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Neoconservatism

Neocons are attack dogs of neoliberalism and lobbyists for MIC:  "national security parasites".

"Being  a neoconservative should receive at least as much vitriolic societal rejection as being a Ku Klux Klan member or a child molester" Caitlin Johnstone

"There is no instance of a nation benefitting from prolonged warfare." ~Sun Tzu

News American Imperialism, Transnational Capitalist Class and Globalization of Capitalism Recommended Links Wolfowitz Doctrine American Exceptionalism Neocon foreign policy is a disaster for the USA
Blob attacks Trump: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Adam Schiff Witch Hunt Nancy Pelosi impeachment gambit Was Eric Ciaramella a part of Obama/Brennan "Trump Task force" ? Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate House Democrats attempt to backstab Barr and derail his investigation into the origin of Russiagate
New American Militarism "F*ck the EU": State Department neocons show EU its real place Anatol Leiven on American Messianism Demonization of Putin Anti Trump Hysteria Anti-Russian hysteria
The Great Democratic Party Betrayal: Pro-War Democrats as Vichy Left War is Racket Predator state Hillary "Warmonger" Clinton Obama: a yet another Neocon National Socialism and Military Keysianism
James Burnham -- renegade Trotskyite and American Machiavelli Audacious Oligarchy and "Democracy for Winners" Noble Lie Neocons Credibility Scam Inside "democracy promotion" hypocrisy fair Nation under attack meme
Ciaramella as potential fake whistleblower, the sacrificial pawn for Brennan Blob attackes Trum: Viper nest of neocons in state department fuels Ukraingate Robert Kagan Bill Kristol Samantha Power Susan Rice
Eastern European Diaspora influence on the USA foreign policy Max Boot Madeleine Albright Alexander Vindman role in Ukrainegate Alexandra Chalupa role in fueling Russiagate  
Media-Military-Industrial Complex National Security State / Surveillance State Senator McCain Conservatives Without Conscience  Gangster Capitalism: The United States and the Globalization of Organized Crime Merkel as Soft Cop in Neocon Offensive on Eastern Europe and Russia
Neoliberalism as a New form of Corporatism Neocolonialism as Financial Imperialism IMF as the key institution for neoliberal debt enslavement Machiavellism Mayberry Machiavellians Power abroad rests on justice and decency at home
Leo Strauss and the Neocons Amorality and criminality of neoliberal elite Corporatist Corruption: Systemic Fraud under Clinton-Bush-Obama Regime Two Party System as polyarchy Neoliberal Propaganda: Journalism In the Service of the Powerful Few Krauthammer
Color revolutions Neoliberal Compradors and lumpenelite From EuroMaidan to EuroAnschluss Russian White Revolution of 2011-2012 PNAC  
The Deep State War is a Racket - Incredible Essay by General Smedley Butler Media domination strategy Bureaucracy as a Political Coalition Bureaucratic avoidance of responsibility Bureaucratic Collectivism
Fighting Russophobia Neo-fascism Anti-Americanism Torture Politically Incorrect Humor Etc

Due to the size an introduction was converted to a separate page Neoconservatism, an introduction

Years ago, whilst this reactionary putsch was still in it's infancy,
 my mom would listen to the "news" on the local CBS affiliate,
and many times I heard her gasp and say, referring to the "reporters"
jabbering, "My God, they're a bunch of dopes!"

The dopes areascendant; stupid, scared, violent-minded, and very well-paid.

Comment from Veteran NBC-MSNBC Journalist Blasts Network in Resignation

Neoconservatives, which like Bolsheviks in the past are mostly Jewish intellectuals, are frequently described as ideologues with pro-Israel and anti-Russian bent, but the truth is that they are far more interested in gaining access to money and power. Most of them are useless smacks with degree in journalism or history and they would starve if not fed by military industrial complex. Being a lobbyist of military industrial complex is the only job they can get. Add to that that most of them are personal cowards and chicken hawks and you get the picture: they are just bottom-feeders. "National security parasites" is a very apt definition for this category of people.

The ideology of Neoconservatism was explicitly formulated in Wolfowitz Doctrine which contains the key postulates of Neoconservatism in foreign policy. They can be summarized as "America has, and intends to keep, military strengths beyond challenge". That partially explains unprecedented level of military expenses of the USA since 1991 (after the dissolution of the USSR) when, effectively, the USA has not external enemies and those money can be used to improve well being of common people in the USA. But neoliberal elite engage in building global neoliberal empire rules from Washington and that empire needed the dominant military force to protect and  expand it .  From other  point of view that was an attempt of the US MIC to preserve its position acquired during the Cold War, if necessary by inventing or creating a new threats.  Neocons just happen perfectly suit the role of lobbyists of MIC interest in Washington  and thus were financially and politically supported by MIC.

Large part of neocons consist of so-called "elite-wannabes," often well-educated and highly capable, who has been denied access to elite positions and who decided to use warmongering backdoor to get there.

Proselytizing their own brand of global regime change is just a mean to sustain the access to funds and political power.  They know perfectly well which side of the bread is buttered and by whom.   We can suspect that for many of them (Max Boot is a good example here) access to money from MIC and Israel lobby is the primary driving force. Often they are viewed as Likud lobby in the USA:  "The definition of a neocon is somebody who has great difficulty distinguishing between the strategic interests of Israel, on the one hand, and the strategic interests of the United States on the other. Israel wants bedlam in Syria, and they’ve got it." ( Israel lobby in the United States - Wikipedia ):

The formal component of the Israel lobby consists of organized lobby groups, political action committees (PACs), think tanks and media watchdog groups. The Center for Responsive Politics, which tracks all lobbies and PACs, describes the ‘background’ of those ‘Pro-Israel’ as, “A nationwide network of local political action committees, generally named after the region their donors come from, supplies much of the pro-Israel money in US politics. Additional funds also come from individuals who bundle contributions to candidates favored by the PACs. The donors' unified goal is to build stronger US-Israel relations and to support Israel in its negotiations and armed conflicts with its Arab neighbors.”[24]

According to Mitchell Bard, there are, three key formal lobbying groups:

... ... ...

A summary of pro-Israel campaign donations for the period of 1990–2008 collected by Center for Responsive Politics indicates current totals and a general increase in proportional donations to the US Republican party since 1996.[46] The Center for Responsive Politics' 1990–2006 data shows that "pro-Israel interests have contributed $56.8 million in individual, group and soft money donations to federal candidates and party committees since 1990."[47] In contrast, Arab-Americans and Muslim PACs contributed slightly less than $800,000 during the same (1990–2006) period.[48] In 2006, 60% of the Democratic Party’s fundraising and 25% of that for the Republican Party's fundraising came from Jewish-funded PACs. According to a Washington Post estimate, Democratic presidential candidates depend on Jewish sources for as much as 60% of money raised from private sources.[49]

... ... ...

AIPAC does not give donations directly to candidates, but those who donate to AIPAC are often important political contributors in their own right. In addition, AIPAC helps connect donors with candidates, especially to the network of pro-Israel political action committees. AIPAC president Howard Friedman says “AIPAC meets with every candidate running for Congress. These candidates receive in-depth briefings to help them completely understand the complexities of Israel’s predicament and that of the Middle East as a whole. We even ask each candidate to author a ‘position paper’ on their views of the US-Israel relationship – so it’s clear where they stand on the subject.”[43]

.... ... ...

Mearsheimer and Walt state that “pro-Israel figures have established a commanding presence at the American Enterprise Institute, the Center for Security Policy, the Foreign Policy Research Institute, the Heritage Foundation, the Hudson Institute, the Institute for Foreign Policy Analysis, and the Jewish Institute for National Security Affairs (JINSA). These think tanks are all decidedly pro-Israel and include few, if any, critics of US support for the Jewish state.”[50]

When strategic interests of Israeli (for example remaking of the Middle East so that Israel can exercise dominant power in this region; which includes fragmentation of several existing states) deviate from the strategic interests of the USA (which mostly are interested in uninterruptable supply of cheap oil) neocons do betray the USA national interests with ease. The US-Israel relationship significantly damages the relationship between the United States and the Arab world. They also were serving as propagandists and influencers for all recent Middle East military adventures and regime change efforts.  Recently that was the case in Syria: in no way Assad government represented a threat to the USA interests. Still the pressure of "likudniks" was such that the USA engaged in the "regime change" efforts.

But in reality they should be viewed more like lobbing group of MIC then lobbing group of Israel. As well as transnational corporations interested in opening new markets. But recently facts that Israel spend large sums on money on trying to influence the USA politicians came to light and to this extent one gets impression that the tail is wagging the dog. 

They should probably be viewed as the lobbying and propaganda arm of military industrial complex. Is both Republican and Democratic Party position themselves as a "War Party" they represent an important political force on the USA political landscape.  The fact that some of staunch neocons  such  as Max Boot recently defected to Democratic Party just confirm the fact that in forign policy there is only one party in the usa -- the neocon party. 

And there is not much conservative in neocon ideology -- it is basically a revamped Trotskyism, if not neo-fascism. Just look at Nuland's fraternization with Ukrainian far right nationalists despite her Jewish roots (and despite the fact that this movement was hell-bent on killing Jewish people during WWII and served as capos in concentration camps). This was not accidental; this was a conscious political choice -- they are birds of the feather.

Ideologically they are a more militant flavor of neoliberals ("neoliberals with the gun", so to speak). They also are more openly statist, then a typical neoliberal. But their neo-Trotskyites roots are mostly demonstrated in foreign policy (they do not have a coherent domestic policy; but generally their views in this area are more aligned with the  Democratic Party than Republican Party views). 

All-in-all, we will essentially view them as lobbyists of MIC, "neoliberals with a gun".


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[May 24, 2020] FBI Document Reveals That Without Direct Israeli 'Intervention' Trump Would Have Lost 2016 Election

May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Mao , May 24 2020 20:56 utc | 30

FBI Document Reveals That Without Direct Israeli 'Intervention' Trump Would Have Lost 2016 Election

https://christiansfortruth.com/fbi-document-reveals-that-without-direct-israeli-intervention-trump-would-not-have-won-2016-election/

[May 24, 2020] China diplomancy in action: Foreign Minister Wang Yi Meets the Press conference

China diplomacy is trying to thread very carefully to avoid the fallout. The answer of RIA Novosti is good example here. Counterattacks are few (see the answer to CC question with the following money quote: "I respect your right to ask the question, but I'm afraid you're not framing the question in the right way. One has to have a sense of right and wrong. Without it, a person cannot be trusted, and a country cannot hold its own in the family of nations. " This is implicit slap in the face for the USA.
May 24, 2020 | fmprc.gov.cn

RIA Novosti: How do you assess China-Russia relations in the context of COVID-19? Do you agree with some people's characterization that China and Russia may join force to challenge US predominance?

Wang Yi: While closely following the COVID-19 response in Russia, we have done and will continue to do everything we can to support it. I believe under the leadership of President Vladimir Putin, the indomitable Russian people will defeat the virus and the great Russian nation will emerge from the challenge with renewed vigor and vitality.

Since the start of COVID-19, President Xi Jinping and President Putin have had several phone calls and kept the closest contact between two world leaders. Russia is the first country to have sent medical experts to China, and China has provided the most anti-epidemic assistance to Russia. Two-way trade has gone up despite COVID-19. Chinese imports from Russia have grown faster than imports from China's other major trading partners. The two countries have supported and defended each other against slanders and attacks coming from certain countries. Together, China and Russia have forged an impregnable fortress against the "political virus" and demonstrated the strength of China-Russia strategic coordination.

I have no doubt that the two countries' joint response to the virus will give a strong boost to China-Russia relations after COVID-19. China is working with Russia to turn the crisis into an opportunity. We will do so by maintaining stable cooperation in energy and other traditional fields, holding a China-Russia year of scientific and technological innovation, and accelerating collaboration in e-commerce, bio-medicine and the cloud economy to make them new engines of growth in our post-COVID-19 economic recovery. China and Russia will also enhance strategic coordination. By marking the 75th anniversary of the UN, we stand ready to firmly protect our victory in WWII, uphold the UN Charter and basic norms of international relations, and oppose any form of unilateralism and bullying. We will enhance cooperation and coordination in the UN, SCO, BRICS and G20 to prepare ourselves for a new round of the once-in-a-century change shaping today's world.

I believe that with China and Russia standing shoulder-to-shoulder and working back-to-back, the world will be a safer and more stable place where justice and fairness are truly upheld.

Cable News Network: We've seen an increasingly heated "war of words" between China and the US. Is "wolf warrior" diplomacy the new norm of China's diplomacy?

Wang Yi: I respect your right to ask the question, but I'm afraid you're not framing the question in the right way. One has to have a sense of right and wrong. Without it, a person cannot be trusted, and a country cannot hold its own in the family of nations.

There may be all kinds of interpretations and commentary about Chinese diplomacy. As China's Foreign Minister, let me state for the record that China always follows an independent foreign policy of peace. No matter how the international situation may change, we will always stand for peace, development and mutually beneficial cooperation, stay committed to upholding world peace and promoting common development, and seek friendship and cooperation with all countries. We see it as our mission to make new and greater contributions to humanity.

China's foreign policy tradition is rooted in its 5,000-year civilization. Since ancient times, China has been widely recognized as a nation of moderation. We Chinese value peace, harmony, sincerity and integrity. We never pick a fight or bully others, but we have principles and guts. We will push back against any deliberate insult to resolutely defend our national honor and dignity. And we will refute all groundless slander with facts to resolutely uphold fairness, justice and human conscience.

The future of China's diplomacy is premised on our commitment to working with all countries to build a community with a shared future for mankind. Since we live in the same global village, countries should get along peacefully and treat each other as equals. Decisions on global affairs should be made through consultation, not because one or two countries say so. That's why China advocates for a multi-polar world and greater democracy in international relations. This position is fully aligned with the direction of human progress and the shared aspiration of most countries. No matter what stage of development it reaches, China will never seek hegemony. We will always stand with the common interests of all countries. And we will always stand on the right side of history. Those who go out of their way to label China as a hegemon are precisely the ones who refuse to let go of their hegemonic status.

The world is undergoing changes of a kind unseen in a century and full of instability and turbulence. Confronted by a growing set of global challenges, we hope all countries will realize that humanity is a community with a shared future. We must render each other more support and cooperation, and there should be less finger-pointing and confrontation. We call on all nations to come together and build a better world for all.

[May 24, 2020] The Spin War: US Military Planners Advise Expanded Online Psychological Warfare Against China by Alan Macleod

Notable quotes:
"... The recently published Pentagon budget request for 2021 makes clear that the United States is retooling for a potential intercontinental war with China and/or Russia. It asks for $705 billion to "shift focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a greater emphasis on the types of weapons that could be used to confront nuclear giants like Russia and China," noting that it requires "more advanced high-end weapon systems, which provide increased standoff, enhanced lethality and autonomous targeting for employment against near-peer threats in a more contested environment." The military has recently received the first batch of low-yield nuclear warheads that experts agree blurs the line between conventional and nuclear conflict, making an all out example of the latter far more likely. ..."
"... "Our governments spend over 1.75 trillion dollars every year on wars, on weapons, on conflict If we could deploy that sort of resource to address the coronavirus crisis that we're currently living through, imagine what else we could be doing. Imagine how we could be fighting the climate crisis, how we could be addressing global poverty, inequality. Our priority should never be war; our priorities need to be public health, the environment, and human well being." ..."
May 24, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Alan Macleod via MintPressNews.com,

Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike the country. As the U.S. military turns its attention from the Middle East to conflict with Russia and China, American war planners are advising that the United States greatly expand its own online "psychological operations" against Beijing.

A new report from the Financial Times details how top brass in Washington are strategizing a new Cold War with China, describing it less as World War III and more as "kicking each other under the table." Last week, General Richard Clarke, head of Special Operations Command, said that the "kill-capture missions" the military conducted in Afghanistan were inappropriate for this new conflict, and Special Operations must move towards cyber influence campaigns instead.

Military analyst David Maxwell, a former Special Ops soldier himself, advocated for a widespread culture war, which would include the Pentagon commissioning what he called "Taiwanese Tom Clancy" novels, intended to demonize China and demoralize its citizens, arguing that Washington should "weaponize" China's one-child policy by bombarding Chinese people with stories of the wartime deaths of their only children, and therefore, their bloodline.

A not dissimilar tactic was used during the first Cold War against the Soviet Union, where the CIA sponsored a huge network of artists, writers and thinkers to promote liberal and social-democratic critiques of the U.S.S.R., unbeknownst to the public, and, sometimes, even the artists themselves.

Manufacturing consent

In the space of only a few months, the Trump administration has gone from praising China's response to the COVID-19 pandemic to blaming them for the outbreak, even suggesting they pay reparations for their alleged negligence. Just three years ago, Americans had a neutral view of China (and nine years ago it was strongly favorable). Today, the same polls show that 66 percent of Americans dislike China, with only 26 percent holding a positive opinion of the country. Over four-in-five people essentially support a full-scale economic war with Beijing, something the president threatened to enact last week.

The corporate press is certainly doing their part as well, constantly framing China as an authoritarian threat to the United States, rather than a neutral force or even a potential ally, leading to a surge in anti-Chinese racist attacks at home.

Retooling for an intercontinental war

Although analysts have long warned that the United States gets its "ass handed to it" in hot war simulations with China or even Russia, it is not clear whether this is a sober assessment or a self-serving attempt to increase military spending. In 2002, the U.S. conducted a war game trial invasion of Iraq, where it was catastrophically defeated by Lt. Gen. Paul Van Riper, commanding Iraqi forces, leading to the whole experiment being nixed halfway through. Yet the subsequent invasion was carried out without massive loss of American lives.

The recently published Pentagon budget request for 2021 makes clear that the United States is retooling for a potential intercontinental war with China and/or Russia. It asks for $705 billion to "shift focus from the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and a greater emphasis on the types of weapons that could be used to confront nuclear giants like Russia and China," noting that it requires "more advanced high-end weapon systems, which provide increased standoff, enhanced lethality and autonomous targeting for employment against near-peer threats in a more contested environment." The military has recently received the first batch of low-yield nuclear warheads that experts agree blurs the line between conventional and nuclear conflict, making an all out example of the latter far more likely.

There has been no meaningful pushback from the Democrats. Indeed, Joe Biden's team has suggested that the United States' entire industrial policy should revolve around "competing with China" and that their "top priority" is dealing with the supposed threat Beijing poses. The former vice-president has also attacked Trump from the right on China, trying to present him as a tool of Beijing, bringing to mind how Clinton portrayed him in 2016 as a Kremlin asset. (Green Party presidential frontrunner Howie Hawkins has promised to cut the military budget by 75 percent and to unilaterally disarm).

Nevertheless, voices raising concern about a new arms race are few and far between. Veteran deproliferation activist Andrew Feinstein is one exception, saying :

"Our governments spend over 1.75 trillion dollars every year on wars, on weapons, on conflict If we could deploy that sort of resource to address the coronavirus crisis that we're currently living through, imagine what else we could be doing. Imagine how we could be fighting the climate crisis, how we could be addressing global poverty, inequality. Our priority should never be war; our priorities need to be public health, the environment, and human well being."

However, if the government is going to launch a new psychological war against China, it is unlikely antiwar voices like Feinstein's will feature much in the mainstream press.

[May 24, 2020] FBI Document Reveals That Without Direct Israeli 'Intervention' Trump Would Have Lost 2016 Election

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... The explicit reference to Jerusalem appears later in the same document , in the context of communication between Stone and his unnamed contact in the Israeli capital. "On or about August 12, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you. STONE replied, "I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R" The "he" is an apparent reference to Trump. ..."
"... Referring to the Israeli mentions in a report on the documents late Tuesday, the US website Politico noted: "The newly revealed messages often raise more questions than answers. They show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign." ..."
"... Of course, this story is seen as a positive development from the Israeli (and evangelical) perspective because a Trump presidency was an essential part fulfilling an aggressive Zionist "wish list" which included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, annexing the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and perhaps a major move against Iran in the second term. ..."
"... This story also explains why the jewish-controlled press saturated the airwaves with fake stories of "Russian" intervention in the election -- and why we will be seeing similar non-stop stories of "Chinese" intervention in the upcoming 2020 election in November. ..."
"... And Netanyahu hasn't wasted a second of Trump's presidency in expanding Israel's power, territory and influence. As one Jewish media pundit claimed , Donald Trump has been " the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world." Trump has even bragged that he is so popular among Israelis that they would elect him Prime Minister if he ran. ..."
May 24, 2020 | christiansfortruth.com

According to recently released FBI documents, Donald Trump's longtime confidant, Roger Stone, who was convicted last year in Robert Mueller's investigation into ties between Russia and the Trump campaign, was in contact with one or more apparently well-connected Israelis at the height of the 2016 US presidential campaign, one of whom warned Stone that Trump was "going to be defeated" unless Israel intervened in the election :

The exchange between Stone and this Jerusalem-based contact appears in FBI documents made public on Tuesday. The documents -- FBI affidavits submitted to obtain search warrants in the criminal investigation into Stone -- were released following a court case brought by The Associated Press and other media organizations.

A longtime adviser to Trump, Stone officially worked on the 2016 presidential campaign until August 2015, when he said he left and Trump said he was fired. However he continued to communicate with the campaign, according to Mueller's investigation.

The FBI material, which is heavily redacted, includes one explicit reference to Israel and one to Jerusalem, and a series of references to a minister, a cabinet minister, a "minister without portfolio in the cabinet dealing with issues concerning defense and foreign affairs," the PM, and the Prime Minister . In all these references the names and countries of the minister and prime minister are redacted.

Benjamin Netanyahu was Israel's prime minister in 2016 , and the Israeli government included a minister without portfolio, Tzachi Hanegbi, appointed in May with responsibility for defense and foreign affairs. One reference to the unnamed PM in the material reads as follows:

"On or about June 28, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "RETURNING TO DC AFTER URGENT CONSULTATIONS WITH PM IN ROME. MUST MEET WITH YOU WED. EVE AND WITH DJ TRUMP THURSDAY IN NYC."

Netanyahu made a state visit to Italy at the end of June 2016 .

The explicit reference to Israel appears early in the text of a May 2018 affidavit by an FBI agent in support of an application for a search warrant, and relates to communication between Stone and Jerome Corsi, an American author, commentator and conspiracy theorist. " On August 20, 2016, CORSI told STONE that they needed to meet with [NAME REDACTED] to determine "what if anything Israel plans to do in Oct," the affidavit states .

The explicit reference to Jerusalem appears later in the same document , in the context of communication between Stone and his unnamed contact in the Israeli capital. "On or about August 12, 2016, [NAME REDACTED] messaged STONE, "Roger, hello from Jerusalem. Any progress? He is going to be defeated unless we intervene. We have critical intell. The key is in your hands! Back in the US next week. How is your Pneumonia? Thank you. STONE replied, "I am well. Matters complicated. Pondering. R" The "he" is an apparent reference to Trump.

The redacted material features numerous references to an "October surprise," apparently relating to a document dump by Wikileaks' Julian Assange, intended to harm Hillary Clinton's presidential campaign and salvage Trump's .

Referring to the Israeli mentions in a report on the documents late Tuesday, the US website Politico noted: "The newly revealed messages often raise more questions than answers. They show Stone in touch with seemingly high-ranking Israeli officials attempting to arrange meetings with Trump during the heat of the 2016 campaign."

Mueller's investigation identified significant contact during the 2016 campaign between Trump associates and Russians, but did not allege a criminal conspiracy to tip the outcome of the presidential election.

This story first appeared last month, at the height of the COVID-19 plandemic, which conveniently and not coincidentally allowed all the mainstream media in America to ignore it.

Of course, this story is seen as a positive development from the Israeli (and evangelical) perspective because a Trump presidency was an essential part fulfilling an aggressive Zionist "wish list" which included moving the U.S. Embassy to Jerusalem, annexing the Golan Heights and the West Bank, and perhaps a major move against Iran in the second term.

This story also explains why the jewish-controlled press saturated the airwaves with fake stories of "Russian" intervention in the election -- and why we will be seeing similar non-stop stories of "Chinese" intervention in the upcoming 2020 election in November.

We can only guess what further information about Israel's involvement in the election was redacted from this FBI document, but there can be little doubt that the orders to help Trump win came from the very top -- from Netanyahu himself.

And Netanyahu hasn't wasted a second of Trump's presidency in expanding Israel's power, territory and influence. As one Jewish media pundit claimed , Donald Trump has been " the greatest president for Jews and for Israel in the history of the world." Trump has even bragged that he is so popular among Israelis that they would elect him Prime Minister if he ran.

And even if the brain-dead American public found out about this Israeli intervention (i.e., "subversion of our democracy"), they would probably just shrug it off -- after all, Israel is our "most trusted friend and ally," goyim .

[May 24, 2020] Just take a look at the progressive schooling of 'diplomats' who end up in American ambassadorial and consular posts. Where do they come from? The Heritage Institute, Legatum, the American Enterprise Institute, and various other America-Triumphant think tanks

May 24, 2020 | thenewkremlinstooge.wordpress.com

Mark Chapman May 24, 2020 at 9:17 am

Just take a look at the progressive schooling of 'diplomats' who end up in American ambassadorial and consular posts. Where do they come from? The Heritage Institute, Legatum, the American Enterprise Institute, and various other America-Triumphant think tanks. Look at Michael McFaul, and his absurd just-a-ole-homeboy-who-loves-Russia video he put out before taking up his official duties in Moscow. And he barely had the dust of New York off his shoes before he was huddling with the Russian opposition. I don't know why Russia even affects to be surprised by their attitudes.

[May 24, 2020] William Kristol, the Flaming Neocon, Is Looking To Reinvent Himself as a Dissenter by Bill Hughes

This is all noise. Kristol is a MIC prostitute and as such he can't attack Trump who gave MIC and Israel all what they want
Notable quotes:
"... "A 'Neocon' is neither new or conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell." – Edward Abbey ..."
"... Being an unrepentant Neocon, such as William (Bill) Kristol, means never having to say you're sorry. To qualify, you need to be an ideologue, who also has paid no price for recklessly cheerleading 4,488 U.S. troops to their deaths in the illegal and immoral Iraq War, plus another 32,223 who were seriously wounded (2003-2011). ..."
"... For years, we've heard Kristol on the TV/Cable/Network shows making outrageous statements, like this one: "The war in Iraq could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East." (09/18/2001). ..."
"... There was also no mention by the reporter of the possible real reasons that Kristol was dumping on Trump. One could be that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had trashed Kristol's and the Neocons' support of the Iraq War. ..."
"... And, also Trump has indicated he doesn't have any plans to reignite another of Kristol's favorites schemes – "a Cold War with Russia." These are just two of the reasons the "Neocons, like Kristol, can't stomach Trump," according to the commentator, JP Sottile, of Consortium News. ..."
"... During last year's Democratic presidential primary, Kristol took a swipe at the candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and posted a tweet that said: "#Never Sanders." The popular antiwar candidate responded to Kristol: "Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq War? I make no apologies for opposing it." Sanders then added this zinger: "I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran." ..."
"... The Neocon replied: "I will defend my views on Iraq as you defend yours." Sen. Sanders underscored how Kristol had called for regime change in Iraq as early at 1998; and that Kristol also predicted the conflict would last "only two months;" and that he had repeatedly argued for the Bush-Cheney Gang to send in more troops. As early at 2006, Kristol was urging the US to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, asking, "Why wait?" ..."
"... In a way, Kristol reminded me, in a physical sense, of the late actor Peter Lorre. Whether Kristol has a "Little Man (Napoleon) Complex," or not, I will leave to the experts in the field. All I know for sure is that he's a relentlessly angry, pusher of costly and unnecessary wars. ..."
"... Here is another gem from Kristol: "The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably." (April 28, 2003) And, then there is this whopper from the slippery Neocon: "The Iraqi elections of Jan. 30, 2005 could be a key moment perhaps the key moment so far in vindicating the 'Bush/Cheney Doctrine' as the right response to 9/11." (March 7, 2005) ..."
May 24, 2020 | original.antiwar.com
"A 'Neocon' is neither new or conservative, but old as Babylon and evil as Hell." – Edward Abbey

Being an unrepentant Neocon, such as William (Bill) Kristol, means never having to say you're sorry. To qualify, you need to be an ideologue, who also has paid no price for recklessly cheerleading 4,488 U.S. troops to their deaths in the illegal and immoral Iraq War, plus another 32,223 who were seriously wounded (2003-2011).

It also helps to have a significant media platform and not to give a good hoot about how many innocent Iraqis died via the U.S.-led invasion and/or the occupation of that country. (Try an estimated 655,000.)

By the way, false prophet, Kristol: Our troops found "No" Weapons of Mass Destruction in Iraq.

Let me formally introduce – William Kristol, age 67, out of New York City, now Northern Virginia, warmonger extraordinaire, ultra-conservative, and currently editor at large of Bulwark magazine.

For years, we've heard Kristol on the TV/Cable/Network shows making outrageous statements, like this one: "The war in Iraq could have terrifically good effects throughout the Middle East." (09/18/2001).

The other day, May 20, 2020, Kristol was the subject of a puff piece profile in the Washington Post , by reporter KK Ottesen. The article made no mention of Kristol's disgusting role in promoting the Iraq War. Instead, he was given the opportunity to rip President Donald Trump on how he has been mismanaging the coronavirus crisis. (Well, heck, everybody knows that.)

There was also no mention by the reporter of the possible real reasons that Kristol was dumping on Trump. One could be that during the 2016 presidential campaign, Trump had trashed Kristol's and the Neocons' support of the Iraq War.

And, also Trump has indicated he doesn't have any plans to reignite another of Kristol's favorites schemes – "a Cold War with Russia." These are just two of the reasons the "Neocons, like Kristol, can't stomach Trump," according to the commentator, JP Sottile, of Consortium News.

The idea that Kristol is some kind of genuine dissenter and is opposing Trump because he's concerned about the quality of his leadership is pure nonsense. The Washington Post allowed Kristol to use the paper for this dubious exercise and it has no one to blame but itself.

During last year's Democratic presidential primary, Kristol took a swipe at the candidate, Sen. Bernie Sanders, and posted a tweet that said: "#Never Sanders." The popular antiwar candidate responded to Kristol: "Have you apologized to the nation for your foolish advocacy of the Iraq War? I make no apologies for opposing it." Sanders then added this zinger: "I will do everything in my power to prevent a war with Iran."

The Neocon replied: "I will defend my views on Iraq as you defend yours." Sen. Sanders underscored how Kristol had called for regime change in Iraq as early at 1998; and that Kristol also predicted the conflict would last "only two months;" and that he had repeatedly argued for the Bush-Cheney Gang to send in more troops. As early at 2006, Kristol was urging the US to bomb Iran's nuclear facilities, asking, "Why wait?"

Flashback: The first time I laid eyes on the cunning Neocon, Kristol was at a pro-Iraq War rally held on the National Mall, on April 12, 2003, in Washington, D.C., G. Gordon Liddy and the late, ex-U.S. Sen. Fred Thompson (R-TN) were there, along with some other Right Wing types.

What was really weird about the whole affair was the appearance of that so-called comedian, Ben Stein. He showed up on a huge video screen endorsing the war. It should have had "a warning label" on it!

I recall a lady in the modest crowd of about fifty at that event saying of Kristol: "Oh, look how small he is!" She was right. Kristol is, indeed, on the very short side. I'd say that he comes in at about 5 ft. 4 or 5 inches. It seems that, as a result of his tiny body frame, his head appears more massive than it really is. The rally was boring. I didn't stay long.

In a way, Kristol reminded me, in a physical sense, of the late actor Peter Lorre. Whether Kristol has a "Little Man (Napoleon) Complex," or not, I will leave to the experts in the field. All I know for sure is that he's a relentlessly angry, pusher of costly and unnecessary wars.

(During the Iraq War, there were countless protest actions mounted by ten of thousands of splendid antiwar activists across the country. Many of them were held on the National Mall, and other sites in our nation's capital.)

Here is another gem from Kristol: "The first two battles of this new era are now over. The battles of Afghanistan and Iraq have been won decisively and honorably." (April 28, 2003) And, then there is this whopper from the slippery Neocon: "The Iraqi elections of Jan. 30, 2005 could be a key moment perhaps the key moment so far in vindicating the 'Bush/Cheney Doctrine' as the right response to 9/11." (March 7, 2005)

Of course, it wouldn't be fair to leave out this one from Kristol: "It is much more likely that the situation in Iraq will stay more or less the same, or improve, in either case, Republicans will benefit from being the party of victory." (Nov. 30, 2005)

As a result of an onslaught of Kristol's articles and media appearances in support of the Iraq invasion, the Washington Post 's Richard Cohen dubbed the conflict: "Kristol's War!" Right on, Mr. Cohen.

The estimated cost of the Iraq War to the U.S. taxpayers runs to a high of around $1.7 trillion!

If Kristol has any regrets with respect to his amoral advocacy for the Iraq War (which was launched by the Bush-Cheney Gang based on a pack of rotten lies) and/or about the staggering US casualties in Iraq, I have never heard him express them.

If Kristol has any empathy for the innocent Iraqi dead and wounded, the Iraqi women and children who have suffered and are continuing to suffer from that conflict, along with the tens of thousands of Iraqi homes that have been destroyed, and also for those 3.8 million Iraqis made into refugees, then he's kept those kinds of feelings to himself.

(The other amazing thing about Kristol is how he's repeatedly able to get his distorted views on our televisions and in our newspapers. It's like he has to only press a button and there he is. It is all so – Orwellian!)

In any event, when the name of William Kristol, the Neocon, is mentioned, I think callous indifference to human life and suffering.

The next time the Neocon Kristol visits the Arlington National Cemetery, over in Virginia, to honor our Iraqi War dead, will be his FIRST! Despite all of the above, he continues to argue for a U.S.-led attack on Iran. Kristol insists: "Invading Iran is not a bad idea!"

If warmongering isn't a Hate Crime and/or a Hate Speech, then maybe it should be. (Peace Movement, please copy.) That would give the heartless Kristol something to think about when he advocates for the launching of yet another monstrosity, like the Iraq War.

Bill Hughes is an attorney, author, actor and photographer. His latest book is Byline Baltimore . Contact the author. Reprinted from the Baltimore Post-Examiner with the author's permission.

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

May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

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

vk #4
Pompeo Warns US May Stop Sharing Intelligence With Australia Over Victoria Inking Deal With China's BRI

The battle for Australia's soul has begun.

Lets reverse that point, shall we. There is a US spy base in Australia at a place called Pine Gap. Without it being operational the USA would lose its 3 dimensional vision across the planet.

This Bannon/Trump bluster is weak as p!ss as 'sharing intelligence' is the cornerstone of the five eyes perversion that gives the USA some superiority in intelligence matters. So if sharing intelligence were withdrawn by the USA with Australia it would have meaningless consequences.

On the other hand if Australia ceased its intelligence sharing and shut down all the data traffic out of Australia - the USA would go ballistic. Not that the Oz government would ever do such a thing being a craven water carrier for the new world order etc...

Pompeo is blathering bullsh!t and he knows it and we all know it.
Odd that you would reiterate his brainless threat vk.

[May 24, 2020] Wouldn't it be more useful to allocate $ 250,000 to save someone's lives instead of "Exposing Russian Health Disinformation"

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

moscowexile May 24, 2020 at 4:10 am

Have they nothing better to do than peddle their Russophobia?

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

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

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

[May 24, 2020] Obamagate as the reaction of managerial class neoliberals on the crisis of neoliberalism

Highly recommended!
May 24, 2020 | angrybearblog.com

likbez , May 24, 2020 8:22 pm

While Flynn is a questionable figure with his Iran warmongering and the former tenure as a Turkey lobbyist, it is important to understand that in Kislyak call he mainly played the role of Israel lobbyist. This important fact was carefully swiped under the carpet by FBI honchos.

Only the second and less important part of the call (the request to Russia to postpone the reaction after the Obama expulsion of diplomats) was related to Russia. Not sure it was necessary: Russia probably understood that this was a provocation and would wait for the dust to settle in any case. Revenge is a dish that is better served cold. Later Russia used this as a pretext to equalize the number of US diplomats in Russia with the number of Russian diplomat in the USA which was a knockdown for any color revolution plans in this country: people with the knowledge of the country and connections to its neoliberal fifth column were sent packing.

But Russian neoliberal compradors were decimated earlier after EuroMaydan in Kiev, so this was actually a service to the USA allowing to save the USA same money (as Trump acknowledged)

Also strange how former chief of DIA fell victim of such a crude trap administered by a second, if nor third rate person -- Strzok. Looks like he was already on the hook and, as such, defenseless for his Turkey lobbing efforts. Which makes Comey-McCabe attempt to entrap him look like a shooing fish in the tank.

Note to managerial class neoliberals (PMC). Your Russiagate stance is to be expected and has nothing to do with virtue.

https://www.counterpunch.org/2020/05/22/why-russiagate-still-matters/

it was the urban and suburban PMC that gets its news from the establishment press -- the New York Times, Washington Post and NPR, that believed and supported the story.

[May 24, 2020] US anti-china crusade started

May 24, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

After the Soviet collapse thirty years ago, that order expanded its jurisdiction. Proponents sought to subsume the old Eastern Bloc, including perhaps Russia itself, into the American sphere. And they wanted to do so firmly on Washington's terms. Even as the country began to deindustrialize and growth slowed, American leadership developed a taste for fresh crusades in the Middle East; exotic savagery, went the subtext, had to be brought finally to heel. China was a rising force, but its regime would inevitably crater or democratize. Besides, Beijing was a peaceful trading partner of the United States.

2008, 2016 and 2020 -- the financial crisis, Trump's election and now the Coronavirus and its reaction -- have been successive gut punches to this project, a hat trick which may seal its demise. Ask anyone attempting to board an international flight, or open a new factory in China, or get anything done at the United Nations: the world is de-globalizing at a speed almost as astonishing as it integrated. Post-Covid, U.S.-China confrontation is not a choice. It's a reality. The liberal international order is not lamentable. It's already dead.

This was the argument made by Bannon. It had other backers, of course, within both the academy and an emerging foreign policy counter-establishment loathe to repeat the mistakes of the past thirty years. But coming from the former top political advisor to the sitting president of the United States, it was provocative stuff. Bannon articulated a perspective which seemed to be on the tip of the foreign policy world's tongue. And it riled people up. The most fulsome rebuttal to the zeitgeist was perhaps The Jungle Grows Back , tellingly written by Robert Kagan, an Iraq War architect. The peripheral world was dangerous brush; the United States was the machete.

Trumpian nationalism has chugged along for nearly three years since -- stripped, some might say, of its Bannonite flair and intelligence. The most hysterical prophecies of what the president might do -- that he might withdraw from the geriatric North Atlantic Treaty Organization, for instance -- have not come to pass. Trump has howled and roared, true: but so far, his most disruptive foreign policy maneuver has been escalation against Iran.


MPC 3 days ago

It's very good to hear the right getting a little humility in them now and talking less empire, more multilateralism. Trump has been way too concerned with his MAGA personality cult to understand the value of humility.

The world's a big place. The reality is, America first will more and more mean working together with other nations for mutual benefit, and often their gain will indirectly be to our own also.

kouroi MPC 3 days ago
Working more and more, yes. This is why US is undercutting Germany's competitiveness, by blocking a cheap source of energy via NS2...

As Bush said, you are either with us or against us. Nothing has changed and nothing will change, but it will become uglier. If it were to desire multi-polarity, the US would tolerate not only states, like KSA, where the Royals own everything, but also states, like Iran, or Cuba, where the people (through the government/state) owns assets (land and productive facilities). But the US does not tolerate such type of multi-polarity, not open to US "investment" and ownership (bought with fiat money).

Cold War II started in 2007, with Putin. Popcorn & beer lads!

MPC kouroi 3 days ago
It does seem like there's a creeping idea, not just on dissident internet sites now like before, that the Russian rivalry is a luxury of the past. Even the liberals are going to have to reconcile with liberal hegemony not being workable and settle for something less. Owing to distance and mutual interest (common rivals Britain and Germany) Russia and America had a long history of friendship before the Cold war.

I sadly agree about the predatory nature of much of America does. I think it really is a reflection of partially, imperial arrogance, but even moreso a matter of who runs the country. Oligarchy is poorly checked in modern America. Maybe we can hope for a humbled oligarchy, at least.

DUNK Buhari2 2 days ago
Trump is indeed an empty suit and a demagogue, but he ran on a decent nationalist platform (probably thanks to Bannon, who is almost certainly a closeted gay. No joke... a deep-in-the-closet, self-hating gay. The navy can change a man, and he's a fraud in other ways: see Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade"). Trump does have an absurd ego, and he probably figured becoming president would impress Ivanka too.

Also, the Uyghurs are not totally innocent victims... Some of them are US-financed revolutionaries and some of them have committed terrorism: see Godfree Roberts at Unz Review: "China and the Uyghurs" (January 10, 2019) and Ajit Singh at The Grayzone: "Inside the World Uyghur Congress: The US-backed right-wing regime change network seeking the 'fall of China'" (March 5, 2020). Some of our pathetic propagandists make it seem like they're in concentration camps, but there is objective reporting that suggests it's more like job training programs and anti-jihad classes. Absurd lies have certainly been told about North Korea and many other countries, so be skeptical.

kirthigdon 3 days ago
Yeah, let's get that hate on for China - why they're as bad as Russia, Iran and Venezuela put together and there are so many more of them. Especially a lot are available right here in the US and have lots of restaurants that can be boycotted. Not that many Venezuelan restaurants around. Seriously, can Americans get over this childishness? When the US closes down its 800+ overseas bases and withdraws its fleet to its own shores instead of Iran's and China's, then maybe Americans will be entitled to complain about someone else's imperialism.
Collin Reid 3 days ago
Most of anti-China stuff Hawley, much like Trump, claims always feels empty populism for WWC voters.

1) It is reasonable to be against our Middle East endeavors and not be so anti-China.
2) I still don't understand how it is China fault for stealing manufacturing jobs when it is the US private sector that does it. (And Vietnam exist, etc.) So without Charles Koch and Tim Cook behind this trade stuff, it feels like empty populism.
3) The most obvious point on China to me is how little they do use military measures for their 'imperialism.'

One problem with all this populism emptiness, is there is a lot issues with China to work on:
1) This virus could have impact economies in Africa and South America a lot where the nations have to renegotiate their loans to China. I have no idea how this goes but there will be tensions here. Imperialism is tough in the long run.
2) There are nations banding together on China's reaction to the virus and it seems reasonable that US joining them would be more effective than Trump's taunting.
3) To prove Trump administration incompetence, I have no idea how he is not turning this crisis into more medical equipment and drugs manufacturing. (My guess is this both takes a lot of work and frankly a lot of manufacturing plants have risks of spreads so noone wants to invest.)

Feral Finster Collin Reid 3 days ago
Apparently it is now a form of aggression, imperialism, even, to work for lower wages than a comparable American worker.

I can understand some protectionist measures. But acting as if these measures were a response to an unprovoked attack is hyperventilating.

DUNK Collin Reid 2 days ago
Hawley is a "fake populist" according to Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade" and I just saw fake-patriot airhead Pete Hegseth claim China wants to destroy our civilization, on fake populist Tucker Carlson's show. It's well-established that Fox News and the GOP are still neocons and fake patriots... after all, the Trump administration is run by Jared Kushner, a protégé of Rupert Murdoch and Bibi Netanyahu.
dbjm 3 days ago
Hawley's speech on the Senate floor yesterday deserves much more criticism than it gets here. This article from Reason does a good job breaking down the speech and pointing out what's right AND wrong about it:

https://reason.com/2020/05/...

Collin Reid Kessler 2 days ago
What if there is reduced wars and civil wars n the world today than ever. (So say anytime before 1991?) I get all the Middle East & African Wars but look at the rest of the world. When in history have the major West Europe powers not had a major war in 75 years. After issues of post Cold War East Europe is probably more peaceful than ever. Look at South America. In the 1970s the Civil Wars raged in all those nations. Or the Pacific Rim? Japan, China, and other nations are fighting with Military right now.

This is certainly less than perfect but the number of people (per million) dieing in wars and civil wars are at historic lows.

kouroi Collin Reid 2 days ago
The fall of Soviet Union and weakening of Russia allowed US and Western Europe to attack Serbia in 1990s. A stronger Russia wouldn't have allowed that to happen (who's trying to get Crimea from Russia's control now?). But with US aggressiveness and bellicosity (including nuclear posture) at Russia's borders do not bode well.

But it is true, less important people are dying now...

chris chuba 3 days ago
Chinese imperialism? Uh ... other than shaking trees and drumming up fear can I get like one example of that.

Taiwan, part of China since the 1500's and they are have not issued any new threats since 1949.

Hong Kong - stolen from China and now reluctantly given back with lots of conditions. If they deserve the right of independence through referendum I'm all for it as long as we apply this standard uniformly including parts of Texas, San Diego, New Mexico, Arizona, any place that has a large foreign population will do.

DUNK chris chuba 2 days ago
Yeah, "Chinese imperialism" is complete nonsense, just like the claim that they definitely originated the coronavirus, caused Americans to be under house arrest, and caused a depression. In fact, the origin of the virus is far from clear, and it wasn't China who hyped up and exaggerated the danger and wrecked the economy. It was our superficial corporate media and government that did that (perhaps deliberately)... the same people who are desperately trying to deflect blame onto the CCP. The same people who have been mismanaging and ruining America for decades in order to enrich themselves.
Gregtown 3 days ago
Should we all start reading Chomsky books again?

"Neoliberal democracy. Instead of citizens, it produces consumers. Instead of communities, it produces shopping malls. The net result is an atomized society of disengaged individuals who feel demoralized and socially powerless."

Sidney Caesar Gregtown 3 days ago • edited
Most people would be well served to read Chomsky a first time.
However, it should be noted, Chomsky's critiques of neoliberalism aren't grounded in nationalism, xenophobia, and racism. So a lot of TAC readers (and especially writers) may be disappointed.
Gregtown Sidney Caesar 3 days ago
Ha...sadly true.

I just pulled On Anarchism off my bookshelf. Time to revisit my early 20's.

Tradcon 3 days ago
Hawley seems like the natural choice for the potential future of the GOP, that is a post-fusionist or post-liberal GOP. However the one thing that worries me is his foreign policy. He talks the talk, but I'm having trouble to see if he walks the walk. As Mills noted he didn't vote to end support for the genocidal war in Yemen, a war that serves purely the interests of Saudi Arabia and not our own. He has criticized David Petraeus before, but its important not to be fooled by just rhetoric. While accepting he'll be better than any Tom Cotton or (god forbid) Nikki Haley in 2024, his foreign policy needs to be examined more until then.
stevek9 3 days ago
Our response to the epidemic was 100% 'made in China'. The entire 'Western World' decided to copy Beijing. If that doesn't establish a new level of leadership for China, I don't know what would. I'm surprised this is not more widely recognized. You can run down the many parallels, including the pathetic photo-op attempt by the West to build those emergency hospitals (Nightingale in the UK, Javits Center, etc. all across the US), which were just to show 'hey we can build hospitals in a few weeks also' ... never mind they could never, and were never used for anything at all.
Kiyoshi01 3 days ago
At this point, Hawley is all talk. Further, much of his talking amounts to little more than expressing resentment. I agree that the US needs to follow a more nationalist pathway, which involved making itself less dependent on its chief geopolitical rival. But accomplishing this is going to require more than bashing China and asserting that cosmopolitan Americans are traitors. At this point, Hawley has no positive program to offer. Giving paid speeches that vilify coastal elites and China is not a political plan.

