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Anti-Russian hysteria in connection emailgate and DNC leak

  Who are those "experts" who tell us those were Russians? Are those the same "experts" who found weapons of mass destruction in Iraq? Or claim that Hillary bathroom email server was not breached?

“The same people on the Clinton team who made enormous efforts to claim her private email server—which operated unencrypted over the Internet for three months, including during trips to China and Russia, and which contained top-secret national-security data—was not hacked by the Russians now are certain that the DNC server was hacked by the Russians” http://www.theamericanconservative.com/articles/unpacking-the-dnc-emails/

News Neoliberal Brainwashing -- Journalism in the Service of the Powerful Few Recommended Links Fake News scare and US NeoMcCartyism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA Neoconservatism   Hillary Clinton email scandal
Demonization of Putin Do the US intelligence agencies attempt to influence the US Presidential elections ?  Clinton cash scnadal and her links to financial industry Color revolutions "Fuck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Deception as an art form Pathological Russophobia of the US elite
Media-Military-Industrial Complex Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Conversion of Democratic Party into War Party and Hillary Clinton policy toward Russia Edward Lucas as agent provocateur US and British media are servants of security apparatus  Hillary as a pathological liar Bill Clinton
Clinton Cash The Untold Story of How and Why Foreign Governments and Businesses Helped Make Bill and Hillary Rich Crisis of Character A White House Secret Service Officer Discloses His Firsthand Experience with Hillary, Bill, and How They O Hillary the Other Woman Dolly Kyle Amazon.com Books The Clintons' War on Women Roger Stone, Robert Morrow Amazon.com Books Bill Clinton New Gilded Age President Patrick J. Maney 9780700621941 Amazon.com Books The Secret Life of Bill Clinton The Unreported Stories Ambrose Evans-Pritchard  Amazon.com Books Partners in Crime The Clintons' Scheme to Monetize the White House for Personal Profit Jerome Corsi  Amazon
Neoliberalism as a New Form of Corporatism Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Female Sociopaths American Exceptionalism Lawrence Summers Sandy Weill: the banker who bought Bill Clinton Financial Sector Induced Systemic Instability of Economy
Diplomacy by deception Corruption of Regulators The Deep State Machiavellism Noble Lie Hillary role in cover up of Bill Clinton sexapades Nation under attack meme
Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism  Neocons Credibility Scam Leo Strauss and the Neocons Predator state The Iron Law of Oligarchy Elite [Dominance] Theory And the Revolt of the Elite  

Introduction

These people have no shame. Vote Trump!

USMarines, Guardian Jun 25, 2016

 

Seems Putin controls Trump and Clinton! The man is amazing.

Only Jedi Knights can stop him.

“Russia, if you’re listening, I hope you’re able to find the 30,000 emails that are missing,”
 Donald J. Trump said, referring to messages deemed personal by Hillary Clinton
 and deleted from her private email server.

 

Clinton campaign is trying to hide their very serious domestic allegation tried to play "Russians are coming" trick...   In reality the real issue with DNS leaks in the fact that Sanders campaign was sabotaged by crooks in DNC. 

All those presstitutes who wipe up anti-Russian hysteria should ask themselves a simple question. Do they have any moral right to ask question about the legitimacy of  foreign interference if this interference is the cornerstone of the US foreign policy. As in "color revolutions" and similar subversive actions against "not neoliberal enough" government of countries with natural resources or of some geopolitical value.  Also it is not clear why Russia would prefer Trump to Hillary. Here is one post that addresses this issues (Economist's View What’s Behind a Rise in Ethnic Nationalism Maybe the Economy, Oct 14, 2016):

likbez -> pgl... , Friday, October 14, 2016 at 07:43 PM
Paradoxically Pravda in old times did have real insights into the US political system and for this reason was widely read by specialists. Especially materials published by the Institute of the USA and Canada -- a powerful Russian think tank somewhat similar to the Council on Foreign Relations.

As for your remark I think for many people in the USA Russophobia is just displaced Anti-Semitism.

JohnH remark is actually very apt and you should not "misunderestimate" the level of understanding of the US political system by Russians. They did learn a lot about machinations of the neoliberal foreign policy, especially about so called "color revolutions." Hillary&Obama has had a bloody nose when they tried to stage a "color revolution" in 2011-2012 in Russia (so called "white revolution). A typical US citizen probably never heard about it or heard only about "Pussy riot", Navalny and couple of other minor figures. At the end poor ambassador Michael McFaul was recalled. NED was expelled. Of course Russia is just a pale shadow of the USSR power-wise, so Obama later put her on sanctions using MH17 incident as a pretext with no chances of retaliation. They also successfully implemented regime change in Ukraine -- blooding Putin nose in return.

But I actually disagree with JohnH. First of all Putin does not need to interfere in a way like the USA did in 2011-2012. It would be a waist of resources as both candidates are probably equally bad for Russia (and it is the "deep state" which actually dictate the US foreign policy, not POTUS.)

The US political system is already the can of worms and the deterioration of neoliberal society this time created almost revolutionary situation in Marxists terms, when Repug elite was not able to control the nomination. Democratic establishment still did OK and managed to squash the rebellion, but here the level of degeneration demonstrated itself in the selection of the candidate.

Taking into account the level of dysfunction of the US political system, I am not so sure the Trump is preferable to Hillary for Russians. I would say he is more unpredictable and more dangerous. The main danger of Hillary is Syria war escalation, but the same is true for Trump who can turn into the second John McCain on a dime.

Also the difference between two should not be exaggerated. Both are puppets of the forces the brought them to the current level and in their POTUS role will need to be subservient to the "deep state". Or at least to take into account its existence and power. And that makes them more of prisoners of the position they want so much.

Trump probably to lesser extent then Hillary, but he also can't ignore the deep state. Both require the support of Republican Congress for major legislative initiatives. And it will very hostile to Hillary. Which is a major advantage for Russians, as this excludes the possibility of some very stupid moves.

Again, IMHO in no way any of them will control the US foreign policy. In this area the deep state is in charge since Allen Dulles and those who try to deviate too much might end as badly as JFK. I think Obama understood this very well and did not try to rock the boat. And there are people who will promptly explain this to Trump in a way that he understands.

In other words, neither of them will escape the limit on their power that "deep state" enforces. And that virtually guarantee the continuity of the foreign policy, with just slight tactical variations.

So why Russians should prefer one to another? You can elect a dog as POTUS and the foreign policy of the USA will be virtually the same as with Hillary or Trump.

In internal policy Trump looks more dangerous and more willing to experiment, while Hillary is definitely a "status quo" candidate. The last thing Russians needs is the US stock market crush. So from the point of internal economic policy Hillary is also preferable.

A lot of pundits stress the danger of war with Russia, and that might be true as women in high political position try to outdo men in hawkishness. But here Hillary jingoism probably will be tightly controlled by the "deep state". Hillary definitely tried to be "More Catholic then the Pope" in this area while being the Secretary of State. That did not end well for her and she might learn the lesson.

But if you think about the amount of "compromat" (Russian term ;-) on Hillary and Bill that Russians may well already collected, in "normal circumstances" she might be a preferable counterpart for Russians. As in "devil that we know". Both Lavrov and Putin met Hillary. Medvedev was burned by Hillary. Taking into account the level of greed Hillary displayed during her career, I would be worried what Russians have on her , as well as on Bill "transgressions" and RICO-style actions of Clinton Foundation.

And taking into account the level of disgust amount the government officials with Hillary (and this is not limited to Secret Service) , new leaks are quite possible, which might further complicate her position as POTUS.

In worst case, the first year (or two) leaks will continue. Especially if damaging DNC leaks were the work of some disgruntled person within the USA intelligence and not of some foreign hacker group. That might be a plus for Russians as such a constant distraction might limit her possibility to make some stupid move in Syria. Or not.

As you know personal emails boxes for all major Web mail providers are just one click away for NSA analysts. So "Snowden II" hypothesis might have the right to exist.

Also it is quite probably that impeachment process for Hillary will start soon after her election. In the House Republicans have enough votes to try it. That also might be a plus for s for both Russia and China. Trump is extremely jingoistic as for Iran, and that might be another area were Hillary is preferable to Russians and Chinese over Trump.

Also do not discount her health problems. She does have some serious neurological disease, which eventually might kill her. How fast she will deteriorate is not known but in a year or two the current symptoms might become more pronounced. If Bill have STD (and sometime he looks like a person with HIV; http://joeforamerica.com/2016/07/bill-clinton-aids/) that further complicates that picture (this is just a rumor, but he really looks bad).

I think that all those factors make her an equal, or even preferable candidate for such states as Russia and China.

 

This is the situation of "king is naked" -- the state that teaches other countries about democracy has completely corrupted election process, like a typical banana republic. That what  Wikileak revelations proved.

In his post Is Russia our enemy?  Colonel W. Patrick Lang is a retired senior officer of U.S. Military Intelligence and U.S. Army Special Forces (The Green Berets) aptly stated:
The Democratic Party convention and the media are full of the assumption that Russia is the enemy of the United States.  What is the basis for that assumption?

The Obama Administration is apparently committed to a pre-emptive assertion that Russia is a world class committed enemy of the United States. The Borgist media fully support that.

We should all sober up.

The Russian theme has  become one of the most important in Hillary presidential campaign and she unsurprisingly is engaged in full-scale anti-Russian hysteria. 
Hillary joined ranks with neocons, military-industrial complex and plain-vanilla Russophobes (katehon.com, Jul 28. 2016):

Speaking at a press conference in Florida, Trump called on Russia to hand over the 30,000 emails "missing" from the Hillary Clinton's email server in the US. Their absence is a clear sign that Clinton destroyed evidence proving that she used her personal e-mail server to send sensitive information. Democrats immediately accused Trump of pandering to Russian hackers, although in reality the multi-billionaire rhetorically hinted that the data that Clinton hid from the American investigation is in the hands of foreign intelligence services. So, Clinton is a possible target for blackmail.

Trump's statement that he is ready to discuss the status of Crimea and the removal of anti-Russian sanctions caused even more noise. This view is not accepted either in the Democrat or in the Republican mainstream. Trump also said that Vladimir Putin does not respect Clinton and Obama, while Trump himself hopes to find a common language with him. Trump appreciates Putin's leadership and believes that the US must work together with Russia to deal with common threats, particularly against Islamic extremism.
Hide The establishment's tantrum

Both Democrats and Republicans are taking aim at Trump. The vice-presidential candidate, Mike Pence, made threats to Russia. The head of the Republican majority in Congress, Paul Ryan, became somewhat hysterical. He said that Putin is "a thug and should stay out of these elections."

It is Putin personally, and the Russian security services, who are accused of leaking correspondences of top employees of the National Committee of the Democratic Party. This unverified story united part of the Republicans and all of the Democrats, including the Clinton and Barack Obama themselves. Trump supporters note that the Russian threat is used to divert attention from the content of these letters. And these show the fraud carried out during the primaries which favored Hillary Clinton.
Hide The pro-American candidate

The "Russian scandal" demonstrates that on the one hand the thesis of the normalization of relations with Russia, despite the propaganda, is becoming popular in US society. It is unlikely that Donald Trump has made campaign statements that are not designed to gain the support of the public in this election. On the other hand - Trump - a hard realist, like Putin, is not pro-Russian, but a pro-American politician, and therefore the improvement of relations with Russia in his eyes corresponds to the US's national interests. Trump has never to date done anything that would not be to his advantage. Sometimes he even said he would order US fighter jets to engage with Russian ones, and declared he would have a hard stance in relations with Russia.

Another thing is that his understanding of US national interests is fundamentally different from the dominant American globalist elite consensus. For Trump, the US should not be the source of a global liberal remaking of the world, but a national power, which optimizes its position just as efficiently as any commercial project. And in terms of optimizing the position of the United States, he says there should be a normal American interaction with Putin and Russia in the field of combating terrorism and preventing the sliding of the two countries into a global war. He claims this is to be the priority instead of issues relating to the promotion of democracy and the so-called fight against "authoritarian regimes".
 

Bullsh**t that the US MSM are now propagating is essentially a variation of the old theme  "The Russians are Coming".  Here is nice satire on the topic (washingtonsblog.com):

MC: President Putin, did the Russian government hack the DNC email server and then publically release those emails through Wikileaks the day before the Democratic convention?

Putin: Yes.

MC: Yes! Are you serious?

Putin: I’m quite serious.

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

MC: How can you justify this open meddling in United States politics?

Putin: Your question should be what took Russia so long. The US oligarchs and their minions surround us with military bases and nuclear missiles, damage our trade to Europe, and seek to destabilize our domestic politics.  These emails are nothing in the big picture. But they’re sort of funny, don’t you agree?

MC: I’m not sure that funny is the right word.  What do you mean by that?

Putin:   You’ve got Hillary Clinton running as a strong and independent woman. Of course, nobody would know who she is had she not married Bill Clinton. She’s not independent. Quite the contrary. She had to marry a philandering redneck to get to where she is. When it comes to strength, I can say only this. How strong can you be if you have to cheat and create a rigged game to win the nomination?

MC: Anything else about your leak to cheer us up?

Putin: This situation is the epitome of ironic humor. After the emails were released, the focus was all on DNC Chair and Congresswoman Debbie Wasserman-Schultz. That’s fine for now but what happens when people start asking why Wasserman-Schultz had the DNC screw Sanders and boost Hillary? Did she just wake up one day and decide this on her own?. Not likely. She was and remains Hillary’s agent.   It will take people a while to arrive that answer. When enough people hear about Wasserman-Schultz’s key role in the Clinton campaign, everything will be clear.   It’s adios Hillary. That inevitable conclusion, by the way, is the reason the DNC made such a big deal about Russia hacking the DNC.  That was diversion one right out of the gate.

DNC and Clinton are going to push the Russian card very hard in anticipation of further stories and revelations of corruption, money laundering, etc.  Technical analysis provided is some idiotic, entry level nonsense. And it should ne complete dulsh*t as those cases are very complex and can used smokescreen -- deflecting attention from a read source (for example Israel) to Russians (Israel has large Russian speaking population, that is well represented in security services of the country).

