members transmit a request to convene a minority day of hearings. Today you have blocked key witnesses that we have requested from testifying in this partisan impeachment inquiry. This rule was not displaced by H.Res.660, and therefore under House Rule 11 clause 1(a), it applies to the Democrats impeachment inquiry. We look forward to the chair promptly scheduling an agreed upon time for the minority day of hearings so that we can hear from key witnesses that you have continually blocked from testifying.

I'd also like to take a quick moment on an assertion Ms. Hill made in the statement that she submitted to this Committee, in which she claimed that some Committee members deny that Russia meddled in the 2016 election. As I noted in my opening statement on Wednesday, but in March, 2018, Intelligence Committee Republicans published the results of a year long investigation into Russian meddling. The 240 page report analyzed 2016 Russian meddling campaign, the US government reaction to it, Russian campaigns in other countries and provided specific recommendations to improve American election security. I would [have] asked my staff to hand these reports to our two witnesses today just so I can have a recollection of their memory. As America may or may not know, Democrats refused to sign on to the Republican report. Instead, they decided to adopt minority views, filled with collusion conspiracy theories. Needless to say, it is entirely possible for two separate nations to engage in election meddling at the same time, and Republicans believe we should take meddling seriously by all foreign countries regardless of which campaign is the target.

Later that same day, the New York Times headlined "The Impeachment Hearings Revealed a Lot -- None of It Great for Trump" , and CNN headlined "The public impeachment hearings were a total GOP disaster" . The non-mainstream news-medium Zero Hedge instead bannered, "Amid Impeachment Circus, Dems Sneak PATRIOT Act Renewal Past The American People" , and reported that the "bill was pushed through with not a single Republican vote." The following day, the AP headlined "Analysis: Mountain of impeachment evidence is beyond dispute" and closed "Asked what the consequences are if Congress allows an American president to ask a foreign government to investigate a political rival, [Fiona] Hill said simply, 'It's a very bad precedent.'"

The latest (2019) Reuters international survey in which over 2,000 people in each one of 38 countries were asked whether they agree that "You can trust most news most of the time" shows that the United States scores #32 out of the 38, at the very top of the bottom 16% of all of the 38 countries surveyed, regarding trust in the news-media. Reuters had previously found, in their 2018 edition , that, among Americans, "those who identify on the left (49%) have almost three times as much trust in the news as those on the right (17%). The left gave their support to newspapers like the Washington Post and New York Times while the right's alienation from mainstream media has become ever more entrenched." In the 2019 edition, what had been 49% rose now to 53%, and what had been 17% sank now to 9%: the billionaires' (i.e., mainstream) media are trusted now almost only by liberals. What the media report is considered trustworthy almost only by liberals, in today's America. By 53% to only 9% -- an almost 6 to 1 ratio -- the skeptics of the billionaires' press are Republicans. Of course, if the media are distrusted, then the nation can't be functioning as a democracy. But the media will be distrusted if they lie as much as America's do. Untrusted 'news'-media are a sure indication that the nation is a dictatorship (such as it is if the billionaires control the media). In America, only liberals think that America is a democracy and therefore might possess the basic qualification (democracy) to decide what nations need to be regime-changed (such as America did to Iran, Iraq, Libya, Honduras, Bolivia, and is still trying to do to Venezuela, Cuba, Nicaragua, Iran again, Syria, and Yemen; but not to -- for examples -- Saudi Arabia, UAE, and Israel). Liberals trust America's dictatorship as if it were instead a democracy. Conservatives do not; nor, of course, do progressives. FDR's vision, of a United Nations which would set and enforce the rules for international relations (neither the US nor any other country would do that), is now even more rejected by the Democratic Party than by the Republican Party. And the politically topsy-turvy result is Democrats trying to impeach the Republican Trump for his trying to cut back on Obama's imperialistic ( anti -FDR) agenda. Trump, after all, didn't do the coup to Ukraine; Obama did .


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.

[Dec 23, 2019] How 2 Soviet migr s Fueled the Trump Impeachment Flames - The New York Times

Dec 23, 2019 | www.nytimes.com

... ... ...

Over a dinner of the "Presidential Cheeseburger" and wedge salad, Mr. Parnas relayed a rumor that Marie L. Yovanovitch, then the American ambassador to Ukraine, was bad-mouthing the president -- an unsubstantiated claim that Ms. Yovanovitch has denied, according to two people with knowledge of the dinner.

The exchange foreshadowed the role that Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman would come to play in Mr. Trump's Ukrainian campaign.

Less than two weeks later, Mr. Parnas met with another critic of Ms. Yovanovitch, Representative Pete Sessions of Texas, in his Washington congressional office. Mr. Parnas, who had recently met Mr. Sessions at a fund-raiser, showed him a map of a crucial pipeline related to their gas venture, a photo shows.

By the end of the meeting, though, the topic had shifted to Ms. Yovanovitch, and Mr. Parnas reiterated what he had heard, a person briefed on the meeting said. After the meeting, Mr. Sessions sent a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo saying that Ms. Yovanovitch had spoken disdainfully of the Trump administration, and suggesting her removal. Mr. Sessions, who lost his re-election bid last year, has previously said he wrote the letter independently of Mr. Parnas and Mr. Fruman, after speaking to congressional colleagues.

Federal prosecutors contend in the indictment against Mr. Parnas that he was not just making small talk but sought to oust Ms. Yovanovitch "at the request of one or more Ukrainian government officials," which could be a violation of federal laws that require Americans to register with the Justice Department when lobbying for foreign political interests. The indictment did not name any Ukrainian officials.

The men have not been charged with anything related to Ms. Yovanovitch, but prosecutors have said that additional charges are likely, at least for Mr. Parnas .

... ... ...

[Dec 18, 2019] Rudy Giuliani Yovanovitch Was Part Of The Cover-Up, She Had To Be Ousted

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that's not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion." ..."
Dec 17, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Via SaraACarter.com,

"Trump was simply asking new Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky -- in a July phone call -- to investigate crimes at the "highest levels" of both Kiev and Washington," Rudy Giuliani, a personal attorney for President Trump, told Laura Ingraham on "The Ingraham Angle."

"So, he is being impeached for doing the right thing as president of the United States," he said.

Giuliani told Laura Ingraham on "The Ingraham Angle" that he helped forced out Yovanovitch because she was corrupt and obstructing the investigation into Ukraine and the Bidens.

Dem's impeachment for innocent conduct is intended to obstruct the below investigations of Obama-era corruption:

- Billions of laundered $
- Billions, mostly US $, widely misused
- Extortion
- Bribery
- DNC collusion w/ Ukraine to destroy candidate Trump

Much more to come.

-- Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 15, 2019

He told Ingraham that he needed her out of the way because she was corrupt. Giuliani said he was not the first person to go to the president with concerns about the diplomat.

In more tweets Tuesday, Giuliani elaborated:

Yovanovitch needed to be removed for many reasons most critical she was denying visas to Ukrainians who wanted to come to US and explain Dem corruption in Ukraine. She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that's not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion.

-- Rudy Giuliani (@RudyGiuliani) December 17, 2019

" Yovanovitch needed to be removed for many reasons most critical she was denying visas to Ukrainians who wanted to come to US and explain Dem corruption in Ukraine.

She was OBSTRUCTING JUSTICE and that's not the only thing she was doing. She at minimum enabled Ukrainian collusion."

https://youtu.be/qFCeznGIXKs


G. Wally , 2 hours ago link

Here is why she had to go:

"

Dirty Money: George Soros' Corrupt Ties to Ukraine

https://100percentfedup.com/dirty-money-george-soros-corrupt-ties-to-ukraine/

Marie Yovanovitch was dismissed in March after Trump's allies said she was blocking the probe of Joe Biden and bad-mouthing the Ukrainian Prosecutor General Lutsenko said that she gave him a "do not prosecute list", that included Ukraine MPs and the exact same Sorosfunded NGO president.

George Soros, Marie Yovanovitch, Democrats & Ukraine: How the ...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O51qzCacd-o

Nov 19, 2019Several sources claim former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, instructed Ukraine officials to keep their hands off investigating the NGO in Ukraine founded by George Soros. Why?"

Any questions? As Putin warned the US: "ask about the 5th floor of the State Department." (where Soros held court!). No wonder the US Commies hate Putin.

American_Buffalo , 3 hours ago link

In case you're wondering where this is headed.....all roads lead to Bill Clinton - the most corrupt man who ever set foot in the White House.

LEEPERMAX , 5 hours ago link

Wow

ONE AMERICA NEWS EXCLUSIVE:

"GUILIANI UKRAINE DOCUMENTARY"

(Part 1) https://youtu.be/Fn4weTY-2zE

(Part 2) https://youtu.be/BK2coiDHLZ4

(Part 3) https://youtu.be/wRFtijtoV6I

Lucifer's Chosen People , 7 hours ago link

MUST READ!!! THOSE US CONGRESSMEN AND SENATORS THAT HAVE DUAL US/ISRAELI CITIZENSHIP

https://conservative-headlines.org/89-of-our-senators-and-congress-hold-dual-citizenship-with-israel/

AlexTheCat3741 , 7 hours ago link

What the Shiffhead Impeachment hearings demonstrated with the appearances of Ms. Yankonitbitch, Bowtie George, and the other "Dindunuffin/Donnonuffin Clowns" is just how much American Taxpayers' money is being wasted employing a bunch of sanctimonious drones who do nothing but get in the way of progress. Successful Corporations remove dead wood like that with downsizing and shakeups. But the Federal Government seems immune to efficiency because our elected officials NEVER DO THEIR JOBS BY USING ZERO BASE BUDGETING TO JUSTIFY EVERY ******* DOLLAR. And so, we now hear of yet another Omnibus Budget being foisted onto American Taxpayers and more wasteful spending that never, never, never, gets reduced. We need a Taxpayer's Revolution in this Country to stop the corrupt theft.

And one more thing: What the Ukrainian Matter reveals is how Foreign Aid is dispensed, handed out by the foreign recipient, and the funds are laundered and kicked back to the corrupt politicians and Deep State Operatives like the Bidens. If $400 Million in palletized untraceable cash can be delivered via a clandestine unmarked airplane at night to Iran supposedly for ransom as the Socialist Media Complex would have us believe in a way that is not consistent with long practiced methods for funds transfer, can we imagine all the billions that have quietly been stolen from us to enrich scum like Barack Obola, Quid Pro Joe, The Clintons, and so many others? IN THE MEANTIME, PRESIDENT TRUMP CAN'T GET A DIME TO SPEND ON BUILDING A WALL TO STOP THE ILLEGAL ALIEN COCKROACH INVASION.

MauiJeff , 7 hours ago link

Yovanovitch pulled the "poor me federal" employee act. I worked for the Feds for 31 years most as a manger and Yovanovitch victim act is what all federal employees pull when they get in trouble. Blah Blah my 30 years of service, my awards, my appraisals blah blah. She said that she had no concern about Hunter Biden while being hailed as a corruption fighter. Blah blah.

DaiRR , 8 hours ago link

It's a crime that State Department people and ambassadors can have the same ethnic origin as the countries they serve in. It's a recipe for personal/family agendas, corruption and not representing the best interests of the United States. Of course if you're a DemoRat, you're always corrupt, as they have proven it is a given.

wdg , 9 hours ago link

Rudy Giuliani: Yovanovitch Was Part Of The Cover-Up, She Had To Be Ousted.

"Ousted"? I thought the penalty for high treason was hanging. What are they waiting for? Hang the lot and in a public square near Congress so that all the traitors who reside in Congress and the highest levels of government and banking get a sense of what awaits them.

peippe , 9 hours ago link

she acted in the best interests of the former WH.

she was a good little bitch, just didn't notice the chess board had changed hands.

That's why Trump removed her. Can't punish an ignorant former ambassador any more that that.

chubbar , 10 hours ago link

I sure hope Trump wakes the **** up and stops this nonsense in NY!!!!

https://www.conservativereview.com/news/trump-must-go-new-yorks-violation-federal-immigration-law/

"At the end of the month, almost all criminals arrested for state crimes in New York, including sex crimes , will be released without posting bail. It is a suicidal policy, but it is nonetheless the state’s prerogative to engage in such suicide. What is not its prerogative is the New York law that took effect this week granting driver’s licenses to illegal aliens and blocking ICE access to criminal enforcement information. We have a national union with a federal government controlling immigration for a reason, and it’s time for the Trump administration to show state officials who has the final say over this issue.

Beginning this week, the NY state government is inviting any and all illegal aliens , with or without criminal records, to apply for driver’s licenses. As documentation , they can offer consular ID cards, which are fraught with fraud, expired work permits, or foreign birth certificates. They can even offer Border Crossing Cards, which are only valid for 72 hours and for a stay in the country near the border area! The state law further prohibits state and county officials from disclosing any information to ICE and bars ICE and Customs and Border Protection (CBP) from accessing N.Y. Department of Motor Vehicles (NYDMV) records and information.

Rocco Vertuccio@RoccoNY1

This is the line outside a @nysdmv office in #Queens . About a 100 most #undocumentedimmigrants applying for a drivers license for the first time bc #greenlightlaw is now in effect.

656

7:52 AM - Dec 16, 2019

Twitter Ads info and privacy

1,237 people are talking about this

It’s truly hard to overstate the enormity of the public safety crisis this law, dubbed “the green light law,” will spawn. There are currently 3.3 million aliens in the ICE non-detained docket who remain at large in this country. Just in one year, ICE put detainers on aliens criminally charged with 2,500 homicides. Given that New York has the fourth largest illegal alien population in the country, it is virtually certain that a large number of criminal aliens reside in the state and will now be offered legal resident documents to shield them from removal.

Some might suggest that this is the problem of New York’s residents and that it is their job and their responsibility alone to overturn these laws. But the difference between this law and their general pro-criminal laws is that when it comes to immigration, they simply lack the power to enact such a policy. Rather than the DHS and DOJ bemoaning these laws, it’s time for the Trump administration to actually stop them in their tracks. Otherwise the Supremacy Clause of the Constitution is nothing but ink on parchment.

A violation of federal law and the Constitution

8 U.S.C. § 1324 makes a felon of anyone who “knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that an alien has come to, entered, or remains in the United States in violation of law, conceals, harbors, or shields from detection, or attempts to conceal, harbor, or shield from detection, such alien in any place.” That statute also makes a criminal of anyone who “encourages or induces an alien to come to, enter, or reside in the United States, knowing or in reckless disregard of the fact that such coming to, entry, or residence is or will be in violation of law” or anyone who “engages in any conspiracy to commit any of the preceding acts, or aids or abets the commission of any of the preceding acts.” Some form of this law has been on the books since 1891.

NY’s new law not only harbors illegal aliens but actually calls on the DMV to notify illegal aliens of any ICE interest in their files. There is only one purpose of this law: to tip off criminal alien fugitives that ICE is looking for them, the most literal violation of the law against shielding them from detection. Would we allow state officials to block information to the FBI, ATF, or DEA?

Moreover, New York’s Green Light law violates the entire purpose of the infamous 1986 amnesty bill, the Immigration Reform and Control Act (IRCA), which was “to combat the employment of illegal aliens.” The law specifically makes it “illegal for employers to knowingly hire, recruit, refer, or continue to employ unauthorized workers.” Yet the rationale for the Green Light Law, according to supporters , was “getting to work” and “ensure that our industries have the labor they need to keep our economy moving.” That directly conflicts with federal law.

Finally, 8 U.S.C. 1373 prohibits state and local government from “in any way restrict[ing]

, any government entity or official from sending to, or receiving from, the Immigration and Naturalization Service information regarding the citizenship or immigration status, lawful or unlawful, of any individual.” The entire purpose of this bill is to restrict all New York government entities from sending information on citizenship status to ICE.

Whether one disagrees with immigration laws or not, nobody can argue that the federal government lacks the power to enforce them. Immigration law is one of the core jobs of the federal government. People are free to go to any state once they are in the country, which is why the Founders transferred immigration policy from the states under the Articles of Confederation to the federal government under the Constitution.

This is why James Madison in Federalist #42 bemoaned that, under the Articles of Confederation, there was a “very serious embarrassment” whereby “an alien therefore legally incapacitated for certain rights in the [one state], may by previous residence only in [another state], elude his incapacity; and thus the law of one State, be preposterously rendered paramount to the law of another, within the jurisdiction of the other.” He feared that without the Constitution’s new idea of giving the federal Congress power “to establish an uniform Rule of Naturalization,” “certain descriptions of aliens, who had rendered themselves obnoxious” would choose states with weak immigration laws as entry points into the union and then move to any other state as legal residents or citizens.

As for immigration without naturalization, because of the issue of the slave trade, the first clause of Article I, Section 9 bars Congress from prohibiting “the Migration or Importation of such Persons as any of the States now existing shall think proper to admit” until the year 1808. Well, Congress has long exercised that power to exclude over the past 200 years. New York has lacked the ability to maintain its own separate immigration scheme for quite some time.

When did the federal government become weak in the face of state rebellion?"

Serapis , 10 hours ago link

The diplomatic service made a big mistake when they abandoned the practice of preventing people from serving in countries where they have an ethnic connection

jovanivic is part of a rabid Ukrainian diaspora, chased out of the country by the Red Army for collaboration with the Nazis.

these people have a vicious, insatiable desire for revenge ...and the US does not need these kind of biases mucking things up

cuba is a similar sit

[Dec 17, 2019] Neocons like car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility because ther profession is to lie in order to sell weapons to the publin, much like used car saleme lie to sell cars

Highly recommended!
Dec 17, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

karlof1 , Dec 16 2019 20:51 utc | 22

Neocons lie should properly be called "threat inflation"

The underlying critical point-at-issue is credibility as I noted in my comment on b's 2017 article. I've since linked to tweets and other items by that trio; the one major change seems to have been the epiphany by them that they needed to go to where the action is and report it from there to regain their credibility.

The fact remains that used car salespeople have a stereotypical reputation for lacking credibility sans a confession as to why they feel the need to lie to sell cars.

Their actions belie the guilt they feel for their choices, but a confession works much better at assuaging the soul while helping convince the audience that the change in heart's genuine. And that's the point as b notes--genuineness, whose first predicate is credibility.

[Dec 17, 2019] Did The Supreme Court Just Pull The Rug Out From Under Article Of Impeachment by Alan Dershowitz

Notable quotes:
"... House Democrats should seriously consider dropping this second article in light of the recent Supreme Court action. In fairness, this development involving the high court occurred after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee made up their minds to include obstruction of Congress as an impeachment article. Yet the new circumstances give some Democratic members of Congress, who may end up paying an electoral price if they support the House Judiciary Committee recommendation, meaningful reason for voting against at least one of the articles of impeachment. ..."
"... The first article goes too far in authorizing impeachment based on the vague criterion of abuse of power. But it is the second article that truly endangers our system of checks and balances and the important role of the courts as the umpires between the legislative and executive branches under the Constitution. It would serve the national interest for thoughtful and independent minded Democrats to join Republicans in voting against the second article of impeachment, even if they wrongly vote for the first. ..."
Dec 16, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alan Dershowitz, op-ed via The Hill,

The decision by the Supreme Court to review the lower court rulings involving congressional and prosecution subpoenas directed toward President Trump undercuts the second article of impeachment that passed the House Judiciary Committee along party lines last week.

That second article of impeachment charges President Trump with obstruction of Congress for refusing to comply with congressional subpoenas in the absence of a final court order. In so charging him, the House Judiciary Committee has arrogated to itself the power to decide the validity of its subpoenas, as well as the power to determine whether claims of executive privilege must be recognized, both powers that properly belong with the judicial branch of our government, not the legislative branch. The House of Representatives will do likewise, if it votes to approve the articles, as is expected to occur on Wednesday.

President Trump has asserted that the executive branch, of which he is the head, need not comply with congressional subpoenas requiring the production of privileged executive material, unless there is a final court order compelling such production. He has argued, appropriately, that the judicial branch is the ultimate arbiter of conflicts between the legislative and executive branches. Therefore, the Supreme Court decision to review these three cases, in which lower courts ruled against President Trump, provides support for his constitutional arguments in the investigation.

The cases that are being reviewed are not identical to the challenged subpoenas that form the basis for the second article of impeachment. One involves authority of the New York district attorney to subpoena the financial records of a sitting president, as part of any potential criminal investigation. The others involve authority of legislative committees to subpoena records as part of any ongoing congressional investigations.

But they are close enough. Even if the high court were eventually to rule against the claims by President Trump, the fact that the justices decided to hear them, in effect, supports his constitutional contention that he had the right to challenge congressional subpoenas in court, or to demand that those issuing the subpoenas seek to enforce them through court.

It undercuts the contention by House Democrats that President Trump committed an impeachable offense by insisting on a court order before sending possibly privileged material to Congress. Even before the justices granted review of these cases, the two articles of impeachment had no basis in the Constitution. They were a reflection of the comparative voting power of the two parties, precisely what one of the founders, Alexander Hamilton, warned would be the "greatest danger" of an impeachment.

House Democrats should seriously consider dropping this second article in light of the recent Supreme Court action. In fairness, this development involving the high court occurred after Democrats on the House Judiciary Committee made up their minds to include obstruction of Congress as an impeachment article. Yet the new circumstances give some Democratic members of Congress, who may end up paying an electoral price if they support the House Judiciary Committee recommendation, meaningful reason for voting against at least one of the articles of impeachment.

It would be a smart way out for those Democrats. More important, it would be the right thing for them to do. It would be smart and right because, as matters now stand, the entire process smacks of partisanship, with little concern for the precedential impact which these articles could have on future impeachments. If a few more Democrats voted in a way that would demonstrate greater nuanced recognition that, at the least, the second article of impeachment represents an overreach based on current law, it would lend an aura of some nonpartisan legitimacy to the proceedings.

The first article goes too far in authorizing impeachment based on the vague criterion of abuse of power. But it is the second article that truly endangers our system of checks and balances and the important role of the courts as the umpires between the legislative and executive branches under the Constitution. It would serve the national interest for thoughtful and independent minded Democrats to join Republicans in voting against the second article of impeachment, even if they wrongly vote for the first.

[Dec 10, 2019] Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Sundance

Notable quotes:
"... Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress . ..."
"... What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently. ..."
"... Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch. ..."
Dec 10, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Former Ukrainian Prosecutor Exposes Yovanovich Perjury, George Kent's Motive To Impeach Trump by Tyler Durden Mon, 12/09/2019 - 19:40 0 SHARES

Authored by Sundance via the Conservative Treehouse

In a fantastic display of true investigative journalism, One America News journalist Chanel Rion tracked down Ukrainian witnesses as part of an exclusive OAN investigative series. The evidence being discovered dismantles the baseless Adam Schiff impeachment hoax and highlights many corrupt motives for U.S. politicians.

Ms. Rion spoke with Ukrainian former Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko who outlines how former Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch perjured herself before Congress .

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

What is outlined in this interview is a problem for all DC politicians across both parties. The obviously corrupt influence efforts by U.S. Ambassador Yovanovitch as outlined by Lutsenko were not done independently.

Senators from both parties participated in the influence process and part of those influence priorities was exploiting the financial opportunities within Ukraine while simultaneously protecting Joe Biden and his family. This is where Senator John McCain and Senator Lindsey Graham were working with Marie Yovanovitch.

Imagine what would happen if all of the background information was to reach the general public? Thus the motive for Lindsey Graham currently working to bury it.

You might remember George Kent and Bill Taylor testified together.

It was evident months ago that U.S. chargé d'affaires to Ukraine, Bill Taylor, was one of the current participants in the coup effort against President Trump. It was Taylor who engaged in carefully planned text messages with EU Ambassador Gordon Sondland to set-up a narrative helpful to Adam Schiff's political coup effort.

Bill Taylor was formerly U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine ('06-'09) and later helped the Obama administration to design the laundry operation providing taxpayer financing to Ukraine in exchange for back-channel payments to U.S. politicians and their families.

In November Rudy Giuliani released a letter he sent to Senator Lindsey Graham outlining how Bill Taylor blocked VISA's for Ukrainian 'whistle-blowers' who are willing to testify to the corrupt financial scheme.

Unfortunately, as we are now witnessing, Senator Lindsey Graham, along with dozens of U.S. Senators currently serving, may very well have been recipients for money through the aforementioned laundry process. The VISA's are unlikely to get approval for congressional testimony, or Senate impeachment trial witness testimony.

U.S. senators write foreign aid policy, rules and regulations thereby creating the financing mechanisms to transmit U.S. funds. Those same senators then received a portion of the laundered funds back through their various "institutes" and business connections to the foreign government offices; in this example Ukraine. [ex. Burisma to Biden]

The U.S. State Dept. serves as a distribution network for the authorization of the money laundering by granting conflict waivers , approvals for financing (think Clinton Global Initiative), and permission slips for the payment of foreign money. The officials within the State Dept. take a cut of the overall payments through a system of "indulgence fees", junkets, gifts and expense payments to those with political oversight.

If anyone gets too close to revealing the process, writ large, they become a target of the entire apparatus. President Trump was considered an existential threat to this entire process. Hence our current political status with the ongoing coup.

Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch, Senator Lindsey Graham and Senator John McCain meeting with corrupt Ukraine President Petro Poroshenko in December 2016.

It will be interesting to see how this plays out , because, well, in reality all of the U.S. Senators (both parties) are participating in the process for receiving taxpayer money and contributions from foreign governments.

A "Codel" is a congressional delegation that takes trips to work out the payments terms/conditions of any changes in graft financing. This is why Senators spend $20 million on a campaign to earn a job paying $350k/year. The "institutes" is where the real foreign money comes in; billions paid by governments like China, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Ukraine, etc. etc. There are trillions at stake.

[SIDEBAR: Majority Leader Mitch McConnell holds the power over these members (and the members of the Senate Intel Committee), because McConnell decides who sits on what committee. As soon as a Senator starts taking the bribes lobbying funds, McConnell then has full control over that Senator. This is how the system works.]

The McCain Institute is one of the obvious examples of the financing network. And that is the primary reason why Cindy McCain is such an outspoken critic of President Trump. In essence President Trump is standing between her and her next diamond necklace; a dangerous place to be.

So when we think about a Senate Impeachment Trial; and we consider which senators will vote to impeach President Trump, it's not just a matter of Democrats -vs- Republican. We need to look at the game of leverage, and the stand-off between those bribed Senators who would prefer President Trump did not interfere in their process.

McConnell has been advising President Trump which Senators are most likely to need their sensibilities eased. As an example President Trump met with Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski in November. Senator Murkowski rakes in millions from the multinational Oil and Gas industry; and she ain't about to allow horrible Trump to lessen her bank account any more than Cindy McCain will give up her frequent shopper discounts at Tiffanys.

Senator Lindsey Graham announcing today that he will not request or facilitate any impeachment testimony that touches on the DC laundry system for personal financial benefit (ie. Ukraine example), is specifically motivated by the need for all DC politicians to keep prying eyes away from the swamps' financial endeavors. WATCH:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/HnMb1R1XsyM

This open-secret system of "Affluence and Influence" is how the intelligence apparatus gains such power. All of the DC participants are essentially beholden to the various U.S. intelligence services who are well aware of their endeavors.

There's a ton of exposure here (blackmail/leverage) which allows the unelected officials within the CIA, FBI and DOJ to hold power over the DC politicians. Hold this type of leverage long enough and the Intelligence Community then absorbs that power to enhance their self-belief of being more important than the system.

Perhaps this corrupt sense of grandiosity is what we are seeing play out in how the intelligence apparatus views President Donald J Trump as a risk to their importance.


bhakta , 48 minutes ago link

It is all about cash. Nothing else matters to these people in DC.

Helg Saracen , 42 minutes ago link

Everyone loves money. I like money. The only question is how to earn them. Neither I, nor you, nor many of us will cross a certain moral and ethical line (border), but there are people without morality, without ethical standards, without conscience. We all look the same outwardly, but we are all completely different inside.

Colonel Klinks Ghost , 59 minutes ago link

Jesus Christ I'm glad McStain is gone. So many other corrupt officials need a good brain cancer.

Helg Saracen , 47 minutes ago link

You are an evil person. It was a tragedy. Surgeons failed to save the unfortunate tumor from McCain. ;)

Helg Saracen , 1 hour ago link

Ukraine is Obama's **** , this is not Trump's ****. Trump's stupidity was only one - he got into this ****. I wrote, but I repeat - USA acted as the best friend in relation to Russia, having taken off a leech from Russia and hanging it on itself. Do you know such an estate of Rothschilds - called Israel and its role in the life of USA?

So, Ukraine was for the Russians the same Israel in terms of meaningless spending. Look at Vlad, in 2014 he looked like a fox who was eating a chicken, and on January 1, 2020 he will look like a fox who eating a whole brood of chickens. I think he has portraits of Obama and Trump in his bedroom.

Cat Daddy , 4 hours ago link

Yes, indeed. Lindsey will bury the story, he is on the take. Your tax dollars at work. By the way, the Fed picked up all of the Ukies gold for safekeeping at 33 Liberty St. NY, with Yats permission, of course.... https://www.zerohedge.com/news/2014-11-18/ukraine-admits-its-gold-gone

hanekhw , 4 hours ago link

A glimpse into how elected officials accumulate millions, retire wealthy, pampered and privileged....and I'm not talking pensions I'm talking corruption. Obama, Biden, Hillary, Kerry, Holder, Rice and ALL the senior Obama Administration officials knew of each other's corrupt sinecures.

Soloamber , 4 hours ago link

I am willing to give Graham the benefit of doubt because the alternative means some serious **** is coming .

The politicians have gotten comfortable that people will do nothing . BIG mistake .

Biden seems see oblivious to what he's done and perhaps this explains it . It's ******* routine .

Lets see their financial records from the day they were elected to the present .

SoDamnMad , 20 minutes ago link

You will find very little information. City of London offshore trusts cover their tracks.

Dumpster Elite , 4 hours ago link

The author actually seems to know what's going on behind the curtain, and not just blindly speculating.

docloxvio , 2 hours ago link

Well, it is based on a OAN story. Believe it or not, they actually sent a reporter to Ukraine to talk to people with knowledge of the matter and look what they came up with. Kind of makes you wonder why other well funded news organizations never thought to do something like that.

peippe , 2 hours ago link

it's been known for at least weeks that the embassy Kunt withheld travel visas for Ukraine State attorneys.

so this in endemic,

till Trump. I love this.

Soloamber , 4 hours ago link

How does Obama buy a $ 11+ million water front estate ?

Book sales ? Nah don't think so .

You know what it costs to operate a house and property that big each year plus all the other trappings ?

He ain't driving a 64 Cricket automatic .

Gore left politics with what $2 million and now has over $200 million .

Saving the planet pays big doesn't ?

If Lindsey Graham is part of this where does it end ?

The politicians and central bankers are bankrupting the country , dumping $trillions in debt on kids that can't vote

and now we find out they are taking massive bribes ?

Really not sure if Trump can fix the broken system by himself .

If this is true the Senate will vote him out .

Serrano , 4 hours ago link

Sen. Graham tells Maria Bartiromo he will end impeachment quickly: 1 min. 27 sec.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5DZDDzoG-SI

Birdbob , 5 hours ago link

Shocker Lindsay Graham willing to betray public trust for Dollars? That is what we deserve.

Lord Raglan , 4 hours ago link

I don't know that we deserve this. We are all working people, with families to raise, taxes to pay and the Dems and Commies have been working against us 24/7. And most of them get paid to do so from government jobs that pay them 8 hours a day when many work 1 hour a day, all the while scheming against us.

If Trump wins a second term, he is gonna **** these people up good.

PrideOfMammon , 3 hours ago link

No he isnt. He IS these people.

teolawki , 5 hours ago link

Now that I've read the article, I'm both shocked and appalled at learning that Ukraine is a money laundering operation for the politically connected. (They provide many other 'perks' as well.)

I've warned about light in the loafers Lindsey as well as McConnell before and more than once. Sessions should also be denied a re-admission into the swamp. There are others.

[Dec 09, 2019] The Interagency Isn t Supposed to Rule in Foreign Policy

Notable quotes:
"... I first heard of the interagency in Baghdad in 2009. I was there as part of a Council on Foreign Relations delegation to Iraq. As a U.S. Army general briefed us on how the war was being fought, he spoke of the interagency as the source of the strategy he was executing. Naively, I asked why he wasn't operating according to orders from his military superiors or the secretary of defense. ..."
"... He explained that American war-fighting was being guided by a "whole of government" philosophy. Incredibly, he explained that the war couldn't be won without, among other agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor. Iraq needed economic expansion, modern farming, business statistics, new hospitals, a working court system and workplace regulations. The strategy framed by the interagency was nothing less than a yearslong engagement in nation building -- precisely what President George W. Bush had rejected in his 2000 campaign. ..."
"... When the war on terror opened, with all the secret activity it required, professional cadres in the diplomatic corps, the military and the nation's many intelligence agencies were able to transform interagency cooperative agreements that had existed since the Cold War into a de facto agency -- a largely informal and virtual bureaucracy -- with the assumed power, if need be, to determine and execute a foreign policy at odds with the intent of the president and Congress. ..."
"... Last month's testimony before the Intelligence Committee shed light on this club whose members are a permanent shadow government credentialed by family histories, elite schools and unique career experiences. This common pedigree informs their perspective of how America should relate to the world. The dogmatists of the interagency seem to share a common discomfort with a president who probably couldn't describe the doctrine of soft power, doesn't desire to be the center of attention at Davos, and wouldn't know that Francis Fukuyama once decided that history was over. ..."
Dec 09, 2019 | www.wsj.com

Enthusiasm over entrepreneurship is now found in every corner of society -- even, apparently, within the federal bureaucracy. Witness after witness in last month's House impeachment inquiry hearings referred to "the interagency," an off-the-books informal government organization that we now know has enormous power to set and execute American foreign policy.

The first to testify before the House Intelligence Committee, State Department official George Kent, seemed to conceive of the interagency as the definitive source of foreign-policy consensus. That Mr. Trump's alleged decision to withhold military aid to Ukraine deviated from that consensus was, for Mr. Kent, prima facie evidence that it was misguided.

Next up, Ambassador William Taylor told the committee that it was the "unanimous opinion of every level of interagency discussion" that the aid should be resumed without delay. Fiona Hill, a former National Security Council official, gave the game away by admitting how upset she was that Gordon Sondland, President Trump's ambassador to the European Union, had established an "alternative" approach to helping Kyiv. "We have a robust interagency process that deals with Ukraine," she said.

What is the interagency, and why should its views guide the conduct of American diplomatic and national-security professionals? The Constitution grants the president the power to set defense and diplomatic policy. Where did this interagency come from?

I first heard of the interagency in Baghdad in 2009. I was there as part of a Council on Foreign Relations delegation to Iraq. As a U.S. Army general briefed us on how the war was being fought, he spoke of the interagency as the source of the strategy he was executing. Naively, I asked why he wasn't operating according to orders from his military superiors or the secretary of defense.

How Did Adam Schiff Get Devin Nunes's Phone Records? How did Adam Schiff get Devin Nunes's phone records? bb0282a3-e4cb-42ba-9988-2f3df57fd912@1.00x Created with sketchtool.

He explained that American war-fighting was being guided by a "whole of government" philosophy. Incredibly, he explained that the war couldn't be won without, among other agencies, the U.S. Agency for International Development and the departments of Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Justice and Labor. Iraq needed economic expansion, modern farming, business statistics, new hospitals, a working court system and workplace regulations. The strategy framed by the interagency was nothing less than a yearslong engagement in nation building -- precisely what President George W. Bush had rejected in his 2000 campaign.

Interagency cooperative agreements have been around for decades. The Justice Department, for example, has opioid-interdiction programs that require it to work with the Department of Homeland Security. Today a dictionary of more than 12,500 official terms exists to guide bureaucrats in writing interagency contracts that repurpose federal funds appropriated to various executive departments. Often these interdepartmental initiatives devised by bureaucrats are unknown to Congress. It's hard to imagine that the legislative branch wouldn't object to these arrangements, if only it were aware of them.

When the war on terror opened, with all the secret activity it required, professional cadres in the diplomatic corps, the military and the nation's many intelligence agencies were able to transform interagency cooperative agreements that had existed since the Cold War into a de facto agency -- a largely informal and virtual bureaucracy -- with the assumed power, if need be, to determine and execute a foreign policy at odds with the intent of the president and Congress.

Last month's testimony before the Intelligence Committee shed light on this club whose members are a permanent shadow government credentialed by family histories, elite schools and unique career experiences. This common pedigree informs their perspective of how America should relate to the world. The dogmatists of the interagency seem to share a common discomfort with a president who probably couldn't describe the doctrine of soft power, doesn't desire to be the center of attention at Davos, and wouldn't know that Francis Fukuyama once decided that history was over.

The impeachment hearings will have served a useful purpose if all they do is demonstrate that a cabal of unelected officials are fashioning profound aspects of U.S. foreign policy on their own motion. No statutes anticipate that the president or Congress will delegate such authority to a secret working group formed largely at the initiation of entrepreneurial bureaucrats, notwithstanding that they may be area experts, experienced in diplomatic and military affairs, and motivated by what they see as the best interests of the country.

However the impeachment drama plays out, Congress has cause to enact comprehensive legislation akin to the Goldwater-Nichols Act of 1986, which created more-efficient structures and transparent processes in the Defense Department. Americans deserve to know who really is responsible for making the nation's foreign policy. The interagency, if it is to exist, should have a chairman appointed by the president, and its decisions, much like the once-secret minutes of the Federal Reserve, should be published, with limited and necessary exceptions, for all to see.

Mr. Schramm is a university professor at Syracuse. His most recent book is "Burn the Business Plan."

[Dec 08, 2019] Tim Morrison as yet another neocon hawk

So a republican staffer, a neocon without any diplomatic experience was the NSC senior director of European and Russian affairs, the successor of Fiona Hill.
Dec 08, 2019 | www.cbsnews.com
Washington -- A top National Security Council official who listened to President Trump's July call with the president of Ukraine told lawmakers he "promptly" told White House lawyers he was concerned details of the call would become public, but did not think "anything illegal was discussed" during the conversation.

Tim Morrison, the outgoing senior director of European and Russian affairs at the National Security Council and a deputy assistant to the president, is testifying before committees leading the impeachment inquiry on Capitol Hill on Thursday. He has emerged as a central witness to the events at the center of the inquiry, particularly the administration's policy toward Ukraine.

CBS News learned the substance of his opening statement to the committees, which ran six pages and appears below. Morrison said the summary released by the White House of the call between Mr. Trump and Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky accurately reflects his memory and understanding of the call, but he said he had three concerns in the event the summary became public.

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"[F]irst, how it would play out in Washington's polarized environment; second, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners currently experience in Congress; and third, how it would affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship," Morrison, who was in the Situation Room for the call, told lawmakers. "I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed."

However, he also corroborated a central allegation in the Democratic case against the president: that a U.S. ambassador told a high-ranking Ukrainian official that the release of military aid was contingent on an investigation into the Bidens.

Tim Morrison arrives for a deposition at the Capitol in Washington, D.C., on October 31, 2019. SAUL LOEB / AF

Morrison said his predecessor, Fiona Hill, told him about "concerns about two Ukraine processes that were occurring": one led by traditional U.S. diplomatic entities, and one led by the U.S. Ambassador the E.U. Gordon Sondland and Rudy Giuliani, the president's personal lawyer. He said Hill told him about their efforts to get Ukraine to investigate Burisma, the Ukrainian energy company that had employed Hunter Biden, former Vice President Joe Biden's son.

"At the time, I did not know what Burisma was or what the investigation entailed," Morrison said. "After the meeting with Dr. Hill, I googled Burisma and learned that it was a Ukrainian energy company and that Hunter Biden was on its board."

Morrison said he spoke frequently with Bill Taylor, the top U.S. diplomat in the embassy in Kiev. Taylor testified before the committees last week and described his misgivings about efforts to pressure Ukraine to open investigations into the president's rivals. Morrison, in his statement, confirmed the substance of Taylor's account, but said he remembered two details differently.

Taylor testified that Morrison told him Sondland had demanded the Ukrainian president announce an investigation into Burisma, while Morrison said he remembered Sondland saying an announcement by the country's top prosecutor would suffice. Taylor also indicated Morrison met with the Ukrainian national security adviser in his hotel room, while Morrison said it was in the hotel's business center.

Morrison said he learned about a delay in military aid to Ukraine shortly after assuming his post, and was tasked with coordinating with various agencies to demonstrate why the aid was needed.

"I was confident that our national security principals -- the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the head of the National Security Council -- could convince President Trump to release the aid," he said.

Morrison testified he had "no reason to believe" the Ukrainians knew of a delay in military aid until August 28, and said he was unaware the aid may have been tied to the demand for an investigation into Burisma until he spoke to Sondland on September 1.

Morrison arrived on Capitol Hill before 8 a.m. Thursday for his deposition after Democrats issued a subpoena for his testimony. A spokesman for House Intelligence Committee chairman declined to comment on his opening statement. Morrison appeared on the same day the House approved a resolution greenlighting the rules for impeachment proceedings moving forward.

On Wednesday, officials said Morrison would be leaving his White House post. He said in his statement he has yet to submit his resignation "because I do not want anyone to think there is a connection between my testimony today and my impending departure."

"I am proud of what I have been able, in some small way, to help the Trump Administration to accomplish," he said.