Further, I agree that we're probably moving away from the universalist order that's guided much of our thinking since the 1990s. But isolationism is not the answer. We need to begin building a multilateral order that takes full account of China's rise as a worthy rival. This means that we need to develop a series of smaller-scale agreements with strategic partners. The TPP is a good example of such an agreement. But where is the call to revive it?

Lastly, I find the article's reference to China's treatment of gays and lesbians to be curious. I'd first note that using the term "homosexual" in reference to people is generally viewed as an offensive slur. Further, China's treatment of gay people isn't so bad, and tends to be better than what Hawley's evangelical supporters would afford. Moreover, China is a multi-ethnic country. It's program in Xinjiang has more to do with maintaining political order than a desire to repress non-Han people.

MPC Kiyoshi01 2 days ago
The general chest puffing nature of the American right makes it hard for them to understand that America might need to work with other countries at a deep level, and not as vassals either.
DUNK MPC 2 days ago
It doesn't seem like they're able to understand anything, or learn anything.
Barry_II Kiyoshi01 11 hours ago
". We need to begin building a multilateral order that takes full account
of China's rise as a worthy rival. This means that we need to develop a
series of smaller-scale agreements with strategic partners. The TPP is a
good example of such an agreement. But where is the call to revive it?"

The thing is that the post-WWII liberal international order was good for things like that.
Trump and the GOP quite deliberately destroyed it. Before that, the US would have the trust of many other governments; now they don't trust the US - even if Biden is elected, the next Trump is on the way.

KevinS 3 days ago • edited
"We benefit if countries that share our opposition to Chinese imperialism -- countries like India and Japan, Vietnam, Australia and Taiwan -- are economically independent of China, and standing shoulder to shoulder with us,"

OK....then can someone explain why Hawley opposed the TPP, which was designed to accomplish just this. The TPP was supposed to create trading relationships between these countries and the United States in the context of an agreement that excluded China. In this instance people like Hawley were advancing China's position and interests (I suspect simply because it was a treaty negotiated under Obama, which apparently was enough to make it bad).

Kiyoshi01 KevinS 3 days ago
Probably because Hawley seems more interested in demagoguery than accomplishing anything productive. Never mind that 95% of the people who voted for him probably couldn't find Japan or Vietnam on a map.
kouroi KevinS 2 days ago
TPP was not geared against China as a blanket thing, as an entire exclusion of China. The perfidy of TPP was that it was against any economic interactions with State Owned Enterprises (didn't mention the origin, didn't have to). The ultimate goal wasn't to isolate China but to force privatization of said SOEs, preferably run from Wall Street.

Private property good and = Democracy; State property bad = Authoritarianism, dictatorship, etc. It is a fallacy here somewhere, cannot really put my finger on it...

calidus 3 days ago
Except this is all lies. On each chance to actually do something Hawley has sided with international corporations, as a good conservative will always do. Fixing globalism will never come form the right, this is all smoke and mirrors for the religious right, aka the rubes. And they are perpetual suckers and will keep buying into this crap as our nation is hollowed out and raided by the rich. And that, is TRUE conservatism.
TheSnark 3 days ago
"Now we must recognize that the economic system designed by Western policy makers at the end of the Cold War does not serve our purposes in this new era," proclaimed Sen. Josh Hawley, R-Missouri. "And it does not meet our needs for this new day." He continued, perhaps too politely: "And we should admit that multiple of its founding premises were in error."

The "error" in the founding premises of the post-WWII economic system was that it assumed that the US would act in a responsible manner. Instead we have run huge budget deficits and borrowed the difference from foreigners, randomly invading other countries, undermined the institutions we set up, bullied smaller countries rather than working with them, and abused our control of the financial system.

No, that old economic system served our interests very well, as long as we respected the institutions we set up and kept our own house in order. We haven't been doing any of that for at least 20 years.

Kiyoshi01 Amicus Brevis 2 days ago
Let's bear in mind that the Republican leader of the Senate married into a wealthy Chinese family that makes its money from hauling Chinese exports to our shores and the shores of other developed nations.

This is all just hollow bravado meant to appeal to the right's nativist base.

Amicus Brevis Kiyoshi01 2 days ago • edited
I am not into the thinking that everyone whose politics I don't support is acting in bad faith. We are talking about the actions of literally millions of people. Accusing this or that person of acting in bad faith because of personal interest is just dirty politics dressed up as perceptiveness. I am not accusing any specific person of acting in bad faith, although some of the people who pushed opening up to China because more business in China would create a class of people who would eventually push for Democracy there, were indeed acting in bad faith. They wanted access to cheap labor with no rights.

Yet, no doubt many of them actually believed the propaganda, because it supposedly happened in South Korea, Taiwan and other places. And especially the ones who switched the line to "globalism" when it was clear that the supposed indigenous pressures for Democracy did not materialize also acted in bad faith. I only assume that some of were because once I understood the rationale of the CCCP it was clear to me that China was radically different, and there is no way that so many of those guys who are smarter and more knowledgeable about political systems than me, did not figure it out. But I am not going to behave as if it the Republicans alone who were pushing either of these two false messages.

phreethink 2 days ago
Criticizing China for "imperialism" is the height of hypocrisy on multiple levels. First, the United States has engaged in economic imperialism, sometimes enforced with military intervention, for a hundred years. Read Smedley Butler's "War is a Racket" if you doubt that. Second, this is the same guy who voted against our proxy war in Yemen. Third, one could very reasonably argue that China is simply applying the lessons it learned at the hands of Western imperialists since 1800s..

It's good that SOME Republicans are at least giving lip service to the idea of bringing back manufacturing in this country. But you have to thank Trump for that, not the GOP establishment. The offshoring of American manufacturing as part of "free trade" was strongly supported (if not led) by the GOP going back to the 1980s.

DUNK phreethink 2 days ago
And check out John Perkins's books ("Confessions of an Economic Hit Man", etc.) for up-to-date information. It's obviously true that criticizing China for "imperialism" is ridiculously hypocritical but people like Senator Hawley know they can get away with it because they understand how propaganda works on the dumbed-down masses.

They understand doublethink, repetition, appeal to patriotism, appeal to racism, appeal to fear, etc. People like Rupert Murdoch do this every day... poorly, but well enough to be effective on a lot of people.

Incidentally, the Republicans may talk about bringing manufacturing back to the US but they're actually planning on shifting it to India (see Eric Striker's article "International Finance's Anti-China Crusade").

[May 24, 2020] As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse

Kissinger laid out the transition plan in 2014 in his WSJ Op-Ed: Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order . USA Deep State are not the complete idiots that some want to make them seem.
China is still very vulnerable and the USA has multiple levers to force it to suffer.
May 24, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kurt Zumdieck , May 22 2020 18:24 utc | 4
If Washington lured the Soviet Union into it's demise in Afghanistan, which left that minor empire in shambles - socially, militarily, economically - it was the nuclear conflagration at Chernobyl that put the corpse in the ground.....

(Watch the GREAT HBO five-part tragedy on it and you will see that the brutally heroic response of the Soviets, that saved the Western World at least temporarily, but is the portrait of self-sacrifice)

What was lost in the Soviets fumbling immediate post-explosion cover-up was the trust of their Eastern European satellite countries. That doomed that empire. So much military might was given up in Afghanistan, then on Chernobyl, it was not clear if the Soviets had the wherewithal to put down the rebellions that spread from Czechoslovakia to East Germany and beyond.

Covid-19 will do the same to the American Empire.

As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse.

Loss of trust by the many craven satellites, in America's fractured response, to Covid-19 will put the final nail in its coffin.

A hot-shooting War may come next, but the empire cannot win it.


William Gruff , May 23 2020 14:25 utc | 79

"I will believe my eyes." --oldhippie @76

It would be nice if that were so, but it is very unlikely.

"So tired of reading propaganda."

Is that why you regurgitate it onto forums? Kinda like purging the system, eh?

If you are going to be judging China's economic health by their pollution levels then in the future you will find yourself convinced that they have never recovered, even when it becomes inescapably obvious that they have. The fact is that China's pollution levels are never going back to 2019 levels, but that has nothing to do with their economic health.

It really never ceases to amaze me how deeply rooted and pervasive the delusions and sense of exceptionality is in America. It is woven into the thinking, from the lowest levels to the very top of their thoughts, of even the very most intelligent Americans. It is apparently a phenomenon that operates at an even deeper level than mass media brainwashing, as it seems it was just as much a problem in every empire in history. That is, I am sure citizens of the Roman Empire had the same blinding biases embedded deep below their consciousness. I guess Marx was entirely correct to say that consciousness arises from material conditions, and being citizen of an empire must be one of those material conditions that gives rise to this all-pervasive and unconscious sense of exceptionality.

oldhippie , May 23 2020 11:47 utc | 71
Go over to EOSDIS Worldview and take a look at satellite photos of China. Simple toggle in lower left hand corner will take you to photos of same day, earlier years. Or any day in satellite record.

The skies over China are clear. Chinese industry is not back at work. It may be that China at 50% or even at 20% is a manufacturing powerhouse compared to a crumbling US. But until China is back at work the thread so far is about the historical situation six months ago.

Xi used to do elaborately staged state appearances with well planned camera angles, fabulous lighting, pomp and circumstance. He enjoyed the trappings of power and knew how to use the trappings of power. Hasn't done that kind of state appearance since January.

Paul , May 23 2020 12:47 utc | 72
The Empire has no respect for international agreements, laws or anything that interferes with maintaining US global hegemony.
lizzie dw , May 23 2020 12:55 utc | 73
China and the US are so different. The citizens of China cannot vote. The population's movements are micromanaged by the government. This is not the case here (yet). And I hope it is never the case. I agree with the premise that there are those in our government who are living in a dream of the past and that is over, unless we want to destroy the world. But China's government is so repressive. The rules must be obeyed. We seem to be compliant so far of some of our government officials stepping over the bounds allowed by our Constitution, due to the fear of C-19 engendered by the deep state (aka the bsmsm). But we will not do that forever and our government cannot just start shooting big crowds of us as they can and have done in China. Theirs is all top down rule, which is not the case here. Also, although it is probably heretical to say this I am glad that the US has many cases of C-19. We will eventually get herd immunity. IMO, China can lock down as many millions of citizens as they wish; they cannot stop this virus and as time goes by they will have as many deaths and as many cases as everybody else. Well, that is off the topic of the article. In the end I agree that we are fighting weird battles we can never win and we citizens need to keep informing our government employees that we just want to trade and make money, not threaten companies and countries and lose money.

[May 24, 2020] Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training

Highly recommended!
I wouldn't hold my breath for the slightest change in that status quo any time soon.
May 24, 2020 | www.unz.com

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:34 pm GMT

Unable to communicate in Arabic and with no relevant experience or appropriate educational training

Seems rather typical of those making policy, not knowing much about the area they're assigned to. If a person did know Arabic and had an understanding of the culture they wouldn't get hired as they'd be viewed with suspicion, suspected of being sympathetic to Middle Easterners. How and why these neocons can come back into government is puzzling and one wonders who within the establishment is backing them. Judging by the quotes her father certainly seems deranged and not someone to be allowed anywhere near any policy making positions.
Flynn also seems to be a dolt what with his 'worldwide war against radical Islam'. Someone should clue him in that much of this radical Islam has been created and stoked by the US who hyped up radical Islam, recruiting and arming them to fight the Russians in Afghanistan. Bin Laden was there, remember? Flynn, a general, is unaware of this? Islamic jihadists are America's Foreign Legion and have been used all over the Muslim world, most recently in Syria. Does this portend war with Iran? Possibly, but perhaps Trump wouldn't want to go it alone but would want the financial support of other countries. They've probably war-gamed it to death and found it to be a loser.

[May 23, 2020] Regarding Madeleine Albright: "She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists."

May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Mustapha Mond , says: Show Comment May 21, 2020 at 7:30 pm GMT

Regarding Madeleine Albright: "She also said that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children through U.S. imposed sanctions was " a very hard choice, but the price -- we think the price is worth it." That is the basic credo of the liberal interventionists."

I think 'liberal interventionist' is a bit too weak for the 'lovely' Ms Albright and her (in)famous quote.

Instead, let's try, "That is the basic credo of psychopathically sadistic zionist monsters who exquisitely enjoy the thought of Arab children dying agonizingly slow deaths of preventable diseases and starvation."

Ah, yes. That's a much more accurate assessment of the situation ..

Emily , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 11:47 am GMT
@04398436986 Video of Madeleine Albright confirming that the deaths of 500,000 Iraqi children was a price worth paying .

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

[May 23, 2020] With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.

May 23, 2020 | www.unz.com

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12: 22 pm GMT

With a national election lurking on the horizon we will no doubt be hearing more about Exceptionalism from various candidates seeking to support the premise that the United States can interfere in every country on the planet because it is, as the expression goes, exceptional.

That is correct and that is because it works the majority of Americans are stupid.
Do you see a solution suggested here?

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:27 pm GMT

It is also an unfortunate indication that the neoconservatives, pronounced dead after the election of Trump, are back and resuming their drive to obtain the positions of power that will permit endless war, starting with Iran.

The neocons never went anywhere. Trump is a minion of the Deep State and staffs his administration accordingly.

Realist , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 12:32 pm GMT
@BL

My point is simple and ineluctable, whatever our demerits, our great republic is supposed to weed out psychopaths like Brennan long before they get as close as he has to destroying the whole shebang.

Never happens all administrations are full of psychopaths.

Hiram of Tyre , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:19 pm GMT
Frankly nothing new. Every Empire sought to rule the world and committed a long list of atrocities in the process. "The empire on which the sun never sets", in reference to the British Empire (the one currently still ruling the world), comes from Xerxes' "We shall extend the Persian territory as far as God's heaven reaches. The sun will then shine on no land beyond our borders." as he invaded Greece.

That said, a word on the Rumsfeld-Cebrowski Doctrine and their Pentagon world map would be on point here

[May 23, 2020] 'Rhetorical hyperbole' and NOT FACT: Court rejects OAN suit over MSNBC host Rachel Maddow's claim about 'Russian propaganda'

Court defined Madcow as professional liar, not a news source
Notable quotes:
"... "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" ..."
"... "really literally paid Russian propaganda." ..."
"... "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" ..."
"... "utterly and completely false. ..."
"... "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," ..."
"... "news and opinions," ..."
"... "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." ..."
May 23, 2020 | www.rt.com
A US judge dismissed a defamation lawsuit by One America News Network against MSNBC over Rachel Maddow's claims that OAN was "literally" Russian propaganda, ruling that her segment was merely "an opinion" and "exaggeration." OAN sued the liberal talk show host and MSNBC for defamation, demanding over $10 million in damages, back in September 2019. The lawsuit was based on the July 22 episode of The Rachel Maddow Show, where Maddow launched a scathing broadside against the conservative television network, labeling it "the most obsequiously pro-Trump right wing news outlet in America" and "really literally paid Russian propaganda."

In the segment, Maddow cited a story by The Daily Beast's Kevin Poulsen about OAN's Kristian Rouz, who has previously contributed to Sputnik as a freelance author. Toeing the general US mainstream line on the Russian media, be it Sputnik or RT, Poulsen branded the Russian news agency "the Kremlin's official propaganda outlet" and said Rouz was once on its "payroll." Shortly after MSNBC's star talent peddled the claim, OAN rejected the allegations as "utterly and completely false. " The outlet, which is owned by the Herring Networks, a small California-based family company, said that it "has never been paid or received a penny from Russia or the Russian government," with its only funding coming from the Herring family.

In their bid to win the case, Maddow herself, MSNBC, Comcast Corporation and NBCUniversal Media did not address the accusation itself - namely, that her claim about OAN was false - but opted to invoke the First Amendment, insisting that the rant should be protected as free speech.

Siding with Maddow, the California district court defined Maddow's show as a mix of "news and opinions," concluding that the manner in which the progressive host blurted out the accusations "makes it more likely that a reasonable viewer would not conclude that the contested statement implies an assertion of objective fact." h

The court said that while Maddow "truthfully" related the story by the Daily Beast, the statement about OAN being funded by the Kremlin was her "opinion" and "exaggeration" of the said article.

While the legal trick helped Maddow to get off the hook without ever trying to defend her initial statement, conservative commentators on social media wasted no time in pointing out that dodging a payout to OAN literally meant admitting that Maddow was not, in fact, news.

[May 23, 2020] China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3

Highly recommended!
May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

vk , May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28

China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48).

It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

So, yes, the West still has a realistic chance of destroying China and inaugurating a new cycle of capitalist prosperity.

What happens with the "decoupling"/"Pivot to Asia" is that, in the West, there's a scatological theory [go to 10th paragraph] - of Keynesian origin - that socialism can only play "catch up" with capitalism, but never surpass it when a "toyotist phase" of technological innovation comes (this is obviously based on the USSR's case). This theory states that, if there's innovation in socialism, it is residual and by accident, and that only in capitalism is significant technological advancement possible. From this, they posit that, if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level.

If China will be able to get out of the "Toyotist Trap" that destroyed the USSR, only time will tell. Regardless, decoupling is clearly not working, and China is not showing any signs so far of slowing down. Hence Trump is now embracing a more direct approach.

As for the USA, I've put my big picture opinion about it some days ago, so I won't repeat myself. Here, it suffices to say that, yes, I believe the USA can continue to survive as an empire - even if, worst case scenario, in a "byzantine" form. To its favor, it has: 1) the third largest world population 2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely (for comparison, the USSR only had 10% of arable land, and of worse quality) 3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), plus a direct exit to the Arctic (Alaska and, de facto, Greenland and Canada) 4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea), bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks to 4) still the financial superpower 5) still a robust "real" economy - specially if compared to the micro-nations of Western Europe and East-Asia 6) a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power.

I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else. The Star-and-Stripes is still a very strong ideal to the average American, and nobody takes the idea of territory loss for real. If that happens, though, it would change my equation on the survival of the American Empire completely.

As for Hong Kong. I watched a video by the chief of the PLA last year (unfortunately, I watched it on Twitter and don't have the link with me anymore). He was very clear: Hong Kong does not present an existential threat to China. The greatest existential threat to China are, by far, Xinjiang and Tibet, followed by Taiwan and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a distant fourth place.

Those liberal clowns were never close.

[May 23, 2020] A commentator in Taiwan said that the US consulate in Hong Kong has more than 2000 staff. If true, this number is astounding, and probably has nothing comparable in other US foreign missions.

May 23, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

occupatio , May 23 2020 3:23 utc | 58

A commentator in Taiwan said that the US consulate in Hong Kong has more than 2000 staff. If true, this number is astounding, and probably has nothing comparable in other US foreign missions. These officials can't all be processing visas, could they, haha. Regime-change workers, spies and so-called diplomats.

[May 23, 2020] China's Move In Hong Kong Illustrates The End Of U.S. Superiority

That does not mean the end of the USA superiority. That is an action of china which can be called "better late then never". What it means that the fight with China moves from trade war into Cold war. And the USA is pretty tncous in enforcing COCOM like measures against China, with corresponding for China consequences.
Notable quotes:
"... under the Trump administration the U.S. has introduced more and more measures to shackle China's development. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed last year by the U.S. Congress demands that the U.S. government reports on Hong Kong and punishes those who it deems to be human right violators. The sanctions against Chinese companies and especially Huawei, recently expanded to a total economic blockade of 5G chip deliveries to that company, demonstrate that the U.S. will do anything it can to hinder China's economic success. ..."
"... The 'Cold War 2.0' the U.S. launched against China will now see significant counter moves. ..."
"... Under the new law the U.S. will have to stop its financing of student organization, anti-government unions and media in Hong Kong. The opposition parties will no longer be allowed to have relations with U.S. influence operations. ..."
"... No U.S. action can prevent China's government from securing its realm. Hong Kong is a Chinese city where China's laws, not U.S. dollars, are supreme. ..."
"... The U.S. seems to believe it can win a cold war with China. ..."
"... When the U.S. prohibits companies which use U.S. software or machines to design chips and make they sell to China then those companies will seek to buy such software and machines elsewhere. When the U.S. tries to hinder China's access to computer chips, China will build its own chip industry. Ten years from now it will be the U.S. which will have lost access to the then most modern ones as all of those will come from China. ..."
"... In his 2003 book After the Empire Emmanuel Todd described why the U.S. was moving towards the loss of its superpower status ..."
"... The Covid-19 crisis has laid all this bare for everyone to see. Will the U.S., as Todd predicted, now have to give up its superpower status? Or will it start a big war against China to divert the attention elsewhere and to prove its presumed superiority? ..."
"... Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48). It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country. ..."
May 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org
Kurt Zumdieck , May 22 2020 18:24 utc | 4

Blaming China for the Covid-19 pandemic is false . But the U.S. will continue to do so as a part of its larger anti-China strategy.

As the U.S. is busy to counter the epidemic at home China has already defeated it within its borders. It now uses the moment to remove an issue the U.S. has long used to harass it. Hong Kong will finally be liberated from its U.S. supported racists disguised as liberals .

In late 1984 Britain and China signed a formal agreement which approved the 1997 release of Britain's colony Hong Kong to China. Britain had to agree to the pact because it had lost the capability to defend the colony. The Sino British Joint Declaration stipulated that China would create a formal law that would allow Hong Kong to largely govern itself.

The ' Basic Law of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region of the People's Republic of China ' is the de facto constitution of the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. But it is a national law of China adopted by the Chinese National People's Congress in 1990 and introduced in Hong Kong in 1997 after the British rule ran out. If necessary the law can be changed.

Chapter II of the Basic Law regulates the relationship between the Central Authorities and the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region. Article 23 of the Basic Law stipulated that Hong Kong will have to implement certain measures for internal security:

The Hong Kong Special Administrative Region shall enact laws on its own to prohibit any act of treason, secession, sedition, subversion against the Central People's Government , or theft of state secrets, to prohibit foreign political organizations or bodies from conducting political activities in the Region , and to prohibit political organizations or bodies of the Region from establishing ties with foreign political organizations or bodies .

Hong Kong has failed to create any of the laws demanded by Article 23. Each time its government tried to even partially implement such laws, in 2003, 2014 and 2019, protests and large scale riots in the streets of Hong Kong prevented it.

China was always concerned about the foreign directed unrest in Hong Kong but it did not press the issue while it was still depending on Hong Kong for access to money and markets.

In the year 2000 Hong Kong's GDP stood at $171 billion while China's was just 7 times larger at $1.200 billion. Last year Hong Kong's GDP had nearly doubled to $365 billion. But China's GDP had grown more than tenfold to $14,200 billion, nearly 40 times larger than Hong Kong's. Expressed in purchase power parity the divergence is even bigger. As an economic outlet for China Hong Kong has lost its importance.

Another factor that held China back from deeper meddling in Hong Kong was its concern about negative consequences from the U.S. and Britain. But under the Trump administration the U.S. has introduced more and more measures to shackle China's development. The Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act passed last year by the U.S. Congress demands that the U.S. government reports on Hong Kong and punishes those who it deems to be human right violators. The sanctions against Chinese companies and especially Huawei, recently expanded to a total economic blockade of 5G chip deliveries to that company, demonstrate that the U.S. will do anything it can to hinder China's economic success.

The Obama administration's 'pivot to Asia' was already a somewhat disguised move against China. The Trump administration's National Defense Strategy openly declared China a "strategic competitor using predatory economics to intimidate its neighbors while militarizing features in the South China Sea".

The U.S. Marine Corps is being reconfigured into specialized units designed to blockade China's access to the sea :

Thus, small Marine forces would deploy around the islands of the first island chain and the South China Sea, each element having the ability to contest the surrounding air and naval space using anti-air and antiship missiles. Collectively, these forces would attrite Chinese forces, inhibit them from moving outward, and ultimately, as part of a joint campaign, squeeze them back to the Chinese homeland.
bigger

The 'Cold War 2.0' the U.S. launched against China will now see significant counter moves.

Last year's violent riots in Hong Kong , cheered on by the borg in Washington DC, have demonstrated that the development in Hong Kong is on a bad trajectory that may endanger China. There is no longer a reason for China to hold back on countering the nonsense. Hong Kong's economy is no longer relevant. U.S. sanctions are coming independent of what China does or does not do in Hong Kong. The U.S. military designs are now an obvious threat.

As the laws that Hong Kong was supposed to implement are not forthcoming, China will now create and implement them itself :

The central government is to table a resolution on Friday to enable the apex of its top legislative body, the Standing Committee of the National People's Congress (NPC), to craft and pass a new national security law tailor-made for Hong Kong, it announced late on Thursday.

Sources earlier told the Post the new law would proscribe secessionist and subversive activity as well as foreign interference and terrorism in the city -- all developments that had been troubling Beijing for some time, but most pressingly over the past year of increasingly violent anti-government protests.
...
According to a mainland source familiar with Hong Kong affairs, Beijing had come to the conclusion that it was impossible for the city's Legislative Council to pass a national security law to enact Article 23 of the city's Basic Law given the political climate. This was why it was turning to the NPC to take on the responsibility.

On May 28 the NPC will vote on a resolution asking its Standing Committee to write the relevant law for Hong Kong. It is likely to be enacted by promulgation at the end of June. The law will become part of Annex III of the Basic Law which lists "National Laws to be Applied in the Hong Kong Special Administrative Region".

Under the new law the U.S. will have to stop its financing of student organization, anti-government unions and media in Hong Kong. The opposition parties will no longer be allowed to have relations with U.S. influence operations.

The U.S. State Department promptly condemned the step :

Hong Kong has flourished as a bastion of liberty. The United States strongly urges Beijing to reconsider its disastrous proposal, abide by its international obligations, and respect Hong Kong's high degree of autonomy, democratic institutions, and civil liberties, which are key to preserving its special status under U.S. law. Any decision impinging on Hong Kong's autonomy and freedoms as guaranteed under the Sino-British Joint Declaration and the Basic Law would inevitably impact our assessment of One Country, Two Systems and the status of the territory.

We stand with the people of Hong Kong.

It is not (yet?) The Coming War On China (video) but some hapless huffing and puffing that is strong on rhetoric but has little effect. No U.S. action can prevent China's government from securing its realm. Hong Kong is a Chinese city where China's laws, not U.S. dollars, are supreme.

The U.S. seems to believe it can win a cold war with China. But that understanding is wrong.

On the economic front it is not the U.S. that is winning by decoupling from China but Asia that is decoupling from the U.S. :

Since the US-China tech war began in April 2018 with Washington's ban on chip exports to China's ZTE Corporation, "de-Americanization of supply chains" has been the buzzword in the semiconductor industry.

Taiwan, Vietnam, Thailand and Indonesia purchased about 50% more Chinese products in April 2020 than they did in the year-earlier month. Japan and Korea showed 20% gains. Exports to the US rose year-on-year, but from a very low 2019 base.

China's imports from Asia also rose sharply.

When the U.S. prohibits companies which use U.S. software or machines to design chips and make they sell to China then those companies will seek to buy such software and machines elsewhere. When the U.S. tries to hinder China's access to computer chips, China will build its own chip industry. Ten years from now it will be the U.S. which will have lost access to the then most modern ones as all of those will come from China. Already today it is China that dominates global trade .

The chaotic way in which the U.S. handles its Covid crisis is widely observed abroad. Those who see clearly recognized that it is now China, not the U.S., that is the responsible superpower . The U.S. is overwhelmed and will continue to be so for a long time:

This is why I don't see the talk about a possible "Cold War 2.0" as meaningful or relevant. If there were to be any sort of "cold war" between the United States and China, then U.S. policymakers would still be able credibly to start planning how to manage this complex relationship with China . But in reality, the options for "managing" the core of this relationship are pitifully few, since the central task of whatever U.S. leadership emerges from this Covid nightmare will be to manage the precipitous collapse of the globe-circling empire the United States has sat atop of since 1945.
...
So here in Washington in Spring of 2020, I say, Let 'em huff and puff with their new flatulations of childish Sinophobia. Let them threaten this or that version of a new "Cold War". Let them compete in elections -- if these are to be held -- on versions of "Who can be tougher on China." But the cold reality shows that, as Banquo said, "It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing."

In his 2003 book After the Empire Emmanuel Todd described why the U.S. was moving towards the loss of its superpower status :

Todd calmly and straightforwardly takes stock of many negative trends, including America's weakened commitment to the socio-economic integration of African Americans, a bulimic economy that increasingly relies on smoke and mirrors and the goodwill of foreign investors, and a foreign policy that squanders the country's reserves of "soft power" while its militaristic arsonist-fireman behavior is met with increasing resistance.

The Covid-19 crisis has laid all this bare for everyone to see. Will the U.S., as Todd predicted, now have to give up its superpower status? Or will it start a big war against China to divert the attention elsewhere and to prove its presumed superiority?

Posted by b on May 22, 2020 at 17:41 UTC | Permalink

If Washington lured the Soviet Union into it's demise in Afghanistan, which left that minor empire in shambles - socially, militarily, economically - it was the nuclear conflagration at Chernobyl that put the corpse in the ground.....

(Watch the GREAT HBO five-part tragedy on it and you will see that the brutally heroic response of the Soviets, that saved the Western World at least temporarily, but is the portrait of self-sacrifice)

What was lost in the Soviets fumbling immediate post-explosion cover-up was the trust of their Eastern European satellite countries. That doomed that empire. So much military might was given up in Afghanistan, then on Chernobyl, it was not clear if the Soviets had the wherewithal to put down the rebellions that spread from Czechoslovakia to East Germany and beyond.

Covid-19 will do the same to the American Empire.

As its own infrastructure has been laid waste by the COLLASSAL MONEY PIT that is the Pentagon, its flagrant use of the most valuable energy commodity, oil, to maintain some 4000 bases worldwide, this rickety over-extended upside down version of old Anglo-Dutch trading empires, will finally collapse.

Loss of trust by the many craven satellites, in America's fractured response, to Covid-19 will put the final nail in its coffin.

A hot-shooting War may come next, but the empire


norecovery , May 22 2020 18:36 utc | 5

The U.S. and its vassals will use every dirty trick in the book even while shooting themselves in the foot, as they have demonstrated in the past (and presently). Short of starting a nuclear war, the level of moral turpitude could not be any lower.
jayc , May 22 2020 18:36 utc | 6
That the pro-USA bloc in HK has to complain of supposed violations of the non-binding aspirational 1984 Joint Declaration shows their position is one of complaint not dialogue.

As early as last May, protesters interviewed by international media were pleading for the US to enact the Hong Kong Human Rights and Democracy Act.

They got their wish last autumn, but now they get the blowback from that decision. The pro-USA bloc is now openly discussing a new strategy of rising like a phoenix from the ashes of the temper tantrum they will stage in response. The hysteria meter will rise to 10.

Nick , May 22 2020 18:38 utc | 8
"we stand with the people of Hong Kong".

My god, the cringe-inducing arrogance of the Washington regime is something else! Imagine after Hurricane Maria and the subsequently dismal aid effort that devastated Puerto Rico, the Chinese issued a statement lambasting the US response and saying "we stand with the people of Puerto Rico".

Disgusting regime.

Ou Si (區司) , May 22 2020 18:57 utc | 10
The new law only prohibits organized protest movements funded from abroad (Us of north A or G-Britain, for instance), and not those protests paid for by tax and corruption refugees from Mainland China-- nor those from Táiwan that adhere to the unity of the Chinese state.
Ou Si (區司) , May 22 2020 19:00 utc | 11
Laws like this one also exist in Finland, Norway and Iceland to prohibit foreign electioneering interferences,
Jackrabbit , May 22 2020 19:05 utc | 12
I dunno.

Seems to me that Chinese dominion of HK has long been in the cards. Not sure that the Chinese moves signal anything more than the obvious: USA/EMPIRE desire to stomp on Chinese ambitions.

Kissinger laid out the plan in 2014 in his WSJ Op-Ed: Henry Kissinger on the Assembly of a New World Order . Even though I repeatedly refer back to Kissinger's Op-Ed, few really seem to 'get it'. USA Deep State are not the complete idiots that some want to make them seem.

Start a war with China? Not likely any time soon.

USA/EMPIRE have got what it wanted from HK, didn't they? They used HK to antagonize China and for anti-China propaganda. China's looming "crackdown" on UK will get lots of attention in the West, as USA economic sanctions on multiple countries are largely ignored and Assange rots in prison with nary a word from the press.

IMO The real test of USA/Empire is coming soon in the Caribbean. Will USA 'blink' and allow Iran to deliver gas to Venezuela?

!!

Babyl-on , May 22 2020 19:53 utc | 19
We are dealing with the same group, the descendants of the men who dropped the bombs on Hiroshima and Nagasaki not to end WWII but to show the USSR and the world that the Western Empire had the world at its feet.

The idea that this group will not use nuclear weapons again is foolish.

I don't know why people keep using the irrelevant term "cold war" when the US is engaged in hybrid warfare throughout the globe and there is nothing cold about it.

Jen , May 22 2020 20:32 utc | 24
As Ou Si @ 11 states, other nations have similar laws prohibiting foreign influence through the use of non-government organisations posing as charities or religious institutions via embassies and consulates. Moreover as in the case of Russia (I believe, but people can correct me if I'm wrong), the law that prohibits such activity is based on the equivalent US law that apply to foreign organisations on US soil.

In the not so distant future, we can expect to see truckloads of US and UK consulate staff being kicked out of HK and religious and other various "humanitarian" and "cultural" organisations in HK having to pack their bags and go.

Where they will all relocate though is another worry.

Guy THORNTON , May 22 2020 20:36 utc | 25
But the cold reality shows that, as Banquo said, “It is a tale, told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”

Macbeth's words, not Banquo's.

As usual, a nicely measured article, thank you.

james , May 22 2020 20:41 utc | 26
ot but related... vancouver is witnessing a greater number of attacks on asian people at present... it seems the 'hate china' memo is working itself thru the msm system with these kinds of results... when i have an article to go with this, i will share...
William Gruff , May 22 2020 20:49 utc | 27
The US is already at war with China, and will escalate from hybrid/economic war to hot war eventually because the US believes it has no alternative. Giving up global hegemony and yielding to the rising power is not perceived as a viable option. Allowing China's rise will lead to the destruction of the Empire, and America will not allow that without using the best tools of imperialism it has left, which is its military.

The Chinese need to understand this, and I believe they do understand it, but they need to accurately grasp how the US will respond to the shooting conflict when it starts. The US will escalate the violence to stay at least one level more brutal than their adversary. If the Chinese shoot at and damage an American ship, then the Americans will respond with ten times the force and sink a Chinese ship. If the Chinese sink an American ship, then the Americans will (try to) sink every Chinese ship.

The point here is that the Chinese cannot entertain the illusion that they can just give America a light military slap and the Americans will reconsider their imperialist behavior. There is precisely 0% chance of that working. When the Chinese do take action it has to be big and decisive. If the Chinese want any chance of escaping the Thucydides Trap without all-out war, then they must punch their way out with enough "Shock & Awe™" to disrupt America's otherwise inevitable escalation.

Keep in mind that the United States will use atomic weapons to defend its hegemony if allowed to escalate to that level. The only way to prevent that is to leapfrog past all of the levels of escalation that America is prepared for at the given moment and in the process stun America into inability to respond. China certainly has the means to accomplish this, but they cannot be timid about it.

vk , May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28
China is still in great danger. Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48).

It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

So, yes, the West still has a realistic chance of destroying China and inaugurating a new cycle of capitalist prosperity.

What happens with the "decoupling"/"Pivot to Asia" is that, in the West, there's a scatological theory [go to 10th paragraph] - of Keynesian origin - that socialism can only play "catch up" with capitalism, but never surpass it when a "toyotist phase" of technological innovation comes (this is obviously based on the USSR's case). This theory states that, if there's innovation in socialism, it is residual and by accident, and that only in capitalism is significant technological advancement possible. From this, they posit that, if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level.

If China will be able to get out of the "Toyotist Trap" that destroyed the USSR, only time will tell. Regardless, decoupling is clearly not working, and China is not showing any signs so far of slowing down. Hence Trump is now embracing a more direct approach.

As for the USA, I've put my big picture opinion about it some days ago, so I won't repeat myself. Here, it suffices to say that, yes, I believe the USA can continue to survive as an empire - even if, worst case scenario, in a "byzantine" form. To its favor, it has: 1) the third largest world population 2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely (for comparison, the USSR only had 10% of arable land, and of worse quality) 3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic), plus a direct exit to the Arctic (Alaska and, de facto, Greenland and Canada) 4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea), bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks to 4) still the financial superpower 5) still a robust "real" economy - specially if compared to the micro-nations of Western Europe and East-Asia 6) a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power.

I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else. The Star-and-Stripes is still a very strong ideal to the average American, and nobody takes the idea of territory loss for real. If that happens, though, it would change my equation on the survival of the American Empire completely.

As for Hong Kong. I watched a video by the chief of the PLA last year (unfortunately, I watched it on Twitter and don't have the link with me anymore). He was very clear: Hong Kong does not present an existential threat to China. The greatest existential threat to China are, by far, Xinjiang and Tibet, followed by Taiwan and the South China Sea. Hong Kong is a distant fourth place.

Those liberal clowns were never close.

Scotch Bingeinton , May 22 2020 21:06 utc | 29
Much appreciated article, thanks for that! I know nothing about China and Hong Kong, so I'm much obliged for your analysis.

Seems really like the thing to do for the Chinese, not to meddle too much in the city's internal affairs, but make sure that hostile powers can't meddle there either. When those protests slash riots came up, I was racking my brain about why the Chinese would put up with any festering US consulate in Hong Kong. Just throw those "diplomats" out on whatever thin pretext. That's also what Venezuela should have done long ago, and Syria too, back in 2011 when that certified creep Robert Stephen Ford was hopping from couch to couch, inciting civil war and probably looking to get laid by impressionable Arab guys as well. They could have saved themselves a lot of trouble by just 'neutralising' Jeff-Man Feltman over in Lebanon, too, before said Feltman managed to neutralise his host Rafic Hariri.

Jen , May 22 2020 21:55 utc | 33
VK @ 28:

One problem with your scenario is that the US navy may be over-extended in parts of the world where all the enemy has to do is to cut off supply lines to battleship groups and then those ships would be completey helpless. US warships in the Persian Gulf with the Strait of Hormuz sealed off by Iran come to mind.

Incidents involving US naval ship collisions with slow-moving oil tankers in SE Asian waters and some other parts of of the the world, resulting in the loss of sailors, hardly instill the notion that the US is a mighty thalassocratic force.

It's my understanding also that Russia, China and maybe some other countries have invested hugely in long-range missiles capable of hitting US coastal cities and areas where the bulk of the US population lives.

And if long-range missiles don't put paid to the notion that projecting power through sending naval warships all over the planet works, maybe the fact that many of these ships are sitting ducks for COVID-19 infection clusters might, where the US public is concerned.

vk , May 22 2020 22:16 utc | 34
@ Posted by: Jen | May 22 2020 21:55 utc | 33

I agree the new anti-ship missile technology may have changed the rules of naval warfare.

However, it's important to highlight that, contrary to the US Army, the USN has a stellar record. It fought wonderfully against the Japanese Empire in 1941-1945, and successfully converted both the Pacific and the Atlantic into "American lakes" for the next 75 years. All the Americans have nowadays it owes its Navy.

But you may be right. Maybe the USN is also susceptible to degeneration.

Kadath , May 22 2020 22:53 utc | 37
Re:34 VK,

The US Navy has had some pretty serious lapses in the past decade, the multiple collisions with cargo ships and the failed Littoral Combat Ship (LCS) design. Putting aside the unproven allegations that the Chinese or the Russians somehow "spooled" the GPS of the ships to cause the collisions the fact the US ships didn't have lookouts posted means they either got lazy or they are so understaffed they cut vital roles they felted were better off being automated. Also, I seem to recall that the US navy reduced their offshore training program for their officers a few years ago (meaning their newest officers are learning on the fly at sea). So i'm not sure if they've avoided the problems of a bloated military

Richard Steven Hack , May 22 2020 23:51 utc | 39
Posted by: vk | May 22 2020 21:02 utc | 28

Of the existing 30 or so high-tech productive chains, China only enjoys superiority at 2 or 3 (see 6:48). It is still greatly dependent on the West to development and still is a developing country.

Based on what I've read, China is on a fast track to develop technology on their own. In addition, technology development is world-wide these days. What China can not develop itself - quickly enough, time is the only real problem - it can buy with its economic power.

"if China is blocked out of Western IP, it will soon "go back to its place" - which is probably to Brazil or India level."

Ah, but that's where hackers come in. China can *not* be blocked out of Western IP. First, as I said, China can *buy* it. Unless there is a general prohibition across the entire Western world, and by extension sanctions against any other nation from selling to China - which is an unenforceable policy, as Iran has shown - China can buy what it doesn't have and then reverse-engineer it. Russia will sell it if no one else will.

Second, China can continue to simply acquire technology through industrial espionage. Every country and every industry engages in this sort of thing. Ever watch the movie "Duplicity"? That shit actually happens. I read about industrial espionage years ago and it's only gotten fancier since the old days of paper files. I would be happy to breach any US or EU industrial sector and sell what I find to the Chinese, the Malaysians or anyone else interested. It's called "leveling the playing field" and that is advantageous for everyone. If the US industrial sector employees can't keep up, that's their problem. No one is guaranteed a job for life - and shouldn't be.

"1) the third largest world population"

Which is mostly engaged in unproductive activities like finance, law, etc. I've read that if you visit the main US universities teaching science and technology, who are the students? Chinese. Indians. Not Americans. Americans only want to "make money" in law and finance, not "make things."

"2) huge territory, with excellent proportion of high-quality arable land (35%), that basically guarantees food security indefinitely"

In military terms, given current military technology, territory doesn't matter. China has enough nuclear missiles to destroy the 50 Major Metropolitan Areas in this country. Losing 100-200 millions citizens kinda puts a damper on US productivity. Losing the same number in China merely means more for the rest.

"3) two coasts, to the two main Oceans (Pacific and Atlantic)"

Which submarines can make irrelevant. Good for economic matters - *if* your economy can continue competing. China has one coast - but its Belt and Road Initiative gives it economic clout on the back-end and the front-end. I don't see the US successfully countering that Initiative.

"4) excellent, very defensive territory, protected by both oceans (sea-to-sea)"

Which only means the US can't be "invaded". That's WWI and WWII thinking the US is mired in. Today, you destroy an opponent's military and, if necessary, his civilian population, or at least its ability to "project" force against you. You don't "invade" unless it's some weak Third World country. And if the US can't "project" its power via its navy or air force, having a lot of territory doesn't mean much. This is where Russia is right now. Very defensible but limited in force projection (but getting better fast.) The problem for the US is China and Russia are developing military technology that can prevent US force projection around *their* borders.

"bordered only by two very feeble neighbors (Mexico and Canada) that can be easily absorbed if the situation asks"

LOL I can just see the US "absorbing" Mexico. Canada, maybe - they're allies anyway. Mexico, not so much. You want a "quagmire", send the US troops to take on the Mexican drug gangs. They aren't Pancho Villa.

"4) still the financial superpower"

Uhm, what part of "Depression" did you miss? And even if that doesn't happen now, continued financial success is unlikely. Like pandemics, shit happens in economics and monetary policy.

"a big fucking Navy, which gives it thalassocratic power."

That can be sunk in a heartbeat and is virtually a colossal money pit with limited strategic value given current military technology which both China and Russia are as advanced as the US is, if not more so. Plus China is developing its own navy quickly. I read somewhere a description of one Chinese naval shipyard. There were several advanced destroyers being developed. Then the article noted that China has several more large shipyards. That Chinese long coast comes in handy for that sort of thing.

China Now Has More Warships Than the U.S.
But sometimes quantity doesn't trump quality. [My note: But sometimes it does.]
https://tinyurl.com/y7numhef

That's just the first article I found, from a crappy source. There are better analyses, of course.

"I don't see the USA losing its territorial integrity anytime soon. There are separatist movements in places like Texas and, more recently, the Western Coast. Most of them exist only for fiscal reasons and are not taken seriously by anyone else."

I'd agree with that. I hear this "California secession" crap periodically and never believe it. However, for state politicians, the notion of being "President" of your own country versus a "Governor" probably is tempting to these morons. State populations are frequently idiots as well, as the current lockdown response is demonstrating. All in all, though, if there are perceived external military threats, that is likely to make the states prefer to remain under US central control.

[May 22, 2020] No US president who can withdraw the USA from the Forever Wars

Highly recommended!
But may be coronavirus can. Although Perfumed Princes of Pentagon and MIC with it neocon fifth column will fiercely resist.
May 22, 2020 | www.unz.com

Nikolai Vladivostok , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:21 am GMT

I've long since concluded, there is no president who can withdraw the US from the Forever Wars. Obama couldn't. Trump can't. Biden/Harris/Oprah/Gabbard/Pence won't.

There are a half-dozen permanent US policies that Americans don't get to vote on, and the Permawar is one of them.

Anon [151] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 6:36 am GMT
My God, Buchanan, I am staggered by the arrogance of this column. Where in the name of all that's holy did you ever get the idea that America has the right to impose on anyone, from Afghans through to Venezuelans, your (perceived) systems of thought, values and democracy? How many American soldiers in Iraq or Afghanistan can even speak the local language? Understand the local customs? None!!! They swan around in their sunglasses and battle gear thinking that they are they return of the Terminator and wander why the locals absolutely hate their collective guts! It's time that you collectively learned that America is NOT the world's sheriff and that, as Benjamin Franklin said "A man convinced against his will, is of the same opinion still".
animalogic , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 7:00 am GMT
Pat is not entirely wrong -- he hints at the explanation for failure:
"As imperialists, we Americans are conspicuous failures.

Moreover, with us, the national interest inevitably asserts itself."
As Imperialists there has never been anything but the (Elite) "national interest".
In short, these so called "losing" wars have been wars of aggression -- ie "bad" wars. All Pat's talk of conversion, democracy etc is just so much nonsense.

swamped , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 8:14 am GMT
"While we can defeat our enemies in the air and on the seas and in cyberspace, we cannot persuade them to embrace secular democracy and its values any more than we can convert them to Christianity" although they might be better persuaded to convert to Christianity – traditional Christianity – than to embrace secular democracy and its "values".

Why would anyone want to embrace homosexuality, transgenderism, rad-feminism, opioids, prozac, inequality, broken homes, mass shootings, mountainous debt, corrupt media, puppet politicians & the rest of the filth & perversion that passes for "values" in secular democracies like America or Western Europe?