When the USA opened this can of worm with Stixnet (discovered around mid 2010) and Flame (discovered around 2012), they did not expect a blowback. Now it start coming: it is simply impossible to secure "normal" Microsoft-based IT system against any sophisticated adversary. Remember that we live in the period when developed by NSA and "friends" Flame and Stixnet worm are part of the recorded history. And  technologies used in them are well studied by all major world three letter agencies. They became a part of their workbook.  And the response to their devilishness they generated even more devilish methods of attack of any IT infrastructure based on Microsoft technologies, to say nothing about such low hanging fruit as completely  corrupt  DNC with semi-competent IT staff using pathetic Microsoft Exchange based email system: (naked capitalism):

However, in this short post I want to focus on a much narrower question: Can we ever know who hacked the DNC email? Because if we can't, then clearly we can't know the Russians did. And so I want to hoist this by alert reader JacobiteInTraining from comments :

Yup, as a former server admin it is patently absurd to attribute a hack to anyone in particular until a substantial amount of forensic work has been done. (read, poring over multiple internal log files…gathering yet more log files of yet more internal devices, poring over them, then – once the request hops out of your org – requesting logfiles from remote entities, poring over *those* log files, requesting further log files from yet more upstream entities, wash rinse repeat ad infinitum).

For example, at its simplest, I would expect a middling-competency hacker to find an open wifi hub across town to connect to, then VPN to server in, say, Tonga, then VPN from there to another box in Sweden, then connect to a PC previously compromised in Iowa, then VPN to yet another anonymous cloud server in Latvia, and (assuming the mountain dew is running low, gotta get cracking) then RDP to the target server and grab as many docs as possible. RAR those up and encrypt them, FTP them to a compromised media server in South Korea, email them from there to someones gmail account previously hacked, xfer them to a P2P file sharing app, and then finally access them later from a completely different set of servers.

In many cases where I did this sort of analysis I still ended up with a complete dead end: some sysadmins at remote companies or orgs would be sympathetic and give me actual related log files. Others would be sympathetic but would not give files, and instead do their own analysis to give me tips. Many never responded, and most IPs ended up at unknown (compromised) personal PCs, or devices where the owner could not be found anyway.

If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence you might get lucky – but that demographic mostly points back to script kiddies and/or criminal dweebs – i.e., rather then just surreptitiously exfiltrating the goods they instead left messages or altered things that seemed to indicate their own backgrounds or prejudices, or left a message that was more easily 'traced'. If, of course, you took that evidence at face value and it was not itself an attempt at obfuscation.

Short of a state actor such as an NSA who captures it ALL anyway, and/or can access any log files at any public or private network at its own whim – its completely silly to attribute a hack to anyone at this point.

So, I guess I am reduced to LOL OMG WTF its fer the LULZ!!!!!

And :

Just to clarify on the "…If the hacker was sloppy and left other types of circumstantial evidence…" – this is basically what I have seen reported as 'evidence' pointing to Russia: the Cyrillic keyboard signature, the 'appeared to cease work on Russian holidays' stuff, and the association with 'known Russian hacking groups'.

That's great and all, but in past work I am sure my own 'research' could easily have gotten me 'associated' with known hacking groups. Presumably various 'sophisticated' methods and tools get you closer to possible suspects…but that kind of stuff is cycled and recycled throughout the community worldwide – as soon as anything like that is known and published, any reasonably competent hacker (or org of hackers) is learning how to do the same thing and incorporating such things into their own methods. (imitation being the sincerest form of flattery)

I guess I have a lot more respect for the kinds of people I expect to be getting a paycheck from foreign Intelligence agencies then to believe that they would leave such obvious clues behind 'accidentally'. But if we are going to be starting wars over this stuff w/Russia, or China, I guess I would hope the adults in the room don't go all apesh*t and start chanting COMMIES, THE RUSSIANS ARE COMING!, etc. before the ink is dry on the 'crime'.

The whole episode reminds me of the Sony hack , for which Obama also blamed a demonized foreign power. Interestingly - to beg the question here - the blaming was also based on a foreign character set in the data (though Hangul, not Korean). Look! A clue!

JacobiteInTraining's methodology also reminds me of NC's coverage of Grexit. Symbol manipulators - like those in the Democrat-leaning creative class - often believe that real economy systems are as easy to manipulate as symbol systems are. In Greece, for example, it really was a difficult technical challenge for Greece to reintroduce the drachma, especially given the time-frame, as contributor Clive remorselessly showed. Similarly, it's really not credible to hire a consultant and get a hacking report with a turnaround time of less than a week, even leaving aside the idea that the DNC just might have hired a consultant that would give them the result they wanted (because who among us, etc.) What JacobiteInTraining shows us is that computer forensics is laborious, takes time, and is very unlikely to yield results suitable for framing in the narratives proffered by the political class. Of course, that does confirm all my priors!

Readers, thoughts?

Update Addition by Yves:

Another reader, Hacker, observed (emphasis original):

There is a problem with those who argue that these are sophisticated Nation State attackers and then point to the most basic circumstantial evidence to support their case. I'd bet that, among others, the Israelis have hacked some Russian servers to launch attacks from and have some of their workers on a Russian holiday schedule. Those things have been written about in attack analysis so much over the last 15-20 years that they'd be stupid not to.

Now, I'm not saying the Israelis did it. I'm saying that the evidence provided so far by those arguing it is Russia is so flaky as to prove that the Russia accusers are blinded or corrupted by their own political agenda.

Update [Yves, courtesy Richard Smith] 7:45 AM. Another Medium piece by Jeffrey Carr, Can Facts Slow The DNC Breach Runaway Train? who has been fact-checking this story and comes away Not Happy. For instance:

Thomas Rid wrote:

One of the strongest pieces of evidence linking GRU to the DNC hack is the equivalent of identical fingerprints found in two burglarized buildings: a reused command-and-control address - 176.31.112[.]10 - that was hard coded in a piece of malware found both in the German parliament as well as on the DNC's servers. Russian military intelligence was identified by the German domestic security agency BfV as the actor responsible for the Bundestag breach. The infrastructure behind the fake MIS Department domain was also linked to the Berlin intrusion through at least one other element, a shared SSL certificate.

This paragraph sounds quite damning if you take it at face value, but if you invest a little time into checking the source material, its carefully constructed narrative falls apart.

Problem #1: The IP address 176.31.112[.]10 used in the Bundestag breach as a Command and Control server has never been connected to the Russian intelligence services. In fact, Claudio Guarnieri , a highly regarded security researcher, whose technical analysis was referenced by Rid, stated that "no evidence allows to tie the attacks to governments of any particular country."

Mind you, he has two additional problems with that claim alone. This piece is a must read if you want to dig further into this topic.

NOTES

[1] More than a talking point but, really, less than a narrative. It's like we need a new word for these bite-sized, meme-ready, disposable, "throw 'em against the wall and see if they stick" stories; mini-narrative, or narrativelette, perhaps. "All the crunch of a real narrative, but none of the nutrition!"

[2] This post is not about today's Trump moral panic, where the political class is frothing and stamping about The Donald's humorous (or ballbusting, take your pick) statement that he "hoped" the Russians had hacked the 30,000 emails that Clinton supposedly deleted from the email server she privatized in her public capacity as Secretary of State before handing the whole flaming and steaming mess over to investigators. First, who cares? Those emails are all about yoga lessons and Chelsea's wedding. Right? Second, Clinton didn't secure the server for three months. What did she expect? Third, Trump's suggestion is just dumb; the NSA has to have that data, so just ask them? Finally, to be fair, Trump shouldn't have uttered the word "Russia." He should have said "Liechtenstein," or "Tonga," because it's hard to believe that there's a country too small to hack as fat a target as Clinton presented; Trump was being inflammatory. Points off. Bad show.

Pavel , July 28, 2016 at 4:01 am

For those interested, the excellent interviewer Scott Horton just spoke with Jeffrey Carr, an IT security expert about all this. It's about 30 mins:

Jeffrey Carr, a cyber intelligence expert and CEO of Taia Global, Inc., discusses his fact-checking of Josh Marshall's TalkingPointsMemo article that claims a close alliance between Trump and Putin; and why the individuals blaming Russia for the DNC email hack are more motivated by politics than solid evidence.

–The Scott Horton Show: 7/25/16 Jeffrey Carr

Carr makes the point that even supposed clues about Russian involvement ("the default language is Cyrillic!") are meaningless as all these could be spoofed by another party.

Separately it just shows again Team Clinton's (and DNC's) political deviousness and expertise how they –with the full support of the MSM of course –have managed to deflect the discussion to Trump and Russia from how the DNC subverted US democracy.

pretzelattack , July 28, 2016 at 4:15 am

and again, we see the cavalier attitude about national security from the clinton camp, aggravating the already tense relationship with russia over this bullshit, all to avoid some political disadvantage. clinton doesn't care if russia gets the nuclear launch codes seemingly, but impact her chances to win the race and it's all guns firing.

dk , July 28, 2016 at 4:59 am

"… all these could be spoofed by another party."

Well yeah, and I could be a bot, how do you know I'm not?

Absent any other evidence to work with, I can accept it as credible that a clumsy Russian or Baltic user posted viewed and saved docs instead of the originals; par for the course in public and private bureaucracies the world over. It would have been useful to see the original Properties metadata; instead we get crapped up copies. That only tells me the poster is something of a lightweight, and it at least somewhat suggests that these docs passed through multiple hands.

But that doesn't mean A) the original penetration occurred under state control (or even in Russia proper), much less B) that Putin Himself ordered the hack attempts, which is the searing retinal afterimage that the the media name-dropping and photo-illustrating conflation produces.

Unspoofed, the Cyrillic fingerprints still do not closely constrain conclusion to A, and even less to B.

Another name for the trick DNC used is "Catch a chief" -- a deflection of attention from their own criminal behaviour. But they should now be really afraid about what can come next from Wikileaks or elsewhere. I don't think Hillary was capable to understand how easy it is to find corruption, especially when there's a email trail.  And this lack of understanding is a typical feature of a sociopath (http://www.theblaze.com/contributions/could-hillary-clinton-be-a-sociopath/ )

As Guardian reported (The Guardian) Clinton campaign tried old "dog eat my homework" trick blaming everything on Putin and trying to ignore the content of them and the dirty laundry they expose:

Hillary Clinton’s campaign has accused Russia of meddling in the 2016 presidential election, saying its hackers stole Democratic National Committee (DNC) emails and released them to foment disunity in the party and aid Donald Trump.

Clinton’s campaign manager, Robby Mook, said on Sunday that “experts are telling us that Russian state actors broke into the DNC, stole these emails, [and are] releasing these emails for the purpose of helping Donald Trump”.

“I don’t think it’s coincidental that these emails are being released on the eve of our convention here,” he told CNN’s State of the Union, alluding to the party’s four-day exercise in unification which is set to take place this week in Philadelphia.

“This isn’t my assertion,” Mook said. “This is what experts are telling us.”

In a statement, the Clinton campaign repeated the accusation: “This is further evidence the Russian government is trying to influence the outcome of the election.”

Classic scapegoating. As Guardian commenter noted "Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak??

As life exceeds satire, one can imagine that within a week Wikileaks will produce those "missing e-mails". And later Hillary's Wall Street speeches, following the next appeal from Trump.

In any case a major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like behaviors like a Mafioso clan, and when caught red handed start to deflect attention via corrupt and subservant MSM, changing focus into Russia and Putin instead. Great journalism!" The Guardian

 atopic  

I find very I interesting that, somehow, the initial DNC leak story failed to make a headline position (a day late, at that) on the Guardian, but now that it's blown up on other channels, the DNC's ridiculous conspiracy theory/distraction attempt gets top billing here. Ridiculous.

Why is the (potential) perpetrator of the leak more significant than the content of the leak?? A major US establishment party explicitly levied it's resources against a candidate it didn't like, and somehow we're talking about Putin instead. Great journalism.

 
Chanze Jennings ->  atopic

The Guardian has sunk to a new low and has entirely no shame. It's a sad day for journalism when Twitter has more integrity than most news outlets. And they wonder why newspapers are going the way of the Dodo. Remember when real journalists presented stories with little bias and tried hard to stick to the facts?

BTW there are some real experts on this and they have a different opinion. Check comments for the blog post: 

http://www.nakedcapitalism.com/2016/07/nsa-whistleblower-not-so-fast-on-claims-russia-behind-dnc-email-hack.html

Corrupt to the core MSM ignore the event and try to distract readers with scapegoating nonsense

ABC and CNN are essentially part of the DNC propaganda wing. They and most other MSM were trying to reshape this mess to reduce the amount of damage.  Stephanopolis worked for Bill Clinton. And donated $75,000 to Hillary's campaign. And now he is trying to paint Trump as having ties to the Putin regime.

They try do not touch Hillary connections with Saudi, revive email scandal, touch Clinton cash skandal,  etc. They really behave like they are part of Clinton campaign. And readers noticed that as is evident from comments (The 4 Most Damaging Emails From the DNC WikiLeaks Dump - ABC News):

Kintbury  -> Mr. Fusion 21 hours ago

You are going to have to do a heck of a lot better than that. A Saudi Prince has admitted to funding a large portion of Hillary's campaign. That is a tie. All the money she took from those countries while benefiting them as Secretary of State is a tie.

Know Mei > deanbob
"Spoken like someone who has never been a member of the Democratic Party and has no understanding of what we do," Debbie Wasserman Schultz. Oh, believe me, Debbie, the American people know what the Democratic Party and the Republican Party does. Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate. However, business as usual did not work well for the Republican Party elitists this primary season. Donald Trump beat the Republican Party elitists at their game. Bernie Sanders attempted to do the same to the Democratic Party.
Alti  -> ADLives 2 days ago

I think they are being short-sighted. Trump will in all likelihood win now and I don't see him sticking to the script. The media has completely betrayed the American public on this story. From Facebook and Twitter blocking and deleting stories re: same initially - to now with the non-articles we are getting from the big news agencies. Finding decent, honest news coverage shouldn't be so hard.

William Carr > Know Mei •

“Both parties embellish, manipulate, grant high positions to big donors, plot, backstab and railroad the vote of the American electorate”

America needs international monitors to oversee our elections

In reality Wikileaks exposed the blatant corruption of the primary process for voters. The elephant was in the room, but the real situation with Democratic Party primary process is now  suppressed.