Read Morrison's full statement

Opening Statement of Timothy Morrison

Before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, the House Committee on Foreign Affairs, and the House Committee on Oversight and Reform

October 31, 2019

Chairman Schiff and Members of the Committees, I appear today under subpoena to answer your questions about my time as Senior Director for European Affairs at the White House and the National Security Council ("NSC"). I will give you the most complete information I can, consistent with my obligations to the President and the protection of classified information. I do not know who the whistleblower is, nor do I intend to speculate as to who it may be.

Before joining the NSC in 2018, I spent 17 years as a Republican staffer, serving in a variety of roles in both houses of Congress. My last position was Policy Director for the then-Majority Staff of the House Armed Services Committee.

I. The Role of the National Security Council

From July 9, 2018 to July 15, 2019, I served as a Special Assistant to the President for National Security and as the NSC Senior Director for Weapons of Mass Destruction and Biodefense. In that role, I had limited exposure to Ukraine, focusing primarily on foreign military sales and arms control. On July 15, 2019, I became Deputy Assistant to the President for National Security. In this role, I serve as the lead interagency coordinator for national security issues involving Europe and Russia.

It is important to start with the role of the NSC. Since its creation by Congress in 1947, the NSC has appropriately evolved in shape and size to suit the needs of the President and the National Security Advisor it serves at the time. But its mission and core function has fundamentally remained the same: to coordinate across departments and agencies of the Executive Branch to ensure the President has the policy options he needs to accomplish his objectives and to see that his decisions are implemented. The NSC staff does not make policy. NSC staff are most effective when we are neutral arbiters, helping the relevant Executive Branch agencies develop options for the President and implement his direction.

In my current position, I understood our primary U.S. policy objective in Ukraine was to take advantage of the once-in-a-generation opportunity that resulted from the election of President Zelensky and the clear majority he had gained in the Ukrainian Rada to see real anti-corruption reform take root. The Administration's policy was that the best way for the United States to show its support for President Zelensky's reform efforts was to make sure the United States' longstanding bipartisan commitment to strengthen Ukraine's security remained unaltered, it is easy to forget here in Washington, but impossible in Kyiv, that Ukraine is still under armed assault by Russia, a nuclear-armed state. We also tend to forget that the United States had helped convince Ukraine to give up Soviet nuclear weapons in 1994. United States security sector assistance (from the Departments of Defense and State) is, therefore, essential to Ukraine. Also essential is a strong and positive relationship with Ukraine at the highest levels of our respective governments.

In my role as Senior Director for European Affairs, I reported directly to former Deputy National Security Advisor, Dr. Charles Kupperman, and former National Security Advisor, Ambassador John Bolton. I kept them fully informed on matters that I believed merited their awareness or when I felt I needed some direction. During the time relevant to this inquiry, I never briefed the President or Vice President on matters related to Ukrainian security. It was my job to coordinate with the U.S. Embassy Chief of Mission to Ukraine William Taylor, Special Representative for Ukraine Negotiations Kurt Volker, and other interagency stakeholders in the Departments of Defense and State of Ukrainian matters.

My primary responsibility has been to ensure federal agencies had consistent messaging and policy guidance on national security issues involving European and Russian affairs. As Dr. Fiona Hill and I prepared for me to succeed her, one of the areas we discussed was Ukraine. In that discussion, she informed me of her concerns about two Ukraine processes that were occurring: the normal interagency process led by the NSC with the typical department and agency participation and a separate process that involved chiefly the U.S. Ambassador to the European Union. Dr. Hill told me that Ambassador Sondland and President Trump's personal lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, were trying to get President Zelensky to reopen Ukrainian investigations into Burisma. At the time, I did not know what Burisma was or what the investigation entailed. After the meeting with Dr. Hill, I googled Burisma and learned that it was a Ukrainian energy company and that Hunter Biden was on its board. I also did not understand why Ambassador Sondland would be involved in Ukraine policy, often without the involvement of our duly-appointed Chief of Mission, Ambassador Bill Taylor.

My most frequent conversations were with Ambassador Taylor because he was the U.S. Chief of Mission in Ukraine and I was his chief conduit for information related to White House deliberations, including security sector assistance and potential head-of-state meetings. This is a normal part of the coordination process.

II. Review of Open Source Documents in Preparation for Testimony

In preparation for my appearance today, I reviewed the statement Ambassador Taylor provided this inquiry on October 22, 2019. I can confirm that the substance of his statement, as it relates to conversations he and I had, is accurate. My recollections differ on two of the details, however. I have a slightly different recollection of my September 1, 2019 conversation with Ambassador Sondland. On page 10 of Ambassador Taylor's statement, he recounts a conversation I relayed to him regarding Ambassador Sondland's conversation with Ukrainian Presidential Advisor Yermak. Ambassador Taylor wrote: "Ambassador Sondland told Mr. Yermak that security assistance money would not come until President Zelensky committed to pursue the Burisma investigation." My recollection is that Ambassador Sondland's proposal to Mr. Yermak was that it could be sufficient if the new Ukrainian prosecutor general -- not President Zelensky -- would commit to pursue the Burisma investigation. I also would like to clarify that I did not meet with the Ukrainian National Security Advisor in his hotel room, as Ambassador Taylor indicated on page 11 of his statement. Instead, an NSC aide and I met with Mr. Danyliuk in the hotel's business center.

I also reviewed the Memorandum of Conversation ("MemCont') of the July 25 phone call that was released by the White House. I listened to the call as it occurred from the Situation Room. To the best of my recollection, the MemCon accurately and completely reflects the substance of the call. I also recall that I did not see anyone from the NSC Legal Advisor's Office in the room during the call. After the call, I promptly asked the NSC Legal Advisor and his Deputy to review it. I had three concerns about a potential leak of the MemCon: first, how it would play out in Washington's polarized environment; second, how a leak would affect the bipartisan support our Ukrainian partners currently experience in Congress; and third, how it would affect the Ukrainian perceptions of the U.S.-Ukraine relationship. I want to be clear, I was not concerned that anything illegal was discussed.

III. White House Hold on Security Sector Assistance

I was not aware that the White House was holding up the security sector assistance passed by Congress until my superior, Dr. Charles Kupperman, told me soon after I succeeded Dr. Hill. I was aware that the President thought Ukraine had a corruption problem, as did many others familiar with Ukraine. I was also aware that the President believed that Europe did not contribute enough assistance to Ukraine. I was directed by Dr. Kupperman to coordinate with the interagency stakeholders to put together a policy process to demonstrate that the interagency supported security sector assistance to Ukraine. I was confident that our national security principals -- the Secretaries of State and Defense, the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency, and the head of the National Security Council -- could convince President Trump to release the aid because President Zelensky and the reform-oriented Rada were genuinely invested in their anti-corruption agenda.

Ambassador Taylor and I were concerned that the longer the money was withheld, the more questions the Zelensky administration would ask about the U.S. commitment to Ukraine. Our initial hope was that the money would be released before the hold became public because we did not want the newly constituted Ukrainian government to question U.S. support.

I have no reason to believe the Ukrainians had any knowledge of the review until August 28, 2019. Ambassador Taylor and I had no reason to believe that the release of the security sector assistance might be conditioned on a public statement reopening the Burisma investigation until my September 1, 2019 conversation with Ambassador Sondland. Even then I hoped that Ambassador Sondland's strategy was exclusively his own and would not be considered by leaders in the Administration and Congress, who understood the strategic importance of Ukraine to our national security.

I am pleased our process gave the President the confidence he needed to approve the release of the security sector assistance. My regret is that Ukraine ever learned of the review and that, with this impeachment inquiry, Ukraine has become subsumed in the U.S. political process.

IV. Conclusion

After 19 years of government service, I have decided to leave the NSC. I have not submitted a formal resignation at this time because I do not want anyone to think there is a connection between my testimony today and my impending departure. I plan to finalize my transition from the NSC after my testimony is complete.

During my time in public service, I have worked with some of the smartest and most self-sacrificing people in this country. Serving at the White House in this time of unprecedented global change has been the opportunity of a lifetime. I am proud of what I have been able, in some small way, to help the Trump Administration to accomplish.

[Dec 07, 2019] I wasn't sure how to characterize McMaster and Kelly. My sense was that they represented the foreign policy establishment consensus, ergo neocon by default.

Notable quotes:
"... It may be as simple as Trump does not really know what he's doing. He doesn't seem to understand the complexity and dynamics of foreign policy. The way he handled Israel is an example as well as some of the bombs he ordered dropped on Afghanistan and Syria. Was he behind that or was someone else? ..."
"... After Bolton came onboard, and then Eliot Abrams, the 24/7 Russia-gate suddenly stopped. That was also around the time USA was fomenting a Venezuelan coup. Was obvious that Russia-Gate was designed to control Trump. ..."
"... The US had power, and no-one else had any. That's all they needed to know, and set about creating new, wonderfully intoxicating realities. As Rove famously inverted the MO they'll act first, creating realities and the analysis and calculation can come later. In awe of their creations, they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang, with no understanding how they got there. Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination. ..."
"... If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar. ..."
Dec 07, 2019 | www.unz.com

gsjackson , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 3:44 am GMT

@Z-man I wasn't sure how to characterize McMaster and Kelly. My sense was that they represented the foreign policy establishment consensus, ergo neocon by default.

I share your optimism about Trump -- because it's the only strand of hope out there, and his enemies are so impeccably loathsome -- but am fully prepared to be proved wrong.

TellTheTruth-2 , says: Website Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 3:50 am GMT
The neocon communist warmongers have Trump all tied up. Trumping Trump: A Gulliver Strategy (right click) https://medium.com/everyvote/trumping-trump-a-gulliver-strategy-3fc96e4d5d93
renfro , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 4:53 am GMT

"How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But this doesn't explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees."

It started before Bolton came on board.

Believe Trump when he says "Loyalty to me first". And that begins with his son in law Jared .his former personal attorney Jason Greenblatt .his former bankruptcy attorney David Friedman and his largest donor Sheldon Adelson .

Trump is too stupid to see that his Zios have no loyalty to him. Trump doesn't appoint anyone, doesn't even know anyone to appoint to national security or foreign policy. He never had any associations or confidents in his business life in NY except the above Jews .

Ask yourself how a 29 year old Jewish boy (now gone) with zero experience got brought onto the WH NSC. He was recommended by Gen. Flynn who did it as a favor to Zio Frank Gaffney of Iraq fame, and Jared because he was a friend of Jared and Gaffney was a friend Ezra's family. ..getting the picture?

All Trumps appointments look like a chain letter started by Kushner and his Zio connections.

freedom-cat , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 5:51 am GMT
It may be as simple as Trump does not really know what he's doing. He doesn't seem to understand the complexity and dynamics of foreign policy. The way he handled Israel is an example as well as some of the bombs he ordered dropped on Afghanistan and Syria. Was he behind that or was someone else?

He's a walking contradiction.

After Bolton came onboard, and then Eliot Abrams, the 24/7 Russia-gate suddenly stopped. That was also around the time USA was fomenting a Venezuelan coup. Was obvious that Russia-Gate was designed to control Trump.

There was a lull in the attacks on Trump between the time they stopped the 24/7 Russia-gate garbage and start of Impeachment inquiry.

He did something else to tick them all off, so now impeachment is on front burner.

Erebus , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 10:34 am GMT
@FB

the 'permanent foreign policy establishment'

AKA, the Imperial Staff.

In the days of Kissinger, Baker, et al the Imperial Staff were well coached in the Calculus of Power, knew the limits to Empire and thrived within them. Since the end of history, and the apparent end of limits, policy makers had no more need of realists and their confusing calculations and analyses.

The US had power, and no-one else had any. That's all they needed to know, and set about creating new, wonderfully intoxicating realities. As Rove famously inverted the MO they'll act first, creating realities and the analysis and calculation can come later. In awe of their creations, they failed to notice that while history may have ended in Washington, elsewhere it moved on to surround them with a reality where they found themselves in zugzwang, with no understanding how they got there. Flailing (and wailing) like a Mastodon in a tar pit, they've managed only to attract an unhelpful crowd of onlookers, fascinated by the abomination.

In the second term watch out Trump is not as dumb as they think

I too believe he isn't dumb, but the real question is whether he's playing the fool in furtherance of a plan, or whether it's just who he is and his successes are accidental.

The Deep State's (aka: PFPE's) ongoing behaviour indicates that Trump's using buffoonery to work a plan that's anathema to their created realities, and their increasing shrillness indicates it's working. At every turn, he's managed to make unavailable the resources their reality called for. From the M.E., to the Ukraine to N. Korea to Venezuela, things just aren't working the way they're supposed to. In fact, they're invariably working out in a way that exposes the Deep State's ineptitude and malevolence, and maximizes its embarrassment.

If that's so, his is the most extraordinary political performance I thought I'd ever see. Even though I can't imagine a more effective single handed way to accomplish what he promised to do, that he's lasted this long and has been so effective is astonishing. I guess we'll see if he abandons buffoonery when his opponents finally sink into the tar.

Fascinating.

Pandour , says: Website Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 1:37 pm GMT
Decades old rhetorical question and answer-the indolent, indoctrinated and illiterate masses who only care about the Super Bowl and other sports,Disneyland and burgers. Twelve per cent of Americans have never heard of the Vice President Mike Pence - that is 30,870,000 American adults.
Johnny Walker Read , says: Next New Comment December 7, 2019 at 2:11 pm GMT
Who Is Making US Foreign Policy?

It is the same people who have been making it since the creation of central banks in America (all three of them).

Never in the history of America, probably never in the history of any country, had there been such open and direct control of governmental activities by the very rich. So long as a handful of men in Wall Street control the credit and industrial processes of the country, they will continue to control the press, the government, and, by deception, the people. They will not only compel the public to work for them in peace, but to fight for them in war. – John Turner, 1922

[Dec 06, 2019] Who Is Making US Foreign Policy by Stephen F. Cohen

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive. ..."
"... The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain. ..."
"... Listen to the podcast here ..."
"... War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate ..."
"... The John Batchelor Show ..."
"... Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline! ..."
"... You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills. ..."
"... It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy. ..."
"... CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it. ..."
"... We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them. ..."
"... Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise. ..."
"... Perhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards. ..."
"... Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as . ..."
"... Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board. ..."
"... There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value. ..."
"... In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determination ..."
"... Trump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The ' heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice. ..."
"... To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.) ..."
"... or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric? ..."
"... The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid. ..."
"... "TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ". Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ? ..."
"... Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad. ..."
"... Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things. ..."
Dec 06, 2019 | www.unz.com
President Trump campaigned and was elected on an anti-neocon platform: he promised to reduce direct US involvement in areas where, he believed, America had no vital strategic interest, including in Ukraine. He also promised a new détente ("cooperation") with Moscow.

And yet, as we have learned from their recent congressional testimony, key members of his own National Security Council did not share his views and indeed were opposed to them. Certainly, this was true of Fiona Hill and Lt. Col. Alexander Vindman. Both of them seemed prepared for a highly risky confrontation with Russia over Ukraine, though whether retroactively because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.

Similarly, Trump was slow in withdrawing Marie Yovanovitch, a career foreign service officer appointed by President Obama as ambassador to Kiev, who had made clear, despite her official position in Kiev, that she did not share the new American president's thinking about Ukraine or Russia. In short, the president was surrounded in his own administration, even in the White House, by opponents of his foreign policy and presumably not only in regard to Ukraine.

How did this unusual and dysfunctional situation come about? One possibility is that it was the doing and legacy of the neocon John Bolton, briefly Trump's national security adviser. But this doesn't explain why the president would accept or long tolerate such appointees.

A more plausible explanation is that Trump thought that by appointing such anti-Russian hard-liners he could lay to rest the Russiagate allegations that had hung over him for three years and still did: that for some secret nefarious reason he was and remained a "Kremlin puppet." Despite the largely exculpatory Mueller report, Trump's political enemies, mostly Democrats but not only, have kept the allegations alive.

The larger question is who should make American foreign policy: an elected president or Washington's permanent foreign policy establishment? (It is scarcely a "deep" or "secret" state, since its representatives appear on CNN and MSNBC almost daily.) Today, Democrats seem to think that it should be the foreign policy establishment, not President Trump. But having heard the cold-war views of much of that establishment, how will they feel when a Democrat occupies the White House? After all, eventually Trump will leave power, but Washington's foreign-policy "blob," as even an Obama aide termed it , will remain.

Listen to the podcast here . Stephen F. Cohen Stephen F. Cohen is a professor emeritus of Russian studies and politics at New York University and Princeton University. A Nation contributing editor, his most recent book, War With Russia? From Putin & Ukraine to Trump & Russiagate , is available in paperback and in an ebook edition. His weekly conversations with the host of The John Batchelor Show , now in their sixth year, are available at www.thenation.com .


Curmudgeon , says: December 5, 2019 at 8:49 pm GMT

because of Moscow's 2014 annexation of Crimea or for more general reasons was not entirely clear.

In an otherwise decent overview, this sticks out like a sore thumb. It would be helpful to stop using the word annexation. While correct in a technical sense – that Crimea was added to the Russian Federation – the word comes with all kinds of connotations, that imply illegality and or force. Given Crimea was given special status when gifted to Ukraine for administration by the USSR, one could just as easily apply "annexation" of Crimea to Ukraine. After Ukraine voted to "leave" the USSR, Crimea voted to join Ukraine. Obviously the "Ukrainian" vote did not include Crimea. Even after voting to join Ukraine, Crimea had special status within Ukraine, and was semi autonomous. If you can vote to join, you can vote to leave. Either you have the right to self determination, or you don't.

Rebel0007 , says: December 5, 2019 at 10:38 pm GMT
This is what is so infuriating, Stephen! These silent coups of the executive branch have been taking place for my entire life! Both parties are guilty of refusing to appoint cabinet members that the elected presidents would have chosen for themselves, because both parties are more interested in making the president of the opposing party look bad, make him ineffective, and incapable of carrying out policies that he was elected to carry out. That is the very definition of treason!

Things are a disaster. The JCPOA is at the heart of the issue and Trump and his advisors stubborn refusal to capitulate on this issue very well may cause Trump to lose the 2020 election. Trump's anti-Iranian fever is every bit as ludicrous as the DNC's anti-Russian fever. There is absolutely nothing to support the anti-Iranian policy argument or the anti JCPOA argument. The only thing that is missing from all of this is Iranian hookers, and that would certainly be an explosive headline!

The anti-Iranian fever has created so much havoc not only with Iran, but with every country on earth other than Israel, Saudi Arabia, and the UAE. Germany announced that it is seeking to unite with Russia, not only for Gazprom, but is now considering purchasing defense systems from Russia, and Germany is dictating EU policy, by and large. Germany has said that Europe must be able to defend itself independent of America and is requesting an EU military and Italy is on board with this idea, seeking to create jobs and weapons for its economy and defense.

The EU is fed up with the economic sanctions placed on countries that the U.S. has black-listed, particularly Russia and Iran, and China as well for Huwaei 5G.

Nobody in their right mind could ever claim this to be the free market capitalism that Larry Kudlow espouses!

National Institute for Study of the O... , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:00 pm GMT
You know why Rhodes called it the blob, right? Why he made it sound so formless and squishy? Ask yourself, how does a failed novelist with zilch for foreign-affairs credentials get the big job of Obama's ventriloquist? That's a CIA billet. It so happens that Rhodes' brother has a big job of his own with CBS News, the most servile of the Mockingbird media propaganda mills.

It's not a blob, it's a precisely-articulated hierarchy. And the top of it is CIA. So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who. For the CIA show trial run by Iran/Contra nomenklatura Bill Barr and his blackmailed flunky Durham, Trump's high crime and misdemeanor is conducting diplomacy without CIA supervision. They come out and say so, pointing to the National Security Act's mousetrap bureaucracy.

CIA runs your country. They've got impunity, they do what they want. We've got 400,000 academics paid to overthink it.

follyofwar , says: December 5, 2019 at 11:53 pm GMT
@Curmudgeon Pat Buchanan also uses the word "annexation" all the time.
Rebel0007 , says: December 6, 2019 at 4:31 am GMT
National Institute for the study of the obvious,

The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.

It is a political game between to competing kleptocratic cults. The DNC and RNC are whores and will do what ever their donors tell them to do. That is also treason. This country is just a total wasteland.

Everyone has pledged allegiance to fraud.

Too big to fail, like the Titanic and the Hindenberg.

We cannot trust that the people that destroyed the country will repair it. It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths. If they were limited to just the CIA, America would be in far better shape than its in. The CIA is not capable of thinking or intelligence, so we should stop paying them.

Haxo Angmark , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 6:01 am GMT
Drumpf has been a tool of the Wall Street/Las Vegas Zionist billionaires for many, many years. so his selection of warmongering Zio neo-con advisors should be no surprise.
Monty Ahwazi , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:03 am GMT
What kind of stupid question is this? You mean you don't know or asking us for confirmation? If you really don't know then why are you writing an article about it? If you do know then why are you asking the UNZ readers?
animalogic , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:21 am GMT
Perhaps part of the reason that Trump often seems to be surrounded by people who don't support his policies or values is, as Paul Craig Roberts suggested in 2016, that Trump would have real problems simply because he was an outsider. An outsider to the Washington swamp, a swamp that Clinton had been swimming in for decades. In short he didn't know who to trust, who to keep "in the tent" & who to shut out. Thus, we have had this huge churn in Secretaries & on so on downwards.
EdNels , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:49 am GMT
@Rebel0007

It is run by a Cult of Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths.

That's ok but it's a bit unfair to Hedonistic Satanic Psychopaths After all most of the country is Hedonistic as hell, it sells commercials or wtf. Satanic is philosophical and way over the heads of these clowns, though if the be a Satan, then they are in the plan for sure, and right on the mark. As for psychopaths, those are criminals who are insane, but they can have remorse and be their own worst enemies, often they just go off and go psycho and bad things happen, but can be unplanned off the wall stuff, not diabolic.

Sociopaths are the ones that do the worst because they lack any concern or "Empathy", like robots. So I read that the socio's are some of the brightest people who often are very successful in business etc. and can hide the fact that they would soon as kill as look at ya, but cool as ice, all they want is to get what the hell they want! They don't give a rats petoot who likes likes it or not, except as .

So, once upon a time, a people got so hedonistic and they didn't watch the game and theier leaders were low quality (especially religeous/morals ) and long story short Satan unleashed the Socio's , Things seem to be heading disastrously, so will bit coin save the day? Green nudeal?

Jon Baptist , says: December 6, 2019 at 6:54 am GMT
The simple questions that beg to be asked are who are the accusers and what media agencies are providing the amplification to transmit these accusations?
https://forward.com/news/national/434664/impeachment-trump-democrats-jewish/
https://www.jta.org/2019/11/15/politics/the-tell-the-jewish-players-in-impeachment

There is also this link courtesy of Haass' CFR – https://www.cfr.org/backgrounder/russia-trump-and-2016-us-election

While massive attention is directed towards Russia and the Ukraine, the majority of the public are shown the slight of hand and their attention is never brought near to the real perpetrators of subverting American and British foreign policy.

https://electronicintifada.net/content/watch-film-israel-lobby-didnt-want-you-see/25876
http://joshdlindsay.com/2019/04/the-israel-lobby-in-the-u-s-al-jazeera-documentary/
The Truth Archive
2K subscribers
The Israeli Lobby in the United States of America (2017) – Full Documentary HD

polistra , says: December 6, 2019 at 7:49 am GMT
Doesn't matter if he's surrounded. A president CAN make foreign policy, and a president CAN fire people who disagree with his policy. Trump hasn't fired any of the neocons, but he proved that he CAN fire defense executives. He fired the Sec of Navy for disagreeing with some ridiculous personal thing that Trump wanted to do. Since Trump hasn't fired any neocons, we have to conclude that he's fully on board.
sally , says: December 6, 2019 at 8:51 am GMT
@Rebel0007

The CIA has no authority what so ever as defined by the supreme law of the land, the constitution. That would make them guilty of a coup which would be an act of treason, so if what you claim is true, why have they not been prosecuted.

--
first off the supreme law of the land maybe the Constitution and to oppose it may be Treason, but the Law that is supreme to the Law of the land is Human rights law.. it is far superior to, and it is the TLD of all laws of the land of all of the Nation States that mankind has allowed the greedy among its masses, to impose.

There are so many security holes in the constitution of the USA including that it was ratified by those who invented it, not by a vote put to the people that would be made to suffer being governed by it. Basically the USA is useless as a defender of human rights (one of which is the right to self determination). The so called bill of rights (1st 10 amendments) are contractual promises, but like all clauses in contracts if there is no way to enforce them, then there is no use for the clause except maybe propaganda value.

If you note the USA constitution has seven articles..

Article 1 is about 525 elected members of congress and their very limited powers to control
foreign activities. Each qualified to vote member of the governed (a citizen so to speak) is allowed to
vote for only 3 of the 525 persons. so basically there is no real national election anywhere .

Article II grants the electoral college the power to appoint two persons full control of the assets,
resources and manpower of America to conquer the entire world or to make peace in the entire world.
Either way: the governed are not allowed to vote for either; the EC vote determines the P or VP.

Article III allows the Article II person to appoint yes men to the judiciary

Where exist the power of the governed to deny USA governors the ability to the use the powers the constitution claims the governors are to have, against the governed? <==No where I can find? Theoretically, the governed are protected from abuse for as long as it takes to conduct due process?

One person, the Article II person, is basically the king when in comes to constitutional authority to establish, conduct, prosecute or defend USA involvement in foreign affairs.

No where does the constitution of the USA deny its President the use of American resources or USA military power, to make and use diplomat appointments, or to use the USA to use the wealth of America and the hegemonic powers of the USA to make a private or public profit in a foreign land. <= d/n matter if the profit is personal to the President or if it assigned by appointment (like the feudal powers granted by the feudal kings to the feudal lords) to corporate feudal lords or oligarch personal interest.

AFAICT, the president can USE the USA to conduct war, invade or otherwise infringe on, even destroy, the territory, or a private or public interest, within a foreign sovereign more or less at will. So if the President wants to command a private or secret Army like the CIA, he can as far as I can tell, obviously this president does, because he could with his pen alone shut it down.

Seems to me the "NO" from Wilson's four points

  1. no more secret diplomacy peace settlement must not lead the way to new wars
  2. no retribution, unjust claims, and huge fines <basically indemnities paid by the losers to the winners.
  3. no more war; includes controls on armaments and arming of nations.
  4. no more Trade Barriers so the nations of the world would become more interdependent.

have been made the essence of nation state operations world wide.

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:29 am GMT
@Curmudgeon all of that, plus the Kosovo precedent.

In a normally functioning world you simply can't simultaneously argue that in one case West can bomb a country to force self-determination as in Kosovo, and also denounce exactly the same thing in Crimea. On to Catalonia and more self-determination

Beckow , says: December 6, 2019 at 9:52 am GMT
Trump, among his other occupations, used to engage with the professional wrestling circuit. In that well-staged entertainment there is always a bad guy – or a ' heel ' – who is used to stir up the crowds, the Evil Sheik or Rocky's hapless movie enemies. It makes it ' real '. The 'heel ' is sometimes allowed to win to better manage the audience. But the narrative never changes. Our rational judgments should focus on what happens, and on outcomes – not on talk, slogans, speeches, etc Based on that, Trump is a classical ' heel ' character. He might even be playing it consciously, or he has no choice.

To answer the question who runs ' foreign policy ', let's ignore the stadium speeches, and simply look at what happens. In a world bereft of enough profitable consumer things to do, and enough justifiable careers for unemployable geo-political security 'experts' of all kinds, having enemies and maybe even a small war occasionally is not such an irrational thing to want. Plus there are the deep ethnic hatreds and traumas going back generations that were naively imported into the heart of the Western world. (Washington warned against that 200+ years ago.)

Anon [424] Disclaimer , says: December 6, 2019 at 10:47 am GMT
https://russia-insider.com/en/politics/majority-germans-wants-less-reliance-us-more-engagement-russia/ri27985

Macron said that NATO is " brain dead " :

https://www.economist.com/europe/2019/11/07/emmanuel-macron-warns-europe-nato-is-becoming-brain-dead

The more the US sanctions so many countries around the world , the more the US generate an anti US reaction around the world .

gotmituns , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:09 am GMT
Who Is Making US Foreign Policy?
-- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -- -
Could it be israel?
DrWatson , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:20 am GMT
Trump should have kept Steve Bannon as his advisor and should have fired instead his son-in-law. Perhaps "they" are blackmailing Trump with photos like here: https://www.pinterest.com/richarddesjarla/creepy/

That would explain why Trump is so ineffective at making a reality anything he campaigned for.

Marshall Lentini , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:28 am GMT
@melpol Betas in power -- an underappreciated dimension of this morass.
propagandist hacker , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 11:29 am GMT
or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?
Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 11:52 am GMT

An anti-neocon president appears to have been surrounded by neocons in his own administration.

The fact is Trump is not an anti-neocon (Deep State) president he only talks that way. The fact that he surrounded himself with Deep State denizens gives lie to the thought that he is anti-Deep State no one can be that god damn stupid.

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:00 pm GMT
@sally

IMO, The CIA exists at the pleasure of the President.

The CIA sees it differently; and they are part of the Deep State.

Realist , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:03 pm GMT
@propagandist hacker

or maybe trump was a lying neocon, war-loving, immigration-loving neoliberal all along, and you and the trumptards somehow continue to believe his campaign rhetoric?

That is my contention.

Sean , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:11 pm GMT
MICHAEL CARPENTER Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Russia, Ukraine, and Eurasia from 2015 to 2017.

https://www.foreignaffairs.com/articles/russia-fsu/2019-11-26/oligarchs-who-lost-ukraine-and-won-washington

Halfway around the world from Washington's halls of power, Ukraine sits along a civilizational and geopolitical fault line. To Ukraine's west are the liberal democracies of Europe, governed by rule of law and democratic principles. To its east are Russia and its client states in Eurasia, almost all of which are corrupt oligarchies. [ ] In this war on democratic movements and democratic principles, Russia's biggest prize and chief adversary has always been the United States. Until now, however, Russia has always had to contend with bipartisan resolve to counter

No mention of China, and this is the problem with the whole foreign policy establishment not just the neocons. Russia is more of an annoyance than anything, but they are still operating assumptions on what is the Geographical Pivot of History , so they want to talk about Russia. Like an Edwardian sea cadet we are supposed to care about Russia getting (back) a water port in Crimea. Mahan's definition of sea power included a strong commercial fleet. After tearing their own environment apart like a car in a wrecking yard and heating up the planet China has taken time out from deforestation and colonising Tibet, to send huge container vessels full of cheap goods through the melting Arctic round the top of Russia all the better to get to Europe and deindustrialise it.

Western elites have sold out to China, seen as the future, so we hear about Russia rather than the three million Uyghurs in concentration camps complete with constantly smoking crematoria, and harvesting of organs for rich foreigners.

Who poses a greater threat to the West: China or Russia?
By the time the West finds itself in open conflict with Beijing, we will have lost our relative advantage. Brendan Simms and K.C. Lin [ ] The concept of China being a threat is harder to comprehend. In what way? Yes, its hacking and intellectual property theft is a headache. But is it worse than what Russia is up to? And don't we need Chinese investment, so does it really matter if China builds our 5G mobile networks? In London, ministers agonise over these issues -- not knowing whether to pity China (we still send foreign aid there), beg for its money and contracts (with prime ministerial trade trips), or treat it as a potential antagonist.

Aid ! They sent robots to the far side of the Moon

Beijing has been the beneficiary of liberal revulsion at the Trump presidency: if the Donald is against the Chinese, who cannot be for them? As a result, Trump's efforts to address China's unfair trade practices have so far missed the mark with the domestic and international audience. As Trump declares war on free trade, China -- one of the most protectionist economies in the world -- is now celebrated at Davos as the avatar of free trade. Later this month, China's Vice-President is likely to be in attendance at Davos -- and there is even talk of him meeting with Trump. Similarly, the messiness of American politics has made China's one-party state an apparent poster boy of political stability and governability.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:14 pm GMT
911endofdays.blogspot.com : "Sackcloth&Ashes – The 16th Trump of Arcana " :

"TRUMP SUPPORTERS WERE DUPED – Trump supporters are going to find out soon enough that they were duped by Donald Trump. Trump was given the script to run as the "Chaos Candidate" .He is just a pawn of the ruling elite .It is a tactic known as 'CONTROLLED OPPOSITION' ".
Wasn't it FDR who said "Presidents are selected , they are not elected " ?

JOHN CHUCKMAN , says: Website December 6, 2019 at 12:25 pm GMT

Trump selected the Neocons he is surrounded with. And he's given away all kinds of property that he has absolutely no legal authority to give. He was seeking to please American Oligarchs the likes of Adelson. That's American politics. "Money is free speech." Of course, there is another connection with foreign policy beyond the truly total corruption of American domestic politics, and that's through America's brutal empire abroad.

The military/intelligence imperial establishment definitely see Israel as a kind of American colony in the Mideast, and they make sure that it's well provided for. That's what the Neocon Wars have been about. Paving over large parts of Israel's noisy neighborhood. And that includes matters like keeping Syria off-balance with occupation in its northeast. And constantly threatening Iran.

Obama or Trump, on the main matters of importance abroad – NATO, Russia, Israel/Palestine, China – there has been no difference, except Trump is more openly bellicose and given to saying really stupid things.

By the way, the last President who tried seriously to make foreign policy as the elected head of government left half of his head splattered on thec streets of Dallas.

Sick of Orcs , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:36 pm GMT
@propagandist hacker Or he was fooled, tricked, bribed, coerced by The HoloNose.

Don't get me wrong, the Orange Sellout is to blame regardless.

9/11 Inside job , says: December 6, 2019 at 12:37 pm GMT
@Jon Baptist We have all been brainwashed by the propaganda screened by the massmedia ,whether it be FOX , MSNBC , CBS ,etc.. SeptemberClues.info has a good article entitled "The central role of the news media on 9/11 " :

"The 9/11 psyop relied foremostly on that weakspot of ours .We all fell for the images we saw on TV at the time we can only wonder why so many never questioned the absurd TV coverage proposed by all the major networks The 9/11 TV imagery of the crucial morning events was just a computer-animated, pre-fabricated movie."

Was "The Harley Guy" a crisis actor ?

geokat62 , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:00 pm GMT
@National Institute for Study of the Obvious

So please for once somebody answer this blindingly obvious question, Who is making US foreign policy? CIA, that's who.

Close. You got 4 of the correct letters, AIPAC. You were just missing the P.

CIA runs your country.

No, Jewish Supremacist oligarchs run America.

Herald , says: December 6, 2019 at 1:05 pm GMT
@follyofwar Pat inhabits a strange Hollywood type world, where the US is always the good guy. He believes that, although the US may make foreign policy mistakes, its aims and ambitions are nevertheless noble and well intentioned.

In Pat's world it's still circa 1955, but even then, his take on US foreign policy would have been hopelessly unrealistic.

[Dec 06, 2019] Th ey think they are the people who set national policy and the president is this figurehead who is guided by all these people around him who agree on everything," he said. "The president doesn't need to use the State Department at all to conduct foreign policy

24 November 2019
Dec 06, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Punch foresaw The Borg

Punch

"Foreign Policy"

"This was a debate over policy. Trump's critics may not have liked the policy he was pushing. But as former Defense Intelligence Agency official Pat Lang noted on his blog last week, the statute in question applies only to "intelligence activities" but "does not include differences of opinions concerning public policy matters."

That's what this fight is about, said Lang . Speaker after speaker at the hearings asserted that Trump's views did not comport with official national policy. But the president sets that policy, Lang said, not the diplomats.

"They think they are the people who set national policy and the president is this figurehead who is guided by all these people around him who agree on everything," he said. "The president doesn't need to use the State Department at all to conduct foreign policy." ' Paul Mulshine

-------------

Actually, I was too minimal in speaking of "diplomats." Vindman is not a diplomat and there are many other actors in this drama of Borgist angst (foreign policy establishment ) who are not diplomats.

For one thing a large percentage of the Drones at the State Department are civil service employees rather than Foreign Service Officers, and although they do not play well together they agree on the ultimate authority of the Supremacy Clause (non-existent) in the US Constitution that gives the State Department dominion over all the Lord created. A career ambassador's wife once lectured me that the US Army should change the cap badge that officers wear because it looks too much like the Great Seal of the United States which in the State Department can only be displayed by Ambassadors. I told her that she should petition the Secretary of the Army in this matter.

Various departments of government, media, academia, thinktankeries, etc., all have heavy infestations of folks who went to graduate school together in poly sci in all its branches, or who wish to be thought worthy of such attendance. They specialize in group think, conformity, and conformism, even to the solemn dress they affect. The four in hand tie knot is pretty much mandatory for serious consideration for inclusion in the Borg. It indicates a certain preppy insouciance and faux disregard for details of dress.

Trump's casual disregard for all that enrages the Borg who thought they had "won it all" long ago and that they would have a Borgist neocon to deal with in Hillary.

Hell hath no fury like The Borg scorned. pl

https://www.nj.com/opinion/2019/11/the-trump-impeachment-hearing-whistle-blower-blew-up-a-non-story-mulshine.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Punch_(magazine)

Posted at 12:28 PM in As The Borg Turns , Current Affairs , Media , Mulshine | Permalink

Reblog (0) Comments


J , 24 November 2019 at 12:56 PM

Hillary's Foundation has lost millions recently, which has Hillary pursing her lips like she's been using a lemon for her lipstick. I mean, worse than fish-lips, Hillary's pursing expression.

Too bad that we can't form some cement shoes for the Borg and toss them into the east river AKA the Atlantic, or send them back to hell from where they originated!

Hank H. , 24 November 2019 at 06:44 PM
OT:
This afternoon my wife and I turned on the TV to watch football. We were flipping through channels and came upon some local ABC affiliate (WMUR) which had on a documentary which mentioned the Medal of Honor and a Catholic chaplain in Vietnam. Needless to say we stayed on that channel. Long story short, it was one of the most powerful things we've ever watched. We were both in tears by the end (nb: I don't cry easily) and we were changed from having watched it. We immediately went online to purchase copies for family members. It was recently released.
The Field Afar: The Life of Fr. Vincent Capodanno

https://www.amazon.com/Field-Afar-Life-Vincent-Capodanno/dp/B081KPTT3R/ref=sr_1_1?keywords=A+field+afar&qid=1574638098&sr=8-1

JMH , 25 November 2019 at 04:22 AM
As the Borg like to say "We will add your biological and technological distinctiveness to our own." They have done this with the four in hand tie knot which was previously worn by giants like George Kennon and Chip Bohlen. Yet now, the midgetry prevails.
Ghost Ship , 25 November 2019 at 11:34 AM
The four in hand tie knot is pretty much mandatory for serious consideration for inclusion in the Borg.
I'm surprised, given some of the more outlandish claims about the British Royal Family, that the Windsor knot isn't mandatory.
Jim Ticehurst , 25 November 2019 at 07:21 PM
Colonel...This is another Reason why I appreciate your levels of Experience and knowledge with SST..Thank you for doing that...I always come away with New Insight..and Understanding of Real Dynamics..what has Progressively Developed inside the State.Department.with its Influence On so Much POLICY...and .is as You say...The BORG..and Their Own Culture.your Article put that all into a Big Picture for Me..(Connecting the Data..) .It.as you aptly Described. is a Universal.Sect..and...At The National Level...They are Cyber Borgs..Shciff Shapers..and that Whole Colony has Been Exposed.,,, Bad Products and All....
J , 26 November 2019 at 08:08 PM
Colonel,

Fiona Hill appears to be part of the Borg, not really sure which part she's affiliated. Some have called her a 'sleeper agent', but a sleeper for whom? British Intelligence agent of influence? Or an Israeli agent of influence, or maybe a Daniel Pipes trained NEOCON agent of influence? Any way one spins it, Fiona Hill has been undermining POTUS Trump while she was part of his NSC and his advisory team. Why her intense hatred of Putin? Does he happen to know through his nation's intelligence exactly who she is and whom she may be working on behalf of? The Skripal incident showed just how much that the British Government and Crown hate Russia. But why the intense British hatred of Russia, why?

Questions, so many questions regarding Ms. Hill and who she really works for.


[Dec 04, 2019] Looks like the Blob and Ds are concerned that their narrative on Ukraine is being undermined by Solomon's reporting.

Dec 04, 2019 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

integer , December 3, 2019 at 11:26 pm

Looks like the Blob and Ds are concerned that their narrative on Ukraine is being undermined by Solomon's reporting.

Responding to Lt. Col. Vindman about my Ukraine columns with the facts John Solomon

Perhaps you could point out any inaccuracies in the comprehensively-sourced article above oh, wait you won't read it lol.

Lambert Strether Post author , December 4, 2019 at 7:13 am

The fraction of RussiaGate/UkraineGate that can be taken seriously is quite small. An enormous amount of it is "it's ok when we do it"-level material. Difficult to sort without presenting a range encompassing all factions.

It's possible I'm too jaded, but "reporters presents material derived from his political faction" isn't all that exciting, since I don't belong to either of the factions engaged in this battle. I remember the Lewinsky Matter, WMDs, and (see today's Links), being smeared by Prop0rNot, and UkraineGate just a little too well.