Indeed, why would anyone in these decadent countries even want to defend these venal "values", let alone try to spread them around the world like the Chinese plague?
No, "they are not trying to change us" but maybe they should.

Donald Duck , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 10:07 am GMT
As the British and French ultimately found out it costs more to run an empire than to loot it. So the long retreat ensues. One would have thought that the Americans might have learned this from history, but no! After all they were "the exceptional people, they stood taller than the others and saw further." Errrm, no they didn't. Like their forbears they got bogged down as well getting into debt which was only bailed out by their insistence that they would not convert the dollar into gold.

Human nature and stupidity has got a long track-record and it isn't going to end anytime soon.

paranoid goy , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 12:30 pm GMT
The writer, and most commenters' are still under the erroneous belief that AMerica goes to war in places then AMerica wins or loses or wastes lives or kill children. This is the saddest part of the Yankee war machine: Americans joining the Army because they think theya re joining the fight to defend the American Dream.

You-all are corporate gunmonkeys, fighting and killing and burning and bombing, not in the name of freedom or apple pie, but in the name of Gulf Oil, Goldman Sachs, Citicorp, JPMorgan, Monsanto, PHBBillington, whatever Devil Rumsfeld calls his sack of shit these days .

America has not won any war anywhere, even their civil war was mostly just clearing the land for the banks. That is because it is not America at war, she just supplies the cannon fodder. And cannons. And radiactive scrapmetal to make bullets to mow down women and children in the name of Investor Confidence.
But then, that is what your Zionist bible tells you to do, isn't it?

Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:26 pm GMT

What Does Winning Mean in a Forever War?

Winning a war is not in the interest of the Deep State. Being at war makes the Deep State more wealthy and powerful not winning at war.

Realist , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:30 pm GMT
@Anon

I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."

If by the US you mean most of the people you may be right. But the people in the US have no say in the actions of the US government which is controlled by psychopaths.

anonymous [400] Disclaimer , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 1:49 pm GMT
Afghanistan is hardly even a country as the average American might define one. There's really nothing to "win"; we only occupy. The infrastructure is primitive so it's not cost effective to try to take whatever natural resources they may have, if any, so there's nothing they have that we want. The Taliban were not "ousted". In the face of massive firepower they split up and scattered; they're still there. After all, the US has been negotiating with them for a peace deal of some sort hasn't it? "Democracy crusades" is just a propaganda fig leaf to bamboozle stupid Americans. It's amazing that there's people who actually believe stuff like that but PT Barnum had it right. "Eventually, we give up and go home". That's because they live there and we don't. "They apparently have an inexhaustible supply of volunteers" willing to fight and die. They don't want foreign robo-soldiers pointing guns at them in their own country. We have our own version, it's called "Remember the Alamo", men who stood their ground against the odds.
Amerimutt Golems , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 2:03 pm GMT
@Anon

If a country is not willing to do that, and I would hope the United States is not willing to do that, then they (we) should go home and leave the Afghans to murder each other without our assistance. If they return to supporting terrorism or go whole hog in producing opium, perhaps the US should decapitate their entire government and let the next batch of losers give governing a try. I just don't think the US has the immoral fortitude to engage in genocide, so it's hopeless trying to "win."

The growth in opium cultivation correlates with CIA activities in the area and the $3 billion from American taxpayers which financed Mujahideen 'terrorism' against the Russians and their local proxies just to avenge the fall of Saigon.

In 1980 Afghanistan accounted for about only 5% of total world heroin production. This was mainly for the local market and neighbor Iran.

That is how you get forever wars.

Rurik , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:04 pm GMT

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not ours.

If I may..

another way of looking at this, and I feel a profound respect for the Afghans, and only wish we were made of the same mettle. If only ((they)) could say of us..

They refuse to surrender and submit because it is their beliefs, their values, their faith, their traditions, their tribe, their God, their culture, their civilization, their honor that they believe they are fighting for in what is, after all, their land, not (((ours)))).

They are not trying to change ((((us. We))) are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

IOW, we white Westerners, have proved willing to surrender and submit to all of it. Without nary a peep of protest. Even as ((they)) send us around the globe to kill people like these Afghans, for being slightly inconvenient to their agenda. [And so the CIA can reconstitute its global heroin trafficking operation$.]

If only history would look back on this epic moment, at the last Death throes of the West, and say of whitey, that he refused to surrender his values and faith and traditions and tribe and God, and culture and civilization and honor.. to ((those)) who would pervert his values, and mock his faith, and trash his traditions, and exterminate his tribe, while mocking his God, and poisoning his culture, and destroying his civilization and all because at the end of the day, he had no honor.

These men may be backwater, illiterate villagers,

but at least they have enough mettle and honor, to tell the Beast that they would rather die killing as many of the Beast's stupid goons as they're able, than ever sacrifice their sacred honor- or lands or sovereignty, or the destinies of their children – over to the fiend, which is more than I can say for Western "man".

They are not trying to change us. We are trying to change them. And they wish to remain who they are.

Would that the Swedish people had a Nano-shred of the blood-honor of an Afghan, Barbara Spectre would be pounding sand.

Historically, the Afghans are fundamentalist, tribal and impervious to foreign intervention.

Obviously, there is a great deal we need to learn from them.

What will the Taliban do when we leave?

They will not give up their dream of again ruling the Afghan nation and people. And they will fight until they have achieved that goal and their idea of victory: dominance.

Um.. Pat. Whose land is it anyways? Is it such a horror that Afghans should be dominant in Afghanistan ?

The Taliban was welcomed into most of the regions it governed, because they drove out local war lords who often treated the villager's children as their sex toys, and the foreign (CIA) opioid growers and traffickers. And it was the Taliban that put an end to all of that. They're harsh, but they're effective, and that is their land, not ours.

Also, the Taliban offered to turn over Osama Bin Laden, if the West could provide a shred of proof that he had anything whatsoever to do with 9/11. (he didn't ; ) But the West had zero proof, (as the FBI admits to this day), that they have zero proof that ties Bin Laden to 9/11.

And n0w that we all know 9/11 was an Israeli false flag, intended to use the American military as their bitch, to burn down 'seven nations in five years' .. that the Jewish supremacists wanted destroyed, our whole pretext for being over there has been a sham from day one. Duh.
.
.
.
.
I remember long ago when I had a subscription to National Geographic and this photo came out, I cut the picture out, and stuck it somewhere to look at- it was so visceral and haunting.

Leave them alone. I don't care how many Jews at the WSJ demand whitey has to stay and die for Israel. (Afghanistan is on Iran's border, and that's why we have to stay, to menace all those anti-Semites over there, trying to gas all the Jews and make soap).

Good on Trump for calling out the ((WSJ)).

follyofwar , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 3:42 pm GMT
@paranoid goy I very much doubt if many are joining the military to "defend the American Dream." Most are more practical and are joining to escape poverty, even if it might cost them their lives. Recruiters will now be inundated with volunteers since there are no jobs in the covid depression.
Exile , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:15 pm GMT
If the neo-con clown car Trump has permitted to run foreign policy since his election gets us into a war with Iran and/or Venezuela before November, will Pat still be stumping for him, or will we see the return of non-election-year Pat?
VinnyVette , says: Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 4:46 pm GMT
Excellent question Pat! Unfortunately there is no answer, we've been at "forever war" seemingly forever, and the whole point as Eisenhower so preciently warned us is THE objective.
Priss Factor , says: Website Show Comment May 22, 2020 at 5:36 pm GMT
It's not 'forever war'. It is Empire. Empire exists to continue and expand. War is about win or lose. Empire is about keep and dominate.

US wars are not to win and then depart. It is to keep occupying and controlling.

And US is rich enough to buy off the local elites as collaborators forever.

Marshal Marlow , says: Show Comment May 23, 2020 at 1:56 am GMT
@Anon

If they return to supporting terrorism

The thing is that the Afghan government wasn't supporting terrorism. Rather, it had no on-going control anywhere except the cities, which made the tribal areas useful hideouts / bases for a raft of groups.

I well remember the prelude to the invasion where the US was demanding that its government (which merely happened to be Taliban that year) hand over OBL in 72hrs. The truth was that the US knew Afghanistan didn't have the capability to do that and it merely wanted to use OBL as an excuse to invade and continue the encirclement of the old soviet states.

[May 22, 2020] Michael Flynn's Forgotten Turkish Connection

No questions that Flynn was corrupt. And his handlers were Israel and Turkey, not Russia.
May 22, 2020 | original.antiwar.com

Before Russiagate, the former national security advisor was an operative for Turkey, tilting foreign policy against the Kurds.

by Reese Erlich Posted on May 22, 2020 May 21, 2020 Former National Security Advisor Michael Flynn is best known for his connection to the Russiagate investigation. Lost in that hubbub, however, was Flynn's slimy role as a lobbyist for Turkey. A Turkish businessman paid Flynn $530,000 in 2016 to push pro-Turkey, anti-Kurd policies in hopes of influencing the Trump Administration.

The American public has mostly forgotten about Flynn's Turkey connections, says Steven A. Cook, senior fellow for Middle East and Africa Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in Washington, D.C.

"There's more going on with Turkey than people may realize," Cook tells me.

Flynn's money-driven opportunism is just one example of the operations of Washington's foreign policy lobbyists. As a candidate, Donald Trump correctly criticized the Washington swamp, but as President, instead of draining it, he has shoveled in more muck.

I've dipped my toe into the swamp on occasion by attending conferences and press events populated by Washington's elite. I've rubbed elbows with the likes of former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney's former chief of staff, Lewis "Scooter" Libby. Believe me, these folks are just as evil in person as they appear on TV.

Washington swamp creatures are easily identified by their black pinstriped suits, wingtip oxfords, and red power ties. Two kinds of people attend these events: those in power and those hoping to seize it.

Washington is crawling with former diplomats, intelligence officers, and business executives eager to influence policy and make a buck. And so enters former army Lieutenant General Michael Thomas Flynn, poster boy for the military-industrial complex.

Flynn's checkered past

Flynn, who served in Afghanistan and Iraq, came to Washington during the Obama Administration as director of the Defense Intelligence Agency. He was forced to resign for insubordination in 2014, whereupon he joined the Washington swamp by forming the Flynn Intel Group.

In 2016, Flynn hitched his wagon to candidate Donald Trump, giving a fiery speech at the Republican National Convention in which he echoed the call to "lock up" Hillary Clinton for her handling of State Department emails.

Behind the scenes, however, Flynn was engaged in offenses for which he could be locked up. The Flynn Intel Group signed a contract totaling $600,000 with a Turkish businessman who had close ties to authoritarian Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdoğan.

Erdoğan wanted Washington to extradite Fethullah Gulen, a political opponent living in Pennsylvania since 1999. Gulen is a rival political Islamist who had a falling out with Erdogan. The Turkish president accuses Gulen of organizing the unsuccessful July 2016 coup. At the time Flynn spoke favorably about the military trying to overthrow Erdogan. He also criticized Turkey for allowing terrorists to cross the border into Syria.

But after receiving the contract to help Turkey, he did a 180-degree turn and supported Erdogan's policies.

"Flynn believes whatever is good for Flynn is good for America," Kani Xulam, director of the American Kurdish Information Network, tells me. "The minute they put money in his bank account, he became pro-Turkey. That was the shocking part."

Kidnapping

In September 2016, Flynn arranged a meeting between former US officials and Turkish leaders, including the country's foreign minister, energy minister, and Erdogan's son-in-law.

Participants at the meeting talked about kidnapping Gulen and bringing him to Turkey. Former Central Intelligence Agency Director James Woolsey, who attended the meeting, said they discussed "a covert step in the dead of night to whisk this guy away."

In December, Flynn wrote an op-ed for the influential Washington publication The Hill in which he compared Gulen to both Osama bin Laden and Ayatollah Khomeini. According to analyst Cook, the op-ed could have been written in Ankara: "It was all Turkey's talking points."

Flynn didn't bother to tell The Hill editors that he was a paid lobbyist for Turkey.

Flynn became part of Trump's transition team after November 2016, and he used the position to push anti-Kurdish policies. At that time, the Kurdish-led Syrian Democratic Forces were on the verge of taking control of the ISIS-controlled city of Raqqa, Syria. He told the Obama Administration not to provide arms to the SDF and implemented that policy when Trump came to power in 2017.

But Flynn's stint as National Security Advisor lasted for only three weeks. He was forced to resign after revelations of his phone call to the Russian ambassador. In March, Flynn registered as a foreign agent for Turkey.

In 2019, a federal jury convicted Flynn's business associate, Bijan Kian, on two felonies: conspiracy to violate lobbying laws and failure to register as a foreign agent for Turkey. Flynn was scheduled to testify against Kian but changed his story at the last minute, causing problems for the prosecution. The judge later tossed the verdict, saying the prosecution didn't prove its case.

As part of an overall deal with federal prosecutors, Flynn was never charged in connection with his lobbying for Turkey. It seems unlikely that he ever will.

Corrupt world

Flynn's activities are just one example of the corrupt world of foreign lobbying. Recently, The New York Times exposed how defense contractor Raytheon pressured the Trump Administration to sell sophisticated weapons to Saudi Arabia, which were then used to slaughter civilians in Yemen.

The Yemen war, which began in 2015, has killed an estimated 100,000 people and displaced 80 percent of the population. Saudi air bombardment of hospitals, schools, and other civilian targets helped create one of the world's worst humanitarian crises. US arms manufacturers such as Lockheed Martin and Raytheon have profited handsomely from the slaughter.

Until recently, Raytheon's vice president for government relations was a former career army officer named Mark Esper. Today Esper is Secretary of Defense.

Crawling into bed with lobbyists is bipartisan activity. The Obama Administration sold $10 billion in arms to Saudi Arabia and its allies. Trump has openly boasted that US arms sales provide corporate profits and jobs at home.

"Trump has been more forthcoming praising US relations with Saudis because they want to buy more weapons," Kurdish activist Xulam tells me. "He doesn't care what Saudis do with the weapons."

Analyst Cook says the entire system of foreign lobbying needs major reform. "It's a scandal that needs to be cleaned up," he says. "It's legalized foreign influence peddling."

Reese Erlich's nationally distributed column, Foreign Correspondent, appears every two weeks. Follow him on Twitter , @ReeseErlich; friend him on Facebook ; and visit his webpage .

[May 22, 2020] It is easy for chickenhawks to scream war war war but when their lives or their kid's lives on the line of fire most will ran away to Canada or Mexico

May 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

milomilo , May 23 2020 0:24 utc | 44

@vk , hilarious post trying to potray modern day USN as fhe same one who fought japanese.. after WW2 all USN did was doing tag with soviets and today even their skill lost in the current situation.. The good ole US navy is gone, all that left is aging airframes and ships and confused doctrine that focused on clearing endless brush fires from restless natives..

USN are not able to fight peer enemy naval force, its man power are not sustainable in such fight , thus they will resort to military draft system again and pray tell how many foolish ignorant gung ho flag waving american would enlist ? it is easy for chickenhawks to scream war war war but when their lives or their kid's lives on the line of fire most will ran away to canada or mexico

[May 22, 2020] Wray's Review Of FBI's Flynn Probe Is The Fox Guarding The Hen House

May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Wray's Review Of FBI's Flynn Probe "Is The Fox Guarding The Hen House" by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/22/2020 - 20:05 Authored by Sara Carter,

FBI Director Christopher Wray announced Friday that he has ordered the bureau to conduct an internal review of its handling of the probe into former national security adviser Michael Flynn , which has led to his years long battle in federal court.

It's like the fox guarding the hen house.

Wray's decision to investigate also comes late. The bureau's probe only comes after numerous revelations that former senior FBI officials and agents involved in Flynn's case allegedly engaged in misconduct to target the three star general, who became President Donald Trump's most trusted campaign advisor.

Despite all these revelations, Wray has promised that the bureau will examine whether any employees engaged in misconduct during the court of the investigation and "evaluate whether any improvements in FBI policies and procedures need to be made." Based on what we know, how can we trust an unbiased investigation from the very bureau that targeted Flynn.

Let me put it to you this way, over the past year Wray has failed to cooperate with congressional investigations. In fact, many Republican lawmakers have called him out publicly on the lack of cooperation saying, he cares more about protecting the bureaucracy than exposing and resolving the culture of corruption within the bureau.

Wray's Friday announcement, is in my opinion, a ruse to get lawmakers off his back.

How can we trust that Wray's internal investigation will expose what actually happened in the case of Flynn, or any of the other Trump campaign officials that were targeted by the former Obama administration's intelligence and law enforcement apparatus.

It's Wray's FBI that continues to battle all the Judicial Watch Freedom of Information Act requests regarding the investigation into Flynn, along with any requests that would expose information on the Russia hoax investigation. One in particular, is the request to obtain all the text messages and emails sent and received by former Deputy Director Andrew McCabe.

The FBI defended itself in its Friday announcement saying that in addition to its own internal review, it has already cooperated with other inquiries assigned by Attorney General William Barr. But still Wray has not approved subpoena's for employees and others that lawmakers want to interview behind closed doors in Congress.

The recent documented discoveries by the Department of Justice make it all the more imperative that an outside review of the FBI's handling of Flynn's case is required. Those documents, which shed light on the actions by the bureau against Flynn, led to the DOJ's decision to drop all charges against him. It was, after all, DOJ Attorney Jeffery Jensen who discovered the FBI documents regarding Flynn that have aided his defense attorney Sidney Powell in getting the truth out to they American people.

Powell, like me, doesn't believe an internal review is appropriate.

"Wow? And how is he going to investigate himself," she questioned in a Tweet. "And how could anyone trust it? FBI Director Wray opens internal review into how bureau handled Michael Flynn case."

WOW? And how is he going to investigate himself? And how could anyone trust it?
FBI Director Wray opens internal review into how bureau handled Michael Flynn case https://t.co/AeE0yL46W6 #FBICorruption #Clapper #Brennan #NSA #spying
Widespread illegal monitoring by #Obama admin

-- Sidney Powell 🇺🇸⭐⭐⭐ (@SidneyPowell1) May 22, 2020

Last week, this reporter published the growing divide between Congressional Republicans on the House Judiciary Committee and Wray. The lawmakers have accused Wray of failing to respond to numerous requests to speak with FBI Special Agent Joe Pientka, who along with former FBI Special Agent Peter Strzok, conducted the now infamous White House interview with Flynn on Jan. 24, 2017.

Further, the lawmakers have also requested to speak with the FBI's former head of the Counterintelligence Division , Bill Priestap, whose unsealed handwritten notes revealed the possible 'nefarious' motivations behind the FBI's investigation of Flynn.

"Michael Flynn was wronged by the FBI," said a senior Republican official last week, with direct knowledge of the Flynn investigation.

"Sadly Director Wray has shown little interest in getting to the bottom of what actually happened with the Flynn case. Wray's lackadaisical attitude is an embarrassment to the rank and file agents at the bureau, whose names have been dragged through the mud time and time again throughout the Russia-gate investigation. Wray needs to wake up and work with Congress. If he doesn't maybe it's time for him to go. "

Powell argued that Flynn had pleaded guilty because his former Special Counsel Robert Mueller, along with his prosecutors, threatened to target his son. Those prosecutors also coerced Flynn, whose finances were depleted by his previous defense team. Mueller's team got Flynn to plead guilty to lying to the FBI about a phone conversation he had with the former Russian ambassador Sergey Kislyak during the presidential transition period. However, the agents who interviewed him did not believe he was lying.

Currently the DOJ's request to dismiss the case is now pending before federal Judge Emmet Sullivan. Sullivan has failed to grant the DOJ's request to dismiss the case and because of that Powell has filed a writ of mandamus to the U.S. D.C. Court of Appeals seeking the immediate removal of Sullivan, or to dismiss the prosecution as requested by the DOJ.

[May 22, 2020] System Update with Glenn Greenwald - The Murderous History and Deceitful Function of the CIA

May 22, 2020 | www.youtube.com

The Ron Paul Institute for Peace and Prosperity The CIA’s Murderous Practices, Disinformation Campaigns, and Interference in

In the weeks before the 2016 presidential election, the most powerful former leaders of the Central Intelligence Agency did everything they could to elect Hillary Clinton and defeat Donald Trump. President Obama’s former acting CIA chief Michael Morrell published a full-throated endorsement of Clinton in the New York Times and claimed “Putin ha[s] recruited Mr. Trump as an unwitting agent of the Russian Federation,” while George W. Bush’s post-9/11 CIA and NSA Chief, Gen. Michael Hayden, writing in the Washington Post, refrained from endorsing Clinton outright but echoed Morrell by accusing Trump of being a “useful fool, some naif, manipulated by Moscow” and sounding “a little bit the conspiratorial Marxist.” Meanwhile, the intelligence community under James Clapper and John Brennan fed morsels to both the Obama DOJ and the US media to suggest a Trump/Russia conspiracy and fuel what became the Russiagate investigation.

In his extraordinary election-advocating Op-Ed, Gen. Hayden, Bush/Cheney’s CIA Chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA’s antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate’s stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly “pro-Putin” positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared).

As has been true since President Harry Truman’s creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments — through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots — is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.

The CIA’s antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous, illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump’s presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:

Democrats, early in Trump’s presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump’s most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news.

Fair Use Excerpt. Read the rest here.


Arthur Davis , 1 day ago

All covered extensively in Killing Hope , U.S. Military and CIA Interventions Since World War II, by William Blum

Timothy Lee , 22 hours ago

Oliver Stone's "The Untold History of the US" opened up my eyes to how shameful our history really is. The American Empire is no better then Great Britain, the very power this country was supposed to rise above.

Mehdi Hosseini , 1 day ago

When a system is fully controlled by the big corporation/money every action and move must serve it's master. Some are directly related to their immediate interest and some to prevent any future challenge to it.

Dennis Miller , 1 day ago

let's not forget the Dulles Brothers (CIA & State)

Joe Filter , 1 day ago

Such sad facts. 'Killing Hope' really does describe it.

Cygnus X-321 , 1 day ago

"...At CBS, we had been contacted by the CIA, as a matter of fact, by the time I became the head of the news and public affairs division in 1954 shifts had been established ... I was told about them and asked if I'd carry on with them...." -- Sid Mickelson, CBS News President 1954-61, describing Operation Mockingbird

Jorge Eduardo da Silva Tavares , 1 day ago

Confessions of an Economic Hit Man, by John Perkins, was a NYTimes best-seller about the methods CIA use to dominate countries in Latin America and in Asia. John Perkins never was interviewed by Us Media.

[May 22, 2020] What has always been fascinating to me is the irony of the mindset HK protestors

May 22, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

Doryphore , May 22 2020 21:30 utc | 31

Good info on this situation, b.

What has always been fascinating to me is the irony of the mindset HK protestors. They have legit grievances about economic injustices but due to their media (which is just an extension of British tabloid conspiracy sites like the Mirror and Sun or neocon Bri rags like the Economist), they wrongly attribute blame to Beijing when they ought to their former British masters.

When they left, they forced China to guarantee that the oligarchs in HK would continue to have full control over land and banking interests. These corrupt servants of the British have continued to jack up housing prices and made it nearly impossible for many to live a comfortable life.

HK has more land than Singapore but the later made it illegal to price gauge rent and made other protections against predatory oligarchs.

Now Singaporeans have very high home ownership and affordable housing while HKers must live like rats.

Due to their colonial brainwashing, the HKers have come to see anti-China conspiracy theories everywhere when their own oligarchs continue to steal from them. Had it not been for the British who forced Beijing into these pro-oligarch deals to ensure handover, Beijing would have done the same for HK what the Singaporean gov did for their population.


J Norwich , May 23 2020 0:43 utc | 50

Posted by: carl | May 22 2020 23:29 utc | 38

How can supporting the independence of Taiwan, or being anti-Communist be racist?

Anyone with first hand knowledge of Hong Kong understands that many Hong Kong Chinese despise "mainlanders" as a people. Their antipathy is to the culture, manners, values and economic power of mainland Chinese. It is not a principled objection to communist ideology or concern for their neighbours in Taiwan.

This should not be taken as a criticism of Hong Kongers. It is just a factual observation. Chinese people in general appear unconcerned by the concept of racism. In my experience, Hong Kongers in particular have no qualms about criticising other races and cultures, and certainly don't see it as immoral. Personally, I don't particularly mind this.

Paora , May 23 2020 1:05 utc | 51
Here's a little story from my teen years in the '90s that taught me everything I needed to know about the mentality of Hong Kongers. When my father's provincial university opened a satellite campus in a wealthy area of my country's largest city, I found myself at a high school with many recent East Asian migrants. Not many Mainlanders yet, mostly Sth Koreans and HK/Taiwan/Singapore Chinese. The HKers tended to be more arrogant than their fellow East Asians, seeing themselves as superior and more 'Western'.

One HK guy decided to differentiate himself by referring to the other East Asians as 'Gooks'. One day in class my quiet Korean friend gave the teacher a note and said in halting English "I need to go see ... orthodontist". On hearing this, our HKer immediately yelled "Is 'dentist' ... not 'dontist' you stupid GOOK!", provoking roars of laughter. Once he realised we were laughing at him, not with him, that was the beginning of the end for his 'Gook' experiment.

A Cynic , May 23 2020 1:22 utc | 52
Kind of ironic to play the racism card here - hard to find any more racist group than Han Chinese!

[May 22, 2020] Time to Break up the FBI by William S. Smith

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... One could write a long history of FBI abuses and failures, from Latin America to Martin Luther King to Japanese internment. But just consider a handful of their more recent cases. ..."
"... But it was 9/11 that really sealed the FBI's ignominious track record. The lavishly funded agency charged with preventing terrorism somehow missed the attacks, despite their awareness of numerous Saudi nationals taking flying lessons around the country. Immediately after 9/11, the nation was gripped by the anthrax scare, and once again the FBI's inability to solve the case caused them to try to railroad an innocent man, Stephen Hatfill . ..."
"... With 9/11, the FBI also began targeting troubled Americans by handing them bomb materials, arresting them, and then holding a press conference to tell the country that they had prevented a major terrorist attack -- a fake attack that they themselves had planned. ..."
"... 9/11 also opened the floodgates to domestic surveillance and all the FISA abuses that most recently led to the prosecution of Michael Flynn. I am no fan of Flynn and his hawkish anti-Islamic views, but the way he was framed and then prosecuted really does shock the conscience. ..."
"... For the FBI, merely catching bad guys is too mundane. As one can tell from the sanctimonious James Comey, the culture at the Bureau holds grander aspirations. Comey's book is titled A Higher Loyalty , as if the FBI reports only to the Almighty. ..."
"... While the nation's elite colleges and tech companies are crawling with Chinese spies who are literally stealing our best ideas, the chief of the FBI's Counterintelligence Section, Peter Strzok, spent his days trying to frame junior aides in the Trump campaign. ..."
"... Some conservatives have called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to be fired. This would accomplish nothing, as the problem is not one man but an entire culture. ..."
"... One of the most amusing yet disturbing tends of the Trump era has been the increasingly strong embrace of the "intelligence community" (how I hate that term) by left liberals. ..."
"... It's tempting to wonder how many of them have even heard of COINTELPRO, but I suspect that most of them would be just fine if the FBI intervened to disrupt and destabilize the Marxist left in the unlikely event that it seemed to be gaining a significant political foothold. Can't have any nasty class politics disrupting their bourgeois identitarian parlor game! ..."
"... J. Edgar Hoover wrecked a lot of the good the FBI could have been right from the beginning, there needs to be a major cultural change over there and they need to be put back on track so that they serve us instead of themselves. ..."
"... Making sure crooks like Hoover and showboats like Comey never get put in charge would be a good start. ..."
"... Remember in "Three Days of the Condor," when Robert Redford reacts scornfully to Cliff Robertson's use of the term "community"? ..."
"... Collaboratus: Basically, working together. BULL, the individual IC Agencies can't work together internally, much less across agency boundaries. ..."
"... Virtus: a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths. Again, BULL. The Feminazis and lgbtqxyz crowd have, pretty much snipped any balls and put them in a jar. Yes, gay pride is big in the IC. ..."
"... Fides: was the goddess of trust and bona fides in Roman paganism. She was one of the original virtues to be considered an actual religious divinity. Fides is everything that is required for "honour and credibility, from fidelity in marriage, to contractual arrangements, and the obligation soldiers owed to Rome". With respect to the IC, that last bears repeating" "Obligations Soldiers Owed To Rome." In the IC (Rome), Leadership and Management (LM) have no obligations to the 'soldiers'; so, of course, the soldiers respond in kind. ..."
"... Real underline issue is FBI has been politicized. Rather than be neutral and independent, top FBI leaders have aligned with politicians. While nominate FBI officials, presidents also select their own than someone is independent. ..."
"... Absolutely nothing new or rare was done to Flynn. The FBI used perfectly standard dirty tricks on him. ..."
"... It isn't just the FBI that uses dirty tactics. most police departments also use dirty tactics. ..."
"... As I see it the agency that needs to be broken up is the CIA. What they do is shameful and not American. They are and have always been heavily involved in other countries internal affairs. They are an evil organization. ..."
"... Absolutely phenomenal that an entire essay abusing the FBI could be written without once mentioning the man who actually made the Federal Bureau of Investigation into what it is (whatever that might be). But J Edgar Hoover is still sufficiently iconic a figure to many Conservatives that it would be counterproductive to assault him. Better someone like Comey. ..."
"... I did not know the FBI had the power to go back in time, otherwise how did they get Flynn to lie to VP Pence on Jan 14 when they didn't interview him until 1/24? Amazing how powerful they are! ..."
May 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Its constant abuses, of which Michael Flynn is only the latest, show what a failed Progressive Era institution it really is. Fittingly, the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) was founded by a grandnephew of Napoleon Bonaparte, Attorney General Charles J. Bonaparte, during the Progressive Era. Bonaparte was a Harvard-educated crusader. As the FBI's official history states, "Many progressives, including (Teddy) Roosevelt, believed that the federal government's guiding hand was necessary to foster justice in an industrial society."

Progressives viewed the Constitution as a malleable document, a take-it-or-leave-it kind of thing. The FBI inherited that mindset of civil liberties being optional. In their early years, with the passage of the Espionage and Sedition Acts during World War I, the FBI came into its own by launching a massive domestic surveillance campaign and prosecuting war dissenters. Thousands of Americans were arrested, prosecuted, and jailed simply for voicing opposition.

One could write a long history of FBI abuses and failures, from Latin America to Martin Luther King to Japanese internment. But just consider a handful of their more recent cases. The FBI needlessly killed women and children at Waco and Ruby Ridge. Anyone who has lived anywhere near Boston knows of the Bureau's staggering corruption during gangster Whitey Bulger's reign of terror. The abuses in Boston were so terrific that radio host Howie Carr declared that the FBI initials really stood for "Famous But Incompetent." And then there's Richard Jewell, the hero security guard who was almost railroaded by zealous FBI agents looking for a scalp after they failed to solve the Atlanta terrorist bombing.

But it was 9/11 that really sealed the FBI's ignominious track record. The lavishly funded agency charged with preventing terrorism somehow missed the attacks, despite their awareness of numerous Saudi nationals taking flying lessons around the country. Immediately after 9/11, the nation was gripped by the anthrax scare, and once again the FBI's inability to solve the case caused them to try to railroad an innocent man, Stephen Hatfill .

With 9/11, the FBI also began targeting troubled Americans by handing them bomb materials, arresting them, and then holding a press conference to tell the country that they had prevented a major terrorist attack -- a fake attack that they themselves had planned.

9/11 also opened the floodgates to domestic surveillance and all the FISA abuses that most recently led to the prosecution of Michael Flynn. I am no fan of Flynn and his hawkish anti-Islamic views, but the way he was framed and then prosecuted really does shock the conscience. After Jewell, Hatfill, Flynn, and so many others, it's time to ask whether the culture of the FBI has become similar to that of Stalin's secret police, i.e. "show me the man and I'll show you the crime."

I am no anti-law enforcement libertarian. In a previous career, I had the privilege to work with agents of the Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) and they were some of the bravest people I have ever met. And while the DEA can be overly aggressive (just ask anyone who has been subjected to federal asset forfeiture), it is inconceivable that its agents would plot a coup d'état against the president of the United States. The DEA sees their job as catching drug criminals; they stay in their lane.

For the FBI, merely catching bad guys is too mundane. As one can tell from the sanctimonious James Comey, the culture at the Bureau holds grander aspirations. Comey's book is titled A Higher Loyalty , as if the FBI reports only to the Almighty.

They see themselves as progressive guardians of the American Way, intervening whenever and wherever they see democracy in danger. No healthy republic should have a national police force with this kind of culture. There are no doubt many brave and patriotic FBI agents, but there is also no doubt they have been very badly led.

This savior complex led them to aggressively pursue the Russiagate hoax. Their chasing of ghosts should make it clear that the FBI does not stay in their lane. While the nation's elite colleges and tech companies are crawling with Chinese spies who are literally stealing our best ideas, the chief of the FBI's Counterintelligence Section, Peter Strzok, spent his days trying to frame junior aides in the Trump campaign.

Some conservatives have called for FBI Director Christopher Wray to be fired. This would accomplish nothing, as the problem is not one man but an entire culture. One possible solution is to break up the FBI into four or five agencies, with one responsible for counterintelligence, one for counterterrorism, one for complex white-collar crime, one for cybercrimes, and so on. Smaller agencies with more distinctive missions would not see themselves as national saviors and could be held accountable for their effectiveness at very specific jobs. It would also allow federal agents to develop genuine expertise rather than, as the FBI regularly does, shifting agents constantly from terrorism cases to the war on drugs to cybercrime to whatever the political class's latest crime du jour might be.

Such a reform would not end every abuse of federal law enforcement, and all these agencies would need to be kept on a short leash for the sake of civil liberties. It would, however, diminish the ostentatious pretension of the current FBI that they are the existential guardians of the republic. In a republic, the people and their elected leaders are the protectors of their liberties. No one else.

William S. Smith is senior research fellow and managing director at the Center for the Study of Statesmanship at The Catholic University of America. His new book is Democracy and Imperialism: Irving Babbitt and Warlike Democracies (2019) .


Embarrassed 11 hours ago

One of the most amusing yet disturbing tends of the Trump era has been the increasingly strong embrace of the "intelligence community" (how I hate that term) by left liberals.

It's hard to believe it was only a decade ago when they were (correctly) deriding these exact same people for their manifold failures relating to the War on Terror, but then again left liberals at that time had not yet abandoned the pretense that they were something other than a PMC social club.

It's tempting to wonder how many of them have even heard of COINTELPRO, but I suspect that most of them would be just fine if the FBI intervened to disrupt and destabilize the Marxist left in the unlikely event that it seemed to be gaining a significant political foothold. Can't have any nasty class politics disrupting their bourgeois identitarian parlor game!

Megan S Embarrassed 6 hours ago
It's not the left liberals, it's the centrists and the neocons fleeing the Republican Party like rats. The left never liked the FBI, never trusted them, with good reason.

J. Edgar Hoover wrecked a lot of the good the FBI could have been right from the beginning, there needs to be a major cultural change over there and they need to be put back on track so that they serve us instead of themselves.

Making sure crooks like Hoover and showboats like Comey never get put in charge would be a good start.

FJR Atlanta Embarrassed 3 hours ago
Or put another way... One of the most amusing yet disturbing tends of the Trump era has been the increasingly strong disdain of the "intelligence community" (how I hate that term) by far right conservatives.

Let's just be honest with ourselves - we really don't want intelligence, or science, or oversight, unless it supports our team.

Gary Keith Chesterton Embarrassed 3 hours ago
Remember in "Three Days of the Condor," when Robert Redford reacts scornfully to Cliff Robertson's use of the term "community"?

Nowadays, it's actually an official or semi-official term. They even have their own logo, for crying out loud.

View Hide
TISO_AX2 Gary Keith Chesterton an hour ago
It represents just one more bureaucrat in the line to go and tell lies before congressional oversight committees. Thanks Bushies.
Linux Pauling Gary Keith Chesterton 29 minutes ago • edited
Some thoughts on the IC Motto:

1. Collaboratus: Basically, working together. BULL, the individual IC Agencies can't work together internally, much less across agency boundaries. This goes to guys like Mike Flynn (former director of DIA), his predecessors and successors, and their peers across the Intel(?) Community (that one kills me, too); the IC. Not to 'slight' anyone, but middle management is no better, and probably, worse; everyone has to protect their own 'little rice bowl' ya know.

2. Virtus: a specific virtue in Ancient Rome. It carried connotations of valor, manliness, excellence, courage, character, and worth, perceived as masculine strengths. Again, BULL. The Feminazis and lgbtqxyz crowd have, pretty much snipped any balls and put them in a jar. Yes, gay pride is big in the IC.

3. Fides: was the goddess of trust and bona fides in Roman paganism. She was one of the original virtues to be considered an actual religious divinity. Fides is everything that is required for "honour and credibility, from fidelity in marriage, to contractual arrangements, and the obligation soldiers owed to Rome". With respect to the IC, that last bears repeating" "Obligations Soldiers Owed To Rome." In the IC (Rome), Leadership and Management (LM) have no obligations to the 'soldiers'; so, of course, the soldiers respond in kind.

The ICs are dog eat dog; LM are looking out for themselves...Period. Actually doing 'the job' is pretty far down the TODO List. The vast majority of people in the 'trenches' are just trying to get through the day; like LM, doing the 'right thing' is no longer the first thought.

To make matters worse (if possible), MANY of those people in the trenches have almost no clue WTF they are doing. This is because management involuntarily reassigns people (SURPRISE!) to jobs for which they were not hired, have no qualifications, and, often, no interest in becoming qualified. Of course, they hang on hoping that 'black swan' will land and make everything right again.

We've had two major incidents (at least), in the last 20 years (9/11 and the Kung Flu) that are specific failures of the IC (IMO). The IC failed (fails?) because Collaboratus, Virtus, and Fides are just some words on a plaque; not goals for which to strive; lip service is a poor substitute.

Yeah, these yahoos are overdue for a good house cleaning as well.

Gary Keith Chesterton Linux Pauling 5 minutes ago
I work in Defense; and the problems there are identical.
Dodo 10 hours ago
Real underline issue is FBI has been politicized. Rather than be neutral and independent, top FBI leaders have aligned with politicians. While nominate FBI officials, presidents also select their own than someone is independent.

In order their men can do their "works", they also increased their authorities. Supposedly, FBI directors, once confirmed, will not change with president. In reality, we saw presidents to replace old ones with their own.

It is not break up or whatever "reform". As long as presidents (regardless whom) can choose their own, how can you expect FBI does its jobs stated by laws?

Amicus Brevis 8 hours ago • edited
It is amazing how far people will let their political hatreds take them. The FBI is actually more important for the services it provides police forces around America than it is for solving federal crimes.

The FBI have been using dirty practices on people for decades. Literally hundreds of people who are not criminals have written about this - several of them are former agents who left in good standing.

They practice some of them right out in the open, like leaking information about arrests to the press so that the press get to film their arrests - sometimes timing arrests to hit local primetime new. It even has a name - the prime time perp walk. Whether these people are convicted or not, those images follow them for the rest of their lives. Or announcing that a person is "a person of interest" to force cooperation, because they know that people hear "suspect" when they hear such announcements. They will then offer to announce that the person is no longer a person of interest in exchange for cooperation. It didn't deserve to be disbanded them.

Absolutely nothing new or rare was done to Flynn. The FBI used perfectly standard dirty tricks on him. But since he was a minion of Donald Trump, the FBI should have known that he was untouchable. That is their real wrongdoing here. But they didn't realize it, so they should be disbanded. It is just like some progressives call for the disbandment of ICE because it arrests illegal aliens.

This ignoramus reminds me of others of his kind who call for the disbandbandment of the UN because they don't like the behavior of its General Council, its human rights or the peace keeping agencies, completely oblivious of the critical services the dozens of non-political UN agencies provide to all countries, especially to very small or under developed ones. They call for the destruction of WHO because it kowtows to China no matter that a number of countries in the world would have access to zero advanced health services without it, and others who are less dependent, but find its services critical in maintaining healthy populations. They find it politically objectionable so get rid of it! I really hate how progressives throw around the words "entitled" and "privilege", but some people do behave that way.

jack Amicus Brevis 5 hours ago
It isn't just the FBI that uses dirty tactics. most police departments also use dirty tactics.
IanDakar jack an hour ago
You can't go without the police though and a lot of what goes there can be reformed. Stop treating them like an movie version of the military. Teach them to calm a situation instead of shooting first, and realize you can treat them like an important part of society without making them above the law.
jack 5 hours ago
As I see it the agency that needs to be broken up is the CIA. What they do is shameful and not American. They are and have always been heavily involved in other countries internal affairs. They are an evil organization.
IanDakar jack an hour ago
We don't have to pick one program to drop.

Add homeland security to it as well.

I'm a " good government beats a small badly run one" and not a friend to libertarian ideals but there's a lot of government that can get the heave ho.

Wally 5 hours ago
If conservatives are coming around to the idea that police corruption is a real thing, that would be great. Somehow, I tend to doubt that it extends much beyond a way to protect white collar and political corruption. I hope this is a turning point. The investigations into Clinton emails didn't seem to warrant a mention here. Oh well.
IanDakar Wally an hour ago
That whole email situation was worthless. Not to say whether there was or was not an issue but the investigation was nothing worthwhile and only resulted in complicating an already messy election. Whether you believe there was a crime or not there there was nothing good handled by that investigation.

Personally I'm more content with the Mueller investigation. Not the way everyone panicked over it on both sides but what Mueller actually did himself: came in, researched the situation, found out that while a good few people acted messy Trump himself wasn't doing more than Twitter talk (yes it's technically "not enough evidence to prosecute", but that is how we phrase "not guilty" technically: you prove guilt not innocence), stated that Trump keeps messing himself up (aka "why did you ask your staff to claim one reason for a firing then tell a different story on national TV idiot")..

Then ran for the hills as everyone screamed "impeach/witchhunt".

Though don't get me wrong: I'm not going to get on the way of any attempt to dismantle the FBI or any of those other systems. It's something I really wish "small government" actually meant.

FND 3 hours ago
And lets not forget that Russia warned the FBI about the Tsarnaev brothers. The FBI did a perfunctory investigation and dismissed the threat. They probably thought they were a couple of poor Chechen boys persecuted by those evil Russians.
Brasidas 3 hours ago
And while the DEA can be overly aggressive... it is inconceivable that its agents would plot a coup d'état against the president of the United States.

And it still is.

David Naas an hour ago
Absolutely phenomenal that an entire essay abusing the FBI could be written without once mentioning the man who actually made the Federal Bureau of Investigation into what it is (whatever that might be). But J Edgar Hoover is still sufficiently iconic a figure to many Conservatives that it would be counterproductive to assault him. Better someone like Comey.

But, this is part of a pattern of Trump and his loyal followers (no Conservatives they) assault on the Institutions. The FBI is insufficiently tamed by Billy Barr, so it must go. (Part of the deep state swamp. /s).

Actually, there are very sound reasons for keeping the FBI, and even more for reforming it. But since it was engaged in checking out Trump's minion, Flynn, it is bad, very bad, incredibly bad, and must go. OTOH, if Comey had bent the knee to Trump, the FBI would be the most tremendous force for good the country has ever seen.

But this essay must be seen as part of the background of attempted legitimization for whatever Trump tweetstormed today. Perhaps the critics are right, and "conservatism is dead". If so, it would be the proper thing to give it a decent burial and go on.

Because there is nothing about Donald John Trump which is the least Conservative, and it is sickening to see people I once presumed to be "principled" line up at the altar of Trumpism. You know he will not be satisfied until the country is renamed The United States of Trump.

Now, all you Trumpublicans and Trumpservatives go downvote because I decline to abandon Conservatism for Trumpworship,

Jim Hohman 9 minutes ago
I did not know the FBI had the power to go back in time, otherwise how did they get Flynn to lie to VP Pence on Jan 14 when they didn't interview him until 1/24? Amazing how powerful they are!

[May 22, 2020] The CIA's Murderous Practices, Disinformation Campaigns, and Interference in Other Countries Shape the World Order and U.S. Politics by Glenn Greenwald

Notable quotes:
"... Democrats, early in Trump's presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump's most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news . ..."
"... the current function ..."
May 22, 2020 | theintercept.com

In his extraordinary election-advocating op-ed, Hayden, Bush/Cheney's CIA chief, candidly explained the reasons for the CIA's antipathy for Trump: namely, the GOP candidate's stated opposition to allowing CIA regime change efforts in Syria to expand as well as his opposition to arming Ukrainians with lethal weapons to fight Russia (supposedly "pro-Putin" positions which, we are now all supposed to forget, Obama largely shared ). As has been true since President Harry Truman's creation of the CIA after World War II, interfering in other countries and dictating or changing their governments -- through campaigns of mass murder, military coups, arming guerrilla groups, the abolition of democracy, systemic disinformation, and the imposition of savage despots -- is regarded as a divine right, inherent to American exceptionalism. Anyone who questions that or, worse, opposes it and seeks to impede it (as the CIA perceived Trump was) is of suspect loyalties at best.

The CIA's antipathy toward Trump continued after his election victory. The agency became the primary vector for anonymous illegal leaks designed to depict Trump as a Kremlin agent and/or blackmail victim. It worked to ensure the leak of the Steele dossier that clouded at least the first two years of Trump's presidency. It drove the scam Russiagate conspiracy theories. And before Trump was even inaugurated, open warfare erupted between the president-elect and the agency to the point where Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer explicitly warned Trump on the Rachel Maddow Show that he was risking full-on subversion of his presidency by the agency:

This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
Democrats, early in Trump's presidency, saw clearly that the CIA had become one of Trump's most devoted enemies, and thus began viewing them as a valuable ally. Leading out-of-power Democratic foreign policy elites from the Obama administration and Clinton campaign joined forces not only with Bush/Cheney neocons but also former CIA officials to create new foreign policy advocacy groups designed to malign and undermine Trump and promote hawkish confrontation with nuclear-armed Russia. Meanwhile, other ex-CIA and Homeland Security officials, such as John Brennan and James Clapper, became beloved liberal celebrities by being hired by MSNBC and CNN to deliver liberal-pleasing anti-Trump messaging that, on a virtually daily basis, masqueraded as news .

The all-consuming Russiagate narrative that dominated the first three years of Trump's presidency further served to elevate the CIA as a noble and admirable institution while whitewashing its grotesque history. Liberal conventional wisdom held that Russian Facebook ads, Twitter bots and the hacking and release of authentic, incriminating DNC emails was some sort of unprecedented, off-the-charts, out-of-the-ordinary crime-of-the-century attack, with several leading Democrats (including Hillary Clinton) actually comparing it to 9/11 and Pearl Harbor . The level of historical ignorance and/or jingostic American exceptionalism necessary to believe this is impossible to describe. Compared to what the CIA has done to dozens of other countries since the end of World War II, and what it continues to do , watching Americans cast Russian interference in the 2016 election through online bots and email hacking (even if one believes every claim made about it) as some sort of unique and unprecedented crime against democracy is staggering. Set against what the CIA has done and continues to do to "interfere" in the domestic affairs of other countries -- including Russia -- the 2016 election was, at most, par for the course for international affairs and, more accurately, a trivial and ordinary act in the context of CIA interference. This propaganda was sustainable because the recent history and the current function of the CIA has largely been suppressed. Thankfully, a just-released book by journalist Vincent Bevins -- who spent years as a foreign correspondent covering two countries still marred by brutal CIA interference: Brazil for the Los Angeles Times and Indonesia for the Washington Post -- provides one of the best, most informative and most illuminating histories yet of this agency and the way it has shaped the actual, rather than the propagandistic, U.S. role in the world.