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[Jun 25, 2017] Alliance of Trump and the deep state ont he basis of neocon agenda is quite possible

Jun 25, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

libezkova, June 24, 2017 at 11:06 PM

This is a warning to several prominent commenters of this blog: it is quite possible that Faustian bargain of alliance with the deep state to depose Trump might backfire and produce completely opposite result -- strong and durable alliance of Trump and the deep state on the basis of the same model that existed from 2003 -- inverted totalitarism introduced by Bush II. In this case you can kiss hopes not only for impeachment, but also for 2020 reversal goodbye.

http://original.antiwar.com/Todd_Pierce/2017/06/23/criminal-laws-counterinsurgency/

Many "never-Trumpers" see the deep state's national security bureaucracy as their best hope to destroy Trump and thus defend constitutional government, but those hopes are misguided.

After all, the deep state's bureaucratic leadership has worked arduously for decades to subvert constitutional order.

As Michael Glennon, author of National Security and Double Government, pointed out in a June 2017 Harper's essay, if "the president maintains his attack, splintered and demoralized factions within the bureaucracy could actually support - not oppose - many potential Trump initiatives, such as stepped-up drone strikes, cyberattacks, covert action, immigration bans, and mass surveillance."

Inverted totalitarism is completely compatible with Trumpism ("bastard neoliberlaism"):

Princeton University political theorist Sheldon Wolin described the US political system in place by 2003 as "inverted totalitarianism." He reaffirmed that in 2009 after seeing a year of the Obama administration. Correctly identifying the threat against constitutional governance is the first step to restore it, and as Wolin understood, substantive constitutional government ended long before Donald Trump campaigned. He's just taking unconstitutional governance to the next level in following the same path as his recent predecessors.

However, even as some elements of the "deep state" seek to remove Trump, the President now has many "deep state" instruments in his own hands to be used at his unreviewable discretion.

[Jun 25, 2017] UKRAINE meddled in US 2016 election. In conspiracy to blackmail Trump, Ukraine provided DNC with false accusations against Manafort, hoping to derail Trump and install Deep State figurehead Hillary Clinton

Jun 25, 2017 | www.unz.com

RobinG June 24, 2017 at 4:32 am GMT

DEMOCRATS & REPUBLICANS: ONE BIRD, 2 WINGS . SAME SHIT

UKRAINE meddled in US 2016 election. In conspiracy to blackmail Trump, Ukraine provided DNC with false accusations against Manafort, hoping to derail Trump and install Deep State figurehead Hillary Clinton.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dEjZ5gI9GaM UNREAL: The real election interference scandal HIDING IN PLAIN SIGHT

See the timeline, and smoking-gun email from Alexandra Chalupa. To steal election, DNC fabricated Trump-Russian collusion stories which have poisoned US-Russia relations in this administration and stoked impeachment fever. Anti-Russian hysteria serves Israel by killing Syria & Iran diplomacy. Great journalism by Lee Stranahan.

Exiled off mainstreet Show Comment Next New Comment June 24, 2017 at 5:59 am GMT

The fabricated collusion stories strike me as efforts to force Trump to put the US on an aggressive war footing against Russia in Syria and elsewhere. As such the constitute war crimes efforts and are not only criminal, but stupid in light of the unnecessary risk they put us to.

[Jun 24, 2017] Obama Ordered Cyberweapons Implanted Into Russias Infrastructure by Jason Ditz

Jun 23, 2017 | news.antiwar.com

Former Official: Implants Designed to 'Cause Them Pain and Discomfort'

A new report from the Washington Post today quoted a series of Obama Administration officials reiterating their official narrative on Russia's accused hacking of the 2016 election. While most of the article is simply rehashes and calls for sanctions, they also revealed a secret order by President Obama in the course of "retaliation" for the alleged hacking.

This previously secret order involved having US intelligence design and implant a series of cyberweapons into Russia's infrastructure systems, with officials saying they are meant to be activated remotely to hit the most important networks in Russia and are designed to " cause them pain and discomfort ."

The US has, of course, repeatedly threatened "retaliatory" cyberattacks against Russia, and promised to knock out broad parts of their economy in doing so. These appear to be the first specific plans to have actually infiltrate Russian networks and plant such weapons to do so.

Despite the long-standing nature of the threats, by the end of Obama's last term in office this was all still in the "planning" phases. It's not totally clear where this effort has gone from there, but officials say that the intelligence community, once given Obama's permission, did not need further approval from Trump to continue on with it, and he'd have actually had to issue a countermanding order, something they say he hasn't.

The details are actually pretty scant on how far along the effort is, but the goal is said to be for the US to have the ability to retaliate at a moment's notice the next time they have a cyberattack they intend to blame on Russia.

Unspoken in this lengthy report, which quotes unnamed former Obama Administration officials substantially, advocating the effort, is that in having reported that such a program exists, they've tipped off Russia about the threat.

This is, however, reflective of the priority of the former administration, which is to continuing hyping allegations that Russia got President Trump elected, a priority that's high enough to sacrifice what was supposed to be a highly secretive cyberattack operation.

[Jun 23, 2017] Hannity starts talking about murdered DNC staffer again

Jun 23, 2017 | www.msn.com

Sean Hannity spoke about the murder of late Democratic National Committee (DNC) staffer Seth Rich during his Thursday radio program, ending a temporary hiatus from the topic.

Hannity brought up the murder while speculating about leaks of damaging DNC emails that he believes may have come from "dissatisfied, disgruntled" staffers within the group.

"My guess is there are a lot of angry, disgruntled, whistleblowing truth tellers within the DNC that were there that saw the collusion, that saw that the fix was in against Bernie Sanders, that saw that there was corruption at the highest levels," Hannity said on his nationally-syndicated radio program.

Released emails via Wikileaks revealed an effort from top officials of the DNC to undermine the campaign of Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT) during the primary campaign despite the organization insistence it was neutral in the race.

"Now I don't know anything about Seth Rich in this sense. I don't have any information about why he was murdered except that it was suspicious," Hannity continued. "And suspicious meaning it wasn't a robbery as they've claimed but otherwise why would you not steal his wallet, his phone, his necklace, his jewelry and watch and everything else."

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

America's Collision Course With China
By JUDITH SHAPIRO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Evil Clown talk

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

-- Judith Shapiro

Evil Clown talk

-- Paine

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

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

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

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

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

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

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

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


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

Jun 20, 2017 | www.forbes.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

I agree. Very precisely formulated. thank you !

Paine June 21, 2017 at 08:06 PM

Russia is obviously tampering as much as optimal

Nothing new

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

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

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

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

Indeed

libezkova -> Paine ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Megyn Kelly: That sounds like a justification.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Megyn Kelly: Well, you're his boss.

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

... ... ...

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 21, 2017] The CIAs principal house organ, the New York Times, published a lead editorial Sunday on the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that is an incendiary and lying exercise in disinformation aimed at whipping up support for war with Russia.

Jun 21, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com

RGC

, June 21, 2017 at 06:44 AM
The New York Times steps up its anti-Russia campaign
21/06/2017

The CIA's principal house organ, the New York Times, published a lead editorial Sunday on the investigation into alleged Russian meddling in the 2016 US presidential election that is an incendiary and lying exercise in disinformation aimed at whipping up support for war with Russia.
....................

Not a single one of the reports in the Times or Post is the product of a genuine investigation by journalists. Instead, the main reporting on the "Russian hacking" affair consists of taking dictation from unidentified intelligence officials. In not a single case did these officials offer evidence to substantiate their claims, invariably made in the form of ambiguous phrases like "we assess," "we believe," "we assess with high confidence," etc. Such claims are worth no more than previous assertions that Iraq possessed weapons of mass destruction-a lie used to justify a war that has killed more than one million people.

http://www.defenddemocracy.press/the-new-york-times-steps-up-its-anti-russia-campaign/

RGC -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 06:47 AM
Bernie Sanders and Rand Paul Buck Party Consensus on Russia and Iran Sanctions


Investigative journalist Max Blumenthal explains that these sanctions punish Russia and Iran and unnecessarily intensifies the conflict between the US and these countries

http://therealnews.com/t2/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=31&Itemid=74&jumival=19337

sanjait -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 10:55 AM
Dead wrong about Bernie:

http://www.independent.co.uk/news/world/americas/us-politics/bernie-sanders-donald-trump-russia-blackmail-links-vladimir-putin-nice-things-democratic-senator-a7647546.html

Nice try though!

RGC -> sanjait... , June 21, 2017 at 11:26 AM
Thursday, June 15, 2017

WASHINGTON, June 15 – Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.) issued the following statement Thursday after he voted against a bill that would impose new sanctions on Iran and Russia:

"I am strongly supportive of the sanctions on Russia included in this bill. It is unacceptable for Russia to interfere in our elections here in the United States, or anywhere around the world. There must be consequences for such actions. I also have deep concerns about the policies and activities of the Iranian government, especially their support for the brutal Assad regime in Syria. I have voted for sanctions on Iran in the past, and I believe sanctions were an important tool for bringing Iran to the negotiating table. But I believe that these new sanctions could endanger the very important nuclear agreement that was signed between the United States, its partners and Iran in 2015. That is not a risk worth taking, particularly at a time of heightened tension between Iran and Saudi Arabia and its allies. I think the United States must play a more even-handed role in the Middle East, and find ways to address not only Iran's activities, but also Saudi Arabia's decades-long support for radical extremism."

https://www.sanders.senate.gov/newsroom/press-releases/sanders-statement-on-iran-and-russia-sanctions

anne -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 07:25 AM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/mr-trumps-dangerous-indifference-to-russia.html

June 17, 2017

Mr. Trump's Dangerous Indifference to Russia

anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 01:21 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/mr-trumps-dangerous-indifference-to-russia.html

June 17, 2017

Mr. Trump's Dangerous Indifference to Russia

A rival foreign power launched an aggressive cyberattack on the United States, interfering with the 2016 presidential election and leaving every indication that it's coming back for more - but President Trump doesn't seem to care.

The unprecedented nature of Russia's attack is getting lost in the swirling chaos of recent weeks, but it shouldn't be. American intelligence agencies have concluded that Russia took direct aim at the integrity of American democracy, and yet after almost five months in office, the commander in chief appears unconcerned with that threat to our national security. The only aspect of the Russia story that attracts his attention is the threat it poses to the perceived legitimacy of his electoral win.

If not for the continuing investigation into possible collusion between the Trump campaign and the Russians - and whether Mr. Trump himself has obstructed that investigation - the president's indifference would be front-page news.

So let's take a moment to recall the sheer scope and audacity of the Russian efforts.

Under direct orders from President Vladimir Putin, hackers connected to Russian military intelligence broke into the email accounts of...

ilsm -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 04:22 PM
Not to worry Trump is doing all Obama did and more to sell Syria to al Qaeda.

Too busy keeping the Wahhabis happy to want to mess with Russia over a few millions Balts' desires.

The US is not offering the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts it is already committed to the Wahhabis.

anne -> anne... , June 21, 2017 at 01:24 PM
https://www.nytimes.com/2017/06/17/opinion/mr-trumps-dangerous-indifference-to-russia.html

Under direct orders from President Vladimir Putin, hackers connected to Russian military intelligence broke into the email accounts of...

[ Interesting passage. ]

Paine -> RGC... , June 21, 2017 at 08:45 AM
Why critique this campaign against Russia
As if the kremlin may to have interfered and even collaborated with trump operatives to do it

Anything less would be dereliction of duty by a great powers leadership

Point out the motivation

Which is indeed a new forward policy on Russian containment by the deep state
As we now call the corporate planted cultivated and coddled security apparatus
With its various media cut thrus cut outs and compadres

Yes the NYT and the WP

Both are working with the deep state
Once called the invisible government
Much as they have in he past

Why I like he color revolution analogy

These media titans are working with the DS
Because they want to topple trump like they wanted to topple Nixon
And to a lesser extent wobble Reagan

Paine -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 08:47 AM
Typo hazard

Russia is obviously tampering as much as optimal

Nothing new

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

ilsm -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 04:23 PM
It would have been appeasement for Putin to stand by and let the Hillary neocon take over America and offer the last drop of US soldiers' blood to the Balts.

Ignoring Clinton was like letting Hitler have Prague!

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

Indeed
anne -> Paine ... , June 21, 2017 at 09:08 AM
Important, incisive perspective or argument, but a direction seldom taken. A Cold War sort of atmosphere makes us wary of using any such argument, and we have been forming a Cold War environment for several years now. This atmosphere by the way involves the way in which China is generally regarded, and I believe colors economic analysis even among academics.

[Jun 21, 2017] Good Agent, Bad Agent Robert Mueller and 9-11

Notable quotes:
"... Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the FBI, and took the helm on September 4, 2001, one week before the terrorist attacks. So he can hardly be blamed for the failure of the FBI (along with the CIA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) to detect and respond to numerous warning signs that the attacks were coming, including the arrival of many of the future perpetrators to the United States. ..."
"... The same cannot be said for Mueller's role in the subsequent coverup of FBI and White House bungling during the run up to 9/11. Six months after the attacks, Congress convened the Joint Senate-House Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Headed by Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham, the inquiry was more thorough and penetrating than the later official 9/11 Commission would ever be. ..."
"... While the San Diego scenario was the most extreme, there was other evidence of the FBI allowing future 9/11 perpetrators to slip through its fingers. By the time it issued its report, the Joint Inquiry had found that five of the hijackers "may have had contact with a total of 14 people who had come to the FBI's attention during counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations prior to September 11, 2001. Four of those 14 were the focus of FBI investigations during the time that the hijackers were in the United States. Despite their proximity to FBI targets and at least one FBI source, the future hijackers successfully eluded FBI attention." ..."
"... Only years later, Graham writes, did information provided by FBI staffers confirm what he had long suspected: that the FBI carried out its resistance and obfuscation on direct instructions from the White House. Whether Bush and Company were eager to downplay any further connections to their friends the Saudis, or just protect itself from the fallout of such an obvious intelligence failure, will likely never be known. ..."
"... So much for Robert Mueller remaining above the political fray. And so much for the Bureau's supposed independence and incorruptibility. The latter, clearly, has always been a myth. From its earliest days it was a highly politicized–and relentlessly reactionary–agency, made all the more so by the colossal power of J. Edgar Hoover. Its mission has always been at heart a deeply reactionary one, dedicated to protecting the republic from whatever it perceived as a threat, including all forms of dissent and unrest–from communists to civil rights leaders. ..."
www.forbes.com
Robert Mueller, the former FBI director named special counsel for the investigation into Russian interference in the presidential election, is depicted as an iconic G-man: serious, patrician, and totally incorruptible. But in reality, it's a little different. As with FBI Agent Dale Cooper in the latest iteration of "Twin Peaks," there is a Good Mueller and a Bad Mueller. We've heard a lot about the good-guy Mueller, but nothing much about his bad side. And there is a bad side–though it's not the one that Trump supporters would have us think.