[Nov 30, 2019] Eric Ciaramella, Brennan protege, more coup plotter than "whistleblower"

Notable quotes:
"... Ciaramella invited Chalupa to meetings and events at the Obama White House. She also visits the Obama White House with Ukrainian lobbyists seeking aid from Obama. Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in 2017, " ..."
"... According to Fox News, the complaint alleges that the DNC specifically "tasked Chalupa with obtaining incriminating or derogatory information about Donald Trump [and] Paul Manfort," ..."
"... Remarkably, despite his clear connections to Rice and Brennan, he was brought back into the inner circle of the Trump NSC by HR McMaster. McMaster appointed him to be his personal aide. ..."
"... He was fired in June of 2017 after being directly implicated in a series of serious national security leaks from the White House calculated to be damaging to President Trump. ..."
"... Vindman also leaked the classified information about the President's call with a foreign head of state to a number of other people. These unauthorized leaks are criminal. Both illegal, unethical and unconscionable. ..."
"... Ciaramella worked with both Grace and Misko in the NSC at the Obama White House. Misko and Grace joined Schiff's committee in early August of 2019, just in time to coordinate the "whistleblower" complaint. ..."
"... Both Vindman and Ciaramella do not qualify for "whistleblower" status. They were reporting on a diplomatic conversation, not an intelligence matter. They were not reporting on a member of the Intelligence committee. ..."
"... IC IG Michael Atkinson surreptitiously changed the rules for whistleblower complaints to allow second-hand testimony in September of 2019. He then backdated the changes to allow the Ciaramella complaint, initially filed in early August, to be included under the new "interpretive" guidelines. ..."
"... The playbook is the same as the Mueller Inquisition and the Russia Hoax, the same as the Kavanaugh smear campaign. With the same co-conspirators of the left-wing mainstream media. Not only carrying water for the coup plotters but being actual participants in the scheme. Paid mouthpieces for the Deep State. ..."
"... Sperry's devastating expose makes clear that Ciaramella is another cog in the Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rice, Obama conspiracy to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States. As Chuck Schumer said in January of 2017, ..."
"... Ciaramella helped generate the "Putin fired Comey" narrative. Sperry reports, "In the days after Comey's firing, this presidential action was used to further political and media calls for the standup of the special counsel to investigate 'Russia collusion.'" ..."
Nov 03, 2019 | www.greanvillepost.com
WASHINGTON, DC : Adam Schiff "whistleblower" Eric Ciaramella has been exposed as a John Brennan ally. An ally who actively worked to defame, target, and destroy President Donald Trump during both the Obama and Trump administrations. He was fired from the Trump White House for leaking confidential if not classified information detrimental to the President. ( The Pajama Boy Whistleblower Revealed – Rush Limbaugh )

The 33-year-old Ciaramella, a former Susan Rice protege, currently works for the CIA as an analyst.

Eric Ciaramella: The Deep State non-whistleblower

During his time in the Obama White House, NSC Ciaramella worked under both Vice President Joe Biden and CIA director John Brennan. He reported directly to NSC advisor Susan Rice through his immediate boss, Charles Kupchan. Kupchan had extensive ties with Clinton crony Sydney Blumenthal. Large portions of Blumenthal's disinformation from Ukrainian sources in 2016 was used in the nefarious Steele Dossier.


Eric Ciaramella, Schiff's "whistleblower", has ties to Susan Rice and Joe Biden

Ciaramella also worked extensively with DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa. Chalupa led the effort at the DNC to fabricate a link between the Trump Campaign to Vladimir Putin and Russia. According to Politico, Chalupa "met with top officials in the Ukrainian Embassy in Washington in an effort to expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia."


The DNC paid Chalupa $412,000 between 2004 and 2016.

DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa: Ciaramella co-conspirator

Chalupa shared her findings with both the DNC and Hillary Clinton's campaign. Politico reporting ( Ukrainian efforts to sabotage Trump backfire – Politico – 01/11/2017)

"Chalupa told a senior DNC official that, when it came to Trump's campaign, 'I felt there was a Russia connection.'"

Apparently without any evidence. So she set out to concoct it.

Chalupa (left) also says that the Ukrainian embassy was working directly with reporters digging for Trump-Russia ties. How convenient, and unethical.

Ciaramella invited Chalupa to meetings and events at the Obama White House. She also visits the Obama White House with Ukrainian lobbyists seeking aid from Obama. Senator Charles Grassley, Chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, said in a letter to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein in 2017, "

"Chalupa's actions appear to show that she was simultaneously working on behalf of a foreign government, Ukraine, and on behalf of the DNC and Clinton campaign, in an effort to influence not only the U.S voting population but U.S. government officials."
The FEC complaint against the DNC and Chalupa

In September 2019 a complaint was filed with the Federal Elections Commission against the DNC naming Alexandra Chalupa. The complaint alleges that Chalupa acted "improperly to gather information on Paul Manafort and Donald Trump in the 2016 election".


Joe Biden's Corruption: Ukraine, bribery, and Burisma Holdings

According to Fox News, the complaint alleges that the DNC specifically "tasked Chalupa with obtaining incriminating or derogatory information about Donald Trump [and] Paul Manfort,"

Fox News reporting, that Chalupa allegedly

"Pushed for Ukrainian officials to publicly mention Manafort's financial and political ties to" Ukraine and "sought to have the Ukrainian government provide her information about Manafort's work in the country."
John Solomon and Wikileaks both expose Chalupa as DNC operative

Wikileaks also exposed Chalupa's role in digging up dirt in Ukraine on Manafort and Trump. One email stated that Chalupa was "digging into Manafort". "A lot more coming down the pipe," the email to then DNC Comms Director Luis Miranda states. ( Former Obama official Luis Miranda is latest casualty of DNC email scandal – Fox News – August 3, 2016 )

John Solomon of The Hill reporting:

"Ambassador Valeriy Chaly's office says DNC contractor Alexandra Chalupa sought information from the Ukrainian government on Paul Manafort's dealings inside the country. Chalupa later tried to arrange for Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to comment on Manafort's Russian ties on a U.S. visit during the 2016 campaign."
Ciaramella's connection with John Brennan and Susan Rice

Eric Ciaramella had been working with John Brennan, Susan Rice, the Obama White House, and Alexandra Chalupa to target and destroy Donald Trump well before he was elected. He was initially brought into the NSC and the White House inner circle by John Brennan himself.


Schiff witness Taylor has ties to Burisma think tank, Soros, McCain leaker

Remarkably, despite his clear connections to Rice and Brennan, he was brought back into the inner circle of the Trump NSC by HR McMaster. McMaster appointed him to be his personal aide.

He was fired in June of 2017 after being directly implicated in a series of serious national security leaks from the White House calculated to be damaging to President Trump.

Ciaramella and Alexander Vindman: the second "whistleblower"

Ciaramella's title at the White House was NSC Director for Ukraine. That position is now held by the newest Schiff star witness and Trump hater Lt. Col Alexander Vindman. Vindman is apparently the "2nd whistleblower" to leak his concerns about the call between Trump and President Zelensky to Ciaramella.

Vindman also leaked the classified information about the President's call with a foreign head of state to a number of other people. These unauthorized leaks are criminal. Both illegal, unethical and unconscionable.

Violating clear national security guidelines for classified information.

Republicans, on cross-examination of Vindman was asked by Republicans cross-examining him during the closed-door secret police hearings conducted by Adam Schiff, asking who Vindman had contact with. Schiff cut off the questioning, coaching the witness while refusing to let him answer the questions.

Schiff coordinated with Ciaramella and Vindman

It is now clear that Ciaramella and Vindman coordinated the entire whistleblower affair with Schiff and his staff in violation of the "whistleblower" statute. That Ciaramella has been coordinating his complaint with Schiff committee staffers Abigail Grace and Sean Misko.


Durham opens criminal probe, IG report due, Brennan, Clapper lawyer up

Ciaramella worked with both Grace and Misko in the NSC at the Obama White House. Misko and Grace joined Schiff's committee in early August of 2019, just in time to coordinate the "whistleblower" complaint.

Both Vindman and Ciaramella do not qualify for "whistleblower" status. They were reporting on a diplomatic conversation, not an intelligence matter. They were not reporting on a member of the Intelligence committee.

The suspicious case of IC IG Michael Atkinson

IC IG Michael Atkinson surreptitiously changed the rules for whistleblower complaints to allow second-hand testimony in September of 2019. He then backdated the changes to allow the Ciaramella complaint, initially filed in early August, to be included under the new "interpretive" guidelines.

The level of subterfuge and coordination between Schiff, Ciaramella, Vindman, Abigail Grace, Sean Misko, and IG Atkinson is more than suspicious. It reeks of yet another episode of a Deep State coordinated coup attempt.


Pelosi Star Chamber impeachment farce blows up in Adam Schiff's face

The whole impeachment affair is a brazen sequel to the Russia Hoax involving many of the same key players. Susan Rice, John Brennan, Adam Schiff. Designed to target, destroy, and in this case, fabricate grounds for the impeachment of the President.

The playbook is the same as the Mueller Inquisition and the Russia Hoax, the same as the Kavanaugh smear campaign. With the same co-conspirators of the left-wing mainstream media. Not only carrying water for the coup plotters but being actual participants in the scheme. Paid mouthpieces for the Deep State.

Paul Sperry and Real Clear Investigations

The most comprehensive expose on Ciaramella, that has forced even the mainstream media to take notice, was the Real Clear Investigations reporting of Paul Sperry. Only Sperry, the Federalist, and CDN have exposed the whistleblowers' identity. But his name and transparent partisan actions are the worst kept secret in Washington.

As CIA analyst Fred Fleitz has said:

"Everyone knows who he is. CNN knows. The Washington Post knows. The New York Times knows. Congress knows. The White House knows. Even the president knows who he is."

Sperry's devastating expose makes clear that Ciaramella is another cog in the Brennan, Clapper, Comey, Rice, Obama conspiracy to overthrow the duly elected President of the United States. As Chuck Schumer said in January of 2017,

"If you take on the intelligence community, they have nines ways to Sunday of getting back at you."
The never-ending coup attempt against Trump

The reality is that Trump was targeted by the Obama White House well before he was President. The ongoing coup against him started as soon as he was elected. It morphed into the Mueller Weissman inquisition and the Peter Strzok insurance policy.


Obama WH corruption: Rampant pay to play by Clinton, Kerry, and Biden

When that fizzled into oblivion it was time for plan B, or in this case plan C or D. The Deep State and their paid minions in the left-wing press have been unrelenting in their ongoing anti-constitutional putsch against the President.

The impeachment farce, with its calculated rollout reminiscent of the Kavanaugh smear campaign, is yet another extension of a never-ending East German Stassi coup (sic) attempt against the constitution, the Republic, and the people of the United States.

Sperry lays out the trail of evidence against Ciaramella

Paul Sperry's excellent investigative reporting makes clear that Ciaramella "previously worked with former Vice President Joe Biden and former CIA Director John Brennan. (He) left his National Security Council posting in the White House's West Wing in mid-2017 amid concerns about negative leaks to the media." As Sperry reports, "He was accused of working against Trump and leaking against Trump," said a former NSC official.

Sperry reports that "a handful of former colleagues have compiled a roughly 40-page research dossier on him. A classified version of the document is circulating on Capitol Hill". The dossier documents Ciaramella's bias against Trump. His relationships with Brennan, Rice, the Obama White House, and DNC operative Chalupa. As well as his coordination with Vindman, Schiff and his committee staff.

Chuck Schumer: "Eight ways to Sunday of getting back at you"

It questions both Ciaramella's and Vindman's veracity as a legitimate whistleblower. It makes clear that Ciaramella and his co-conspirators are part of a Deep State coup attempt. A calculated, coordinated, illegal, seditious, and illegitimate putsch.


"Whistleblower" Hoax: Ties to Biden, Deep State ICIG, rogue Ambassador

As CIA analyst Fred Fleitz makes clear, " They're hiding him ." Fleitz was emphatic, " They're hiding him because of his political bias."

Ciaramella helped generate the "Putin fired Comey" narrative. Sperry reports, "In the days after Comey's firing, this presidential action was used to further political and media calls for the standup of the special counsel to investigate 'Russia collusion.'"

How IC Inspector General Atkinson found the whistleblower complaint "credible" and "urgent" at the same time he was backdating the change in regulations to allow the complaint to be filed is more than highly suspicious. How the 'whistleblower" coordinated with Schiff, Grace, Misko, and Atkinson to stager the start of impeachment farce is criminal.

Adam Schiff: Constantly lying while moving the goalposts

... ... ...

Schiff: Outstanding scoundrel in a cesspit filled to the brim with similar criminals.

Now Eric Ciaramella is apparently backing away from testifying. Schiff says he no longer needs his testimony. But Ciaramella should be subpoenaed and called to testify before the Senate Judiciary Committee. He should not be allowed to escape accountability for his role in this calculated charade of a conspiracy.


The Russia Hoax: James Clapper throws Barack Obama under the bus

He would then have to testify to his coordination with Schiff and the committee staff. He would have to expose how Vindmann leaked national security information illegally. How the entire 'whistleblower" farce was a calculated effort to again derail the Trump Presidency.

A lot has come out about Eric Ciaramella, the Adam Schiff 'Whistleblower", in recent days. It is the tip of the iceberg. Any legitimate investigation of the circumstances surrounding the entire Ukraine affair will reveal the extensive criminality of the Obama White House and the coup plotters.

Exposing the dark underbelly of the Obama White House

It stretches back to the Steele Dossier and the clear efforts of the DNC and the Deep State to use to a foreign power to interfere in the 2016 election. He exposes the corruption of Vice President Biden to enrich his family at the expense of the American taxpayer. Details the $6 million dollar bribery scheme of Hunter and Joe Biden by Burisma Holdings.

Lays out the corrupt dealings of Ambassador Yovanovich.

It will lay open the devious underbelly of all the so-called hero witnesses of the Schiff impeachment Star Chamber inquisition. Of the criminal actions of the coup plotters. Of Ambassador Yovanovich, Ambassador Taylor, Alexandra Chalupa, and Alexander Vindman.

As well as the so-called whistleblower, Eric Ciaramella.

Calling the Fourth Estate back

It is the tip of the iceberg that only a truly free and independent press will have to take the reins to fearlessly expose. Like brilliant investigative reporter Paul Sperry at Real Clear Investigations. Like the Federalist, NOQ Report, and here at CommDigiNews, who broke the Ciaramella story a full two days before Real Clear Investigations.

No one else in the corrupt media establishment seems willing to rise to the challenge.

[Nov 28, 2019] Fiona Hill links to Soros by Julian Borger

Looks like both Yovanovich and Hill are connected to Soros and did his bidding instead of pursuing Trump policies as for Ukraine. Yovanovich was clearly dismiied due to her role in channeling damaging to Trump information during 2016 elections, the fact that she denies (as she denied the exostance of "do not procecute list"). And nothing can be taken serious from a government official until she denied it.
Notable quotes:
"... Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right. ..."
"... This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros." ..."
"... "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties." ..."
"... "When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well." ..."
"... Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role. ..."
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international

Trump's ex-Russia adviser received death threats after testifying in impeachment hearings, - The Guardian

Fiona Hill has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation 16:22, 9 November 2019 Open source

The former top Russia expert at the White House has said she has been subjected to a campaign of harassment and intimidation, including death threats, which reached a new peak after she agreed to testify in congressional impeachment hearings, The Guardian reports.

Fiona Hill, who was the senior director for Europe and Russia in the National Security Council (NSC) said other NSC staff had been "hounded out" by threats against them, including antisemitic smears linking them to the liberal financier and philanthropist, George Soros, a hate figure on the far right.

In her testimony to Congress, Hill described a climate of fear among administration staff.

The UK-born academic and biographer of Vladimir Putin said that the former ambassador to Ukraine, Marie Yovanovitch, was the target of a hate campaign, with the aim of driving her from her post in Kyiv, where she was seen as an obstacle to some corrupt business interests.

Yovanovitch was recalled from Ukraine in May on Trump's orders. In a 25 July conversation with the Ukrainian president, Volodymyr Zelenskiy, Trump described Yovanovitch as "bad news" and predicted she was "going to go through some things". The former ambassador has testified she felt threatened by the remarks.

Trump's lawyer, Rudy Giuliani, led calls for Yovanovitch's dismissal, as did two of Giuliani business associates, Lev Parnas and Igor Fruman. All three are under scrutiny in hearings being held by House committees looking at Trump's use of his office to put pressure on the Ukrainian government to investigate his political opponents.

"There was no basis for her removal," Hill testified. "The accusations against her had no merit whatsoever. This was a mishmash of conspiracy theories that I believe firmly to be baseless, an idea of an association between her and George Soros."

"I had had accusations similar to this being made against me as well," Hill testified. "My entire first year of my tenure at the National Security Council was filled with hateful calls, conspiracy theories, which has started again, frankly, as it's been announced that I've been giving this deposition, accusing me of being a Soros mole in the White House, of colluding with all kinds of enemies of the president, and of various improprieties."

She added that the former national security adviser, HR McMaster "and many other members of staff were targeted as well, and many people were hounded out of the National Security Council because they became frightened about their own security."

"I received, I just have to tell you, death threats, calls at my home. My neighbours reported somebody coming and hammering on my door," Hill said, adding that she had also been targeted by obscene phone calls. "Now, I'm not easily intimidated, but that made me mad."

"When I saw this happening to Ambassador Yovanovitch, I was furious," she said, pointing to "this whipping up of what is frankly an antisemitic conspiracy theory about George Soros to basically target nonpartisan career officials, and also some political appointees as well."

In Yovanovitch's case, Hill said: "the most obvious explanation [for the smear campaign] seemed to be business dealings of individuals who wanted to improve their investment positions inside of Ukraine itself, and also to deflect away from the findings of not just the Mueller report on Russian interference but what's also been confirmed by your own Senate report, and what I know myself to be true as a former intelligence analyst and somebody who has been working on Russia for more than 30 years."

Hill dismissed the suggestion that Ukraine meddled in the 2016 election was a "conspiracy theory" intended to distract attention from Russia's well-documented role.

... ... ...

[Nov 28, 2019] List of non-prosecuted Ukrainians made by America was published

The list contains some (but not all) of the key participants of the 2014 coup d'état against President Yanukovich. There are 13 names in the list: MPs Serhiy Leshchenko, Mustafa Nayem, Svitlana Zalishchuk, Serhiy Berezenko, Serhiy Pashynsky; ex-Prime Minister Arseniy Yatsenyuk; ex-Head of the National Bank of Ukraine Valeriya Hontareva; ex-First Deputy of the National Security and Defense Council Oleg Hladkovsky; judge of the Constitutional Court of Ukraine Makar Pasenyuk; candidate for presidency Anatoly Hrytsenko; singer Svyatoslav Vakarchuk; journalist Dmytro Hordon and ex-Head of the Presidential Administration Borys Lozhkin.
Pashynsky was involved in Snipergate. Yatsenyuk was the marionette chosen by Nuland to head the Provisional government after Yanukovich will be overthrown.
Nov 28, 2019 | 112.international
Related: Atlantic Council representative withdrew his statement about Lutsenko and Yovanovitch

Almost all of these people from the list were involved in various sort of scandals during the last five years. Particularly, Oleg Hladkovsky was recently dismissed from his post due to the corruption scandal in the defense sphere. Serhiy Leshchenko became known for the purchase of the flat for $275,253 and the number of information attacks at well-known politicians and businessmen. Serhy Pashynsky was tied to the hostile takeover of a confectionary factory in Zhytomyr.

Earlier, Ukraine's Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko stated that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch passed him a do not prosecute list . Lutsenko's Press Secretary Larysa Sarhan in a commentary for BBC Ukraine specified that this list contained names of the Ukrainian MPs.

Related: Anti-Corruption Bureau to open probe against Ukraine's Prosecutor General Lutsenko

In its turn, the U.S. Department of State stated that the words of Lutsenko are not true and aims to tarnish the reputation of Ambassador Yovanovitch. Thus, there are certain concerns that the actual list might be fake.

[Nov 28, 2019] Ex-US Ambassador Denies Giving Ukraine 'Do Not Prosecute List' in Impeachment Inquiry

Nov 28, 2019 | sputniknews.com

WASHINGTON (Sputnik) - The House is holding its second public hearing with former US envoy to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch centring around her ouster which, according to her, is pertinent to the impeachment probe against Trump. Former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch flatly denied allegations that she circulated a list of potential corruption targets in Ukraine that the United States did not want prosecuted, according to testimony at the opening of hearings in the House impeachment probe of President Donald Trump on Friday.

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a do not prosecute list was a fabrication", Yovanovitch said. "Mr Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute. Instead I advocated the US position that rule of law should prevail."

US President Donald Trump in a series of tweets on Friday criticised former Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch's performance while she was testifying in the impeachment hearing against him. He defended his decision to replace Yovanovitch - appointed by his predecessor Barak Obama - as the US ambassador to Ukraine, where she served from August 2016 until May 2019.

....They call it "serving at the pleasure of the President." The U.S. now has a very strong and powerful foreign policy, much different than proceeding administrations. It is called, quite simply, America First! With all of that, however, I have done FAR more for Ukraine than O.

-- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) November 15, 2019

[Nov 28, 2019] Glenn Beck Marie Yovanovitch committed 'perjury' when she LIED under oath about 'do not prosecute list'

Nov 28, 2019 | www.theblaze.com

During Friday's Democrat-led impeachment inquiry hearing, former U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch testified under oath that she did not give former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko a "do not prosecute list" in 2017. Yovanovitch also doubled-down on left-wing disinformation saying that Lutsenko "acknowledged that the list never existed" in April.

Ditch the fake news ==> Click here to get news you can trust sent right to your inbox. It's free!

"I want to reiterate first that the allegation that I disseminated a "Do Not Prosecute" list was a fabrication," Yovanovitch told the House Intelligence Committee . "Mr. Lutsenko, the former Ukrainian prosecutor general who made that allegation, has acknowledged that the list never existed. I did not tell Mr. Lutsenko or other Ukrainian officials who they should or should not prosecute."

"That is such a lie," Glenn Beck said on Friday's show. "She should be held for perjury."

During a three-part BlazeTV exposé on the Democrats' corruption in Ukraine, Glenn debunked what he called "the most misleading fabrication I've ever seen by the mainstream media."

Earlier this year, award-winning investigative journalist John Solomon reported Lutsenko's claim that then-Ambassador Yovanovitch gave him a list of "people whom we should not prosecute" during a meeting in 2016. Shortly after Solomon's article was released, several news sources, including the Washington Post and the Wall Street Journal, reported that Lutsenko retracted his statement.

But Glenn's research revealed that the mainstream media got their erroneous information from a Ukrainian news site called Unian, which misleadingly headlined a story " Ukraine Prosecutor General Lutsenko admits U.S. ambassador didn't give him a do not prosecute list ," based on a misinterpretation of what Lutsenko told another Ukrainian publication, TheBabel .

When Lutsenko said Yovanovitch "gave" him a list, he did not mean she actually handed him anything in writing, but verbally conveyed the names of people he shouldn't prosecute.

"They never mentioned the fact that it was verbally dictated and he wrote the list down himself -- are you kidding me?" Glenn exclaimed. "This is how the media is fact-checking and debunking. They are playing with our republic and Ukraine's republic. They are planting dynamite all around everything that we hold dear. How do they sleep at night? Everyone that reads their stories actually thinks that there was a retraction of one of the most damning parts of this entire case."

Watch the video below to get the details:

https://www.facebook.com/v2.5/plugins/video.php?allowfullscreen=true&app_id=1446069888755293&channel=https%3A%2F%2Fstaticxx.facebook.com%2Fconnect%2Fxd_arbiter.php%3Fversion%3D44%23cb%3Dfc6a4d6bf34ec3%26domain%3Dwww.theblaze.com%26origin%3Dhttps%253A%252F%252Fwww.theblaze.com%252Ff1202de92fa5ac%26relation%3Dparent.parent&container_width=575&href=https%3A%2F%2Ffacebook.com%2FTheBlaze%2Fvideos%2F365169550954458%2F&locale=en_US&sdk=joey

You can find Part 1 , Part 2 and Part 3 of the Ukraine scandal series on BlazeTV or YouTube .

If you like what you see, use promo code GB20OFF to get $20 off a full year of BlazeTV . With a BlazeTV subscription, you're not just paying to watch great pro-free speech, pro-America TV. Your subscription funds the intensive investigations that let BlazeTV tell the stories the liberal media wants to keep in the dark, giving you the unvarnished truth, showing you what the media doesn't want you to see. Read More

[Nov 28, 2019] Ambassador Yovanovitch "do not prosecute" list

Nov 28, 2019 | truthout.org

‎3‎/‎20‎/‎2019

Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko told Hill.TV's John Solomon in an interview that aired Wednesday that U.S. Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch gave him a do not prosecute list during their first meeting.

"Unfortunately, from the first meeting with the U.S. ambassador in Kiev, [Yovanovitch] gave me a list of people whom we should not prosecute," Lutsenko, who took his post in 2016, told Hill.TV last week.

"My response of that is it is inadmissible. Nobody in this country, neither our president nor our parliament nor our ambassador, will stop me from prosecuting whether there is a crime," he continued.

The State Department called Lutsenko's claim of receiving a do not prosecute list, "an outright fabrication."

"We have seen reports of the allegations," a department spokesperson told Hill.TV. "The United States is not currently providing any assistance to the Prosecutor General's Office (PGO), but did previously attempt to support fundamental justice sector reform, including in the PGO, in the aftermath of the 2014 Revolution of Dignity. When the political will for genuine reform by successive Prosecutors General proved lacking, we exercised our fiduciary responsibility to the American taxpayer and redirected assistance to more productive projects."

Hill.TV has reached out to the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine for comment.

Lutsenko also said that he has not received funds amounting to nearly $4 million that the U.S. Embassy in Ukraine was supposed to allocate to his office, saying that "the situation was actually rather strange" and pointing to the fact that the funds were designated, but "never received."

"At that time we had a case for the embezzlement of the U.S. government technical assistance worth 4 million U.S. dollars, and in that regard, we had this dialogue," he said. " At that time, [Yovanovitch] thought that our interviews of Ukrainian citizens, of Ukrainian civil servants, who were frequent visitors of the U.S. Embassy put a shadow on that anti-corruption policy."

"Actually, we got the letter from the U.S. Embassy, from the ambassador, that the money that we are speaking about [was] under full control of the U.S. Embassy, and that the U.S. Embassy did not require our legal assessment of these facts," he said. "The situation was actually rather strange because the funds we are talking about were designated for the prosecutor general's office also and we told [them] we have never seen those, and the U.S. Embassy replied there was no problem."

"The portion of the funds namely 4.4 million U.S. dollars were designated and were foreseen for the recipient Prosecutor General's office. But we have never received it," he said.

Yovanovitch previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Armenia under former presidents Obama and George W. Bush, as well as ambassador to Kyrgyzstan under Bush. She also served as ambassador to Ukraine under Obama.

[Nov 26, 2019] John Solomon Everything Changes In The Ukraine Scandal If Trump Releases These Documents

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Authored by John Solomon via JohnSolomonReports.com, ..."
"... Daily intelligence reports from March through August 2019 on Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky and his relationship with oligarchs and other key figures. ..."
"... State Department memos on U.S. funding given to the George Soros-backed group the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. ..."
"... The transcripts of Joe Biden's phone calls and meetings with Ukraine's president and prime minister from April 2014 to January 2017 when Hunter Biden served on the board of the natural gas company Burisma Holdings. ..."
"... All documents from an Office of Special Counsel whistleblower investigation into unusual energy transactions in Ukraine. ..."
"... All FBI, CIA, Treasury Department and State Department documents concerning possible wrongdoing at Burisma Holdings. ..."
"... All documents from 2015-16 concerning the decision by the State Department's foreign aid funding arm, USAID, to pursue a joint project with Burisma Holdings. ..."
"... All cables, memos and documents showing State Department's dealings with Burisma Holding representatives in 2015 and 2016. ..."
"... All contacts that the Energy Department, Justice Department or State Department had with Vice President Joe Biden's office concerning Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden or business associate Devon Archer. ..."
"... All memos, emails and other documents concerning a possible U.S. embassy's request in spring 2019 to monitor the social media activities and analytics of certain U.S. media personalities considered favorable to President Trump. ..."
"... All State, CIA, FBI and DOJ documents concerning efforts by individual Ukrainian government officials to exert influence on the 2016 U.S. election, including an anti-Trump Op-Ed written in August 2016 by Ukraine's ambassador to Washington or efforts to publicize allegations against Paul Manafort. ..."
"... All State, CIA, FBI and DOJ documents concerning contacts with a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa and her dealings with the Ukrainian embassy in Washington or other Ukrainian figures. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by John Solomon via JohnSolomonReports.com,

There are still wide swaths of documentation kept under wraps inside government agencies like the State Department that could substantially alter the public's understanding of what has happened in the U.S.-Ukraine relationships now at the heart of the impeachment probe.

As House Democrats mull whether to pursue impeachment articles and the GOP-led Senate braces for a possible trial, here are 12 tranches of government documents that could benefit the public if President Trump ordered them released, and the questions these memos might answer.

  1. Daily intelligence reports from March through August 2019 on Ukraine's new president Volodymyr Zelensky and his relationship with oligarchs and other key figures. What was the CIA, FBI and U.S. Treasury Department telling Trump and other agencies about Zelensky's ties to oligarchs like Igor Kolomoisky, the former head of Privatbank, and any concerns the International Monetary Fund might have? Did any of these concerns reach the president's daily brief (PDB) or come up in the debate around resolving Ukraine corruption and U.S. foreign aid? CNBC , Reuters and The Wall Street Journal all have done recent reporting suggesting there might have been intelligence and IMF concerns that have not been fully considered during the impeachment proceedings.
  2. State Department memos detailing conversations between former U.S. Ambassador Marie Yovanovitch and former Ukrainian Prosecutor General Yuriy Lutsenko . He says Yovanovitch raised the names of Ukrainians she did not want to see prosecuted during their first meeting in 2016. She calls Lutsenko's account fiction. But State Department officials admit the U.S. embassy in Kiev did pressure Ukrainian prosecutors not to target certain activists. Are there contemporaneous State Department memos detailing these conversations and might they illuminate the dispute between Lutsenko and Yovanovitch that has become key to the impeachment hearings?
  3. State Department memos on U.S. funding given to the George Soros-backed group the Anti-Corruption Action Centre. There is documentary evidence that State provided funding to this group, that Ukrainian prosecutor sought to investigate whether that aid was spent properly and that the U.S. embassy pressured Ukraine to stand down on that investigation. How much total did State give to this group? Why was a federal agency giving money to a Soros-backed group? What did taxpayers get for their money and were they any audits to ensure the money was spent properly? Were any of Ukrainian prosecutors' concerns legitimate?
  4. The transcripts of Joe Biden's phone calls and meetings with Ukraine's president and prime minister from April 2014 to January 2017 when Hunter Biden served on the board of the natural gas company Burisma Holdings. Did Burisma or Hunter Biden ever come up in the calls? What did Biden say when he urged Ukraine to fire the prosecutor overseeing an investigation of Burisma? Did any Ukrainian officials ever comment on Hunter Biden's role at the company? Was any official assessment done by U.S. agencies to justify Biden's threat of withholding $1 billion in U.S. aid if Prosecutor General Viktor Shokin wasn't fired?
  5. All documents from an Office of Special Counsel whistleblower investigation into unusual energy transactions in Ukraine. The U.S. government's main whistleblower office is investigating allegations from a U.S Energy Department worker of possible wrongdoing in U.S.-supported Ukrainian energy business. Who benefited in the United States and Ukraine from this alleged activity? Did Burisma gain any benefits from the conduct described by the whistleblower? OSC has concluded there is a "substantial likelihood of wrongdoing" involved in these activities.
  6. All FBI, CIA, Treasury Department and State Department documents concerning possible wrongdoing at Burisma Holdings. What did the U.S. know about allegations of corruption at the Ukrainian gas company and the efforts by the Ukrainian prosecutors to investigate? Did U.S., Latvian, Cypriot or European financial authorities flag any suspicious transactions involving Burisma or Americans during the time that Hunter Biden served on its board? Were any U.S. agencies monitoring, assisting or blocking the various investigations? When Ukraine reopened the Burisma investigations in March 2019, what did U.S. officials do?
  7. All documents from 2015-16 concerning the decision by the State Department's foreign aid funding arm, USAID, to pursue a joint project with Burisma Holdings. State official George Kent has testified he stopped this joint project because of concerns about Burisma's corruption reputation. Did Hunter Biden or his American business partner Devon Archer have anything to do with seeking the project? What caused its abrupt end? What issues did Kent identify as concerns and who did he alert in the White House, State or other agencies?
  8. All cables, memos and documents showing State Department's dealings with Burisma Holding representatives in 2015 and 2016. We now know that Ukrainian authorities escalated their investigation of Burisma Holdings in February 2016 by raiding the home of the company's owner, Mykola Zlochevsky. Soon after, Burisma's American representatives were pressing the State Department to help end the corruption allegations against the gas firm, specifically invoking Hunter Biden's name. What did State officials do after being pressured by Burisma? Did the U.S. embassy in Kiev assist Burisma's efforts to settle the corruption case against it? Who else in the U.S. government was being kept apprised?
  9. All contacts that the Energy Department, Justice Department or State Department had with Vice President Joe Biden's office concerning Burisma Holdings, Hunter Biden or business associate Devon Archer. We now know that multiple State Department officials believed Hunter Biden's association with Burisma created the appearance of a conflict of interest for the vice president, and at least one official tried to contact Joe Biden's office to raise those concerns. What, if anything, did these Cabinet agencies tell Joe Biden's office about the appearance concerns or the state of the various Ukrainian investigations into Burisma?
  10. All memos, emails and other documents concerning a possible U.S. embassy's request in spring 2019 to monitor the social media activities and analytics of certain U.S. media personalities considered favorable to President Trump. Did any such monitoring occur? Was it requested by the American embassy in Kiev? Who ordered it? Why did it stop? Were any legal concerns raised?
  11. All State, CIA, FBI and DOJ documents concerning efforts by individual Ukrainian government officials to exert influence on the 2016 U.S. election, including an anti-Trump Op-Ed written in August 2016 by Ukraine's ambassador to Washington or efforts to publicize allegations against Paul Manafort. What did U.S. officials know about these efforts in 2016, and how did they react? What were these federal agencies' reactions to a Ukrainian court decision in December 2018 suggesting some Ukrainian officials had improperly meddled in the 2016 election?
  12. All State, CIA, FBI and DOJ documents concerning contacts with a Democratic National Committee contractor named Alexandra Chalupa and her dealings with the Ukrainian embassy in Washington or other Ukrainian figures. Did anyone in these U.S. government agencies interview or have contact with Chalupa during the time the Ukraine embassy in Washington says she was seeking dirt in 2016 on Trump and Manafort?

[Nov 26, 2019] The Illiberal World Order

Notable quotes:
"... Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along. ..."
"... Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions ..."
"... Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues ..."
"... An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist. ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

The Illiberal World Order by Tyler Durden Mon, 11/25/2019 - 21:45 0 SHARES

Authored by Michael Krieger via Liberty Blitzkrieg blog,

From a big picture perspective, the largest rift in American politics is between those willing to admit reality and those clinging to a dishonest perception of a past that never actually existed. Ironically, those who most frequently use "post-truth" to describe our current era tend to be those with the most distorted view of what was really happening during the Clinton/Bush/Obama reign.

Despite massive amounts of evidence to the contrary, such people now enthusiastically whitewash the decades preceding Trump to turn it into a paragon of human liberty, justice and economic wonder. You don't have to look deep to understand that resistance liberals are now actually conservatives, brimming with nostalgia for the days before significant numbers of people became wise to what's been happening all along.

They want to forget about the bipartisan coverup of Saudi Arabia's involvement in 9/11, all the wars based on lies, and the indisputable imperial crimes disclosed by Wikileaks, Snowden and others. They want to pretend Wall Street crooks weren't bailed out and made even more powerful by the Bush/Obama tag team, despite ostensible ideological differences between the two. They want to forget Epstein Didn't Kill Himself.

Lying to yourself about history is one of the most dangerous things you can do. If you can't accept where we've been, and that Trump's election is a symptom of decades of rot as opposed to year zero of a dangerous new world, you'll never come to any useful conclusions. As such, the most meaningful fracture in American society today is between those who've accepted that we've been lied to for a very long time, and those who think everything was perfectly fine before Trump. There's no real room for a productive discussion between such groups because one of them just wants to get rid of orange man, while the other is focused on what's to come. One side actually believes a liberal world order existed in the recent past, while the other fundamentally recognizes this was mostly propaganda based on myth.

Irrespective of what you think of Bernie Sanders and his policies, you can at least appreciate the fact his supporters focus on policy and real issues. In contrast, resistance liberals just desperately scramble to put up whoever they think can take us back to a make-believe world of the recent past. This distinction is actually everything. It's the difference between people who've at least rejected the status quo and those who want to rewind history and perform a do-over of the past forty years.

A meaningful understanding that unites populists across the ideological spectrum is the basic acceptance that the status quo is pernicious and unsalvageable, while the status quo-promoting opposition focuses on Trump the man while conveniently ignoring the worst of his policies because they're essentially just a continuation of Bush/Clinton/Obama. It's the most shortsighted and destructive response to Trump imaginable. It's also why the Trump-era alliance of corporate, imperialist Democrats and rightwing Bush-era neoconservatives makes perfect sense, as twisted and deranged as it might seem at first. With some minor distinctions, these people share nostalgia for the same thing.

This sort of political environment is extremely unhealthy because it places an intentional and enormous pressure on everyone to choose between dedicating every fiber of your being to removing Trump at all costs or supporting him. This anti-intellectualism promotes an ends justifies the means attitude on all sides. In other words, it turns more and more people into rhinoceroses.

Eugène Ionesco's masterpiece, Rhinoceros, is about a central European town where the citizens turn, one by one, into rhinoceroses. Once changed, they do what rhinoceroses do, which is rampage through the town, destroying everything in their path. People are a little puzzled at first, what with their fellow citizens just turning into rampaging rhinos out of the blue, but even that slight puzzlement fades quickly enough. Soon it's just the New Normal. Soon it's just the way things are a good thing, even. Only one man resists the siren call of rhinocerosness, and that choice brings nothing but pain and existential doubt, as he is utterly profoundly alone.

– Ben Hunt, The Long Now, Pt. 2 – Make, Protect, Teach

A political environment where you're pressured to choose between some ridiculous binary of "we must remove Trump at all costs" or go gung-ho MAGA, is a rhinoceros generating machine. The only thing that happens when you channel your inner rhinoceros to defeat rhinoceroses, is you get more rhinoceroses. And that's exactly what's happening.

The truth of the matter is the U.S. is an illiberal democracy in practice, despite various myths to the contrary.

An illiberal democracy, also called a partial democracy, low intensity democracy, empty democracy, hybrid regime or guided democracy, is a governing system in which although elections take place, citizens are cut off from knowledge about the activities of those who exercise real power because of the lack of civil liberties; thus it is not an "open society". There are many countries "that are categorized as neither 'free' nor 'not free', but as 'probably free', falling somewhere between democratic and nondemocratic regimes". This may be because a constitution limiting government powers exists, but those in power ignore its liberties, or because an adequate legal constitutional framework of liberties does not exist.

It's not a new thing by any means, but it's getting worse by the day. Though many of us remain in denial, the American response to various crises throughout the 21st century was completely illiberal. As devastating as they were, the attacks of September 11, 2001 did limited damage compared to the destruction caused by our insane response to them. Similarly, any direct damage caused by the election and policies of Donald Trump pales in comparison to the damage being done by the intelligence agency-led "resistance" to him.

So are we all rhinoceroses now?

We don't have to be. Turning into a rhinoceros happens easily if you're unaware of what's happening and not grounded in principles, but ultimately it is a choice. The decision to discard ethics and embrace dishonesty in order to achieve political ends is always a choice. As such, the most daunting challenge we face now and in the chaotic years ahead is to become better as others become worse. A new world is undoubtably on the horizon, but we don't yet know what sort of world it'll be. It's either going to be a major improvement, or it'll go the other way, but one thing's for certain -- it can't stay the way it is much longer.

If we embrace an ends justifies the means philosophy, it's going to be game over for a generation. The moment you accept this tactic is the moment you stoop down to the level of your adversaries and become just like them. It then becomes a free-for-all for tyrants where everything is suddenly on the table and no deed is beyond the pale. It's happened many times before and it can happen again. It's what happens when everyone turns into rhinoceroses.

* * *

If you enjoyed this, I suggest you check out the following 2017 posts. It's never been more important to stay conscious and maintain a strong ethical framework.

Do Ends Justify the Means?

[Nov 26, 2019] Democrats Empower a Pack of Paranoid Neocon Morons both in State Department and Pentagon by David Stockman

Images removes. See the original via provided link. Images removes. See the original via provided link.
They are not morons. They are lackeys (or in more uncharitable terms, political prostitutes) of the military industrial complex
Nov 22, 2019 | original.antiwar.com
Part 1

Sometimes you need to call a spade a spade, and Tuesday's testimony before Adam's Schiff Show by former NSC official Tim Morrison is just such an occasion. In spades!

In his opening statement, this paranoid moron uttered the following lunacy, and it's all you need to know about what is really going on down in the Imperial City.

"I continue to believe Ukraine is on the front lines of a strategic competition between the West and Vladimir Putin's revanchist Russia. Russia is a failing power, but it is still a dangerous one. The United States aids Ukraine and her people so they can fight Russia over there and we don't have to fight Russia here.

Folks, that just plain whacko. The Trump-hating Dems are so feverishly set on a POTUS kill that they have enlisted a veritable posse of Russophobic, right-wing neocon cretins – Morrison, Taylor, Kent, Vindman, among others – to finish off the Donald.

But in so doing they have made official Washington's real beef against Trump crystal clear; and it's not about the rule of law or abuse of presidential power or an impeachable dereliction of duty.