Entitled "The Jakarta Method: Washington's Anticommunist Crusade and the Mass Murder Program that Shaped Our World," the book primarily documents the indescribably horrific campaigns of mass murder and genocide the CIA sponsored in Indonesia as an instrument for destroying a nonaligned movement of nations who would be loyal to neither Washington nor Moscow. Critically, Bevins documents how the chilling success of that morally grotesque campaign led to its being barely discussed in U.S. discourse, but then also serving as the foundation and model for clandestine CIA interference campaigns in multiple other countries from Guatemala, Chile, and Brazil to the Philippines, Vietnam, and Central America: the Jakarta Method.

Our newest episode of SYSTEM UPDATE, which debuts today at 2:00 p.m. on The Intercept's YouTube channel , is devoted to a discussion of why this history is so vital: not just for understanding the current international political order but also for distinguishing between fact and fiction in our contemporary political discourse. In addition to my own observations on this topic, I speak to Bevins about his book, about what the CIA really is and how it has shaped the world we still inhabit, and why a genuine understanding of both international and domestic politics is impossible without a clear grasp on this story.

[May 22, 2020] Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists

Notable quotes:
"... Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest. ..."
May 22, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

Herman , May 17, 2020 at 09:00

Interesting comparison between the aspirations of De Gaulle and Putin.

"Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. His policy was to foster friendly relations on equal terms with all parts of the world, regardless of ideological differences. I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar. It is clearly a concept that horrifies the exceptionalists."

Agree with Johnstone.

OlyaPola , May 19, 2020 at 11:55

"Having a sense of history, de Gaulle saw that colonialism had been a moment in history that was past. "

Mr. de Gaulle like other "leaders" of colonial powers did understand that the moment of overt coercive relations of colonialism had passed and that colonialism to remain qualitatively the same, required covert coercive relations facilitated by the complicity of local "elites" on the basis of perceived self-interest.

The exceptions to such strategies lay within constructs of settler colonialism which were addressed primarily through warfare – "The United States of America", Vietnam/Laos/Cambodia, Indonesia, Algeria, Kenya, Rhodesia, Mozambique, Angola refer – to facilitate such future strategies.

"I think that Putin's concept of a multipolar world is similar."

As outlined elsewhere the concept of a multi-polar world is not synonymous with the concept of colonialism except for the colonialists who consistently seek to encourage such conflation through myths of we-are-all-in-this-togetherness.

[May 22, 2020] Flynn Targeted By Christopher Steele After FBI Offered To Pay Ex-Spook 'Significantly'

May 22, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

In the weeks leading up to the 2016 election, the FBI offered to pay former British spy Christopher Steele "significantly" for collecting intelligence on Michael Flynn, according to the Daily Caller 's Chuck Ross.

The FBI's proposal - made during an October 3, 2016 meeting in an unidentified European city, and virtually ignored by the press - has taken on new significance in light of recent documents exposing how the Obama administration targeted Flynn before and after president Trump's upset victory over Hillary Clinton in 2016.

The inspector general's report, released on Dec. 9, 2019, said that FBI agents offered to pay Steele "significantly" to collect intelligence from three separate "buckets" that the bureau was pursuing as part of Crossfire Hurricane , its counterintelligence probe of four Trump campaign associates.

One bucket was "Additional intelligence/reporting on specific, named individuals (such as [Carter Page] or [Flynn]) involved in facilitating the Trump campaign-Russian relationship," the IG report stated.

FBI agents also sought contact with "any individuals or sub sources" who Steele could provide to "serve as cooperating witnesses to assist in identifying persons involved in the Trump campaign-Russian relationship."

Steele at the time had provided the FBI with reports he compiled alleging that members of the Trump campaign had conspired with the Kremlin to influence the 2016 election. - Daily Caller

Of note, Steele was promoting a discredited rumor that Flynn had an extramarital affair with Svetlana Lokhova, a Russian-British academic who studied at the University of Cambridge. This rumor was amplified by the Wall Street Journal and The Guardian in March, 2017.

According to the Inspector General's report, the FBI gave Steele a "general overview" of their Crossfire Hurricane probe - including their efforts to surveil Trump campaign aides George Papadopoulos and Carter Page, along with Paul Manafort and Flynn. In fact - some FBI agents questioned whether the lead agent told Steel too much about the operation , according to the IG report.

Via the Daily Caller

In recent weeks, the release of two documents raise questions about potential links between the FBI's request of Steele and the Lokhova rumor .

One of the documents is a transcript of longtime John McCain associate David Kramer's interview with the House Intelligence Committee. Kramer testified on Dec. 17, 2017, that Steele told him in December 2016 that he suspected that Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman .

"There was one thing he mentioned to me that is not included here, and that is he believed that Mr. Flynn had an extramarital affair with a Russian woman in the U.K .," Kramer told lawmakers.

Kramer said that Steele conveyed that Flynn's alleged mistress was a "Russian woman" who "may have been a dual citizen."

An FBI memo dated Jan. 4, 2017, contained another allegation regarding Flynn and a mysterious Russian woman.

The memo, which was provided to Flynn's lawyers on April 30, said that an FBI confidential human source (CHS) told the bureau that they were present at an event that Flynn attended while he was still working in the U.S. intelligence community . - Daily Caller

Lokhova and Flynn have denied the rumors - with Lokhova's husband telling the Daily Caller News Foundation that he picked his wife up after the Cambridge dinner where an FBI informant said they 'left together in a cab.'

Meanwhile, a DIA official who was at the Cambridge event with Flynn also told the WSJ in March 2017 that there was nothing inappropriate going on between Flynn and Lokhova.

Read the rest of the report here .

[May 21, 2020] Falsification of history as the major goal of propaganda

May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

Howard ,

"History," they say, "is written by the winners." But if you want to get at the fundamental flaw, remove the last three words and you have it: "History is written."

Events cannot be written, they can only be lived.

Just as a sun in a picture cannot give heat or light. The problem is that those who live history seldom speak of it, it's much too traumatic for them.

And those who speak voluminously of it most likely did not live it.

kenny gordon ,

Nice comment, Howard.

When my Father [Royal Artillery] was told to stop fighting against my Father-in-Law [Waffen SS], he was sent off to fight against MOSSAD in Palestine he witnessed the brutal treatment handed out to the "indigenous people" and was very reluctant to talk about his experience.. "By way of deception thou shalt do war"..!

[May 21, 2020] The 'Clean Break' Doctrine OffGuardian

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm ..."
"... "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" ..."
"... "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" ..."
May 21, 2020 | off-guardian.org

n 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu, who was then in his first term as Prime Minister of Israel, as a how-to manual on approaching regime change in the Middle East and for the destruction of the Oslo Accords.

The "Clean Break" policy document outlined these goals:

Ending Yasser Arafat's and the Palestinian Authority's political influence, by blaming them for acts of Palestinian terrorism Inducing the United States to overthrow Saddam Hussein's regime in Iraq. Launching war against Syria after Saddam's regime is disposed of. Followed by military action against Iran, Saudi Arabia, and Egypt.

"Clean Break" was also in direct opposition to the Oslo Accords, to which Netanyahu was very much itching to obliterate. The Oslo II Accord was signed just the year before, on September 28th 1995, in Taba, Egypt.

During the Oslo Accord peace process, Likud leader Benjamin Netanyahu accused Rabin's government of being "removed from Jewish tradition and Jewish values." Rallies organised by the Likud and other right-wing fundamentalist groups featured depictions of Rabin in a Nazi SS uniform or in the crosshairs of a gun.

In July 1995, Netanyahu went so far as to lead a mock funeral procession for Rabin, featuring a coffin and hangman's noose.

The Oslo Accords was the initiation of a process which was to lead to a peace treaty based on the United Nations Security Council Resolutions 242 and 338, and at fulfilling the "right of the Palestinian people to self-determination." If such a peace treaty were to occur, with the United States backing, it would have prevented much of the mayhem that has occurred since.

However, the central person to ensuring this process, Yitzak Rabin, was assassinated just a month and a half after the signing of the Oslo II Accord, on November 4th, 1995. Netanyahu became prime minister of Israel seven months later. "Clean Break" was produced the following year.

On November 6th, 2000 in the Israeli daily Ha'aretz, Israeli Justice Minister Yossi Beilin, who was the chief negotiator of the Oslo peace accords, warned those Israelis who argued that it was impossible to make peace with the Palestinians:

Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism, and not in order to offer them a Jewish Sparta or – God forbid – a new Massada."

On Oct. 5, 2003, for the first time in 30 years, Israel launched bombing raids against Syria, targeting a purported "Palestinian terrorist camp" inside Syrian territory. Washington stood by and did nothing to prevent further escalation.

"Clean Break" was officially launched in March 2003 with the war against Iraq, under the pretence of "The War on Terror". The real agenda was a western-backed list of regime changes in the Middle East to fit the plans of the United Kingdom, the U.S. and Israel.

However, the affair is much more complicated than that with each player holding their own "idea" of what the "plan" is. Before we can fully appreciate such a scope, we must first understand what was Sykes-Picot and how did it shape today's world mayhem.

Arabian Nights

WWI was to officially start July 28th 1914, almost immediately following the Balkan wars (1912-1913) which had greatly weakened the Ottoman Empire.

Never one to miss an opportunity when smelling fresh blood, the British were very keen on acquiring what they saw as strategic territories for the taking under the justification of being in war-time, which in the language of geopolitics translates to "the right to plunder anything one can get their hands on" .

The brilliance of Britain's plan to garner these new territories was not to fight the Ottoman Empire directly but rather, to invoke an internal rebellion from within. These Arab territories would be encouraged by Britain to rebel for their independence from the Ottoman Empire and that Britain would support them in this cause.

These Arab territories were thus led to believe that they were fighting for their own freedom when, in fact, they were fighting for British and secondarily French colonial interests.

In order for all Arab leaders to sign on to the idea of rebelling against the Ottoman Sultan, there needed to be a viable leader that was Arab, for they certainly would not agree to rebel at the behest of Britain.

Lord Kitchener, the butcher of Sudan, was to be at the helm of this operation as Britain's Minister of War. Kitchener's choice for Arab leadership was the scion of the Hashemite dynasty, Hussein ibn Ali, known as the Sherif of Mecca who ruled the region of Hejaz under the Ottoman Sultan.

Hardinge of the British India Office disagreed with this choice and wanted Wahhabite Abdul-Aziz ibn Saud instead, however, Lord Kitchener overruled this stating that their intelligence revealed that more Arabs would follow Hussein.

Since the Young Turk Revolution which seized power of the Ottoman government in 1908, Hussein was very aware that his dynasty was in no way guaranteed and thus he was open to Britain's invitation to crown him King of the Arab kingdom.

Kitchener wrote to one of Hussein's sons, Abdallah, as reassurance of Britain's support:

If the Arab nation assist England in this war that has been forced upon us by Turkey, England will guarantee that no internal intervention take place in Arabia, and will give Arabs every assistance against foreign aggression."

Sir Henry McMahon who was the British High Commissioner to Egypt, would have several correspondences with Sherif Hussein between July 1915 to March 1916 to convince Hussein to lead the rebellion for the "independence" of the Arab states.

However, in a private letter to India's Viceroy Charles Hardinge sent on December 4th, 1915, McMahon expressed a rather different view of what the future of Arabia would be, contrary to what he had led Sherif Hussein to believe:

[I do not take] the idea of a future strong united independent Arab State too seriously the conditions of Arabia do not and will not for a very long time to come, lend themselves to such a thing."

Such a view meant that Arabia would be subject to Britain's heavy-handed "advising" in all its affairs, whether it sought it or not.

In the meantime, Sherif Hussein was receiving dispatches issued by the British Cairo office to the effect that the Arabs of Palestine, Syria, and Mesopotamia (Iraq) would be given independence guaranteed by Britain, if they rose up against the Ottoman Empire.

The French were understandably suspicious of Britain's plans for these Arab territories. The French viewed Palestine, Lebanon and Syria as intrinsically belonging to France, based on French conquests during the Crusades and their "protection" of the Catholic populations in the region.

Hussein was adamant that Beirut and Aleppo were to be given independence and completely rejected French presence in Arabia. Britain was also not content to give the French all the concessions they demanded as their "intrinsic" colonial rights.

Enter Sykes and Picot.

... ... ...

Throughout the 1920s and 1930s violent confrontations between Jews and Arabs took place in Palestine costing hundreds of lives. In 1936 a major Arab revolt occurred over 7 months, until diplomatic efforts involving other Arab countries led to a ceasefire.

In 1937, a British Royal Commission of Inquiry headed by William Peel concluded that Palestine had two distinct societies with irreconcilable political demands, thus making it necessary to partition the land.

The Arab Higher Committee refused Peel's "prescription" and the revolt broke out again. This time, Britain responded with a devastatingly heavy hand. Roughly 5,000 Arabs were killed by the British armed forces and police. Following the riots, the British mandate government dissolved the Arab Higher Committee and declared it an illegal body.

In response to the revolt, the British government issued the White Paper of 1939, which stated that Palestine should be a bi-national state, inhabited by both Arabs and Jews.

Due to the international unpopularity of the mandate including within Britain itself, it was organised such that the United Nations would take responsibility for the British initiative and adopted the resolution to partition Palestine on November 29th, 1947.

Britain would announce its termination of its Mandate for Palestine on May 15th, 1948 after the State of Israel declared its independence on May 14th, 1948.

A New Strategy for Securing Whose Realm?

Despite what its title would have you believe, "Clean Break" is neither a "new strategy" nor meant for "securing" anything. It is also not the brainchild of fanatical neo-conservatives: Dick Cheney and Richard Perle, nor even that of crazed end-of-days fundamentalist Benjamin Netanyahu, but rather has the very distinct and lingering odour of the British Empire.

"Clean Break" is a continuation of Britain's geopolitical game, and just as it used France during the Sykes-Picot days it is using the United States and Israel.

The role Israel has found itself playing in the Middle East could not exist if it were not for over 30 years of direct British occupation in Palestine and its direct responsibility for the construction of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, which set a course for destruction and endless war in this region long before Israel ever existed.

It was also Britain who officially launched operation "Clean Break" by directly and fraudulently instigating an illegal war against Iraq to which the Chilcot Inquiry, aka Iraq Inquiry , released 7 years later, attests to.

This was done by the dubious reporting by British Intelligence setting the pretext for the U.S.' ultimate invasion into Iraq based off of fraudulent and forged evidence provided by GCHQ, unleashing the "War on Terror", aka "Clean Break" outline for regime change in the Middle East.

In addition, the Libyan invasion in 2011 was also found to be unlawfully instigated by Britain.

In a report published by the British Foreign Affairs Committee in September 2016, it was concluded that it was "the UK and France in March 2011 which led the international community to support an intervention in Libya to protect civilians from forces loyal to Muammar Gaddafi" .

The report concluded that the Libyan intervention was based on false pretence provided by British Intelligence and recklessly promoted by the British government.

If this were not enough, British Intelligence has also been caught behind the orchestrations of Russia-Gate and the Skripal affair .

Therefore, though the U.S. and Israeli military have done a good job at stealing the show, and though they certainly believe themselves to be the head of the show, the reality is that this age of empire is distinctly British and anyone who plays into this game will ultimately be playing for said interests, whether they are aware of it or not.

Originally published by Strategic Culture


Almondson ,

Yossi B said:

Zionism was founded in order to save Jews from persecution and anti-Semitism

Ever heard of Dumbo? He's a flying elephant.

The crusade in the ME will continue, with Israel the top dog until America's military support is no longer there. Even without the Israeli eastern european invaders, the area is primed for perpetual tribal warfare because the masses are driven by tribalist doctrines and warped metaphysics dictated by insane and inhumane parasites (priests). It is the epicenter of a spiritual plague that has infected most of the planet.

paul ,

There is complete continuity between the activities of Zionist controlled western countries and those of the present day.

In the 1930s, there were about 300,000 adult Palestinian males. Over 10% were killed, imprisoned and tortured or driven into exile. 100,000 British troops were sent to Palestine to destroy completely Palestinian political and military organisations. Wingate set up the Jew terror gangs who were given free rein to murder, rape and burn, in preparation for the complete ethnic cleansing of the country.

We see the same ruthless, genocidal brutality on an even greater scale in the present day, serving exactly the same interests. Nothing has ever come of trying to negotiate with the Zionists and their western stooges – just further disasters. It is only resolute and uncompromising resistance that has ever achieved anything. Hezbollah kicking their Zionist arses out of Lebanon in 2000 and keeping them out in 2006. Had they not done so, Lebanon would still be under Zionist occupation and covered with their filthy illegal settlements.

They have never stopped and they never will. The objective is to create a vast Zionist empire comprising the whole of Palestine, Jordan, Lebanon and Syria, and parts of Egypt, Turkey, Iraq, and Saudi Arabia. This plan has never changed and it never will. The Zionist thieves will shortly steal what little is left of Palestine. But the thieving will not end there. It will just move on to neighbouring countries.

The prime reason they have been able to get away with this is not their control of British and US golems. It is by playing the old, dirty colonial games of divide and rule, with the Quisling stooge dictators serving their interests. They have always been able to set Sunni against Shia, and different factions against others. The dumb Arabs fall for it every time. Their latest intrigues are directed at the destruction of Iran, the next victim on their target list after Iraq, Libya and Syria. And the Quisling dictators of Saudi Arabia are openly agitating for this and offering to pay for all of it. Syria sent troops to join the US invasion of Iraq in 1991, though Iraqi troops fought and died in Syria in 1973 against Israel. Egypt allows Israel to use its airspace to carry out the genocidal terror bombing of Gaza.

All this is contemptible enough and fits into racist stereotypes of Arabs as stupid, irrational, corrupt, easily bought, violent and treacherous. This of course does not apply to the populations of those countries, but it is a legitimate assessment of their Quisling dictators, with a (very) few honourable exceptions.

Seamus Padraig ,

Of course, Arab rulers who don't tow the Zionist line generally get overthrown, don't they? And that usually requires the efforts/intervention of FUKUS, doesn't it? So you can't really pretend that 'Arab stupidity' is the main factor.

Richard Le Sarc ,

The fact that, as the Yesha Council of Rabbis and Torah Sages declared in 2006, as Israel was bombing Lebanon 'back to the Stone Age', under Talmudic Judaism, killing civilians is not just permissible, but a mitzvah, or good deed, explains Zionist behaviour. Other doctrines allow an entire 'city' eg Gaza, to be devastated for the 'crimes' of a few, and children, even babies, to be killed if they would grow up to 'oppose the Jews'. Dare mention these FACTS, seen everyday in Israeli barbarity, and the 'antisemitism' slurs flow, as ever.

Julia ,

" is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

.it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

Julia ,

" is that this age of empire is distinctly British"

.it takes some balls to make such an absurd statement and still expect to be taken seriously. The US of course with its 800 military bases around the world and gifts of 40 billion a year to Israel has no opinion on the future of the Middle East. You would have us believe that they are just humble onlookers, as a small bankrupt country tells them what to do. We are being told that the CIA, the most formidable spy agency and manipulator of countries in history, sits quietly by as the British and Israel tells the US what to do.
Absurd isn't it., Clearly the truth is that Israel is just another military base for the US in the Middle East, easily the most important geopolitical region in the world. They fund it, arm it, and protect it from all attacks, Israel does as it is told by the US for the most part despite the pantomime on the surface.
Many on the far right like to hide US interests behind a wall of antisemitism that likes to paint 'the jews' as an all powerful enemy but this is just cover for Israel's real geopolitical roll as a US puppet.
Time and time again all we are seeing is attempt to write the US, the largest empire in the history out of the news and out of the history books, like it is some invisible benign force that has not interests, no control and does noting to forward it's interests and it's empire.

''To find out who rules over you, simply find out who you are not allowed to criticise."

I don't know about you, but I'm not 10 years old and I know I am looking at Empire and it's power being flexed every day in every part do the world, especial in the parts of the world that it funds with trillions of dollars.

Richard Le Sarc ,

The antithesis of the truth. It is US politicians who flock to AIPAC's meeting every year to pledge UNDYING fealty to Israel, not Israeli politicians pledging loyalty to the USA. It is Israeli and dual loyalty Jewish oligarchs funding BOTH US parties, it is US politicians throwing themselves to the ground in adulation when Bibi the war criminal addresses the Congress with undisguised contempt, not Israeli politicians groveling to the USA. The master-servant relationship is undisguised.

Pyewacket ,

In Daniel Yergin's The Prize, a history of the Oil industry, he provides another interesting angle to explain British interest in the region. He states that at that time, Churchill realised that a fighting Navy powered by Coal, was not nearly as good or efficient as one using Oil as a fuel, and that securing supplies of the stuff was the best way forward to protect the Empire.

BigB ,

Yergin would be right. The precursor of the First World War was a technological arms race and accelerated 'scientific' perfection of arsenals – particularly naval – in the service of imperialism. British and German imperialism. The full story involves the Berlin to Cairo railway and the resource grab that went with it. I'm a bit sketchy on the details now: but Churchill had a prominent role, rising to First Lord of the Admiralty.

Docherty and Macgregor have exposed the hidden history. F W Engdahl has written about WW1 being the first oil war.

Andreas Schlüter ,

And don´t forget which of the US Military command regions into which the US Military divided the WHOLE World is named "US CENTCOM"!
„One Thing Must be Clear to the World: The US Power Elite Regards the Whole Globe as Their Colony!": https://wipokuli.wordpress.com/2016/10/26/one-thing-must-be-clear-to-the-world-the-us-power-elite-regards-the-whole-globe-as-their-colony/

Antonym ,

In 1996 a task force, led by Richard Perle, produced a policy document titled A Clean Break: A New Strategy for Securing the Realm for Benjamin Netanyahu

No source link for this!

By the way 1996 was during the Clinton administration. Warren Christopher was secretary of state and John Deutch was the Director of Central Intelligence . George Tenet was appointed the Deputy Director of Central Intelligence in July 1995. After John Deutch's abrupt resignation in December 1996, Tenet served as acting director.

Reg ,

Here you go, sonny boy

http://www.dougfeith.com/docs/Clean_Break.pdf

Richard Le Sarc ,

Antsie, what are you going to deny next? The USS Liberty? Deir Yassin? The Lavon Affair? Sabra, Shatilla? Qana (twice)? The Five Celebrating Israelis on 9/11?Does not impress.

[May 21, 2020] The War State The Cold War Origins Of The Military-Industrial Complex And The Power Elite, 1945-1963 by Michael Swanson

Paperback: 430 pages Publisher: CreateSpace Independent Publishing Platform (July 16, 2013)
This period is the period when the CIA gradually became a political force able and willing to act acted on its own initiative. Which culminated in the assassination of JFK.
Notable quotes:
"... When I say 'they' I mean the Military Industrial Complex. I have no doubt that John Kennedy was stabbed in the back by treasonous elements within his own country. It's hard for me to tell how extensive this conspiracy really went and into what areas of the Military Industrial Complex. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs Of Staff are on the suspect list though. There was no love lost between President Kennedy and the military and intelligence establishments. Mr. Swanson tells how Robert Kennedy was concerned that the military brass might kill his brother during the ominous Cuban Missile Crisis. ..."
"... And as a consumer of what must be in excess of 3-400 books on this subject, I can say this is quite simply the best one-volume analysis of U.S. defense policy 1945 - 1964 that has been produced. ..."
"... While Preparata's Conjuring Hitler presents Montagu Norman and Bank of England as financing the rise of the Third Reich as the initiation of the modern military-intelligence age, and Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers introduces Dulles & Dulles as the twin inventors of America's role as stage manager, Michael Swanson raises the curtain on Eisenhower's finale, the introduction of the Colossus astride Washington ..."
"... David Martin's signal work uncovering the termination of the first Secretary of Defense James Forrestal for resisting the Truman-Marshall military steroid injection, itself inextricably entwined with the Acheson-enabled Korean War. ..."
"... The National Security Act of 1947 and its follow-on codas, the 1948 plausible deniability agreement and 1949 amendments, lead to the SAC/ICBM buildup, the preamble to Northwoods and the dream of a first strike. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.amazon.com

Today when you factor in the interest on the national debt from past wars and total defense expenditures the United States spends almost 40% of its federal budget on the military. It accounts for over 46% of total world arms spending. Before World War II it spent almost nothing on defense and hardly anyone paid any income taxes. You can't have big wars without big government. Such big expenditures are now threatening to harm the national economy. How did this situation come to be?

In this book you'll learn how in the critical twenty years after World War II the United States changed from being a continental democratic republic to a global imperial superpower. Since then nothing has ever been the same again. In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.

By buying this book you will discover:

In this book you will discover this secret history of the United States that formed the basis of the world we live in today.


Jeff Marzano 5.0 out of 5 stars Good Overview Of The Cold War , May 10, 2018

Good Overview Of The Cold War

This book provides a good overview of the so called Cold War I thought.

I read this book as part of my ongoing research about the assassination of President Kennedy. At this point in my research I need to move past the nuts and bolts of the assassination like how many times JFK was shot and things like that. Those aren't the most important questions. The important issues are who wanted John Kennedy dead and why and how were they able to do something like that. There had to be some major reasons why they would commit such a monumental crime. And those reasons are revealed in books like this somewhere.

When I say 'they' I mean the Military Industrial Complex. I have no doubt that John Kennedy was stabbed in the back by treasonous elements within his own country. It's hard for me to tell how extensive this conspiracy really went and into what areas of the Military Industrial Complex. The CIA and the Joint Chiefs Of Staff are on the suspect list though. There was no love lost between President Kennedy and the military and intelligence establishments. Mr. Swanson tells how Robert Kennedy was concerned that the military brass might kill his brother during the ominous Cuban Missile Crisis.

Some of those generals like Curtis 'Bombs Away' Lemay lost their marbles during World II I think. Lemay didn't seem to understand what nuclear weapons really are. Lemay seemed to speak about the use of nuclear weapons in World War II terms like they were just another type of bomb.

Near the end of the book Mr. Swanson mentions some things Jackie Kennedy said her husband John was planning to do:

  1. Attend a peace summit in Moscow.
  2. Remove J. Edgar Hoover as the director of the FBI.
  3. Replace Dean Rusk in the State Department.
  4. Get control of the government's policy in Vietnam.

That list right there is an excellent starting point for understanding some of the many reasons why the War State wanted John Kennedy dead.

Mr. Swanson talks about an important government directive called NSC-68. This National Security Council directive labelled any country that refused to bow to the will of the United States a communist sympathizer. And any country that got on that list was then subject to the CIA's evil machinations.

Some authors such as the great Fletcher Prouty felt the entire Cold War was a myth that was fabricated by the War State to justify their own existence.

For me the assassination of President Kennedy and the quagmire in Vietnam confirm that hypothesis. Those are two historical realities which indicate that the War State had flown off the rails.

LCH Burris 5.0 out of 5 stars Masterful February 8, 2016
Masterful

Having studied this period of history for over 45 years, as a history major in exactly this subject at University.

And as a consumer of what must be in excess of 3-400 books on this subject, I can say this is quite simply the best one-volume analysis of U.S. defense policy 1945 - 1964 that has been produced. The bulk of it presents facts known to students of the period, plus certain additional lesser-known facts revealed by recent declassifications in both the US and Russia.

However, it re-analyzes these facts to produce a masterful synthesis more clearly stated here than I have seen in any other volume.

The only complaint is that the book should be more fully footnoted -- not only to source some of the factual statements, but also to explain the author's chain of reasoning from the source to the statement -- as well as be re-published with a proper index and bibliography. In a sense, the author has under-rated himself. Properly footnoted and indexed, this would be not merely an excellent popular read but a work of scholarship with which students of the field would have to reckon from now on.

Bob Valdez 4.0 out of 5 stars How the US came to be influenced by the military-industrial complex , September 28, 2015
How the US came to be influenced by the military-industrial complex

This book is a pretty well done tome about how the military-industrial complex came to be. The overall layout is much like a history book but if the reader is patient it begins to unfold with some level of comfort after a few dozen pages. The properly told story is long overdue and it probably will not have wide acceptance but that is the overall sign of our times. The author does not go into enough detail to tie in today's US government administration and how deep the corruption has grown.

If you wish to be an informed voter or just a more informed citizen, reading such books as this one will help bring you around to becoming a bit better enlightened. Read, recognize, respond. All comes in time.

Phil Dragoo 5.0 out of 5 stars Ike named it; it buried JFK; Swanson reveals it July 23, 2019
Ike named it; it buried JFK; Swanson reveals it.

Verified Purchase Ike named it -- it buried JFK

Michael Swanson's The War State is a keystone work in understanding modern America's lone superpower position.

While Preparata's Conjuring Hitler presents Montagu Norman and Bank of England as financing the rise of the Third Reich as the initiation of the modern military-intelligence age, and Stephen Kinzer's The Brothers introduces Dulles & Dulles as the twin inventors of America's role as stage manager, Michael Swanson raises the curtain on Eisenhower's finale, the introduction of the Colossus astride Washington .

The War State punctuates Robert Wilcox' Target: Patton, the removal of the threat of premature end to the Cold War, and David Martin's signal work uncovering the termination of the first Secretary of Defense James Forrestal for resisting the Truman-Marshall military steroid injection, itself inextricably entwined with the Acheson-enabled Korean War.

The National Security Act of 1947 and its follow-on codas, the 1948 plausible deniability agreement and 1949 amendments, lead to the SAC/ICBM buildup, the preamble to Northwoods and the dream of a first strike.

The Vietnam War fought over the dead body of the thirty-fifth president is examined in John Newman's two editions of JFK and Vietnam, and the sequence of subsequent research works, all adding to Douglas Horne's view of JFK's War with the National Security Establishment, as well as James Douglass' eerie scene through a glass darkly, JFK and the Unspeakable.

We are gifted with Michael Swanson's concise and unitized depiction of the threat President Eisenhower succeeded in naming January 1961 despite repeated attempts to airbrush the indictment from history.

Why are we faced with unending war in Afghanistan against a shadowy enemy first introduced by April Glaspy's invitation to Saddam Hussein echoing Acheson's omission of Korea in the January 1950 Press Club speech?

Why do towers fall in unprecedented fashion defying laws of physics?

As Litvinenko and Felshtinsky's Blowing Up Russia reveals Putin as the rebranding mastermind of Golitsyn and Bezemov, and Xi Jinping rides the dragon into the fifth millenium, Oceania's capital remains in the orbit of the Pentagon and Langley and the constellation of corporations involved in Gerard Colby and Charlotte Dennett's Thy Will Be Done: The Conquest of the Amazon: Nelson Rockefeller and Evangelism in the Age of Oil.

Michael Swanson pulls the construct from the mist and plants it front and center in the dramatic end of the Republic and the bulletins from the frontlines of Big Brother's proxy wars in the nonaligned quadrangle.

It isn't personal -- it's business.

SkyNet and The Matrix and the gigantic digital nemeses of Person of Interest are mere terms of art.

The military-industrial complex is as real as LBJ's heart attack -- and exposed in The War State.

[May 20, 2020] Covid-19 fallout: Putin might INVADE China will DOMINATE, says the Atlantic citing 'experts'

May 20, 2020 | www.rt.com

If this is the caliber of experts who advise 10 Downing Street, it's hardly surprising that Britain has been lurching from one foreign policy fiasco to another in recent years.

[May 20, 2020] COMEY urged probe into Flynn by misrepresenting Russian contacts, declassified memo shows

Looks like Comey was willing and active member of the Obama-Brennan gang plotting color revolution against Trump
Notable quotes:
"... incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak ..."
"... has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak ..."
"... could be an issue ..."
"... The level of communication is unusual ..."
"... sensitive information related to Russia ..."
"... election interference. ..."
"... a briefing by [Intelligence Committee] leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election ..."
"... no derogatory information ..."
"... Russian collusion ..."
"... proceeding 'by the book' ..."
"... prosecute him or get him fired ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.rt.com
incoming NSA Flynn is speaking frequently with Russian Ambassador Kislyak " in a meeting documented in the January 2017 memo by National Security Advisor Susan Rice, the unredacted first page of which was obtained by CBS on Tuesday.

The FBI director admits he " has no indication thus far that Flynn has passed classified information to Kislyak ," and no real basis for his insistence that the probe must go on.

DEVELOPING: Declassified Rice email documenting WH meeting 1/5/2017 obtained @CBSNews pic.twitter.com/uA9V9oo4n4

-- Catherine Herridge (@CBS_Herridge) May 19, 2020

The only thing backing his hunch that the meetings between the general and the Russian diplomat " could be an issue "?

" The level of communication is unusual ," Comey tells Obama, according to Rice, hinting that the National Security Council should " potentially " avoid passing " sensitive information related to Russia " to Flynn.

The FBI director did not elaborate on what is supposed to be " unusual " about an incoming foreign policy official speaking with a Russian counterpart, especially in the midst of what was then a rapidly-unraveling diplomatic relationship between the two countries with Obama expelling 35 Russian diplomats and imposing sanctions over alleged-but-never-substantiated " election interference. " Given the circumstances, an absence of communication might have been more unusual. But the timing is certainly auspicious.

Rice, Flynn's predecessor who authored the memo, relates that the January 5 meeting followed " a briefing by [Intelligence Committee] leadership on Russian hacking during the 2016 Presidential election ."

The previous day, the FBI field office assigned with investigating Flynn attempted to close the case against him, called CROSSFIRE RAZOR, after having found " no derogatory information " to justify continued inclusion in the overarching CROSSFIRE HURRICANE probe (the " Russian collusion " investigation). They were blocked from doing so by Agent Peter Strzok, who added that the orders to keep the investigation going came from the " 7th floor " - i.e. agency leadership. The Flynn investigation had been underway since August, beginning the day after Strzok discussed an 'insurance policy' that was supposed to keep then-candidate Donald Trump out of office with Comey's deputy, Andrew McCabe. While Comey describes his probe of Flynn as " proceeding 'by the book' " after Obama repeatedly stresses he wants only a " by the book " investigation - both parties presumably hoping to avoid exactly the sequence of revelatory events that are currently unfolding - recently-unsealed documents from the case against Flynn indicate the general was entrapped, with the FBI's goal being to " prosecute him or get him fired " with an ambush-style interview.

They got both their wishes - after agents tricked him into sitting for questioning without a lawyer present, Flynn was accused of lying about his contacts with Kislyak, fired from his post in the White House, and subsequently pled guilty to lying to a federal agent.

The Department of Justice has dropped its charges against Flynn, citing gross misconduct and abuse of power at the FBI, which it claims had no basis for launching its investigation. However, US District Judge Emmet Sullivan has attempted to block the dismissal, appointing a retired judge as independent prosecutor to both argue against the Justice Department's move and pursue perjury charges against Flynn - essentially charging him with lying about lying.

On Tuesday, Flynn's attorney filed a writ of mandamus with the US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit, urging them to force Sullivan to step aside and allow the dismissal of the charges.

[May 20, 2020] The American Mission and the Evil Empire The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 by Foglesong

Highly recommended!
Paperback: 364 pages Publisher: Cambridge University Press; 1 edition (October 15, 2007)
"Foglesong's book provides a panoramic view of American popular attitudes toward Russia, one that is illustrated with many arresting cartoons and magazine covers. It should provoke a wider debate about the rationality of evaluating Russia with reference to an idealized view of the United States, as well as the deeper sources of this tendency." -Deborah Welch Larson, H-Diplo
"In the 21st century, the American debate on the prospects of modernizing Russia and on the Americans' role in this process is still going strong even though it began more than a century ago. This is why David Foglesong's book aimed at elucidating the mechanisms of misrepresentations which threaten both Russian-American relations and the world security as a whole is of equal importance for the academic community and for the policy makers in both Russia and the United States."
-Victoria Zhuravleva, H-Diplo
"Foglesong demonstrates that powerful Americans have again and again seen the possibility, even necessity, of spreading the word to Russia, and then, when Russia fails to transform itself into something resembling the US, have recoiled and condemned Russia's perfidious national character or its leaders-most recently Putin. The author's singular achievement is to show that well before the cold war, Russia served as America's dark double, an object of wishful thinking, condescension and self-righteousness in a quest for American purpose-without much to show for such efforts inside Russia. The author thereby places in context the cold war, when pamphleteers like William F Buckley Jr and politicians like Ronald Reagan pushed a crusade to revitalise the American spirit. Russia then was a threat but also a means to America's end (some fixed on a rollback of the alleged Soviet "spawn" inside the US-the welfare state-while others, after the Vietnam debacle, wanted to restore "faith in the United States as a virtuous nation with a unique historical mission"). Foglesong's exposé of Americans' "heady sense of their country's unique blessings" helps make sense of the giddiness, followed by rank disillusionment, vis-...-vis the post-Soviet Russia of the 1990s and 2000s." -Stephen Kotkin, Prospect Magazine -Stephen Kotkin, Prospect Magazine
Notable quotes:
"... For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal." ..."
"... By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip." ..."
"... The usefulness of Russia as bogeyman for all that is wrong in the world - a contrasting foil to the virtues of "us" - has defined this relationship ever since the first democratic stirrings in Russia following the Emancipation of '61. In this it followed Britain, who'd long demonized Russia since imperial rivalries over the Crimea. ..."
"... This trope was also successful for reactionaries in blocking progressive legislation at home. Ronald Reagan was perhaps the most successful in this linkmanship: "socialized medicine" was the first step to the gulags. ..."
"... T he flak over Pus*y Riot following this book's publication - while ignoring the crucifixion of the Dixie Chicks - demonstrates the double standard is too convenient to be allowed to wither. The empire must always be evil, precisely because it reflects our own image like a Buddhist truth mirror. ..."
May 20, 2020 | www.amazon.com

"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s

Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.

For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."

By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."

The Adventures of Straw Man Reviewed in the United States on September 27, 2013 This has been the essential function of US Russia policy, as David Foglesong shows in his century-long tour.

The usefulness of Russia as bogeyman for all that is wrong in the world - a contrasting foil to the virtues of "us" - has defined this relationship ever since the first democratic stirrings in Russia following the Emancipation of '61. In this it followed Britain, who'd long demonized Russia since imperial rivalries over the Crimea.

This trope was also successful for reactionaries in blocking progressive legislation at home. Ronald Reagan was perhaps the most successful in this linkmanship: "socialized medicine" was the first step to the gulags.

The crusade against US civil rights - of which Reagan was also a part in his early career - as Communist-inspired tinkering with the Constitution was much less successful. His support for free trade unions in the Soviet Bloc while crushing them at home underscored the irony.

But Foglesong is much too generous in evaluating Reagan's human decency as a policy motive. Reagan pursued his grand rollback strategy by any means necessary, mixing hard tactics (contras, death-squad funding, mujahadin, Star Wars) with soft (democracy-enhancement, human rights, meeting with Gorbachev). Solidarity activists in Poland might remember his crusading fondly; survivors of the Salvadoran civil war will not.

The "crisis" with the Putin regime currently empowered shows the missionary impulse yet alive: projecting one's reforming instincts upon others rather than at home. T he flak over Pus*y Riot following this book's publication - while ignoring the crucifixion of the Dixie Chicks - demonstrates the double standard is too convenient to be allowed to wither. The empire must always be evil, precisely because it reflects our own image like a Buddhist truth mirror.

I do find it puzzling that Foglesong made no mention of Maurice Hindus, the prolific popular "explainer" of Russia in over a dozen mid-century books; and the notorious defector Victor Kravchenko and his best-selling memoir of the 1940s (ghost-written by Eugene Lyons, another popular anti-Soviet scribe). Both were much more influential in the public and political mind than many of the more obscure missionary authors Foglesong does cite. Nevertheless, Foglesong has offered a generous helping of cultural/political history that shows no signs of growing stale.

>

indah nuritasari , Reviewed in the United States on October 24, 2012

A Good Book About America and The Cold War

This book tells a fascinating story of American efforts to liberate and remake Russia since the 1880s. It starts with the story of Tsar Alexander II's asasination on March 1, 1881 and how James William Buel, a Missoury Journalist wrote it in his book "Russian Nihilism and Exile Life in Siberia."

The story continues until The Reagan era and "the Evil Empire," 1981-1989.

This book is very interesting and useful for history lovers, students, journalists, or general public. Here you can find all the "dark and exciting stuff" about the cold war, including the involvement of the journalists, political activists, diplomats, and even engineers.

It is really helpful for me as a new immigrant in the US to help me understand the US position and role in the Cold War Era. The language used in this book, though, is " kind of dry". A little editing for the next edition could be really helpful!!

[May 20, 2020] Newly Revealed Texts Show Strzok, Page Altered Flynn Interview Notes

Highly recommended!
Yes it was a perjury trap. Typical fbi thug behavior
Apr 30, 2020 | www.newsmax.com

Yet another bombshell development emerged Thursday in the case of former National Security Adviser Gen. Michael Flynn: the release of additional exculpatory evidence FBI officials had withheld from the courts and the defense for three years.

Crucially, this includes evidence that the Bureau's official "302 report" filed by the lead agent who interviewed Flynn was edited multiple times, including by an official who never participated in the interview.

Thursday's revelations come on top of yesterday's disclosures indicating an apparent attempt by FBI officials to trap Flynn into committing a criminal offense during an interview.

The new revelation could prove even more significant: In addition to the apparently calculated effort to get Flynn to commit perjury or obstruction, top FBI figures, including FBI Deputy Assistant Director Peter Strzok and FBI lawyer Lisa Page, repeatedly altered the "302 report" that was filed after the Flynn interview.

That interview was conducted under highly unusual circumstances. Ordinarily, an FBI interview of a top West Wing official would be requested through the White House Counsel's office, and would be conducted in the presence of legal counsel representing the official being interviewed.

That did not occur in the case of the FBI's interview with Flynn, and Comey later stated that under "a more organized administration" he "probably wouldn't have gotten away with it."

Initially, when the lead FBI agent handling the case was asked whether Flynn lied during the interview, he stated that he did not believe so.

But over the coming days Strzok and Page would edit and revise the agent's 302 report repeatedly, according to a document providing text messages between FBI officials that the defense counsel finally received this week.

Prosecutors and investigators are required to turn over information that might tend to indicate a suspect's innocence to the defense counsel prior to trial and sentencing. Most legal analysts would consider the information withheld from Flynn's legal team potentially exculpatory.

An inside source familiar with efforts to defend Gen. Flynn tells Newsmax an unadulterated, original 302 document exists that was created by the lead agent from his notes of the interview with Flynn.

Jonathan Turley, the George Washington University law professor who testified before the House during President Trump's impeachment, wrote Thursday the decision to keep the case open occurred when "Special counsel Robert Mueller decided to bring the dubious charge."

In a column posted on TheHill.com on Thursday, Turley said the case against Flynn should be dismissed. "Justice demands a dismissal of his prosecution," he wrote.

At the time Flynn was being prosecuted, Mueller was seeking evidence the Trump campaign colluded with Russia in the 2016 campaign.

Critics say he was prosecuting Flynn to get him to turn state's witness against Trump, but the general never implicated him.

Mueller eventually determined there was no evidence of a Russian-collusion conspiracy. But by then Flynn, under intense financial pressure from the prosecution and buckling under the threat that his son could be drawn into a legal quagmire, had pled guilty to one count of lying to the FBI.

He has since requested to withdraw that plea, and he is awaiting sentencing.

President Trump weighed in on the controversial case Thursday morning tweeting, "What happened to General Michael Flynn, a war hero, should never be allowed to happen to a citizen of the United States again!"

Later the president told reporters he believes Flynn is "in the process of being exonerated."

Former New York City Police Commissioner Bernie Kerik reacted strongly on Thursday to the news FBI officials to altered a 302 report and reopened the case when the initial analysis indicated no crime had been committed.

Kerik told Newsmax Thursday that if evidence or records had been unduly altered under his watch as police commissioner, he would have referred the matter to the district attorney for possible prosecution.

"They intentionally went back and doctored the original 302," he said. "That's because they were not looking for the truth.

"They were looking for a mechanism to trap Gen. Flynn, to prosecute him, to get him fired in order to go after the president. That was their motive, that was their agenda. It's absolutely clear at this point they were not looking for the truth."

Kerik added, "This was done at the highest levels of the FBI. At the most senior level of the FBI, they falsified records, they suppressed evidence.

"This is irresponsible, it's outrageous They used and abused their authority to deprive Gen. Flynn of his constitutional right to freedom," he said.

According to the source, as supported by text messages also obtained by Newsmax, Stzrok, who also participated in the Flynn interview, rewrote the 302 extensively -- although a text message from him stated he tried not to "completely re-write it so as to save [redacted] voice," presumably a reference to the lead agent who originally wrote it.

Stzrok then shared the document with a "pissed off" Page, who had not participated in the interview, and who revised it significantly again, according to the Newsmax source.

The objective of the interview was to probe whether Flynn had violated the Logan Act, an 18th-century statute that has never been used in any criminal conviction. The Act makes it a crime for a U.S. citizens to interfere with the conduct of U.S. foreign policy. Many legal scholars find the law to be unconstitutional.

The documents received by Newsmax indicate the case had virtually been closed – suggesting the lead agent was satisfied no crime had been committed -- prior to it being reopened by the direct intervention of Strzok and Page.

The documents, for example, show the probe of Flynn was about to be put to bed when the lead agent received a text from Strzok stating, "Hey, if you haven't closed [the case], don't do so yet."

Apparently, Page was pleasantly surprised to find the matter had not yet been closed.

On Feb. 10, 2017, Page texted Strzok, "This document pisses me off. You didn't even attempt to make this cogent and readable? This is lazy work on your part."

Strzok replied, "Lisa you didn't see it before my edits that went into what I sent you. I was 1) trying to completely re-write the thing so as to save [the lead agent's] voice and 2) get it out to you for general review and comment in anticipation of needing it soon."

Wednesday's revelation included notes of a meeting conducted a short time after the 2016 election between FBI Director James Comey and Deputy Director Andrew McCabe. The notes stated, "What is our goal? Truth and admission or to get him to lie, so we can prosecute him or get him fired?"

The notes were written by then-FBI head of counterintelligence Bill Priestap.

[May 20, 2020] McGovern Turn Out The Lights, Russiagate Is Over by Ray McGovern

Highly recommended!
It is not. Forces behind Russiagate are intact and still have the same agenda. CrowdStrike was just a tool. As long as Full Spectrum Dominance dourine is alive, Russiagate will flourish in one form or another
Notable quotes:
"... The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.") ..."
"... Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery. ..."
"... Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family. ..."
"... Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"? ..."
"... So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think. ..."
"... There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA. ..."
"... Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel. ..."
"... For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal." ..."
"... By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip." ..."
May 19, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com
Authored by Ray McGovern via ConsortiumNews.com,

Seldom mentioned among the motives behind the persistent drumming on alleged Russian interference was an over-arching need to help the Security State hide their tracks.