The President's loyal minions, following a familiar pattern, have been busy building an advance smear campaign against Mueller, claiming that he has it out for the poor, innocent Donald and is determined to bring him down due to pre-existing biases. In fact, if Mueller is indeed biased, it is toward preserving the institutions of government, including the White House, as well as his beloved FBI, even at the expense of making public the full truth. At least, that's how he behaved the last time he was involved in a major national crisis–namely, the attacks of September 11, 2001.

Mueller, a Republican, was appointed by George W. Bush to head the FBI, and took the helm on September 4, 2001, one week before the terrorist attacks. So he can hardly be blamed for the failure of the FBI (along with the CIA and other U.S. and allied intelligence agencies) to detect and respond to numerous warning signs that the attacks were coming, including the arrival of many of the future perpetrators to the United States.

The same cannot be said for Mueller's role in the subsequent coverup of FBI and White House bungling during the run up to 9/11. Six months after the attacks, Congress convened the Joint Senate-House Inquiry into Intelligence Activities Before and After the Terrorist Attacks of September 11, 2001. Headed by Florida Democratic Senator Bob Graham, the inquiry was more thorough and penetrating than the later official 9/11 Commission would ever be.

Among other things, the Joint Inquiry learned of the involvement of a paid FBI informant with two of the future hijackers: Khalid Al Mindhar, who had fought for Al Qaeda in Bosnia and Chechnya and trained in Bin Laden's Afghan training camps, and Nawaf Al Hazmi, who had battle experience in Bosnia, Chechyna, and Afghanistan. According to the Joint Inquiry report, the NSA and CIA at the time had available enough information to connect the two men with Osama Bin Laden.

The CIA, however, failed to share its information with the FBI, and did not place the two men on any watch lists. So Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi flew to Los Angeles in early 2000 (shortly after attending an Al Qaeda summit in Malaysia), and were routinely admitted into the United States on tourist visas. They traveled to San Diego, where they got Social Security cards, credits cards, and driver licenses, and bought a car, as well as a season pass to Sea World. They soon began taking flight lessons. They also had contact with a radical imam and a local Saudi national who were both being watched by the FBI. And they actually rented a room in the home of Abdusattar Shaikh, who was a retired English professor, a leader of the local mosque–and a paid informant for the FBI's San Diego office, charged with monitoring the city's Saudi community.

As the Joint Inquiry report would reveal, by mid-2001 U.S. intelligence agencies had ample evidence of possible terrorist plans to use hijacked airplanes as bombs, but had done little to act on this threat. In July 2001, the CIA had passed on the names of Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi to the FBI office in New York–though not the office in San Diego. Shaikh had apparently done nothing to warn the Bureau about any possible danger from his tenants. And no one had warned the airlines or the FAA not to let these men get on planes. So on the morning of September 11, Al Mindhar and Al Hamzi boarded American Airlines Flight 77 at Dulles Airport and helped crash it into the Pentagon.

While the San Diego scenario was the most extreme, there was other evidence of the FBI allowing future 9/11 perpetrators to slip through its fingers. By the time it issued its report, the Joint Inquiry had found that five of the hijackers "may have had contact with a total of 14 people who had come to the FBI's attention during counterterrorism or counterintelligence investigations prior to September 11, 2001. Four of those 14 were the focus of FBI investigations during the time that the hijackers were in the United States. Despite their proximity to FBI targets and at least one FBI source, the future hijackers successfully eluded FBI attention."

Yet in testimony before the Joint Inquiry on June 18, 2002, FBI director Mueller said, that "while here [in America] the hijackers effectively operated without suspicion, triggering nothing that would have alerted law enforcement and doing nothing that exposed them to domestic coverage." There is no way of knowing whether Mueller was lying or just ignorant.

Subsequently, Senator Graham set out to subpoena the informant to testify before the Joint Inquiry. The FBI refused to cooperate, blocked the Inquiry's efforts to interview the informant, and it appears to have arranged for a private attorney to represent him. Despite insisting that the informant had done nothing wrong, the Bureau at one point suggested the Inquiry give him immunity, which Graham refused to do.

As Graham would later describe in is book Intelligence Matters, the FBI also "insisted that we could not, even in the most sanitized manner, tell the American people that an FBI informant had a relationship with two of the hijackers." The Bureau opposed public hearings on the subject and deleted any references to the situation from drafts of the Joint Inquiry's unclassified report. It took more than a year for the Bureau allow a version of the story to appear in the public report, and even then it was heavily redacted.

Only years later, Graham writes, did information provided by FBI staffers confirm what he had long suspected: that the FBI carried out its resistance and obfuscation on direct instructions from the White House. Whether Bush and Company were eager to downplay any further connections to their friends the Saudis, or just protect itself from the fallout of such an obvious intelligence failure, will likely never be known.

So much for Robert Mueller remaining above the political fray. And so much for the Bureau's supposed independence and incorruptibility. The latter, clearly, has always been a myth. From its earliest days it was a highly politicized–and relentlessly reactionary–agency, made all the more so by the colossal power of J. Edgar Hoover. Its mission has always been at heart a deeply reactionary one, dedicated to protecting the republic from whatever it perceived as a threat, including all forms of dissent and unrest–from communists to civil rights leaders.

What does all this bode for the current moment? Normally, it would seem that Mueller's instinct would be to try to preserve some semblance of the current order, up to and including the presidency. But with Trump now locked in a knock down drag out struggle with the intelligence agencies–what some people like to call "the Deep State"–Mueller and his intelligence cronies may find it in the best interests of the status quo–and, of course, themselves–to throw the President under the bus and one way Mueller could do so is by cutting some sort of deal with Congress, specifically with the legislature's true power broker, Mitch McConnell, to turn on Trump and run him out of office.

As Agent Cooper said of his own famous investigation into the death of Laura Palmer, "I have no idea where this will lead us, but I have a definite feeling it will be a place both wonderful and strange."

Note: More detail, and complete sources, on the FBI informant scandal and the Joint Inquiry's investigation can be found in my book The 5 Unanswered Questions About 9/11.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 21, 2017] House Russia Probe Hobbled by Sharp Divide on Intelligence Panel

Jun 21, 2017 | www.msn.com

But Nunes complained on the radio show Monday that Democrats want to look now into accusations that Trump committed obstruction of justice because, he asserted, the probe so far has turned up "no evidence of collusion" between the president and the Russians.

"Republicans are getting tired of what appears to be investigations without a crime," Nunes said. "If someone doesn't pull a Russian out of a hat soon," he said, people "have got to question what is going on."

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

Jun 17, 2017 | www.theatlantic.com

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

* * *

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Thompson pauses.

"Does that make me a conspiracy theorist?"

He laughs.

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


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

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

[Jun 20, 2017] FOIA Request On Susan Rices Unmaskings Rejected Because Records Were Moved To Obama Library

Obama was closely allied with intelligence services. So they now protect him and his close circle.
Notable quotes:
"... Any and all requests for information, analyses, summaries, assessments, transcripts, or similar records submitted to any Intelligence Community member agency or any official, employee, or representative thereof by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice regarding, concerning, or related to the following: ..."
"... Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of any Intelligence Community member agency and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council regarding, concerning, or related to any request described in Part 1 of this request. ..."
Jun 20, 2017 | www.zerohedge.com
Back in April, Judicial Watch filed a FOIA request for documents related to the unmasking of "the identities of any U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team" by Obama's National Security Advisor Susan Rice. Unfortunately, and quite conveniently for members of the Obama administration, Judicial Watch has been informed by the National Security Council that records related to their request can not be shared because they " have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library" and will "remain closed to the public for five years."

Here is the full letter received from the National Secruity Council:

"Documents from the Obama administration have been transferred to the Barack Obama Presidential Library. You may send your request to the Obama Library. However, you should be aware that under the Presidential Records Act, Presidential records remain closed to the public for five years after an administration has left office."

Here was Judicial Watch's full request:
  1. Any and all requests for information, analyses, summaries, assessments, transcripts, or similar records submitted to any Intelligence Community member agency or any official, employee, or representative thereof by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice regarding, concerning, or related to the following:
    • Any actual or suspected effort by the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government to influence or otherwise interfere with the 2016 presidential election.
    • The alleged hacking of computer systems utilized by the Democratic National Committee and/or the Clinton presidential campaign.
    • Any actual or suspected communication between any member of the Trump presidential campaign or transition team and any official or employee of the Russian government or any individual acting on behalf of the Russian government.
    • The identities of U.S. citizens associated with the Trump presidential campaign or transition team who were identified pursuant to intelligence collection activities.
  2. Any and all records or responses received by former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council in response to any request described in part 1 of this request.
  3. Any and all records of communication between any official, employee, or representative of the Department of any Intelligence Community member agency and former National Security Advisor Susan Rice and/or any member, employee, staff member, or representative of the National Security Council regarding, concerning, or related to any request described in Part 1 of this request.

Luckily, even if the media and Democrats are unsuccessful at getting Trump impeached in the near future, 5 years is still enough time to make sure that his reputation is sufficiently tarnished that he gets booted from office in 2020. Even better, as The Hill points out today, Joe Biden appears to be getting groomed to take yet another shot at the White House in 2020 which means we may never actually get a shot at understanding exactly what happened in the months leading up to the 2016 election.

HopefulCynical Anarchyteez , Jun 19, 2017 11:36 PM

There is no bigger shitstain than Barack Obama. And the Deep State scum are furiously covering up his many crimes.

tenpanhandle - HopefulCynical , Jun 19, 2017 11:42 PM

Past president's records kept secret for 5 years. Current president's records leaked daily.

07564111 - The_Dude , Jun 19, 2017 11:56 PM

America has no bread yet the circus continues :D

Who would have thought that the collapse of an 'empire' could be so fucking amusing. ;)

philipat - peddling-fiction , Jun 20, 2017 12:29 AM

OK, so let me see if I am understanding this correctly. All any administration has to do is obfuscate and delay FOIA requests until it leaves Office, then everything remains sealed for 5 years?

This cannot have been the intention behind the FOIA and it make the adminstration completely untransparent and unaccountable, which of course irrespective in the case of the Obozo administration, it always was (despite the fact that this was the self-declared "most transparent administration ever"). This goes nicely along the ability of members of an old administration to decline to appear before Congressional hearings even under subpoena.

Oh, and BTW the Presidential Library hasn't even been built yet so where are the records now? Of course, if it ever does get built on the South side of Chicago (if Chicago still exists by then) there is a very good chance that it will get burnt down and all its contents destroyed. That would be convenient wouldn't it?

This completely wreaks of "Banana Republic". What if there is a Court Order; does this still apply?

nmewn - Arnold , Jun 20, 2017 7:05 AM

To be followed by...

"Welp, looks like Elmer Fudd Moving & Storage LLC never delivered the requested documents to the Obama Bath House Library and Massage Parlor as contracted. We have spoken to our lawyers and are in the process of filing a lawsuit against the former owners of EFM&S even though they are now domiciled in the Cayman Islands."

To which prosecutor nmewn says: "Don't bother. The mishandling, transfer, theft, tampering and/or destruction of government property is still a ten year felony. The simple fact it is admitted you entrusted that property to EFM&S LLC is all the evidence I need to proceed with the prosecution so, thanks I guess."

Chuck Todd: "This is an outrage!"

JRobby - Handful of Dust , Jun 20, 2017 6:28 AM

The deep state owns both sides of the aisle.

That is why the whole thing must be torn down and rebuilt. And it will happen again in the future.

March in DC July 4

Yog Soggoth - philipat , Jun 20, 2017 8:10 AM

Obstruction of justice. Totally illegal!

GUS100CORRINA - divingengineer , Jun 20, 2017 12:04 AM

FOIA Request On Susan Rice's Unmaskings Rejected Because "Records Were Moved To Obama Library"

My response: WHAT???????? I am without words!!!

Ace006 - GUS100CORRINA , Jun 20, 2017 12:44 AM

Let's get Susan Rice's records. I don't think she was president recently and probably doesn't have a presidential library.

takeaction - Anarchyteez , Jun 19, 2017 11:36 PM

Remember this....

"Most Transparent Presidency Ever..."

You have to see this....(Enjoy...Not Spam...Safe for Work)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kg9m1F8B2_c

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

See:

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

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

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

They're quite the Gordian Tits!

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

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

[Jun 20, 2017] Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia

Jun 20, 2017 | nation.foxnews.com
The audience member explained that as Colbert pressed Oscar winner Stone - who was promoting his new Vladimir Putin Showtime series, "The Putin Interviews" - on his apparent sympathy for the Russian president in spite of claims about Russian interference in the US election, Stone, at a disadvantage, tried to shift the talk to Israel.

The source said they "watched from behind [their] hands" as Stone said words to the effect of: "Israel had far more involvement in the US election than Russia."

The "Platoon" director further challenged Colbert by saying, "Why don't you ask me about that?" - but we're told that the host shot back, "I'll ask you about that when you make a documentary about Israel!"

[Jun 20, 2017] Israels Dirty Little Secret

Notable quotes:
"... At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that "Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them." A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with "Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don't you ask me about that?" ..."
"... Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television. ..."
Jun 20, 2017 | www.unz.com
At a recent panel discussion in Washington, screenwriter, film director and producer Oliver Stone briefly addressed the issue of alleged Russian interference in the recent national election, observing that "Israel interfered in the U.S. election far more than Russia and nobody is investigating them." A few days later, in an interview with Stephen Colbert on the Late Show, Stone returned to the theme, responding to an aggressive claim that Russia had interfered in the election by challenging Colbert with "Israel had far more involvement in the U.S. election than Russia. Why don't you ask me about that?"

Don't look for the exchange with Colbert on YouTube. CBS deleted it from its broadcast and website, demonstrating once again that the "I" word cannot be disparaged on national television. Stone was, of course, referring to the fact that the Israel Lobby, most notably acting through its American Israel Public Affairs Committee (AIPAC), is undeniably a foreign lobby, no less so than anyone representing the presumed interests of Russia or China. It operates with complete impunity on Capitol Hill and also at state and local levels and no one dares to require it to register under the Foreign Agents Registration Act of 1938, which would permit scrutiny of its finances and also end its tax-exempt "educational" status. Nor does Congress or the media see fit to inquire into AIPAC's empowerment of candidates based on their fidelity to Israel, not to mention the direct interference in the American electoral process which surfaced most visibly in its support of candidate Mitt Romney in 2012.