To be sure, foolish politicians like Adam Schiff, Jerry Nadler and the Clintonista apparatus at the center of the Dem party are so overcome with inconsolable grief and anger about losing the 2016 election to Trump that their sole purpose in life is to drive the Donald from office. But that just makes them "useful idiots" or compliant handmaids of the Deep State, which has a far more encompassing and consequential motivation.

To wit, whether out of naiveté, contrariness or just plain common sense, the Donald has declined to embrace the War Party's Russian bogeyman and demonization of Putin. He thereby threatens the Empire's raison d'être to the very core.

Indeed, that's the real reason for the whole concerted attack on Trump from the Russian Collusion hoax, through the Mueller Investigation farce to the present UkraineGate and impeachment inquisition. The Deep State deeply and profoundly fears that if Trump remains in office – and especially if he is elected with a new mandate in 2020 – he might actually make peace with Russia and Putin.

So in Part 1 we advert to the basics. Without the demonization of Russia, Ukraine would be the no count failed state and cesspool of corruption it actually is, and not a purported "front line" buffer against Russian aggression.

Likewise, it would not have been a recipient of vast US and western military and economic aid – a condition that turned it into a honeypot for the kind of Washington influence peddling which ensnared the Bidens, induced its officials to meddle in the 2016 US election, and, in return, incited Trump's justifiable quest to get to the bottom of the malignancy that has ensued.

So the starting point is to identify Russia for what it actually is: Namely, a kleptocratic state sitting atop an aging, Vodka-chugging population and third-rate economy with virtually zero capacity to project 21st century offensive military power beyond its own borders.

That truth, of course, shatters the whole foundation of the Warfare State. It renders NATO an obsolete relic and eviscerates the case for America's absurd $900 billion defense and national security budget. And with the latter's demise, the fairest part of Washington's imperial self-importance and unseemly national security spending-based prosperity would also crumble.

But in their frenzied pursuit of the Donald's political scalp, the Dems may be inadvertently sabotaging their Deep State masters. That's because the neocon knuckleheads they are dragging out of the NSC and State Department woodwork are such bellicose simpletons – just maybe their utterly preposterous testimony about the Russkie threat and Ukrainian "front line" will wake up the somnolent American public to the absurdity of the entire Cold War 2.0 campaign.

Indeed, you almost have to ask whether the bit about fighting the Russkies in the Donbas rather than on the shores of New Jersey from Morrison's opening statement quoted above was reprinted in the New York Times or The Onion ?

The fact is, the fearsome Russian bogeyman cited by Morrison yesterday – and Ambassador Taylor, George Kent and Lt. Colonel Vindman previously – is a complete chimera; and the notion that the cesspool of corruption in Ukraine is a strategic buffer against Russian aggression is just plain idiocy.

Russia is actually an economic and industrial midget transformed beyond recognition by relentless Warfare State propaganda. It is actually no more threatening to America's homeland security than the Siberian land mass that Sarah Palin once espied from her front porch in Alaska a decade ago.

After all, how could it be? The GDP of the New York City metro area alone is about $1.8 trillion, which is well more than Russia's 2018 GDP of $1.66 trillion. And that, in turn, is just 8% of America's total GDP of $21.5 trillion.

Moreover, Russia' dwarf economy is composed largely of a vast oil and gas patch; a multitude of nickel, copper, bauxite and vanadium mines; and some very large swatches of wheat fields. That's not exactly the kind of high tech industrial platform on which a war machine capable of threatening the good folks in Lincoln NE or Worchester MA is likely to be erected.

And especially not when the Russian economy has been heading sharply south in dollar purchasing terms for several years running.

GDP of Russia In Millions of USD

Indeed, in terms of manufacturing output, the comparison is just as stark. Russia's annual manufacturing value added is currently about $200 billion compared to $2.2 trillion for the US economy.

And that's not the half of it. Not only are Russia's vast hydrocarbon deposits and mines likely to give out in the years ahead, but so are the livers of its Vodka-chugging work force. That's a problem because according to a recent Brookings study, Russia's working age population – even supplemented by substantial in-migration and guest worker programs – is heading south as far into the future as the eye can see.

Even in the Brookings medium case projection shown below, Russia's working age population will be nearly 20% smaller than today by 2050. Yet today's figure of about 85 million is already just a fraction of the US working age population of 255 million.

Russia's Shrinking Work Force

Not surprisingly, Russia's pint-sized economy can not support a military establishment anywhere near to that of Imperial Washington. To wit, its $61 billion of military outlays in 2018 amounted to less than 32 days of Washington's current $750 billion of expenditures for defense.

Indeed, it might well be asked how Russia could remotely threaten homeland security in America short of what would be a suicidal nuclear first strike.

That's because the 1,600 deployed nuclear weapons on each side represent a continuation of mutual deterrence (MAD) – the arrangement by which we we got through 45-years of cold war when the Kremlin was run by a totalitarian oligarchy committed to a hostile ideology; and during which time it had been armed to the teeth via a forced-draft allocation of upwards of 40% of the GDP of the Soviet empire to the military.

By comparison, the Russian defense budget currently amounts to less than 4% of the country's anemic present day economy – one shorn of the vast territories and populations of Belarus, Ukraine, Georgia, Uzbekistan, Kazakhstan and all the Asian "stans" among others. Yet given those realities we are supposed to believe that the self-evidently calculating and cautious kleptomaniac who runs the Kremlin is going to go mad, defy MAD and trigger a nuclear Armageddon?

Indeed, the idea that Russia presents a national security threat to America is laughable. Not only would Putin never risk nuclear suicide, but even that fantasy is the extent of what he's got. That is, Russia's conventional capacity to project force to the North American continent is nonexistent – or at best, lies somewhere between nichts and nothing.

For example, in today's world you do not invade any foreign continent without massive sea power projection capacity in the form of aircraft carrier strike groups. These units consist of an armada of lethal escort ships, a fleet of aircraft, massive suites of electronics warfare capability and the ability to launch hundreds of cruise missiles and other smart weapons.

Each US aircraft carrier based strike group, in fact, is composed of roughly 7,500 personnel, at least one cruiser, a squadron of destroyers and/or frigates, and a carrier air wing of 65 to 70 aircraft. A carrier strike group also sometimes includes submarines and attached logistics ships.

The US has eleven such carrier strike groups. Russia has zero modern carrier strike groups and one beat-up, smoky old (diesel) aircraft carrier that the Israeli paper, Haaretz, described as follows when it recently entered the Mediterranean:

Russia's only aircraft carrier, a leftover from the days of Soviet power, carries a long history of mishaps, at sea and in port, and diesel engines which were built for Russia's cold waters – as shown by the column of black smoke raising above it. It needs frequent refueling and resupplies and has never been operationally tested.

Indeed, from our 19th floor apartment on the East River in NYC, even we could see this smoke belcher coming up Long Island Sound with an unaided eye – with no help needed at all from the high tech spyware of the nation's $80 billion intelligence apparatus.

Yet Morrison had the audacity to say before a committee of the U.S. House that we are aiding Ukraine so we don't have to fight Russians on the banks of the East River or the Potomac!

For want of doubt, just compare the above image of the Admiral Kuznetsov belching smoke in the Mediterranean with that of the Gerald R. Ford CVN 48 next below.

The latter is the US Navy's new $13 billion aircraft carrier and is the most technologically advanced warship ever built.

The contrast shown below serves as a proxy for the vastly inferior capability of the limited number of ships and planes in Russia's conventional force. What it does have numerical superiority in is tanks – but alas they are not amphibious nor ocean-capable!

Likewise, nobody invades anybody without massive airpower and the ability to project it across thousands of miles of oceans via vast logistics and air-refueling capabilities.

On that score, the US has 6,100 helicopters to Russia's 1,200 and 6,000 fixed wing fighter and attack aircraft versus Russia's 2,100. More importantly, the US has 5,700 transport and airlift aircraft compared to just 1,100 for Russia.

In short, the idea that Russia is a military threat to the US homeland is ludicrous. Russia is essentially a landlocked military shadow of the former Soviet war machine. Indeed, for the world's only globe-spanning imperial power to remonstrate about an aggressive threat from Moscow is a prime facie case of the pot calling the kettle black.

Moreover, the canard that Washington's massive conventional armada is needed to defend Europe is risible nonsense. Europe can and should take care of its own security and relationship with its neighbor on the Eurasian continent.

After all, the GDP of NATO Europe is $18 trillion or 12X greater than that of Russia, and the current military budgets of European NATO members total about $280 billion or 4X more than that of Russia.

More importantly, the European nations and people really do not have any quarrel with Putin's Russia, nor is their security and safety threatened by the latter. All of the tensions that do exist and have come to a head since the illegal coup in Kiev in February 2014 were fomented by Imperial Washington and its European subalterns in the NATO machinery.

Then again, the latter is absolutely the most useless, obsolete, wasteful and dangerous multilateral institution in the present world. But like the proverbial clothes-less emperor, NATO doesn't dare risk having the purportedly "uninformed" amateur in the Oval Office pointing out its buck naked behind.

So the NATO subservient think tanks and establishment policy apparatchiks are harrumphing up a storm, but for crying out loud most of Europe's elected politicians are in on the joke. They are fiscally swamped paying for their Welfare States and are not about to squeeze their budgets or taxpayers to fund military muscle against a nonexistent threat.

As the late, great Justin Raimondo aptly noted ,

Finally an American president has woken up to the fact that World War II, not to mention the cold war, is over: there's no need for US troops to occupy Germany. Vladimir Putin isn't going to march into Berlin in a reenactment of the Red Army taking the Fuehrer-bunker – but even if he were so inclined, why won't Germany defend itself?

Exactly. If their history proves anything, Germans are not a nation of pacifists, meekly willing to bend-over in the face of real aggressors. Yet they spent the paltry sum of $43 billion on defense during 2018, or barely 1.1% of Germany's $4.0 trillion GDP, which happens to be roughly three times bigger than Russia's.

In short, the policy action of the German government tells you they don't think Putin is about to invade the Rhineland or retake the Brandenburg Gate.

And this live action testimonial also trumps, as it were, all of the risible alarms that have emanated from the beltway think tanks and the 4,000 NATO bureaucrats talking their own book in behalf of their plush Brussels sinecures.

And as we will outline in Part 2, that's what Washington's Ukraine intervention is all about, and why the Donald's efforts to get to the bottom of that cesspool has brought on the final Deep State assault against his presidency.

Part 2

In Part 1 we dispatched UkraineGater Tim Morrison's preposterous suggestion that Washington is helping Kiev subdue the Donbas so we won't have Russkies coming up the East River.

Yet his related claim that Ukraine is a victim of Russian aggression is even more ludicrous. The actual aggression in that godforsaken corner of the planet came from Washington when it instigated, funded, engineered and recognized the putsch on the streets of Kiev during February 2014, which illegally overthrew the duly elected President of Ukraine on the grounds that he was too friendly with Moscow.

Thus, Morrison risibly asserted that,

Support for Ukraine's territorial integrity and sovereignty has been a bipartisan objective since Russia's military invasion in 2014. It must continue to be.

The fact is, when the Maidan uprising occurred in February that year there were no uninvited Russian troops anywhere in Ukraine. Putin was actually sitting in his box on the viewing stand, presiding over the Winter Olympics in Sochi and basking in the limelight of global attention that they commanded .

It was only weeks later – when the Washington-installed ultra-nationalist government with its neo-Nazi vanguard threatened the Russian-speaking populations of Crimea and the Donbas – that Putin moved to defend Russian interests on his own doorstep. And those interests included Russia's primary national security asset – the naval base at Sevastopol in Crimea which had been the homeport of the Russian Black Sea Fleet for centuries under czars and commissars alike, and on which Russia had a long-term lease.

We untangle the truth of the crucial events which surrounded the Kiev putsch in greater detail below, but suffice it here to note the whole gang of neocon apparatchiks which have been paraded before the Schiff Show have proffered the same Big Lie as did Morrison in the "invasion" quote cited above.

As the ever perspicacious Robert Merry observed regarding the previous testimony of Ambassador Bill Taylor and Deputy Assistant Secretary of State George Kent, the Washington rendition of the Maidan coup and its aftermath amounts to a blatant falsehood:

The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor's rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood.

As he had it, Ukraine's turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia's Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to "bribe" Ukraine's president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a "sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles." Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine "to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments." And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine.

"It is this security assistance," he said, "that is at the heart of the [impeachment] controversy that we are discussing today."

Taylor's right that this narrative is at the center of UkraineGate, but there is not a shred of truth to it. Nevertheless, defense of this false narrative, and the inappropriate military and economic aid to Ukraine which flowed from it, is the real reason this posse of neocon stooges took exception to the Donald's legitimate interest in investigating the Bidens and the events of 2016.

As Morrison put it Tuesday and Vindman said last week, their interest was in protecting not the constitution and the rule of law, but the bipartisan political consensus on Capitol Hill in favor of their proxy war on Putin and the Ukraine aid package through which it was being prosecuted.

As I stated during my deposition, I feared at the time of the call on July 25 how its disclosure would play in Washington's political climate. My fears have been realized.

Not surprisingly, the entire Washington establishment has been sucked into this scam. For instance, the insufferably sanctimonious Peggy Noonan used her Wall Street Journal platform to idolize these liars.

As she portrayed it, bow-tie bedecked George P. Kent appeared to be the very picture of the old-school American foreign service official. And West Pointer Bill Taylor – with a military career going back to (dubious) Vietnam heroism – was redolent of the blunt-spoken American military men who won WW II and the cold war which followed.

As Robert Merry further noted,

She saw them as "the old America reasserting itself." They demonstrated "stature and command of their subject matter." They evinced "capability and integrity."

Oh, puleeze!

What they evinced was nothing more than the self-serving groupthink that has turned Ukraine into a beltway goldmine. That is, a cornucopia of funding for all the think tanks, NGOs, foreign policy experts, national security contractors and Warfare State agencies – from DOD through the State Department, AID, the National Endowment for Democracy, the Board for International Broadcasting and countless more – which ply their trade in the Imperial City.

But Robert Merry got it right. These cats are not noble public servants and heroes; they're apparatchiks and payrollers aggrandizing their own power and pelf – even as they lead the nation to the brink of disaster:

But these men embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous. Perhaps no serious blame should accrue to them, since it is the same geopolitical outlook embraced and enforced by pretty much the entire foreign policy establishment, of which these men are mere loyal apparatchiks. And yet they are playing their part in pushing a foreign policy that is directing America towards a very possible disaster.

Neither man manifested even an inkling of an understanding of what kind of game the United States in playing with Ukraine. Neither gave even a nod to the long, complex relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Neither seemed to understand either the substance or the intensity of Russia's geopolitical interests along its own borders or the likely consequences of increasing U.S. meddling in what for centuries has been part of Russia's sphere of influence.

They obviously didn't get it, but we must. So let us summarize the true Ukraine story, starting with the utterly stupid and historically ignorant reason for Washington's February 2014 coup.

Namely, it objected to the decision of Ukraine's prior government in late 2013 to align itself economically and politically with its historic hegemon in Moscow rather than the European Union and NATO. Yet the fairly elected and constitutionally legitimate government of Ukraine then led by Viktor Yanukovych had gone that route mainly because it got a better deal from Moscow than was being demanded by the fiscal torture artists of the IMF.

Needless to say, the ensuing US sponsored putsch arising from the mobs on the street of Kiev reopened deep national wounds. Ukraine's bitter divide between Russian-speakers in the east and Ukrainian nationalists elsewhere dates back to Stalin's brutal rein in Ukraine during the 1930s and Ukrainian collusion with Hitler's Wehrmacht on its way to Stalingrad and back during the 1940s.

It was the memory of the latter nightmare, in fact, which triggered the fear-driven outbreak of Russian separatism in the Donbas and the 96% referendum vote in Crimea in March 2014 to formally re-affiliate with Mother Russia.

In this context, even a passing familiarity with Russian history and geography would remind that Ukraine and Crimea are Moscow's business, not Washington's.

In the first place, there is nothing at stake in the Ukraine that matters. During the last 800 years it has been a meandering set of borders in search of a country.

In fact, the intervals in which the Ukraine existed as an independent nation have been few and far between. Invariably, its rulers, petty potentates and corrupt politicians made deals with or surrendered to every outside power that came along.

These included the Lithuanians, Poles, Ruthenians (eastern Slavs), Tartars, Turks, Muscovites, Austrians and Czars, among manifold others.

At the beginning of the 16th century, for instance, the territory of today's Ukraine was scattered largely among the Grand Duchy of Lithuania and Ruthenia (light brown area), the Kingdom of Poland (dark brown area), Muscovy (bright yellow area) the Crimean Khanate (light yellow area).

The latter was the entity which emerged when some clans of the Golden Horde (Tartars) ceased their nomadic life on the Asian steppes and occupied the light yellow stripped areas of the map north of the Black Sea as their Yurt (homeland).

From that cold start, the tiny Cossack principality of Ukraine (blue area below), which had emerged by 1654, grew significantly over the subsequent three centuries. But as the map also makes clear, this did not reflect the organic congealment of a nation of kindred volk sharing common linguistic and ethnic roots, but the machinations of Czars and Commissars for the administrative convenience of efficiently ruling their conquests and vassals.

Thus, much of modern Ukraine was incorporated by the Russian Czars between 1654 and 1917 per the yellow area of the map and functioned as vassal states. These territories were amalgamated by absolute monarchs who ruled by the mandate of God and the often brutal sword of their own armies.

In particular, much of the purple area was known as "Novo Russia" (Novorossiya) during the 18th and 19th century owing to the Czarist policy of relocating Russian populations to the north of the Black Sea as a bulwark against the Ottomans. But after Lenin seized power in St. Petersburg in November 1917 amidst the wreckage of Czarist Russia, an ensuing civil war between the so-called White Russians and the Red Bolsheviks raged for several years in these territories and elsewhere in the chaotic regions of the former western Russian Empire.

At length, Lenin won the civil war as the French, British, Polish and American contingents vacated the postwar struggle for power in Russia. Accordingly, in 1922 the new Communist rulers proclaimed the Union of Soviet Social Republics (USSR) and incorporated Novo Russia into one of its four constituent units as the Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic (SSR) – along with the Russian, Belarus and Transcaucasian SSRs.

Thereafter the border and political status of Ukraine remained unchanged until the infamous Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 between the USSR and Nazi Germany. Pursuant thereto the Red Army and Nazi Germany invaded and dismembered Poland, with Stalin getting the blue areas (Volhynia and parts of Galicia) as consolation prizes, which where then incorporated into the Ukrainian SSR.

Finally, when Uncle Joe Stalin died and Nikita Khrushchev won the bloody succession struggle in 1954, he transferred Crimea (red area) to the Ukraine SSR as a reward to his supporters in Kiev. That, of course, was the arbitrary writ of the Soviet Presidium, given that precious few Ukrainians actually lived in what had been a integral part of Czarist Russia after it was purchased by Catherine the Great from the Turks in 1783.

In a word, the borders of modern Ukraine are the handiwork of Czarist emperors and Communist butchers. The so-called international rule of law had absolutely nothing to do with its gestation and upbringing.

It's a pity, therefore, that none of the so-called conservative Republicans attending Adam's Schiff Show saw fit to ask young Tim Morrison the obvious question.

To wit, exactly why is he (and most of the Washington foreign policy establishment) so keen on expending American treasure, weapons and even blood in behalf of the "territorial integrity and sovereignty" of this happenstance amalgamation of people subdued by some of history's most despicable tyrants?

Needless to say, owing to this very history, the linguistic/ethnic composition of today's Ukraine does not reflect the congealment of a "nation" in the historic sense.

To the contrary, central and western Ukraine is populated by ethnic Ukrainians who speak Ukrainian (dark red area), whereas the two parts of the country allegedly the victim of Russian aggression and occupation – Crimea (brown area) and the eastern Donbas region (yellow area with brown strips) – are comprised of ethnic Russians who speak Russian and ethnic Ukrainians who predominately speak-Russian, respectively.

And much of the rest of the territory consists of admixtures and various Romanian, Moldovan, Hungarian and Bulgarian minorities.

Did the Washington neocons – led by Senator McCain and Assistant Secretary Victoria Nuland – who triggered the Ukrainian civil war with their coup on the streets of Kiev in February 2014 consider the implications of the map below and its embedded, and often bloody, history?

Quite surely, they did not.

Nor did they consider the rest of the map. That is, the enveloping Russian state all around to which the parts and pieces of Ukraine – especially the Donbas and Crimea – have been intimately connected for centuries. Robert Merry thus further noted,

As Nikolas K. Gvosdev of the US Naval War College has written, Russia and Ukraine share a 1,500-mile border where Ukraine "nestles up against the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation." Gvosdev elaborates: "The worst nightmare of the Russian General Staff would be NATO forces deployed all along this frontier, which would put the core of Russia's population and industrial capacity at risk of being quickly and suddenly overrun in the event of any conflict." Beyond that crucial strategic concern, the two countries share strong economic, trade, cultural, ethnic, and language ties going back centuries. No Russian leader of any stripe would survive as leader if he or she were to allow Ukraine to be wrested fully from Russia's sphere of influence.

And yet America, in furtherance of the ultimate aim of pulling Ukraine away from Russia, spent some $5 billion in a campaign to gin up pro-Western sentiment there, according to former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who spearheaded much of this effort during the Obama administration. It was clearly a blatant effort to interfere in the domestic politics of a foreign nation – and a nation residing in a delicate and easily inflamed part of the world.

Indeed, Ukraine is a tragically divided country and fissured simulacrum of a nation. Professor Samuel Huntington of Harvard called Ukraine "a cleft country, with two distinct cultures" causing Robert Merry to rightly observe that,

Contrary to Taylor's false portrayal of an aggressive Russia trampling on eastern Ukrainians by setting up puppet governments and manufacturing a bogus referendum in Crimea, the reality is that large numbers of Ukrainians there favor Russia and feel loyalty to what they consider their Russian heritage. The Crimean public is 70 percent Russian, and its Parliament in 1992 actually voted to declare independence from Ukraine for fear that the national leadership would nudge the country toward the West. (The vote was later rescinded to avoid a violent national confrontation.) In 1994, Crimea elected a president who had campaigned on a platform of "unity with Russia."

In short, in modern times Ukraine largely functioned as an integral part of Mother Russia, serving as its breadbasket and iron and steel crucible under czars and commissars alike. Given this history, the idea that Ukraine should be actively and aggressively induced to join NATO was just plain nuts, as we will amplify further in Part 3 (to come).

David Stockman was a two-term Congressman from Michigan. He was also the Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President Ronald Reagan. After leaving the White House, Stockman had a 20-year career on Wall Street. He's the author of three books, The Triumph of Politics: Why the Reagan Revolution Failed , The Great Deformation: The Corruption of Capitalism in America and TRUMPED! A Nation on the Brink of Ruin And How to Bring It Back . He also is founder of David Stockman's Contra Corner and David Stockman's Bubble Finance Trader .

[Nov 26, 2019] Who debunked the Biden conspiracy theories by Colonel Lang

Notable quotes:
"... "US Officials" say the Bidens are pure in heart and deed? Hah! Is it not clear that The Borg (foreign policy establishment) hate Donald Trump and will say anything possible to injure him? ..."
"... "Debunked," "Discredited," "Conspiracy theories?" Trickery in the press is the real truth , trickery intended to protect the only viable candidate in the Democratic Party field. ..."
"... Lutsenko has had a pretty sketchy career, including charges of abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement among other things. https://heavy.com/news/2019/11/yuriy-lutsenko/ It's telling that Democrats and the mainstream media choose to cite such a character as their primary source for evidence that the Bidens did nothing wrong. Reminds me of Mark Twains old adage: "An honest politician is one who, once he's been bought, stays bought." More recently it seems that his loyalties have shifted, accusing Yovanovitch of giving him a list of people who should be protected. ..."
"... It's not really that complicated an inquiry to decide whether there is a need to go further; two questions: what did Hunter Biden do for the money; and Joe, did you get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired as you bragged you did, and why? Maybe throw in a third if the answer is "I did", what or who made you think that you could do that? ..."
Nov 26, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Two quotes:

"Graham's conspiracy theory-based investigation is rooted in the baseless allegation that Biden pressured Ukraine to remove a corrupt prosecutor in 2016 as a way to protect Burisma, a Ukrainian energy company, against a corruption probe. Biden's son Hunter was previously a board member with Burisma until April this year.

There is no evidence to support allegations that Biden acted improperly in calling for the prosecutor general in charge of the Burisma probe to be ousted, and both Ukrainian and U.S. officials have said there is no merit to the claim. As many have since noted, the Burisma investigation was in fact dormant when the prosecutor general was forced out on accusations he was slow-walking corruption probes, among other things.

Trump brought up that debunked conspiracy during a July 25 call with Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelenskiy, asking the Ukrainian government to investigate Biden as well as a baseless conspiracy involving the Democratic National Committee servers."

~American Independent

*******

"Epistemology is the study of the nature of knowledge, justification, and the rationality of belief. Much debate in epistemology centers on four areas:

(1) the philosophical analysis of the nature of knowledge and how it relates to such concepts as truth , belief , and justification , [1] [2]

(2) various problems of skepticism ,

(3) the sources and scope of knowledge and justified belief, and

(4) the criteria for knowledge and justification.

Epistemology addresses such questions as: "What makes justified beliefs justified?" " What does it mean to say that we know something? ", and fundamentally "How do we know that we know?"

~ wiki on epistemology

-------------

As in the example above from the "American Independent," the MSM and online projects like the American Independent incessantly insist that the simple fact that Hunter Biden and his dear old dad, a "Union Man," solicited money in Ukraine and in China for services not rendered proves nothing, that nothing has been proven against them and that any mention of these occurrences is evidence of harsh partisan rhetoric based on fantasy and equivalent to belief in the Loch Ness Monster.

Well, pilgrims I want to know who and what investigation or investigations cleared the Bidens of anything.

It is obvious that Hunter is qualified for employment as a bag man and not much else. He has a law degree? So what? As in the matter of the qualifications of doctors, not all learn much in medical or law school.

"US Officials" say the Bidens are pure in heart and deed? Hah! Is it not clear that The Borg (foreign policy establishment) hate Donald Trump and will say anything possible to injure him?

"Debunked," "Discredited," "Conspiracy theories?" Trickery in the press is the real truth , trickery intended to protect the only viable candidate in the Democratic Party field.

Posted at 01:13 PM in As The Borg Turns , government , Media , Politics | Permalink


Mark McCarty , 25 November 2019 at 01:44 PM

The article highlighted here, typically, is a lie. As documented in Moon of Alabama's timeline ( https://www.moonofalabama.org/2019/11/a-timeline-of-joe-bidens-intervention-against-the-prosecutor-general-of-ukraine.html), Shokin was actively investigating Zlochevsky in February 2016, when Shokin seized his luxury car. Barely two weeks later, Biden was on the phone to Poroshenko demanding Shokin's firing. While this doesn't prove that Biden was motivated primarily by a desire to protect his son's employer, it is certainly consistent with that possibility.
Keith Harbaugh , 25 November 2019 at 01:48 PM
John Solomon has been very much in the lead on reporting from Ukraine which furthers what the MSM calls "conspiracy theories". While he earlier reported, or opined, from The Hill, now he evidently has been bumped (my opinion) from that perch, and now has own blog John Solomon Report : https://johnsolomonreports.com/

He has been roundly attacked in the media for opposing the party line on Ukraine, see especially this Paul Farhi (normally a balanced voice, but not in this case) column: https://www.washingtonpost.com/lifestyle/style/how-a-conservative-columnist-helped-push-a-flawed-ukraine-narrative/2019/09/26/1654026e-dee7-11e9-8dc8-498eabc129a0_story.html

In any case, here are some recent columns where Solomon fires back at the MSM and the party line:

2019-11-22 https://johnsolomonreports.com/responding-to-lt-col-vindman-about-my-ukraine-columns-with-the-facts/
2019-11-20 https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-ukraine-scandal-timeline-democrats-and-their-media-allies-dont-want-america-to-see/
2019-11-20 https://johnsolomonreports.com/impeachment-surprise-how-adam-schiff-validated-my-reporting-on-ukraine/
2019-11-15 https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-15-essential-questions-for-marie-yovanovitch-americas-former-ambassador-to-ukraine/
2019-11-13 https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-real-ukraine-controversy-an-activist-u-s-embassy-and-its-adherence-to-the-geneva-convention/

2019-10-31 https://johnsolomonreports.com/debunking-some-of-the-ukraine-scandal-myths-about-biden-and-election-interference/

This last link is especially worthwhile.

It is tragic, IMO, how the MSM ignores the facts that Solomon documents in his columns.
It is possible that JS is a mouthpiece for corrupt elements in Ukraine,
but I think his points deserve more attention than they have been getting.
There are two sides to this story, not only one as Col. Lang pointed out in his root piece.

prawnik , 25 November 2019 at 01:57 PM
I recall that the Russiagate conspiracy theory was "proven" factual as well, and by many of the same people who claim that Biden's corruption has been "debunked". Even though it was absurd on its face and had been debunked numerous times, many people in fact continue to insist otherwise.
catherine , 25 November 2019 at 02:00 PM
Seriously....who would think Biden's son taking a highly paid position with a company in a foreign country that Biden was representing the US in wasn't a conflict of interest? Even the 'appearance' of a conflict of interest should be avoided in such situations.
I find Biden and his political 'career', greased by his 'good old Joe act' disgusting in so many ways it would take too long to describe them here.

It should be investigated but I doubt it will.

plantman , 25 November 2019 at 02:29 PM
The media really seems to be testing the limits of disinformation. More and more, the media wants to convince people that black is white and up is down. Fortunately, I don't think their plan is working all that well.

In the case of Hunter Biden, we are told that "There is no evidence to support allegations that Biden acted improperly".

Okay, that's one way to look at things, but I have found that even among my liberal friends, the fetid smell of corruption emitting from this case, is overpowering. And while most people might have a hard time sinking their teeth into a "quid pro quo", they do have a pretty good grasp of old fashioned influence peddling, which is what we are talking about.

So why has the media chosen to defend the crooked goings-on of public officials who were obviously up to no good? Don't they care about their credibility at all?

Seamus Padraig said in reply to plantman... , 25 November 2019 at 07:09 PM
Quid Pro Joe Biden.
JohnH , 25 November 2019 at 02:41 PM
Was the American Independent quote lifted from The NY Times? It sure sounds like it!

For some time I've been wondering how exactly Biden got cleared. Was there any formal investigation? Who conducted it? And how reliable are the facts when they come from a place like Ukraine, where anything, including the 'truth,' can be laundered?

What's become painfully obvious is how eagerly America's major news outlets, including the journals of record, participate in the laundering of truth.

Of course, that should have been obvious from the yellow journalism preceding the war in Iraq.

What's really scary are reports that "intelligence" services get most of their 'facts' from the very same truth laundering sources.

oldman22 , 25 November 2019 at 03:15 PM
too much to summarize, includes original government documents, read all for yourself please

State Department Releases Detailed Accounts Of Biden-Ukraine Corruption

by Tyler Durden

https://www.zerohedge.com/geopolitical/state-department-releases-detailed-accounts-biden-ukraine-corruption

Factotum , 25 November 2019 at 04:08 PM
I always got the impression the "wild, debunked conspiracy theory pushed by right wing nuts" was always referring to the Crowdstrike DNC computer investigation hoax that Trump tried to re-open.

They would never specifically refer to the Crowdstrike favor Trump specifically asked for in the phone call, instead they would substitute Trump asked about some "debunked, wild right wing conspiracy".

So they never explained how the Crowdstrike investigation hoax was debunked either.

To me this is far more interesting missing debunked conspiracy link - since it shows incredible coordination between the DNC, the "leak" of their DNC computer data, Ukrainian Crowdstrike, and finally the Mueller Report who used the DNC Crowdstrike investigation conclusoin hook line and sinker to reach their own official conclusions which is now "proven" operating dogma. Without ever doing an independent investigation themselves. How often does that happen?

To me the Crowdstrike connection begs further investigation - why would a Russian hating Ukrainian who was running Crowdstrike point the finger at the Russians and claim they "hacked" the DNC computers, but not let anyone else touch those same computers to corroborate that conclusion?

And then parlay this into Trump supporting Russian interference in the 2016 election. All too tidy for me. Feels like dark forces are still at work, and subverting language to achieve their ends.

Petrel , 25 November 2019 at 04:17 PM
Whatever happened to Joe Biden's taped boast, at the Council on Foreign Relations, that he gave President Poroshenko 6 hours to fire Prosecutor Shokin -- or else lose $1 Billion of US aid ?

How was this taped confession of QUID-PRO-QUO debunked ?

Factotum said in reply to Petrel... , 25 November 2019 at 07:16 PM
Quid pro quo becomes a fait accompli.
Upstate NY'er , 25 November 2019 at 04:34 PM
The media (approx. 99% of them) have been in the tank for Democrats since at least the Vietnam war.
Roger Ailes said why he didn't read the NY Times:
"You cover the bad news about America. You do. But you don't get up in the morning hating your country."
b , 25 November 2019 at 05:21 PM
The "debunked" is based on the claim the the Ukrainian General Prosecutor Shokin was not investigating Burisma or its owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

That claim is evidently false.

On Feb 2 2016 Shokin confiscated the houses (more like palaces) of Burisma owner Mykola Zlochevsky.

A news agency reports the seizure two days later (Note: European date format ddmmyy)
https://en.interfax.com.ua/news/general/322395.html

Eight days later Joe Biden launched an intense pressure campaign to get rid of Shokin. He personally calls Poroshenko on Feb 12, 18 and 19 to press for firing Shokin.

To think that this is unrelated is not reasonable.

The rest of the timeline shows further Biden influence in the case.

(I should update that timeline as a lot of additional evidence of Burisma lobbying State at that time has since come in.)

There are tons of additional dirt. The U.S. has control over the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine (NABU) and uses it to push all such investigations to its favor. NABU has itself been involved in serious corruption.
There is also a USAID/Soros paid NGO that has a similar function and is equally corrupt.

These organizations are used as weapons to put all Ukrainian assets into the hands of those that the U.S. embassy likes.

JohnH said in reply to b ... , 25 November 2019 at 11:25 PM
The debunkers seem to be citing Yuriy Lutsenko, who said that "he had no evidence of wrongdoing by U.S. Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden or his son."
https://www.washingtonpost.com/politics/2019/05/23/fact-checking-president-trumps-wild-jabs-joe-biden/

Lutsenko was the guy who was appointed as Prosecutor General after Biden got the previous one fired. IOW Lutsenko owed his job to Biden.

Lutsenko has had a pretty sketchy career, including charges of abuse of power, forgery and embezzlement among other things. https://heavy.com/news/2019/11/yuriy-lutsenko/ It's telling that Democrats and the mainstream media choose to cite such a character as their primary source for evidence that the Bidens did nothing wrong. Reminds me of Mark Twains old adage: "An honest politician is one who, once he's been bought, stays bought." More recently it seems that his loyalties have shifted, accusing Yovanovitch of giving him a list of people who should be protected.

The only thing I can conclude is that Lutsenko is probably just trying to survive the shifting tides in the Ukrainian swamp and will say or do whatever it takes.

Ian56 , 25 November 2019 at 06:27 PM
"American Independent" is David Brock's Clinton / Soros linked Shareblue disinfo and troll brigade rebranded. It will obviously tell every lie going to protect the corrupt Corporate Dem Establishment, the Globalists and the Deep State. https://twitter.com/Ian56789/status/1198338991814250497
Flavius , 25 November 2019 at 09:22 PM
It's not really that complicated an inquiry to decide whether there is a need to go further; two questions: what did Hunter Biden do for the money; and Joe, did you get the Ukrainian prosecutor fired as you bragged you did, and why? Maybe throw in a third if the answer is "I did", what or who made you think that you could do that?

[Nov 25, 2019] Impeaching Trump and Demonizing Russia Birds of a Feather

Notable quotes:
"... It could be argued, perhaps, that an expansion of Russian influence in Ukraine could affect the vital interests of the rest of Europe, though that would hardly be inevitable. But cannot Europe handle any such threat vis-a-vis Russia, given that the EU has a population of 512 million and a GDP of $18 trillion -- compared to Russia's population of 145 million and GDP of $1.6 trillion? ..."
"... The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor's rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood. As he had it, Ukraine's turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia's Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to "bribe" Ukraine's president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a "sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles." Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine "to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments." And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine. ..."
"... Thumbs up on the article - the valiant Ukraine facing perfidious Russia is a gross oversimplification. And as noted, the US is involved in this mess up to its eyeballs. ..."
"... Russia is associated with the image of the USSR which developed an alternative model to financial capitalism. Financial capitalism is collapsing for objective and totally unavoidable reasons. The search for an alternative will continue drawing more attention to Russia as a country that is, in principle, capable of offering an alternative development model. ..."
"... The disagreement IS over Ukraine policy, not this argument about what Trump may or may not have done. DC is full of corruption of all kinds, including in foreign policy, but no one is ever punished. So we know that is not the issue. ..."
"... I believe Stratfor, no friend of Russia and close to the neocon faction in American politics, described the 2014 coup as "the most blatant coup in history". ..."
"... This article is very good in detail, but they could also add that the first Minister of Finance in Ukraine's post-Maidan government was a literal US State Department official who was only then granted Ukrainian citizenship. Not surprisingly she also made Ukraine accept IMF loans, getting Ukraine into the IMF predatory lending/austerity scam. ..."
"... This is the legacy of careerism within the Foreign Service. People get positions in which they live comfortably, attending all the right parties and getting a sophisticated world view and seldom have any loyalty or accountability to the Commander in Chief. ..."
"... When Vindman claimed he was disturbed by what he heard, instead of following the chain of command, which he invokes almost as often as his rank, he lawyers up. ..."
Nov 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

he Wall Street Journal 's Peggy Noonan liked what she saw when U.S. diplomats George Kent and William B. Taylor Jr. went before the House Intelligence Committee to give testimony as part of the ongoing impeachment drama. She saw them as "the old America reasserting itself." They demonstrated "stature and command of their subject matter." They evinced "capability and integrity."

All true. Kent, with his bow tie and his family tradition of public service, appeared to be the very picture of the old-school American foreign service official. And Taylor, with his exemplary West Point career, his Vietnam heroism, and his longtime national service, seemed a throwback to the blunt-spoken American military men who gave us our World War II triumph and our rise to global dominance.

But these men embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous. Perhaps no serious blame should accrue to them, since it is the same geopolitical outlook embraced and enforced by pretty much the entire foreign policy establishment, of which these men are mere loyal apparatchiks. And yet they are playing their part in pushing a foreign policy that is directing America towards a very possible disaster.

Neither man manifested even an inkling of an understanding of what kind of game the United States in playing with Ukraine. Neither gave even a nod to the long, complex relationship between Ukraine and Russia. Neither seemed to understand either the substance or the intensity of Russia's geopolitical interests along its own borders or the likely consequences of increasing U.S. meddling in what for centuries has been part of Russia's sphere of influence.

Both Taylor and Kent declared that America's vital national interest is wrapped up in Ukraine, though neither sought to explain why in any substantive way. Spin out all the potential scenarios of Ukraine's fate and then ask whether any of them would materially affect America's vital interests. Any affirmative answer would require elaborate contortions.

It could be argued, perhaps, that an expansion of Russian influence in Ukraine could affect the vital interests of the rest of Europe, though that would hardly be inevitable. But cannot Europe handle any such threat vis-a-vis Russia, given that the EU has a population of 512 million and a GDP of $18 trillion -- compared to Russia's population of 145 million and GDP of $1.6 trillion?

The Taylor/Kent outlook stems from the widespread demonization of Russia that dominates thinking within elite circles. Taylor's rendition of recent events in Ukraine was so one-sided and selective as to amount to a falsehood. As he had it, Ukraine's turn to the West after 2009 (when he left the country after his first diplomatic tour there) threatened Russia's Vladimir Putin to such an extent that he tried to "bribe" Ukraine's president with inducements to resist Western influence, whereupon protests emerged in Kyiv that drove the Ukrainian president to flee the country in 2014. Then Putin invaded Crimea, holding a "sham referendum at the point of Russian army rifles." Putin sent military forces into eastern Ukraine "to generate illegal armed formations and puppet governments." And so the West extended military assistance to Ukraine.

"It is this security assistance," he said, "that is at the heart of the [impeachment] controversy that we are discussing today."

In contrast to this misleading rendition, here are the facts, with appropriate context.

In 1989 and 1990, the George H. W. Bush administration assured Soviet leader Mikhail Gorbachev that if he accepted German unification, the West would not seek to exploit the situation through any eastward expansion -- not even by "one inch," as then-secretary of state James Baker assured Gorbachev. But Bill Clinton reneged on that commitment, moving to expand NATO on an eastward path that eventually led right up to the Russian border.

NATO, with just 16 members in 1990, now includes 29 European states, with all of the expansion countries lying east of Germany. As this was unfolding, Russian leaders issued stern warnings about the consequences if America and the West sought to include in NATO either Ukraine or Georgia. Both are considered as fundamental to Russian security.

As Nikolas K. Gvosdev of the U.S. Naval War College has written, Russia and Ukraine share a 1,500-mile border where Ukraine "nestles up against the soft underbelly of the Russian Federation." Gvosdev elaborates: "The worst nightmare of the Russian General Staff would be NATO forces deployed all along this frontier, which would put the core of Russia's population and industrial capacity at risk of being quickly and suddenly overrun in the event of any conflict." Beyond that crucial strategic concern, the two countries share strong economic, trade, cultural, ethnic, and language ties going back centuries. No Russian leader of any stripe would survive as leader if he or she were to allow Ukraine to be wrested fully from Russia's sphere of influence.