The need for a scapegoat to blame for Hillary Clinton's snatching defeat out of the jaws victory also played a role; as did the need for the Military-Industrial-Congressional-Intelligence-Media-Academia-Think-Tank complex (MICIMATT) to keep front and center in the minds of Americans the alleged multifaceted threat coming from an "aggressive" Russia. (Recall that John McCain called the, now disproven , "Russian hacking" of the DNC emails an "act of war.")

But that was then. This is now.

Though the corporate media is trying to bury it, the Russiagate narrative has in the past few weeks finally collapsed with the revelation that CrowdStrike had no evidence Russia took anything from the DNC servers and that the FBI set a perjury trap for Gen. Michael Flynn. There was already the previous government finding that there was no collusion between Trump and Russia and the indictment of a Russian troll farm that supposedly was destroying American democracy with $100,000 in Facebook ads was dropped after the St. Petersburg defendants sought discovery.

All that's left is to discover how this all happened.

Attorney General William Barr, and U.S. Attorney John Durham, whom Barr commissioned to investigate this whole sordid mess seem intent on getting to the bottom of it. The possibility that Trump will not chicken out this time, and rather will challenge the Security State looms large since he felt personally under attack.

Writing on the Wall

Given the diffident attitude the Security State plotters adopted regarding hiding their tracks, Durham's challenge, with subpoena power, is not as formidable as were he, for example, investigating a Mafia family.

Plus, former NSA Director Adm. Michael S. Rogers reportedly is cooperating. The handwriting is on the wall. It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played.

But former directors James Comey, James Clapper, and John Brennan, captains of Obama's Security State, can take little solace from Barr's remarks Monday to a reporter who asked about Trump's recent claims that top officials of the Obama administration, including the former president had committed crimes. Barr replied:

"As to President Obama and Vice President Biden, whatever their level of involvement, based on the information I have today, I don't expect Mr. Durham's work will lead to a criminal investigation of either man. Our concerns over potential criminality is focused on others."

In a more ominous vein, Barr gratuitously added that law enforcement and intelligence officials were involved in "a false and utterly baseless Russian collusion narrative against the president. It was a grave injustice, and it was unprecedented in American history."

Meanwhile, the corporate media have all been singing from the same sheet since Trump had the audacity a week ago to coin yet another "-gate" -- this time "Obamagate." Leading the apoplectic reaction in corporate media, Saturday's Washington Post offered a pot-calling-the-kettle-black pronouncement by its editorial board entitled "The absurd cynicism of 'Obamagate"?

The outrage voiced by the Post called to mind disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok's indignant response to criticism of the FBI by candidate Trump, in a Oct. 20, 2016 text exchange with FBI attorney Lisa Page:

Strzok: I am riled up. Trump is a f***ing idiot, is unable to provide a coherent answer.

Strzok -- I CAN'T PULL AWAY, WHAT THE F**K HAPPENED TO OUR COUNTRY

Page -- I don't know. But we'll get it back. We're America. We rock.

Strzok -- Donald just said "bad hombres"

Strzok -- Trump just said what the FBI did is disgraceful.

Less vitriolic, but incisive commentary came from widely respected author and lawyer Glenn Greenwald on May 14, four days after Trump coined "Obamagate": ( See "System Update with Glenn Greenwald -- The Sham Prosecution of Michael Flynn").

For a shorter, equally instructive video of Greenwald on the broader issue of Russia-gate, see this clip from a March 2019 Democracy Now! -sponsored debate he had with David Cay Johnston titled, "As Mueller Finds No Collusion, Did Press Overhype Russiagate? Glenn Greenwald vs. David Cay Johnston":

https://www.youtube.com/embed/qdYw6jk3TTA

(The entire debate is worth listening to). I found one of the comments below the Democracy Now! video as big as a bummer as the commentator did:

"I think this is one of the most depressing parts about the whole situation. In their dogmatic pushing for this false narrative, the Russiagaters might have guaranteed Trump a second term. They have done more damage to our democracy than Russia ever has done and will do ." (From "Clamity2007")

In any case, Johnston, undaunted by his embarrassment at the hands of Greenwald, is still at it, and so is the avuncular Frank Rich -- both of them some 20 years older than Greenwald and set in their evidence-impoverished, media-indoctrinated ways.

... ... ...


Uncle Frank, 40 seconds ago

So if we dug in and found large payments from George Soros or Mrs Clinton to these 'journalists', what crime could they be accused of? No crimes, I don't think.

But when journalists are revealed to be issuing paid-for propaganda/lies mixed with their own internal opinions, and their publisher allows it to be presented as if it were reporting rather than opinion, said writers, editors, and publishers are relegated to obscurity and derision.

Their work will never be taken seriously again by anyone who wasn't already brain-washed.

They don't get that, I guess.

QABubba, 47 minutes ago (Edited)

There never was anything to Russiagate. It was always just politics. I knew that from the beginning. There was, however, a lot of something to the torture scandal. Obama said "We are not going to look back." And now Gina Haspel, one of the chief torturers, partly responsible for destroying the torture tapes, despite a court order to preserve them, is now head of the CIA.

General Flynn was so involved with Turkey he should have been registered as a foreign agent.

And as I have said before, the real crime was laundering Russian Mafia/Heroin money through Deutsche Bank into New York real estate. It is curious that Turkey is also a huge transport spot for heroin into the EU. And France and other EU nations have a migrant population that lives off the drug trade.

Drain the Swamp my ***. He's started by firing all the IG's? Trump "looking back," not forward. He could start by investigating Gina Haspel.

1911A1, 55 minutes ago

Operation Mockingbird

The MSM disinformation campaign with consistent common talking points is not difficult to see with a little discernment. The bigger question is has this happened organically or is there a larger agency manipulating the public discourse?

Question_Mark, 43 minutes ago

4AM secure drop from Senior Executive Services ( SES ) is a threat to our democracy.

Our greatest responsibility is to serve our [insert name of community here] community.

1surrounded2, 1 hour ago

" It remains to be seen what kind of role in the scandal Barack Obama may have played. "

Come on, Ray, I know you are not that stupid, but you ARE that libtarded.

Obama's very obvious role in all of this: KINGPIN .

Moribundus, 3 hours ago

Amazon.com The American Mission and the 'Evil Empire' The Crusade for a Free Russia Since 1881 (8580000721935) Foglesong,

"By 1905," Foglesong stated, "this fundamental reorientation of American views of Russia had set up a historical pattern in which missionary zeal and messianic euphoria would be followed by disenchantment and embittered denunciation of Russia's evil and oppressive rulers." The first cycle, according to Foglesong, culminated in 1905, when the October Manifesto, perceived initially by Americans as a transformation to democracy, gave way to a violent socialist revolt. Foglesong observed similar cycles of euphoria to despair during the collapse of the tsarist government in 1917, during the partial religious revival of World War II, and during the dissolution of the Soviet Union in the early 1990s

Crucial to Foglesong's analysis was how these cycles coincided with a contemporaneous need to deflect attention away from America's own blemishes and enhance America's claim to its global mission.

For example, Foglesong argued that "a vital factor in the revival of the crusade in the 1970s was the need to expunge doubts about American virtue instilled by the Vietnam War, revelations about CIA covert actions, and the Watergate scandal."

By tracing American representations of Russia over the last 130 years, Foglesong illuminated three of the strongest notions that have informed American attitudes toward Russia: (1) a messianic faith that America could inspire sweeping overnight transformation from autocracy to democracy; (2) a notion that despite historic differences, Russia and America are very much akin, so that Russia, more than any other country, is America's "dark double;" (3) an extreme antipathy to "evil" leaders who Americans blame for thwarting what they believe to be the natural triumph of the American mission. These expectations and emotions continue to effect how American journalists and politicians write and talk about Russia. "My hope," Foglesong concluded, "is that by seeing how these attitudes have distorted American views of Russia for more than a century, we may begin to be able to escape their grip."

Moribundus, 3 hours ago

America's imperialism rules: Never to admit a fault or wrong; never to accept blame; concentrate on one enemy at a time; blame that enemy for everything that goes wrong; take advantage of every opportunity to raise a political whirlwind.

Kidbuck, 5 hours ago

Trump hasn't engaged in a fight in his life. He's a sissy at heart wants to negotiate. He can't even do that right. He's caved on nearly every campaign promise he made. The only thing his administration fights for is their salary and their retirement. Hillary still waddles free and farts in his general direction.

ChaoKrungThep, 4 hours ago

Trump the Mafia punk, like his dad, and draft dodger like his German grand dad. Barr, old CIA asset from the Clinton-Mena coke smuggling op. This crappy crew is running their masters' game in front of the redneck rabble who are dumber than their mutts.

Save_America1st, 9 hours ago

Geez...how far behind can most of these assholes be after all these years????

For one...there was no "Russia-gate". It was all a hoax from the beginning, and anyone with a few functioning brain cells knew that from the start.

And as of about 3 years ago we have all known this as "Obamagate" for the most part...we all knew the corruption of the hoax totally led up to O-Scumbag.

And now as of the recent disclosures it is a total fact.

Haven't most of you been watching Dan Bongino for over 2 years now and haven't you read his books? Haven't you been reading Sarah Carter and John Soloman among others for nearly 3 years now???

Surely, you haven't been just sitting around sucking leftist media **** for over 3 years, right???????? I'm sure you haven't.

So why is this article even necessary on ZeroHedge?????

We already knew and have known the truth since before even the 2016 election. Drop it.

Posa, 9 hours ago

So funny. The 85 Year old "American century' is palpably disintegrating before our very eyes. In particular the Deep State permanent bureaucracy is completely untethered and facing what seems to be a Great Reckoning in the form of Barr- Durham. Cognitve Derangement prevails in the press and spills overto the body politic. The country teeters a slo-mo Civil War. Meanwhile, The dollar is disintegrating and we seem to face an economic abyss, the Terminal Depression. Real "last Days of Rome" stuff.

BaNNeD oN THe RuN, 5 hours ago (Edited)

The Israeli dual citizens like Adelson and Mercer bought the Presidency.

Mossad was the organization handling the mole Seth Rich.

Blaming Russia also worked for those 2 groups because it deflected attention away from (((them))).

Ray McGovern, being ex-intel, must know this to be true.

LetThemEatRand, 11 hours ago

Russiagate. The supposed target of said coup d'etat just Presided over the largest bailout of banks ever by a factor of five or more. Trump supporters are asleep for the bailout, Trump haters are asleep for the bailout. Let's fight about transgender bathrooms and Russiagate, shall we?

yojimbo, 8 hours ago

I glance at the MSM, so here is a Guardian article along strongly TDS lines https://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2020/may/19/will-donald-trump-end-up-in-prison-arwa-mahdawi

It's projection again, implying Obama gate is fake, like Russiagate actually was.. Tough to even want to get through!

[May 20, 2020] No More Mr.Clean - Inside The Scandal-Free Years Of Obama's Presidency

May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Authored by Bruce Wilds via Advancing Time blog,

For years former President Obama remained more or less off the grid. It could be argued that it is not uncommon for an ex-president to stay out of the limelight. Several Presidents have done this even claiming it was for the good of the country and in an effort not to interfere with the country moving forward. Obama has recently reemerged and injected himself into the public spotlight, at times taking aim at President Trump and the way his administration is handling various situations. It is not surprising that President Trump is not pleased.

While our memory has a way of removing rough edges from events we should not try to whitewash the past and rewrite history to present a different picture of what really happened. Because of the stark contrast in the demeanor and style of Trump and Obama, the media has "photo shopped" reality. Obama has been painted as, a thoughtful, intelligent, capable man full of hope and able to bring us together. He did, after all, bring America's economy back from the brink of disaster following the Great Recession. Trump, on the other hand, is often portrayed as a divisive, dishonest, braggart, and a buffoon. The fact is during Obama's time as President the country suffered scandal upon scandal upon scandal, it might be fair to say we had "scandals galore."

Mosul, Reduced To Rubble On Obama's Watch

And then, there was Mosul. The destruction of Mosul and the many lives lost there stand as a monument of Obama's failings. We should not forget that during Obama's watch the once-proud Iraqi city of Mosul was reduced to rubble. This was done as a coalition of anti-ISIS forces try to retake the city. The very roots of ISIS were fed by America and its botched policies. The saying, "never throw stones if you live in a glass house" would lead people to think Obama should have remained in the shadows.

Looking back, there were so many, big and small scandals such as the fast and furious, the operation that sent guns into the hands of drug gangs in Mexico, they became difficult to track. In Las Vegas, the GSA went on a spending spree. A large number of sexual assaults occurring in the military. Solyndra which should be placed in the dictionary and defined as "what happens when politicians and bureaucrats play businessman with taxpayer money" failed. The CIA had a "prostitutes fiasco" in South America. Fisker Automotive failed, this deal reeked of government cronyism and waste. Add to this what looked like a "Benghazi coverup" (including the way it was handled in the second presidential debate) add the DOJ doing an over the top and wiretapping the Associated Press.

Trump Will Leave None Of This Unaddressed

We should not forget some of the following if truth be told. The resurfacing of Mr. Obama and images of him opining with his chin tilted slightly upward motivated me to look back at some posts written during his time as President. Remember, because of his persona, a degree of optimism was in the air as he took office, across the world many people saw him as the answer to taking the whole world forward. Below are a few of those with links to the original as well as a few other comments on what history has revealed as major policy blunders flowing from his time in office.

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2013/04/fisker-automotive-another-government.html

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2012/04/gsa-las-vegas-scandle-spending-run.html

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2013/02/solyndra-report-posted-little-late.html

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2012/05/secret-service-sex-scandal.html

http://brucewilds.blogspot.com/2013/05/scandal-upon-scandal-upon-scandal.html

Other major faux-pas, blunders or missteps of the Obama administration include;

To say we were awash in scandals during the Obama era is an understatement, fortunately for Obama, most Americans have the attention span of a gnat .

To be clear, not everyone will agree with what I have listed as "faux-pas, blunders or missteps" but some will. Time tends to reveal whether the decisions we make are great, good, so-so, or were horribly wrong. If you feel this post was overly biased, unto you I say, sorry, sorry, sorry.

In an effort to be transparent I confess I'm not a fan of either of these men and to be fair this post is not a critique of Trump's time in office. While some people may try or continue to paint Obama as Mr. Clean, a closer look at history rapidly dispels that image.

[May 20, 2020] MadCow in action

May 20, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

xxx 10 hours ago

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!

Take Breath........

Russia, Russia, Russia !!!!!!!!!!!

xxx 10 hours ago

something is rotten in the Dutch kingdom.

usually fish rots from the head.

[May 19, 2020] New Documents From the Sham Prosecution of Gen. Michael Flynn Also Reveal Broad Corruption in the Russiagate Investigations by Glenn Greenwald

This is about intelligence agencies becaming a powerful by shadow political force, much like STASI. This not about corruption per se, but about perusing of political goals by dirty means. So it is closer to sedition then to corruption.
Notable quotes:
"... there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual -- let alone criminal -- about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it , "it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work." ..."
"... there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation, and personal vendettas ..."
"... To begin with, cable and other news outlets that employed former Obama-era intelligence operatives, generals, and prosecutors to disseminate every Russiagate conspiracy theory they could find -- virtually always without any dissent or even questioning -- have barely acknowledged these explosive new documents. ..."
"... But the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: The powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. ..."
"... Flynn is a right-wing, hawkish general whose views on the so-called war on terror are ones utterly anathema to my own beliefs. That does not make his prosecution justified. One's views of Flynn personally or his politics (or those of the Trump administration generally) should have absolutely no bearing on one's assessment of the justifiability of what the U.S. government did to him here -- any more than one has to like the political views of the detainees at Guantanamo to find their treatment abusive and illegal , or any more than one has to agree with the views of people who are being censured in order to defend their right of free expression . ..."
"... As the journalist Aaron Maté demonstrated when he brilliantly challenged The Guardian's Luke Harding about his bestselling book claiming to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- one of the few times a Russiagate conspiracy advocate was forced to confront a knowledgeable critic -- those claims often cannot survive even minimal critical scrutiny. That's why media outlets have insulated these conspiracy theory advocates, as well as their audiences, from any dissent or even critical questioning. ..."
May 14, 2020 | theintercept.com
Gen. Michael Flynn, President Obama's former director of the Defense Intelligence Agency and President Donald Trump's former national security adviser, pleaded guilty on December 1, 2017, to a single count of lying to the FBI about two conversations he had with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak while Flynn served as a Trump transition team official (Flynn was never charged for any matters relating to his relationship with the Turkish government). As part of the plea deal, special counsel Robert Mueller recommended no jail time for Flynn , and the plea agreement also seemingly put an end to threats from the Mueller team to prosecute Flynn's son.

Last Thursday, the Justice Department filed a motion seeking to dismiss the prosecution of Flynn based, in part, on newly discovered documents revealing that the conduct of the FBI, under the leadership of Director James Comey and his now-disgraced Deputy Andrew McCabe (who himself was forced to leave the Bureau after being caught lying to agents ), was improper and motivated by corrupt objectives. That motion prompted histrionic howls of outrage from the same political officials and their media allies who have spent the last three years pushing maximalist Russiagate conspiracy theories.

But the prosecution of Flynn -- for allegedly lying to the FBI when he denied in a January 24 interrogation that he had discussed with Kislyak on December 29 the new sanctions and expulsions imposed on Russia by the Obama administration -- was always odd for a number of reasons. To begin with, the FBI agents who questioned Flynn said afterward that they did not believe he was lying (as CNN reported in February 2017: "the FBI interviewers believed Flynn was cooperative and provided truthful answers. Although Flynn didn't remember all of what he talked about, they don't believe he was intentionally misleading them, the officials say"). For that reason, CNN said, "the FBI is not expected to pursue any charges against" him.

More importantly, there was no valid reason for the FBI to have interrogated Flynn about his conversations with Kislyak in the first place. There is nothing remotely untoward or unusual -- let alone criminal -- about an incoming senior national security official, three weeks away from taking over, reaching out to a counterpart in a foreign government to try to tamp down tensions. As the Washington Post put it , "it would not be uncommon for incoming administrations to interface with foreign governments with whom they will soon have to work." What newly released documents over the last month reveal is what has been generally evident for the last three years: The powers of the security state agencies -- particularly the FBI, the CIA, the NSA, and the DOJ -- were systematically abused as part of the 2016 election and then afterward for political rather than legal ends.

While there was obviously deceit and corruption on the part of some Trump officials in lying to Russiagate investigators and otherwise engaging in depressingly common D.C. lobbyist corruption , there was also massive corruption on the part of the investigators themselves, exploiting and abusing their vast and invasive investigative and prosecutorial powers for ideological goals, political subterfuge, election manipulation, and personal vendettas . The former category (corruption by Trump officials) has received a tidal wave of endless media attention, while the latter (corruption and abuse of power by those investigating them) has received almost none.

For numerous reasons, it is vital to fully examine with as much clarity as possible the abuse of power that drove the prosecution of Flynn. To begin with, cable and other news outlets that employed former Obama-era intelligence operatives, generals, and prosecutors to disseminate every Russiagate conspiracy theory they could find -- virtually always without any dissent or even questioning -- have barely acknowledged these explosive new documents.

More disturbingly, liberals and Democrats -- as part of their movement toward venerating these security state agencies -- have completely jettisoned long-standing, core principles about the criminal justice system, including questioning whether lying to the FBI should be a crime at all and recognizing that innocent people are often forced to plead guilty -- in order to justify both the Flynn prosecution and the broader Mueller probe.

But the most critical reason to delve deeply into this case is that it reveals one the most dangerous abuses of power a democracy can suffer: The powers of the CIA, FBI, and NSA were blatantly and repeatedly abused to manipulate election outcomes and achieve political advantage. In other words, we know now that these agencies did exactly what Democratic Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer warned they would do to Trump when he appeared on Rachel Maddow's MSNBC program shortly before Trump's inauguration:

This turned out to be one of the most prescient and important (and creepy) statements of the Trump presidency: from Chuck Schumer to Rachel Maddow - in early January, 2017, before Trump was even inaugurated: pic.twitter.com/TUaYkksILG

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 8, 2019
Because U.S. politics is now discussed far more as tests of tribal loyalty ("Whose side are you on?") than actual ideological or even political beliefs ("Which policies do you favor or oppose?"), it is very difficult to persuade people to separate their personal or political views of Flynn ("Do you like him or not?") from the question of whether the U.S. government abused its power in gravely dangerous ways to prosecute him.

Flynn is a right-wing, hawkish general whose views on the so-called war on terror are ones utterly anathema to my own beliefs. That does not make his prosecution justified. One's views of Flynn personally or his politics (or those of the Trump administration generally) should have absolutely no bearing on one's assessment of the justifiability of what the U.S. government did to him here -- any more than one has to like the political views of the detainees at Guantanamo to find their treatment abusive and illegal , or any more than one has to agree with the views of people who are being censured in order to defend their right of free expression .

The ability to distinguish between ideological questions from evidentiary questions is vital for rational discourse to be possible, yet has been all but eliminated at the altar of tribal fealty. That is why evidentiary questions completely devoid of ideological belief -- such as whether one found the Russiagate conspiracy theories supported by convincing evidence -- have been treated not as evidentiary matters but as tribal ones: to be affiliated with the left (an ideological characterization), one must affirm belief in those conspiracy theories even if one does not find the evidence in support of them actually compelling. The conflation of ideological and evidentiary questions, and the substitution of substantive political debates with tests of tribal loyalty, are indescribably corrosive to our public discourse.

As a result, whether one is now deemed on the right or left has almost nothing to do with actual political beliefs about policy questions and everything to do with one's willingness to serve the interests of one team or another. With the warped formula in place, U.S. politics has been depoliticized , stripped of any meaningful ideological debates in lieu of mindless team loyalty oaths on non-ideological questions.

Our newest SYSTEM UPDATE episode, debuting today, is devoted to enabling as clear and objective an examination as possible of the abuses that drove the Flynn prosecution -- including these critical, newly declassified documents -- as well the broader Russiagate investigations of which it was a part. These abuses have received far too little attention from the vast majority of the U.S. media that simply excludes any questioning or dissent of their prevailing narratives about all of these matters.

Notably, we invited several of the cable stars and security state agents who have been pushing these conspiracy theories for years to appear on the program for a civil discussion, but none were willing to do so -- because they are so accustomed to being able to spout these theories on MSNBC, CNN, and in newspapers without ever being meaningfully challenged. Regardless of one's views on these scandals, it is unhealthy in the extreme for any media to insulate themselves from a diversity of views.

As the journalist Aaron Maté demonstrated when he brilliantly challenged The Guardian's Luke Harding about his bestselling book claiming to prove collusion between the Trump campaign and Russia -- one of the few times a Russiagate conspiracy advocate was forced to confront a knowledgeable critic -- those claims often cannot survive even minimal critical scrutiny. That's why media outlets have insulated these conspiracy theory advocates, as well as their audiences, from any dissent or even critical questioning.

Today's SYSTEM UPDATE episode, which we believe provides the most comprehensive examination to date of these new documents relating to the Flynn prosecution and how this case relates to the broader Russiagate investigative abuses, can be viewed above or on The Intercept's YouTube channel .

[May 19, 2020] NYT Critique of Ronan Farrow Describes Pathology of "Resistance Journalism"

This is about control of MSM by intelligence agencies, not so much about corruption of individual journalists. Journalist became like in the USSR "Soldiers of the Party" -- well paid propagandist of particular, supplied to them talking points.
Notable quotes:
"... encouraged and incentivized ..."
"... for each segment ..."
May 19, 2020 | theintercept.com

What is particularly valuable about Smith's article is its perfect description of a media sickness borne of the Trump era that is rapidly corroding journalistic integrity and justifiably destroying trust in news outlets. Smith aptly dubs this pathology "resistance journalism," by which he means that journalists are now not only free, but encouraged and incentivized , to say or publish anything they want, no matter how reckless and fact-free, provided their target is someone sufficiently disliked in mainstream liberal media venues and/or on social media:

[Farrow's] work, though, reveals the weakness of a kind of resistance journalism that has thrived in the age of Donald Trump: That if reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices, the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness can seem more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives.

That can be a dangerous approach, particularly in a moment when the idea of truth and a shared set of facts is under assault.

In assailing Farrow for peddling unproven conspiracy theories, Smith argues that such journalistic practices are particularly dangerous in an era where conspiracy theories are increasingly commonplace. Yet unlike most journalists with a mainstream platform, Smith emphasizes that conspiracy theories are commonly used not only by Trump and his movement (conspiracy theories which are quickly debunked by most of the mainstream media), but are also commonly deployed by Trump's enemies, whose reliance on conspiracy theories is virtually never denounced by journalists because mainstream news outlets themselves play a key role in peddling them:

We are living in an era of conspiracies and dangerous untruths -- many pushed by President Trump, but others hyped by his enemies -- that have lured ordinary Americans into passionately believing wild and unfounded theories and fiercely rejecting evidence to the contrary. The best reporting tries to capture the most attainable version of the truth, with clarity and humility about what we don't know. Instead, Mr. Farrow told us what we wanted to believe about the way power works, and now, it seems, he and his publicity team are not even pretending to know if it's true.

Ever since Donald Trump was elected , and one could argue even in the months leading up to his election, journalistic standards have been consciously jettisoned when it comes to reporting on public figures who, in Smith's words, are "most disliked by the loudest voices," particularly when such reporting "swim[s] ably along with the tides of social media." Put another way: As long the targets of one's conspiracy theories and attacks are regarded as villains by the guardians of mainstream liberal social media circles, journalists reap endless career rewards for publishing unvetted and unproven -- even false -- attacks on such people, while never suffering any negative consequences when their stories are exposed as shabby frauds.

https://www.youtube.com/embed/OOhRRr6c1wA?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1 infiltrated and taken over the U.S. government through sexual and financial blackmail leverage over Trump and used it to dictate U.S. policy; Trump officials conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election; Russia was attacking the U.S. by hacking its electricity grid , recruiting journalists to serve as clandestine Kremlin messengers , and plotting to cut off heat to Americans in winter. Mainstream media debacles -- all in service of promoting the same set of conspiracy theories against Trump -- are literally too numerous to count, requiring one to select the worst offenses as illustrative .

Glenn Beck 2009 + Maddow 2019 is the greatest crossover event in history pic.twitter.com/D1NElGBq3U

-- Adam H. Johnson (@adamjohnsonNYC) January 31, 2019
In March of last year, Rolling Stone's Matt Taibbi -- writing under the headline "It's official: Russiagate is this generation's WMD" -- compared the prevailing media climate since 2016 to that which prevailed in 2002 and 2003 regarding the invasion of Iraq and the so-called war on terror: little to no dissent permitted, skeptics of media-endorsed orthodoxies shunned and excluded, and worst of all, the very journalists who were most wrong in peddling false conspiracy theories were exactly those who ended up most rewarded on the ground that even though they spread falsehoods, they did so for the right cause.

Under that warped rubric -- in which spreading falsehoods is commendable as long as it was done to harm the evildoers -- the New Yorker's Jeffrey Goldberg, one of the most damaging endorsers of false conspiracy theories about Iraq , rose to become editor-in-chief of The Atlantic, while two of the most deceitful Bush-era neocons, Bush/Cheney speechwriter David Frum and supreme propagandist Bill Kristol, have reprised their role as leading propagandists and conspiracy theorists -- only this time aimed against the GOP president instead of on his behalf -- and thus have become beloved liberal media icons. The communications director for both the Bush/Cheney campaign and its White House, Nicole Wallace, is one of the most popular liberal cable hosts from her MSNBC perch.

Join Our Newsletter Original reporting. Fearless journalism. Delivered to you. I'm in Exactly the same journalism-destroying dynamic is driving the post-Russiagate media landscape. There is literally no accountability for the journalists and news outlets that spread falsehoods in their pages, on their airwaves, and through their viral social media postings. The Washington Post's media columnist Erik Wemple has been one of the very few journalists devoted to holding these myth-peddlers accountable -- recounting how one of the most reckless Russigate conspiracy maximialists, Natasha Bertrand, became an overnight social media and journalism star by peddling discredited conspiratorial trash (she was notably hired by Jeffrey Goldberg to cover Russigate for The Atlantic); MSNBC's Rachel Maddow spent three years hyping conspiratorial junk with no need even to retract any of it; and Mother Jones' David Corn played a crucial, decisively un-journalistic role in mainstreaming the lies of the Steele dossier all with zero effect on his journalistic status, other than to enrich him through a predictably bestselling book that peddled those unhinged conspiracies further.

Wemple's post-Russiagate series has established him as a commendable, often-lone voice trying -- with futility -- to bring some accountability to U.S. journalism for the systemic media failures of the past three years. The reason that's futile is exactly what Smith described in his column on Farrow: In "resistance journalism," facts and truth are completely dispensable -- indeed, dispensing with them is rewarded -- provided "reporters swim ably along with the tides of social media and produce damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices."

That describes perfectly the journalists who were defined, and enriched, by years of Russiagate deceit masquerading as reporting. By far the easiest path to career success over the last three years -- booming ratings, lucrative book sales, exploding social media followings, career rehabilitation even for the most discredited D.C. operatives -- was to feed establishment liberals an endless diet of fearmongering and inflammatory conspiracies about Drumpf and his White House. Whether it was true or supported by basic journalistic standards was completely irrelevant. Responsible reporting was simply was not a metric used to assess its worth.

It was one thing for activists, charlatans, and con artists to exploit fears of Trump for material gain: that, by definition, is what such people do. But it was another thing entirely for journalists to succumb to all the low-hanging career rewards available to them by throwing all journalistic standards into the trash bin in exchange for a star turn as a #Resistance icon. That , as Smith aptly describes, is what "Resistance Journalism" is, and it's hard to identify anything more toxic to our public discourse.

Perhaps the single most shameful and journalism-destroying episode in all of this -- an obviously difficult title to bestow -- was when a national security blogger, Marcy Wheeler, violated long-standing norms and ethical standards of journalism by announcing in 2018 that she had voluntarily turned in her own source to the FBI, claiming she did so because her still-unnamed source "had played a significant role in the Russian election attack on the US" and because her life was endangered by her brave decision to stop being a blogger and become an armchair cop by pleading with the FBI and the Mueller team to let her work with them. In her blog post announcing what she did, she claimed she was going public with her treachery because her life was in danger, and this way everyone would know the real reason if "someone releases stolen information about me or knocks me off tomorrow."

To say that Wheeler's actions are a grotesque violation of journalistic ethics is to radically understate the case. Journalists are expected to protect their sources' identities from the FBI even if they receive a subpoena and a court order compelling its disclosure; we're expected to go to prison before we comply with FBI attempts to uncover our source's identity. But here, the FBI did not try to compel Wheeler to tell them anything; they displayed no interest in her as she desperately tried to chase them down.

By all appearances, Wheeler had to beg the FBI to pay attention to her because they treated her like the sort of unstable, unhinged, unwell, delusional obsessive who, believing they have uncovered some intricate conspiracy, relentlessly harass and bombard journalists with their bizarre theories until they finally prattle to themselves for all of eternity in the spam filter of our email inboxes. The claim that she was in possession of some sort of explosive and damning information that would blow the Mueller investigation wide open was laughable. In her post, she claimed she "always planned to disclose this when this person's role was publicly revealed," but to date -- almost two years later -- she has never revealed "this person's" identity because, from all appearances, the Mueller report never relied on Wheeler's intrepid reporting or her supposedly red-hot secrets.

Like so many other Russiagate obsessives who turned into social media and MSNBC/CNN #Resistance stars, Wheeler was living a wild, self-serving fantasy, a Cold War Tom Clancy suspense film that she invented in her head and then cast herself as the heroine: a crusading investigative dot-connecter uncovering dangerous, hidden conspiracies perpetrated by dangerous, hidden Cold War-style villains (Putin) to the point where her own life was endangered by her bravery. It was a sad joke, a depressing spectacle of psycho-drama, but one that could have had grave consequences for the person she voluntarily ratted out to the FBI. Whatever else is true, this episode inflicted grave damage on American journalism by having mainstream, Russia-obsessed journalists not denounce her for her egregious violation of journalistic ethics but celebrate her for turning journalism on its head.

Why? Because, as Smith said in his Farrow article, she was "swim[ing] ably along with the tides of social media and produc[ing] damaging reporting about public figures most disliked by the loudest voices" and thus "the old rules of fairness and open-mindedness [were] more like impediments than essential journalistic imperatives." Margaret Sullivan, the former New York Times public editor and now the Washington Post's otherwise reliably commendable media reporter, celebrated Wheeler's bizarre behavior under the headline: "A journalist's conscience leads her to reveal her source to the FBI."

Despite acknowledging that "in their reporting, journalists talk to criminals all the time and don't turn them in" and that "it's pretty much an inviolable rule of journalism: Protect your sources," Sullivan heralded Wheeler's ethically repugnant and journalism-eroding violation of those principles. "It's not hard to see that her decision was a careful and principled one," Sullivan proclaimed.

She even endorsed Wheeler's cringe-inducing, self-glorifying claims about her life being endangered by invoking long-standard Cold War clichés about the treachery of the Russkies ("Overly dramatic? Not really. The Russians do have a penchant for disposing of people they find threatening."). The English language is insufficient to convey the madness required to believe that the Kremlin wanted to kill Marcy Wheeler because her blogging was getting Too Close to The Truth, but in the fevered swamps of resistance journalism, literally no claim was too unhinged to be embraced provided that it fed the social media #Resistance masses.

Sullivan's article quoted no critics of Wheeler's incredibly controversial behavior -- no need to: She was on the right side of social media reaction. And Sullivan never bothered to return to wonder why her prediction -- "Wheeler hasn't named the source publicly, though his name may soon be known to all who are following the Mueller investigation" -- never materialized. Both CNN and, incredibly, the Columbia Journalism Review published similarly sympathetic accounts of Wheeler's desperate attempts to turn over her source to the FBI and then cosplay as though she were some sort of insider in the Mueller investigation. The most menacing attribute of what Smith calls "Resistance Journalism" is that it permits and tolerates no dissent and questioning: perhaps the single most destructive path journalism can take. It has been well-documented that MSNBC and CNN spent three years peddling all sorts of ultimately discredited Russiagate conspiracy theories by excluding from their airwaves anyone who dissented from or even questioned those conspiracies. Instead, they relied upon an increasingly homogenized army of former security state agents from the CIA, FBI, and NSA to propound, in unison, all sorts of claims about Trump and Russia that turned out to be false, and peppered their panels of "analysts" with journalists whose career skyrocketed exclusively by pushing maximalist Russiagate claims, often by relying on the same intelligence officials these cable outlets sat them next to.

That NBC & MSNBC hired as a "news analyst" John Brennan - who ran the CIA when the Trump/Russia investigation began & was a key player in the news he was shaping as a paid colleague of their reporters - is a huge ethical breach. And it produced this: pic.twitter.com/nPlaq5YVxf

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) April 2, 2019
This trend -- whereby diversity of opinion and dissent from orthodoxies are excluded from media discourse -- is worsening rapidly due to two major factors. The first is that cable news programs are constructed to feed their audiences only self-affirming narratives that vindicate partisan loyalties. One liberal cable host told me that they receive ratings not for each show but for each segment , and they can see the ratings drop off -- the remotes clicking away -- if they put on the air anyone who criticizes the party to which that outlet is devoted (Democrats in the case of MSNBC and CNN, the GOP in the case of Fox).

But there's another more recent and probably more dissent-quashing development: the disappearance of media jobs. Mass layoffs were already common in online journalism and local newspapers prior to the coronavirus pandemic , and have now turned into an industrywide massacre . With young journalists watching jobs disappearing en masse, the last thing they are going to want to do is question or challenge prevailing orthodoxies within their news outlet or, using Smith's "Resistance Journalism" formulation, to "swim against the tides of social media" or question the evidence amassed against those "most disliked by the loudest voices."

Affirming those orthodoxies can be career-promoting, while questioning them can be job-destroying. Consider the powerful incentives journalists face in an industry where jobs are disappearing so rapidly one can barely keep count. During Russiagate, I often heard from young journalists at large media outlets who expressed varying degrees of support for and agreement with the skepticism which I and a handful of other journalists were expressing, but they felt constrained to do so themselves, for good reason. They watched the reprisals and shunning doled out even to journalists with a long record of journalistic accomplishments and job security for the crime of Russiagate skepticism, such as Taibbi (similar to the way MSNBC fired Phil Donahue in 2002 for opposing the invasion of Iraq), and they know journalists with less stature and security than Taibbi could not risk incurring that collective wrath.

All professions and institutions suffer when a herd, groupthink mentality and the banning of dissent prevail. But few activities are corroded from such a pathology more than journalism is, which has as its core function skepticism and questioning of pieties. Journalism quickly transforms into a sickly, limp version of itself when it itself wages war on the virtues of dissent and airing a wide range of perspectives.

I do not know how valid are Smith's critiques of Farrow's journalism. But what I know for certain is that Smith's broader diagnosis of "Resistance Journalism" is dead-on, and the harms it is causing are deep and enduring. When journalists know they will thrive by affirming pleasing falsehoods, and suffer when they insist on unpopular truths, journalism not only loses its societal value but becomes just another instrument for societal manipulation, deceit, and coercion.

[May 19, 2020] Beyond BuzzFeed: The 10 Worst, Most Embarrassing U.S. Media Failures on the Trump-Russia Story by Glenn Greenwald

Images removed
Those are far from failures, those were successful disinformation/propaganda operations conducted with a certain goal -- remove Trump -- which demonstrate the level of intelligence agencies control of the MSM. In other words those are parts of a bigger intelligence operation -- the color revolution against Trump led most probably by Obama and Brennan.
Now we know that Obama played an important role in Russiagate media hysteria and, most porbably, in planning and executing the operation to entrap Flynn.
Notable quotes:
"... They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused ..."
"... Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script: ..."
"... Crowdstrike, the firm hired by the DNC, claimed they had evidence that Russia hacked Ukrainian artillery apps; they then retracted it . ..."
"... The U.S. media and Democrats spent six months claiming that all "17 intelligence agencies" agreed Russia was behind the hacks; the NYT finally retracted that in June, 2017: "The assessment was made by four intelligence agencies -- the Office of the Director of National Intelligence, the Central Intelligence Agency, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Security Agency. The assessment was not approved by all 17 organizations in the American intelligence community." ..."
"... Widespread government and media claims that accused Russian agent Maria Butina offered "sex for favors" were totally false (and scurrilous). ..."
Jan 20, 2019 | theintercept.com
BuzzFeed was once notorious for traffic-generating "listicles," but has since become an impressive outlet for deep investigative journalism under editor-in-chief Ben Smith. That outlet was prominently in the news this week thanks to its "bombshell" story about President Trump and Michael Cohen: a story that, like so many others of its kind, blew up in its face , this time when the typically mute Robert Mueller's office took the extremely rare step to label its key claims "inaccurate."

But in homage to BuzzFeed's past viral glory, following are the top ten worst media failures in two-plus-years of Trump/Russia reporting. They are listed in reverse order, as measured by the magnitude of the embarrassment, the hysteria they generated on social media and cable news, the level of journalistic recklessness that produced them, and the amount of damage and danger they caused. This list was extremely difficult to compile in part because news outlets (particularly CNN and MSNBC) often delete from the internet the video segments of their most embarrassing moments. Even more challenging was the fact that the number of worthy nominees is so large that highly meritorious entrees had to be excluded, but are acknowledged at the end with (dis)honorable mention status.

Note that all of these "errors" go only in one direction: namely, exaggerating the grave threat posed by Moscow and the Trump circle's connection to it. It's inevitable that media outlets will make mistakes on complex stories. If that's being done in good faith, one would expect the errors would be roughly 50/50 in terms of the agenda served by the false stories. That is most definitely not the case here. Just as was true in 2002 and 2003, when the media clearly wanted to exaggerate the threat posed by Saddam Hussein and thus all of its "errors" went in that direction, virtually all of its major "errors" in this story are devoted to the same agenda and script:

10. RT Hacked Into and Took Over C-SPAN (Fortune)

On June 12, 2017, Fortune claimed that RT had hacked into and taken over C-SPAN and that C-SPAN "confirmed" it had been hacked. The whole story was false:

C-SPAN Confirms It Was Briefly Hacked by Russian News Site https://t.co/NUFD662FMz pic.twitter.com/POstGFzvNE

-- Fortune Tech (@FortuneTech) January 12, 2017

Kremlin-funded Russian news network RT interrupted C-SPAN's online feed for about ten minutes Thursday afternoon https://t.co/Z25LqoCW2H

-- New York Magazine (@NYMag) January 12, 2017

Holy shit. Russia state propaganda (RT) "hacked" into C-SPAN feed and took over for a good 40 seconds today? In middle of live broadcast. https://t.co/pwWYFoDGDU

-- Isaac Saul (@Ike_Saul) January 12, 2017

RT America ominously takes over C-SPAN feed for ten minutes @tommyxtopher reviews today's events for #shareblue https://t.co/uiiU5awSMs

-- Leah McElrath (@leahmcelrath) January 12, 2017

After investigation, C-SPAN has concluded that the RT interruption was not the result of a hack, but rather routing error.

-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 18, 2017
9. Russian Hackers Invaded the U.S. Electricity Grid to Deny Vermonters Heat During the Winter (WashPost)

On December 30, 2016, the Washington Post reported that "Russian hackers penetrated the U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont," causing predictable outrage and panic, along with threats from U.S. political leaders. But then they kept diluting the story with editor's notes – to admit that the malware was found on a laptop not connected to the U.S. electric grid at all – until finally acknowledging, days later, that the whole story was false, since the malware had nothing to do with Russia or with the U.S. electric grid:

Breaking: Russian hackers penetrated U.S. electricity grid through a utility in Vermont https://t.co/LED11lL7ej

-- The Washington Post (@washingtonpost) December 31, 2016

NEW: "One of the world's leading thugs, [Putin] has been attempting to hack our electric grid," says VT Gov. Shumlin https://t.co/YgdtT4JrlX pic.twitter.com/AU0ZQjT3aO

-- ABC News (@ABC) December 31, 2016

https://www.youtube.com/embed/9ktNVW_TblI?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=1

Washington Post retracts story about Russian hack at Vermont utility https://t.co/JX9l0926Uj via @nypost

-- Kerry Picket (@KerryPicket) January 1, 2017
8. A New, Deranged, Anonymous Group Declares Mainstream Political Sites on the Left and Right to be Russian Propaganda Outlets and WashPost Touts its Report to Claim Massive Kremlin Infiltration of the Internet (WashPost)

On November 24, 2016, the Washington Post published one of the most inflammatory, sensationalistic stories to date about Russian infiltration into U.S. politics using social media, accusing "more than 200 websites" of being "routine peddlers of Russian propaganda during the election season, with combined audiences of at least 15 million Americans." It added: "stories planted or promoted by the disinformation campaign [on Facebook] were viewed more than 213 million times."

Unfortunately for the paper, those statistics were provided by a new, anonymous group that reached these conclusions by classifying long-time, well-known sites – from the Drudge Report to Clinton-critical left-wing websites such as Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig, and Naked Capitalism, as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. – as "Russian propaganda outlets," producing one of the longest Editor's Note in memory appended to the top of the article (but not until two weeks later , long after the story was mindlessly spread all throughout the media ecosystem):

Russian propaganda effort helped spread fake news during election, say independent researchers https://t.co/3ETVXWw16Q

-- Marty Baron (@PostBaron) November 25, 2016

Just want to note I hadn't heard of Propornot before the WP piece and never gave permission to them to call Bellingcat "allies" https://t.co/jQKnWzjrBR

-- Eliot Higgins (@EliotHiggins) November 25, 2016

Marty, I would like to more about PropOrNot, "experts" cited in the article. Their website provides little in the way of ID. https://t.co/ZiK8pKzUwx

-- Jack Shafer (@jackshafer) November 25, 2016
7. Trump Aide Anthony Scaramucci is Involved in a Russian Hedge Fund Under Senate Investigation (CNN)

On June 22, 2017, CNN reported that Trump aide Anthony Scaramucci was involved with the Russian Direct Investment Fund, under Senate investigation. He was not. CNN retracted the story and forced the three reporters who published it to leave the network. 6. Russia Attacked U.S. "Diplomats" (i.e. Spies) at the Cuban Embassy Using a Super-Sophisticated Sonic Microwave Weapon (NBC/MSNBC/CIA)

On September 11, 2017, NBC News and MSNBC spread all over its airwaves a claim from its notorious CIA puppet Ken Dilanian that Russia was behind a series of dastardly attacks on U.S. personnel at the Embassy in Cuba using a sonic or microwave weapon so sophisticated and cunning that Pentagon and CIA scientists had no idea what to make of it.

But then teams of neurologists began calling into doubt that these personnel had suffered any brain injuries at all – that instead they appear to have experienced collective psychosomatic symptoms – and then biologists published findings that the "strange sounds" the U.S. "diplomats" reported hearing were identical to those emitted by a common Caribbean male cricket during mating season.

An @NBCNews exclusive: After more than a year of mystery, Russia is the main suspect in the sonic attacks that sickened 26 U.S. diplomats and intelligence officials in Cuba. @MitchellReports has the latest. pic.twitter.com/NEI9PJ9CpD

-- TODAY (@TODAYshow) September 11, 2018

Wow >> U.S. has signals intelligence linking the sonic attacks on Americans in Cuba and China to *Russia* https://t.co/FbNla0vu9W

-- Andrew Desiderio (@desiderioDC) September 11, 2018

Following NBC report about sonic attacks, @SenCoryGardner renews calls for declaring Russia a state sponsor of terror https://t.co/wrnubfecom

-- Niels Lesniewski (@nielslesniewski) September 11, 2018

5. Trump Created a Secret Internet Server to Covertly Communicate with a Russian Bank (Slate)

Computer scientists have apparently uncovered a covert server linking the Trump Organization to a Russian-based bank. pic.twitter.com/8f8n9xMzUU

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) November 1, 2016

It's time for Trump to answer serious questions about his ties to Russia. https://t.co/D8oSmyVAR4 pic.twitter.com/07dRyEmPjX

-- Hillary Clinton (@HillaryClinton) October 31, 2016
4. Paul Manafort Visited Julian Assange Three Times in the Ecuadorian Embassy and Nobody Noticed (Guardian/Luke Harding)

On November 27, 2018, the Guardian published a major "bombshell" that Trump campaign manager Paul Manafort had somehow managed to sneak inside one of the world's most surveilled buildings, the Ecuadorian Embassy in London, and visit Julian Assange on three different occasions. Cable and online commentators exploded.