The last president that sought to compel the predecessor organization of AIPAC to register was John F. Kennedy, who also was about to take steps to rein in Israel's secret nuclear weapons program when he was assassinated, which was a lucky break for Israel, particularly as Kennedy was replaced by the passionate Zionist Lyndon Baines Johnson. Funny how things sometimes work out. The Warren Commission looked deeply into a possible Cuban connection in the shooting and came up with nothing but one has to wonder if they also investigated the possible roles of other countries. Likewise, the 9/11 Commission Report failed to examine the possible involvement of Israel in the terrorist attack in spite of a considerable body of evidence suggesting that there were a number of Israeli-sourced covert operations running in the U.S. at that time.

Looking back from the perspective of his more than 40 years of military service, former Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Admiral Thomas Moorer described the consequences of Jewish power vis-à-vis U.S. policy towards Israel, stating that "I've never seen a president – I don't care who he is – stand up to them [the Israelis]. It just boggles your mind. They always get what they want. The Israelis know what is going on all the time. I got to the point where I wasn't writing anything down. If the American people understood what a grip those people have got on our government, they would rise up in arms. Our citizens don't have any idea what goes on."

He also addressed the 1967 Israeli assault on the USS Liberty, saying "Israel attempted to prevent the Liberty's radio operators from sending a call for help by jamming American emergency radio channels. [And that] Israeli torpedo boats machine-gunned lifeboats at close range that had been lowered to rescue the most-seriously wounded." He concluded with "our government put Israel's interests ahead of our own? If so, Why? Does our government continue to subordinate American interests to Israeli interests?"

It is a question that might well be asked today, as the subservience to Israeli interests is, if anything, more pervasive in 2017 Washington than it was in 2002 when Moorer spoke up. And, as in Moorer's day, much of the partiality towards Israel makes its way through congress with little or no media coverage lest anyone begin to wonder whose tail is wagging which dog. To put it succinctly, there is an Israeli hand in much of what the United States does internationally, and the involvement is not intended to do anything good for the American people.

During the past several weeks alone there has been a flurry of legislation backed by Israel and its Lobby. One bill might actually have been written by AIPAC. It is called Senate 722, Countering Iran's Destabilizing Activities Act of 2017. The bill has 63 co-sponsors, most of whom are the usual suspects, but it also included an astonishingly large number of Democrats who describe themselves as progressive, including Corey Booker and Kamila Harris, both of whom are apparently terrified lest they say "no" to Israel. With 63 co-sponsors out of 100 senators the bill was certain to pass overwhelmingly, and it was indeed approved 98 to 2, with only Rand Paul and Bernie Sanders voting "no."

And there's more to S.722 than Iran – it's subtitle is "An act to provide congressional review and to counter Iranian and Russian governments' aggression." Much of it is designed to increase sanctions on both Iran and Russia while also limiting the White House's ability to relieve any sanctions without approval by congress. Regarding Iran, the bill mandates that "Not later than 180 days after the date of the enactment of this Act, and every 2 years thereafter, the Secretary of State, the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of the Treasury, and the Director of National Intelligence shall jointly develop and submit to the appropriate congressional committees a strategy for deterring conventional and asymmetric Iranian activities and threats that directly threaten the United States and key allies in the Middle East, North Africa, and beyond."

ORDER IT NOW

The premise is of course nonsensical as Iran's ability to threaten anyone, least of all the United States, is limited. It is far outgunned by its neighbors and even more so by the U.S., but it has become the enemy of choice for congress as well as for the former generals who serve as White House advisers. The animus against Iran comes directly from Israel and from the Saudi Arabians, who have managed to sell their version of developments in their part of the world through a completely acquiescent and heavily Jewish influenced western media.

And there's more. A bill has surfaced in the House of Representatives that will require the United States to "consult" with Israel regarding any prospective arms sales to Arab countries in the Middle East. In other words, Israel will have a say, backed up undoubtedly by Congress and the media, over what the United States does in terms of its weapons sales abroad. The sponsors of the bill, one Brad Schneider of Illinois, and Claudia Tenney of New York, want "closer scrutiny of future military arms sales" to maintain the "qualitative military edge" that Israel currently enjoys.

Schneider is, of course, Jewish and a life member of AIPAC, so it is hardly as if he is a disinterested party. Tenny runs for office in New York State, so it is hardly as if she is disinterested either, but the net result of all this is that American jobs and U.S. international security arrangements through weapons sales will be at least in part subject to Israeli veto. And you know that is precisely what will happen as Israel could give a damn what happens to the struggling American entity that it so successfully feeds off of.

And there's still more. Bill HR 672 Combating European Anti-Semitism Act of 2017 was passed unanimously by the House of Representatives on June 14 th . Yes, I said "unanimously." The bill requires the State Department of monitor what European nations and their police forces are doing about anti-Semitism and encourages them to adopt "a uniform definition of anti-Semitism." That means that criticism of Israel must be considered anti-Semitism and will therefore be a hate crime and prosecutable, a status that is already de facto true in Britain and France. If the Europeans don't play ball, there is the possibility of repercussions in trade negotiations. The bill was co-sponsored by Ileana Ros-Lehtinen from Florida and Nita Lowey of New York, both of whom are Jewish.

There is also a Senate companion bill on offer in the Special Envoy to Monitor and Combat Anti-Semitism Act of 2017. The bill will make the Anti-Semitism Envoy a full American Ambassador and will empower him or her with a full staff and a budget permitting meddling worldwide. The bill is sponsored by Kirsten Gillibrand of New York and Marco Rubio of Florida. Gillibrand is unlikely to miss co-sponsoring anything relating to Israel due to her own self-interest and Rubio wants to be president real bad so he is following the money.

And finally, the U.S. Senate has also approved a resolution celebrating the 50 th anniversary of Israel's conquest of East Jerusalem. Again, the vote was unanimous. The resolution was co-sponsored by Senators Charles Schumer and Mitch McConnell, two reptiles who give snakes a bad name and about whom the less said the better. Schumer is Jewish and has described himself as the "shomer" or guardian of Israel in the Senate. That the resolution opposes long established U.S. government policy that the occupation of East Jerusalem and the West Bank by Israel is in contravention of international law and is an impediment to any peace process with the Palestinians apparently bothered not even one Senator.

I might note in passing that there has been no Senate resolution commemorating the 50 th anniversary of the bravery exhibited by the officers and crew of the USS Liberty as they were being slaughtered by the Israelis at the same time as Jerusalem was being "liberated." There is probably even more to say, to include secret agreements with the Pentagon and intelligence agencies, but I will stop at this point with one final observation. President Donald Trump traveled to the Middle East claiming to be desirous of starting serious negotiations between Israel and the Palestinians, but it was all a sham. Benjamin Netanyahu took him aside and came out with the usual Israeli bullshit about the Palestinians "inciting" violence and hatred of Jews and Trump bought into it. He then went to see Palestinian President Mahmoud Abbas and shouted at him for being a liar and opposed to peace based on what Netanyahu had told him. That is what passes for even-handed in the U.S. government, no matter who is president. A few days later the Israelis announced the building of the largest bloc of illegal new settlements on the West Bank since 1992, an action that they claim is being coordinated with Washington.

Former Israeli Prime Minister Ariel Sharon once boasted about owning the United States. I guess he was right.

[Jun 20, 2017] Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich likened the Russia investigation to going down a rabbit hole where no crime actually has been committed but people's lives are ruined

Jun 20, 2017 | www.msn.com
...Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich likened the Russia investigation to going down a rabbit hole where no crime actually has been committed but people's lives are ruined.

Gingrich said on "This Week" Trump has "a compulsion to counterattack and is very pugnacious" even though that sometimes works to his detriment.

Gingrich said prosecutors may not find evidence of obstruction against Trump, "but maybe there is going to be perjury. And maybe there will be – I mean, you go down the list and we have been here before. We watched Comey [when he was deputy attorney general] appoint [Chicago U.S. Attorney] Patrick Fitzgerald, who was the godfather to Comey's children and Fitzgerald knew there was no crime."

(Fitzgerald was appointed to investigate the leaking of the name of CIA operative Valerie Plame in retaliation for her husband Joseph C. Wilson's statements about whether Saddam Hussein obtained uranium from Niger, contradicting the Bush administration. The investigation resulted in Lewis "Scooter" Libby pleading guilty to lying to investigators.)

Gingrich said if there is going to be an investigation into Russian influence, investigators also should look into a speech given by former President Bill Clinton for which he was paid $500,000 and the brother of Hillary Clinton campaign manager John Podesta. who is a registered agent for a Russian bank.

"I'm happy to look at Russia's relationship. I actually think it would be healthy to have congressional hearings on foreign influence peddling in the U.S. way beyond the Russians. I think that's important for the future of our democracy," Gingrich said.

"No one, and Comey himself said this in his last testimony, no one has suggested that Donald Trump had anything to do with colluding with the Russians. There's not a bit of evidence he did."

Gingrich said hires by Special Prosecutor Robert Mueller indicate he's politicizing the investigation and Comey also should be investigated, a sentiment echoed by Trump attorney Jay Sekulow on CNN's " State of the Union ."

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

Jun 20, 2017 | www.thenation.com

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

Peggy Karp
sebastopol, calif.

[Jun 19, 2017] George Washington: Special Prosecutor Mueller Is a Political Hack

Notable quotes:
"... One of the lessons of the Brazilian soft coup is that you don't need the prez to commit a crime or even evidence of one. Just drive down popularity until the public finds it palatable. Dilma Rouseff lost her base and then was toast. ..."
"... As you've pointed out, yves, trump MUST hold his base to survive. ..."
"... The One party, governing class of Democrats/Republicans made itself well known when it voted 97 to 2 in the Senate for S. 722. Statement of Purpose: To impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation and to combat terrorism and illicit financing. ..."
"... New sanctions on Russia is a highly bipartisan, one governing class result. ..."
"... It would be nice if the country learned the lesson that running a country* is nothing like running a business (something shallow concept of "leadership" you read about in airport bookstores - and does it remind us of something? - erases). ..."
"... When I voted for Trump, I thought he would be a fighter. I was wrong. He's not fighting for anything. Maybe his highest priority is simply avoiding assassination. ..."
"... I don't think any of us knew what Trump would be. But while he certainly hasn't helped himself with the tweets and pettish behavior you can really blame him for failing to drain a swamp that also includes lots of members of his own administration (Pence, Haley etc). The elite groupthink on foreign policy in particular is overwhelming. So where would he find subordinates to enact a change of course? And on domestic matters a well bribed Congress is determined to maintain failed GOP Reaganomics. ..."
"... Trump's only real accomplishment may be the defeat of Clinton which has shaken the political world. Now they are seeking to undo that as well. It's the ongoing soft coup that must be resisted or we will turn into Brazil. ..."
"... No one else wanted the slot. It was considered political suicide. Haley turned him down. Joni Ernst turned him down. Ted Cruz said no. Pence only relented because he thought it would give him some national exposure when he sought the presidential nomination in 2020. ..."
"... Good god, had no idea Mueller was the one in charge of the anthrax investigation. That was one of the most ham-handed idiotic things I've ever read about. ..."
"... So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency did a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they'd "alerted" on Hatfill and that he must be the killer. ..."
"... You'd think that any good FBI agent would have kicked these quacks in the fanny and found their dogs a good home. Or at least checked news accounts of criminal cases in California where these same dogs had been used against defendants who'd been convicted - and later exonerated. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter David Willman detailed in his authoritative book on the case, a California judge who'd tossed out a murder conviction based on these sketchy canines called the prosecution's dog handler "as biased as any witness that this court has ever seen." ..."
"... Instead, Mueller, who micromanaged the anthrax case and fell in love with the dubious dog evidence, personally assured Ashcroft and presumably George W. Bush that in Steven Hatfill the bureau had its man. Comey, in turn, was asked by a skeptical Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz if Hatfill was another Richard Jewell - the security guard wrongly accused of the Atlanta Olympics bombing. Comey replied that he was "absolutely certain" they weren't making a mistake. ..."
"... The Year of Voting Dangerously ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com

As Lambert pointed out via e-mail:

There's so much bad history that's been normalized we become numb, and this is an impressive parade of horribles.

By George Washington. Originally published at his website

The New York Times characterizes special prosecutor Robert Mueller as being independent and fair:

Robert S. Mueller III managed in a dozen years as F.B.I. director to stay above the partisan fray, carefully cultivating a rare reputation for independence and fairness.

Let's fact-check the Times

Anthrax Frame-Up

Mueller presided over the incredibly flawed anthrax investigation.

The U.S. Government Accountability Office says the FBI's investigation was "flawed and inaccurate" . The investigation was so bogus that a senator called for an "independent review and assessment of how the FBI handled its investigation in the anthrax case."

The head of the FBI's anthrax investigation says the whole thing was a sham . He says that the FBI higher-ups "greatly obstructed and impeded the investigation", that there were "politically motivated communication embargos from FBI Headquarters".

Moreover, the anthrax investigation head said that the FBI framed scientist Bruce Ivins. On July 6, 2006, the FBI's anthrax investigation FBI Plaintiff provided a whistleblower report of mismanagement to the FBI's Deputy Director pursuant to Title 5, United States Code, Section 2303, which noted:

(j) the FBI's fingering of Bruce Ivins as the anthrax mailer ; and, (k) the FBI's subsequent efforts to railroad the prosecution of Ivins in the face of daunting exculpatory evidence .

Following the announcement of its circumstantial case against Ivins, Defendants DOJ and FBI crafted an elaborate perception management campaign to bolster their assertion of Ivins' guilt . These efforts included press conferences and highly selective evidentiary presentations which were replete with material omissions .

In other words, Mueller presided over the attempt to frame an innocent man (and see this ).

Unsure About Assassination of U.S. Citizens Living On U.S. Soil

Rather than saying "of course not!", Mueller said that he wasn't sure whether Obama had the right to assassinate Americans living on American soil . Constitutional expert Jonathan Turley commented at the time:

One would hope that the FBI Director would have a handle on a few details guiding his responsibilities, including whether he can kill citizens without a charge or court order.

***

He appeared unclear whether he had the power under the Obama Kill Doctrine or, in the very least, was unwilling to discuss that power. For civil libertarians, the answer should be easy: "Of course, I do not have that power under the Constitution."