And yet America, in furtherance of the ultimate aim of pulling Ukraine away from Russia, spent some $5 billion in a campaign to gin up pro-Western sentiment there, according to former assistant secretary of state for European Affairs Victoria Nuland, who spearheaded much of this effort during the Obama administration. It was clearly a blatant effort to interfere in the domestic politics of a foreign nation -- and a nation residing in a delicate and easily inflamed part of the world.

But Ukraine is a tragically divided nation, with many of its people drawn to the West while others feel greater ties to Russia. The late Samuel Huntington of Harvard called Ukraine "a cleft country, with two distinct cultures." Contrary to Taylor's false portrayal of an aggressive Russia trampling on eastern Ukrainians by setting up puppet governments and manufacturing a bogus referendum in Crimea, the reality is that large numbers of Ukrainians there favor Russia and feel loyalty to what they consider their Russian heritage. The Crimean public is 70 percent Russian, and its Parliament in 1992 actually voted to declare independence from Ukraine for fear that the national leadership would nudge the country toward the West. (The vote was later rescinded to avoid a violent national confrontation.) In 1994, Crimea elected a president who had campaigned on a platform of "unity with Russia."

True, many in western Ukraine have pushed for greater ties to the West and wanted their elected president, Viktor Yanukovych, to respond favorably to Western financial blandishments. But Yanukovych, tilting toward Russia, eschewed NATO membership for Ukraine, renewed a long-term lease for the Russian Black Sea Fleet in Sevastopol, and gave official status to the Russian language. These actions eased tensions between Ukraine and Russia, but they inflamed Ukraine's internal politics. And when Yanukovych abandoned negotiations aimed at an association and free-trade agreement with the European Union in favor of greater economic ties to Russia, pro-Western Ukrainians, including far-right provocateurs, staged street protests that ultimately brought down Yanukovych's government. Victoria Nuland gleefully egged on the protesters. The deposed president fled to Russia.

Nuland then set about determining who would be Ukraine's next prime minister, namely Arseniy Yatsenyuk. "Yats is our guy," she declared to U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Geoffrey Pyatt. When Pyatt warned that many EU countries were uncomfortable with a Ukrainian coup, she shot back, "Fuck the EU." She then got her man Yats into the prime minister position, demonstrating the influence that enables U.S. meddling in foreign countries.

That's when Putin rushed back to Moscow from the Winter Olympic Games at Sochi to protect the more Russian-oriented areas of Ukraine (the so-called Donbass in the country's east and Crimea in the south) from being swallowed up in this new drama. He orchestrated a plebiscite in Crimea, which revealed strong sentiment for reunification with Russia (hardly the "sham referendum" described by Taylor) and sent significant military support to Donbass Ukrainians who didn't want to be pulled westward.

The West and America have always been, and must remain, wary of Russia. Its position in the center of Eurasia -- the global "heartland," in the view of the famous British geographic scholar Halford Mackinder -- renders it always a potential threat. Its vulnerability to invasion stirs in Russian leaders an inevitable hunger for protective lands. Its national temperament seems to include a natural tendency towards authoritarianism. Any sound American foreign policy must keep these things in mind.

But in the increasingly tense relationship between the Atlantic Alliance and Russia, the Alliance has been the more aggressive player -- aggressive when it pushed for NATO's eastward expansion despite promises to the contrary from the highest levels of the U.S. government; aggressive when it turned that policy into an even more provocative plan for the encirclement of Russia; aggressive when it dangled the prospect of NATO membership for Ukraine and Georgia; aggressive when it sought to lure Ukraine out of the Russian orbit with economic incentives; aggressive when it helped foster the street coup against a duly elected Ukrainian government; and aggressive in its continued refusal to appreciate or acknowledge Russia's legitimate geopolitical interests in its own neighborhood.

George Kent and William B. Taylor Jr., in their testimony last week, personified this aggressive outlook, designed to squeeze Russia into a geopolitical corner and trample upon its regional interests in the name of Western universalism. If that outlook continues and leads to ever greater tensions with Russia, it can't end well.

Robert W. Merry, longtime Washington journalist and publishing executive, is the author most recently of President McKinley: Architect of the American Century .


minsredmash 7 days ago

Well written article. American diplomacy (if you can even call it that) is one-dimensional and myopic.
John Reece minsredmash 6 days ago
American diplomacy is rather reminiscent of German diplomacy in 1917, in that expanding NATO into Ukraine and the Baltics is as stupidly provocative to Moscow as the Zimmerman Telegram was to the US. Zimmerman's offer was incredibly stupid since it provoked a US declaration of war but Germany had absolutely no way to provide Mexico any material assistance. Neither will NATO be providing any real assistance to Ukraine or the Baltic states if the balloon goes up -- today's Bundeswehr is not your grandfathers Wehrmacht.
minsredmash John Reece a day ago
True. The stupidity of US policy toward Russia can only be defeated by stupidity of the limitrophus of Eastern Europe, like Poland or the Baltic states. If "balloon goes up" they will be first to evaporate.
ebergerud 7 days ago
Thumbs up on the article - the valiant Ukraine facing perfidious Russia is a gross oversimplification. And as noted, the US is involved in this mess up to its eyeballs. The first person to speak out publicly was the former diplomat (and godfather of "Containment") George Kennan. In his last public comment, he wrote an op-ed in the New York Times warning against pushing NATO to the East as a policy guaranteed to cause Russian fear and resentment. In the early years of the century, Mikhail Gorbachev - no friend of Putin's - accused the West of trying to treat Russia like a third rate nation. It is sad that the "deep state" maneuvers against Trump (up and running early enough to destroy Paul Manafort) derailed Trump's plans to talk openly with Putin and thus earn him the blind hatred of John Brennan. The rest is history.
Affluent_White_Progs_Suck Not Kent 5 days ago
You need a foreign policy update. Ukraine and Europe are not longer our problems. They have grown ideologically distant and opposed to US interests, which is self interest and transactional foreign policy now. The days of "altruistic" foreign policy are over with. Marshall died long ago.
Bjorn Andresen princess kenyetta 6 days ago
This is totally inaccurate. The current Russian system is not socialist, and it certainly has problems with corruption, but it is opposed to the Western establishment and it is promoting a traditional Christian and nationalist outlook as opposed to the liberal globalism of the Western elites. It is better than the alternative at the moment, and in a sense Putin, especially his foreign policy , is executing the will of the people in Russia. Conservatives opposed Russia up until Trump because both sides are controlled by the same Western establishment, which has been pursuing an anti-Russian agenda for a long time. They do not want any resistance to their liberal world order.

"Democracy" is a lie and a fraud, Plato knew this 4,000 years ago, and "class consciousness" is only real in the sense that the current situation in the West has an elite that is going against the interests of the people. I don't see how defending Russia is "undermining class conscientious," actually arguing against the anti-Russian warmongering is a good thing. What "Russian state attacks" are you talking about?

"To see US conservatives defending an autocracy reflects they have embraced those fascistic principles."

Do you even know how conservatism and the terms right and left wing originated? Conservatism and the right wing are terms that are from the French Revolution, used to describe supporters of the Catholic French Monarchy of the Bourbons while the liberals or the left were the revolutionaries. Historically Conservatives defended European Christian monarchies while the liberals always wanted to overthrow throne and altar to replace them with secular democratic republics. In fact there is nothing more conservative than autocracy, namely a Church-anointed monarchy. Americanism, or the ideology of the American founding fathers, was inherently liberal. They were in revolt against the monarchy of their time. There is nothing conservative about democracy, it's quite to the contrary. Autocracy is not "fascistic," that term is completely irrelevant in this historical context.

"Seeing similar headlines from opposite political poles exposes a 'horseshoe' phenomenon of left/right ideologies in which the two poles are close together in significant contexts."

Are you really going to be so grug brained as to unironically bring up the horseshoe theory? Looks like we have a big brained intellectual centrist over here. Not even worth giving an in depth analysis on this one.

par4 Bjorn Andresen 6 days ago
Good comment. The Monarchists sat on the right side of the French assembly and the revolutionaries sat on the left. That is how the modern spectrum morphed into Fascism (corporate state) on the right and Communism (revolutionary) on the left.
blimbax Sactoman 5 days ago
I've actually been to Russia, twice in the last year and a half, and I had a chance to meet and to converse with, and to hear from, Russians of all sorts: academics, students, politicians, government employees, businessmen, environmentalists, scientists, and journalists.

Based on what I saw and heard, I categorically reject your statement that Russians "are not all that free to express their opinion."

I heard from people who are well known in Russia who disagree with Putin. I heard criticisms of the government from people who are not well known, or who are just average people. People note that corruption is still a problem, at many levels of society and government, but they did not seem at all reticent to make that point.

No one displayed any fear or reluctance to express his views. At the same time, Russians acknowledge a great deal of improvement since the tragedy of the Yeltsin years.

And while there are people who criticize the government's domestic policies, they tend to be much more in support of what the government under Putin has accomplished in terms of foreign policy. And that seems to me to be a very rational reaction.

Bjorn Andresen Sactoman 5 days ago
First off I am Russian myself. Most people are in favour of an authoritarian government, nobody cares about or wants democracy. Monarchist restoration would be ideal but Putin is good enough for now. Free press and elections are a fraud and a lie, as I said.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) princess kenyetta 6 days ago
First of all, show me one single state on the planet today which is pro working class. Secondly, juxtaposing the concepts of working class and fascism is just a demonstration of how badly you know the history. Suffice it to say that the set of political views deriving from the ideas of Mussolini are called right-wing socialism. Hence, your ignorance of history logically begets that of today's politics. No, Trump and Putin cannot be called truly pro working class. But they're at least are not so blatantly anti working class as neolibs who oppose them.
TooTall7 princess kenyetta 6 days ago
Perhaps neither end of the horseshoe is game for negotiating a storm of mushroom clouds as I'm sure you are.
Летописец princess kenyetta 6 days ago • edited
Russia is associated with the image of the USSR which developed an alternative model to financial capitalism. Financial capitalism is collapsing for objective and totally unavoidable reasons. The search for an alternative will continue drawing more attention to Russia as a country that is, in principle, capable of offering an alternative development model.
Bjorn Andresen Adriana Pena 6 days ago • edited
Except that isn't what this is about. The disagreement IS over Ukraine policy, not this argument about what Trump may or may not have done. DC is full of corruption of all kinds, including in foreign policy, but no one is ever punished. So we know that is not the issue.

But we do know from the testimonies that they oppose Trump BECAUSE he changed Ukraine policy away from the policy of confrontation with Russia, or tried to. They are all against that and against Trump doing that, as they said. The entire establishment has opposed Trump on this since he got elected. So let's not be disingenuous. This charade has gone on long enough. The elites want their proxy war with Russia.

Sid Finster Adriana Pena 6 days ago • edited
1. From my perspective, the article is saying that our Ukraine policy is immoral, not that the impeachment is not founded.

2. Further to 1. above, your pizza analogy doesn't hold up. If pizza is bad for you, eating pizza harm nobody but the eater and the eater's insurers.

By contrast, our Ukraine policy is the support of actual live Nazis and has resulted in the deaths of numerous innocents, not to mention the economic destruction of Ukraine.

This is more like providing one pizza company weapons and support, knowing full well that they will use those weapons and cash to murder rivals and customers who order from those rivals.

former-vet 6 days ago
The good news is that the influence of apparatchiks like Mr. Kent and Mr. Taylor will be at an end within a few years. America thought the blood of hundreds of thousands of foreign children was a "fair price" to pay for the dollar's continued role as a reserve currency (Madeleine Albright's words) and cheaper gas at the pump. The effort was a bust. Endless trillion-dollar-a-year deficits will come to an end quickly. There isn't that much liquidity in the private sphere to sop up at the price the U.S. Gov can afford.

Americans have forgotten how much money a billion dollars is, much less a trillion: to wit, the Democrats future plans are priced in dozens of trillions of dollars. Is it even possible to count that high (given that no one has any real idea how the economy will react)?

Boomers destroyed the country. It only took one "me" generation to introduce such deep structural instability that there is no recovery. Really, does anyone think a trillion dollars a year of demand can ever be pulled out of the economy? No. Does anyone really think a trillion dollars a year will magically appear for free, from nowhere, for a decade or more? The intelligentsia will reap the fruit of its effort within a few years. And it will be dried cat food for dinner. Bless them!

Sid Finster bumbershoot 6 days ago • edited
What "actual bloody invasion" of Ukraine and Georgia. Georgia attacked South Ossetia and Abkhazia in 2008, and got a bloody nose for their trouble. They didn't lose any territory however, which is odd, if Russia were the attacker.

If Russia had actually invaded Ukraine, the Ukrainian clown army would be obliterated in days or hours. Note how there are some 500 miles of open border between Donbass and Sumskaya Oblast - but no fighting? Do you think that the Russian military doesn't know the geography of their own border?

Natalia Karlik kalendjay 5 days ago
Ukraine was already devided before it separated from USSR. People from western Ukraine called Russians and eastern Ukrainians moskali. Eastern Ukraine spoke mostly Russian, western Ukraine spoke mostly Ukrainian. I believe tension escalated after Russia was about to loose access to the Black Sea and its navy there. Sorry. That was a big mistake to even think that it would happen easy. Russia annexed Crimea from Ottoman Empire in 18th century. Since then it was part of Russia. Khrushchev transferred it to Ukrainian republic in 1954. You seriously believe that Russia would easy let it go after almost 2 centuries of its presence there? Big chunk of Russian history associated with Black Sea Fleet.
Bjorn Andresen bumbershoot 6 days ago
The invasions were in response to them trying to acquire NATO memberships and NATO egging then on to do this and provoke Russia. If they remain in the Russian sphere than that would not be a problem.

NATO goes where it was warned not to go, provokes the response it knew it would get, and claims that this is "aggression." What a joke.

There was no "Russian meddling", that was debunked. There is no evidence that the DNC was hacked and the so called troll farm had no connection to the Russian government and was merely a business marketing firm selling advertising space on their social media pages.

Russia doesn't poison dissidents in foreign countries, if you are referring to the Skripal case, that narrative has fallen apart, multiple journalists have written lengthy pieces about all of the inconsistencies and contradictions in the UK government's narrative. Not to mention Yulia Skripal said she's still wants to go back to Russia, so clearly she doesn't think Russia poisoned her.

Bjorn Andresen kalendjay 5 days ago
We do have evidence to the show the opposite. The only ones who examined the DNC servers are a firm that was caught lying about Russian hacking before and is owned by a Ukrainian millionaire that donated to the Clinton Foundation. Can't get more damning than that.
Bjorn Andresen kalendjay 3 days ago
What are you even talking about? The DNC refused to allow the server to be examined because they know there was no Russian hacking, and why would Trump privately ask Zelensky to investigate Ukraine's role in all of this if he knew he were guilty? The point is there is no evidence to prove Russian hacking, and the only claims come from a firm that is owned by a Ukrainian oligarch who has been caught lying about Russian hacking before and donated millions to the Clinton Foundation.

How much mental gymnastics are you going to use to try to pretend like you don't understand?

Begemot bumbershoot 6 days ago
Which is more aggressive, do you think -- invading one's neighbors, or "dangling the prospect of NATO membership" for them?

The US engineered and supported a coup in Ukraine to overthrow the constitutional government. Is this aggression? It seems so to me. It certainly preceded any Russian response. As far as NATO membership for Ukraine, polls of Ukrainian opinion long before the Maidan showed very strong feeling against Ukraine joining NATO.

Zoran Aleksic Sid Finster 6 days ago
I believe, when all facts fail, that the way through to some would be pointing out the absurdities of what they hear therefore think. It might make them think twice before publicly embarassing themselves.
Brady bumbershoot 6 days ago
The Western actions are more aggressive, because they actually happened... Russia's annexation of the Crimea was bloodless, and doubtless spared it the carnage that the regime in Kiev wrought in Donbass.
MPC bumbershoot 6 days ago • edited
America's movements since the end of the Cold War have been consistently offensive in nature, and Russia's consistently defensive in nature. That defense has included counterattacks, feints, and opportunistic thrusts. In every 'attack' it made, Russia was reacting, not taking the initiative.For their part the liberal hegemonists know what they're doing. Good PR is priceless, and they know it's essential for offensive movements to not appear that way.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) bumbershoot 6 days ago • edited
Problem is, you liberals are still unable to prove a single allegation of those you uttered in your comment.

How come the previous Ukrainian government didn't manage to beg one single satellite pic of, say, Russian tanks crossing their border from the CIA or the DIA, given the purported "bloody invasion"? Russian armored vehicles have some cloaking devices or what?

How come the Mueller's so-called "investigation" turned out to be such a pathetic juridical failure, given the purported "direct meddling"?

What a naive poor dear one has to be to believe in poisonings with radioactive substances (as dangerous to the poisoner as to his victim) in a world where poisons causing deaths looking like those from natural causes exist and are available to all secret services (and even to private citizens having talents in chemistry)?

Plus, careful with (ab)using upper case. "Democratical countries" with a capital "D" reads like "countries, whose governments are proxies of the Democratic Party". Blame Freud and his slips.

TooTall7 bumbershoot 6 days ago • edited
I love people like you. I mean since we were invaded by Germany, Napoleon, Charles the Tenth of Sweden, the Teutonic Knights, the Golden Horde (Ghengis Khan started this), at the cost of countless millions of lives lost, I sense that we- as Americans- have every need to push our frontiers to Russia's doorstep.

You demonstrate a phenomenal ignorance of Historical perspective: exactly the cannon fodder the establishment's looking for.

Alex (the one that likes Ike) FJR Atlanta 6 days ago
At least Trump isn't pushing the country into yet another Middle Eastern swamp. Given that, his wordings may be as unclear as he likes.
morning_in_america FJR Atlanta 6 days ago
Taylor should not be pushing any foreign policy. He should be executing Trumps policy or retiring
kouroi 6 days ago
Nice and sober account. One detail that might be significant. Until 1954, Crimea was part of the Russian Federation (the Russian State has wrestled that territory from the Tatars/Mongols and Ottomans more than 200 years before and fought for it against the united Europe in 1850s). And Nikita Khrushchev, a Ukrainian, had bestowed Crimea in an unsanctioned administrative decision to the then Ukrainian Socialist Republic in 1954.

Ukraine as a state is pretty much a creation of Russia and instead of being grateful for their extensive statehood, elements in Ukraine would rather bite the hand that made them.

Sid Finster Affluent_White_Progs_Suck 5 days ago
Lots of people all over the world get up and go to work. They do it in democracies, autocracies, and countries that are somewhere in between. In fact, the United States is losing its position as global economic hegemon in large part because the Chinese (no democracy there) are harder working than Americans.

The United States currency has value for two reasons - inside the United States, it's the only way you can pay taxes. Outside the United States, the gulfie tyrannies only accept dollars for international sales of oil.

Disqus10021 6 days ago
$5 billion thrown down the Ukraine rat hole. It is too bad that the money wasn't spent providing better care for our wounded veterans. Watch the video "Delay, Deny, Hope They Die". As one of the very few, perhaps only, commentater who has criticized Victoria Nuland's role in the 2014 Ukrainian Revolution, I have made many of the same points in recent days.
Bjorn Andresen Jonathan Marcus 6 days ago
You know that is dishonest. This has nothing to do with what Trump tried to tell Zelensky, and anyway the US and Ukraine do in fact have a treaty from 1998 that mandates them to cooperate on law enforcement matters. DC is full of corruption but none of it is ever punished, so we know that is not the issue.

This is all about Trump's desire to end the proxy war with Russia. That is all this is about ultimately. Looking at the big picture, that is a large part of the reason why the establishment wants to delegitimization him or remove Trump from office. This phone call scandal is nothing more than the latest tactical move to get there. If you don't see that, and you genuinely think that this is merely about Trump asking Zelensky to investigate something and get caught up in the minutiae of that, you are simply naive and don't understand the true nature of politics. Think about the big picture.

Ellen K Bjorn Andresen 6 days ago
A proxy war is nice cover for weapons smuggling. I've postulated for awhile now that Benghazi is the key to Deep State. Ask yourself why the Obama administration allowed Stevens and his cohorts to die when there was ample air and naval power nearby. What did he stumble upon? I think it was a vast smuggling operation designed to support Muslim Bros. and Al Shabbab-both of whom later attacked US assets and who continue to worry the region with their raids of kidnappings, rapes and mass murders that go largely unreported in the US press. There's a reason why so many liberals her and abroad claim to support open borders and it has nothing to do with humanitarian goals and everything to do with an organized global crime group who is using sievelike borders to allow drugs, fake licensed products, fake pharmaceuticals, weapons and even humans to become trade goods. People should really ask why Democrats refuse to stop this. Europeans should ask who is getting rich off of unchecked migration of indigent people.
APPPS Jonathan Marcus 6 days ago
The President sets the policy. These dipsticks implement it or quit. Nobody elected them.
Sid Finster 6 days ago
1. The military industrial complex needs a Big Enemy to justify their exorbitant budgets.

2. The spooks need a Big Enemy to justify Big Brother and also their increasingly open interference in domestic politics.

3. The people who run things need a distraction, lest the masses start to demand the sorts of reforms that would take money out of rich people's pockets. A Big Enemy does this just fine.

Russia makes a better Big Enemy than does China, for US business is already too intertwined with China and its supply chains reach deeply into that country. Any disruption to those links would cost a lot of money.

invention13 Sid Finster 6 days ago
Another possible reason is that Russia is a relatively weak country with enormous natural resources.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) invention13 6 days ago
Well, comparing to China, its military is much stronger. China is not even in the same league as the US and Russia.
Sid Finster invention13 5 days ago
Except that Russia has a nuclear arsenal and the means to deliver it.
SatirevFlesti 6 days ago
TAC has been doing great work covering the Ukraine.

Even so-called conservatives play along with the mainstream media's and establishment's narrative, with the likes of NRO's warmongering neocons, such as the Jay Nordlinger, constantly banging-on about poor little Ukraine being a "struggling democracy" in need, rather than a deeply divided and failed state that perhaps should never have existed in its present borders as a "sovereign nation." The best solution for the Ukraine would probably be to split it into two, with Eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula perhaps just becoming part of Greater Russia.

Sid Finster 6 days ago
I believe Stratfor, no friend of Russia and close to the neocon faction in American politics, described the 2014 coup as "the most blatant coup in history".
Bjorn Andresen Sid Finster 6 days ago • edited
Exactly. This article is very good in detail, but they could also add that the first Minister of Finance in Ukraine's post-Maidan government was a literal US State Department official who was only then granted Ukrainian citizenship. Not surprisingly she also made Ukraine accept IMF loans, getting Ukraine into the IMF predatory lending/austerity scam.
EliteCommInc. TheSnark 6 days ago
FYI, the advocates for intervening in the Ukraine are the ones accusing Pres Putin

1. with invading Crimea -- false
2. interfering with US elections -- sabotage an offense that certainly means war -- unfounded
3. that the Russians and the President operated in as collaborators in sabotaging US election also false

this president in response signed a document that the Russians did spy and further implemented the worst sanctions to date against Russia despite the lack of evidence

as it is that Pres. Putin is certainly not being excused -- ;laugh - not even from things he has not been proved to have done

:Laugh ---

It's like when the police say you did something but can't prove it so they get some others to say you did it because they know you did it

-even there's no evidence you did.

If you don't understand just review the SP Mueller investigation and the subsequent impeachment inquiry -- this is not new game for anyone familiar with prosecutor methods.

If you still don't get read Kafka

Bjorn Andresen 6 days ago
This is true, all of this could have easily been avoided if the US stopped meddling and withdrew its troops from the former USSR. People like Taylor and Kent show there is an agenda to start a war with Russia. Hopefully the upcoming Ukraine-Russia peace summit can settle this conflict.
Sid Finster 6 days ago
1. The military industrial complex needs a Big Enemy to justify their exorbitant budgets.

2. The spooks need a Big Enemy to justify Big Brother and also their increasingly open interference in domestic politics.

3. The people who run things need a distraction, lest the masses start to demand the sorts of reforms that would take money out of rich people's pockets. A Big Enemy does this just fine.

Russia makes a better Big Enemy than does China, for US business is already too intertwined with China and its supply chains reach deeply into that country. Any disruption to those links would cost a lot of money.

SatirevFlesti 6 days ago
TAC has been doing great work covering the Ukraine.

Even so-called conservatives play along with the mainstream media's and establishment's narrative, with the likes of NRO's warmongering neocons, such as the Jay Nordlinger, constantly banging-on about poor little Ukraine being a "struggling democracy" in need, rather than a deeply divided and failed state that perhaps should never have existed in its present borders as a "sovereign nation." The best solution for the Ukraine would probably be to split it into two, with Eastern Ukraine and the Crimean Peninsula perhaps just becoming part of Greater Russia.

EliteCommInc. TheSnark 6 days ago
FYI, the advocates for intervening in the Ukraine are the ones accusing Pres Putin

1. with invading Crimea -- false
2. interfering with US elections -- sabotage an offense that certainly means war -- unfounded
3. that the Russians and the President operated in as collaborators in sabotaging US election also false

this president in response signed a document that the Russians did spy and further implemented the worst sanctions to date against Russia despite the lack of evidence

as it is that Pres. Putin is certainly not being excused -- ;laugh - not even from things he has not been proved to have done

:Laugh ---

It's like when the police say you did something but can't prove it so they get some others to say you did it because they know you did it

-even there's no evidence you did.

If you don't understand just review the SP Mueller investigation and the subsequent impeachment inquiry -- this is not new game for anyone familiar with prosecutor methods.

If you still don't get read Kafka

Bjorn Andresen ben benis 5 days ago
That's a strawman and there's nothing to refute, the article is correct. Because the US government and CFR globalist thinkers like Zbigniew Brzezinski, George Friedman, and George Soros have talked about the geopolitical importance of Ukraine since the 1990s -- read Brzezinski's Grand Chessboard from 1996, where talks about the need for the US to take control of Ukraine from Russia to prevent Russia from becoming a great power that can challenge US global hegemony, or Soros' admission on a 60 Minutes interview from 1998 that he has invested billions in Ukraine, particularly in the Ukrainian military. As Brzezinski says, the US was quick to recognise the geopolitical importance of an independent Ukrainian state, and became one of Ukraine's strongest backers in the 1990s for this reason. Globalist plans for Ukraine go back many years.

Polls before the Maidan show most Ukrainians had a very positive image of Russia as well, and increasingly people in Ukraine are getting tired of the war, which is why they voted massively for Zelensky over Poroshenko.

alex renk 6 days ago
When I look at our foreign policy, before Trump, you have to go back to Reagan to have any semblance of policy based in reality. While Trump is kinda of a bull in a china shop, at least he highlights some of the asinine policies the 'experts' have been pursuing.
TISO_AX2 6 days ago
Hat tip to Patrick Buchanan.
Lynn 6 days ago
Russia's objection to US and EU interference into Ukrainian politics makes as much sense as US objection. would if Russia were in Mexico attempting to draw them into a confederation with Moscow.
Alex (the one that likes Ike) =marco01= 5 days ago
He may be as immoral as hell. Most of them, R or D, are, in case you haven't noticed. The fact is, there's still no factual evidence he committed any impeachable in this specific case.
Harry Taft 6 days ago
So, if the employees of the government who are involved in international affairs do not agree with the President, the President is accused of an impeachable offense? These two are not patriots in the usual sense. Nor are they public servants. They see themselves as somehow above the Law. Above the Constitution. Applauded by those trying ever since the election to bring down a President. Seditionists.
doug masnaghetti 6 days ago
The last 30 years has been a complete disaster for US foreign diplomacy. We are being led by complete morons! Trump is a big step in the right direction.
J House 6 days ago
The fact is, it was a U.S. sponsored coup by the Obama administration that overthrew a democratically elected government in Ukraine. Here is the Feb 2015 Obama CNN interview with Fareed Zakaria...note that Obama says 'Yanukovich fleeing AFTER we brokered a deal to transition power in Ukraine'...incredible. Play Hide
Bjorn Andresen john 5 days ago
Why is it wrong and improper to know whether or not a presidential candidate's family was involved in corrupt dealings abroad? But that's not even the question, because the issue of what Trump may or may not have done is not the real issue. DC is full of corruption and none of it is ever punished, so we know that's not what they care about. What this is about is Trump's disagreement with the establishment on Russia-Ukraine policy and the greater geopolitical picture. Thinking this is about some minutiae over who said what on a phone call and what he mayor may not have really meant is naive and ignorant of the true nature of politics. These situations are not compartmentalised, these have to be seen from the the big picture of geopolitics.
morning_in_america 6 days ago
He sensible policy would be to Finlandize Ukraine and Byelorus. NATO would not have them as members and Russia would let them pursue economic ties with Europe. This worked for Finland through put the Cold War and kept the region peaceful
Ellen K 6 days ago
This is the legacy of careerism within the Foreign Service. People get positions in which they live comfortably, attending all the right parties and getting a sophisticated world view and seldom have any loyalty or accountability to the Commander in Chief. That's a problem.

When Vindman claimed he was disturbed by what he heard, instead of following the chain of command, which he invokes almost as often as his rank, he lawyers up. Why? Who is Vindman reporting to if not the President? Too many of these folks act as if the change in administrations is merely a formality to which they can choose to embrace or not. Almost without exception, we have seen testimony from people whose personal history is in the Russian/Ukraine theater and who have family and history there. This is problematic. If anyone ever looked and sounded the part of a mole, it was Vindman today.

Reggie 6 days ago
These maniacs are provoking nuclear war. They fail to understand that, unlike 50 years ago when America had a decentralized industrial economy and banking system, 2 large nukes aimed at NYC and DC would destroy the country.
john 6 days ago
This is the only conservative site worth reading. I do love me some serious and deep analysis from Conservatives in important geopolitical issues. God for a return to the days of Buckley. It would be glorious.
Hey now 6 days ago
Fantastic analysis of the 3D chess game. But we are talking about Biden and Clinton so we need not overthink this. Obama gave 1 billion of taxpayer money to Ukraine. Ukraine gave Burisma some of that according the government of the UK. And once Burisma was in receipt of our aid funds, millions flow through right back to the very same bad actors like Biden who directly controlled the one billion in foreign aid. I wish this was more complicated. I wish it made Americans seem smarter. But to this old guy it seems like a good old fashioned and very simple run of the mill scam . And in this scam the only person we know for fact cashed the checks is Biden.

Come on Barr. It's time to do what we all know what needs to be done.

Disgruntled2012 6 days ago
"But cannot Europe handle any such threat vis-a-vis Russia, given that the EU has a population of 512 million and a GDP of $18 trillion -- compared to Russia's population of 145 million and GDP of $1.6 trillion?"

An excellent question. The cold war is over. We won. We don't need to keep fighting it. Russia is not that much of a threat to us.

Jonathan Galt 5 days ago
Think about it. Our State Department has been in operation for well over 100 years in some form or another. Are we ANY safer? Fire them all. No pension for failure.
MPNavrozjee 5 days ago • edited
For the West, the demonization of Vladimir Putin is not a policy; it is an alibi for the absence of one.

Putin is a serious strategist – on the premises of Russian history. Understanding US values and psychology are not his strong suits. Nor has understanding Russian history and psychology been a strong point among US policymakers.

-- Henry A. Kissinger in 2014 at the start of the Ukraine crisis (writing in the Washington Post.)

PierrePendre 5 days ago
I cannot believe that the State Department was unaware of the intertwined history of Russia and the Ukraine or rather given State's rigid worldview I can believe it. The Russians knew perfectly well that the United States was pulling the strings of the so-called Maidan revolution and that the end would be to plant Nato and the EU right on Russia's doorstep.

Previous attempts to push Nato into parts of the south of the former Soviet empire had been fought off. Nothing could be more predictable than that the Kremlin would do everything it could to oppose what it saw as hostile interference in the Ukraine on behalf of "reformers". The US plays by the same rules. Cuba and the earlier Monroe doctrine are prize exhibits.

Obama slotted temperamentally into the State Department worldview or maybe it was the other way round. It was a worldview that got the Middle East profoundly wrong at every turn including misundertanding the Arab Spring, support for the deeply anti-Western Muslim Brotherhood, the appeasement and promotion of Iran, the abandonment of the 2009 Green Revolution in Iran, the destruction of Libya as a going concern and how to tackle Syria. If there was an opportunity to get something wrong, Obama and the bow ties managed it. They left behind a trail of wreckage.

Worst of all, Obama, the great opponent of nuclear proliferation, turned out to be its greatest enabler but ensured that he would be long out of office when it happened and the media started asking "who lost Iran?" If Obama achieved one thing, it was finally to kill off nuclear non-proliferation as a viable ambition. A nuclear Iran isn't just a threat to its neighours. It is a direct missile threat to the EU which has happily collaborated in advancing Iranian power.

Unsurprisingiy, Trump rejected all this and it is for this that he is vilified by the foreign police dinosaurs who try to delude the nation into believing that even when what they do ends in manifest disaster, there is no alternative. There is hardly a word leaked by the foreign policy to the willingly ignorant media that is not a lie. The mess is theirs and they hate Trump for wakening Americans up to their self-serving, somnolent incompetence.

The usual response to posts like this is to accuse the writer of being a traitrous Putin lover. On the contrary, know thy enemy. The maxim doesn't mean have a beer with him. It means understand him.

MFH 5 days ago
Excellent statement of the "Thucydides trap" argument for caution regarding Russia and its traditional sphere of concern. But Merry leaves us with a cliffhanger: what is the sound US Russian policy given his concerns and cautions? Moreover, his rendition is vulnerable to a counterargument, namely, that Putin's Russia has gone far beyond the seizure or control of "protective lands" towards an encirclement or menacing of Europe. This can be seen unfolding in Russia's military presence on Syria's (and potentially Libya's) Mediterranean coast, its sale of weapons to Turkey, its connivance with Iran's Middle Eastern proxy wars, and the potential for petro-blackmail of its energy customers. Add to this the affirmative case for European interest in Poland, whose capital Warsaw is exposed to attack from its eastern and southern flanks just as Moscow is immediately threatened from its western and southern flanks. Perhaps all this just confirms how far down the path to the "Thucydides trap" the principal parties have traveled. Yet, all the same, on what grounds do we rationalize Russian inroads into the Mediterranean? Free navigation of the seas?
D Gamboa 5 days ago
I like this article but Russia is no longer a declining power technically. It's GDP is slowly rising again in the last few years. They did take a hit from sanctions and low oil prices but they are staring to recover to some degree.

Russians like Putin because their economy is much better now than it was during the collapse of the Soviet Union.

The problem this country has with Russia is that they were a declining power and now are back on the rise. China is more of a threat but the imbeciles in the establishment keep focusing on trying to undermine Russian security. They seem to really believe Putin is their enemy without realizing the overwhelming majority of Russians have issues with our stupid foreign policy.

Google Russian GDP, especially through time, and you'll see what I mean.

kuddels 5 days ago
Is it any wonder that the old foreign service establishment "embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous"?
The foreign service exam of that era (probably no better today) tested substantially on ones knowledge of fiction: novels and such. Rather like choosing career foreign service officers based on a person's performance in the entertainment trivia night at the local watering hole. It was a test of memory not logic or insightfulness or historical perspective. These folks are not latter-day De Toquevilles or great historians, even if many came from colleges viewed as top drawer.
Kelly Wright 5 days ago
One thing that few appreciate is that US actions in the Ukraine in 2013/14 prompted Russian retaliation in the 2016 election. The Russians had been playing by our rules. (Party of the Regions won a free and fair election in the Ukraine) and then we supported a violent extra-constitutional takeover.The Obama administration wanted to see a repeat of the performance in Kiev, in Moscow with Putin playing the part of Yanukovych. The Russian response was to attack the fault lines in American Society. Their ultimate goal is to see the kind of rioting in the US that we had supported in Kiev in the Winter of 14.
Jonathan Gillispie 5 days ago
American diplomacy has become dangerously simplistic and one-dimensional in outlook. Turkey bad, Kurds good. Iran bad, Israel good. Russia bad, Ukraine and NATO good. You try talking with Russia, Iran or Turkey you'll be crucified in domestic politics. Russia on the other hand doesn't have this simplistic view. They wisely recognize that the world is varying shades of gray.
Connecticut Farmer 2 days ago
Excellent piece. Bottom line: the Ukraine is within Russia's "sphere of influence", not ours. Not our problem. The last time a major power attempted to insert itself within another country's sphere of influence was in 1962. Anybody remember the Cuban Missile Crisis?
James Schumaker a day ago • edited
Mr. Merry is entitled to his point of view, but I find his remarks to be out of touch -- sort of like another "Chicken Kiev" speech with the date "2019" slapped on it. Perhaps he would benefit from a couple of tours of duty in Kyiv, like George Kent and Bill Taylor. Then he would appreciate the fact that the United States does have real interests in preserving Ukrainian sovereignty, along with the independence of all the former Soviet states who have split off from Russia. He should also not be so quick to characterize Kent's and Taylor's testimony. They were in Congress not to express a policy position on Russia, but to act as fact witnesses to the potentially impeachable actions of the President and his circle. So, let's not get into conspiracy theories about what "elites" believe. It's one short step from that to muttering darkly about the 'Deep State" and Comet Pizza.

[Nov 25, 2019] These folks are not latter-day De Toquevilles or great historians, even if many came from colleges viewed as top drawer

Nov 25, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

kuddels 5 days ago

Is it any wonder that the old foreign service establishment "embrace a geopolitical outlook that is simplistic, foolhardy, and dangerous"?

The foreign service exam of that era (probably no better today) tested substantially on ones knowledge of fiction: novels and such.

Rather like choosing career foreign service officers based on a person's performance in the entertainment trivia night at the local watering hole. It was a test of memory not logic or insightfulness or historical perspective. These folks are not latter-day De Toquevilles or great historians, even if many came from colleges viewed as top drawer.

[Nov 23, 2019] Fiona Hill a rabid neocon promoting UK foreign policy within the USA government, a book writer of Luke Harding mold, was appointed by Trump in 2017 when Russiagate was in full broom

This is another remnant for Bush neocon team, a protégé of Bolton. Trump probably voluntarily appointed this rabid neocon, a chickenhawk who would shine in Hillary State Department. Interestingly she came from working class background. So much about Marx theory of class struggle. Brown, David (March 4, 2017). "Miner's daughter tipped as Trump adviser on Russia" . The Times. She also illustrate level pf corruption of academic science, because she got PhD in history from Harvard in 1998 under Richard Pipes, Akira Iriye, and Roman Szporluk. But at least this was history, not languages like in case of Ciaramella.
Such appointment by Trump is difficult to describe with normal words as he understood what he is buying. So he is himself to blame for his current troubles and his inability to behave in a diplomatic way when there was important to him question about role of CrowdStrike in 2016 election and creation of Russiagate witch hunt.
There is something in the USA that creates conditions for producing rabid female neocons, some elevator that brings ruthless female careerists with sharp elbows them to the establishment. She sounds like a person to the right of Madeline Albright, which is an achievement
With such books It is unclear whether she is different from Max Boot. She buys official Skripal story like hook and sinker. The list of her book looks like produced in UK by Luke Harding
Being miner daughter raised in poverty we can also talk about betrayal of her class and upbringing.
This also rises wisdom of appointing emigrants to the Administration and the extent they pursue policies beneficial for their native countries.
Nov 23, 2019 | en.wikipedia.org

Impeachment testimony

On October 14, 2019, responding to a subpoena , Hill testified in a closed-door deposition for ten hours before special committees of the United States Congress as part of the impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump . [9] [10] [11]

Testimony to the House Intelligence Committee by Hill and David Holmes, November 21, 2019 , C-SPAN

She testified in public before the same body on November 21, 2019. [12] While being questioned by Steve Castor , the counsel for the House Intelligence Committee's Republican minority, Hill commented on Gordon Sondland 's involvement in the Ukraine matter: "It struck me when (Wednesday), when you put up on the screen Ambassador Sondland's emails, and who was on these emails, and he said these are the people who need to know, that he was absolutely right," she said. "Because he was being involved in a domestic political errand, and we were being involved in national security foreign policy. And those two things had just diverged." [13] In response to a question from that committee's chairman, Rep. Adam Schiff , Hill stated: "The Russians' interests are frankly to delegitimize our entire presidency. The goal of the Russians [in 2016] was really to put whoever became the president -- by trying to tip their hands on one side of the scale -- under a cloud." [

Hill's books include:

[Nov 22, 2019] Another Glass Menagerie

Notable quotes:
"... She looked to be a most convincing and dignified victim but it was difficult to work out quite what she'd been a victim of. ..."
"... I think our closest equivalent over here would be Lady Ashton, who headed up the pre-coup European negotiations with the Ukraine. It was Lady Ashton who gave the most famous diplomatic response in modern history, when she was told that the snipers might be provocateurs. "Gosh." ..."
"... And Chairman Schiff looked as scary as usual. If I could open my eyes that wide I'd make a fortune in horror movies. Which I suppose is more or less what he does. ..."
"... Colonel, your description of Ambassador Yovanovitch as "a secular nun" is spot on. Congratulations ! On the other hand, why is a nun continuing a civil war with 1% predatory oligarchs and Bandera thugs on our side, versus 99% of un-armed local nobodies who want a return to normalcy? ..."
"... Lastly, note that Representative Stefanik caught Ambassador Marie in a lie about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Marie claimed under oath that she had never encountered the issue pre-arrival in the Ukraine, while she had admitted earlier that Obama staff coached her about Hunter / Burisma responses for her Senate Confirmation Hearings. ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

... She seems to live alone, alone with her work. She tried living with her 88 year old mother three years ago but that did not last. What would the old girl have done with herself in Kiev with her daughter working all the time?