Seven weeks later, no other media outlet has confirmed this ; no video or photographic evidence has emerged; the Guardian refuses to answer any questions; its leading editors have virtually gone into hiding; other media outlets have expressed serious doubts about its veracity; and an Ecuadorian official who worked at the embassy has called the story a complete fake:

Paul Manafort held secret talks with Julian Assange inside the Ecuadorian embassy in London, and visited around the time he joined Trump's campaign, the Guardian has been told. https://t.co/Fc2BVmXipk

-- Kyle Griffin (@kylegriffin1) November 27, 2018

The sourcing on this is a bit thin, or at least obscured. But it's the ultimate Whoa If True. It's...ballgame if true.

-- Chris Hayes (@chrislhayes) November 27, 2018

https://www.youtube.com/embed/4A2cuuRK2NU?autoplay=0&rel=0&enablejsapi=1&origin=https%3A%2F%2Ftheintercept.com&widgetid=7

The Guardian reports that Paul Manafort visited Julian Assange, the founder of WikiLeaks, the same month that Manafort joined Donald Trump's presidential campaign in 2016, a meeting that could carry vast implications for the Russia investigation https://t.co/pYawnv4MHH

-- Los Angeles Times (@latimes) November 27, 2018
3. CNN Explicitly Lied About Lanny Davis Being Its Source – For a Story Whose Substance Was Also False: Cohen Would Testify that Trump Knew in Advance About the Trump Tower Meeting (CNN)

On July 27, 2018, CNN published a blockbuster story : that Michael Cohen was prepared to tell Robert Mueller that President Trump knew in advanced about the Trump Tower meeting. There were, however, two problems with this story: first, CNN got caught blatantly lying when its reporters claimed that "contacted by CNN, one of Cohen's attorneys, Lanny Davis, declined to comment" (in fact, Davis was one of CNN's key sources, if not its only source, for this story), and second, numerous other outlets retracted the story after the source, Davis, admitted it was a lie. CNN, however, to this date has refused to do either: 2. Robert Mueller Possesses Internal Emails and Witness Interviews Proving Trump Directed Cohen to Lie to Congress (BuzzFeed)

BREAKING: President Trump personally directed his longtime attorney Michael Cohen to lie to Congress about negotiations to build a Trump Tower in Moscow in order to obscure his involvement. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 18, 2019

BOOM! https://t.co/QDkUMaEa7M pic.twitter.com/9kcZZ8m1gt

-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) January 18, 2019

The allegation that the President of the United States may have suborned perjury before our committee in an effort to curtail the investigation and cover up his business dealings with Russia is among the most serious to date. We will do what's necessary to find out if it's true. https://t.co/GljBAFqOjh

-- Adam Schiff (@RepAdamSchiff) January 18, 2019

If the @BuzzFeed story is true, President Trump must resign or be impeached.

-- Joaquin Castro (@JoaquinCastrotx) January 18, 2019

Listen, if Mueller does have multiple sources confirming Trump directed Cohen to lie to Congress, then we need to know this ASAP. Mueller shouldn't end his inquiry, but it's about time for him to show Congress his cards before it's too late for us to act. https://t.co/ekG5VSBS8G

-- Chris Murphy (@ChrisMurphyCT) January 18, 2019

UPDATE: A spokesperson for the special counsel is disputing BuzzFeed News' report. https://t.co/BEoMKiDypn pic.twitter.com/GWWfGtyhaE

-- BuzzFeed News (@BuzzFeedNews) January 19, 2019

To those trying to parse the Mueller statement: it's a straight-up denial. Maybe Buzzfeed can prove they are right, maybe Mueller can prove them wrong. But it's an emphatic denial https://t.co/EI1J7XLCJe

-- Devlin Barrett (@DevlinBarrett) January 19, 2019

. @Isikoff : "There were red flags about the BuzzFeed story from the get-go." Notes it was inconsistent with Cohen's guilty plea when he said he made false statements about Trump Tower to Congress to be "consistent" with Trump, not at his direction. pic.twitter.com/tgDg6SNPpG

-- David Rutz (@DavidRutz) January 19, 2019

We at The Post also had riffs on the story our reporters hadn't confirmed. One noted Fox downplayed it; another said it "if true, looks to be the most damning to date for Trump." The industry needs to think deeply on how to cover others' reporting we can't confirm independently. https://t.co/afzG5B8LAP

-- Matt Zapotosky (@mattzap) January 19, 2019

Washington Post says Mueller's denial of BuzzFeed News article is aimed at the full story: "Mueller's denial, according to people familiar with the matter, aims to make clear that none of those statements in the story are accurate."
https://t.co/ene0yqe1mK

-- andrew kaczynski (@KFILE) January 19, 2019

If you're one of the people tempted to believe the self-evidently laughable claim that there's something "vague" or unclear about Mueller's statement, or that it just seeks to quibble with a few semantic trivialities, read this @WashPost story about this https://t.co/0io99LyATS pic.twitter.com/ca1TwPR3Og

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019

You can spend hours parsing the Carr statement, but given how unusual it is for any DOJ office to issue this sort of on the record denial, let alone this office, suspect it means the story's core contention that they have evidence Trump told Cohen to lie is fundamentally wrong.

-- Matthew Miller (@matthewamiller) January 19, 2019

New York Times throws a bit of cold water on BuzzFeed's explosive -- and now seriously challenged -- report that Trump instructed Michael Cohen to lie to Congress: https://t.co/9N7MiHs7et pic.twitter.com/7FJFT9D8fW

-- ErikWemple (@ErikWemple) January 19, 2019

I can't speak to Buzzfeed's sourcing, but, for what it's worth, I declined to run with parts of the narrative they conveyed based on a source central to the story repeatedly disputing the idea that Trump directly issued orders of that kind.

-- Ronan Farrow (@RonanFarrow) January 19, 2019

FWIW in all our reporting I haven't found any in the Trump Org that have met with or been interviewed by Mueller. https://t.co/U4eV1MZc8p

-- John Santucci (@Santucci) January 18, 2019
1. Donald Trump Jr. Was Offered Advanced Access to the WikiLeaks Email Archive (CNN/MSNBC)

The morning of December 9, 2017, launched one of the most humiliating spectacles in the history of the U.S. media. With a tone so grave and bombastic that it is impossible to overstate, CNN went on the air and announced a major exclusive: Donald Trump, Jr. was offered by email advanced access to the trove of DNC and Podesta emails published by WikiLeaks – meaning before those emails were made public. Within an hour, MSNBC's Ken Dilanian, using a tone somehow even more unhinged, purported to have "independently confirmed" this mammoth, blockbuster scoop, which, they said, would have been the smoking gun showing collusion between the Trump campaign and WikiLeaks over the hacked emails (while the YouTube clips have been removed, you can still watch one of the amazing MSNBC videos here ).

There was, alas, just one small problem with this massive, blockbuster story: it was totally and completely false. The email which Trump, Jr. received that directed him to the WikiLeaks archive was sent after WikiLeaks published it online for the whole world to see, not before. Rather than some super secretive operative giving Trump, Jr. advanced access, as both CNN and MSNBC told the public for hours they had confirmed, it was instead just some totally pedestrian message from a random member of the public suggesting Trump, Jr. review documents the whole world was already talking about. All of the anonymous sources CNN and MSNBC cited somehow all got the date of the email wrong.

To date, when asked how they both could have gotten such a massive story so completely wrong in the same way, both CNN and MSNBC have adopted the posture of the CIA by maintaining complete silence and refusing to explain how it could possibly be that all of their "multiple, independent sources" got the date wrong on the email in the same way, to be as incriminating – and false – as possible. Nor, needless to say, will they identify their sources who, in concert, fed them such inflammatory and utterly false information.

Sadly, CNN and MSNBC have deleted most traces of the most humiliating videos from the internet, including demanding that YouTube remove copies. But enough survives to document just what a monumental, horrifying, and utterly inexcusable debacle this was. Particularly amazing is the clip of the CNN reporter (see below) having to admit the error for the first time, as he awkwardly struggles to pretend that it's not the massive, horrific debacle that it so obviously is:

Knowingly soliciting or receiving anything of value from a foreign national for campaign purposes violates the Federal Election Campaign Act. If it's worth over $2,000 then penalties include fines & IMPRISONMENT. @DonaldJTrumpJr may be in bigly trouble. #FridayFeeling https://t.co/dRz6Ph17Er

-- Ted Lieu (@tedlieu) December 8, 2017

boom https://t.co/9RPPltRq8k pic.twitter.com/eyYHkOMEPi

-- Benjamin Wittes (@benjaminwittes) December 8, 2017

CNN is leading the way in bashing BuzzFeed but it's worth remembering CNN had a humiliation at least as big & bad: when they yelled that Trump Jr. had advanced access to the WL archive (!): all based on a wrong date. They removed all the segments from YouTube, but this remains: pic.twitter.com/0jiA50aIku

-- Glenn Greenwald (@ggreenwald) January 19, 2019

Dishonorable Mention:

[May 19, 2020] Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump

Highly recommended!
Russiaphobia as a pathological reaction on the deep crisis of neoliberalism
Notable quotes:
"... The described lack of confidence was reflected in the exaggerated fear that Russia was capable of destroying the West's values. However, Russia and Putin were neither omnipresent nor threatening to destroy the United States' political system. ..."
"... Russia's basic motives remain defensive even when the Kremlin relies on assertive tactics. Russia's assertiveness, even in cyberspace, is of a reactive nature and is a response to US policies. ..."
"... Rather than fighting a full-scale information war with the West, Russia seeks to increase its status and strengthen its bargaining position in relations with the United States. 68 The Kremlin has been proposing to negotiate rules of cooperation in the cyber area since early in the twenty-first century. Motivated by an insistence on "cyber-sovereignty," Russia regularly proposes resolutions at the United Nations to prohibit "information aggression," In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly, Russia proposed an "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," stipulating that states subscribing to the code would pledge to "not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability." 69 ..."
"... Overall, what the Kremlin challenges is the United States' post–Cold War behavior that undermines Russia's status as a great power. Although Russia is not in a position to directly challenge the United States and the US-centered international order, the Kremlin hopes to gain external recognition as a great power by relying on low-cost methods and revealing the vulnerability of Western nations. Russia's capabilities and presence in global cyber and media space are limited, and the Kremlin is motivated by asymmetric deployment of its media, information, and cyber power. ..."
May 19, 2020 | www.oxfordscholarship.com
Chapter:
(p.81) 5 Russophobia in the Age of Donald Trump
Source:
The Dark Double
Author(s):
Andrei P. Tsygankov
Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/oso/9780190919337.003.0005

Abstract and Keywords

The chapter extends the argument about media and value conflict between Russia and the United States to the age of Donald Trump. The new value conflict is assessed as especially acute and exacerbated by the US partisan divide. The Russia issue became central because it reflected both political partisanship and the growing value division between Trump voters and the liberal establishment. In addition to explaining the new wave of American Russophobia, the chapter analyzes Russia's own role and motives. The media are likely to continue the ideological and largely negative coverage of Russia, especially if Washington and Moscow fail to develop a pragmatic form of cooperation.

Keywords: Russia, Trump, US elections, narrative of collusion, partisan divide

This chapter addresses the new development in the US media perception of the Russian threat following the election of Donald Trump as the United States' president. The election revealed that US national values could no longer be viewed as predominantly liberal and favoring the global promotion of democracy, as supported by Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and Barack Obama. During and after the election, the liberal media sought to present Moscow as not only favoring Trump but being responsible for his election and even ruling on behalf of the Kremlin. Those committed to a liberal worldview led the way in criticizing Russia and Putin for assaulting liberal democratic values globally and inside the United States. This chapter argues that the Russia issue became so central in the new internal divide because it reflects both political partisanship and the growing division between the values of Trump voters and those of the liberal establishment. The domestic political struggle has exacerbated the divide. Russia's otherness, again, has highlighted values of "freedom," seeking to preserve the confidence of the liberal self. (p.82)

The Narrative of Trump's "Collusion" with Russia

During the US presidential election campaign, American media developed yet another perception of Russia as reflected in the narrative of Trump's collusion with the Kremlin. 1 Having originated in liberal media and building on the previous perceptions of neo-Soviet autocracy and foreign threat, the new perception of Russia was that of the enemy that won the war against the United States. By electing the Kremlin's favored candidate, America was defeated by Russia. As a CNN columnist wrote, "The Russians really are here, infiltrating every corner of the country, with the single goal of disrupting the American way of life." 2 The two assumptions behind the new media narrative were that Putin was an enemy and that Trump was compromised by Putin. The inevitable conclusion was that Trump could not be a patriot and potentially was a traitor prepared to act against US interests.

The new narrative was assisted by the fact that Trump presented a radically different perspective on Russia than Clinton and the US establishment. The American political class had been in agreement that Russia displayed an aggressive foreign policy seeking to destroy the US-centered international order. Influential politicians, both Republicans and Democrats, commonly referred to Russian president Putin as an extremely dangerous KGB spy with no soul. Instead, Trump saw Russia's international interests as not fundamentally different from America's. He advocated that the United States to find a way to align its policies and priorities in defeating terrorism in the Middle East -- a goal that Russia shared -- with the Kremlin's. Trump promised to form new alliances to "unite the civilized world against Radical Islamic Terrorism" and to eradicate it "completely from the face of the Earth." 3 He hinted that he was prepared to revisit the thorny issues of Western sanctions against (p.83) the Russian economy and the recognition of Crimea as a part of Russia. Trump never commented on Russia's political system but expressed his admiration for Putin's leadership and high level of domestic support. 4

Capitalizing on the difference between Trump's views and those of the Democratic Party nominee, Hillary Clinton, the liberal media referred to Trump as the Kremlin-compromised candidate. Commentators and columnists with the New York Times , such as Paul Krugman, referred to Trump as the "Siberian" candidate. 5 Commentators and pundits, including those with academic and political credentials, developed the theory that the United States was under attack. The former ambassador to Russia, Michael McFaul, wrote in the Washington Post that Russia had attacked "our sovereignty" and continued to "watch us do nothing" because of the partisan divide. He compared the Kremlin's actions with Pearl Harbor or 9/11 and warned that Russia was likely to perform repeat assaults in 2018 and 2020. 6 The historian Timothy Snyder went further, comparing the election of Trump to a loss of war, which Snyder said was the basic aim of the enemy. Writing in the New York Daily News , he asserted, "We no longer need to wonder what it would be like to lose a war on our own territory. We just lost one to Russia, and the consequence was the election of Donald Trump." 7

The election of Trump prompted the liberal media to discuss Russia-related fears. The leading theory was that Trump would now compromise America's interests and rule the country on behalf of Putin. Thomas Friedman of the New York Times called for actions against Russia and praised "patriotic" Republican senators John McCain and Lindsey Graham for being tough on Trump. 8 MSNBC host Rachel Maddow asked whether Trump was actually under Putin's control. Citing Trump's views and his associates' travel to Moscow, she told viewers, "We are also starting to see (p.84) what may be signs of continuing [Russian] influence in our country, not just during the campaign but during the administration -- basically, signs of what could be a continuing operation." 9 Another New York Times columnist, Nicholas Kristof, published a column titled "There's a Smell of Treason in the Air," arguing that the FBI's investigation of the Trump presidential campaign's collusion "with a foreign power so as to win an election" was an investigation of whether such collusion "would amount to treason." 10 Responding to Trump's statement that his phone was tapped during the election campaign, the Washington Post columnist Anne Applebaum tweeted that "Trump's insane 'GCHQ tapped my phone' theory came from . . . Moscow." McFaul and many others then endorsed and retweeted the message. 11

To many within the US media, Trump's lack of interest in promoting global institutions and his publicly expressed doubts that the Kremlin was behind cyberattacks on the Democratic National Committee (DNC) served to exacerbate the problem. Several intelligence leaks to the press and investigations by Congress and the FBI contributed to the image of a president who was not motivated by US interests. The US intelligence report on Russia's alleged hacking of the US electoral system released on January 8, 2017, served to consolidate the image of Russia as an enemy. Leaks to the press have continued throughout Trump's presidency. Someone in the administration informed the press that Trump called Putin to congratulate him on his victory in elections on March 18, 2018, despite Trump's advisers' warning against making such a call. 12

In the meantime, investigations of Trump's alleged "collusion" with Russia were failing to produce substantive evidence. Facts that some associates of Trump sought to meet or met with members of Russia's government did not lead to evidence of sustained contacts or collaboration. It was not proven that the Kremlin's "black dossier" on Trump compiled by British intelligence officer (p.85) Christopher Steele and leaked to CNN was truthful. Russian activity on American social networks such as Facebook and Twitter was not found to be conclusive in determining outcomes of the elections. 13 In February 2018, a year after launching investigation, Special Counsel Robert Mueller indicted thirteen Russian nationals for allegedly interfering in the US 2016 presidential elections, yet their connection to Putin or Trump was not established. On March 12, 2018, Senate Intelligence Committee chairman Richard Burr stated that he had not yet seen any evidence of collusion. 14 Representative Mike Conaway, the Republican leading the Russia investigation, announced the end of the committee's probe of Russian meddling in the election. 15

Trump was also not acting toward Russia in the way the US media expected. His views largely reflected those of the military and national security establishment and disappointed some of his supporters. 16 The US National Security Strategy and new Defense Strategy presented Russia as a leading security threat, alongside China, Iran, and North Korea. The president made it clear that he wanted to engage in tough bargaining with Russia by insisting on American terms. 17 Instead of improving ties with Russia, let alone acting on behalf of the Kremlin, Trump contributed to new crises in bilateral relations that had to do with the two sides' principally different perceptions. While the Kremlin expected Washington to normalize relations, the United States assumed Russia's weakness and expected it to comply with Washington's priorities regarding the Middle East, Ukraine, and Afghanistan and nuclear and cyber issues. 18 Trump also authorized the largest expulsion of Russian diplomats in US history and ordered several missile strikes against Assad's Russia-supported positions in Syria, each time provoking a crisis in relations with Moscow. Even Secretary of State Rex Tillerson, whom Rachel Maddow suspected of being appointed on Putin's advice to "weaken" the State Department and "bleed out" (p.86) the FBI, 19 was replaced by John Bolton. The latter's foreign policy reputation was that of a hawk, including on Russia. 20

Responding to these developments, the media focused on fears of being attacked by the Kremlin and on Trump not doing enough to protect the country. These fears went beyond the alleged cyber interference in the US presidential elections and included infiltration of American media and social networks and attacks on congressional elections and the country's most sensitive infrastructure, such as electric grids, water-processing plants, banking networks, and transportation facilities. In order to prevent such developments, media commentators and editorial writers recommended additional pressures on the Kremlin and counteroffensive operations. 21 One commentator recommended, as the best defense from Russia's plans to interfere with another election in the United States, launching a cyberattack on Russia's own presidential elections in March 2018, to "disrupt the stability of Vladimir Putin's regime." 22 A New York Times editorial summarized the mood by challenging President Trump to confront Russia further: "If Mr. Trump isn't Mr. Putin's lackey, it's past time for him to prove it." 23 The burden of proof was now on Trump's shoulders.

Opposition to the "Collusion" Narrative

In contrast to highly critical views of Russia in the dominant media, conservative, libertarian, and progressive sources offered different assessments. Initially, opposition to the collusion narrative came from the alternative media, yet gradually -- in response to scant evidence of Trump's collusion -- it incorporated voices within the mainstream.

The conservative media did not support the view that Russia "stole" elections and presented Trump as a patriot who wanted to make America great rather than develop "cozy" relationships with (p.87) the Kremlin. Writing in the American Interest , Walter Russell Mead argued that Trump aimed to demonstrate the United States' superiority by capitalizing on its military and technological advantages. He did not sound like a Russian mole. Challenging the liberal media, the author called for "an intellectually solvent and emotionally stable press" and wrote that "if President Trump really is a Putin pawn, his foreign policy will start looking much more like Barack Obama's." 24 Instead of viewing Trump as compromised by the Kremlin, sources such Breitbart and Fox News attributed the blame to the deep state, "the complex of bureaucrats, technocrats, and plutocrats," including the intelligence agencies, that seeks to "derail, or at least to de-legitimize, the Trump presidency" by engaging in accusations and smear campaigns. 25

Echoing Trump's own views, some conservatives expressed their admiration for Putin as a dynamic leader superior to Obama. In particular, they praised Putin for his ability to defend Russia's "traditional values" and great-power status. 26 Neoconservative and paleoconservative publications like the National Review , the Weekly Standard, Human Events Online , and others critiqued Obama's "feckless foreign policy," characterized by "fruitless accommodationism," contrasting it with Putin's skilled and calculative geopolitical "game of chess." 27 A Washington Post / ABC News poll revealed that among Republicans, 75% approved of Trump's approach on Russia relative; 40% of all respondents approved. 28 This did not mean that conservatives and Republicans were "infiltrated" by the Kremlin. Mutual Russian and American conservative influences were limited and nonstructured. 29 The approval of Putin as a leader by American conservatives meant that they shared a certain commonality of ideas and were equally critical of liberal media and globalization. 30

Progressive and libertarian media also did not support the narrative of collusion. Gary Leupp at CounterPunch found the (p.88) narrative to be serving the purpose of reviving and even intensifying "Cold War-era Russophobia," with Russia being an "adversary" "only in that it opposes the expansion of NATO, especially to include Ukraine and Georgia." 31 Justin Raimondo at Antiwar.com questioned the narrative by pointing to Russia's bellicose rhetoric in response to Trump's actions. 32 Glenn Greenwald and Zaid Jilani at Intercept reminded readers that, overall, Trump proved to be far more confrontational toward Russia than Obama, thereby endangering America. 33 In particular Trump severed diplomatic ties with Russia, armed Ukraine, appointed anti-Russia hawks, such as ambassador to the United Nations Nikki Haley, National Security Advisor John Bolton, and Secretary of State Michal Pompeo to key foreign policy positions, antagonized Russia's Iranian allies, and imposed tough sanctions against Russian business with ties to the Kremlin. 34

The dominant liberal media ignored opposing perspectives or presented them as compromised by Russia. For instance, in amplifying the view that Putin "stole" the elections, the Washington Post sought to discredit alternative sources of news and commentaries as infiltrated by the Kremlin's propaganda. On November 24, 2016, the newspaper published an interview with the executive director of a new website, PropOrNot, who preferred to remain anonymous, and claimed that the Russian government circulated pro-Trump articles before the election. Without providing evidence on explaining its methodology, the group identified more than two hundred websites that published or echoed Russian propaganda, including WikiLeaks and the Drudge Report , left-wing websites such as CounterPunch, Truthout, Black Agenda Report, Truthdig , and Naked Capitalism , as well as libertarian venues such as Antiwar.com and the Ron Paul Institute. 35 Another mainstream liberal outlet, CNN, warned the American people to be vigilant against the Kremlin's alleged efforts to spread propaganda: "Enormous numbers of (p.89) Americans are not only failing to fight back, they are also unwitting collaborators -- reading, retweeting, sharing and reacting to Russian propaganda and provocations every day." 36

However, voices of dissent were now heard even in the mainstream media. Masha Gessen of the New Yorker said that Trump's tweet about Robert Mueller's indictments and Moscow's "laughing its ass off" was "unusually (perhaps accidentally) accurate." 37 She pointed out that Russians of all ideological convictions "are remarkably united in finding the American obsession with Russian meddling to be ridiculous." 38 The editor of the influential Politico , Blake Hounshell, confessed that he was a Russiagate skeptic because even though "Trump was all too happy to collude with Putin," Mueller's team never found a "smoking gun." 39 In reviewing the book on Russia's role in the 2016 election Russian Roulette , veteran New York Times reporter Steven Lee Myers noted that the Kremlin's meddling "simply exploited the vulgarity already plaguing American political campaigns" and that the veracity of many accusations remained unclear. 40

Explaining Russophobia

The high-intensity Russophobia within the American media, overblown even by the standards of previous threat narratives, could no longer be explained by differences in national values or by bilateral tensions. The new fear of Russia also reflected domestic political polarization and growing national unease over America's identity and future direction.

The narrative of collusion in the media was symptomatic of America's declining confidence in its own values. Until the intervention in Iraq in 2004, optimism and a sense of confidence prevailed in American social attitudes, having survived even the terrorist attack on the United States on September 11, 2001. The (p.90) country's economy was growing and its position in the world was not challenged. However, the disastrous war in Iraq, the global financial crisis of 2008, and Russia's intervention in Georgia in August 2008 changed that. US leadership could no longer inspire the same respect, and a growing number of countries viewed it as a threat to world peace. 41 Internally, the United States was increasingly divided. Following presidential elections in November 2016, 77% of Americans perceived their country as "greatly divided on the most important values." 42 The value divide had been expressed in partisanship and political polarization long before the 2016 presidential elections. 43 The Russia issue deepened this divide. According to a poll taken in October 2017, 63% of Democrats, but just 38% of Republicans, viewed "Russia's power and influence" as a major threat to the well-being of the United States. 44

During the US 2016 presidential elections, Russia emerged as a convenient way to accentuate differences between Democratic and Republican candidates, which in previous elections were never as pronounced or defining. The new elections deepened the partisan divide because of extreme differences between the two main candidates, particularly on Russia. Donald Trump positioned himself as a radical populist promising to transform US foreign policy and "drain the swamp" in Washington. His position on Russia seemed unusual because, by election time, the Kremlin had challenged the United States' position in the world by annexing Crimea, supporting Ukrainian separatism, and possibly hacking the DNC site.

The Russian issue assisted Clinton in stressing her differences from Trump. Soon after it became known that DNC servers were hacked, she embraced the view that Russia was behind the cyberattacks. She accused Russia of "trying to wreak havoc" in the United States and threatened retaliation. 45 In his turn, Trump used Russia to challenge Clinton's commitment to national security (p.91) and ability to serve as commander in chief. In particular, he drew public attention to the FBI investigation into Clinton's use of a private server for professional correspondence, and even noted sarcastically that the Russians should find thirty thousand missing emails belonging to her. The latter was interpreted by many in liberal media and political circles as a sign of Trump's being unpatriotic. 46 Clinton capitalized on this interpretation. She referred to the issue of hacking as the most important one throughout the campaign and challenged Trump to agree with assessments of intelligence agencies that cyberattacks were ordered by the Kremlin. She questioned Trump's commitments to US national security and accused him of being a "puppet" for President Putin. 47 Following Trump's victory, Clinton told donors that her loss should be partly attributed to Putin and the election hacks directed by him. 48

Clinton's arguments fitted with the overall narrative embraced by the mainstream media since roughly 2005 characterizing Russia as abusive and aggressive. Clinton viewed Russia as an oppressive autocratic power that was aggressive abroad to compensate for domestic weaknesses. Previously, in her book Hard Choices , then-secretary of state Clinton described Putin as "thin-skinned and autocratic, resenting criticism and eventually cracking down on dissent and debate." 49 This view was shared by President Obama, who publicly referred to Russia as a "regional power that is threatening some of its immediate neighbors not out of strength but out of weakness." 50 During the election's campaign, Clinton argued that the United States should challenge Russia by imposing a no-fly zone in Syria with the objective of removing Assad from power, strengthening sanctions against the Russian economy, and providing lethal weapons to Ukraine in order to contain the potential threat of Russia's military invasion.

Following the elections, the partisan divide deepened, with liberal establishment attacking the "unpatriotic" Trump. Having (p.92) lost the election, Clinton partly attributed Trump's victory to the role of Russia and advocated an investigation into Trump's ties to Russia. In February 2017 the Clinton-influenced Center for American Progress brought on a former State Department official to run a new Moscow Project. 51 As acknowledged by the New Yorker , members of the Clinton inner circle believed that the Obama administration deliberately downplayed DNC hacking by the Kremlin. "We understand the bind they were in," one of Clinton's senior advisers said. "But what if Barack Obama had gone to the Oval Office, or the East Room of the White House, and said, 'I'm speaking to you tonight to inform you that the United States is under attack . . .' A large majority of Americans would have sat up and taken notice . . . it is bewildering -- it is baffling -- it is hard to make sense of why this was not a five-alarm fire in the White House." 52

In addition to Clinton, many other members of the Washington establishment, including some Republicans, spread the narrative of Russia "attacking" America. Republican politicians who viewed Clinton's defeat and the hacking attacks in military terms included those of chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee John McCain, who stated, "When you attack a country, it's an act of war," 53 and former vice president Dick Cheney, who called Russia's alleged interference in the US election "a very serious effort made by Mr. Putin" that "in some quarters that would be considered an act of war." 54 A number of Democrats also engaged in the rhetoric of war, likening the Russian "attack," as Senator Ben Cardin did, to a "political Pearl Harbor." 55

Rumors and leaks, possibly by members of US intelligence agencies, 56 and activities of liberal groups that sought to discredit Trump contributed to the Russophobia. In addition to the DNC hacking accusations, many fears of Russia in the media were based on the assumption that contacts, let alone cooperation with the (p.93) Kremlin, was unpatriotic and implied potentially "compromising" behavior: praise of Putin as a leader, possible business dealings with Russian "oligarchs," and meetings with Russian officials such Ambassador Sergei Kislyak. 57

There were therefore two sides to the Russia story in the US liberal media -- rational and emotional. The rational side had to do with calculations by Clinton-affiliated circles and anti-Russian groups pooling their resources to undermine Trump and his plans to improve relations with Russia. Among others, these resources included dominance within the liberal media and leaks by the intelligence community. The emotional side was revealed by the liberal elites' values and ability to promote fears of Russia within the US political class and the general public. Popular emotions of fear and frustration with Russia already existed in the public space due to the old Cold War memories, as well as disturbing post–Cold War developments that included wars in Chechnya, Georgia, and Ukraine. In part because of these memories, factions such as those associated with Clinton were successful in evoking in the public liberal mind what historian Richard Hofstadter called the "paranoid style" or "the sense of heated exaggeration, suspiciousness, and conspiratorial fantasy." 58 Mobilized by liberal media to pressure Trump, these emotions became an independent factor in the political struggle inside Washington. The public display of fear and frustration with Russia and Trump could only be sustained by a constant supply of new "suspicious" developments and intense discussion by the media.

Russia's Role and Motives

Russia's "attacking" America and Trump's "colluding" with the Kremlin remained poorly substantiated. Taken together, the DNC hacking, Trump's and Putin's mutual praise, and Trump associates' (p.94) contacts with Russian officials implied Kremlin infiltration of the United States' internal politics. Yet viewed separately, each was questionable and unproven. Some of these points could have also been made about Hillary Clinton, who had ties to Russian -- not to mention Saudi Arabian -- business circles and Ukrainian politicians. 59 Political views cannot be counted as evidence. Contacts with Russian officials could have been legitimate exchanges of views about two countries' interests and potential cooperation. Even the CIA- and the FBI-endorsed conclusion that Russia attacked the DNC servers was questioned by some observers on the grounds that forensic evidence was lacking and that it relied too much on findings by one cybersecurity company. 60 In general, discussion of Russia in the US media lacked nuances and a sense of proportion. As Jesse Walker, an editor at Reason magazine and author of The United States of Paranoia , pointed out,

There's a difference between thinking that Moscow may have hacked the Democratic National Committee and thinking that Moscow actually hacked the election, between thinking the president may have Russian conflicts of interest and thinking he's a Russian puppet . . . when someone like the New York Times columnist Paul Krugman declares that Putin "installed" Donald Trump as president, he's moving out of the realm of plausible plots and into the world of fantasy. Similarly, Clinton's warning that Trump could be Putin's "puppet" leaped from an imaginable idea, that Putin wanted to help her rival, to the much more dubious notion that Putin thought he could control the impulsive Trump. (Trump barely seems capable of controlling himself.) 61

The loose and politically tendentious nature of discussions, circulation of questionable leaks and dossiers complied by unidentified (p.95) individuals, and lack of serious evidence led a number of observers to conclude that the Russia story was more about stopping Trump than about Russia. The Russian scandal was symptomatic of the poisonous state of bilateral relations that Democrats exploited for the purpose of derailing Trump. US-Russia relations became a hostage of partisan domestic politics. As one liberal and tough critic of Putin wrote, Democratic lawmakers' rhetoric of war in connection with the 2016 elections "places Republicans -- who often characterize themselves as more hawkish on Russia and defense -- in a bind as they try to defend to the new administration's strategy towards Moscow." 62 Another observer noted that Russiagate performed "a critical function for Trump's political foes," allowing "them to oppose Trump while obscuring key areas where they either share his priorities or have no viable alternative." 63

The described lack of confidence was reflected in the exaggerated fear that Russia was capable of destroying the West's values. However, Russia and Putin were neither omnipresent nor threatening to destroy the United States' political system. A number of analysts, such as Mark Schrad, identified fears of Russia as "increasingly hysterical fantasies" and argued that Russia was not a global menace. 64 If the Kremlin was indeed behind the cyberattacks, it was not for the reasons commonly broached. Rather than trying to subvert the US system, it sought to defend its own system against what it perceived as a US policy of changing regimes and meddling in Russia's internal affairs. The United States has a long history of covert activities in foreign countries. 65 Washington's establishment has never followed the advice given by prominent American statesmen such as George Kennan to let Russians "be Russians" and "work out their internal problems in their own manner." 66 Instead, the United States assumes that America defines the rules and boundaries of proper behavior in international politics, while others must simply follow the rules.

(p.96) Russia's basic motives remain defensive even when the Kremlin relies on assertive tactics. Russia's assertiveness, even in cyberspace, is of a reactive nature and is a response to US policies. Experts observe that Russia's conception of cyber and other informational power serves the overall purpose of protecting national sovereignty from encroachments by the United States. 67 Rather than fighting a full-scale information war with the West, Russia seeks to increase its status and strengthen its bargaining position in relations with the United States. 68 The Kremlin has been proposing to negotiate rules of cooperation in the cyber area since early in the twenty-first century. Motivated by an insistence on "cyber-sovereignty," Russia regularly proposes resolutions at the United Nations to prohibit "information aggression," In a 2011 letter to the United Nations General Assembly, Russia proposed an "International Code of Conduct for Information Security," stipulating that states subscribing to the code would pledge to "not use information and communications technologies and other information and communications networks to interfere with the internal affairs of other states or with the aim of undermining their political, economic and social stability." 69

Overall, what the Kremlin challenges is the United States' post–Cold War behavior that undermines Russia's status as a great power. Although Russia is not in a position to directly challenge the United States and the US-centered international order, the Kremlin hopes to gain external recognition as a great power by relying on low-cost methods and revealing the vulnerability of Western nations. Russia's capabilities and presence in global cyber and media space are limited, and the Kremlin is motivated by asymmetric deployment of its media, information, and cyber power.

[May 19, 2020] America: "We demand an coronavirus origin investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Highly recommended!
May 19, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

William Gruff , May 18 2020 15:40 utc | 13

America: "We demand an investigation, but the investigators must agree on the outcome that we specify before they begin investigating!"

Why not? It works for gas attacks, chemical weapons poisoning, and airliner shoot downs, so why not biological weapons attacks too?

[May 18, 2020] Ghost of J. Edgar Haunts Flynn Investigation by Coleen Rowley

Essentially the second part of Flynn call was on behave of Israel
Notable quotes:
"... In those conversations, Flynn asked that the Russians not retaliate for the Obama administration sanctions on Moscow imposed for the now debunked Russiagate allegations. Russia eventually decided not to retaliate. Flynn also asked on behalf of Israel that the Russians veto a UN Security Council resolution condemning illegal Israeli West Bank settlements, which Obama was planning to abstain on. Russia refused this request. ..."
"... Contrary to popular belief, when you can't trust your own government, that's a very bad thing. ..."
"... This is a hugely important article explaining the process, the policies, and their historical context by one who was a top legal expert at the Bureau. This is what the American public should be reading to know what should happen, as well as to learn how the process and policies have been violated, what have been the consequences. Thank you Coleen Rowley, and thank you Consortium News. ..."
May 18, 2020 | consortiumnews.com

[May 18, 2020] Madeleine Albright Is Back, but She Is Still Living in the Past

This neocons is definitely past her shelf live. But MIC still controls the US foreign policy, and this is that's why she is able to publish yet another second rate book.
May 18, 2020 | nationalinterest.org

One of the disasters that she endorsed was the Iraq war. Although not as enthusiastic about launching an illegal, aggressive war as Sen. Hillary Clinton, Albright said at the time: "I personally felt the war was justified on the basis of Saddam's decade-long refusal to comply with UN Security Council resolutions on WMD." When pressed on America's alleged indispensability, she allowed: "Vietnam clearly was a terrible disaster. The war in Iraq was a terrible disaster. I do think that we have misunderstood the Middle East." Yet such admissions don't appear to have tempered her enthusiasm for Washington's meddling around the globe.

She does run away from her flip answer to journalist Lesley Stahl's question about the death of a half million Iraqi children due to sanctions: "we think the price is worth it." Albright even claims that the Clinton administration came to recognize the human cost of sanctions and moved to better targeted "smart" penalties. Yet there is nothing smart about America's current economic war on Venezuela, Iran, and North Korea.

Moreover, she did not retreat from the assumption that U.S. policymakers are entitled to decide on the life and death of foreigners. She might doubt in retrospect that the price was worth it. But she still believes that decision was for her and other Clinton administration officials to make.

This mindset has made the U.S. government anathema to many around the globe. Why do "they" hate us? Because of officials like Albright. These days even the Europeans loath Washington. No doubt, she would be horrified to be lumped with President Donald Trump and some of his aides, such as Secretary of State Mike Pompeo, but they all are swimming in hubris. Albright is simply more polite when dealing with representatives of wealthy industrialized countries. In contrast, Trump and Pompeo are ever ready to insult them as well.

Nor does she appear to retreat from the hubris she constantly expressed in other forms. For instance, while declaring the U.S. to be "the indispensable nation," she also claimed: "We stand tall and we see further than other countries into the future, and we see the danger here to all of us." That assertion was bad enough when she made it in 1998. After Afghanistan, Iraq, Libya, Yemen, Syria, and more it is positively ludicrous. Overweening arrogance among foreign policy elites has cost America thousands of lives and trillions of dollars, while killing hundreds of thousands of foreigners and ravaging foreign nations.

On This Day 3 seconds Do You Know What Happened Today In History? May 18 2015

At least 78 people die in a landslide caused by heavy rains in the Colombian town of Salgar.

Shawn Nelson, 35, steals a tank from a National Guard Armory, destroying cars and other property and is shot to death by police after immobilizing the tank. sponsored Advertisement

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However, it is not just those overseas for whom Albright has contempt. In 1992 she famously queried Colin Powell: "What's the use of having this superb military you're always talking about if we can't use it?" Never mind the lives of those who volunteered to defend America. For her, they were just gambit pawns to be sacrificed in whatever global chess game she was playing at the time. Powell, then Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, observed: "I thought I would have an aneurysm." Having served in Vietnam, he knew what it was like to lose soldiers in combat. Anyone who has family in the military, as I do, cannot help but react similarly.

A decade later she was asked about her comment. She responded: "what I thought was that we had -- we were in a kind of a mode of thinking that we were never going to be able to use our military effectively again." A strange claim, since shortly before George H. W. Bush had sent American military personnel into a limited war against Iraq, while avoiding an interminable guerrilla war and attempt at nation-building. She well represented the sofa samurai who dominate Washington policy-making.

Even worse, however, in 1997 she said to Gen. Hugh Shelton, also JCS chairman: "I know I shouldn't even be asking you this, but what we really need in order to go in and take out Saddam is a precipitous event -- something that would make us look good in the eyes of the world. Could you have one of our U-2s fly low enough -- and slow enough -- so as to guarantee that Saddam could shoot it down?" He appeared to react rather like Powell, indicating that it could be done as soon as she was ready to fly.

Albright is intelligent and has a fascinating family background. But she should be kept far away from American foreign policy.

https://lockerdome.com/lad/11037927505607526?pubid=ld-11037927505607526-823&pubo=https%3A%2F%2Fnationalinterest.org&rid=eastwestaccord.com&width=550

Doug Bandow is a Senior Fellow at the Cato Institute. A former Special Assistant to President Ronald Reagan, he is author of Foreign Follies: America's New Global Empire.

[May 18, 2020] Trump Fires State's IG to Protect Pompeo from Investigation

May 18, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Yhe president announced on Friday that he was firing Steve Linick, the State Department's Inspector General. One possible reason that Linick was removed may have been that he was conducting an investigation into the bogus emergency declaration that the administration used to expedite arms sales to Saudi Arabia and the UAE last year:

House Democrats have discovered that the fired IG had mostly completed an investigation into Secretary of State Mike Pompeo's widely criticized decision to skirt Congress with an emergency declaration to approve billions of dollars in arms sales to Saudi Arabia last year, aides on the Foreign Affairs Committee tell me.

"I have learned that there may be another reason for Mr. Linick's firing," Rep. Eliot L. Engel (D-N.Y.), the chair of the Foreign Affairs Committee, said in a statement sent to me. "His office was investigating -- at my request -- Trump's phony declaration of an emergency so he could send weapons to Saudi Arabia."

If Linick was investigating the bogus emergency declaration, he would have come across reporting that showed how a former Raytheon lobbyist serving at the department was instrumental in pushing through the plan to expedite arms sales that benefited his old employer. He would have discovered that there was no genuine emergency that justified going around Congress. Once his investigation was concluded, it would have found that the emergency declaration was made in bad faith and that the law was abused so that the administration could proceed with arms sales that Congress opposed.

Another reason for the firing was to protect Mike Pompeo from an investigation into the Secretary's abuses of government resources for personal purposes:

The State Department inspector general fired by President Trump was looking into allegations that a staffer for Secretary of State Mike Pompeo was performing domestic errands and chores such as handling dry cleaning, walking the family dog and making restaurant reservations, said a congressional official familiar with the matter.

The House Foreign Affairs Committee chairman and the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee released a statement immediately on Friday objecting to Linick's firing and suggesting that it might be an illegal act of retaliation. There will now be a Congressional investigation into the circumstances surrounding Linick's firing. If Trump hoped to reduce the scrutiny on Pompeo by getting rid of Linick, he will be disappointed. It remains to be seen how much of a price Pompeo will pay for this, but the price is likely higher now than it would have been if he hadn't pushed for removing the inspector general.

Pompeo reportedly recommended Linick's removal. This is not the first time that Pompeo has been accused of misusing government resources. There was a report last summer that a whistleblower alleged that Pompeo and his wife were using Diplomatic Security agents as their personal errand boys:

Democrats on a key House congressional committee are investigating allegations from a whistleblower within the State Department about Secretary of State Mike Pompeo and his family's use of taxpayer-funded Diplomatic Security -- prompting agents to lament they are at times viewed as "UberEats with guns".

Congressional investigators, who asked for the committee not to be named as they carry out their inquiries, tell CNN that a State Department whistleblower has raised multiple issues over a period of months, about special agents being asked to carry out some questionable tasks for the Pompeo family.

Pompeo has also repeatedly used government resources for domestic travel that seems to have more to do with advancing the Secretary's political ambitions in Kansas. There has been widespread speculation that he has used official trips in an attempt to lay the groundwork for a possible Senate campaign . If so, it would be a flagrant violation of the Hatch Act. That prompted a call for a special counsel investigation into Pompeo's travel. If Pompeo and his wife have been using a political appointee as a gofer, that would be more of the same abusive behavior.

Linick has previously clashed with other Trump administration officials at State. Last year, he released a damning report on Brian Hook over his treatment of Sahar Nowrouzzadeh, the Iranian-American official who was apparently targeted for political retaliation because of her policy views and ethnic background. The fired inspector general was well-respected at the department, and his firing at Pompeo's urging will likely cause further demoralization at a department that has already been run into the ground under the Secretary's dismal leadership.

The Secretary of State seems to think that government funds and personnel are at his disposal for his personal errands and political activities. Linick was doing exactly what an inspector general is supposed to be doing by investigating the allegations against him, and then he was conveniently fired on Pompeo's recommendation. You could hardly ask for a more straightforward case of a corrupt official using his influence to remove the person responsible for scrutinizing his conduct. If Linick was also fired because he was in the process of exposing the administration's dishonest push for more arms sales to the Saudi coalition, that makes his removal all the more outrageous and sinister.

JMWB an hour ago

Mike Pompeo is a Tea Party darling. The Tea Party's motto should be : Austerity, fiscal responsibility, and integrity for Thee, but not for Me.
Feral Finster JMWB 33 minutes ago
Mike Pompeo's idea of austerity is only a double order of french fries.

[May 18, 2020] About Evelyn Farkas political activity

May 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Dr Anon 36 minutes ago

Another woman who should be at home taking care of her husband, home and children.

mtumba, 29 minutes ago

What the **** do you have against husbands and children?

rockstone, 44 minutes ago

She closes by defiantly claiming "I wasn't silenced in 2017, and I won't be silenced now."

By all means Evelyn, keep talking. Especially after your lawyers tell you to shut up.

[May 18, 2020] Farkas is definitely one of the fraudulent supporters of the Obama Russiagate witch hunt, but generally he is clueless pawn in a big and dirty gate played by Obama-Brennan tandem

May 18, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Atlantic Council senior fellow, Congressional candidate, and Russia conspiracy theorist Evelyn Farkas is desperately trying to salvage her reputation after recently released transcripts from her closed-door 2017 testimony to the House Intelligence Committee revealed she totally lied on national TV .

In March of 2017, Farkas confidently told MSNBC 's Mika Brzezinski: " The Trump folks, if they found out how we knew what we knew about the Trump staff dealing with Russians , that they would try to compromise those sources and methods, meaning we would not longer have access to that intelligence ."

https://www.youtube.com/embed/dCMF94FX530?start=25

Except, during testimony to the House, Farkas admitted she lied . When pressed by former Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-SC) on why she said 'we' - referring to the US government, Farkas said she "didn't know anything."

In short, she was either illegally discussing US intelligence matters with her "former colleagues," or she made the whole thing up.

Now, Farkas is in damage control mode - writing in the Washington Post that her testimony demonstrated "that I had not leaked intelligence and that my early intuition about Trump-Kremlin cooperation was valid.' She also claims that her comments to MSNBC were based on "media reports and statements by Obama administration officials and the intelligence community," which had "began unearthing connections between Trump's campaign and Russia."

Farkas is now blaming a 'disconcerting nexus between Russia and the reactionary right,' for making her look bad (apparently Trey Gowdy is part of the "reactionary right" for asking her who she meant by "we").

Attacks against me came first on Twitter and other social media platforms, from far-right sources. Forensics data I was shown suggested at least one entity had Russian ties . The attacks increased in quantity and ferocity until Fox News and Trump-allied Republicans -- higher-profile, and more mainstream, sources -- also criticized me .

...

Trump surrogates, including former campaign manager Corey Lewandowski , Donald Trump Jr. and Fox News hosts such as Tucker Carlson have essentially accused me of treason for being one of the "fraudulent originators" of the "Russia hoax." -Evelyn Farkas

She then parrots the Democratic talking point that the attacks she's received are part of Trump's larger "Obamagate" allegations - " a narrative that distracts attention from his administration's disastrous pandemic response and attempts to defect blame for Russian interference onto the Obama administration" (Obama told Putin to ' cut it out ' after all).