Spying on Americans

Mueller participated in one of the greatest expansions of mass surveillance in human history. As we noted in 2013:

NBC News reports :

NBC News has learned that under the post-9/11 Patriot Act, the government has been collecting records on every phone call made in the U.S.

On March 2011, FBI Director Robert Mueller told the Senate Judiciary Committee:

We put in place technological improvements relating to the capabilities of a database to pull together past emails and future ones as they come in so that it does not require an individualized search .

Remember, the FBI – unlike the CIA – deals with internal matters within the borders of the United States.

On May 1st of this year, former FBI agent Tim Clemente told CNN's Erin Burnett that all present and past phone calls were recorded :

BURNETT: Tim, is there any way, obviously, there is a voice mail they can try to get the phone companies to give that up at this point. It's not a voice mail. It's just a conversation. There's no way they actually can find out what happened, right, unless she tells them?

CLEMENTE: "No, there is a way. We certainly have ways in national security investigations to find out exactly what was said in that conversation . It's not necessarily something that the FBI is going to want to present in court, but it may help lead the ainvestigation and/or lead to questioning of her. We certainly can find that out.

BURNETT: "So they can actually get that? People are saying, look, that is incredible.

CLEMENTE: "No, welcome to America. All of that stuff is being captured as we speak whether we know it or like it or not ."

The next day, Clemente again appeared on CNN, this time with host Carol Costello, and she asked him about those remarks. He reiterated what he said the night before but added expressly that "all digital communications in the past" are recorded and stored :

NSA whistleblowers say that this means that the NSA collects "word for word" all of our communications .

FBI special agent – and a 2002 Time Person of the Year – Colleen Rowley writes :

Mueller's FBI was also severely criticized by Department of Justice Inspector Generals finding the FBI overstepped the lhttp://www.washingtonsblog.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=68066&action=editaw improperly serving hundreds of thousands of "national security letters" to obtain private (and irrelevant) metadata on citizens, and for infiltrating nonviolent anti-war groups under the guise of investigating "terrorism."

Torture

FBI special agent Colleen Rowley points out :

Mueller was even okay with the CIA conducting torture programs after his own agents warned against participation. Agents were simply instructed not to document such torture, and any "war crimes files" were made to disappear. Not only did "collect it all" surveillance and torture programs continue, but Mueller's (and then Comey's) FBI later worked to prosecute NSA and CIA whistleblowers who revealed these illegalities.

Iraq War

Rowley notes :

When you had the lead-up to the Iraq War Mueller and, of course, the CIA and all the other directors, saluted smartly and went along with what Bush wanted, which was to gin up the intelligence to make a pretext for the Iraq War. For instance, in the case of the FBI, they actually had a receipt, and other documentary proof, that one of the hijackers, Mohamed Atta, had not been in Prague, as Dick Cheney was alleging. And yet those directors more or less kept quiet. That included CIA, FBI, Mueller, and it included also the deputy attorney general at the time, James Comey.

Post 9/11 Round-Up

FBI special agent Rowley also notes :

Beyond ignoring politicized intelligence, Mueller bent to other political pressures. In the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, Mueller directed the " post 9/11 round-up " of about 1,000 immigrants who mostly happened to be in the wrong place (the New York City area) at the wrong time. FBI Headquarters encouraged more and more detentions for what seemed to be essentially P.R. purposes. Field offices were required to report daily the number of detentions in order to supply grist for FBI press releases about FBI "progress" in fighting terrorism. Consequently, some of the detainees were brutalized and jailed for up to a year despite the fact that none turned out to be terrorists .

9/11 Cover Up

Rowley points out :

The FBI and all the other officials claimed that there were no clues, that they had no warning [about 9/11] etc., and that was not the case. There had been all kinds of memos and intelligence coming in. I actually had a chance to meet Director Mueller personally the night before I testified to the Senate Judiciary Committee [he was] trying to get us on his side, on the FBI side, so that we wouldn't say anything terribly embarrassing.

But overwhelming evidence shows that 9/11 was foreseeable . Indeed, Al Qaeda crashing planes into the World Trade Center and the Pentagon was itself foreseeable . Even the chair of the 9/11 Commission said that the attack was preventable .

Rowley also said says :

TIME Magazine would probably have not called my own disclosures a " bombshell memo " to the Joint Intelligence Committee Inquiry in May 2002 if it had not been for Mueller's having so misled everyone after 9/11.

In addition, Rowley says that the FBI sent Soviet-style "minders" to her interviews with the Joint Intelligence Committee investigation of 9/11, to make sure that she didn't say anything the FBI didn't like. The chairs of both the 9/11 Commission and the Official Congressional Inquiry into 9/11 confirmed that government "minders" obstructed the investigation into 9/11 by intimidating witnesses (and see this ).

Mueller's FBI also obstructed the 9/11 investigation in many other ways. For example, an FBI informant hosted and rented a room to two hijackers in 2000. Specifically, investigators for the Congressional Joint Inquiry discovered that an FBI informant had hosted and even rented a room to two hijackers in 2000 and that, when the Inquiry sought to interview the informant, the FBI refused outright, and then hid him in an unknown location . And see this .

And Kristen Breitweiser – one of the four 9/11 widows instrumental in forcing the government to form the 9/11 Commission to investigate the 2001 attacks – points out :

Mueller and other FBI officials had purposely tried to keep any incriminating information specifically surrounding the Saudis out of the Inquiry's investigative hands. To repeat, there was a concerted effort by the FBI and the Bush Administration to keep incriminating Saudi evidence out of the Inquiry's investigation. And for the exception of the 29 full pages, they succeeded in their effort.

Conclusion

Rather than being "above the fray", Mueller is an authoritarian and water-carrier for the status quo and the powers-that-be.

As Coleen Rowley puts it :

It seems clear that based on his history and close "partnership" with Comey, called "one of the closest working relationships the top ranks of the Justice Department have ever seen," Mueller was chosen as Special Counsel not because he has integrity but because he will do what the powerful want him to do.

Mueller didn't speak the truth about a war he knew to be unjustified. He didn't speak out against torture. He didn't speak out against unconstitutional surveillance. And he didn't tell the truth about 9/11. He is just "their man."

Furzy , June 17, 2017 at 10:26 am

Excellent run down of the 9/11 coverup:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BJ342GueSUg&feature=youtu.be

15 Years Later: Never Forget 9/11 crimes were never thoroughly investigated

911InsideOut

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Published on Aug 30, 2016
After 15 years of meticulous research and analysis into the events and theories surrounding 9/11, this is a collection of all the best facts and evidence proving who had the means, motive, and opportunity to commit the crimes we witnessed on September 11th, and who ought to be investigated if we ever hope to get to the bottom of it.
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UserFriendly , June 17, 2017 at 4:02 am

Well of course he's an evil SOB who has done horrible things in the name of this country, but he has done them for both parties; hence the 'above the partisan fray' line. You can't be a partisan hack if you are hacking up dead bodies for both sides.

integer , June 17, 2017 at 4:43 am

Sigh. Yet another of the empire's eunuchs steps up to the plate. Trump will prevail.

Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 6:35 am

I would not bet on that. The play seems to be to bait him into obstruction of justice or pressure him into a health crisis.

johnnygl , June 17, 2017 at 7:41 am

One of the lessons of the Brazilian soft coup is that you don't need the prez to commit a crime or even evidence of one. Just drive down popularity until the public finds it palatable. Dilma Rouseff lost her base and then was toast.

As you've pointed out, yves, trump MUST hold his base to survive.

RenoDino , June 17, 2017 at 10:44 am

Driving down his popularity per se won't harm him. Even the elites who want him out could care less about the vox populi. They need to remind congressional Republicans there is only one party, the governing class, and supporting Trump makes them guilty by association of colluding with Russia and obstructing justice. The end game is making Republicans fall in line with the establishment thus making way for impeachment. It's their only hope and a long shot because the Republicans will be committing suicide.

Art Eclectic , June 17, 2017 at 12:14 pm

Republicans are on a Bataan Death March either way. They either embrace the alt-right and make that the new party standard or the alt-right destroys them. Trumps campaign was about burning down the governing class without respect for party. Not that he will be allowed to do any such thing on a grand scale, there's too much money at stake from donors who bought the governing apparatus fair and square.

Forcing the Republicans to engage in internecine warfare is destroying them. Democrats are doing the job on their own without much help from Trump's team. Both parties are under siege, which is not a bad thing. The bad thing is the destruction of education, energy, environmental, and financial policy. Instead of draining the swamp Trump has introduced swamp sharks to the predator mix.

RenoDino , June 17, 2017 at 1:00 pm

Totally agree and I like introduction of swamp sharks as a new predator class. I envision them as a football with fins. The policies you mentioned were already bad to begin with. Trump's tampering may make them worse at the margins.

Waking Up , June 17, 2017 at 1:25 pm

The One party, governing class of Democrats/Republicans made itself well known when it voted 97 to 2 in the Senate for S. 722. Statement of Purpose: To impose sanctions with respect to the Russian Federation and to combat terrorism and illicit financing.

New sanctions on Russia is a highly bipartisan, one governing class result.

Arizona Slim , June 17, 2017 at 8:58 am

Pressure him into a health crisis? Hmmm, where have we seen that one before?

Point of history: A few months after he left office (in disgrace), Nixon had a phlebitis attack and nearly died.

And he wasn't in the best of shape before he left the White House.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 7:01 am

It would be nice if the country learned the lesson that running a country* is nothing like running a business (something shallow concept of "leadership" you read about in airport bookstores - and does it remind us of something? - erases).

It's going to be an expensive lesson though, and the political class might even double down on it; what we need is a virtuous CEO; like Zuckerberg, for example.

* I suppose the counter-argument would be Bloomberg. Perhaps there's a scale issue.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 2:00 pm

> Zuckerberg or bloomberg are virtuous? I hope you are joking or being sarcastic.

I ladle my irony out with a shovel these days. It's the only way to cope.

EndOfTheWorld , June 17, 2017 at 5:14 am

When I voted for Trump, I thought he would be a fighter. I was wrong. He's not fighting for anything. Maybe his highest priority is simply avoiding assassination.

Sometimes he will get on Twitter and say some belligerent stuff, but doesn't he realize that he has the authority to hire and fire who he wants?

Carolinian , June 17, 2017 at 8:53 am

I don't think any of us knew what Trump would be. But while he certainly hasn't helped himself with the tweets and pettish behavior you can really blame him for failing to drain a swamp that also includes lots of members of his own administration (Pence, Haley etc). The elite groupthink on foreign policy in particular is overwhelming. So where would he find subordinates to enact a change of course? And on domestic matters a well bribed Congress is determined to maintain failed GOP Reaganomics.

Trump's only real accomplishment may be the defeat of Clinton which has shaken the political world. Now they are seeking to undo that as well. It's the ongoing soft coup that must be resisted or we will turn into Brazil.

EndOfTheWorld , June 17, 2017 at 9:22 am

Right, when he selected Pence as veep you could already see he was giving in to the establishment. But he had to: otherwise they would never have let him leave the convention with the nomination.

I would have preferred to see him select somebody like Jesse Ventura or Nomi Prins or Alex Jones as veep and let the chips fall where they may. It's not like he needs the job anyway.

edmondo , June 17, 2017 at 10:59 am

" when he selected Pence as veep you could already see he was giving in to the establishment.".

No one else wanted the slot. It was considered political suicide. Haley turned him down. Joni Ernst turned him down. Ted Cruz said no. Pence only relented because he thought it would give him some national exposure when he sought the presidential nomination in 2020.

EndOfTheWorld , June 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

They turned him down only because they believed he had no chance of winning. But he had to choose somebody entrenched with the Republican establishment, because as it was he barely made it out of Cleveland still the nominee.

There were a lot of Republicans like Romney and Kasich who went to Cleveland but did not attend the convention. Obviously hoping for some kind of coup which would kick out The Donald.

Kim Kaufman , June 17, 2017 at 6:11 pm

Chris Christie would have done it in a heartbeat. The establishment did sort of force or trick Trump into Pence as I recall.

Disturbed Voter , June 17, 2017 at 6:41 am

People who want to be liked/loved are insecure demagogues. People who obey illegal orders or who initiate them, are no friend of the People. And yes, the real Deep State is bipartisan. Partisanship we see is kabuki.

And most coverups aren't Bourne Identity, they are just an incompetent bureaucracy covering its tracks.

RRH , June 17, 2017 at 7:46 am

"Hope" is not "You Will" when it comes to Flynn.

Asking organizations that knew there was no connection to make it public is not "obstruction of justice," it is exposing the deep state's intense effort to keep the level of the swamp high. Telling Comey to get on with the investigation is not obstruction, but an effort to expedite the witch hunt to it's logical conclusion so that the Administration can get on with it's agenda. Deep state's leaks are all against Trump. Statistically impossible.

cocomaan , June 17, 2017 at 8:15 am

Good god, had no idea Mueller was the one in charge of the anthrax investigation. That was one of the most ham-handed idiotic things I've ever read about.

Good to see George Washington around these parts again, there's few people as passionate about politics as him!

Katniss Everdeen , June 17, 2017 at 9:14 am

Here's an interesting run through of mueller's handling of the anthrax investigation, among other things. A fun bit:

So what evidence did the FBI have against Hatfill? There was none, so the agency did a Hail Mary, importing two bloodhounds from California whose handlers claimed could sniff the scent of the killer on the anthrax-tainted letters. These dogs were shown to Hatfill, who promptly petted them. When the dogs responded favorably, their handlers told the FBI that they'd "alerted" on Hatfill and that he must be the killer.

You'd think that any good FBI agent would have kicked these quacks in the fanny and found their dogs a good home. Or at least checked news accounts of criminal cases in California where these same dogs had been used against defendants who'd been convicted - and later exonerated. As Pulitzer Prize-winning Los Angeles Times investigative reporter David Willman detailed in his authoritative book on the case, a California judge who'd tossed out a murder conviction based on these sketchy canines called the prosecution's dog handler "as biased as any witness that this court has ever seen."