So, the maman went home to the States. Marie is still employed as a Career Ambassador (a high rank) in the Foreign Service of of the United States She is currently assigned at Georgetown U.

... ... ...


English Outsider , 16 November 2019 at 03:35 PM


That's the first time I've seen "winsome" used with an edge.

I watched her for some time and didn't know what on earth to make of her. She looked to be a most convincing and dignified victim but it was difficult to work out quite what she'd been a victim of.

I think our closest equivalent over here would be Lady Ashton, who headed up the pre-coup European negotiations with the Ukraine. It was Lady Ashton who gave the most famous diplomatic response in modern history, when she was told that the snipers might be provocateurs. "Gosh."

A very safe pair of hands, is what would be said of both and almost certainly often is.

I did know what to make of the histrionics just before the recess. They looked false. That man wasn't really crying. And Chairman Schiff looked as scary as usual. If I could open my eyes that wide I'd make a fortune in horror movies. Which I suppose is more or less what he does.

Eric Newhill said in reply to English Outsider ... , 17 November 2019 at 10:14 AM
EO,
Zelensky did not like her and suggested that she was involved with corrupt people and undermining the President. I don't understand how Trump gets all of the blame for her being relieved of her position.
turcopolier , 16 November 2019 at 03:49 PM
English Outsider

Marie IMO was always the second best looking girl in the class but maybe teacher's pet, and has never had anyone take anything away from her before. "Gosh." She doesn't look like someone you could safely make a pass at unless you had an awful lot of rank.

Petrel said in reply to turcopolier ... , 17 November 2019 at 07:22 AM
Colonel, your description of Ambassador Yovanovitch as "a secular nun" is spot on. Congratulations ! On the other hand, why is a nun continuing a civil war with 1% predatory oligarchs and Bandera thugs on our side, versus 99% of un-armed local nobodies who want a return to normalcy?

Then again, since when does a Presidential emissary not only criticize him and the President of her host country, but also instruct local law enforcement on which oligarchs he may investigate and which oligarch's (admittedly ours) he may not.

Lastly, note that Representative Stefanik caught Ambassador Marie in a lie about Hunter Biden and Burisma. Marie claimed under oath that she had never encountered the issue pre-arrival in the Ukraine, while she had admitted earlier that Obama staff coached her about Hunter / Burisma responses for her Senate Confirmation Hearings.

To take your cue, Ambassador Marie is a secular nun with very bad ideas, who wandered to a profession she is not at all suited.

Factotum said in reply to Petrel... , 17 November 2019 at 03:16 PM
She has some bad habits, for a secular nun.

[Nov 22, 2019] Rand Paul To Trump Don't Let Neocons Run State Department

Notable quotes:
"... Senator Rand Paul has urged President Trump to shut out neoconservative war hawks from the State Department, as it has emerged that Elliott Abrams , a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, could be appointed to serve in the number two spot. ..."
"... "Elliott Abrams is a neoconservative too long in the tooth to change his spots, and the president should have no reason to trust that he would carry out a Trump agenda rather than a neocon agenda," Paul writes in an opinion piece for the libertarian website Rare . ..."
"... "Congress has good reason not to trust him -- he was convicted of lying to Congress in his previous job," Paul notes in his piece. ..."
"... Abrams is also believed to have been involved in approving the attempted Venezuelan coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002 while serving as Special Assistant to the President and holding office in the National Security Council. ..."
"... It is believed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the one pushing for Abrams to join him at the State Department. ..."
Feb 07, 2017 | www.infowars.com
Senator Rand Paul has urged President Trump to shut out neoconservative war hawks from the State Department, as it has emerged that Elliott Abrams , a senior fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, could be appointed to serve in the number two spot.

"Elliott Abrams is a neoconservative too long in the tooth to change his spots, and the president should have no reason to trust that he would carry out a Trump agenda rather than a neocon agenda," Paul writes in an opinion piece for the libertarian website Rare .

Abrams was intimately tied in with the Iran-Contra affair in the 1980s, and was even convicted of withholding information from Congress about covert government activities in Nicaragua and El Salvador. He was later pardoned by President George H. W. Bush.

"Congress has good reason not to trust him -- he was convicted of lying to Congress in his previous job," Paul notes in his piece.

Abrams is also believed to have been involved in approving the attempted Venezuelan coup against Hugo Chávez in 2002 while serving as Special Assistant to the President and holding office in the National Security Council.

Senator Paul urges Trump not to appoint Abrams, adding that his "neocon agenda trumps his fidelity to the rule of law."

Paul points out that during the election, Abrams publicly spoke out against Trump's intention to withdraw from policing the world.

"He is a loud voice for nation building and when asked about the president's opposition to nation building, Abrams said that Trump was absolutely wrong; and during the election he was unequivocal in his opposition to Donald Trump, going so far as to say, 'the chair in which Washington and Lincoln sat, he is not fit to sit,'" Paul writes.

It is believed that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson is the one pushing for Abrams to join him at the State Department.

Paul, a member of the Committee on Foreign Relations, hopes Tillerson "will continue the search for expert assistance from experienced, non-convicted diplomats who understand the mistakes of the past and the challenges ahead."

[Nov 22, 2019] Listening to our "world's best diplomats" convinced me that the deep state is real

The State (War) Department is really the neocons viper nest
Notable quotes:
"... Listening to our "world's best diplomats" convinced me that the deep state is real. These people think they, not elected officials, make policy. Plus, they are sneaky and conniving in trying to establish and protect their own little fiefdoms. They have never seen a foreign aid budget that in their humble yet expert opinion shouldn't be increased tenfold. They are political but pretend otherwise. And, their sanctimony is unbearable. Let's just say that I don't think that Foggy Bottom made a good impression with the general public this week. ..."
"... Oh, please. Every time it looks like we might actually pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, the generals pop up on the TV talk shows and in the Op-Ed pages warning of the dire consequences and pleading for more time. The neo-cons used to pull this "OMG, the military is the most competent part of the federal government" stuff back in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, and TAC is not the only publication that has blown up that myth. ..."
Nov 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

chris_zzz 19 hours ago

Listening to our "world's best diplomats" convinced me that the deep state is real. These people think they, not elected officials, make policy. Plus, they are sneaky and conniving in trying to establish and protect their own little fiefdoms. They have never seen a foreign aid budget that in their humble yet expert opinion shouldn't be increased tenfold. They are political but pretend otherwise. And, their sanctimony is unbearable. Let's just say that I don't think that Foggy Bottom made a good impression with the general public this week.
EdMan 15 hours ago
Straight fire out of Peter Van Buren. The State is the "The Blob." They're the ones who want to promote a policy of interventionism and nation-building. The military actually prefers to stay out of wars and don't want to pursue nation-building.
cka2nd EdMan 5 hours ago
Oh, please. Every time it looks like we might actually pull out of Iraq, Afghanistan or Syria, the generals pop up on the TV talk shows and in the Op-Ed pages warning of the dire consequences and pleading for more time. The neo-cons used to pull this "OMG, the military is the most competent part of the federal government" stuff back in the build-up to the invasion of Iraq, and TAC is not the only publication that has blown up that myth.
James Graham 11 hours ago • edited
This now-retired former private sector ex-pat had several encounters overseas with State employees.

They all came across as arrogant empty suits/dresses who thought their "service" made them automatically superior to us private sector citizens.

BTW "thank you for your service" should be bestowed only on US military personnel. Never on State employees.

[Nov 22, 2019] Marie Yovanovitch, the Poster Child of #FSProud

Nov 22, 2019 | www.theamericanconservative.com

The State Department, where I worked for 24 years as a Foreign Service officer (FSO) and diplomat, reminds me a lot of my current hometown, New York City. Both places spend an inordinate amount of time telling outsiders how great they are while ignoring the obvious garbage piled up around them. It's almost as if they're trying to convince themselves that everything is okay.

Like New York City telling itself the Broadway lights mean folks won't notice the homeless problem and decaying infrastructure, the State Department fully misunderstands how it appears to others. Across Facebook groups and internal channels, FSOs this week are sending each other little messages tagged #FSProud quoting former ambassador Marie Yovanovitch's closing soliloquy from her impeachment testimony.

Yovanovitch's testimony otherwise read like an HR complaint from hell, as if she were auditioning for a Disgruntled Employee poster-child position to cap off her career. She had already been fired by the time the alleged impeachable act took place -- Trump's July 25 phone call -- and was stuck in a placeholder job far removed from Ukrainian policy. She witnessed nothing of the "high crimes and misdemeanors" the House is investigating, and basically used her time to complain she knew more than her boss did so he fired her.

At the end of her testimony , Yovanovitch unfurled a large metaphorical flag and wrapped herself and the entire Foreign Service in it. Her lines had nothing to do with Ukraine: they were recruiting boilerplate about how FSOs are nonpartisan servants of the Constitution, how they all live in harm's way, yada yada. She name-checked diplomats from four decades ago held hostage in Iran, and rolled in a couple of CIA contractors when tallying up the "State" death toll from Benghazi. She omitted the we-don't-talk-about-that-one death of FSO Anne Smedinghoff in Afghanistan, whose 25-year-old life was destroyed participating in a propaganda photo-op.

This is the false idol image the State Department holds dear of itself, and people inside the organization today proudly christened Ambassador Yovanovitch its queen. Vanity Fair summed it up better than the long-winded FSOs bleating across social media: "A hero is born as Yovanovitch gives voice to widespread rage at State. 'I think people are feeling huge pride in Masha,' says a former ambassador." Yovanovitch uses her Russian nickname, Masha, without media comment, because of course she does.

And that's the good part. Alongside Yovanovitch, bureaucrat-in-a-bow-tie George Kent issued pronouncements against Trump people he never met who ignored his tweedy advice. Ambassador Bill Taylor leaked hoarded personal text messages with Trump political appointees. Taylor's deputy, David Holmes, appeared deus ex machina (Holmes had a photo of Yovanovitch as his Facebook page cover photo until recently!) to claim that back in the summer, he somehow overheard both sides of a phone conversation between Trump and political appointee, EU ambassador Gordon Sondland. Holmes eavesdropped on a presidential call and dumped it in the Democrats' laps, and now he's nonpartisan #FSProud, too.

Interesting that the major political events of the last few years have all crisscrossed the State Department: Clinton emails and Foundation shenanigans, the Steele Dossier and all things Russiagate, and now impeachment and Ukraine. And never mind that two major Democratic presidential candidates-in-waiting, Clinton and Kerry, had a home there. That's an awful lot of partisanship for an organization bragging about being nonpartisan.

Gawd, I need to wash my hands. I am #FSProud that in my 24 years as a diplomat, I never perjured myself, or claimed to or actually did eavesdrop on someone else's phone call, then spoon-fed the info months later to my boss on TV to take down a president mid-campaign, all while accepting cheers that I was nonpartisan and thinking my role as a snitch/bootlicker was going to help people view my organization as honorable.

FSOs see themselves as superheroes who will take down the Bad Orange Man. The organization flirted with the role before: " dissent " by State strayed close to insubordination opposing Trump's so-called Muslim Ban. Everyone remembers the Department's slow-walking the release of Hillary Clinton's emails (after helping hide the existence of her private server). The Department turned a blind eye to Clinton's nepotism in hiring her campaign aides (remember Huma ?) and use of America's oldest cabinet position to create B-roll ahead of her soiled campaign.

Maybe the State Department's overt support for Candidate Clinton did not make clear enough what happens when the organization betrays itself to politics.

While FSOs are gleefully allowing themselves to be used today, they fail to remember that nobody likes a snitch. No matter which side you're on, in the end nobody will trust you, Democrat or Republican, after seeing what you really are. What White House staffer of any party will interact openly with his diplomats knowing they are saving his texts and listening in on his calls, waiting? State considers itself a pit bull when in fact it's betrayed its golden nonpartisan glow. Hey, in your high school, did anyone want to have the kids who lived to be hall monitors and teacher's pets as their lunch buddies?

The real problems go much deeper. A Government Accountability Office (GAO) report showed more than one fourth of all Foreign Service positions were either unfilled or filled with below-grade employees. At the senior levels, 36 percent of positions were vacant or filled with people of lower rank and experience pressed into service. At the crucial mid-ranks, the number was 26 percent unfilled.

The thing is, that GAO report is from 2012 , and it showed similar results to one written in 2008. The State Department has danced with irrelevancy for a long time, and its efforts to be The Resistance as a cure today feel more like desperation than heroism. State's somnolent response, even during the mighty Clinton and Kerry years, to what should have been a crisis call (speculate on what the response might be to a report saying the military was understaffed by 36 percent) tells the tale.

As the world changes, State still has roughly the same number of Portuguese speakers as it does Russian among its FSOs. No other Western country uses private citizens as ambassadors over career diplomats to anywhere near the extent the United States does, where about a third of the posts are doled out as political patronage mainly because what they do doesn't matter. The secretary of state hands out lapel buttons reading " Swagger "; imagine a new secretary of defense doing the same -- and then being laughed out of office.

FSOs wade in the shallowest waters of the Deep State. Since the 1950s, the heavy lifting of foreign policy -- the stuff that ends up in history books -- mostly moved into the White House and the National Security Council. The increasing role of the military in America's foreign relations further sidelined State. The regional sweep of the AFRICOM and CENTCOM generals, for example, paints State's landlocked ambassadors as weak.

State's sad little attempt to stake out a new role in nation-building failed in Iraq , failed in Afghanistan , and failed in Haiti . The organization's Clinton-Kerry era joblet promoting democracy through social media was a flop. Trade policy has its own bureaucracy outside Foggy Bottom.

What was left for State was reporting, its on-the-ground viewpoint that informs policymakers. Even there the intelligence community has eaten State's sandwiches with the crusts cut off lunch -- why listen to what some FSO thinks the prime minister will do when the NSA can provide the White House with real-time audio of him explaining it in bed to his mistress? The überrevelation from the 2010 Wikileaks documents dump was that most of State's vaunted reporting is of little value. State struggled through the Chelsea Manning trial to convince someone that actual harm was done to national security by the disclosures.

For the understaffed Department of State, that leaves pretty much only the role of concierge abroad, the one Ambassadors Taylor and Yovanovitch, and their lickspittles Kent and Holmes, complained about as their real point during the impeachment hearings. Read their testimony and you learn they had no contact with principals Trump, Giuliani, and Pompeo (which is why they were useless "witnesses," they didn't see anything firsthand) and griped about being cut out of the loop and left off conference calls. They testified instead based on overheard conversations and off-screen voices. Taylor whined that Pompeo ignored his reports.

Meanwhile, America's VIPs need their hands held abroad, their motorcades organized, and their receptions handled, all tasks that fall squarely on the Department of State. That is what was really being said underneath it all at the impeachment hearings. It is old news, but it found a greedy audience repurposed to take a whack at Trump. State thinks this is its moment to shine, but all that is happening is a light is being shined on the organization's partisanship and pettiness in reaction to its own irrelevance.

Peter Van Buren, a 24-year State Department veteran, is the author of We Meant Well: How I Helped Lose the Battle for the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi People , Hooper's War: A Novel of WWII Japan, and Ghosts of Tom Joad: A Story of the #99 Percent .

[Nov 16, 2019] Devin Nunes begins Republican questioning of Taylor and Kent

Taylor is a neocon and he is against detente with Russia. So he is part of State Department nest of neocon vipers.
Taylor was very evasive. but he is a trained diplomat. Taylor will definitely regret his role ( and may be already started to regret ) but he has nothing to lose; he is old enough to retire.
Notable quotes:
"... I love how CBS completely edited out Nunes first part of his speech about all the lowlife activities the left pulled. ..."
"... My favorite part was at 25:40 where Castro says "And at the heart of this corruption is this oligarchical system." .... for a second, I thought he was talking about the United States. ..."
Nov 13, 2019 | www.youtube.com

october71777 , 1 day ago

Why did Rick Perry resign his cabinet position after the Ukrainian Cabal was exposed? Just wondering.

High Velocity , 14 hours ago

Ambassador Taylor do you know anything? -- I'm not sure, I don't recall.

jack epperson , 7 hours ago (edited)

I think Schiff overdosed on his meds. Look at his eyes they tell the story eyes don't lie

Bryochemical Intuition , 1 hour ago

Nunes is extremely impressive I must admit. He's been handing the democrats their own @$$'$ for 3 years

Wesley Kline , 4 hours ago

I love how CBS completely edited out Nunes first part of his speech about all the lowlife activities the left pulled.

Sue Osborne , 1 day ago

Taylor is a Buffoon...who is trying to make something out of nothing

rek131 , 6 hours ago

My favorite part was at 25:40 where Castro says "And at the heart of this corruption is this oligarchical system." .... for a second, I thought he was talking about the United States.

American Argonaut , 37 minutes ago

Schiffs a freaking sociopath!

D Chase , 1 day ago

I have learned to HATE everything the Democrats, their deep state and MSM stand for. It's beyond comprehension that they have hijacked the greatest nation on earth and subverted the constitution for personal power and gain! A government takeover by the citizens is not far off, and the only people who will be safe are a few Republicans in government.

D Chase , 1 day ago

KENT = C.I.A. Pay close attention. These clowns have infiltrated the state department in order to control foreign policy and rob nations!!!!!

rtrouthouse , 1 day ago

Now this amounts to the impeachment of The President of the United States, for "shaking the confidence of a close partner for our reliability" Ambassador Taylor. 21:21

speedoflite1 , 1 day ago

18:40 - 19:50 Turner gives a confused explanation of the "6th Amendment" - right of criminal defendant to “to be confronted with the witnesses against him” versus The Hearsay Rule - which is evidence (statements made outside court setting) that may or may not be admissible at trial. Which, in part, why Judges are present to rule on whether exceptions, exclusions to the Hearsay Rule apply.

Larry Smith , 1 day ago

He obviously had his script written before this hearing and didn't listen to what was actually said. He referenced things that were never even brought up but were talking points for the Democrats.

Klaus Klaus , 1 day ago

...What a blinder and hypocrisy in the highest echelons of power. What a little petty thinking....Democrats are clearly communists. Do you Americans know what this mean? Obviously not.

jlc , 7 hours ago

Democrat lunacy on parade Taylor was about as clear as mud and so where his he said, they said, or i heard someone say something, are we really taking these people seriously.?

Mark Merithew , 2 days ago

Do these republicans not realize that the Ukrainian President is going to say whatever trump tells him to say so he gets his money and weapons....he’s got a war going on and must have those resources...what else is he going to say?

sjcthrn5 , 1 day ago

If Giuliani seeking information in Ukraine is such an abnormal thing as to cause alarm then please explain DNC operative Alexandra Chalupa and the years she has spent in Ukraine performing opposition research along with maintaining close ties with the NSCand the Obama whitehouse.

Christine Morris , 1 day ago

There is no evidence against Trump and Taylor was so tongue-tied that he couldn't answer some of those questions. I loved Jordan asking all those questions and putting those two witnesses in place. In the court of law they WILL NOT TAKE HEARSAY because I worked for the courts and lawyers so I know what the Judge would say. this is nothing but a scham and when Trump gets to be President again I hope he puts Schiff in prison!!!!!!!

[Nov 15, 2019] 'I Have Freedom Of Speech': Trump Hits Back After Critics Claim Witness Intimidation, 'Thugocracy'

Notable quotes:
"... It's remarkable how tone deaf the Beltway Bubble has made these bureaucrats and their clingers. The United States elected Donald Trump, to get rid of people like Marie Yovanovitch. If anything, he needs to speed things up. ..."
"... The ambassador also shows her true state between various masks she wears during impeachment interviews, the cameras have an easy time capturing it, it's a smirk, & she seems to show it to the democrats as well. One bad actor. ..."
"... For more than six months now, EVERYONE on planet Earth has known about the Deep State, Obama, Biden, Pelosy, Brennan, Comey, McCabe Stzrok, Page, Lynch, Rice ,Powers, Misfud, Fusion GPS ,Halper, Neuland, Schiff, Nadler, Wray, Rosenstein, the entire Mainstream Media and three dozen other ******* treasonous assholes tearing this country apart. ..."
"... Was she even actually intimidated? She had already known Trump's opinion of her job performance for some time. She had been reassigned, as was the administration prerogative. There was no threat to take further action against her. Trump merely again stated he was unhappy/disappointed wherever she had been assigned. ..."
Nov 15, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

After House Intelligence Chair Adam Schiff (D-CA) took time out of today's impeachment testimony to rebuke President Trump for "witness intimidation," President Trump hit back.

During testimony from former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch, Trump took aim at her over Twitter, saying " Everywhere Marie Yovanovitch went turned bad . She started off in Somalia, how did that go? Then fast forward to Ukraine, where the new Ukrainian President spoke unfavorably about her..."

Following Trump's tweet, Schiff dramatically interrupted questioning from his staff counsel to read Trump's tweet aloud - asking Yovanovitch what effect Trump's tweet might have on future witnesses, to which she replied that it would be "very intimidating.

Trump's tweet was so troubling that former Media Matters employee Paul Waldman wrote in the Washington Post that Trump "talks and acts like a Mafioso" in an article entitled "Yovanovitch hearing confirms that Trump is running a thugocracy ."

Following Schiff's dramatic exchange, Trump was asked whether his words can be intimidating, to which he said "I don't think so at all."

" I have the right to speak. I have freedom of speech just like other people do ," Trump told White House reporters following remarks on a health care initiative, adding that he's "allowed to speak up" and defend himself.

Watch:

https://www.youtube.com/embed/n5U6jeBEEdY


LEEPERMAX , 17 seconds ago link

NUNES HIGHLIGHTS THE LINKS BETWEEN DEMOCRATS AND UKRAINE VIDEO

Opulence I Has It , 2 minutes ago link

It's remarkable how tone deaf the Beltway Bubble has made these bureaucrats and their clingers. The United States elected Donald Trump, to get rid of people like Marie Yovanovitch. If anything, he needs to speed things up.

LEEPERMAX , 8 minutes ago link

TOM FITTON: HOW DANGEROUS AND CORRUPT IS THIS COUP AGAINST PRESIDENT TRUMP?

Transmedia001 , 29 minutes ago link

Dear LEFT-

We are at a turning point in our history. The Dems and their Deep State agents have once again proven that they will go to any lengths to destroy the constitution, upend the rule of law, lie, cheat, steal and twist words to accomplish any goal.

... ... ...

peippe , 36 minutes ago link

The ambassador also shows her true state between various masks she wears during impeachment interviews, the cameras have an easy time capturing it, it's a smirk, & she seems to show it to the democrats as well. One bad actor.

LEEPERMAX , 55 minutes ago link

DAN BONGINO'S INTERVIEW WITH PRESIDENT TRUMP LISTEN

Interview begins at 5:00 mark

artistant , 1 hour ago link

So far, Trump...

1. Failed with Iran, Syria, Turkey, and the Middle East Peace Process

2. Failed with Russia & Ukraine

3. Failed with Venezuela

4. Failed with trade war

5. Failed with immigration

6. Kidnapped a Huawei executive

7. Set Hong Kong on fire

8. Stole an Iranian tanker

9. Stole a Venezuelan ship full of foods

10. Stole Jerusalem and the Golan Heights for the FAKE HEBREWS

11. Kept all wars in the Middle East going for APARTHEID Israhell

12. Faked Epstein's death who's now living comfortably in Apartheid Israhell

13. Faked it with N Korea

14. Does nothing but plays golf, tweets, and insults

15. Destroyed American farmers, coal miners, truckers, and manufacturers

16. Failed to hire competent staff

17. Failed to abolish the Fed

18. Failed to drain the Swamp

19. Failed to dismantle the Deep State

20. Failed the US economy

I am Groot , 1 hour ago link

I pretty much stopped having an ounce of sympathy for Trump this week. On day two of his presidency he should have locked up Hillary, and he didn't. He then has the ******* balls to tell us that "they" meaning the Clintons "are good people". Are you ******* kidding me ? ? ?

For more than six months now, EVERYONE on planet Earth has known about the Deep State, Obama, Biden, Pelosy, Brennan, Comey, McCabe Stzrok, Page, Lynch, Rice ,Powers, Misfud, Fusion GPS ,Halper, Neuland, Schiff, Nadler, Wray, Rosenstein, the entire Mainstream Media and three dozen other ******* treasonous assholes tearing this country apart.

And what exactly has Trump done to bring these people to justice for treason and seditious conspiracy ? Jack ******* squat !

Epstein allegedly gets murdered in his cell/disapears, and all Barr does is ******* shrug his shoulders like Schultz and says "I know nothing". Assange is slowly being murdered in his cell while Trump claims " I never heard of Wikileaks". Snowden and Manning are enemies of the state, and nobody seems to care.

Meanwhile the entire country is being overrun up to our eyeballs with illegals, the mentally ill are walking around like a zombie apocalypse and the rule of law is totally dead.

Am I taking crazy pills ? WTF is going on ?

Rant over......

Stainless Steel Rat , 2 hours ago link

As that photoshopping suggests, these Democrats live in an altered reality. Fantasy. Insanity? Not sure Joseph Goebbels meant telling oneself lies over and over eventually turns them into truths. But it seems to for these Democrats. And they vote their fantasies...

Teamtc321 , 2 hours ago link

"If you tell a lie big enough and keep repeating it, people will eventually come to believe it. The lie can be maintained only for such time as the State can shield the people from the political, economic and/or military consequences of the lie. It thus becomes vitally important for the State to use all of its powers to repress dissent, for the truth is the mortal enemy of the lie, and thus by extension, the truth is the greatest enemy of the State."- Joseph Goebbels

rwe2late , 2 hours ago link

Was she even actually intimidated? She had already known Trump's opinion of her job performance for some time. She had been reassigned, as was the administration prerogative. There was no threat to take further action against her. Trump merely again stated he was unhappy/disappointed wherever she had been assigned.

"Intimidated"?

B.S. She is/was supposedly a top diplomat/negotiator.

If her skin is that thin, and she is that easily "intimidated",

then she is clearly at a job level well above her competence.

rwe2late , 2 hours ago link

of course, during her testimony, she would not even have known about the tweet, much less been allegedly intimidated by it, nor could her "testimony" been affected in any way by the tweet, except that Adam Schiff showed it to her to elicit a response.

[Nov 15, 2019] Trump And Zelensky Want Peace With Russia. The Fascists Oppose That

Notable quotes:
"... "In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine. ..."
"... But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such? ..."
"... And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay. ..."
"... The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that. ..."
"... Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia. ..."
"... "They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it." ..."
"... Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets. ..."
"... Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass. ..."
"... Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes. ..."
"... Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup: ..."
"... Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%. ..."
"... on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States." ..."
"... She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the knee ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | www.moonofalabama.org

NBC News is not impressed by the first day of the Democrats' impeachment circus. But it fails to note what the conflict is really about:

It was substantive, but it wasn't dramatic.

In the reserved manner of veteran diplomats with Harvard degrees, Bill Taylor and George Kent opened the public phase of the House impeachment inquiry into President Donald Trump on Wednesday by bearing witness to a scheme they described as not only wildly unorthodox but also in direct contravention of U.S. interests.

"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression," Taylor, the acting U.S. ambassador to Ukraine and a decorated Vietnam War veteran, said in explaining why Trump's decision to withhold congressionally appropriated aid to the most immediate target of Russian expansionism didn't align with U.S. policy.

But at a time when Democrats are simultaneously eager to influence public opinion in favor of ousting the president and quietly apprehensive that their hearings could stall or backfire, the first round felt more like the dress rehearsal for a serious one-act play than the opening night of a hit Broadway musical.

"In direct contravention of U.S. interests" says the NBC and quotes a member of the permanent state who declares "it is clearly in our national interest" to give weapons to Ukraine.

But is that really in the national U.S. interest? Who defined it as such?

President Obama was against giving weapons to Ukraine and never transferred any to Ukraine despite pressure from certain circles. Was Obama's decision against U.S. national interest? Where are the Democrats or deep state members accusing him of that?

Which brings us to the really critical point of the whole issue. Who defines what is in the "national interest" with regards to foreign policy? Here is a point where for once I agree with the right-wingers at the National Review where Andrew McCarthy writes :

[O]n the critical matter of America's interests in the Russia/Ukraine dynamic, I think the policy community is right, and President Trump is wrong. If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions.

But you see, much like the policy community, I am not president. Donald Trump is.

And that's where the policy community and I part company. It is the president, not the bureaucracy, who was elected by the American people. That puts him -- not the National Security Council, the State Department, the intelligence community, the military, and their assorted subject-matter experts -- in charge of making policy. If we're to remain a constitutional republic, that's how it has to stay.

We have made the very same point :

The U.S. constitution "empowers the President of the United States to propose and chiefly negotiate agreements between the United States and other countries."

The constitution does not empower the "U.S. government policy community", nor "the administration", nor the "consensus view of the interagency" and certainly not one Lt.Col. Vindman to define the strategic interests of the United States and its foreign policy. It is the duly elected president who does that.

and :

The president does not like how the 'American policy' on Russia was built. He rightly believes that he was elected to change it. He had stated his opinion on Russia during his campaign and won the election. It is not 'malign influence' that makes him try to have good relations with Russia. It is his own conviction and legitimized by the voters.
...
[I]t is the president who sets the policies. The drones around him who serve "at his pleasure" are there to implement them.

There is another point that has to be made about the NBC's assertions. It is not in the interest of Ukraine to be a proxy for U.S. deep state antagonism towards Russia. Robber baron Igor Kolomoisky, who after the Maidan coup had financed the west-Ukrainian fascists who fought against east-Ukraine, says so directly in his recent NYT interview :

Mr. Kolomoisky, widely seen as Ukraine's most powerful figure outside government, given his role as the patron of the recently elected President Volodymyr Zelensky, has experienced a remarkable change of heart: It is time, he said, for Ukraine to give up on the West and turn back toward Russia.

"They're stronger anyway. We have to improve our relations," he said, comparing Russia's power to that of Ukraine. "People want peace, a good life, they don't want to be at war. And you" -- America -- "are forcing us to be at war , and not even giving us the money for it."
...
Mr. Kolomoisky [..] told The Times in a profanity-laced discussion, the West has failed Ukraine, not providing enough money or sufficiently opening its markets.

Instead, he said, the United States is simply using Ukraine to try to weaken its geopolitical rival. "War against Russia," he said, "to the last Ukrainian." Rebuilding ties with Russia has become necessary for Ukraine's economic survival, Mr. Kolomoisky argued. He predicted that the trauma of war will pass.
...
Mr. Kolomoisky said he was feverishly working out how to end the war, but he refused to divulge details because the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way."

Kolomoisky's interview is obviously a trial balloon for the policies Zelensky wants to pursue. He has, like Trump, campaigned on working for better relations with Russia. He received nearly 73% of all votes.

Ambassador Taylor and the other participants of yesterday's clown show would certainly "mess it up and get in the way" if Zelensky openly pursues the policy he promised to his voters. They are joined in this with the west-Ukrainian fascists they have used to arrange the Maidan coup:

Zelenskiy's decision in early October to accept talks with Russia on the future of eastern Ukraine resulted in an outcry from a relatively small but very vocal minority of Ukrainians opposed to any deal-making with Russia. The protests were relatively short-lived, but prospects for a negotiated end to the war in the eastern Donbas region became more remote in light of this domestic opposition.
...
The supporters for war with Russia are ex-president Poroshenko and two parliamentary factions, European Solidarity and Voice, whose supporters are predominantly located in western Ukraine. Crucially, however, they can also rely on right-wing paramilitary groups composed of veterans from the hottest phase of the war in Donbas in 2014-5.

Only some 20% of the Ukrainians are in favour of continuing the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports. During the presidential election Poroshenko received just 25% of the votes. His party European Solidarity won 8.1% of the parliamentary election. Voice won 5.8%.

By pursuing further conflict with Russia the deep state of the United States wants to ignore the wishes not only of the U.S. voters but also those of the Ukrainian electorate. That undemocratic mindset is another point that unites them with the Ukrainian fascists.

Zelensky should ignore the warmongers in the U.S. embassy in Kiev and sue for immediate peace with Russia. (He should also investigate Biden's undue influence .) Reengaging with Russia is also the easiest and most efficient step the Ukraine can take to lift its desolate economy.

It is in the national interest of both, the Ukraine and the United States.

Posted by b on November 14, 2019 at 18:23 UTC | Permalink


pretzelattack , Nov 14 2019 18:28 utc | 1

next page " agree with mccarthy about who conducts foreign policy, disagree about who the aggressor is; it's the USA, trying to weaken Russia, which is the aggressor.
james , Nov 14 2019 18:48 utc | 2
thanks b... typo - immediate piece with Russia - 'peace' is the spelling here...

the comments from Kolomoisky in the recent nyt interview are very telling.. aside from being a first rate kleptomaniac who will willingly play both sides if he can profit from it, he is also speaking a moment of truth..for him Ukraine is available to the highest bidder... he could give a rats ass about Ukraine or the people... but still, it is refreshing that the NYT published his comments in this regard..

the quote "the Americans "will mess it up and get in the way." is very true... it was true before kolomisky picked a side too.. this guy is very shrewd.. i wonder if his own country is able to see thru him?

national interest.... yes, trump gets to decide and he won on the idea of having closer relations with russia, but the cia-msm has been lambasting him and anyone else associated with him since before the election over the clinton e mails... they have painted a scenario that it is all russias fault and have been relentless in this portrayal... hoping trump is going to turn this around is like hoping someone is going to turn the titanic around from hitting a giant iceberg... the usa is too far gone and will be hitting the iceberg.. they are in fact...

michael lacey , Nov 14 2019 19:00 utc | 3
Good article what the American people miss is good articles instead of the mind numbing BS! They actually receive!
Piotr Berman , Nov 14 2019 19:01 utc | 4
From NYT about Kolomo???? (spelling in English is highly variable)

George D. Kent, a senior State Department official, said he had told Mr. Zelensky that his willingness to break with Mr. Kolomoisky -- "somebody who had such a bad reputation" -- would be a litmus test for his independence. [If is good to be independent, i.e. to do what we want.]

And William Taylor, the acting ambassador in Kiev, said he had warned Mr. Zelensky: "He, Mr. Kolomoisky, is increasing his influence in your government, which could cause you to fail." [La Paz is a fresh reminder for Kiev?]

Bemildred , Nov 14 2019 19:07 utc | 5
Well the thing about Zelensky is he's still there, and he is making changes in Donbass.

Kolomoisky was interested in the fracked gas in Donbass, the completion of NordStream II has made a mess of that idea. It is good that he has seen the light, as it means Zelensky will have support in his attempts to adapt to reality. But Kolomoisky is still a crook no doubt.

Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:14 utc | 6
My immediate reaction was that Kolomoisky realises he has to act - the Ukrainian oligarchs have got too close to America. I agree with James that he is a extremely clever man. Ukraine's traditional business is playing both ends against the middle and sending the proceeds to Switzerland (or the Caribbean in Porosyonok's case). Since 1990 a few of these robber barons have made a very good business winding up the west against Russia, it could go on ever - why spoil it by lifting the rock and seeing all the insects scurrying around in the light?

Another rock that has been lifted is in Washington, where the khokhol diaspora are desperately trying to get Uncle Sam to right the wrongs of a century ago.

Montreal , Nov 14 2019 19:25 utc | 7
I should have written: the "perceived" wrongs" of a century ago.
Babyl-on , Nov 14 2019 19:26 utc | 8
"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.

There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.

There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners oif the world and they run the world they own.

chet380 , Nov 14 2019 19:28 utc | 9
... @ b -- "Only some 20% of the Ukrainians favor to continue the war against the eastern separatists who Russia supports."

The are not 'separatists', but rather Ukrainians who want to stay in a federated Ukraine as 'provinces' with powers to pass their regional laws, similar to those in Canada.

psychohistorian , Nov 14 2019 19:35 utc | 10
The segment of empire in the US that are against Russia act so because it was Russia that stymied them in Syria and continues to be in their way of expanding the control from that part of empire...the US segment.

I still believe that the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyones heads to make it ongoing.

I don't believe that strategy will work but as long as they can be fronted by a MAD player of some sort (Occupied Palestine comes to mind) they can be bully players in international matters.

As the world economies grind to a "halt" there will be lots of pressure everywhere and very little clarity about the key civilization war over public/private finance, IMO

NOBTS , Nov 14 2019 19:37 utc | 11
For a military dictatorship, diplomacy is the continuation of war by other means. The US has been at war with Russia since the right-wing coup at the Democratic convention of 1944. All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!
karlof1 , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 12
Wow! The depth of delusion on display is as breathtaking as its complete projection of the intentions and actions of the Evil Outlaw US Empire! Oh so many saying I'm displaying four fingers instead of two. Too bad there isn't a padded cell big enough to contain all the lunatics. I recall the pre- and post-coup discussions from 2014--that Russia was going to make NATO own Ukraine until it was forced to concede it has no business being there; that Russia would teach the would-be leaders of Ukraine a serious lesson in where their national interests lay. NATO is ready to cede and the lesson's been learned.

IMO, two referendums must be held. The first within Russia: Will you accept portions of Ukraine wanting to merge with Russia: Yes/No? Second to be given within Ukraine provided Yes wins in #1: Do you wish to join Russia or remain in Ukraine? IMO, this is a very longstanding unresolved issue of consequence for the people involved. The political leaders of Russia and Ukraine might both be against such a vote, but IMO that merely kicks the can further down the road and opens the door for more mischief making by the Evil Outlaw US Empire. Assuming a Yes from Russia and some from Ukraine, a strategic threat to Russia and Europe would be mitigated. Additional questions about those parts of Ukraine not wanting to join Russia could be solved via additional referenda in the Ukraine and neighboring nations that might prove willing to absorb the remnants and their people. Such action would of course negate the Minsk Agreements.

Given the ideological passions of those living in Western and Northern Ukraine, I don't see any hope for the continuation of the Ukrainian state as currently arranged, thus the proposed referenda. However, if Russia says Nyet, then Minsk must be implemented.

TG , Nov 14 2019 19:39 utc | 13
Ah, well said, but missing the point.

"Democracy" is not about letting the people as a whole have a say in how the country is governed. That would be fascist, and racist, and populist, and LITERALLY HITLER. Letting the people decide on things like foreign policy, is literally anti-democratic.

No, "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."

jayc , Nov 14 2019 19:41 utc | 14
Breaking off long established economic and cultural ties with a large neighbouring country, virtually overnight, is a rash act, and certain to create dislocation and hardship. The craziness of the idea was only achievable through the traumatizing psy-op of the sniper event, leading directly to the coup and the state of war. The EU and the US were clearly malevolent in orchestrating the Association agreement with its ridiculous terms and the corresponding Maidan pressures.

The fools in Hong Kong, after protester-sponsored screenings of the World On Fire documentary, were actually quoted as presuming the Maidan protests had "won" and expressed their hopes that they too could "win". Good luck to them.

AntiSpin , Nov 14 2019 19:49 utc | 15
Ukraine Timeline

for anyone who hasn't had the time to get caught up on the topic, by Ray McGovern
https://www.opednews.com/articles/Ukraine-For-Dummies-by-Ray-McGovern-Crimea_Ignorance_Intelligence_Media-191114-285.html

Taffyboy , Nov 14 2019 19:50 utc | 16
Kolomoisky and Zelensky know what needs to be done, but they fear the blood that will flow with Nazi-Banderist scum! Zelinski's balls are not that big, and has no options left after compromising his position from day one. Who will make the first move, I fear not him? Russia has time, and patience, which is sorely lacking in the west who feel they have to push the envelope.
Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 19:57 utc | 17
The Minsk II protocol was agreed to on 12 February 2015 by the leaders of Ukraine, Russia, France, and Germany, It included provisions for a halt in the fighting, the withdrawal of foreign forces, new constitution to allow special status for Donbass, and election in Donbass for local self governance. Control of the present border of Ukraine would be restored to the Ukraine government. Donbass would continue to be in Ukraine with some autonomy here (scroll down).
There are many such autonomous zones in the world, and in Europe, seen here .
The problem in Ukraine is that the neo-Nazi factions promoted by the US don't want to see a resolution, and will fight it with US support.
flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 19:59 utc | 18
Kolomoysky is obviously a master thief and general scumbag...but he is no fool...

I think the writing on the wall became obvious with the Nordstream 2 finalization, where, it is noted, Denmark came in just under the wire in terms of not disrupting the timetable...

Obviously the interests of German business have prevailed...and rightly so in this case...

And what of the famous EU line about 'protecting' Ukraine as a gas transit corridor...?

LOLOLOL...that is in the same category of nothingburger as the EU noises about 'alternate payment' mechanisms for trade with Iran...

As soon as the Denmark story broke, Gazprom and Russian energy analysts talked openly about the tiny volumes that Ukraine could expect to see transiting its territory...as part of a new agreement to replace the one that has expired...

It works out to a small fraction of the several billion dollars in transit fees the Ukraine was getting...

Also considering that the IMF appears to be finally shutting off the tap of loans to this failed gangster state...and that the promises from the EU in 2013 were just so much fairy tales...hard-nosed operators like Kolomoysky are recalculating...

The chaos and national ruin has really cost these gangster capitalists nothing [in fact they have profited wildly]...so it is easy for them to reverse course and come begging back to Russia...

Bryan MacDonald has a good piece about this today in RT...