Meanwhile, Poor Evelyn's campaign staff has become " emotionally exhausted " after her Facebook, Twitter and Instagram accounts have been "overwhelmed with a stream of vile, vulgar and sometimes violent messages" in response to the plethora of conservative outlets which have called her out for Russia malarkey.

There is evidence that Russian actors are contributing to these attacks. The same day that right-wing pundits began pumping accusations, newly created Russian Twitter accounts picked them up. Within a day, Russian " disinformation clearinghouses " posted versions of the story . Many of the Twitter accounts boosting attacks have posted in unison, a sign of inauthentic social media behavior.

We assume Zero Hedge is included in said ' disinformation clearinghouses ' Farkas fails to expound on.

She closes by defiantly claiming "I wasn't silenced in 2017, and I won't be silenced now."

No Evelyn, nobody is silencing you. You're being called out for your role in the perhaps the largest, most divisive hoax in US history - which was based on faulty intelligence that includes crowdstrike admitting they had no proof of that Russia exfiltrated DNC emails, and Christopher Steele's absurd dossier based on his 'Russian sources.'


MrBoompi, 18 minutes ago

Lying is a common occurrence on MSNBC. Farkas was just showing her party she is qualified for a more senior position.

chubbar, 23 minutes ago

My opinion, based on zero facts, is that the lie she told was to Gowdy. She had to say she lied about having intelligence data or she'd be looking at a felony along with whomever she was talking to in the US gov't. You just know these cocksuckers in the resistance don't give a **** about laws or fairness, it's all about getting Trump. So they set up an informal network to get classified intelligence from the Obama holdovers out into the wild where these assholes could use it against Trump and the gov't operations. Treason. She needs to be executed for her efforts!

LetThemEatRand, 59 minutes ago

This whole thing reminds me of a fan watching their team play a championship game. If the ref makes a bad call and their team wins, they don't care. And if the ref makes a good call and their team loses, they blame the ref. No one cares about the truth or the facts. That in a nutshell is politics in the US. If you believe that anyone will "switch sides" or admit the ref made a bad call or a good call, you're smoking the funny stuff.

mtumba, 50 minutes ago

It's a natural response to a corrupt system.

When the system is wholly corrupt so that truth doesn't matter, what else is there to care about other than your side winning?

It's a travesty.

[May 18, 2020] Pundits with undisclosed funding from arms manufacturers urge 'stronger force posture' to counter China by Eli Clifton

May 14, 2020 | responsiblestatecraft.org

The Trump administration's efforts to blame China for COVID-19's rising death toll in the U.S. have not been backed up by intelligence assessments, but it has not stopped Secretary of State Mike Pompeo from making the baseless assertion that the virus originated in a Chinese lab or the Trump campaign from attacking the presumptive Democratic nominee, former vice president Joe Biden, as too weak on China. But there may be more than political opportunism at play. Weapons manufacturers stand to reap huge profits if they can stoke a new cold war between the U.S. and China.

Those overlapping interests were on display last week when The Wall Street Journal published an op-ed by two former Trump administration officials claiming, "The Covid-19 pandemic has convinced many that the U.S. must fundamentally change its policy toward China. Shifting course is necessary, but it won't be achieved with a few policy tweaks."

"That's because," they added, "the pandemic's political and economic effects are bringing about a more assertive Chinese grand strategy."

There are at least two big problems with this op-ed.

First, there's no actual evidence or explanation provided about COVID-19 "bringing about a more assertive Chinese grand strategy" but the authors plow forward with their theory that "Beijing was cruising to global domination" unchallenged.

Second, both of the op-ed's authors have undisclosed conflicts of interest that might motivate their prescription for a new U.S. grand strategy centered on, among other things, "maritime and aerospace power."

The authors, Elbridge Colby (who served as assistant secretary of defense for strategy and force development from 2017-2018) and A. Wess Mitchell (who served as assistant secretary of state for European and Eurasian affairs from 2017-2019), are both employed by institutions that receive considerable funding from weapons manufacturers.

The Wall Street Journal describes Colby and Mitchell as "principals of the Marathon Initiative," an entity that has no website and about which there is little public information other than that it was formed on May 7, 2020 according to the Washington, DC Department of Consumer and Regulatory Affairs.

The Marathon Initiative shares an address with the Center for European Policy Analysis (CEPA) where Mitchell serves as vice chairman and received $227,500 in compensation in 2017 . Donors to CEPA include a defense industry who's who: Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, and BAE Systems.

Mitchell's co-author, Colby, also appears to have benefited financially from funding originating from arms manufacturers.

Colby is a senior adviser at WestExec Advisors, which does not disclose its client list. But one of the company's co-founders, Obama Defense Department appointee Michèle Flournoy, told The Intercept back in 2018 that "we help tech firms who are trying to figure out how to sell in the public sector space, to navigate the DOD, the intel community, law enforcement ."

And from 2014 to 2017 and 2018 to 2019 Colby worked at the Center for a New American Security (CNAS) which counts Northrop Grumman as one of its biggest donors (contributing more than $500,000 between October 1, 2018 to September 30, 2019) as well as contributions from Lockheed Martin, Raytheon, Bell Helicopter, BAE Systems, General Dynamics, Boeing and DynCorp.

None of this is to say that Colby and Mitchell don't genuinely believe that COVID-19's spread and China's lack of transparency about the virus's initial outbreak justifies the military-heavy strategies they propose.

But when the op-ed concludes, "The West must recognize that it will either pay now or pay later to contain China. Paying now is likely to produce a more tolerable bill," it's worth noting that weapons manufacturers and defense contractors, who have helped finance the authors' careers in the Beltway, will be the ones sending that bill to taxpayers.

[May 18, 2020] FBI under Comey as an uncontrolled political police operating without any oversight from Justice Department

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... "Did [ FBI Director James B. Comey] seek permission from you to do the formal opening of the counterintelligence investigation?" Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, asked the former attorney general. ..."
"... "No, and he ordinarily would not have had to do that," Ms. Lynch answered. "lt would not have come to the attorney general for that." ..."
"... Mr. Schiff, a fierce defender of the FBI in the Russia probe, seemed taken aback. "Even in the case where you're talking about a campaign for president?" he asked. ..."
"... "I can't recall if it was discussed or not," Ms. Lynch said. "I just don't have a recollection of that in the meetings that I had with him." ..."
"... "Yates was very frustrated in the call with Comey," said the FBI interview report, known as a 302. "She felt a decision to conduct an interview of Flynn should have been coordinated with [the Department of Justice ]." ..."
"... Ms. Yates told the FBI that the interview was "problematic" because the White House counsel should have been notified. ..."
"... During his book tour, Mr. Comey bragged that he sent the two agents without such notification by taking advantage of the White House's formative stage. He said he "wouldn't have gotten away with it" in a more seasoned White House. ..."
"... Other evidence of an FBI on autopilot: The Justice Department inspector general's report on how the bureau probed the Trump campaign revealed more than a dozen instances of FBI personnel submitting false information in wiretap applications and withholding exculpatory evidence. For example, agents evaded Justice Department scrutiny by not telling their warrant overseer that witnesses had cast doubt on the reliability of the Steele dossier. ..."
May 18, 2020 | www.washingtontimes.com

Newly released documents show FBI agents operated on autopilot in 2016 and 2017 while targeting President Trump and his campaign with little or no Justice Department guidance for such a momentous investigation.

Loretta E. Lynch, President Obama's attorney general, said she never knew the FBI was placing wiretaps on a Trump campaign volunteer or using the dossier claims of former British intelligence officer Christopher Steele to put the entire Trump world under suspicion. Mr. Steele was handled by Fusion GPS and paid with funds from the Democratic Party and the Hillary Clinton campaign.

"I don't have a recollection of briefings on Fusion GPS or Mr. Steele ," Ms. Lynch told the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence in October 2017. "I don't have any information on that, and I don't have a recollection being briefed on that."

Under pressure from acting Director of National Intelligence Richard A. Grenell, the committee last week released transcripts of her testimony and that of more than 50 other witnesses in 2017 and 2018, when Republicans controlled the Trump- Russia investigation.

Ms. Lynch also testified that she had no knowledge the FBI had taken the profound step of opening an investigation, led by agent Peter Strzok, into the Trump campaign on July 31, 2016.

"Did [ FBI Director James B. Comey] seek permission from you to do the formal opening of the counterintelligence investigation?" Rep. Adam B. Schiff, California Democrat, asked the former attorney general.

"No, and he ordinarily would not have had to do that," Ms. Lynch answered. "lt would not have come to the attorney general for that."

Mr. Schiff, a fierce defender of the FBI in the Russia probe, seemed taken aback. "Even in the case where you're talking about a campaign for president?" he asked.

"I can't recall if it was discussed or not," Ms. Lynch said. "I just don't have a recollection of that in the meetings that I had with him."

Attorney General William P. Barr has changed the rules. He announced that the attorney general now must approve any FBI decision to investigate a presidential campaign.

Ms. Lynch's testimony adds to the picture of an insular, and sometimes misbehaving, FBI as its agents searched for evidence that the Trump campaign conspired with the Kremlin to interfere in the 2016 election to damage Democratic candidate Hillary Clinton .

In documents filed by the Justice Department last week, then-Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates expressed dismay that Mr. Comey would dispatch two agents, including Mr. Strzok, on Jan. 24, 2017, to interview incoming National Security Adviser Michael Flynn at the White House.

Ms. Yates, interviewed by FBI agents assigned to the Robert Mueller special counsel probe, said Mr. Comey notified her only after the fact.

"Yates was very frustrated in the call with Comey," said the FBI interview report, known as a 302. "She felt a decision to conduct an interview of Flynn should have been coordinated with [the Department of Justice ]."

Ms. Yates told the FBI that the interview was "problematic" because the White House counsel should have been notified.

During his book tour, Mr. Comey bragged that he sent the two agents without such notification by taking advantage of the White House's formative stage. He said he "wouldn't have gotten away with it" in a more seasoned White House.

Mr. Barr filed court papers asking U.S. District Judge Emmet G. Sullivan to dismiss the Flynn case and his guilty plea to lying to Mr. Strzok about phone calls with Russian Ambassador Sergey Kislyak. Mr. Strzok and other FBI personnel planned the Flynn interview as a near ambush with a goal of prompting him to lie and getting fired, according to new court filings.

Other evidence of an FBI on autopilot: The Justice Department inspector general's report on how the bureau probed the Trump campaign revealed more than a dozen instances of FBI personnel submitting false information in wiretap applications and withholding exculpatory evidence. For example, agents evaded Justice Department scrutiny by not telling their warrant overseer that witnesses had cast doubt on the reliability of the Steele dossier.

The far-fetched dossier was the one essential piece of evidence required to obtain four surveillance warrants on campaign volunteer Carter Page, according to Justice Department Inspector General Michael E. Horowitz. The Mueller and Horowitz reports have discredited the dossier's dozen conspiracy claims against the president and his allies.

A who's who of Trump- Russia

Mr. Schiff, now chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence , had held on to the declassified transcripts for more than a year. Under pressure from Republicans and Mr. Grenell, he released the 6,000 pages on the hectic day Mr. Barr moved to end the Flynn prosecution.

The closed-door testimony included witnesses such as Mr. Obama's national security adviser, a United Nations ambassador, the nation's top spy and the FBI deputy director. There were also Clinton campaign chieftains and lawyers.

The transcripts' most often-produced headline: Obama investigators never saw evidence of Trump conspiracy between the time the probe was opened until they left office in mid-January 2017.

"I never saw any direct empirical evidence that the Trump campaign or someone in it was plotting/conspiring with the Russians to meddle with the election," former Director of National Intelligence James R. Clapper told the committee .

Mr. Clapper is a paid CNN analyst who has implied repeatedly and without evidence that Mr. Trump is a Russian spy and a traitor. The Mueller report contained no evidence that Mr. Trump is a Russian agent or election conspirator.

Mr. Schiff told the country repeatedly that he had seen evidence of Trump collusion that went beyond circumstantial. Mr. Mueller did not.

Mr. Schiff was a big public supporter of Mr. Steele 's dossier, which relied on a Moscow main source and was fed by deliberate Kremlin disinformation against Mr. Trump, according to the Horowitz report.

Trump Tower

One of Mr. Schiff's pieces of evidence of a conspiracy "in plain sight" is the meeting Donald Trump Jr. took with Russian lawyer Natalia Veselnitskaya on June 9, 2016.

The connections are complicated but, simply put, a Russian friend of the Trumps' said she might have dirt on Mrs. Clinton . At the time, Ms. Veselnitskaya was in New York representing a rich Russian accused by the Justice Department of money laundering. To investigate, she hired Fusion GPS -- the same firm that retained Mr. Steele to damage the Trump campaign.

The meeting was brief and seemed to be a ruse to enable Ms. Veselnitskaya to pitch an end to Obama-era economic sanctions that hurt her client. Attending were campaign adviser Paul Manafort, Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner and Anatoli Samochornov. Mr. Samochornov is a dual citizen of Russia and the U.S. who serves as an interpreter to several clients, including Ms. Veselnitskaya and the State Department.

Mr. Samochornov was the Russian lawyer's interpreter that day. His recitation of events basically backs the versions given by the Trump associates, according to a transcript of his November 2017 committee testimony.

The meeting lasted about 20 minutes. Ms. Veselnitskaya briefly talked about possible illegal campaign contributions to Mrs. Clinton . Manafort, busy on his cellphone, remarked that the contributions would not be illegal. Mr. Kushner left after a few minutes.

Then, Rinat Akhmetshin, a lobbyist, made the case for ditching sanctions. He linked that to a move by Russian President Vladimir Putin to end a ban on Americans adopting Russian children.

Mr. Trump Jr. said that issue would be addressed if his father was elected. In the end, the Trump administration put more sanctions on Moscow's political and business operators.

"I've never heard anything about the elections being mentioned at that meeting at all or in any subsequent discussions with Ms. Veselnitskaya," Mr. Samochornov testified.

No mask

One of the first things Rep. Devin Nunes, California Republican, did to earn the animus of Democrats and the liberal media was to visit the Trump White House to learn about "unmaskings" by Obama appointees.

The National Security Agency, by practice, obscures the names of any Americans caught up in the intercept of foreign communications. Flynn was unmasked in the top-secret transcript of his Kislyak call so officials reading it would know who was on the line.

In reading intelligence reports, if government officials want the identity of an "American person," they make a request to the intelligence community. The fear is that repeated requests could indicate political purposes.

That suspicion is how Samantha Power ended up at the House intelligence committee witness table. The former U.N. ambassador seemed to have broken records by requesting hundreds of unmaskings, though the transcript did not contain the identities of the people she exposed.

She explained to the committee why she needed to know.

"I am reading that intelligence with an eye to doing my job, right?" Ms. Power said. "Whatever my job is, whatever I am focused on on a given day, I'm taking in the intelligence to inform my judgment, to be able to advise the president on ISIL or on whatever, or to inform how I'm going to try to optimize my ability to advance U.S. interests in New York."

She continued: "I can't understand the intelligence . Can you go and ascertain who this is so I can figure out what it is I'm reading. You've made the judgement, intelligence professionals, that I need to read this piece of intelligence, I'm reading it, and it's just got this gap in it, and I didn't understand that. But I never discussed any name that I received when I did make a request and something came back or when it was annotated and came to me. I never discussed one of those names with any other individual."

Rep. Trey Gowdy, South Carolina Republican, listened and then mentioned other officeholders, such as the White House national security adviser and the secretary of state.

"There are lots of people who need to understand intelligence products, but the number of requests they made, ambassador, don't approach yours," Mr. Gowdy said.

Ms. Power implied that members of her staff were requesting American identities and invoking her name without her knowledge.

The dossier

By mid- to late 2017, the full story on the Democrats' dossier -- that it was riddled with false claims of criminality that served, as Mr. Barr said, to sabotage the Trump White House -- was not known.

Mr. Steele claimed that there was a far-reaching Trump- Russia conspiracy, that Mr. Trump was a Russian spy, that Mr. Trump financed Kremlin computer hacking, that his attorney went to Prague to pay hush money to Putin operatives, and that Manafort and Carter Page worked as a conspiracy team.

Fusion GPS co-founder Glenn R. Simpson, a Clinton operative, spread the inaccuracies all over Washington: to the FBI , the Justice Department , Congress and the news media.

None of it proved true.

But to Clinton loyalists in 2017, the dossier was golden.

"I was mostly focused in that meeting on, you know, the guy standing behind this material is Christopher Steele ," campaign foreign policy adviser Jake Sullivan said about a Fusion meeting. "He is the one who's judging its credibility and veracity. You know him. What do you think, based on your conversations with him? That's what I was really there to try and figure out. And Glenn was incredibly positive about Steele and felt he was really on to something and also felt that there was more out there to go find."

Clinton campaign attorney Marc Elias vouched for the dossier, and its information spread to reporters. He met briefly with Mr. Steele during the election campaign.

"I thought that the information that he or they wished to convey was accurate and important," Mr. Elias testified.

"So the information that Fusion GPS and Christopher Steele wished to portray to the media in the fall of 2016 at that time, you thought, was accurate and important?" he was asked.

"As I understand it," he replied.

Mr. Elias rejected allegations that the Clinton campaign conspired with Russia by having its operatives spread the Moscow-sourced dirt.

"I don't have enough knowledge about when you say that Russians were involved in the dossier," he said to a questioner. "I mean that genuinely. I'm not privy to what information you all have.

"It sounds like the suggestion is that Russia somehow gave information to the Clinton campaign vis-a-vis one person to one person, to another person, to another person, to me, to the campaign. That strikes me as fanciful and unlikely, but perhaps as I said, I don't have a security clearance. You all have facts and information that is not available to me. But I certainly never had any hint or whiff."

[May 17, 2020] Trump Unmasking of Flynn is greatest political scam in history of US

Trump say that Brennan was one of the architect. Obama knew everything and probably directed the color revolution against Trump
Notable quotes:
"... Self-described, "scandal-free" administration Obama is a lie nonetheless, Obama will eventually have to testify in front of Congress there is no hiding from it. ..."
May 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Bruce Wayne , 9 hours ago

General Flynn vs Strzok are great example of good vs bad cops.

Hope for the Best , 9 hours ago

Should they reopen all FBI cases for the past 4 years and see if anyone else was railroaded.

Him Bike , 7 hours ago

The day after the election Sen Elizabeth Warren said "Trump has no idea what we have in store for him."

foreveralive , 6 hours ago

None of this is a surprise at all. The real surprise is if they actually arrest these people and put them on trial for their crimes.

BlackSmith , 4 hours ago

"Obama's legacy out" A mic drop

Story Time , 8 hours ago

Self-described, "scandal-free" administration Obama is a lie nonetheless, Obama will eventually have to testify in front of Congress there is no hiding from it.

[May 17, 2020] Taibbi: Democrats Have Abandoned Civil Liberties

May 17, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

Emmet G. Sullivan, the judge in the case of former Trump National Security Adviser Michael Flynn, is refusing to let William Barr's Justice Department drop the charge. He's even thinking of adding more, appointing a retired judge to ask "whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury."

Pundits are cheering. A trio of former law enforcement and judicial officials saluted Sullivan in the Washington Post, chirping, " The Flynn case isn't over until a judge says it's over ." Yuppie icon Jeffrey Toobin of CNN and the New Yorker , one of the #Resistance crowd's favored legal authorities, described Sullivan's appointment of Judge John Gleeson as " brilliant ." MSNBC legal analyst Glenn Kirschner said Americans owe Sullivan a " debt of gratitude ."

One had to search far and wide to find a non-conservative legal analyst willing to say the obvious, i.e. that Sullivan's decision was the kind of thing one would expect from a judge in Belarus. George Washington University professor Jonathan Turley was one of the few willing to say Sullivan's move could " could create a threat of a judicial charge even when prosecutors agree with defendants ."

Sullivan's reaction was amplified by a group letter calling for Barr's resignation signed by 2000 former Justice Department officials (the melodramatic group email somberly reported as momentous news is one of many tired media tropes in the Trump era) and the preposterous "leak" of news that the dropped case made Barack Obama sad. The former president "privately" told "members of his administration" (who instantly told Yahoo! News ) that there was no precedent for the dropping of perjury charges, and that the "rule of law" itself was at stake.

Whatever one's opinion of Flynn, his relations with Turkey, his " Lock her up!" chants , his haircut, or anything, this case was never about much. There's no longer pretense that prosecution would lead to the unspooling of a massive Trump-Russia conspiracy, as pundits once breathlessly expected. In fact, news that Flynn was cooperating with special counsel Robert Mueller inspired many of the " Is this the beginning of the end for Trump ?" stories that will someday fill whole chapters of Journalism Fucks Up 101 textbooks.

The acts at issue are calls Flynn made to Russian Ambassador Sergei Kislyak on December 29th, 2016 in which he told the Russians not to overreact to sanctions. That's it. The investigation was about to be dropped, but someone got the idea of using electronic surveillance of the calls to leverage a case into existence.

In a secrets-laundering maneuver straight out of the Dick Cheney playbook, some bright person first illegally leaked classified details to David Ignatius at the Washington Post , then agents rushed to interview Flynn about the "news."

"The record of his conversation with Ambassador Kislyak had become widely known in the press," is how Deputy FBI chief Andrew McCabe put it, euphemistically. "We wanted to sit down with General Flynn and understand, kind of, what his thoughts on that conversation were."

A Laurel-and-Hardy team of agents conducted the interview, then took three weeks to write and re-write multiple versions of the interview notes used as evidence (because why record it?). They were supervised by a counterintelligence chief who then memorialized on paper his uncertainty over whether the FBI was trying to " get him to lie" or "get him fired ," worrying that they'd be accused of "playing games." After another leak to the Washington Post in early February, 2017, Flynn actually was fired, and later pleaded guilty to lying about sanctions in the Kislyak call, the transcript of which was of course never released to either the defense or the public.

Warrantless surveillance, multiple illegal leaks of classified information, a false statements charge constructed on the razor's edge of Miranda, and the use of never-produced, secret counterintelligence evidence in a domestic criminal proceeding – this is the "rule of law" we're being asked to cheer.

Russiagate cases were often two-level offenses: factually bogus or exaggerated, but also indicative of authoritarian practices. Democrats and Democrat-friendly pundits in the last four years have been consistently unable to register objections on either front.

Flynn's case fit the pattern. We were told his plea was just the " tip of the iceberg " that would "take the trail of Russian collusion" to the "center of the plot," i.e. Trump. It turned out he had no deeper story to tell. In fact, none of the people prosecutors tossed in jail to get at the Russian "plot" – some little more than bystanders – had anything to share.

Remember George Papadopoulos, whose alleged conversation about "dirt" on Hillary Clinton with an Australian diplomat created the pretext for the FBI's entire Trump-Russia investigation? We just found out in newly-released testimony by McCabe that the FBI felt as early as the summer of 2016 that the evidence " didn't particularly indicate" that Papadopoulos was "interacting with the Russians ."

If you're in the media and keeping score, that's about six months before our industry lost its mind and scrambled to make Watergate comparisons over Jim Comey's March, 2017 " bombshell " revelation of the existence of an FBI Trump-Russia investigation. Nobody bothered to wonder if they actually had any evidence. Similarly Chelsea Manning insisted she'd already answered all pertinent questions about Julian Assange, but prosecutors didn't find that answer satisfactory, and threw her in jail for year anyway, only releasing her when she tried to kill herself . She owed $256,000 in fines upon release, not that her many supporters from the Bush days seemed to care much.

The Flynn case was built on surveillance gathered under the FISA Amendments Act of 2008, a program that seems to have been abused on a massive scale by both Democratic and Republican administrations.

After Edward Snowden's 2013 revelations about mass data collection, a series of internal investigations began showing officials were breaking rules against spying on specific Americans via this NSA program. Searches were conducted too often and without proper justification, and the results were shared with too many people, including private contractors. By October, 2016, the FISA court was declaring that systematic overuse of so-called "702" searches were a " very serious fourth Amendment issue ."

In later court documents it came out that the FBI conducted 3.1 million such searches in 2017 alone. As the Brennan Center put it, "almost certainly the total number of U.S. person queries run by the FBI each year is well into the millions."

Anyone who bothers to look back will find hints at how this program might have been misused. In late 2015, Obama officials bragged to the Wall Street Journal they'd made use of FISA surveillance involving "Jewish-American groups" as well as "U.S. lawmakers" in congress, all because they wanted to more effectively "counter" Israeli opposition to Obama's nuclear deal with Iran. This is a long way from using surveillance to defuse terror plots or break up human trafficking rings.

I can understand not caring about the plight of Michael Flynn, but cases like this have turned erstwhile liberals – people who just a decade ago were marching in the streets over the civil liberties implications of Cheney's War on Terror apparatus – into defenders of the spy state . Politicians and pundits across the last four years have rolled their eyes at attorney-client privilege , the presumption of innocence, the right to face one's accuser, the right to counsel and a host of other issues, regularly denouncing civil rights worries as red-herring excuses for Trumpism.

I've written a lot about the Democrats' record on civil liberties issues in the past. Working on I Can't Breathe, a book about the Eric Garner case, I was stunned to learn the central role Mario Cuomo played in the mass incarceration problem, while Democrats also often embraced hyper-intrusive "stop and frisk" or "broken windows" enforcement strategies, usually by touting terms like "community policing" that sounded nice to white voters. Democrats strongly supported the PATRIOT Act in 2001, and Barack Obama continued or expanded Bush-Cheney programs like drone assassination , rendition , and warrantless surveillance , while also using the Espionage Act to bully reporters and whistleblowers.

Republicans throughout this time were usually as bad or worse on these issues, but Democrats have lately positioned themselves as more aggressive promoters of strong-arm policies, from control of Internet speech to the embrace of domestic spying. In the last four years the blue-friendly press has done a complete 180 on these issues, going from cheering Edward Snowden to lionizing the CIA, NSA, and FBI and making on-air partners out of drone-and-surveillance all-stars like John Brennan, James Clapper, and Michael Hayden. There are now too many ex-spooks on CNN and MSNBC to count, while there isn't a single regular contributor on any of the networks one could describe as antiwar.

Democrats clearly believe constituents will forgive them for abandoning constitutional principles, so long as the targets of official inquiry are figures like Flynn or Paul Manafort or Trump himself. In the process, they've raised a generation of followers whose contempt for civil liberties is now genuine-to-permanent. Blue-staters have gone from dismissing constitutional concerns as Trumpian ruse to sneering at them, in the manner of French aristocrats, as evidence of proletarian mental defect.

Nowhere has this been more evident than in the response to the Covid-19 crisis, where the almost mandatory take of pundits is that any protest of lockdown measures is troglodyte death wish . The aftereffects of years of Russiagate/Trump coverage are seen everywhere: press outlets reflexively associate complaints of government overreach with Trump, treason, and racism, and conversely radiate a creepily gleeful tone when describing aggressive emergency measures and the problems some " dumb " Americans have had accepting them.

On the campaign trail in 2016, I watched Democrats hand Trump the economic populism argument by dismissing all complaints about the failures of neoliberal economics. This mistake was later compounded by years of propaganda arguing that "economic insecurity" was just a Trojan Horse term for racism . These takes, along with the absurd kneecapping of the Bernie Sanders movement, have allowed Trump to position himself as a working-class hero, the sole voice of a squeezed underclass.

The same mistake is now being made with civil liberties. Millions have lost their jobs and businesses by government fiat, there's a clamor for censorship and contact tracing programs that could have serious long-term consequences, yet voters only hear Trump making occasional remarks about freedom; Democrats treat it like it's a word that should be banned by Facebook (a recent Washington Post headline put the term in quotation marks , as if one should be gloved to touch it). Has the Trump era really damaged our thinking to this degree?

My family is in quarantine, I worry about a premature return to work, and sure, I laughed at that Shaun of the Dead photo of Ohio protesters protesting state lockdown laws. But I also recognize the crisis is also raising serious civil liberties issues, from prisoners trapped in deadly conditions to profound questions about speech and assembly, the limits to surveillance and snitching, etc. If this disease is going to be in our lives for the foreseeable future, that makes it more urgent that we talk about what these rules will be, not less -- yet the party I grew up supporting seems to have lost the ability to do so, and I don't understand why.

[May 17, 2020] Compare Flynn entrapment with the MeToo movement which positively delights in trashing every one of the cherished civil liberties that protect people from improper conviction and false imprisonment. That is a Democratic Party initiative (or at least it until recently and the Tara Read accusations) and wholly consonant with the treatment meted out to Flynn.

May 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , May 17 2020 17:18 utc | 10

Matt Taibi says that "he doesn't understand why" the Democrats have suddenly given up on Civil Liberties.
Of course her spent a lot of the '90s in Russia but he must have heard about the Clinton administration and its many and varied assaults on the poor, mass incarceration and Welfare 'reform.' He can't have missed what the War Party was doing in Yugoslavia either. I guess it just takes some people a long time to wake up.

The truth is that the Democrats-the old party of Jim Crow- have been laughing at civil liberties and the rule of law for generations. There is nothing new about this. It goes back to Truman and the Cold War- a deliberate choice that the party made then when Medicare for All was the alternative on the table. A choice which involved Taft Hartley, which had so much Democratic Party support that Congress over rode the veto, one of the most obvious assaults on civil liberties and democratic rights in US History. And that is saying something.

As to this Taibi judgement

"..Democrats clearly believe constituents will forgive them for abandoning constitutional principles, so long as the targets of official inquiry are figures like Flynn or Paul Manafort or Trump himself. In the process, they've raised a generation of followers whose contempt for civil liberties is now genuine-to-permanent..."

Compare it with the MeToo movement which positively delights in trashing every one of the cherished civil liberties that protect people from improper conviction and false imprisonment. That is a Democratic Party initiative (or at least it until recently and the Tara Read accusations) and wholly consonant with the treatment meted out to Flynn.

[May 17, 2020] Rising Star The Making of Barack Obama by David Garrow

May 17, 2020 | www.amazon.com

An Unconventional Life Unfolds Reviewed in the United States on April 20, 2018 Verified Purchase

In the interest of full disclosure, I am writing this review before having finished the book. I've had the book for almost a year, but have only recently dared look through it. It is massive. I bought the book because I have never believed in Obama, I always thought he was the personification of the empty suit: lots of talk, little accomplishment. I finally turned to this book when I realized I had been confused about when Obama had been a community organizer. I thought it had been after Harvard Law, but he actually worked for a couple of years before attending law school. Having checked out some of the later events, I ran across his former girlfriend's asssertion that in 1986 he decided he was born to be President. This sent me to the beginning of the book to try to find out how that happened. (Or even if it did.) I'm not there yet, but I do have a handle on how the book was written and why it's so massive.

Obama's supposed autobiographies have been pretty well debunked as "historical fiction." They were not concerned with facts. Garrow's book is an antidote to the pretty fictional accounts Obama has used to his advantage, and Garrow has made every effort to nail down as many facts as possible. He not only has the facts, he interviews the participants, seeks out multiple sources, and even checks the newspapers of the day when necessary. This makes for a lot of verification of even the most insignificant details. But then again, we now have the details of Obama's life, maybe more than we may have wanted. Garrow does not provide analysis. He is concerned with the facts and only the facts as he's been able to verify them. But Barack's has been an unusual life, and so maybe the details count.

Barack's Kenyan father came from a tribe that recognizes multiple wives. He left a first wife in Kenya and married at least once in the US to Barack's mother. The marriage was at his grandfather's insistence. They never lived together. In fact, Barack's mother never lived with either of her husbands until she eventually followed the 2nd to Indonesia. But as long as she was in Hawaii, she lived with her parents. The only exception was that about a month after Barack's birth, she took her baby back to Washington State, where she had grown up, and she lived there for the following year, while Barack's father was in Hawaii. As soon as he left to attend Harvard, she returned to Hawaii with the baby and moved back in with her parents. It is so unusual for a first time mother to move that far away from her own mother. Most first time mothers are uncertain and anxious about taking care of a new baby.

I am struck that, once in Indonesia, Barack never picked up the language. By the 4th grade, he was having trouble communicating with friends his own age. I thought that odd. When I was 6, my family moved to northern Italy in June. In September, I was enrolled in the 1st grade of an Italian school. By December, I could speak & write Italian. (Writing Italian is pretty easy - it is spelled as it sounds.) My parents were never fluent and I was the family interpreter during our three year stay there. But, given my own experience, I found it very odd that Barack never learned Indonesian. He was there at the time to do so. God knows, I've failed to learn any other language as an adult! You gotta do it as a kid for it to be painless.

Barack's mother was unhappy with her 2nd husband when she perceived that he was becoming a successful businessman. Most wives appreciate success. It generally comes with more money. But that is not how Barack's mother viewed it.

Garrow confirms that Barack's grandfather's good friend in Hawaii was indeed an active Communist with an extensive FBI dossier. The FBI was watching him, but never accused him of espionage. Oahu is known for its naval bases, so I wondered. Garrow makes no mention of the grandfather being a Communist, so we can assume that there is no verification of that. Just that the two men were pretty close friends.

Being one of the few people who recognized Bill Ayres name when he appeared as a neighbor & friend of the Obamas in Chicago, I looked up some of the Ayres association. Apparently, Obama met Valerie Jarrett through the Ayres, who were close friends of her parents, and her parents were on the left politically.

I am intrigued by this biography of our most opaque president. I'm not sure I'll make it through the w-h-o-l-e book. But I do think that Obama's life was unusual enough to warrant care that incidents are not taken out of context, so I might struggle through to the end. I'm not sure how long that will take me. But I'm retired now, so perhaps this can be my retirement project!

Book Reviewer , Reviewed in the United States on July 15, 2017

A Brilliant Sorrowful Book!

This book is brilliant because it was written by an author, David Garrow, who's not only mastered the art of beautiful prose but also possesses unparalleled skills in researching his subjects (which is why he won the Pulitzer for 'Bearing the Cross', the bio of Martin Luther King, Jr.). Alas, this book is also sorrowful because it is clear Garrow began his biography of Barack Hussein Obama honestly believing in the hope and change his subject promised - only to be bitterly disappointed by the man his research ultimately uncovered. As 'Rising Star' describes it, Obama began his life in Chicago as an idealistic community organizer whose ambition was to change the world. Alas, this ambition was not realized when he failed to secure any funding (a failure that would sadly be repeated again and again). Undeterred, Obama simply shifted his focus to public office and prepared to run for the Illinois state legislature. That position, he felt sure, would give him the funds he needed to make his dreams come true. But there was a problem. The voters in Obama's district were black - and he wasn't. That is, he was not perceived by them as such and, to be honest, Barack had never thought of himself as black either. Up until the moment he first ran for public office, Barack had never defined himself along racial lines but instead along emotional ones - that of a lost child abandoned by his father and mother. By and large, Barack's life had been devoid of black associations. He had next to no black friends growing up in Hawaii; in college he'd persisted in avoiding black friendships, teachers and the black movement as a whole. The black persona was simply not how he defined himself - but it would have to be if he hoped to achieve public office in Chicago. What to do? Well, the solution which all of Barack's advisers gave was for him to marry a woman who WAS black. Thus, Barack abandoned the beautiful half-white, half-Japanese woman, Sheila Miyoshi Jager, whom he'd been living with for nearly two years in Chicago (and whom he'd originally intended to marry) and instead proposed marriage to Michelle Robinson. It was a political move which Barack would pay bitterly for.

Michelle was not interested in politics, she hated it. What she loved was money. However, in the beginning of their marriage she grudgingly acquiesced to Barack's low-paying position with the Illinois State legislature because Michelle herself was earning a six-figure salary at Sidley Austin. But then suddenly, mysteriously, Michelle left the firm AND forfeited her law license (after barely 3 years of practice) to take a public job which paid barely one-third of her old income. She was not pleased about this and immediately demanded that her husband leave politics and get a job at a prestigious law firm that would bring in the salary she craved. Barack balked at that and instead began working three jobs at once (state legislature, law school professor and lawyer) to bring in the money. But it wasn't enough for her. He then tried to placate her by promising her they would get rich from his book 'Dreams Of My Father' (which Garrow takes great pains to insist was NOT written with the help of Bill Ayers). Alas, the book was a flop. Michelle's anger at her husband's failure to make money provoked countless arguments between the two of them; fights which she had no qualms displaying in public, humiliating Barack constantly in front of friends and strangers. At this point, Barack bargained desperately with Michelle to allow him to run for U.S. Representative; surely this would bring in the funds she craved. Alas, he not only badly lost the election but plunged into debt up to his ears. Barack had truly hit bottom. And then? Suddenly money began pouring in for him.

Garrow gives no explanation as to why, he merely describes how Barack for the first time in his life was in charge of the allocation of millions of dollars in public funds which he began distributing as political patronage right and left. Shortly afterwards, Barack announced he would run for the United States Senate, a hugely expensive venture. But once again, he mysteriously came into possession of huge sums of money which would more than pay for that run. His fortunes had changed, he was no longer the penniless spouse Michelle had sneered at. Alas - and this is where the sorrow enters Garrow's writing - Barack himself had changed as well. He was no longer the idealistic community organizer of the past, no longer the fun-loving and outgoing person he'd once been. Instead, he was a cold, withdrawn individual who distanced himself from his old friends, abandoned his old alliances, displayed loyalty to no one but Michelle (and Valerie Jarrett). Garrow never puts it into words but it's clear nonetheless; Barack had sold out.

Needless to say, the Leftist establishment does NOT view Garrow's book kindly. It's bad enough 'Rising Star' uncovers Obama's failures, it's worse that Garrow's astounding research is so precise, so accurate it's impossible to disprove his revelations of those failures. It's no comfort to Obama's disillusioned followers that Garrow is as upset as they. I'm certain in my heart he would have given anything to have come up with a different conclusion for his subject. Alas, however, Garrow is a prisoner of his phenomenal skills as a researcher and his own honesty. The result is a brilliant sorrowful book on a man who ultimately betrayed the hope he had promised to the world - and himself.

[May 17, 2020] The dark side of Obama's 'Rising Star' exposed

May 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

God's Warrior , 3 weeks ago

44, the biggest fraudulent, groomed 'president' in USA history. Imagine if legal citizens knew the TRUTH about corruption within the political arena? Thank you, @TuckerCarlson

[May 17, 2020] New challenges for the US empire

May 17, 2020 | www.moonofalabama.org

bevin , May 17 2020 16:55 utc | 8

Here's another link: Patrick Lawrence interviewing-at length- Diane Johnstone.

France, but it applies to the UK and elsewhere:

"A major paradox is that the left and the Yellow Vests call for economic and social policies that are impossible under EU rules, and yet many on the left shy away from even thinking of leaving the EU. For over a generation, the French left has made an imaginary "social Europe" the center of its utopian ambitions...."

German

"But Germany has been an occupied country -- militarily and politically -- for 75 years, and I suspect that many German political leaders (usually vetted by Washington) have learned to fit their projects into U.S. policies. But I also think that the political debate in Germany is overwhelmingly hypocritical, with concrete aims veiled by fake issues such as human rights and, of course, devotion to Israel..."

Russia in Europe:

"Including Russia, Europe might become an independent pole of power. The U.S. is currently doing everything to prevent this. But there is a school of strategic thought in Washington which considers this a mistake, because it pushes Russia into the arms of China. This school is in the ascendant with the campaign to denounce China as responsible for the pandemic. As mentioned, the Atlanticists in Europe are leaping into the anti–China propaganda battle. But they are not displaying any particular affection for Russia, which shows no sign of sacrificing its partnership with China for the unreliable Europeans.

"If Russia were allowed to become a friendly bridge between China and Europe, the U.S. would be obliged to abandon its pretensions of world hegemony."

https://consortiumnews.com/2020/05/17/a-circle-in-the-darkness-post-war-europe/

[May 17, 2020] Schmucks vs. financial oligarchy

May 17, 2020 | www.unz.com

MICHAEL HUDSON: Just think of when, in the debates with Bernie Sanders during the spring, Biden and Klobuchar kept saying, 'What we're paying for Medicare-for-All will be $1 trillion over 10 years.' Well, here the Fed can create $1.5 trillion in one week just to buy stocks.

Why is it okay for the Fed to create $1.5 trillion to buy stocks to prevent rich people from losing on their stocks, when it's not okay to print only $1 trillion to pay for free Medicare for the entire population? This is crazy!

[May 17, 2020] General Flynn investigation 'has tarnished Obama's legacy' - YouTube

Highly recommended!
May 17, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Missie , 22 hours ago

President Trump battled China for 3 1/2 years while Democrats tried to take him down. Like POTUS said, they're human scum.

Gusli Kokle , 22 hours ago

Obama is self-tarnishing.

Shane Brbich , 22 hours ago div tabindex="0" role="article"

> He will go down as The most corrupt president in history! Spied on an opponents campaign Authorised the intelligence agencies to spy Leaker Collided with Russia

Memey Memes , 22 hours ago

Tarnished its more than that its total evil.

Cinda Jenkins , 22 hours ago

I didn't think he had a legacy. A pretty bad one to say the least.

toycollector10 , 22 hours ago

Sky News Australia. How do you keep getting away with all of the truth telling? Watching from N.Z. Keep up the good work.

Missie , 22 hours ago

Our Fakenews networks conspired with Obama, Obama's previous Cabinet, Hillary, the CIA, FBI, NSA, DNC, and Democrats in Congress. They were all in on it together. #Sedition #Treason

jamee boss , 21 hours ago

The New World Order virus needs to be investigate immediately. This is the biggest crimes in the world history

Epifanio Esmero , 22 hours ago

By framing an innocent man, they have only entrapped themselves!! Karma!!

Ken Mulrooney , 22 hours ago

You can't tarnish that idiots legacy He doesn't need any help

Mark Shaw , 19 hours ago

As an outsider looking in, I find it hard to believe that the American people, would allow politicians of any party to get away with this behavior.

הדבר אדני יהוה לישועה , 20 hours ago

Obama framed Trump as a Russian spy to deflect public focus from the crimes of his Administration

chris campbell , 22 hours ago

He was tarnished a lllooonnnngggg time ago!His legacy is one of corruption!

John Inton , 21 hours ago

ex-president Obummer biggest legacy to the democratic world is allowing China to claim all of the South China Sea by turning a blind eye whilst China was dredging the sea beds and creating artificial islands all over the South China sea!!

mG , 19 hours ago

A shame nothing will actually happen to that trash.

Green Onions , 22 hours ago

Every move he made tarnished his reputation. The only thing propping him up was the media.

Jann , 20 hours ago

I hope Barak Hussein Obama goes down for this.

NOISLAMONAZIS DOTCOM , 22 hours ago (edited)

What legacy? Obama was just another NWO puppet and so performed as a puppet should. MSM is owned by the same people that are Obama's boss.

SandhoeFlyer , 19 hours ago

Obama will go down in history as a lier, a fraud, dishonourable and a lousy President .

I P , 20 hours ago

Obama was an America hater from day one, and committed many treasons public and private. His "legacy" is and was a fabrication of the MSM, who tolerated no end of abuses, including Obama suing a number of journalists.

But let's just look at one item, underplayed by the MSM: Obama did everything he could to stop the 9/11 victims bill, including a presidential veto, which was then overridden by a gigantic (97-1) senate vote.

McCain and Graham continued to fight the LAW, undoubtedly with Obama help, using Arab funded lawyers to the tune of 1.2 million dollars per month.

[May 17, 2020] Flynn - Perjury Emmet Sullivan Doubles Down By Walrus

Notable quotes:
"... Sydney Powell can only appeal the conduct of the Judge. This serves as a nice distraction from the unconstitutional conduct of the Obama administration in wiretapping political opponents; as well as multiple members of Congress ..."
"... We do know Rosenstein appointed Mueller as SC to investigate Flynn, among other things. ..."
"... And we now know there was no predicate for any of the Mueller SCO appointment; thus, Rosenstein, too: what was he doing? ..."
"... We do know that at some point after Bill Barr was confirmed as AG last year, that he began to investigate outing of Flynn and release of classified information, that is, actual crimes. ..."
"... And we know Obama is an enemy of Flynn. If the CIA never took any steps, prior to the Barr confirmation as AG -- and I have no way of knowing whether they did or did not, viz. the Flynn outing and leak of classified information, ---what, if any, might or should be, if any, the consequences of that? And, ditto the DOJ. ..."
"... It appear this judge want to protect the likes of Obama, and Yates, and the long list of villains whose mission remain: Destroy Flynn at all costs. ..."
"... General Flynn's original law team belonged to Covington & Burling. That's where Eric Holder made partner. Since his time as Attorney General, Holder has returned to that law firm. Like Fred said, they sandbagged the case. ..."
"... Flynn swore before two judges under penalty of perjury that he lied to the FBI. He then swore that he didn't lie to the FBI when he asked to withdraw his guilty plea. There's the conundrum. If we had the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations, we would know the answer to one of your questions. We could compare that to his guilty plea. We would then know if the prosecution's case was false. In that case both the prosecution and Flynn would be liable for perjuring themselves. It would also constitute prosecutorial misconduct IMO. Barr is doing Flynn a disservice by not releasing those transcripts. ..."
"... So all those mass incarcerated black men who pled guilty are really guilty because prosecutorial misconduct and defective legal advice neither happen to them nor are mitigating when a plea of guilty is made? "swore before two judges under penalty of perjury" The DOJ dropped the charges, it is up to the to prosecute for the new accusation that pleading guilty was actually perjury. Good luck at a jury trial with that. ..."
"... It seems to be a last minute desperation play by Sullivan to keep Obama out of the frying pan. ..."
"... Just today, the neocon-infested Washington Post ran an editorial, apparently by one of their DNC-affiliated writers, which attempted to jape the whole Obamagate narrative through a paroxysm of superlatives, mocking it as some gigantic and wholly imaginary conspiracy. This effort reminded me of their similar jocularity phase relative to Trump during the 2016 primary season. ..."
"... I suspect the reality is just the sleazy truth of Obama being just as much of a crooked bastard as Bush. The Obama gang, of course, is desperate to prevent the tarnishing of Saint Barry ..."
"... When Judge Sullivan said three days ago that he was going to make a schedule for outside persons and organizations to file written arguments, it was essentially an invitation for arguments against the government's request to dismiss the case. I started to put together an article about that brazen move. ..."
May 17, 2020 | turcopolier.typepad.com
Walrus

Firstly, Larry Johnson and Robert Willmann know more about this case than I do. It now appears, if this report today is to be believed, that Emmett Sullivan is now inclined to charge General Flynn with contempt of court and perjury. I have to ask; for what? This is Kafkaesque.

For agreeing to a plea deal that Flynn knew was false? For failing to plead innocence? For reversing his plea when it was demonstrated that the prosecution case against him was utterly untrue and corrupt?

"Judge", I use the term loosely, Sullivan seems to be so ensnared in the coils of judicial procedure that he has forgotten that truth and justice matter. That is the nicest construct I can put on it. I think it's time for Sidney Powell to rip this judge to shreds. I await Larry and Roberts comments.

https://lawandcrime.com/high-profile/federal-judge-orders-arguments-on-whether-michael-flynn-should-be-jailed-for-perjury/

Fred , 14 May 2020 at 12:00 PM

Walrus,

Flynn was told by his lawyers from Covington & Burling that he was guilty. Covington & Burling were not only wrong they made no effort to get the exculpatory evidence and purposely withheld what evidence they did possess - repeatedly - from Flynn's new lawyer.