Instead, Mueller, who micromanaged the anthrax case and fell in love with the dubious dog evidence, personally assured Ashcroft and presumably George W. Bush that in Steven Hatfill the bureau had its man. Comey, in turn, was asked by a skeptical Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz if Hatfill was another Richard Jewell - the security guard wrongly accused of the Atlanta Olympics bombing. Comey replied that he was "absolutely certain" they weren't making a mistake.

http://www.ocregister.com/2017/05/21/comey-mueller-bungled-big-anthrax-case-together/

It doesn't take a genius to figure out that the fix is in. BTW, Hatfill got $5+ million in taxpayer money thanks to mueller / comey's dogged yet severely flawed pursuit of truth, justice and the american way.

Alex Morfesis , June 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Hold on had to open another roll to triple layer my tf hat there that's better

If hatfill might lead to others, one has to work hard to create the legend and backstory to divert attention

Mueller is the typical insider designed to insure only the unwashed and uninitiated are thrown into the grinder to keep the news folks busy with filling the hole between the ads

Hatfill might not have been the direct person, but the south afrikans and boeremag around and associated with him

And those wondrous apartheidistas were allowed to keep their toys after most of them had their "matter" dismissed

Mueller is there to keep trump in check the investigation will go on and on and on feeding tens of millions of taxpayer dollars to a group of "approved" insiders who will occasionally on a late friday, burp out some pdf report before some major sporting event or just after some massive news story on a thursday

"Bungling" a case is the best way to cover it up when it might lead to unexpected further investigation

Back to the funny papers yellow kid strikes again

teejay , June 17, 2017 at 8:59 am

Washington Blog forgot to mention Mueller slow walking the BCCI investigation.

https://saboteur365.wordpress.com/2017/05/17/special-prosecutor-mueller-is-the-consummate-deep-state-insider/

http://www.blacklistednews.com/?news_id=4304

lyman alpha blob , June 17, 2017 at 10:52 am

Good catch – thanks for pointing that out.

Mueller was also head of the FBI when post 9-11 it began framing impressionable young men by handing them phony weapons and then arresting them as 'terrorists' in an attempt to make it look like the spooks were keeping the country safe or some such nonsense.

I would imagine Trump can expect the same treatment.

Charles Yaker , June 17, 2017 at 9:59 am

Just for the record Trump is being Trump just like Obama did what Obama wanted despite Progressive self denial.

David Carl Grimes , June 17, 2017 at 10:33 am

Does the obstruction of justice issue have any merit? I thought it was a nothingburger according to posts here in the NC

Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 12:34 pm

Of all people, Alan Dershowitz says no because in the US the DoJ and the FBI report to the President. He can fire anyone he wants to. According to Dershowitz, he can also tell them to stop an investigation. He can also pardon anyone, including himself! The idea that they are independent is a canard the media has been selling and civics-challenged Americans have been buying.

This is also not at all comparable to Watergate. There was an actual crime, as opposed to a protracted "Trump won when he shouldn't have! Evil Rooskies must have engineered it! And on top of that, they must have a secret handshake with Trump!" that has yet to do anything beyond hyperventilate about Trump officials knowing and meeting some Russians. And the reason firing the Watergate special prosecutor was obstruction of justice was that that that investigator, Archibald Cox, had been appointed by Congress and therefore really was independent.

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 1:55 pm

To my simple mind, the charge of obstruction of justice implies that there is justice to be obstructed, i.e. that the charges of Russian collusion of Trump were made in good faith with an evidentiary basis. Dubious, at best. Anonymous leaks from "intelligence officials" are not enough. Nor is the Steele report, such as it is.

Parker Dooley , June 17, 2017 at 2:56 pm

"To my simple mind, the charge of obstruction of justice implies that there is justice to be obstructed, i.e. that the charges of Russian collusion of Trump were made in good faith with an evidentiary basis"

Lambert, that is not how it works for the little people. Based on the gossip about Trump's actual net worth, perhaps he has been pegged as one of "us".

Plenue , June 17, 2017 at 7:09 pm

Democrats have gone from "Russia did something AND WE HAVE PROOF!" to Maxine Waters admitting they don't even have evidence that any crime was committed, but they all believe that something happened, so they just have 'connect the dots' and find actual evidence. This is some real presuppositional crap here; this is the type of 'thinking' that liberals are always mocking Creationists for. Over half of year with no evidence that anything even happened isn't an investigation: it's a fishing expedition.

Bobby Gladd , June 17, 2017 at 7:14 pm

So many Bright Shiny Things out there for our distraction pleasure (golden shower hookers, Russian anti-Clinton email and election hacking, dirty money, Jared ). How about keeping Eyes on the Prize. General Flynn was conducting an illegal rogue solo privatized ad hoc foreign policy shop, for which he was getting handsomely compensated by foreign entities. Trump either knew it since the beginning of their relationship (and either didn't care, or winky-winky greenlighted it), or suborned it when he later found out. Then he incontrovertibly started leaning on the investigations. Obstruction of Justice, if the phrase is to have any rational meaning. Whether the only remedy for that is impeachment is a separate issue (and is probably the case where Trump is concerned, notwithstanding that he'll probably pardon Flynn and bet on not getting convicted by the Senate).

Lambert Strether , June 17, 2017 at 7:29 pm

Since the whole thing is such a mass of confusion and conjecture, I don't see how it's clear what can have been "obstructed" or indeed what "justice" might mean. (Rhe "Russian hacking" of votes, for example, is so ludicrous it's pointless to discuss it, even if around half of Clinton's voters believe it)

On Flynn, who Trump heaved over the side, the alternative theory is that Flynn was opening an independent channel to the Russians, and The Blob hates that, because they want to go to war with Russia. As far as "inconvertibly," I always look adverbs like that. All I can tell is that great legal minds differ.

Steven , June 17, 2017 at 10:51 am

What the country and the world needs is someone who is actually serious about 'Draining the swamp' in Washington – and the editorial offices at the New York Times!

P.S. I'm still reading Maureen Dowd's The Year of Voting Dangerously . In a 2014 article Dowd provides a catalogue of sellouts by major Democratic Party players to Hillary and the Clintons, e.g. Elizabeth Warren, when it looked like the 2016 election was going to be a sure thing for HRC. The catalogue was so precise and devastating most likely the only thing that saved Dowd's job at the NYT was the reverence for HRC's ruthless pursuit of power with which she concluded the chapter (and, of course, Dowd's prodigious talent as a writer) .

Art Eclectic , June 17, 2017 at 12:22 pm

Draining the swamp in Washington would require removal of all sitting members of Congress. Those people ARE the swamp. They're duly elected and funded by the donor class to make business decisions that will impact revenue for the winners. We hold elections to decide which businesses we want to win. The FIRE sector famously buys both sides of the table to hedge.

JEHR , June 17, 2017 at 12:38 pm

A fine description!

Michael , June 17, 2017 at 12:09 pm

How crazy is the idea that Paul Ryan becomes Prez after the investigations conclude? We haven't done that yet if I recall correctly. Would Pence be any good as a Prez? Or would the R party clean house and force him out? Could he select a new VP then? (I don't know the answer to that one either) .

Yves Smith Post author , June 17, 2017 at 12:35 pm

Completely batshit but the Democrats keeping the upset dialed to 11 may get us there.

Pence was not a very good governor but he'd be celebrated for looking Presidential and not being Trump. He's also way more conservative and would get far more bills passed.

The Dems have a much better chance with Trump in in 2018 than out. They are best served by keeping him on the defensive rather than actually succeeding in driving him out. Pence would be a much less powerful fundraising hook than Trump, for instance.

Left in Wisconsin , June 17, 2017 at 1:46 pm

Dems want to make same mistake nationally they made here with Walker. Instead of giving voters til the next election to make up their mind, they prematurely instigated a recall, leading to the recall election being in the middle of summer instead of Nov 2012, and they lost because a majority of voters didn't like the process.

If they succeed in getting Trump out before 2018, there is likely to be a huge sympathy vote for Repubs when 2018 rolls around.

gepay , June 17, 2017 at 3:07 pm

Such is the state of political affairs that one has to wonder what, if anything, is true. Did Trump select (?) Pence as VP in order to get some cooperation from the mainsteam Republicans? If he had picked someone like Ron Paul one might have thought there was a good chance he would "drain the swamp". Goldman Sachs alumni, billionaires, and generals in his cabinet are not exactly "draining the swamp". One couldn't submit to HBO a series script with some general (affectionately lol) known as "Mad Dog" being the Sec of Def. So what part of the Powers That Be does Mueller work for? The part of which Soros is a visible element was not happy with Trump. It is possible that this whole circus is just a distraction rather than two different elements of the people who really decide things fighting. One clue is if damaging evidence comes out about either side. it is possible that the DNC and Podesta leaks were just from disillusioned Democrat (Bernie suppporters). Or they could be the evidence there is a real split.Did the revelations of former CFR (?ostracized) Steve Pieczenik of Trump being a counter coup to ;the Clintonistas have any value? FDR said, if it happens in the political world, it was planned, The only thing clear to me is when you get this kind hall of mirrors head confusion, then the CIA is at work.

Bernard , June 17, 2017 at 12:43 pm

Trump is a businessman out to make a profit. Hillary is a con artist out to grift. otherwise, there isn't that much difference betwixt the two. Hillary is straight forward with her "scam." Trump uses Market strategy to con others . Hillary uses whatever it takes to "get" and "enjoy" Power.

Trump's kind of business "men" hire media who enable the "Right kind" of Calvanism/American "Thinking" which has bought Congress. These grifters "use" whatever it takes to get what they want. Since everything has a price, Everything is for sale to the highest bidder . outright theft, looting and pillaging legalized by Congress. Lies, mispeaking, and others means. "Whatever it takes!," as someone said.

we could not foresee exactly what kind of "Grifter in Chief" Trump would turn out to be until in office . The Blob has now 'ensnared" Trump as blowback for "stealing" the Presidency. Hillary as the rightful heir is doing her part with her morally indignant, empty and vacuous righteousness, as if she possessed "morals" to begin with.

Hillary has continued to play her part in the subterfuge, though it's all out in the open, which lost her the deplorables' vote she didn't care about but she needed.

watching people show surprise at either of these two actors shows how Americans are so easily "led/fooled" by the PR. Goebbels was just ahead of his time . St. Reagan, a Hollywood Actor, who played his "Role," proved how easy it was to "sell' us out to Big Business. Before St. Reagan, due to losing so many elections, the Republican Party just laid low and built the groundwork for the absolute oligarchy we 'enjoy" courtesy of a bought and sold highest bidder Congress we see today.

we cant be nice or respectful to those who despoil our country or planet, for profit. a profit the 99% pay. not calling a spade a spade is how we got to this despicable situation, and allows the Scam to continue. Vichy Democrats and Corporate Republicans need to be jailed. Polite criticism wont cut it.

"For the many, not the few" is a belief we need here in America, too. though Americans are still buying the self-hating PR so-called Leaders Thatcher, St. Reagan sold. the young don't, however, which could promise a hopeful future in England. maybe Bernie can help reconnect the Youth here in America. Obama destroyed that "Dream" in America for the Poor and Young, thank you,very much.

Kent St. shows how the Blob responded to the Youth 50 years ago.
power cedes nothing without unyielding force in America.

Don Lowell , June 17, 2017 at 3:37 pm

Nothing will happen until we get rid of fixed elections. Suppression, kicking voters off the list, gerrymandering, no paper trail voting machine's. We are screwed.

dcblogger , June 17, 2017 at 3:55 pm

Mueller also play a notorious role in the Starr Chamber Whitewater witch hunt. Mueller is really truly awful. In some ways it is satisfying to see all the Republican hacks turn on one another.

Bobby Gladd , June 17, 2017 at 7:46 pm

Busted for my typo. Fair enough. :)

Flynn broke laws, repeatedly. I dimly recall some long ago "3rd rate burglary."

Trump is minimally trying to interfere with justice in regard to Flynn, for whatever reasons.

witters , June 17, 2017 at 7:58 pm

"Robert S. Mueller III managed in a dozen years as F.B.I. director to stay above the partisan fray, carefully cultivating a rare reputation for independence and fairness."

So he was independent and fairness? Clearly laughable nonsense.
So he was "cultivating a rare reputation" as such?
OK: Does that mean for the NYT that "cultivating a rare reputation for X" is what is it TO BE X?
In that case reality has collapsed into and become mere appearance.

(No wonder listening to Putin on Stone's movie is like listening to a different world.)

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

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

June 19, 2017

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

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

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

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

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

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

However we all can act to diffuse this arms race hype

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

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

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

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

Nothing more

The MIC has trump punctured with the sap can

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

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

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

And a few dove lobby groups

With Trump we have MIC goon in chief

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

June 16, 2017

America's Collision Course With China
By JUDITH SHAPIRO

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 18, 2017] What we see is a set of steps taken directly from Gene Sharp textbook on the subject.

Jun 18, 2017 | economistsview.typepad.com
libezkova - June 18, 2017 at 04:24 PM "I like your use of color revolution analogy; it enrages liberal interventionists"

Thank you !

But is not an analogy. What we see is a set of steps taken directly from Gene Sharp textbook on the subject.

I'm not saying the Russians didn't try to tamper with the election, by discrediting already discredited neoliberal establishment (Although, as any patriotic American, I strongly doubt they can tamper as well as we can.)

But the set of steps we observed was the plot to appoint a Special Prosecutor, who later is expected to sink Trump. After the Special Prosecutor was appointed Russia changes does not matter, and more "elastic" charge of "obstruction of justice" can be used instead.

Also note the heavy participation of two heads of intelligence agencies (Clapper and Brennan) and State Department officials in the plot.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Best of Joachim Hagopian

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

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

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

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

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

Where are the ISIS fighters escaping to?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

As explained by Gulf News :

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 18, 2017] Banana republic

Jun 18, 2017 | www.nakedcapitalism.com
, Guest Post , Media watch , Politics , Social values , Surveillance state on June 17, 2017 by Yves Smith .
Trade now with TradeStation – Highest rated for frequent traders
Subscribe to Post Comments 49 comments Cripes , June 17, 2017 at 2:48 am

Surprise, surprise.

Washington's blog does a fine job of archiving and assembling this kind of background, many pieces of which we all should remember, and make more sense together.

[Jun 18, 2017] 'Witch Hunt' Trump takes to Twitter to lash out at '7 months of collusion probes'

Notable quotes:
"... "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," ..."
Jun 18, 2017 | www.rt.com
Donald Trump has made a series of tweets about the prolonged investigations into alleged collusion with the Russian government and obstruction of justice, which he says yielded no proof. One of the tweets refers to his firing of FBI Director James Comey. "I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt," Trump tweeted, sending users and media into a guessing game of what exactly he meant.