Ukraine's most powerful oligarch states the obvious: Ukraine has to turn back towards Russia

So, here we are, almost six years since the first "EuroMaidan" protests in Kiev, and Ukraine's most prominent oligarch has finally voiced the unmentionable: the project has failed.

As for Kolomoysky...like Trump, there is something to like about dirtballs who speak their minds openly...LOL

Vonu , Nov 14 2019 20:08 utc | 19
According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA
PJB , Nov 14 2019 20:11 utc | 20
Quite a turnaround by Kolomoisky. Wasn't he once caught on a tapped phone call admitting while chuckling about Ukrainian complicity in shooting down MH-17? i.e. NOT Donbas rebels and NOT Russia.
james , Nov 14 2019 20:13 utc | 21
@12 karlof1... a referendum... as if the usa would agree to that, lol.... look how they processed the one in crimea...

@18 flankerbandit... last line is true, but it pales in relation to the ugliness these 2 exhibit 99% of the time, although the 1% when they don't it's refreshing! ukraine will continue to be used as a tool by the west..

forget about any referendum.. that makes too much sense and won't be allowed..

Kadath , Nov 14 2019 20:23 utc | 22
Nordstream 2 will come online in less than 2 months and the Ukrainian gas exports at that time will cease (I.e. no oil for the Oligarchs to steal), no matter what the US says they can't replace the Russian oil exports in terms of money & support to Ukraine, so the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets
J Swift , Nov 14 2019 20:31 utc | 23
It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot.

But now the Ukrainian thieves are beginning to realize that the Western thieves are going to steal the very ground from under their feet, so there will be no more Ukraine to steal from. That's not a very good business model. Plus they're no doubt seeing how the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere, and realize they could easily find themselves the next meal for the US beast. Pretty easy to see why the smarter ones are getting nervous.

DannC , Nov 14 2019 20:37 utc | 24
they need to make peace with Russia or they will be left out in the cold, literally. They seemed to have previously bought into some insane lie that they'd be a part of the EU and NATO if theyd do Washington's bidding. The Deep state vastly underestimated Putin's resolve when it became clear to the Russians that Washington may try and turn Crimea into a NATO port one day. The game is over. Ukraine needs to find a way forward now for itself or it will be a failed state in the near future. It's clear Merkel and Europe want no part of this headache
flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 20:42 utc | 25
I don't think Russians want to 'own' any part of Ukraine...at least that is the nearly unanimous opinion of my own contacts and colleagues in Russia...so I don't think any referenda will be on the table...

What I do think is possible is what Yanukovich and Russia agreed to in terms of a trade and economic deal...which was a lot more practical [not to mention generous] than the EU 'either or' nonsense...

Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security...

At the time of the Soviet dissolution, Ukraine had the highest living standards and some of the world's prime industry and technology...including for instance the Yuzhnoye design bureau [rocket engines and spacecraft] and many more such cutting edge aerospace concerns...

For years these crucial enterprises were able to keep going due to the Russian market...that all ended in 2014 [and in fact was tapering off even before due to the massive corruption]...

Now the Chinese are looking to scoop up these gems at firesale prices...

It is really quite unbelievable that the nutcases in the Ukraine would be willing to cut off their own arm just to bleed on Russia's shirt...

Why did the Ukraine never recover from the gangster capitalism like Russia did...because no Putin ever came along to reign in the oligarchy...[It could be argued Putin hasn't done nearly enough in this regard].

The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling...

Jackrabbit , Nov 14 2019 20:49 utc | 26
Disappointed in b's analysis.

Kolomoisky is talking his book and helping USA to make the case that Nordstream is a NATO security issue. To pretend that he's serious about a rapproachment with Russia just plays into that effort.

And b ignores my comment on the prior thread that he references (about Trump being Constitutionally charged with foreign policy). Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.

While for practical reasons the Executive Branch of USA government has the power to negotiate treaties and manage foreign relations, Constitutionally he does so for the sovereign (the American people) and his efforts are subject to review and approval of the people's representatives via the power of the purse.

Ignoring how the "Imperial Presidency" has usurped power leads to faulty analysis that supports that power grab.

Ukrainegate IS a farce, but for other reasons. Chief among them being the inherent fakery of 'managed democracy' which manifests as kayfabe.

uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:50 utc | 27
Babyl-on #8
There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government.

There is one and only one Western Empire and its deep state spreads throughout Western governments and society. They are the owners of the world and they run the world they own.

Nicely put:- that is the reality. Thanks b for your intrepid reports.

Paul Craig Roberts has a deeply aggrieved rant at zero hedge if barflies want a chuckle. What a shitshow.

uncle tungsten , Nov 14 2019 20:58 utc | 28
flankerbandit #25

YES to all that and we are all getting the same split and plunder treatment.

Indonesia is the trial ground and has been where the methods were in place the longest as Andre Vitchek reports .

That is our future unless we intervene and throw the USA out of our countries.

jo6pac , Nov 14 2019 21:06 utc | 29
Long but a good read on the Ukraine by David Stockman.

https://original.antiwar.com/David_Stockman/2019/11/12/the-ukrainian-influence-peddling-rings-a-microcosm-of-how-imperial-washington-rolls/

flankerbandit , Nov 14 2019 21:16 utc | 30
Agree with Uncle on Indonesia...yes that Vltchek piece [and much of his previous work on Indonesia] is pretty sobering...this is our future folks...
Duncan Idaho , Nov 14 2019 21:21 utc | 31
Crimea?
It has been part of Russia about as long as the USA has been a country.
9 out of 10 residents are of Russian origin, and Russian is the spoken language.
I guess it could be returned to the 10%-- but out of fairness, we must turn the USA over to its original occupants.
If you live in the USA, get your ass ready to leave.
bevin , Nov 14 2019 21:47 utc | 32
One of the problems that the anti-nazis face in Ukraine is that there are occupying armies in the country. Armies which cannot be trusted to obey instructions which are not agreed upon by NATO warmongers.
One such army is Canadian, commanded I believe by a descendant of the Ukrainian SS refugees and reporting to the Foreign Minister in Ottawa, a Russophobe with a family background of nazi collaboration.
The actual political situation is much more delicate than media reports suggest: what are called elections feature, in the Washington approved fashion, the banning of socialist and communist candidates. Bans which are enforced by a combination of fascist commanded police forces and, even less responsible, private nazi militias. Opponents of the Maidan regime are driven into exile, jailed or murdered.
Those who wonder as Jackrabbit, in a rare essay into rationality, does above, about the nature of the US Constitution after decades of the erosion of checks and balances thanks to the Imperial Presidency, will recognise that a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it.
And what this means is that, among other things, the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled: there is no way that the people of Ukraine can decide what they want because the decisions have been taken for them, in weird cult like gatherings of SS worshiping Bandera supporters in Toronto and Chicago. It is no accident that most of the 'Ukrainians' being wheeled out by the Democrats to testify against Trump are actually greedy expatriates who have never really lived in Ukraine.
There was a moment, not long ago, when it looked as if the Minsk accords promised a path to peace and reconciliation. Unfortunately the plain people of Ukraine, the poorest in Europe though living in one of the richest countries, Washington, Ottawa and NATO didn't like the sound of Minsk. Nor did the fascists in the Baltic states and Poland, for whom, for centuries, Ukraine has been a cow to milk, its people slaves to be exploited and its rich resources too tempting to ignore.
michael , Nov 14 2019 21:56 utc | 33
As Thomas Jefferson explained the President's role in foreign affairs in 1790, and the lack of advisors' policy making decisions: ''as the President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'; that whatever he communicated as such, they had a right and were bound to consider 'as the expression of the nation'; and that no foreign agent could be 'allowed to question it,' or 'to interpose between him and any other branch of government, under the pretext of either's transgressing their functions.' Mr. Jefferson therefore declined to enter into any discussion of the question as to whether it belonged to the President under the Constitution to admit or exclude foreign agents. 'I inform you of the fact,' he said, 'by authority from the President.'
Sadness , Nov 14 2019 22:04 utc | 34
Might also be worth yesterdays hero's asking if dear Mr Kolomoisky, joint Uki/Israeli national, took a part in authorising the shoot down of MH17 as a news cover for Operation Protective Edge. Heave ho zionist USA ....et al.
steven t johnson , Nov 14 2019 22:11 utc | 35
1.The decisions to with hold and release aid have nothing to do with the President making foreign policy but with his campaign. Saying it was about foreign policy is a damned lie.
2.Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy. Military aid to Ukraine, yes, except no, except yes, personal handling without asking anybody with experience how to achieve the national goal desired, national agenda kept secret from the people who have to carry it out, abuse of officials, demands for dubiously legal actions without rationale...Saying it was about the president's executive role is a damned lie.
3.Trump has not made even a tweet that questions US support for fascists. That not even a issue for Trump. Saying this is about support for fascism is a damned lie.
4.Kolomoyskiy is a bankroller of fascists. It is not impossible even a billionaire might get frightened by the genie he's let out of the bottle, even if he's Jewish and rich enough to run away. But actually undoing the fascist regime means taming the paramilitaries and this is not even on the horizon. Given the rivalry between Poroshenko and Kolomoyskiy it's not even certain it's a real change of heart or just soothing words for the non-fascist people. Nor is it even clear the Zelensky will follow even the Steinmeier formula. If he does, good, but until something actually happens? Saying it's about the antifascist turn is a damned lie.

The only thing that isn't a lie is that Trump was not committing treasons, "merely" a campaign violation. But then, Clinton never did either. The crybabies who dished it out but can't take it deserve zero respect, and zero time.

Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:16 utc | 36
@ michael 34
There's a major difference between being a national spokesman and being a national decision-maker.
Don Bacon , Nov 14 2019 22:17 utc | 37
@ stj 36
Trump as president is supposed to lead foreign policy, which means actually setting a policy.
There's no basis for that in the Constitution.
Jen , Nov 14 2019 22:32 utc | 38
Curious to know how Kolomoisky is working "feverishly" to end the war in the Donbass region. Wonder if he is planning to come clean on what he knows of the Malaysia Airlines MH17 shootdown and crash in an area not far from Slavyansk and near where his Privat Group's subsidiary company Burisma Holdings holds a licence to drill for oil and natural gas. What does he know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested? He had been governor of Dnepropetrovsk region at the time.
ben , Nov 14 2019 22:47 utc | 39
A quote from b's article;"It is clearly in our national interest to deter further Russian aggression".

Spoken by two sycophants for the empire.

It would be in our "national interest" if we could stop our aggression's around the globe.

DJT, IMO, only favors peace with Russia, or any one else,if, it furthers HIS personal, and his families enrichment.

He has a record of shafting people, I just wish people would inform themselves about it, and see what he's done with his life, not what says about it.

Paul Damascene , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 40
Somewhere I read it alleged that the actual owner of Burisma was or is Kolomoiski.

Anything to this?

And via John Helmer (via Checkpointasia and dances with bears) comes the perspective that it's not so much Kolomoiski floating trial balloons (though that may also be true) but that K is being given space in the NYT to build his credentials as the new Borg villain, thereby making it still harder for Zelensky to reconcile with Russia.

ben , Nov 14 2019 22:56 utc | 41
fb @ 25 said;"The Ukraine is actually a preview of what we can expect to see in our own future...as the unleashed oligarchy similarly runs everything into the ground in order to extract maximal wealth for a parasite elite...already we are nothing but a Ponzi Scheme on the verge of toppling..."

Yup, aided and abetted by our current regime, while pretending not to...

Really?? , Nov 14 2019 23:23 utc | 42
@23
"It's a tough balancing act, being a Ukrainian oligarch. For two decades they stole what they could from the Ukraine (and from perverting the various sweetheart deals Russia was providing). Once the industry and energy money was stripped, and Russia started closing the spigots, they managed to get the West to pump in ungodly amounts of cash so long as they would agree to talk mean about Russia, and didn't mind the US machine taking its cut of the loot."

This is it in a nutshell. The Russians were fed up with Ukraine stealing gas. Hence, Nord Stream 2. That was always the plan. Whether the Yanks truly grasped the rationale here ---Russia is cutting off gas to Ukraine, simple---has never been clear to me. Although it is a fairly simple plot. The Russians had decades of shenanigans with the Ukes and said Basta. By not overreacting to the Ukrainian-USA freakout and keeping their eyes on the prize (Nord Stream and disengaging, gas-wise, from Uk), they have managed to reach their goal of getting Nord Stream 2 online.

oldhippie , Nov 14 2019 23:25 utc | 43
Kolomoiski is the bankroller and commander of the Azov Battalion. Has close arrangements with other paramilitaries. And is the current principal of Burisma. And is Privatbank, the only bank left in Ukraine. He gets a cut of all the action.

When Trump queries Zelensky, all that Zelensky is thinking is this guy does not know the score. This guy does not know who's on first. He wants me to investigate the boss? Let him talk to the boss. And who does Z talk to in D.C.? Pointless getting into detail with Trump.

Trump has no team. No one in D.C. is on his side. He's unable to finish anything.

OutOfThinAir , Nov 14 2019 23:45 utc | 44
1) Say the fantasy happens and the US/Russia become BFFs like US/UK...

- Say hello to the new boss, same as the old boss?

- Tough to answer, many unknowns- Russia may act different once its on top, actors may derail schemes, Deep State temper tantrum, etc...

In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.

Zedd , Nov 14 2019 23:50 utc | 45
Kolomoiski is a U.S. asset. His interview with the NYTimes proves it.

His threats are meant to mobilize NATO and Russia haters in general; because Trump and most of his cadre care nothing for Ukraine.

Does anyone think Russia will give Kolomoiski 100 million dollars? Why was he given an opportunity to threaten the USA? For no reason? Something else is afoot but Russia still won't take the bait because they are winning.

Russia is quite happy with the status quo. The war in Ukraine keeps the war against Russia on a level which is easy to manipulate and therefore geostrategically beneficial. Kolomoiski will get nothing.

Steve , Nov 15 2019 0:03 utc | 46
Thank you, b, for that snippet from NY Interview with Kolomoisky . I had glanced the headline on RT but didn't read it because of RT's usual clumsy writing.
evilempire , Nov 15 2019 0:51 utc | 47
Kolomoiski is taunting the empire: investigate my crimes and
ukraine will seek reconciliation and alliance with russia.
Russia won't fall for it. They want kolomoiski's scalp even
more than the empire. From the statements putin has made, maybe
the only concession russia would accept is the dissolution of
ukraine as a sovereign entity and reintegration with russia, minus galicia.
Putin has remarked that they are not one people but one state. Ukraine
already knows that its domestic industry is only viable in competition
with the eu industrial powerhouses if it is integrated with russia.
flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 0:59 utc | 48
Jen said...
What does [Kolomoysky] know about Kiev and Dnepropetrovsk air traffic control personnel's direction to MH17 to fly at 10,000 metres in the warzone and not an extra 1,000 metres above as the flight crew had requested?

Okay..so an interesting can of worms here...

First is the fact that Kolomoysky was the governor of Dnipropetrovsk Oblast at the time...

Now as to the flight and Dnipro Radar [the regional air traffic control facility that controls a very big chunk of airspace over eastern Ukraine]...

First the issue of the airplane cruising altitude...the crew had filed their flight plan to climb from flight level 330 [33,000 ft] to FL350 after passing a certain waypoint in eastern Ukraine...

Now the controllers did instruct the crew to go ahead and climb to their planned altitude, but the crew declined the clearance and opted to stay at FL330...this was done very likely because the atmospheric conditions at that height were better for fuel economy...

[To be even more specific...the Boeing manual gave an optimum flight altitude of 33,800 ft, but flying eastward you only have odd numbered flight levels to choose from, so the crew figured they would be better off staying at 33 than climbing to 35...]

BUT...there are a couple of very curious things here...

First is the fact that Dnipro controllers deviated the airplane from its flight plan just before it went down...ostensibly due to other traffic...

We can see this in the following map, which is what's called a high altitude en route chart, which is used by pilots to plan and execute their flight...

Here we see the route of MH17 superimposed on the chart...

You will note a couple of things here...the airplane is flying on the L980 airway [basically a highway in the sky] when it is turned south by controllers to the RND waypoint, which is in Russian territory...

This is NOT the route filed by the crew...which can be seen here...

They were supposed to continue flying on L980 right to the TAMAK waypoint, which is visible on the previous chart and is right on the border with Russia...

They would have continued on the A87 airway to their next waypoint in Russia which is TIKNA...

Now here is the thing...right after they were turned south, they got shot down...

According to the radio transcripts, the crew acknowledged the course change, but did not object...however, usually these kinds of course changes aren't appreciated on the flight deck because the crew is trying to minimize wasted time and wasted fuel on course deviations...

Most times you will just not bother to complain to controllers...but for sure there will always be chatter between the captain and copilot about being yanked around like that...

No mention is made in the Dutch Safety Board report about such chatter from the cockpit voice recorder, which I find very odd...

Also odd is the fact that Dnipro ATC primary radar was down, and only the so-called 'secondary' was working which uses the transponder signals from the airplane...

This is very busy airspace because a lot of flights from western Europe to South Asia traverse this territory...the plan is always to fly what's called a 'great circle route' which is basically a straight line, if you flattened out the globe...

Plus considering that you have a war going on underneath...it's very unusual to have your PRIMARY radar inoperable...

This is significant also because military aircraft will not be using transponders and so will not be visible to the secondary surveillance...

The Russian primary radar did pick up two other aircraft very nearby MH17...but the Dutch have made some kind of excuse about that data not being in 'raw' form and thus not usable...

So we see some very suspicious anomalies here...

The Ukrainian authorities did have a NOTAM [notice to airmen] in effect up to FL320 [32,000 ft] so commercial traffic could not fly under that height...but clearly they should have closed the airspace over the hot conflict area...

They didn't do that...and Kolomoysky was in charge...


Kiza , Nov 15 2019 1:12 utc | 49
The Deep State's view on the members' God given right to make foreign policy decisions (it must be the God who has give it to them, because the people certainly have not) just reminds the of the general attitude of the Government's bureaucracy. Give any fartbag a position in the government and he/she becomes "a prince/princes over the people", give him or her a monopoly over violence and you got yourself a king/queen. All these police and military kings & queens milling around and lording over us. "Deep State" is such a totally natural consequence of the government bureaucracy corrupted by power that it appropriated. Pillaging taxes from the sheeple (and taking young maidens like Sheriff of Nottingham/Epstein) could have never ever been enough. Did you seriously think that the Deep Staters would constrain themselves to only stealing your money, taking your children for their pleasure and to die in their wars of conquest, and putting you into a totally unsafe airplanes to die for their profit? Constrain themselves when there is a whole globe out there to be lorded over, like Bidens over Ukraine? It is the poor people of Ukraine who just have too much money, thus had to give it through the gas monopoly to the Biden gang, which selflessly brought them "democracy" at $5B in US taxpayers' expense. Therefore, it is the Deep State which has been chosen by God, or someone just like that, to make the decisions about the imperialist/globalist foreign policy and have billions of dollars thrown by the grateful natives into their own pockets, as consulting fees:
https://www.zerohedge.com/political/leaked-bank-records-confirm-burisma-biden-payments-morgan-stanley-account

So far the only clear-cut globalization is that one of crime, which has become global.

dh , Nov 15 2019 1:42 utc | 50
What is the US National Interest b asks? Who defines it as such?

Ome magazine that might know is none other than The National Interest. Hopefully I won't get attacked for quoting from what seems like a fairly sane article to me....

"The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to. Ukraine is a debt-ridden state and only five years beyond an extralegal revolution. Should the government collapse again, then American weapons could end up in the possession of any number of dubious paramilitary groups.

It wouldn't be the first time. In the 2000s, CIA operatives were forced to repurchase Stinger missiles that had fallen into the hands of Afghani warlords -- at a markup. Originally offered to the Mujahideen in the 1980s, the Stingers came to threaten American forces in the region. Similarly, many weapons provided with US authorization to Libyan rebels in 2011 ended up in the possession of jihadists."

https://www.yahoo.com/news/dressed-kill-arming-ukraine-could-173200746.html

karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 1:47 utc | 51
It's difficult to find clean information on happenings within Ukraine and those involving Russia. The Ministry of Foreign affairs has this page dedicated to the "Situation Around Ukraine." Of the three most recent listings, this one --"Comment by Russian Foreign Ministry Spokesperson Maria Zakharova on the NATO Council's visit to Ukraine"--from 1 November is quite important as it deals with the reality on the ground versus the circus happening thousands of miles away, although it's clear the delusions in Washington and Brussels are the same and "continue to be guided by the Cold War logic of exaggerating the nonexistent 'threat from the East' rather than the interests of pan-European security."

In the second most recent listing --"Remarks by Deputy Permanent Representative of the Russian Federation to the OSCE Vladimir Zheglov at the OSCE Permanent Council meeting on the situation in Ukraine and the need to implement the Minsk Agreements, Vienna, October 31, 2019"--the following was noted:

"There's more to it. The odious site Myrotvorets continues to function using servers located in the United States. The UN has repeatedly stated that this violates the presumption of innocence and the right to privacy. Recently, Deputy Head of the UN Human Rights Monitoring Mission in Ukraine, Benjamin Moreau, reiterated the recommendation to shut down this website. A similar demand was made by other representatives of the international community, including the German government. The problem was brought to the attention of the European Court of Human Rights. The other day, the representative of Ukraine at the ECHR was made aware of the groundlessness of the Ukrainian government's excuses saying that it allegedly 'has no influence' on the above website.

"In closing, recent opinion polls in Ukraine indicate that its residents are expecting the government to do more to bring peace to Donbas. The path to a settlement is well known, that is, the full implementation of the Minsk Package of Measures of February 12, 2015, that was approved by the UN Security Council."

Clearly, Zelensky's government is much like Poroschenko's when it comes to listening to those who empowered it, the above citation is one of several from the overall report.

The latest report deals with an ongoing case at the International Court of Justice at The Hague that reveals some of the anti-Russian bias there. It has no bearing on this discussion, although it does provide evidence of the contextual background against which the entire affair, including the circus in Washington, operates.

MoA consensus is Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords they continue to oppose to implement despite their promise to do so. Clearly an excellent example of not being agreement capable that hasn't changed since 2015.

If the Republicans had any brains, they'd turn the Ukrainian aspect of the hearings into an indictment against Obama/Biden for illegally overthrowing Kiev and trying to obtain their piece-of-the-action, but then that would be the logical thing to do and thus isn't an option. The prospect of each day providing similar spectacle is mind numbing as it airs the sordid, unwashed underwear if the Evil Outlaw US Empire.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:01 utc | 52
I normally do not reply to trolls, but I make an exception for you. Pedo-dollar? Do you have any more such crap to dilute the valid points discussed here?
james , Nov 15 2019 2:36 utc | 53
@41 paul damascene... regarding the helmer article - thanks for pointing it out.. IGOR KOLOMOISKY MAKES A MISTAKE, AND THE NEW YORK TIMES DOES WHAT IT ALWAYS DOES

i liked what @ 32 tod said - "he's just doing the old Jewish threatening/begging dance!
"And you are forcing us to be at war, and not even giving us the money for it." Wink! Wink!"

stating the obvious is one remedy for any possible confusion here..

@54 karlof1... i don't believe trump is allowed to shine any light on the usas illegal actions as that would be sacrilege to all the americans who see their country in such a great, exceptional-ist light... how would trumps MAGA concept swallow that? it wouldn't, so it won't happen...

UnionHorse , Nov 15 2019 2:40 utc | 54
I just watched Seven Days in May for the first time in a long while. It is worth the time. It resonates loudly today.
Kiza , Nov 15 2019 2:50 utc | 55
@flankerbandit 18

You are a bit off on that story. NS2 pipeline will increase the capacity not transitioning via Ukraine and reduce the price banditry by the Ukrainian & US gangs, but it will not make gas transit via Ukraine unnecessary. The planned switch off of the German nuclear and coal power plants will gradually increase the German demand for gas, that is the Russian gas by so much that NS1 and NS2 will not be enough. Primarily, NS2 is a signal to the Ukrainian & US Democrat gangs that if they try excessive transit fees and stealing of gas again, that they will be circumvented within a few years by NS 3,4,5 ...

BTW, the globalized pillaging of the population is clearly not an invention of the DNC crime gang only. For example, the 737Max is a product of primarily Republican activity on deregulating what should have never been deregulated and subjugation to the Wall Street (aka financialization). The pillaging of the World is strictly bipartisan, just differently packaged:
1) R - packaging the deregulation to steal & kill as "freedom" or
2) D - packaging the regime change as responsibility to protect R2P (such regime change and stuffing of own pockets later).

Grieved , Nov 15 2019 3:01 utc | 56
karlof1 @54 - "Minsk backed NATO and its Ukrainian minions into a corner from which there's only one way out, which is the implementation of the Accords"

Yes. As you well know, and as we have well discussed, Minsk was in its very essence the surrender terms dictated to the US by NAF and Russia in return for letting the NATO contractors go free and secretly out of the Debaltsevo cauldron. Either actually or poetically, this was the basis. The US lost against NAF. The only way to prevent Donbass incursion into the rest of Ukraine was to freeze the situation. The US had no choice, and surrendered.

Out of the heat and fog of warfare came a simple document made of words which, even so, illustrated perfectly just how elegantly the Kremlin had the entire situation both war-gamed and peace-gamed. Minsk from that day until forever has locked the Ukraine play into a lost war of attrition for the US sponsors, with zero gain - except for thieves.

To attempt to parse Ukraine in terms of statecraft is to miss the point that Ukraine can only be parsed in terms of thievery. This is not cynicism, simply truth.

Now they sell their land because this is all there is left to sell. Kolomoisky proposes selling the entire country to Russia for $100 billion but not only will Russia not bite, the country isn't worth even a fraction of that - because of Minsk, it can cause zero harm to Russia. But this ploy raises the perceived value (Kolomoisky hopes) in the eyes of the west, and starts the bidding.

In Russia the people see all this very clearly, including on their TV. Yakov Kedmi in this Vesti News clip of Vladimir Soloviev's hugely popular talk show, discusses the situation. He baits Soloviev by saying that the Ukrainian thieves are only doing what the Russian thieves did in the 1990's - and one must filter through this badinage to take out the nuggets he supplies. Here are three:

1. Zelensky has no security apparatus that follows his command, therefore how can he be considered the leader of the country?
2. There is no power in Ukraine, only forces that contend over the scraps of plunder.
3. These forces are creating the only law there is, which is the sacred nature of private property for the rich - the only thing the US holds sacred.

Therefore sell the very soil.

~~

The Minsk agreement is a sheer wall of ice reaching to the sky. No force imaginable can scale it or break it. Against that ultimate, immovable wall the US pounds futilely, with Ukraine caught in the middle, while Russia waits for Ukraine to devolve into whatever it can.

And the Russian people and government regard the people of the Ukraine as brothers and sisters. But until the west has worn itself down, and either gone away or changed the equation through a weakening of its own position in some significant way, nothing can be done by Russia except to wait.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 3:09 utc | 57
What Tod @32 described is spot-on, "the old Jewish threatening/begging dance". It is not that the Russians do not know this about Kolomoyskyi. They will play along not expecting anything from the Zelo-on-a-String and his master. The Russians like to let those scumbags (Erdo comes to mind) huff & puff and embarrass themselves by flips. They know - it could always be worse if those did something intelligent. Kolomoyskyi is vile but he ain't no genius, not any more than Erdo.
flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 3:42 utc | 58
You are a bit off on that story.

Sure Cheeza...everybody's a 'bit off' except you...

Gazprom is talking about 10 bcm a year through Ukraine for the new 10 year deal, as opposed to the 60 bcm [billion cubic meters] that Ukraine is hoping for...

The Vesti report right here...

james , Nov 15 2019 3:47 utc | 59
@62 grieved.. nice to see you back.. thanks of the link with yako kedmi talking.. that was fascinating.. i think the guy is bang on..
snake , Nov 15 2019 3:58 utc | 60

"Deep state" is misleading and actually a false construction.

There is an Imperial State (the ruling faction/)which consists of imperial apparatchiks placed in every key position in government. Babyl-on @ 8

? before I begin , how do you measure the political and economic power of money as opposed to the political and economic power of the intentions and needs of the masses. Does $1 control a 100 people? A million dollars control 100,000,000 people? How do we measure the comparative values between money power and people power? I think the divisions of economics and the binaries of politics established by the nation state system means that the measurement function (political and economic values) varies as a function of the total wealth vs the total population in each nation state. If true, become obvious how it is that: foreign investments displaces the existing homeostatis in any particular nation state, the smaller the poorer the nation state, the more impact foreign wealth can have; in other words outside wealth can completely destroy the homeostatis of an existing nation state. I think it is this fact which makes globalization so attractive to the ruling interest (RI) and so damning to the poorest of the poor.

Change by amendment is impossible There is one and only one Western Empire but there is also an Eastern Empire, a southern empire, and a Northern Empire and I believe the ruling interest (faction) manipulate all nations through these empires. In fact, they can do this in any nation they wish. The world has been divided into containers of humans and propaganda and culture have highly polarized the humans in one container against the humans in other containers. <=divide, polarize, then exploit: its like pry the window, and gain access to the residence, then exploit. It is obvious that the strength of the resistance to ruling class exploitation is a function of common cause among the masses. But money allows to control both the division of power and the polarization of the masses. The persons who have the powers described in Article II of the US Constitution since Lincoln was murdered can be controlled (Epstein, MSM directed propaganda, impeachment, assassination, to accomplish the objects of the ruling interest (faction). Article II of the USA constitution removes foreign activity of the USA from domestic view of the governed at home Americans. Article II makes it possible for the POTUS to use American assets and resources to assist his/her feudal lords in exploiting foreign nations almost at will and there is no way governed Americans can control who the ruling interest place in the Article II position.

A little History Immigration to NYC from Eastern (the poor) and Western (the rich) Europe transitioned NYC and other cities from Irish majority to a Jewish majority; and the wealthy interest used the Jewish majorities in key cities to take control over both Article I and Article II constitutional powers by electing field effect controlled politicians (political puppets are elected that can be reprogrammed while they are in office to suit the ruling interest. The source code is called rule of law, and money buys the programmers who write the code. So the ruling interest can reprogram in field effect fashion, any POTUS they wish. Out of sight use of the resources of America in foreign lands is nothing new, it was established when the constitution was written in Philadelphia in 1787 and ratified in 1788.

Propaganda targeted to the Jewish Immigrants allowed the wealthy interest to control the outcome of the 1912 election. That election allowed to destroy Article I, Section 9, paragraph 4 " No Capitation, or other direct, Tax shall be laid unless in Proportion to the Census of enumeration herein before directed to be taken". and to enact a law which privatized the USA monopoly on money into the hands of private bankers (the federal reserve act of 1913)

What was the grand design Highly competitive, independent too strong economic Germany was interfering with Western hegemony and the oil was in the lands controlled by the Ottomans. It took two wars, but Germany was destroyed, and the Ottoman empire (basically the entire Middle East) became the war gained property of the British (Palestine), the French (Syria) and the USA (Israel). Since then, the ruling interest have used their (field effect devices to align governments so the wealthy could pillage victim societies the world over. Field effect programming allows wealth interest to use the leaders of governments to use such governments to enable pillage in foreign places. The global rich and powerful, and their corporations are the ruling interest.

psychohistorian says it well "..the global private finance core segment of empire is behind Trump and throwing America(ns) under the bus as the world turns more multilateral. The cult of global private finance intends on still having some overarching super-national role in the new multilateral world and holding debt guns to everyone's heads to make it ongoing..." by psychochistorian @ 10


NOBITs @ 11 says it also "All presidents have been servants of the military, which includes the police/intel/security apparatus; the few who did not entirely accept their figurehead role were "dealt with." Kennedy, Nixon, Carter and now Trump. The Washington permanent state bureaucrats are shocked and understandably offended; they have after all, been running US foreign policy for 75 years!" by: NOBTS @ 11

According to TG @ 13 "Democracy" is about privatizing power and socializing responsibility. The elites get to set the policy, but the public at large gets to take responsibility when things go wrong. Because you see, we are a "Democracy."by: TG @ 13 <= absolutely not.. the constitution isolates governed Americans from the USA, because the USA is a republic and republics are about privatizing power and socializing responsibility; worse, there ain't nothing you can do about it.


Vonu @ 19 says "According to Kevin Shipp, the National Security Council really runs the executive branch, not the president. https://www.youtube.com/watch?time_continue=11&v=XHbrOg092GA" by: Vonu @ 19 <=but it is by the authority of Ariicle II that the NSC has the power to run the executive branch?

KAdath @ 22 says "the Oligarchs are now positioning themselves to abandon the US in order for the Russians to keep even a tiny bit of oil flowing into their pockets by: Kadath @ 22" <=exactly.. but really its not abandoning the USA, its abandoning the oligarchs local to the pillaged nation..

J Swift @ 23 says "the US treats its partners in crime in Syria and elsewhere," [poorly] but its not the USA per say, because only one person has the power to deal in foreign places. Its that the POTUS, or those who control the Article II powers vested in the POTUS, have or has been reprogrammed.. J. Switft @23>>

flankerbandit @ 25 says " Ukraine has run itself into the ground, literally...now they are selling vast tracts of agricultural land to huge Euro agribusiness concerns...literally dispossessing themselves of their own food security..." flankerbandit @ 25 <=Not really the wealthy (investor interest) have pushed the pillage at will button.. since there is no resistance remaining, the wealthy will take it all for a song..


Jackrabbit @ 26 says "Trump [is].. Constitutionally charged with foreign policy. Repeating: the "Imperial Presidency" has flung off Constitutional checks and balances by circumventing the need to get Congressional approval for spending. Wars (like Syria) are now be funded by Gulf Monarchies, black ops, and black budgets.by Jackrabbit @ 26 <== Trumps orders military to take 4 million day from Syria in oil?
your observation that the money has circumvented Article I of the COUS explains why the democraps are so upset.. the wealthy democrap interest has been left to rot? Your comment suggest s mafia is in charge?

Tod @ 32 says "As soon as some money goes his way, he'll discover democracy again.
Sorry to burst you bubbles." by: Tod @ 32" <==understatement of the day.. thanks.

Bevin @ 32 says "a dialectic is at work here. Washington's support for fascism abroad has instituted fascism at home which has led in turn to the installation of fascist regimes abroad, not just occasionally but routinely. Wherever the US intervenes it leaves a fascist regime, in which socialists are banned and persecuted, behind it. this means.. the ability of the population to effect political change is cancelled" by bevin @ 33 <= yes but there is really no difference in a republic and its rule of law, and a fascist government and its military police both rule without any influential input from the governed.

michael @ 34 reaffirms "The President was the only channel of communication between the United States and foreign nations, it was from him alone 'that foreign nations or their agents are to learn what is or has been the will of the nation'" michael @ 34 well known to barflies, the design of national constitutions is at the heart of the global problem. Until constitutional powers are placed in control of the governed there will never be a change in how the constitutional powers ( in case of the USA Article II powers) are used and abused.

OutofThinAir @45 says "In general, governments are the order-providing solution for chaos and problems that only first existed inside the minds of those seeking power over others.by: OutOfThinAir @ 45" <+governments are the tools of wealth interest and the governors their hired hands.

by: War is Peace @48 " Trump is a moron, groomed by Jewish parents ( Mother was Jewish, Father buried at biggest Jewish cementary in NYC ) to be a non-Jew worked for the mob under Cohen ( lawyer for 1950's McCarthy ); Became the 'Goyim Fool" real estate developer as a cover for laundering mob money. So that it didn't appear that it was Jewish Mafia Money, so they could work with the Italian Mafia. Trump went on for his greatest role ever to be the "fool in Chief" of the USA for AIPAC. What better way to murder people, than send out a fool, it causes people to drop their guard. by War is Peace @48 <= yes this is my take, What does it mean. com suggest the global wealth interest may be planning to reprogram Trump to better protect the interest of the global wealthy.
Kiza @ 51 the reason for globalization is explained see above=> response to Babyl-on @ 8

dh @ 53 says ""The US should consider whom they are giving weapons to." by dh @53 < the USA cannot consider anything, if its foreign the POTUS (Article II) makes all decisions because Art II gives the POTUS a monopoly on talking to, and dealing with, foreign governments.

Deagel @ 56 says "The American people don't care, they're all drugged out, and shitting on the side-walks all over the USA, and sleeping in their own shit. This is the best time in USA history for the Zionists to do anything they wish." by: Deagel @ 56 <= I think you under estimate the value Americans place on democracy and human rights, until recently governed Americans believed the third party privately produced MSM delivered propaganda that nearly all overseas operations by the USA were to separate the people in those places from their despotic leaders, and to help those displaced people install Democracy.. many Americans have come to understand such is far from the case.. the situation in the Ukraine has been an eye opener for many Americans. thoughts are sizzling, talk is happening, and people are trying to shut google out of their lives. that is why i think Trump is about to be reprogrammed from elected leader to .. God in charge

wealth interest example

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 4:01 utc | 61
Grieved...thanks for that magnificent analysis...

I watched that Soloviev segment with Kedmi the other day...always interesting to say the least...

Btw...I'm not really up to speed on that whole Debaltsevo cauldron thing...I've heard snippets here and there...[there is a guy, Auslander, who comments on the Saker blog that seems to have excellent first hand info, but I've only caught snippets here and there]...

I hadn't heard this part of the story before about Nato contractors as bargaining chips...if you care to shed a bit more light I will be grateful...

karlof1 , Nov 15 2019 4:55 utc | 62
flankeerbandit @67--

I suggest going to The Saker Blog and enter Debaltsevo Cauldron into the site's search box and click Submit where you'll be greeted with numerous results.

Grieved @62--

Thanks for your reply and excellent recap. As I recall, Putin wants Donbass to remain in Ukraine and Ukraine to remain a whole state, although I haven't read his thoughts on the matter for quite some months as everything has revolved around implementing Minsk. The items at the Foreign Ministry I linked to are also concerned with Minsk.

The circus act in DC is trying to avoid any mention of Minsk, the coup or anything material to the gross imperial meddling done there to enrich the criminal elite, which includes Biden, Clinton, other DNC members--a whole suite of actors that omits Trump in this case, although they're trying to pin something on him. The issue being studiously ignored is Obama/Biden needed to be busted for their actions at the time, but in time-honored fashion weren't. And the huge rotted sewer of corruption related to that action and ALL that came before is the real problem at issue.

Kiza , Nov 15 2019 5:12 utc | 63
@flankerbandit 64

Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person as evidenced by The New Yorker 737Max article in the previous thread. This good article could only be measured by how much it agrees with your own opinion that MCAS was put in to mimic the pilots' usual fly-stick feel. If anyone does his home work, such as the journalist of this article, then he must agree with you, right? With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense and say that it would be an unimaginably stupid idea to put in ANY AUTOMATED SYSTEM which pushes the plane's nose down during ascent (the most risky phase of a civilian flight, when almost desperately trying to get up and up and up) for any DUMBLY POSSIBLE REASON !? What could ever go wrong with such an absolutely dumbly initiated system relying on one sensor? Maybe it was a similar idea to putting a cigarette lighter right next to the car's gas tank because it lights up cigarettes better when there are gasoline vapors around. Or maybe an idea of testing the self-driving lithium battery (exploding & flammable) cars near kindergartens (of some other people's children)!?

An intelligent person would have said - whatever the reason was to put in MCAS it was a terribly dumb idea, instead of congratulating himself on understanding the "true reason".

dickr , Nov 15 2019 6:49 utc | 64
flankerbandit @18 good analysis thx.
Ike , Nov 15 2019 6:55 utc | 65
"If I were president, while I would resist gratuitous provocations, I would not publicly associate myself with the delusion that stable friendship is possible (or, frankly, desirable) with Putin's anti-American dictatorship, which runs its country like a Mafia family and is acting on its revanchist ambitions."

Really?

From what have gleaned from the alternative media available on the internet ,of which MOA is an important part. Putin and Lavrov are the two most moral and diplomatic statesmen on the world stage today Compared to Trump, Johnson, Macron, Merkel, Stoltenberg, Pompeo, Bolton and whoever else blights the international scene these days these two are colossi.

To describe them as like a Mafia family seems to me to be 180 degrees wrong. Maybe Putin overreacted, in his early days in power, to the Chechen conflict but look at the situation today.

Look at how Gorbachev and Yeltsin were played by the west. I appreciate you did not write the words quoted above but you said you agree with them and I find that startling given I am usually very admiring of your insight and knowledge of geopolitical events.

Fly , Nov 15 2019 7:14 utc | 66
According to the Impeachniks, it is Schiff's staff who decides how Schiff votes and his policies. It would be illegal for Schiff to make decisions. But Schiff's recommendation will make or break the careers of his staff, so elected Schiff has some influence. That's not true for elected Trump, because those in his service already have made careers and/or a host of outsiders looking to place them.
dickr , Nov 15 2019 7:32 utc | 67
@50 flankerbandit - wow!
QuietRebel , Nov 15 2019 8:47 utc | 68
Although, he didn't get impeached for it Obama did get criticized for not sending the aid to Ukraine. He was also criticized when he did intervene, but not fast enough for the deep state. Remember "leading from behind" in response to Libya. Obama was much more popular and circumspect than Trump, which protected him from possible impeachment when he went off the deep state's script.
Walter , Nov 15 2019 9:12 utc | 69

Discussion of the USC and the responsibilities assigned therein is probably a foolish and merely moot exercise, as law is, ultimately simply custom over time, and since '45 or so the custom has become dissociated from the documents' provisions, particularly with regard to war-making and the "licensed" import and sale of dangerous drugs, dope. The custom in place is essentially ukase - rule by decree. Many decree are secret.