I am being investigated for firing the FBI Director by the man who told me to fire the FBI Director! Witch Hunt

- Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) June 16, 2017

Trump appeared to be referring to Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein, who wrote a memo recommending that Comey be fired.

Rosenstein also appointed Robert Mueller to investigate ties between Trump's campaign and Russia.

Mueller is said to be investigating whether Trump obstructed the course of justice in the probe into Russian interference in the US elections.

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

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

Posted by msmash on Friday June 16, 2017

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

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

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

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

Do you realize how big the NSA is?

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

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

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

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

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

Free Thought Project

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Intercept

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

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

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

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

- This Week (@ThisWeekABC) October 23, 2016

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

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

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

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

- Malcolm Nance (@MalcolmNance) October 7, 2016

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

- VLB (@BickiDoodle) October 27, 2016

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

- Thomas Gordon (@EarthOrb) October 23, 2016

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

- LaurenBaratzLogsted (@LaurenBaratzL) October 22, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

- Michael Tracey (@mtracey) October 11, 2016

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

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

- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) October 19, 2016

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

www.moonofalabama.org

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

A Shrill Voice

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Classic Projection

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jung's words still ring with foreboding truth.

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 5:38 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Ooops: That should be "under fiction."

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

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

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

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

Pete , June 16, 2017 at 6:52 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 5:22 am

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

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

So far he seems to be getting away with it.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

, June 15, 2017 at 11:50 pm

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

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

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

Cal , June 16, 2017 at 12:41 am

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

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

Center for a New American Security

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

irina , June 16, 2017 at 12:58 am

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

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

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

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

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 10:36 am

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

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

no way to bold that statement

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 10:50 am

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 12:43 pm

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

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

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

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

And:

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

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 12:44 pm

Here's the link:

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , June 17, 2017 at 2:27 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

backwardsevolution , June 17, 2017 at 3:41 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 2:25 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

UIA , June 16, 2017 at 2:13 am

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

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

mej , June 16, 2017 at 2:51 am

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

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 3:56 am

mej – you're right.

Wendi , June 16, 2017 at 3:20 am

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

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

Let me put it another way;

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

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 5:19 am

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 12:01 pm

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

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

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

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

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

The asylum has taken over.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Pixy , June 16, 2017 at 9:00 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

Yes. Good comment.

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

Pixy,
Thank you for saying all of this.

MaDarby , June 16, 2017 at 9:09 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Interesting. There is much truth in what you say.

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

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

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

Absolutely true Linda.

hyperbola , June 16, 2017 at 10:27 am

Calvinism is only half the story.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Realist , June 16, 2017 at 7:01 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

Abe , June 16, 2017 at 11:41 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 2:30 pm

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

DMarks , June 16, 2017 at 4:20 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

backwardsevolution , June 16, 2017 at 6:37 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

https://caucus99percent.com/diaries

turk151 , June 16, 2017 at 8:04 pm

Mr. Marks,

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

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

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

Thank you for saying it so well.

Bob , June 16, 2017 at 8:16 pm

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

Jamie , June 17, 2017 at 12:40 am

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

– Hillary

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

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

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

Cal , June 17, 2017 at 6:25 am

This nails the anti Russia movement

Zero Hedge

Why the Elites Hate Russia

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Bill , June 17, 2017 at 11:34 am

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Jun 17, 2017 | marknesop.wordpress.com

Warren , June 16, 2017 at 3:07 pm

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

[Jun 17, 2017] What would US foreign policy look like under President Pence by Hady Amr and Steve Feldstein

May 25, 2017 | thehill.com
Among the Republican establishment, particularly the neoconservative wing, Pence has an impeccable reputation. Many describe him as a " hawk's hawk ." He was a strong proponent of the Iraq War, has vigorously stood up for a strong military and "American values" and, as vice president, has taken on an informal role as an emissary to NATO and other alliances. All of this contrasts starkly to what candidate Trump said on the campaign trail.

Likewise, Pence's evangelical Christian faith is central to his identity. He has proudly built up a reputation as one of the most conservative lawmakers in the country and frequently describes himself as "a Christian, a conservative and a Republican, in that order." There is a high probability that Pence would explicitly embed religious morals in U.S. foreign policy and push an activist social conservative agenda.

For example, as the governor of Indiana, Pence signed one of the strictest abortion provisions in the country and approved a controversial law intended to allow businesses to deny services to members of the LGBT community for religious reasons (only after intense blowback did he backtrack). Translated into the foreign policy realm, it is not hard to imagine Pence defending Christian minorities around the world, possibly to the exclusion of other religious groups.

He will undoubtedly continue Trump's expansion of the " global gag rule ," and it is possible he may try to push a " clash of civilizations " strategy, primarily seeking alliances with countries that have a "Judeo-Christian" character.

But a Pence presidency could also mean re-adopting a "values agenda," with a greater emphasis on human rights, democracy and development that would be closer in line with President George W. Bush's policies. Under Bush, funding for development - particularly global health programs - expanded, bringing together an unlikely coalition of secular development advocates and faith-based stakeholders.

It is not hard to envision a similar coalition coming together under Pence's watch. A Pence presidency also may lead to a shoring-up of security and economic alliances. Just as Trump has cast the free-trade regime into jeopardy, castigated NATO (at least before an abrupt about-face last month) and signaled massive funding cuts to the Bretton Woods Institutions, Pence may reverse many of these pronouncements.

In the current configuration of the Trump administration, three separate groups tangle for foreign policy primacy: the economic nationalists/populists led by Stephen Bannon, the military pragmatists represented by Secretary of Defense James Mattis and National Security Advisor H.R. McMaster and the economic globalists fronted by National Economic Council Director Gary Cohn and Treasury Secretary Steve Mnuchin.

Under Pence, the Bannon wing would likely make a quick and graceless exit. The economic globalists and the military pragmatists would stay entrenched in strong positions, but old groups would likely return, such as the neoconservatives and religious faith leaders.

A Pence presidency would bring big style changes. Gone would be the late night tweets and blustery rhetoric. More than likely, "America First" would gradually disappear, with a return to a more traditional form of American exceptionalism. The impulsivity, erratic swings of policy and casual disregard for intelligence and briefing material would also likely pass.

These changes alone would considerably ease fears about an accidental stumble into a major war or nuclear confrontation. On the other hand, the divisive culture wars that have framed Pence's political career would presumably return in a major way and likely spill over into the foreign policy arena.

[Jun 17, 2017] Limbaugh The Swamp Has Got Trump Playing the Swamps Game - Thats Not What Trump Was Elected to Do

Notable quotes:
"... According to Limbaugh, Trump was elected to "drain the swamp," but has been bogged down in taking on the Justice Department's investigation of his alleged ties to Russia and how that investigation had taken on other aspects. ..."
"... Partial transcript as follows (courtesy of RushLimbaugh.com ): ..."
"... If he wants to fire these people, he can. And if he wants to endure the excrement show that happens, he can. If he wants to drain the swamp, he could keep doing it. Now, the point is that once Trump's inaugurated, already under a cloud of suspicion that it limits his ability to drain the swamp because when he begins it taints what he's doing as rather than draining the swamp he's getting rid of people who could put him in trouble. That's what Josh here is saying. ..."
"... They understood that the executive branch was gonna try to become dictator. They understood legislative branch was gonna be trying to overthrow the executive. They understood that the judges are gonna try to trample over everybody. And so they gave every branch defense mechanisms against various forms of attack in order maintain the separation of powers. And these are still in place today. ..."
"... Now, Obama was able to take over the legislative branch 'cause they ceded it to him. The Democrats ran it, and they said, "We're more than happy because we believe in centralized command-and-control, and since we love Obama, since he's God, since he's Mr. Perfection, we are happy to cede our power to him." And they did. ..."
"... Republicans have no desire to cede their power to Trump. They're holding onto it so Trump's in a battle with his own party for power, and of course the DOJ is not equally powerful as the executive branch. It is part of the executive branch. It does not have independent powers. The built-in defense mechanisms are what are being employed now. Okay, we've announced the special counsel and he's announced that the president's under investigation, and so the political reality, the political consequences of using his executive power to broom all these people out of there is designed as a deterrent. ..."
"... Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor ..."
Jun 17, 2017 | www.breitbart.com
Friday on his nationally syndicated radio show, conservative talker Rush Limbaugh warned President Donald Trump of "playing the swamp's game" in governing. advertisement

According to Limbaugh, Trump was elected to "drain the swamp," but has been bogged down in taking on the Justice Department's investigation of his alleged ties to Russia and how that investigation had taken on other aspects.

Limbaugh argued although he was playing "the swamp's game," he had other tools at his disposal that he has yet to use.

Partial transcript as follows (courtesy of RushLimbaugh.com ):

He could fire Rosenstein, and he could fire Mueller. There's nothing stopping him from doing it, nothing legally. He could go to Rosenstein right now. He would be perfectly within his bounds to go to Rosenstein and say, "Look, this investigation can't be wide open for anything. You've gotta limit what these people can look for. You've gotta limit it to actual felonious crimes. You can't have them subpoenaing anybody they want financial records, text records, tax records. There has to be a limit."

He would be perfectly within his bounds to do that because he is the executive branch. And if he wanted to fire these people, he could. When you see in the media, "There's no way he can do it," they're talking politically. But since the independent counsel, special counsel's been named, and now since they made sure to leak that Trump is under investigation, that is supposed to tie his hands, but it cannot tie his hands legally.

If he wants to fire these people, he can. And if he wants to endure the excrement show that happens, he can. If he wants to drain the swamp, he could keep doing it. Now, the point is that once Trump's inaugurated, already under a cloud of suspicion that it limits his ability to drain the swamp because when he begins it taints what he's doing as rather than draining the swamp he's getting rid of people who could put him in trouble. That's what Josh here is saying.

And all that is true. But it need not stop him. What is being relied on, therefore, is conventional inside-the-Beltway thinking. Look, the Constitution has devised, for every branch of the government - the Founding Fathers were smart people, folks. They anticipated that there would be a never-ending quest to consolidate power. They understood human beings.

They understood that the executive branch was gonna try to become dictator. They understood legislative branch was gonna be trying to overthrow the executive. They understood that the judges are gonna try to trample over everybody. And so they gave every branch defense mechanisms against various forms of attack in order maintain the separation of powers. And these are still in place today.

These various mechanisms that the branches can constitutionally use to rein in, say, an overzealous executive. Or that a president can use to rein in overzealous members of the executive branch. The executive branch cannot run anything legislatively and vice-versa. Now, Obama was able to take over the legislative branch 'cause they ceded it to him. The Democrats ran it, and they said, "We're more than happy because we believe in centralized command-and-control, and since we love Obama, since he's God, since he's Mr. Perfection, we are happy to cede our power to him." And they did.

Republicans have no desire to cede their power to Trump. They're holding onto it so Trump's in a battle with his own party for power, and of course the DOJ is not equally powerful as the executive branch. It is part of the executive branch. It does not have independent powers. The built-in defense mechanisms are what are being employed now. Okay, we've announced the special counsel and he's announced that the president's under investigation, and so the political reality, the political consequences of using his executive power to broom all these people out of there is designed as a deterrent.

But he could still do it. It's not constitutional or legal prohibitions stopping him. It's pure politics. And it's the politics of the swamp, folks. The swamp has got Trump playing the swamp's game right now. And that's not what Trump was elected to do, and that's not what Trump wants. Trump does not want to play the swamp's game. I think the effort to get health care passed in the House was Trump playing the swamp game. And by swamp game, I mean the traditional way to get legislation passed.

Somebody in the House comes up with a bill working with the White House and you got people that are for it and against it. You bring the detractors up to the White House, you wine and dine 'em, you cajole 'em, you beat 'em on the head. You do whatever, you try to get the bill passed, exactly the way it's always been done in the swamp. That first health care bill that ended up not being voted on because it never had a chance, I never thought it was gonna have a chance because it was "all swamp all the time."

Now, you might say, "Well, I mean, Rush, the swamp's the swamp. There's no other way to get a bill passed. The president's not a dictator." I understand that. But Trump has many more tools at his disposal than he is aware of. I shouldn't say that. He's got more tools at his disposal than he is using. The power vested in the president by the Constitution in the executive branch is awesome.

Now, there are limits to it. Separation of powers. But he hasn't gotten close to utilizing it. It's just politics that is the obstacle to getting rid of Mueller since Mueller has now leaked that Trump is under investigation. You've heard the media say if he gets rid of him now that takes us right back to Nixon. It takes us back to Nixon only because the media loved getting rid of Nixon. Nobody has any evidence Trump did anything yet. There isn't a shred of evidence even now, folks. If you read the Washington Post story on the latest examples of the independent counsel looking into financial - there's no evidence of anything. It's a wild good chase.

Trump would not be throwing out any evidence if he fired these people and shut down this investigation. If Trump thought the investigation was needlessly harming the country and derailing us at a time we needed to be focused on real dangers and enemies, he could do it. There would be hell to pay in the media, don't misunderstand. I mean, it would dwarf what's happening. But he could do it, is the point. Now, he won't probably choose to do it because of the political ramifications of it.

But the idea that he's been hamstrung since the beginning because he was inaugurated under investigation, and at that time we didn't even know what it was. It was just the FBI looking into Russia and collusion. Some of us have known that that was bogus from the get-go. Some of us have known that it was purely manufactured, invented by the Hillary campaign 24 hours after she lost. Some of us have never believed a single word of it and would have been happy if Trump acted that way as well.

But he didn't. Why? He's new. He wants to calm their fears. He wants to show them that the things they thought about him were not true, that the reasons they hated him were not grounded in any reality. He wanted to show them that he could work with them, be a good guy, we could all come together. I'm sure that's what he wanted to do. And of course they want no part of that 'cause they don't want any part of Donald Trump succeeding in anything, anytime, anywhere.

Follow Jeff Poor on Twitter @jeff_poor

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The U.S. is engulfed in a "crisis of governance" that has been "intentionally misunderstood" by the corporate media and the political elite, said Danny Haiphong , a contributing political analyst at BAR. Anti-Russian hysteria has been whipped up "to medicate political consciousness." "They don't want to discuss how Russia has absolutely nothing to do with the millions of incarcerated people in the U.S., or the fact that it is the U.S. monopoly capitalist economy, not the emerging capitalist economy of Russia, which has automated many of