I do not object, simply pointing to the obvious.

This is a public secret anybody can know. Inter alia see The Politics of Heroin in Southeast Asia (McCoy)

...........

Custom includes also permitted theft, blackmail, trafficking children and so forth.

...........

zerohedge put up some documents tying TGM Hunter B to the money from Ukraine...


................

I would not worry about the name of the person called president. The real sitrep is more like watching rape and murder from the dirty windows of a runaway train.

ralphieboy , Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71
Upon the dissolution of the USSR, Ukraine was left with the fifth-largest nuclear arsenal in the world. In exchange for financial assistance in the costs of removing all the nukes, the West guaranteed to defend Ukraine's territorial integrity.

In the meantime, Russia has annexed the Crimea and rebels have taken control of parts of Eastern Ukraine. The West has not provided any direct military assistance to restore those territorial infringements.

Since the West has reneged on its end of the deal, would it not only be fair to return Ukraine's nukes so it can defend itself like the Big Boys do, namely with threat of nuclear annihilation?

Christian J Chuba , Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72
Ukrainians are dying

I hate this trope. The Russian Fed. is not launching offensive operations to capture Kharkov or Kiev. Western Ukraine is shelling ethnic Russians in eastern Ukraine. What would U.S. Congressman say if these were Jews? (I would condemn that as well).

The next time someone pontificates, 'Ukrainians are dying because Trump held up aid' ask them how many. The number is ZERO. Javelins are not being used on the front line.

Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 12:47 utc | 73
Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat.
deschutes , Nov 15 2019 13:25 utc | 74
Mr. Kolomoisky is spot on, i.e. when he says that the Americans will only use Ukrainians as their little bitches to fight and die for America's gain against Russia. Just like the Americans fucked over the Kurds in Syria, using them as proxy fighters to do USA/Israel's dirty work. Wherever the USA shows up and starts interfering, everything turns into shit: Iraq...Afghanistan...Venezuela...Bolivia...Ukraine...Libya...Yemen...Nicaragua...Ecuador...the list is quite long. It remains to be seen if Mr. Kolomoisky can bring about rapprochement with Russia. He'd better watch his back.
William Gruff , Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75
"Wow. My opinion of Kolomoisky has just improved ... somewhat." --Seamus Padraig @73

Yes, Kolomoisky has moved up a notch in my estimation as well; from the low of "monstrously inhuman spawn of satan" all the way up to "rabid dog" . That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.

juliania , Nov 15 2019 14:13 utc | 76
I am very glad to see you back, Grieved, and your 'wall of ice' metaphor is indeed accurate. To me, the promising signs in Ukraine were even as here in the US when voters fought back against what b calls Deep State, which I am sure in my heart was even more of an overwhelming surge than registered - the best the corrupters of the system could do was make it close enough to be a barely legitimate win for their side, and they didn't succeed. Maybe somewhere along their line of shenanigans a small cog in the wheel got religion and didn't do their 'job'. An unsung hero who will sing when it's safe.

I hope, dearly hope, it gets safe in Ukraine very soon. They are us only further down the line than we are, but we will get there if we can't totally remove the cancer in our midst. That's our job; I wish Ukraine all the best in removing theirs.

Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 14:39 utc | 77
Jen 70

I believe the Russian presentation on MH17 showed a military aircraft climbing in the vicinity of, or towards MH17.

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 14:47 utc | 78
Jen...I should have made clear that the two aircraft picked up by Russian PRIMARY RADAR were unidentified...

The two commercial flights you mention were in the area and were known to both Russian and Ukrainian controllers by means of the SECONDARY SURVEILLANCE RADAR, which picks up the aircraft transponder signals...

However, secondary WILL NOT pick up military craft that have their transponders off...which is normal operating procedure for military craft...

So the airspace situation was this...you can see this from one of the illustrations I provided from the DSB prelim report...

You had MH17...you had that other flight coming from the opposite direction [flying west]...and you had that airplane that overtook the MH17 from behind [they were in a hurry and were going faster, so when MH17 decided to stay at FL330, they were cleared to climb to FL350 so they could safely overtake with the necessary vertical separation...]

Those three aircraft were all picked up on the Ukrainian SECONDARY [transponder] surveillance...as well as the Russians...on both their PRIMARY AND SECONDARY...

But what the Russians picked up were two craft ONLY ON THEIR PRIMARY...those would have been military aircraft flying with their transponders off [they're allowed to do that and do that most of the time in fact]...

That's why those two DIDN'T SHOW UP ON THE SECONDARY DATA HANDED OVER TO THE INVESTIGATORS BY THE UKRAINIANS...

Only primary radar would pick those up...and, very conveniently, the Dnipro primary was inop at the time...[so the data handed to investigators by the Ukrainians would have no trace of any military aircraft nearby]...

But with the Russian primary radar data, there is in fact evidence that there were military aircraft in the air at the time...just that the Dutch investigators simply decided to exclude the very vital Russian radar data on some stupid technicality...

[Really this is a very poorly done report, both prelim and final, and I've read many over the years...]

The other thing I should have emphasized more clearly is about that course deviation that controllers steered MH17 to, just seconds before it was hit...

The known traffic was those three commercial aircraft, as shown on the chart... here it is again...

Those three commercial flights are clearly labeled...and the big question is... why was MH17 DIVERTED SOUTH...OFF ITS PLANNED ROUTE...?

We can see the deviation track by the dotted red line...

Clearly there was no 'other traffic' that required MH17 to be vectored south by the controllers...

In fact we see that there was a FOURTH commercial flight [another B777] that was flying south exactly to that same waypoint that MH17 was diverted to...we see this airplane is flying west on the M70 airway and is heading to the RND waypoint...

This does not make sense...why would you divert MH17 from going to TAMAK as flight planned...in order to go south toward RND where another airplane is heading...

If nothing else this is very bad controller practice right there...yet again, the DSB [Dutch Safety Board] does not even raise this question...

Like I said, leaving aside any guesswork, these are the simple facts and they raise serious questions...both about the competence of the Dutch report, and the way the controllers handled that flight...

S , Nov 15 2019 14:53 utc | 79
Ukrainian think tank Ukrainian Institute of the Future and Ukrainian media outlet Zerkalo Nedeli (both anti-Russian, but slightly more intellectual than typical Ukrainian outlets) have contracted a Kharkov-based pollster to conduct a poll among DNR/LNR residents from October 7 to October 31 (method: face-to-face interviews at the homes of the respondents, sample size: 806 respondents in DNR and 800 respondents in LNR, margin of error: 3.2%) and published its results in an article: Тест на сумісність [Compatibility Test] (in Ukrainian).

It's a long and rambling article, interspersed with Ukrainian propagandistic clichés (perhaps to placate Ukrainian nationalists), but the numbers look solid, so I've extracted the numbers I consider important and put them in a table format. Here they are:

GENERAL INFORMATION

Gender
46.5% male
53.5% female

Age
8.3% <25 years old
91.7% ≥25 years old

Education
31.5% no vocational training or higher education
45.2% vocational training
23.3% higher education

Employment
24% public sector
24% private sector
5% NGOs
45% unemployed

Religion
57% marry and baptize their children in Ukrainian Orthodox Church (Moscow Patriarchate)
31% believe in God, but do not go to any church
12% other churches, other religions, atheists

Political activity
3% are members of parties
97% are not members of parties

Language
90% speak Russian at home
10% speak other languages at home

Nationality
55.4% consider themselves Ukrainians
44.6% do not consider themselves Ukrainians

ECONOMY

Opinion about the labor market
24.3% there are almost no jobs
39.3% high unemployment, but it's possible to find a job
15.7% there are jobs, even if temporary
17.1% key enterprises are working, those who want to work can find a job
2.9% there are not enough employees

Personal financial situation
4.9% are saving on food
36.4% enough money to buy food, but have to save money to buy clothing
43.6% enough money to buy food and clothing, but have to save money to buy a suit, a mobile phone, or a vacuum cleaner
12% enough money to buy food, clothing, and other goods, but have to save money to buy expensive goods (e.g. consumer electronics)
2.7% enough money to buy food, clothing, and expensive goods, but have to save money to buy a car or an apartment
0.4% enough money to buy anything

Personal financial situation compared to the previous year
28.4% worsened
57.3% stayed the same
14.2% improved

Personal financial situation expectations for the next year
21% will worsen
58.6% will stay the same
18.7% will improve

Opinion on the Ukraine's (sans DNR/LNR) economic situation compared to the previous year
50.3% worsened
41.4% stayed the same
6.3% improved

CITIZENSHIP

Consider themselves citizens of
57.8% the Ukraine
34.8% DNR/LNR
6.8% Russia

Russian citizenship
42.9% never thought about obtaining it
15.5% don't want to obtain it
34.2% would like to obtain it
7.4% already obtained it

Considered leaving DNR/LNR for
5.2% the Ukraine
11.1% Russia
2.9% other country
80.8% never considered leaving

Visits to the Ukraine over the past year
35.1% across the DNR/LNR–Ukraine border (overwhelming majority of them -- 32.2% of all respondents -- are pensioners who visit the Ukraine to receive their pensions)
2.6% across the Russia–Ukraine border
62.3% have not visited the Ukraine

WAR

Is the war in Donbass an internal Ukrainian conflict?
35.6% completely agree
40.5% tend to agree
14.1% tend to disagree
9.3% completely disagree

Was the war started by Moscow and pro-Russian groups?
3.1% completely agree
6.4% tend to agree
45.1% tend to disagree
44.9% completely disagree

Who must pay to rebuild DNR/LNR? (multiple answers)
63.6% the Ukraine
29.3% Ukrainian oligarchs
18.5% DNR/LNR themselves
17% the U.S.
16.5% the EU
16% Russia
13% all of the above

ZELENSKIY

Opinion about Zelenskiy
1.9% very positive
17.2% positive
49.6% negative
29.3% very negative

Has your opinion about Zelenskiy changed over the past months?
2.7% significantly improved
7.9% somewhat improved
44.8% stayed the same
22.9% somewhat worsened
20.5% significantly worsened

Will Zelenskiy be able to improve the Ukraine's economy?
1.4% highly likely
13.3% likely
55.3% unlikely
30% highly unlikely

Will Zelenskiy be able to bring peace to the region?
1.7% highly likely
12.5% likely
59% unlikely
26.5% highly unlikely

MEDIA

Where do you get your information on politics? (multiple answers)
84.3% TV
60.6% social networks
50.9% relatives, friends
45.9% websites
17.4% co-workers
10% radio
7.4% newspapers and magazines

What social networks do you use? (multiple answers)
70.7% YouTube
61% VK
52.3% Odnoklassniki
49.8% Viber
27.1% Facebook
21.4% Instagram
12.4% Twitter
11.1% Telegram

FUTURE

Desired status of DNR/LNR
5.1% part of the Ukraine
13.4% part of the Ukraine with a special status
16.2% independent state
13.4% part of Russia with a special status
50.9% part of Russia

Desired status of entire Donetsk and Lugansk oblasts
8.4% part of the Ukraine
10.8% part of the Ukraine with a special status
14.4% independent state
13.3% part of Russia with a special status
49.6% part of Russia

Really?? , Nov 15 2019 15:12 utc | 80
Just listening to a bit of the testimony of the ex-ambassador to Ukraine.

It is all BS hearsay!

Also, this lady doesn't seem to grasp that as an employee of the State Department, she answers to Trump. Trump is her boss.

The questioning is full of leading questions that contains allegations and unproved premises built into them. I can't imagine that such questioning would be allowed in a normal court of justice in the USA.

Sure, Trump is a boor. But he is still the boss and he gets to pull out ambassadors if he wants to.

This is total grandstanding.

Also, a lot of emotional stuff like "I was devastated. I was shocked. Color drained from my face as I read the telephone transcript . . . "
This is BS!

I hope it is as obvious to others as to me.

I do

Seamus Padraig , Nov 15 2019 15:28 utc | 81
@ Posted by: Jen | Nov 15 2019 10:26 utc | 70

IIRC the Russian radar showed that the two mystery planes in questions were flying in MH17's blindspot . That's way too close to be half an hour away. Also, the fact that the two planes were flying over a war zone with their transponders turned off (which is why they couldn't be conclusively identified) strongly suggests that they were military.

@ Posted by: ralphieboy | Nov 15 2019 11:24 utc | 71

When the US launched a coup in Kiev, wasn't that a violation of Ukraine's sovereignty too?

@ Posted by: Christian J Chuba | Nov 15 2019 12:36 utc | 72

You know the real reason why they have yet to deliver the javelins to Ukraine? It's because they're afraid that they'll be sold on the black market and end up in the ME somewhere targeting US tanks. That's why.

@ Posted by: William Gruff | Nov 15 2019 13:30 utc | 75

That's quite the dramatic improvement, I must admit.
Well, I did use the qualifier 'somewhat'. ;-)
Don Bacon , Nov 15 2019 15:34 utc | 82
on Yovanovitch, She added: "If our chief representative is kneecapped, it limits our effectiveness to safeguard the vital national security interests of the United States."

She wasn't fired, she was kneecapped, and Ukraine is a US vital national security interest, especially after it installed a new government with neo-fascism support.. . .Kneecapping is a form of malicious wounding, often as torture, in which the victim is injured in the knee

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 15:52 utc | 84
Cheeza decides to launch a personal attack...also completely off topic...
Typical reaction of a zelf-zentered person [sic]...With experts such as you out there, why would anyone dare apply common sense...an intelligent person would have said...blah blah blah...

Look man...I'm not going to take up a lot of space on this thread because it's not about the MAX...

BUT...I need to set the record straight because you are accusing me here of somehow muddying the waters on the MAX issue...

That is a complete inversion of the truth...I have been very explicit in my [professional] comments about the MAX...and it is the exact opposite of what you are trying to tar me with here...

An example of my one of my comments here...

Yes, it is important to understand these things...which is why I have made the effort to explain the issue more clearly for the layman audience...

Your pathetic attack here shows you have no shame, nor self-respect...

Let's rewind the tape here...I said that Gazprom is looking to cut supplies to Ukraine in the new 10 year deal that comes up for negotiation in January...and that they are going to be pumping much less gas through Ukraine because NS2 now allows to bypass Ukraine...

You took a run at this comment, calling it wrong, and putting up a bunch of your own hypothesizing...

I responded by linking to the Russian news report quoting officials saying exactly that...that gas to Ukraine will be greatly reduced...

Instead of responding to that by admitting you were full of shit...you decide to attack me on the MAX issue...everybody here knows my [professional] position on the MAX...and that I have said repeatedly THAT IT CANNOT BE FIXED...[which is also why I have offered detailed technical explanations...]

I'm not going to let you screw with my integrity here...everything you attributed to me on the MAX is completely FALSE and in fact turning the truth on its head...

Realist , Nov 15 2019 16:08 utc | 87
Well done Peter. You totally f'd up the thread width once again.

Thanks a lot, you selfish incompetent c**t

Peter AU1 , Nov 15 2019 16:32 utc | 91
Realist 87

If you weren't such a dickhead you would see my links dont even reach text margins.

c1ue , Nov 15 2019 16:33 utc | 92
@flankerbandit #18

As Kiza #55 noted - Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity. The primary impact is that Ukraine can't hold far Western European customer gas hostage anymore with its gas transit "negotiations" as Nordstream allows Russia to sell directly to Germany.

There can still be Russian gas sold via Ukraine, but this will be mostly to near-Ukraine neighbors: Romania, Slovakia, Austria, Czech as well as Ukraine itself.
Bulgaria, Serbia and Romania can transit from Turk Stream, but there are potential Turk (and Bulgarian) issues.

Poland is already committing to LNG in order to not be dependent on Russian gas transiting Ukraine - a double whammy. The ultimate effect is to remove Ukraine's stranglehold position over Russian gas exports, which in turn severely undercuts Ukraine's ability to both get really cheap Russian gas and additional transit fees - a major blow to their economy.

That part of your analysis is accurate.

flankerbandit , Nov 15 2019 17:13 utc | 97
A fool piped in...
Nordstream 1 and 2, combined, only equal half of Ukraine's transit capacity.

Look...I'm not going to waste more time on bullshit...where are the FACTS about what you CLAIM here...?

The two Nordstream pipes equal 110 bcm per year...plus there are other pipeline routes that do not go through Ukraine...

Here is a study of the Euro gas imports from Russia from a few months ago...

The Conclusion...page 9

Therefore, the continuation of gas transit via Ukraine in volumes greater than the 26 bcm/y suggested above will depend on the European Commission and European gas importers, and their insistence that gas transit via Ukraine continues.

Otherwise, gas transit via Ukraine will be reduced to delivering limited volumes for European storage re-fills in the 'off-peak' summer months...

This prospect will undoubtedly complicate any negotiations between Gazprom and its Ukrainian counterparty over a new contract to govern the transit of Russian gas via Ukraine, once the existing contract expires at the end of December 2019.

...Gazprom may be willing to commit to only limited annual transit volumes...

European gas importers don't give a shit about Ukraine...and they have the final word...they care only about getting the gas they need from Russia in a reliable way and at a good price...

The news report I linked to makes it perfectly clear that the Europeans are demanding that the Ukranians get their act together on the gas issue, or they will be dropped altogether...

You know...FOOL...it really makes me wonder how fools like you decide to make statements here with a very authoritative tone...when it is quite clear you are talking out your rear end...

Nobody needs that kind of bullshit here...if you don't know a subject sufficiently well, then maybe you should keep quiet...or when making a statement, phrase it as your own OPINION and nothing more...

[Nov 15, 2019] The 15 essential questions for Marie Yovanovitch, America's former ambassador to Ukraine John Solomon Reports

Notable quotes:
"... In the spring and summer of 2019, did you ever become aware of any U.S. intelligence or U.S. treasury concerns raised about incoming Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his affiliation or proximity to certain oligarchs? Did any of those concerns involve what the IMF might do if a certain oligarch who supported Zelensky returned to power and regained influence over Ukraine's national bank? ..."
"... John Solomon reported at The Hill and your colleagues have since confirmed in testimony that the State Department helped fund a nonprofit called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre of Ukraine that also was funded by George Soros' main charity. That nonprofit, also known as AnTac, was identified in a 2014 Soros foundation strategy document as critical to reshaping Ukraine to Mr. Soros' vision. ..."
"... In March 2019, Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko gave an on-the-record, videotaped interview to The Hill alleging that during a 2016 meeting you discussed a list of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups you did not want to see Ukrainian prosecutors target. Your supporters have since suggested he recanted that story. Did you or your staff ever do anything to confirm he had recanted or changed his story, such as talk to him, or did you just rely on press reports? ..."
"... Your colleagues, in particular Mr. George Kent, have confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. embassy in Kiev did, in fact, exert pressure on the Ukrainian prosecutors office not to prosecute certain Ukrainian activists and officials. These efforts included a letter Mr. Kent signed urging Ukrainian prosecutors to back off an investigation of the aforementioned group AnTac as well as engaged in conversations about certain Ukrainians like Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko, journalist Vitali Shabunin and NABU director Artem Sytnyk. Why was the US. Embassy involved in exerting such pressure and did any of these actions run afoul of the Geneva Convention's requirement that foreign diplomats avoid becoming involved in the internal affairs of their host country? ..."
"... If the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States suddenly urged us to fire Attorney General Bill Bar or our FBI director, would you think that was appropriate? ..."
"... At any time since December 2015, did you or your embassy ever have any contact with Vice President Joe Biden, his office or his son Hunter Biden concerning Burisma Holdings or an investigation into its owner Mykola Zlochevsky? ..."
Nov 15, 2019 | johnsolomonreports.com

The next big witness for the House Democrats' impeachment hearings is Marie Yovanovitch, the former American ambassador to Ukraine who was recalled last spring at President Trump's insistence.

It is unclear what firsthand knowledge she will offer about the core allegation of this impeachment: that Trump delayed foreign aid assistance to Ukraine in hopes of getting an investigation of Joe Biden and Democrats started.

Nonetheless, she did deal with the Ukrainians going back to the summer of 2016 and likely will be an important fact witness.

After nearly two years of reporting on Ukraine issues, here are 15 questions I think could be most illuminating to every day Americans if the ambassador answered them.

  1. Ambassador Yovanovitch, at any time while you served in Ukraine did any officials in Kiev ever express concern to you that President Trump might be withholding foreign aid assistance to get political investigations started? Did President Trump ever ask you as America's top representative in Kiev to pressure Ukrainians to start an investigation about Burisma Holdings or the Bidens?
  2. What was the Ukrainians' perception of President Trump after he allowed lethal aid to go to Ukraine in 2018?
  3. In the spring and summer of 2019, did you ever become aware of any U.S. intelligence or U.S. treasury concerns raised about incoming Ukrainian president Volodymyr Zelensky and his affiliation or proximity to certain oligarchs? Did any of those concerns involve what the IMF might do if a certain oligarch who supported Zelensky returned to power and regained influence over Ukraine's national bank?
  4. Back in May 2018, then-House Rules Committee chairman Pete Sessions wrote a letter to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo suggesting you might have made comments unflattering or unsupportive of the president and should be recalled. Setting aside that Sessions is a Republican and might even have donors interested in Ukraine policy, were you ever questioned about his concerns? At any time have you or your embassy staff made comments that could be viewed as unsupportive or critical of President Trump and his policies?
  5. John Solomon reported at The Hill and your colleagues have since confirmed in testimony that the State Department helped fund a nonprofit called the Anti-Corruption Action Centre of Ukraine that also was funded by George Soros' main charity. That nonprofit, also known as AnTac, was identified in a 2014 Soros foundation strategy document as critical to reshaping Ukraine to Mr. Soros' vision. Can you explain what role your embassy played in funding this group and why State funds would flow to it? And did any one consider the perception of mingling tax dollars with those donated by Soros, a liberal ideologue who spent millions in 2016 trying to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump?
  6. In March 2019, Ukrainian prosecutor general Yuriy Lutsenko gave an on-the-record, videotaped interview to The Hill alleging that during a 2016 meeting you discussed a list of names of Ukrainian nationals and groups you did not want to see Ukrainian prosecutors target. Your supporters have since suggested he recanted that story. Did you or your staff ever do anything to confirm he had recanted or changed his story, such as talk to him, or did you just rely on press reports?
  7. Now that both the New York Times and The Hill have confirmed that Lutsenko stands by his account and has not recanted, how do you respond to his concerns? And setting aide the use of the word "list," is it possible that during that 2016 meeting with Mr. Lutsenko you discussed the names of certain Ukrainians you did not want to see prosecuted, investigated or harassed?
  8. Your colleagues, in particular Mr. George Kent, have confirmed to the House Intelligence Committee that the U.S. embassy in Kiev did, in fact, exert pressure on the Ukrainian prosecutors office not to prosecute certain Ukrainian activists and officials. These efforts included a letter Mr. Kent signed urging Ukrainian prosecutors to back off an investigation of the aforementioned group AnTac as well as engaged in conversations about certain Ukrainians like Parliamentary member Sergey Leschenko, journalist Vitali Shabunin and NABU director Artem Sytnyk. Why was the US. Embassy involved in exerting such pressure and did any of these actions run afoul of the Geneva Convention's requirement that foreign diplomats avoid becoming involved in the internal affairs of their host country?
  9. On March 5 of this year, you gave a speech in which you called for the replacement of Ukraine's top anti-corruption prosecutor. That speech occurred in the middle of the Ukrainian presidential election and obviously raised concerns among some Ukrainians of internal interference prohibited by the Geneva Convention. In fact, one of your bosses, Under Secretary David Hale, got questioned about those concerns when he arrived in country a few days later. Why did you think it was appropriate to give advice to Ukrainians on an internal personnel matter and did you consider then or now the potential concerns your comments might raise about meddling in the Ukrainian election or the country's internal affairs?
  10. If the Ukrainian ambassador to the United States suddenly urged us to fire Attorney General Bill Bar or our FBI director, would you think that was appropriate?
  11. At any time since December 2015, did you or your embassy ever have any contact with Vice President Joe Biden, his office or his son Hunter Biden concerning Burisma Holdings or an investigation into its owner Mykola Zlochevsky?
  12. At any time since you were appointed ambassador to Ukraine, did you or your embassy have any contact with the following Burisma figures: Hunter Biden, Devon Archer, lawyer John Buretta, Blue Star strategies representatives Sally Painter and Karen Tramontano, or former Ukrainian embassy official Andrii Telizhenko?
  13. John Solomon obtained documents showing Burisma representatives were pressuring the State Department in February 2016 to help end the corruption allegations against the company and were invoking Hunter Biden's name as part of their effort. Did you ever subsequently learn of these contacts and did any one at State -- including but not limited to Secretary Kerry, Undersecretary Novelli, Deputy Secretary Blinken or Assistant Secretary Nuland -- ever raise Burisma with you?
  14. What was your embassy's assessment of the corruption allegations around Burisma and why the company may have hired Hunter Biden as a board member in 2014?
  15. In spring 2019 your embassy reportedly began monitoring briefly the social media communications of certain people viewed as supportive of President Trump and gathering analytics about them. Who were those people? Why was this done? Why did it stop? And did anyone in the State Department chain of command ever suggest targeting Americans with State resources might be improper or illegal?

[Nov 15, 2019] Understanding the Foreign Service Officer Nerd Behavior by Larry C Johnson

Notable quotes:
"... To become a Foreign Service Officer you must take a written and an oral exam. If you pass these exams then you win the golden ticket granting you entrance into the FSO club. FSOs have convinced themselves that only the smartest, the brightest, the most able can pass this exam. If you have not taken the exam and passed it then you are by definition not a very smart person. ..."
"... Many FSOs looked down their nose at these knuckle dragging gorillas masquerading as Special Operations forces at U.S. They assumed they were barely literate. Imagine their shock when the FSOs discovered that a member of the elite U.S. Army CT unit or a member of the SEALS could actually speak a foreign language, had read some real literature and held an advanced college degree. Not making this up. ..."
"... The Foreign Service contains many officers who take arrogance and prickishness to new heights. You make a fatal error if you believe that because they tend to be soft spoken and non-confrontational that they are not dangerous and devious. Au contraire. Many that rise in the Foreign Service have a knack for sticking a knife in the back of a perceived rival. ..."
"... Just another day in the life of a Pomposity. From what I have seen of tomorrow's witness, Marie Yovanovitch, an FSO, is the same kind of person I encountered in the Office of Counter Terrorism. Arrogant and aggrieved and convinced that she is so much smarter than the troglodytes who will be asking her questions. ..."
"... You get to the point of not caring if you don't get the credit. You just want to be able to do your job better and go home each night ..."
"... It's common for females in almost every work situation I held. Pompous men getting the credit for what a whole office of females actually did -- sometimes doing things and making decisions they just didn't ask the boss to "approve." ..."
Nov 14, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

by a state grand jury | Main

14 November 2019 Understanding the Foreign Service Officer Nerd Behavior by Larry C Johnson

A group of lions is called a "pride." A group of crows is called a "murder." A group of geese is called a "gaggle." So what do you call a group of Ambassadors? A pomposity (that term was coined by Colonel Lang when the two of us were working on an exercise on Iran and there were three Ambassadors huddled in a corner scheming--brilliant).

There are two types of Ambassadors--political appointees and Foreign Service Officers who have made their way to the top of the Foreign Service mountain. The two fellows testifying at the opening of the House Impeachment inquiry -- Kent and Taylor -- are Foreign Service Officers. They are a strange lot. There are some exceptions who are normal people, such as Ambassador Morris (Buzz) Busby and Ambassador Anthony Quainton. I worked for Buzz and dealt with Ambassador Quainton on a variety of policy issues.

I conducted training for U.S. military Special Ops forces for several years in the aftermath of 9-11. My task was to teach them how to understand the culture of the Foreign Service Officers and offer tips on how to interact. In the aftermath of the 2001 terrorist attacks, U.S. SpecOps personnel were deployed to U.S. Embassies around the world and were having some trouble interacting with the so-called diplomats.

To become a Foreign Service Officer you must take a written and an oral exam. If you pass these exams then you win the golden ticket granting you entrance into the FSO club. FSOs have convinced themselves that only the smartest, the brightest, the most able can pass this exam. If you have not taken the exam and passed it then you are by definition not a very smart person.

Many FSOs looked down their nose at these knuckle dragging gorillas masquerading as Special Operations forces at U.S. They assumed they were barely literate. Imagine their shock when the FSOs discovered that a member of the elite U.S. Army CT unit or a member of the SEALS could actually speak a foreign language, had read some real literature and held an advanced college degree. Not making this up.

The Foreign Service contains many officers who take arrogance and prickishness to new heights. You make a fatal error if you believe that because they tend to be soft spoken and non-confrontational that they are not dangerous and devious. Au contraire. Many that rise in the Foreign Service have a knack for sticking a knife in the back of a perceived rival.

Let me give you a personal example. A female Ambassador who was a Deputy in the Office of the Coordinator for Counter Terrorism had a blow up when I helped a Navy SEAL Commander, who was detailed to State, revamp a memo she had already approved because an important overseas asset deployed for responding to a international terrorist incident had been inadvertently left out of the memo. When my SEAL buddy went in to brief her on the change she started screaming at him, broke her lamp and threw a bottle of hand lotion at him. If she had been a man my friend would have physically retaliated. Instead, my SEAL buddy walked out of the office and recounted the incident to a Civil Service employee in the office. That employee happened to be the neighbor of Ambassador A. Peter Burleigh, who was in charge of S/CT during that time.

When Ambassador Burleigh learned of her outburst he called her to his office and read her the riot act. What did she do? She assumed I was the one (I was not) who had ratted on her to Ambassador Burleigh. She set out to destroy me. My boss at the time was a retired Marine Corps Colonel, Dominick "Dick" Gannon. What a gentleman. I counted him as a mentor and a second father. Hard as woodpecker lips and a man who lived by a code of honor.

Dick prepared my fitness report and submitted it to his supervisor, the crazy female FSO. She demanded he change it to trash me and he refused. So she waited. Dick went overseas on a diplomatic mission and the female Ambassador snuck upstairs to the 7th floor (i.e., the Secretary of State's suite). She filed a complaint against Dick accusing him of failing to do the evaluation in a timely manner. Fortunately, the admin person she talked to, Joanne Graves, looked it over, saw that Dick had signed and informed the female FSO that the person who had failed to act in a timely manner was her. She was furious but beaten.

Just another day in the life of a Pomposity. From what I have seen of tomorrow's witness, Marie Yovanovitch, an FSO, is the same kind of person I encountered in the Office of Counter Terrorism. Arrogant and aggrieved and convinced that she is so much smarter than the troglodytes who will be asking her questions.

I am not saying that all FSOs are like this. But a large number are. You will be seeing another one of these critters in Friday's testimony.

Posted at 08:47 PM in Larry Johnson , Russiagate | Permalink


Factotum , 15 November 2019 at 12:32 AM
Sounds like Peter Strozk has a perfect new career for himself - FSO.
confusedponderer , 15 November 2019 at 03:05 AM
Ah, troglodytes ... a decade ago I was told that I was one too. Because I can ... count.

As a student I worked in a marketing company that sold US credit cards. My part of the job was more honourable: I was tasked with administering the phone numbers called to do that.

It's like that with these numbers: You call someone and he sais " Never ever call me again, never ever, you a**hole " the number is blocked to be recalled for 6 weeks and was then called again. If the person agrees to appointment with a seller, the number is blocked for a year etc pp.

The point is, the more you call the less numbers you have left. Call in a city for a week, starting with 5000 numbers - after a week you're left with, say, 300 (mostly crap).

To make after that many or any more appointments then is simply impossible or requires a lot of luck or, much worse, to re-use the numbers by nullifying all blockings (= burning resources).

It's that simple: To make fried eggs you need eggs, a stove and a pan (or a really hot engine hood), to make bricks you need clay, if you want to drive from Europe to Vladivostok you need ... a visum, money, time, food, good weather, a warm jacket, to know russian, have a robust car and a lot of fuel etc pp.

One day another employee (nice ties, glued hair and IMO seriously business study damaged) negotiated a new contract with the credit card company with very ambitious goals, without asking whether we had the resources (phone numbers) to achieve that.

And we didn't have what was needed and the bosses decided and chose not to buy more numbers. So I told the unfortunate guy tasked with achieving the demanded sales that, with the numbers left, we simply couldn't do it.

I was then wildly insulted to be a ... troglodyte, wicked, mean, illoyal, evil, that I would lie and some more of that sort. I was fired 15 minutes later, which annoyed as hell but, on the plus side, with luck led me to a three times better paid much better job elsewhere.

The part more entertaining me was that I was absolutely correct, which I learned a few months later from a former colleague:

The company was bankrupt eight weeks later, and the guy who fired me had a burnout or mental breakdown three weeks later. One of the bosses went from having been a millionaire to work as a waiter. The contract partner simply chose another "executor" (who was amusingly employing the same salesmen).

So, I was right, and what did it give me? Not much but a bad experience and, with luck, something much better elsewhere. Alas, and good riddance.

Diana C said in reply to confusedponderer... , 15 November 2019 at 01:06 PM
Yes, it's not often that someone who is right first gets the credit. It's true in business, educational organizations--well everywhere I ever worked. I just got used to someone else getting credit for things I had put in place first.

You get to the point of not caring if you don't get the credit. You just want to be able to do your job better and go home each night.

It's common for females in almost every work situation I held. Pompous men getting the credit for what a whole office of females actually did -- sometimes doing things and making decisions they just didn't ask the boss to "approve."

Turcopolier , 15 November 2019 at 09:16 AM
All

I am struck by the fact that a woman mentioned above actually threw a bottle of hand lotion at a SEAL who came to Main State to brief her. Much the same thing happened to me with a male FSO who was DCM in an embassy in which I was DATT.

I had drafted a lengthy report to DIA that described the local armed forces as inept and difficult to train. The embassy had the right to append remarks to my report but not to change it or block it without my agreement. The DCM tried for half an hour to pressure me into changing my report to make it more favorable to the local forces.

When I refused repeatedly to do so he threw the fifteen page message form across the room at me. I got up and left, leaving it where it fell. After talking to the ambassador the man apologized and the embassy sent my message.

Terence Gore , 15 November 2019 at 11:04 AM
https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-real-ukraine-controversy-an-activist-u-s-embassy-and-its-adherence-to-the-geneva-convention/
edding said in reply to Terence Gore ... , 15 November 2019 at 02:04 PM
And, see also John Solomon's latest directed at Yovanovich at: https://johnsolomonreports.com/the-15-essential-questions-for-marie-yovanovitch-americas-former-ambassador-to-ukraine/

Someone's ox is getting slowly and methodically gored. Solomon's reporting on Ukraine and the State Department has been spot on and backed up by solid evidence.

akaPatience , 15 November 2019 at 02:04 PM
What??? The EXCELLENT Rep. Elise Stefanik (R-NY) is not being permitted to question today's [self-important bureaucrat] witness. Why???

[Nov 14, 2019] Neocon US Ambassador tells impeachment panel what they want to hear about Trump-Ukraine Quid Pro Quo

This is how filthy neocon fifth column typically works: "The senior U.S. diplomat in Ukraine said Tuesday he was told release of military aid was contingent on public declarations from Ukraine that it would investigate the Bidens and the 2016 election, contradicting President Trump’s denial that he used the money as leverage for political gain." Who told him? Some State Dept. apparatchik? Unless it was directly from Trump it's just a hearsay and evidence of nothing whatsoever.
He clearly belongs to people described in Caitlin Johnstone famous 2017 article Neoconservatism Is An Omnicidal Death Cult, And It Must Be Stopped
"It’s absolutely insane that neoconservatism is still a thing, let alone still a thing that mainstream America tends to regard as a perfectly legitimate set of opinions for a human being to have. As what Dr. Paul Craig Roberts rightly calls “the most dangerous ideology that has ever existed,” neoconservatism has used its nonpartisan bloodlust to work with the Democratic party for the purpose of escalating tensions with Russia on multiple fronts, bringing our species to the brink of what could very well end up being a world war with a nuclear superpower and its allies."
This is not okay. Being a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester, but neocon pundits are routinely invited on mainstream television outlets to share their depraved perspectives.
Oct 23, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com

Taylor notably expressed his concerns in a Sept. 9 text message to US ambassador to the EU, Gordon Sondland, saying: " I think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign. "

To which Sondland replies " Bill, I believe you are incorrect about President Trump's intentions. The President has been crystal clear no quid pro quo's of any kind, " adding "I suggest we stop the back and forth by text."

On Tuesday, Mr. Taylor directly addressed accusations surrounding Ukraine's president, Volodymyr Zelensky, and Burisma, a Ukrainian gas company that employed Hunter Biden, the son of former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr., one of the leading Democratic candidates for president.

He "drew a very direct line in the series of events he described between President Trump's decision to withhold funds and refuse a meeting with Zelensky unless there was a public pronouncement by him of investigations of Burisma and the so-called 2016 election conspiracy theories," Ms. Wasserman Schultz said. - New York Times

As the Washington Post notes, Taylor said "By mid-July it was becoming clear to me that the meeting President Zelenskyy wanted was conditioned on the investigations of Burisma," the Ukrainian gas firm which employed Hunter Biden, "and alleged Ukrainian interference in the 2016 U.S. elections."


HoserF16 , 24 seconds ago link

He's a Liar. There's no QPQ. We have the transcript of the call. No QPQ. This Frail looking Douche Bag is lying. He's obviously on the Ukrainian-Take like the rest of them. DNC kept Servers in the Ukraine. Why would they do that??? (wink, wink)

Jackprong , 3 minutes ago link

Democrats have called the testimony the most damaging account yet, as Taylor provided an "excruciatingly detailed" opening statement, according to the New York Times .

And they have Zero, Zilch, Nada!

Largebrneyes1 , 3 minutes ago link

Taylor was a democratic appointee from the Obama administration...shocker. And he was the only one suggesting this was politically motivated. Sondland corrected him immediately. Nobody else, including the Ukrainians, agree with his "interpretation".

south40_dreams , 8 minutes ago link

JOE BIDEN IN 1998;

"Even if the President should be impeached, history is going to question whether or not this was just a partisan lynching..."

He said a dirty word

slickrick , 9 minutes ago link

Schiff's bitch said it like he was told to. Nothing to see folks.

Bobzilla. Do not piss him off , 12 minutes ago link

Wasn't creepy uncle joe doing a quid pro quo when he said no billion $ unless you fir the prosecutor?? Seems the demonrats have two sets of rules. ******* hypocrites.

The Persistent Vegetable , 21 minutes ago link

Manaforts in prison

Cohens in prison

Stone? arrested

Flynn? convicted

Rudy? Soon to be arrested

Whose next in the most transparent administration in history? An administration which only arrests its own and lets the Dems skate?

William Dorritt , 10 minutes ago link

Trump forgot to fire 10,000 Obama Political Appointees

when he took office

Trump created this mess

he actually stiff armed conservatives who offered to help him

doubt many would now.

McConnell has systemically undermined Trump

blocking Trump's appointments and

blocking Trump from making recess appointments

KY needs to do the US a favor and retire McConnell

Rest Easy , 25 minutes ago link

Ex ******* scuse me, but didn't obumer and company start a civil war in Ukraine?

Ukraine is right next to ******* Russia. A nuclear power.

People have died here. Whatever else these ******* fuckers were up to, this seems pretty clearly criminally insane.

Let's cut the crap journalists. Start doing your jobs.

Dept. Of whatever Justice. And congress. This is unacceptable. And beyond irresponsible.

TahoeBilly2012 , 22 minutes ago link

That's right, I followed everything Ukraine in detail in 2013, so did my Mom who is 81. She knows more Ukraine than any of my dirtbag Democrat friends. Hunter Biden corruption old news.

Son of Loki , 25 minutes ago link

I definitely believe the neocon anti-Trumper.

He's so brave to come forward.

He even talked in a little gurl's voice!

#MeToo!

estradagold , 34 minutes ago link

Yet the average Ukrainian makes $300 a month and we have zero qualms about robbing their country blind. Some friend we are.

joego1 , 36 minutes ago link

First of all Ukraine had already started to investigate Biden and Burisma in March, second of all the aid was turned over to them already and there is no resolution to the investigation yet. Third, the Ukrainians have gone on the record saying there was no pressure. Last, the president has a responsibility to look into corruption even if it was a Demonrat.

[Nov 14, 2019] House Releases Transcripts From Recalled US-Ukraine Ambassador Yovanovitch And Michael McKinley

Tandem of CIA and the State Department against Trump ?
Notable quotes:
"... Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in May, testified that President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her as ambassador over unsubstantiated allegations that she badmouthed the president and was seeking to stop Ukraine from opening an investigation into Joe Biden and his son. -Axios ..."
"... Last month, Deputy Secretary of State John Sullivan reportedly told the Senate Foreign Relations Committee that Trump recalled Yovanovitch after Giuliani singled her out for having an anti-Trump agenda. ..."
"... McKinley testified to impeachment investigators that he resigned over the State Department's unwillingness to support foreign service officers caught up in the Ukraine scandal and the apparent "utilization of our ambassadors overseas to advance domestic political objectives. ..."
Nov 04, 2019 | www.zerohedge.com
On Monday, the House committees conducting impeachment inquiries into President Trump released transcripts of testimony from several witnesses, including former US Ambassador to Ukraine Marie Yovanovitch and career diplomat and former senior adviser to Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, Michael McKinley.

Yovanovitch, who was removed from her post in May, testified that President Trump's lawyer Rudy Giuliani led a campaign to oust her as ambassador over unsubstantiated allegations that she badmouthed the president and was seeking to stop Ukraine from opening an