But then that has already been reported on publicly and discussed here. Perhaps your memory is faulty.

Sydney Powell can only appeal the conduct of the Judge. This serves as a nice distraction from the unconstitutional conduct of the Obama administration in wiretapping political opponents; as well as multiple members of Congress, multiple governors and state health officials in response to China's biological attack against the US and Western nations.

walrus , 14 May 2020 at 12:13 PM
Fred,

Yes, I agree with you. Sullivan trying to charge Flynn with perjury and contempt of court is a deliberate distraction. I would have thought the people who should be charged are the ones who constructed and prosecuted the bogus charge in the first place.

turcopolier , 14 May 2020 at 12:17 PM
walrus

Sullivan is in no sense an unbiased jurist.

Deap , 14 May 2020 at 12:32 PM
How many defendants automatically claim they are "not guilty, your honor" when asked to enter their plea, even when there is still gunpowder on their hands?

Do they also get charged with perjury after their guilt is established, beyond a reasonable doubt by a jury of their peers? You lied to the court - you said you were innocent. Double time in the slammer for you.

Defendant statements of either their own guilt or innocence should be "privileged" and therefore not actionable. Those statements are fundamental to our trust in our judicial system, and should never later be claimed perjury or false statements if the defendant changes their mind or a jury makes their ultimate finding.

Jim , 14 May 2020 at 12:34 PM
Thank you Larry and Walrus.

Although different people at different times, and different circumstances: a comparison.

Then CIA Agent Valerie Plame outing [she is currently a Democrat candidate for a New Mexico congressional seat].

And, Lt. Gen. Michael Flynn [NSA-designee] outing.

Outing, that is: leaking their identities, by government officials[s], to . . . .and release of classified information.

How do the actions taken by government compare and contrast, at the time of outing/leaking crimes.

1] Both leaks went to the Washington Post.

2] Substance of the Plame and Flynn leaks related to . . .

WAP published Plame's identity, July 14, 2003. George Bush the younger, then president. Robert David Sanders "Bob" Novak put his name to this at WAP. [Her husband, Joseph C. Wilson 4th, "What I Didn't Find in Africa", in The New York Times, July 6, 2003, disputed Bush/Cheney administration claims, their claims of WMD in Iraq.]

WAP published Flynn's identify, Jan. 12, 2017. Barack Obama, then president. David Reynolds Ignatius put his name to it at WAP. Flynn disputed Obama administration "facts" about their Syrian war in particular, and more generally, in west Asia/near East/middle east.]

3] Investigation at the time or no investigation at the time.

Executive Order 12333 of Dec. 4, 1981 requires actions on such matters.

In the Plame matter, the CIA, on July 24, 2003 made a phone call to the DOJ about this, according to the CIA. They followed this up with a July 30, 2003 letter.

Government records show "on 24 July 2003, a CIA attorney left a phone message for the Chief of the Counterespionage Section of DoJ noting concerns with recent articles on this subject and stating that the CIA would forward a written crimes report pending the outcome of a review of the articles by subject matter experts. By letter dated 30 July 2003, the CIA reported to the Criminal Division of DoJ a possible violation of criminal law concerning the unauthorized disclosure of classified information. The letter also informed DoJ that the CIA's Office of Security had opened an investigation into this matter. This letter was sent again to DoJ by facsimile on 5 September 2003."

[[ see: https://web.archive.org/web/20060705062919/http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf ">http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf">https://web.archive.org/web/20060705062919/http://www.talkingpointsmemo.com/docs/plame.cia.letter.pdf ]]

Sept. 30, 2003, Bush famously stated, viz. the identities of the leaker[s]: "I want to know who it is ... and if the person has violated law, the person will be taken care of."

Dec. 30, 2003 a Special Counsel was also appointed to investigate the Plame matter, as well.

Then AG John Ashcroft recused himself and thus declined to make this SC appointment.

Patrick Fitzgerald was named the Special Counsel by then Deputy AG James Comey.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

We know many more details now about the Plame matter, than about what, if any, investigation may, or may not have, begun, at the time of the Flynn outing and release of classified information.

What we do know, so far, about the Flynn matter is that, at the time, there was no attempt -- or at least, we don't know if there was -- any attempt from the Flynn outing on Jan. 12, 2017, to Jan. 20 of that year, when Obama was still president:
a] if the CIA asked for an investigation
b] if then AG Lynch did
c] if DAG at the time Yates did
d] if Obama did

We also don't know if, beginning Jan. 20
a] if then acting AG Yates did
b] if President Trump did
c] if the CIA did

Once Jeff Sessions was confirmed as AG, we don't know if he did, nor do we know if DAG Rod Rosenstein did.

Nor do we know if the CIA did.

We do know Rosenstein appointed Mueller as SC to investigate Flynn, among other things.

And we now know there was no predicate for any of the Mueller SCO appointment; thus, Rosenstein, too: what was he doing?

We do know that at some point after Bill Barr was confirmed as AG last year, that he began to investigate outing of Flynn and release of classified information, that is, actual crimes.

It is a fair question to ask when he actually began investigation on the Flynn outing, and leaking of classified material related to that.

And to ask when, or if, the CIA, since Jan. 20, 2017, ever did.

We do know there were many public enemies of Flynn at highest levels of DOJ, FBI, CIA, and the office Clapper was in charge of at the time, Director of National Intelligence.

And we know Obama is an enemy of Flynn. If the CIA never took any steps, prior to the Barr confirmation as AG -- and I have no way of knowing whether they did or did not, viz. the Flynn outing and leak of classified information, ---what, if any, might or should be, if any, the consequences of that? And, ditto the DOJ.

As an aside: Judge Emmett Sullivan's ongoing tomfoolery and slapdash in the Flynn criminal case puts in relief, sharp relief, just how upside down this entire issue has become.

It appear this judge want to protect the likes of Obama, and Yates, and the long list of villains whose mission remain: Destroy Flynn at all costs.


-30-

Mark K Logan , 14 May 2020 at 12:43 PM
Walrus,

Flynn's guilty plea being sworn to under penalty of perjury is no small matter, and the DOJs actions have been, in total, extremely odd.

It may be unwise to read too much into this at this point. The DOJ has wasted a couple of years and no doubt millions of dollars worth of the court's time. Sullivan is providing a platform wherein the DOJ will have to fully explain itself in this matter. Both past and present DOJs, that is.

Keith Harbaugh , 14 May 2020 at 12:49 PM
What is most relevant here is: What did Flynn know at the time he pled guilty, and what was his state of mind at that time.

I give links to two copies of the "Declaration of Michael T. Flynn", which addresses those issues, together with some discussion by me, here:
http://kwhmediawatch.blogspot.com/2020/05/what-media-wont-tell-you-about-flynn.html

As a general observation, there has been a tidal wave of criticism in American media over the DOJ dropping the charges against Flynn.

I have made an attempt to follow what the American MSM are saying about this, and the hostility to both Flynn and Barr is just overwhelming.
Surely that overwhelming media opinion had an effect on Judge Sullivan's bad decision.

Bill H , 14 May 2020 at 01:01 PM
Perhaps I'm missing something. I know the FBI can listen in on phone calls made to foreign nationals, but how can the FBI legally listen in on phone calls made by the NSC Director of the President-Elect, regardless of who he is talking to?
FakeBot , 14 May 2020 at 01:12 PM
General Flynn's original law team belonged to Covington & Burling. That's where Eric Holder made partner. Since his time as Attorney General, Holder has returned to that law firm. Like Fred said, they sandbagged the case.
turcopolier , 14 May 2020 at 01:45 PM
BillH

The intercept by NSA or CIA would be legal because of Kisliak's nationality.

akaPatience , 14 May 2020 at 01:48 PM
My husband's default TV channel is MSNBC, programming which I often overhear. A fair-minded observer can't help but notice that Obama apologists only mention that Flynn plead guilty twice. They NEVER emphasize the beyond-mitigating aspects of the matter, e.g., that his counsel at the time (which was a law firm also employing former Obama AG Eric Holder) was either incompetent or purposefully negligent in advising him to do so. Nor do they mention that Flynn was threatened with the prospect of his son being prosecuted using rarely-enforced FARA laws. The apologists also fail to remind their audiences that the FBI investigation of Flynn was about to be closed -- much less do they report that he was NEVER charged with perjury in the first place!

The convenient and expedient failure to fully inform people has become typical among the MSM/Democrats/NeverTrumpers, et al. Their efforts to misinform, to perpetuate ignorance, continue to play out not only in the entire Obamagate scandal but it seems also when it comes to COVID-19 policy. No wonder zombie-themed entertainment is so popular in recent years. SMFH...

The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 01:50 PM
Jim,

Flynn wasn't outed. He was a widely known public figure for years. Trump and Pence announced Flynn lied to them and the FBI when he was fired. I'm not if this was mentioned in the press before Trump's announcement.

The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 02:10 PM
Walrus,

Flynn swore before two judges under penalty of perjury that he lied to the FBI. He then swore that he didn't lie to the FBI when he asked to withdraw his guilty plea. There's the conundrum. If we had the transcript of the Flynn-Kislyak conversations, we would know the answer to one of your questions. We could compare that to his guilty plea. We would then know if the prosecution's case was false. In that case both the prosecution and Flynn would be liable for perjuring themselves. It would also constitute prosecutorial misconduct IMO. Barr is doing Flynn a disservice by not releasing those transcripts.

walrus , 14 May 2020 at 04:59 PM
TTG, there is this legal thing called the litigation privilege that, I think, covers what an accused can say in a trial. Plenty of people plead guilty to charges that they know to be false without the slightest demur by anyone..

Furthermore, Flynn may have become convinced by his lawyers that he had, in effect lied to the FBI. In addition, since he was not under oath or cautioned by the FBI at the time, even if he deliberately did lie for perhaps political or strategic reasons how is that a crime? People lie to people all the time.

To put that another way, is telling a female FBI agent "I'll still respect you in the morning" going to get you 20 years?

Fred , 14 May 2020 at 05:03 PM
TTG,

So all those mass incarcerated black men who pled guilty are really guilty because prosecutorial misconduct and defective legal advice neither happen to them nor are mitigating when a plea of guilty is made? "swore before two judges under penalty of perjury" The DOJ dropped the charges, it is up to the to prosecute for the new accusation that pleading guilty was actually perjury. Good luck at a jury trial with that.

Mark,

"Sullivan is providing a platform wherein the DOJ will have to fully explain itself in this matter."

So he is willfully refusing to dismiss the case so the DOJ can give him an explanation - other than the one they already gave him in the motion to dismiss? Justice Sullivan, on behalf of the Judiciary, is now taking it upon itself to determine what the executive branch of government was thinking in this case? To get that explanation he has appointed a former member of the judiciary, one who had previously worked side by side with Andrew Weissman. No bias there. You don't need to be a lawyer to see how ludicrous the suggestion and the judges actions appear.

TV , 14 May 2020 at 05:28 PM
Sullivan, like most of the Federal judiciary, is just another swamp creature.
He apparently slept through the class in law school where they said that the state has to prosecute the case, a judge can't - even as much as he may want to.
Jim , 14 May 2020 at 05:35 PM
The issue is both: the criminal leak of classified information; and the criminal outing -- the identity of Flynn -- related to classified information leak. Those are indissolubly linked.

The issue is also this, thanks to Judge Emmett Gilbert & Sullivan, who wrote May 13, 2020:

"ORDERED that amicus curiae shall address whether the Court should issue an Order to Show Cause why Mr. Flynn should not be held in criminal contempt for perjury. . . and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law."

Who would be charging Flynn with "criminal contempt for perjury"? And/Or, "and any other applicable statutes, rules, or controlling law"?

Perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan will keep the case open until after the November presidential election, or the November 2024 election, or the next one, so that another DOJ -- not headed by Bill Barr -- can so charge Flynn.

Or perhaps Gilbert & Sullivan is inviting Congress to name a Special Prosecutor.

Who might that be? James Comey? Andrew Weissmann? Sally Yates?

After all, how dare anyone expose Barry as anything but "the scandal free" administration. This is Gilbert & Sullivan's motive, as I see it, my opinion, based on what I have seen so far: To protect Barry, among others. And do that via keeping alive a prosecution of Flynn, based on DOJ/FBI/CIA skullduggery. [Another theory is the judge wants to throw the book at Covington for misconduct; perhaps both or one or the other are at play, I don't have the evidence at this time to clearly say.]

As for Trump and Pence, that is grist for another mill.

For all we know, Trump and Pence may have wanted Flynn gone and they did not care how it was done. And they did not want their finger prints on it; and for all we know, Trump and Pence were not opposed to the Mueller SC appointment.

These are also things we actually just don't have clear answers to, just yet.

But that sideshow is irrelevant to this legal proceeding/circus per the May 13 order.

However, it may [or may not] be relevant to whether or not Trump and Pence actually wanted Flynn gone – using the "Flynn lied" as an excuse to be rid of him.

Pence, at the time, had no business speaking about what was essentially classified information, at the time, by the way; he did, on national TV, and Flynn was the patsy.

Did Trump and Pence, and their administration, sit on their hands as well, and do nothing about the criminal leak of classified information linked to the outing of Flynn?

Claiming he lied could suggest they also were not interested in the crime of leaking classified information and his outing.

At least Bush said or claimed to wanted to get to the bottom of the Plame matter. Did Trump and Pence, at the time?

And if they did want to get to the bottom of it, I would like to see evidence that they did so, and/or evidence that they were thwarted in doing so.

Surely, Trump and Pence can argue this was why they were not opposed to Mueller appointment.

We don't know all the contents of the scope memo Rosenstein wrote, as the boss of Mueller, -- whether or not investigation of the criminal leak and outing of Flynn was or was not part of Mueller's scope of work.

We don't know because chunks of scope memo are still redacted and not available to the public.

Presumably, AG Barr is investigation this; he came back on the scene last year.

What happened before him, going back to Jan. 20, 2017? And, what happened from Jan. 12 to Jan. 2020, with respect to the Obama administration, on this crime?

Did anyone, prior to Barr, do anything, or try to do anything?

If this was not part of Rosenstein's scope memo to Mueller, what can one conclude?
-30-

Bobo , 14 May 2020 at 05:58 PM
In recent years we have seen numerous individuals released from jail due to their innocence being found by DNA and other scientific processes. A good number of those individuals had plead guilty. In the Sullivan courtroom Flynn plead quietly twice (once to Sullivan the other to Contreras) but now pleads innocent and the government has decided to drop the case. But Judge Sullivan now questions what to do with Flynn and is asking for help from the legal community to determine what to do. It has become a circus or Sullivan wants his pound of flesh. Time will tell but if it is not to the benefit of Flynn then it's off to the Appeals Court where it will be justly determined.
After insinuating that Flynn was a traitor this Judge should drop the case quickly but no he wants make himself like a bigger Idiot.
The Twisted Genius , 14 May 2020 at 07:36 PM
Walrus,

Flynn's case never went to trial. It went straight to a guilty plea and was awaiting the sentencing phase. If the DOJ dropped charges before this guilty plea or at any time during a trial, I doubt we would be in this mess. What Flynn signed onto is straightforward. I don't know if this litigation privilege would apply to this Defendant's Acceptance.

"The preceding statement is a summary, made for the purpose of providing the Court with a factual basis for my guilty plea to the charge against me. It does not include all of the facts known to me regarding this offense. I make this statement knowingly and voluntarily and because I am, in fact, guilty o f the crime charged. No threats have been made to me nor am I under the influence o f anything that could impede my ability to understand this Statement o f the Offense fully."
"I have read every word of this Statement of the Offense, or have had it read to me. Pursuant to Federal Rule of Criminal Procedure 11, after consulting with my attorneys, I agree and stipulate to this Statement of the Offense, and declare under penalty of perjury that it is true and correct."

blue peacock , 14 May 2020 at 09:23 PM
Sullivan is addressing the guilty plea by Flynn and his subsequent withdrawal of that plea. creating the charge of perjury to the court.

Barr is opening up the DOJ to prosecutorial misconduct if the reason for the withdrawal is exculpatory information that was not provided defendant prior to his guilty plea.

Sullivan is exploiting this discrepancy. I am neither a legal expert nor lawyer so will stand corrected.

Vegetius , 14 May 2020 at 10:29 PM
Down with the kritarchy!
Outrage Beyond , 14 May 2020 at 11:51 PM
It seems to be a last minute desperation play by Sullivan to keep Obama out of the frying pan.

Just today, the neocon-infested Washington Post ran an editorial, apparently by one of their DNC-affiliated writers, which attempted to jape the whole Obamagate narrative through a paroxysm of superlatives, mocking it as some gigantic and wholly imaginary conspiracy. This effort reminded me of their similar jocularity phase relative to Trump during the 2016 primary season.

I suspect the reality is just the sleazy truth of Obama being just as much of a crooked bastard as Bush. The Obama gang, of course, is desperate to prevent the tarnishing of Saint Barry.

If Flynn does get off in the end, might he sue Obama and at some point depose him? An interesting thought experiment.

Jack , 15 May 2020 at 12:46 AM
From the Twitter-in-Chief:
Where is the 302? It is missing. Was it stolen or destroyed? General Flynn is being persecuted! #OBAMAGATE

https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump/status/1261138690929295361?s=21

I find this hilarious. It is like POTUS is a helpless bystander. Does he not realize it is his DOJ that has "stolen or destroyed" the 302? Does he not know that he can declassify all of "Obamagate"?

Or is his intent to just troll everyone?

And what about him throwing Flynn to the hyenas by firing him?

robt willmann , 15 May 2020 at 09:37 AM
Walrus,

When Judge Sullivan said three days ago that he was going to make a schedule for outside persons and organizations to file written arguments, it was essentially an invitation for arguments against the government's request to dismiss the case. I started to put together an article about that brazen move.

Now Sullivan has abandoned that move and has exposed himself as an advocate singularly against the defendant Flynn, which of course is not his role. His order of Wednesday, 13 May, appointed John Gleeson, a former federal judge in the Eastern District of New York, to present arguments against the motion to dismiss Flynn's case and whether Flynn should be the subject of a proceeding for criminal contempt of court for perjury.

Judge Sullivan's new order indicates that he has improperly invested his ego in the case, and that something is likely going on behind the curtain.

JerseyJeffersonian , 15 May 2020 at 12:36 PM
Jack,

With all that is emerging from the recent releases of sworn testimony from various actors surrounding the Flynn case, and the Russiagate hoohaw exposing the motivations of these individuals, can it be doubted that given the depth of the duplicity on exhibit here that it is entirely possible (indeed, likely) that something as incriminating as the "missing" 302 was destroyed to cover the tracks?

Although some of the principals left of their own volition, and others were removed through being fired, it is clear that others acted as "stay behind" forces of the Deep State to continue the coup from inside the DOJ, FBI, and IC. Under these circumstances, it is not at all clear that President Trump was (and is now) substantially in command of these agencies. Incriminating documents and recordings may well have been preemptively destroyed on the sayso of the "stay behind" plotters still in high positions, so calls for declassification of already disappeared evidence would be futile.

No, it doesn't look good that Flynn was fired, but at the time, and with what was known at that time , and given Flynn's plea, what could be expected? Now that things have subsequently been revealed, it looks like a bad call; hindsight is, as the saying has it, 20/20.

[May 17, 2020] Apparently, the FBI, and not the CIA, are the real government.

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. ..."
"... Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. ..."
"... IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing ..."
Jan 15, 2019 | turcopolier.typepad.com

Just to review the situation:

  1. The president of the US was made head of the Executive Branch (EC) of the federal government by Article 2 of the present constitution of the US. He is also Commander in Chief of the armed forces of the federal government. As head of the EC, he is head of all the parts of the government excepting the Congress and the Federal courts which are co-equal branches of the federal government. The Department of Justice is just another Executive Branch Department subordinate in all things to the president. The FBI is a federal police force and counter-intelligence agency subordinate to the Department of Justice and DNI and therefore to the president in all things. The FBI actually IMO has no legal right whatever to investigate the president. He is the constitutionally elected commander of the FBI. Does one investigate one's commander? No. The procedures for legally and constitutionally removing a president from office for malfeasance are clear. He must be impeached by the House of Representatives for "High Crimes and Misdemeanors" and then tried by the US Senate on the charges. Conviction results in removal from office.
  2. According to these transcripts of congressional testimony by some of the participants, the FBI decided all by itself after Comey was fired to consider acting against Trump by pursuing him for suspicion of conspiracy with Russia to give the Russians the president of the US that they supposedly wanted. Part of the discussions among senior FBI people had to do with whether or not the president had the legal authority to remove from office an FBI Director. Say what? Where have these dummies been all their careers? Do they not teach anything about this at the FBI Academy? The US Army lectures its officers at every level of schooling on the subject of the constitutional and legal basis and limits of their authority.
  3. Following these seditious and IMO illegal discussions the FBI and Sessions/Rosenstein's Justice Department sought FISA Court warrants for surveillance against associates of Trump and members of his campaign for president. Their application for warrants were largely based on unsubstantiated "opposition research" funded by the Democratic Party and the Clinton campaign. The judge who approved the warrants was not informed of the nature of the evidence. These warrants provided an authority for surveillance of the Trump campaign.
  4. IMO this collection of actions when added to whatever Clapper, Brennan and "the lads" of the Deep State were doing with the British intelligence services amount to an attempted "soft coup" against the constitution and from the continued stonewalling of the FBI and DoJ the coup is ongoing. pl

https://www.cnn.com/2019/01/14/politics/trump-fbi-debate-investigation/index.html

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Article_Two_of_the_United_States_Constitution#Clause_4:_Receiving_foreign_representatives

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Federal_Bureau_of_Investigation#Organization

[May 17, 2020] Obamagate Shows Biden Is Inadequate in Challenging Trump by Paul Antonopoulos

Notable quotes:
"... The majority of U.S. media will most likely try and find appropriate excuses so they can minimize Obama's role in these scandals. It is completely clear that the battle over who will be in the White House in the next four years is now taking focus on the Obama era as of opposed to Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 80,000 Americans and infected more than 1.3 million people. ..."
"... With endless tweets by Donald Trump dedicated to Obama over the past few days, it is as if the presidential battle in November will be fought between him and Obama, and not Democrat сandidate Joe Biden . ..."
"... It is likely Obama is becoming more public as Trump's opponent Biden is proving inadequate and incapable of defeating Trump ..."
"... Trump also retweeted statements from CIA agent Buck Sexton, in which he accused Obama of sabotaging the Trump administration in the first days of his term. Sexton also called former FBI Director Andrew McCabe "a dishonorable partisan scumbag who has done incalculable damage to the reputation of the FBI and should be sitting in a cell for lying under oath" ..."
"... As for the affair with the secret operation of selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, journalists of Forbes in 2011 wondered whether that operation would become Obama's "Watergate," ..."
May 17, 2020 | astutenews.com

May 16, 2020

Source: InfoBrics Former U.S. President Barack Obama is coming under increasing pressure, led by what President Donald Trump is calling "Obamagate." This comes as Mexico has requested to finally clarify the affair with the secret sale of American weapons to Mexican drug cartels. Mexico is asking for the case to be clarified after almost ten years.

In this secret operation conducted by the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, weapons from the U.S. were sold to Mexican drug cartels. The U.S. claimed that about 2,000 automatic weapons were sold to Mexicans so that the Barack Obama administration could follow their path to the drug cartels. Instead, these weapons were used in massacres. Mexican authorities are now seeking answers from the United States.

In addition to selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, Obama is responsible for a lot of global upheaval on the world stage – primarily the so-called "Arab Spring" that should be more accurately described as the "Arab Winter" as it brought death and destruction across the Arab world.

The sale of these weapons to Mexican drug cartels is another ugly legacy of Obama's rule that liberals like to view as one of the best periods of American history. Let's not forget that in 2009 Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize for his apparent "extraordinary efforts to strengthen international diplomacy and cooperation between people."

The majority of U.S. media will most likely try and find appropriate excuses so they can minimize Obama's role in these scandals. It is completely clear that the battle over who will be in the White House in the next four years is now taking focus on the Obama era as of opposed to Trump's mishandling of the coronavirus pandemic that has claimed the lives of over 80,000 Americans and infected more than 1.3 million people.

With endless tweets by Donald Trump dedicated to Obama over the past few days, it is as if the presidential battle in November will be fought between him and Obama, and not Democrat сandidate Joe Biden .

The reason for Trump's many tweets against the former president was because of Obama's private conversation that was leaked to the public in which he criticized the suspension of the investigation against Trump's former national security adviser Michael Flynn , while he called Trump's fight against the coronavirus epidemic a "chaotic disaster."

The American president started tweeting on the morning of May 10 and stopped late in the evening, making over a hundred tweets against Obama. This exchange between Obama and Trump is not common in American politics as former presidents usually do not interfere in the politics of their successors. However, there are suggestions that Obama still has connections to the deep state and is actively undermining Trump.

Obama, who openly admitted he would remain active in politics and wished he could contend for a third term, could be exerting influence through Hillary Clinton and Biden. It is likely Obama is becoming more public as Trump's opponent Biden is proving inadequate and incapable of defeating Trump.

The battle between Obama and Trump started with the announcement that the Ministry of Justice is terminating the investigation against former Trump's national security adviser Michael Flynn. Flynn, who was probably the shortest-serving national security adviser in history, was sacked at the beginning of his term on charges of lying to Vice President Mike Pence about talks with the Russian ambassador to Washington. His removal triggered a chain of failed investigations and campaigns against Trump and his alleged links to Russian interference during the U.S. presidential election, which also ended in a failed impeachment.

In private conversations that leaked to the public, Obama described Flynn's acquittal as a threat to the rule of law.

Trump also retweeted statements from CIA agent Buck Sexton, in which he accused Obama of sabotaging the Trump administration in the first days of his term. Sexton also called former FBI Director Andrew McCabe "a dishonorable partisan scumbag who has done incalculable damage to the reputation of the FBI and should be sitting in a cell for lying under oath"

Trump then continued with accusations on Twitter and said that Obama committed "the biggest political crime in American history, by far!" and ended briefly with "Obamagate."

As for the affair with the secret operation of selling weapons to Mexican drug cartels, journalists of Forbes in 2011 wondered whether that operation would become Obama's "Watergate," and it appears that it very well could be. Obama's attempts to smear Trump has not only backfired, but it could have very serious legal ramifications against him and others in his administration.

[May 17, 2020] 'Zombie Neocon': How This Iran Contra Architect Is Leading Trump Policy

May 17, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Hawk Elliot Abrams, reborn as a U.S. envoy, is at the spear point of recent aggressive moves in Venezuela. US Special Representative for Venezuela Elliot Abrams addresses the Atlantic Council on the future of Venezuela in Washington, DC, on April 25, 2019. (Photo credit NICHOLAS KAMM/AFP via Getty Images)

May 14, 2020

|

12:01 am

Barbara Boland As we await answers on who funded the plot to use a handful of mercenaries and ex-Green Berets to oust Venezuelan President Nicolás Maduro , it's worth taking a closer look at the man behind regime change policy, the special envoy on Venezuela, Elliott Abrams.

Called the "neocon zombie" by officials at the State Department, Abrams is known as an operator who doesn't let anything stand in his way. He has a long history of pursuing disastrous policies in government.

"Everything Abrams is doing now is the same thing he was doing during the Reagan administration. He's very adept at manipulating the levers of power without a lot of oversight," a former senior official at the State Department told The American Conservative. The official added that Abrams is "singularly focused" on pursuing regime change in Venezuela.

A little background on Abrams: when he served as Reagan's assistant secretary of state for human rights, he concealed a massacre of a thousand men, women, and children by U.S.-funded death squads in El Salvador. He was also involved in the Iran Contra scandal, helping to secure covert funding for Contra rebels in Nicaragua in violation of laws passed by Congress. In 1991, he pled guilty to lying to Congress about the America's role in those two fiascos -- twice.

But then-president George H.W. Bush pardoned Abrams. He went on to support "measures to scuttle the Latin American peace process launched by the Costa Rican president, Óscar Arias" and use "the agency's money to unseat the Sandinistas in Nicaragua's 1990 general elections," according to Brian D'Haeseleer.

Under President George W. Bush, Abrams promoted regime change in Iraq.

Abrams was initially blocked from joining the Trump administration on account of a Never Trump op-ed he'd penned. But Secretary of State Mike Pompeo succeeded in bringing him onboard last year, despite his history of support for disastrous regime change policies.

It's no surprise that with Abrams at the helm, U.S. rhetoric and actions towards Venezuela are constantly "escalating," Dr. Alejandro Velasco, associate professor of Modern Latin America at New York University, said an interview with TAC.

In just the last month, Washington has placed bounties on the heads of President Nicolás Maduro and a dozen current and former Venezuelan officials. The U.S. also deployed the largest fleet ever to the Southern Hemisphere.

Meanwhile, Abrams announced the " Democratic Transition Framework for Venezuela ," which calls on Maduro's government to embrace a power-sharing deal. The plan doesn't explain how Venezuelan leaders with bounties on their heads are supposed to come to the table and negotiate with Juan Guaido, whom the U.S. recognizes as Venezuela's legitimate leader. Abrams has also said that the U.S. does not support a coup.

A few days after recommending a power-sharing arrangement, and 18 years after the U.S. backed a putsch against Hugo Chavez, Abrams warned that if Maduro resisted the organization of a "transitional government," his departure would be far more "dangerous and abrupt." To many, Abrams' aggressive rhetoric against Maduro made it sound like the U.S. was "effectively threatening him with another assassination attempt," like the one Washington had "tacitly supported" in 2018.

Two weeks after Abrams' warning, Operation Gideon began. Jordan Goudreau, an American citizen, former Green Beret, and three-time Bronze Star recipient for bravery in Iraq and Afghanistan, along with Javier Nieto, a retired Venezuelan military captain, posted a video from an undisclosed location saying they had launched an attack that was meant to begin a rebellion that would lead to Maduro's arrest and the installation of Juan Guaido.

In a public relations coup for Maduro, the plot was quickly foiled. Given that American citizens were involved and have produced a contract allegedly signed by Guaido, the incident has severely harmed the reputations of both the U.S. and the Venezuelan opposition.

Both President Trump and Pompeo have denied that the U.S. had any "direct" involvement with Goudreau's plot.

However, the Trump administration has given billions of dollars from USAID to Venezuela, and that money is largely untraceable due to concerns about outing supporters of Guaido.

"With all the cash and arms sloshing around in Venezuela," it is not hard to imagine how U.S. funding could inadvertently wind up supporting something like this, said Velasco.

There are other signs that the U.S. may have been more involved in the plot than they are saying publicly.

For one, American mercenaries don't carry passports identifying themselves as American nor do they return to the U.S. where they can be brought up on charges for their work, said Sean McFate, professor of war and strategy at Georgetown University's School of Foreign Service and the National Defense University.

In order to sell weapons or training to another nation, it is necessary to receive permission from the State Department. It's unclear whether Goudreau and his band did so. But Goudreau's social media posts look like a pretty "clear cut" violation of the International Convention Against the Recruitment, Financing and Training of Mercenaries and the U.S. International Traffic in Arms Regulation (ITAR) said Peter Singer, a senior fellow at New America.

We know that months before the fated coup, the CIA met with Goudreau in Jamaica and allegedly warned him off the project. According to the AP, Goudreau is now under investigation for arms trafficking . Members of Congress have asked the State Department what they knew of Goudreau's plans. Given the illegal nature of the supposedly unauthorized project, it's very strange that the ringleader is at present in Florida, talking to the press and posting on social media.

Besides that warning, it seems no one in government tried to stop this calamitous operation.

And it's not just regime change. Last year, Abrams advocated granting special immigration status for the 70,000 Venezuelans residing illegally in the U.S. as a way to "pressure Maduro" even though Trump ran on the promise to severely limit the number of people granted Temporary Protected Status.

It was in pursuit of special status for Venezuelans that Abrams showed himself to be "incredibly pompous, bull-headed, and willing to destroy anyone who opposes him, in a personal way, including by trashing their reputations in the media," another senior State Department official told TAC. Abrams is not above hiding policy options he doesn't like and offering only those he favors to Pompeo to present to Trump, sources said.

Abrams ultimately prevailed and Venezuelans received refugee status from the Trump administration, despite the fact that it betrayed Trump's campaign promises.

According to Velasco, there are some people in the administration who believe that Venezuelans are the "new Cubans" -- that they will become a solid, loyal Republican vote in the swing state of Florida if they're granted special status. They also believe that Venezuelan expats want to see the U.S. remove Maduro. There are "many Cold Warriors" who believe all it will take is a "little push" for Venezuelans to rise up and take out Maduro, said Velasco.

The State Department did not respond to a request for comment on whether Abrams is pursuing a military confrontation in Venezuela.

"Cold Warrior" beliefs are dangerous. While "Operation Gideon" was especially clownish, had it been more sophisticated, it could have easily sparked a world war. The Russians, Iranians, and Chinese are all operating in Venezuela.

That specter is even more concerning now that Russia's Foreign Minister Lavrov has said that Russian special services are on standby to help Venezuela's investigation of the mercenaries. about the author Barbara Boland is TAC's foreign policy and national security reporter. Previously, she worked as an editor for the Washington Examiner and for CNS News. She is the author of Patton Uncovered , a book about General George Patton in World War II, and her work has appeared on Fox News, The Hill , UK Spectator , and elsewhere. Boland is a graduate from Immaculata University in Pennsylvania. Follow her on Twitter @BBatDC .

[May 17, 2020] Why U.S. Must Be Prosecuted for Its War Crimes Against Iraq by Eric Zuesse

May 16, 2020 | astutenews.com
The reason why the U.S. Government must be prosecuted for its war-crimes against Iraq is that they are so horrific and there are so many of them, and international law crumbles until they become prosecuted and severely punished for what they did. We therefore now have internationally a lawless world (or "World Order") in which "Might makes right," and in which there is really no effective international law, at all. This is merely gangster "law," ruling on an international level. It is what Hitler and his Axis of fascist imperialists had imposed upon the world until the Allies -- U.S. under FDR, UK under Churchill, and U.S.S.R. under Stalin -- defeated it, and established the United Nations. Furthermore, America's leaders deceived the American public into perpetrating this invasion and occupation, of a foreign country (Iraq) that had never threatened the United States; and, so, this invasion and subsequent military occupation constitutes the very epitome of "aggressive war" -- unwarranted and illegal international aggression. (Hitler, similarly to George W. Bush, would never have been able to obtain the support of his people to invade if he had not lied, or "deceived," them, into invading and militarily occupying foreign countries that had never threatened Germany, such as Belgium, Poland and Czechoslovakia. This -- Hitler's lie-based aggressions -- was the core of what the Nazis were hung for, and yet America now does it.)

As Peter Dyer wrote in 2006, about "Iraq & the Nuremberg Precedent" :

Invoking the precedent set by the United States and its allies at the Nuremberg trial in 1946, there can be no doubt that the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq in 2003 was a war of aggression. There was no imminent threat to U.S. security nor to the security of the world. The invasion violated the U.N. Charter as well as U.N. Security Council Resolution #1441.

The Nuremberg precedent calls for no less than the arrest and prosecution of those individuals responsible for the invasion of Iraq, beginning with President George W. Bush, Vice President Dick Cheney, Secretary of Defense Donald Rumsfeld, Secretary of State Condoleez[z]a Rice, former Secretary of State Colin Powell and former Deputy Secretary of Defense Paul Wolfowitz.

Take, for example, Condoleezza Rice, who famously warned "We don't want the smoking gun to be a mushroom cloud." (That warning was one of the most effective lies in order to deceive the American public into invading Iraq, because President Bush had had no real evidence, at all, that there still remained any WMD in Iraq after the U.N. had destroyed them all, and left Iraq in 1998 -- and he knew this; he was informed of this; he knew that he had no real evidence, at all: he offered none; it was all mere lies .)

So, the Nuremberg precedent definitely does apply against George W, Bush and his partners-in-crime, just as it did against Hitler and his henchmen and allies.

The seriousness of this international war crime is not as severe as those of the Nazis were, but nonetheless is comparable to it .

On 15 March 2018, Medea Benjamin and Nicolas J.S. Davies headlined at Alternet "The Staggering Death Toll in Iraq" and wrote that "our calculations, using the best information available, show a catastrophic estimate of 2.4 million Iraqi deaths since the 2003 invasion," and linked to solid evidence, backing up their estimate.

On 6 February 2020, BusinessInsider bannered "US taxpayers have reportedly paid an average of $8,000 each and over $2 trillion total for the Iraq war alone" , and linked to the academic analysis that supported this estimate. The U.S. regime's invasive war, which the Bush gang perpetrated against Iraq, was also a crime against the American people (though Iraqis suffered far more from it than we did).

On 29 September 2015, I headlined "GALLUP: 'Iraqis Are the Saddest & One of the Angriest Populations in the World'," and linked to Gallup's survey of 1,000 individuals in each of 148 countries around the world, which found that Iraq had the highest "Negative Experience Score." That score includes "sadness," "physical pain," "anger," and other types of misery -- and Iraq, after America's invasion, has scored the highest in the entire world, on it, and in the following years has likewise scored at or near the highest on "Negative Experience Score." For example: in the latest, the 2019, Gallup "Global Emotions Report" , Iraq scores fourth from the top on "Negative Experience Score," after (in order from the worst) Chad, Niger, and Sierra Leone. (Gallup has been doing these surveys ever since 2005, but the first one that was published under that title was the 2015 report, which summarized the 2014 surveys' findings.) Of course, prior to America's invasion, there had been America's 1990 war against Iraq and the U.S. regime's leadership and imposition of U.N. sanctions (which likewise were based largely on U.S.-regime-backed lies , though not totally on lies like the 2003 invasion was), which caused massive misery in that country; and, therefore, not all of the misery in Iraq which showed up in the 2015 Global Emotions Report was due to only the 2003 invasion and subsequent military occupation of that country. But almost all of it was, and is. And all of it was based on America's rulers lying to the public in order to win the public's acceptance of their evil plans and invasions against a country that had never posed any threat whatsoever to Americans -- people residing in America . Furthermore, it is also perhaps relevant that the 2012 "World Happiness Report" shows Iraq at the very bottom of the list of countries (on page 55 of that report) regarding "Average Net Affect by Country," meaning that Iraqis were the most zombified of all 156 nationalities surveyed. Other traumatized countries were immediately above Iraq on that list. On "Average Negative Affect," only "Palestinian Territories" scored higher than Iraq (page 52). After America's invasion based entirely on lies, Iraq is a wrecked country, which still remains under the U.S. regime's boot, as the following will document:

Bush's successors, Obama and Trump, failed to press for Bush's trial on these vast crimes, even though the American people had ourselves become enormously victimized by them, though far less so than Iraqis were. Instead, Bush's successors have become accessories after the fact, by this failure to press for prosecution of him and his henchmen regarding this grave matter. In fact, the "Defense One" site bannered on 26 September 2018, "US Official: We May Cut Support for Iraq If New Government Seats Pro-Iran Politicians" , and opened with "The Trump administration may decrease U.S. military support or other assistance to Iraq if its new government puts Iranian-aligned politicians in any 'significant positions of responsibility,' a senior administration official told reporters late last week." The way that the U.S. regime has brought 'democracy' to Iraq is by threatening to withdraw its protection of the stooge-rulers that it had helped to place into power there, unless those stooges do the U.S. dictators' bidding, against Iraq's neighbor Iran. This specific American dictator, Trump, is demanding that majority-Shiite Iraq be run by stooges who favor, instead, America's fundamentalist-Sunni allies, such as the Saud family who own Saudi Arabia and who hate and loathe Shiites and Iran. The U.S. dictatorship insists that Iraq, which the U.S. conquered, serve America's anti-Shiite and anti-Iranian policy-objectives. "The U.S. threat, to withhold aid if Iran-aligned politicians occupy any ministerial position, is an escalation of Washington's demands on Baghdad." The article went on to quote a "senior administration official" as asserting that, "if Iran exerts a tremendous amount of influence, or a significant amount of influence over the Iraqi government, it's going to be difficult for us to continue to invest." Get the euphemisms there! This article said that "the Trump administration has made constraining Iran's influence in the region a cornerstone of their foreign policy." So, this hostility toward Iran must be reflected in Iraq's policies, too. It's not enough that Trump wants to destroy Iran like Bush has destroyed Iraq; Trump demands that Iraq participate in that crime, against Iraq's own neighbor. This article said that, "There have also been protests against 'U.S. meddling' in the formation of a new Iraqi government, singling out Special Presidential Envoy Brett McGurk for working to prevent parties close to Iran from obtaining power." McGurk is the rabidly neconservative former high G.W. Bush Administration official, and higher Obama Administration official, who remained as Trump's top official on his policy to force Iraq to cooperate with America's efforts to conquer Iran. Trump's evil is Obama's evil, and is Bush's evil. It is bipartisan evil, no matter which Party is in power. Though Trump doesn't like either the Bushes or Obamas, all of them are in the same evil policy-boat. America's Deep State remains the same, no matter whom it places into the position of nominal power. The regime remains the same, regardless.

On April 29th, the whistleblowing former UK Ambassador Craig Murray wrote :

Nobody knows how many people died as a result of the UK/US Coalition of Death led destruction of Iraq, Afghanistan, Libya and, by proxy, Syria and Yemen. Nobody even knows how many people western forces themselves killed directly. That is a huge number, but still under 10% of the total. To add to that you have to add those who died in subsequent conflict engendered by the forced dismantling of the state the West disapproved of. Some were killed by western proxies, some by anti-western forces, and some just by those reverting to ancient tribal hostility and battle for resources into which the country had been regressed by bombing.

You then have to add all those who died directly as a result of the destruction of national infrastructure. Iraq lost in the destruction 60% of its potable drinking water, 75% of its medical facilities and 80% of its electricity. This caused millions of deaths, as did displacement. We are only of course talking about deaths, not maiming.

UK's Prime Minister Tony Blair should hang with the U.S. gang, but who is calling for this? How much longer will the necessary prosecutions wait? Till after these international war-criminals have all gone honored to their graves?

Although the International Criminal Court considered and dismissed possible criminal charges against Tony Blair's UK Government regarding the invasion and military occupation of Iraq, the actual crime, of invading and militarily occupying a country which had posed no threat to the national security of the invader, was ignored, and the conclusion was that "the situation did not appear to meet the required threshold of the Statute" (which was only "Willful killing or inhuman treatment of civilians" and which ignored the real crime, which was "aggressive war" or "the crime of aggression" -- the crime for which Nazis had been hanged at Nuremberg). Furthermore, no charges whatsoever against the U.S. Government (the world's most frequent and most heinous violator of international law) were considered. In other words: the International Criminal Court is subordinate to, instead of applicable to, the U.S. regime. Just like Adolf Hitler had repeatedly made clear that, to him, all nations except Germany were dispensable and only Germany wasn't, Barack Obama repeatedly said that "The United States is and remains the one indispensable nation" , which likewise means that every other nation is "dispensable." The criminal International Criminal Court accepts this, and yet expects to be respected.

The U.S. regime did "regime change" to Iraq in 2003, and to Ukraine in 2014 , and tried to do it to Syria since 2009 , and to Yemen since 2015, and to Venezuela since 2012, and to Iran since 2017 -- just to mention some of the examples. And, though the Nuremberg precedent certainly applies, it's not enforced. In principle, then, Hitler has posthumously won WW II.

Hitler must be smiling, now. FDR must be rolling in his grave.

The only way to address this problem, if there won't be prosecutions against the 'duly elected' (Deep-State-approved and enabled) national leaders and appointees, would be governmental seizure and nationalization of the assets that are outright owned or else controlled by America's Deep State. Ultimately, the Government-officials who are s'elected' and appointed to run the American Government have been and are representing not the American people but instead represent the billionaires who fund those officials' and former officials' careers . In a democracy, those individuals -- the financial enablers of those politicians' s'electoral' success -- would be dispossessed of all their assets, and then prosecuted for the crimes that were perpetrated by the public officials whom they had participated in (significantly funded and propagandized for) placing into power. (For example, both Parties' Presidential nominees are unqualified to serve in any public office in a democracy.)

Democracy cannot function with a systematically lied-to public . Nor can it function if the responsible governmental officials are effectively immune from prosecution for their 'legal' crimes, or if the financial string-pullers behind the scenes can safely pull those strings. In America right now, both of those conditions pertain, and, as a result, democracy is impossible . There are only two ways to address this problem, and one of them would start by prosecuting George W. Bush.


Investigative historian Eric Zuesse is the author, most recently, of They're Not Even Close: The Democratic vs. Republican Economic Records, 1910-2010, and of CHRIST'S VENTRILOQUISTS: The Event that Created Christianity .

[May 16, 2020] Bought and pied expert are just MIC prostiitutes, as are necons and the majority of Russiagaters

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... War is too important to be left to the generals ..."
May 16, 2020 | www.rt.com

Originally from: Covid-19, Russiagate, Iraq – politicians are too happy to defer to convenient 'experts' -- RT Op-ed

So-called "experts" are too narrow in their focus and too often wrong in their judgments to be able to decide the sorts of life-and-death issues a nation's political leaders are asked to decide. If " War is too important to be left to the generals ," as Georges Clemenceau, (France's prime minister during World War I) claimed, then foreign policy is too important to be left to the intelligence agencies, and public policy is too important to be left to the scientists.

From the start of the Covid-19 pandemic, politicians and media fell over themselves in their rush to defer to the " experts. " Apparently, it was up to scientists to decide whether a country should shut down its economy and keep its citizens locked up in their homes in perpetuity. It was up to scientists to determine whether a country can, if ever, resume normal life. As for the consequences -- economic depression, exploding national debt, lost businesses and means of livelihood, growing alcoholism and drug abuse, rise in suicides, spiraling untreated medical problems -- those are things the public would just have to live with, because there could be no second-guessing of the scientists.

[May 16, 2020] Putin's Call For A New System and the 1944 Battle Of Bretton Woods

Highly recommended!
Notable quotes:
"... Our Job in the Pacific ..."
"... "supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking." ..."
"... General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money ..."
"... "contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires." ..."
May 16, 2020 | off-guardian.org

On the one side, figures allied to American President Franklin Delano Roosevelt's vision for an anti-Imperial world order lined up behind FDR's champion Harry Dexter White while those powerful forces committed to maintaining the structures of a bankers' dictatorship (Britain was always primarily a banker's empire) lined up behind the figure of John Maynard Keynes[ 1 ].

John Maynard Keynes was a leading Fabian Society controller and treasurer of the British Eugenics Association (which served as a model for Hitler's Eugenics protocols before and during the war). During the Bretton Woods Conference, Keynes pushed hard for the new system to be premised upon a one world currency controlled entirely by the Bank of England known as the Bancor. He proposed a global bank called the Clearing Union to be controlled by the Bank of England which would use the Bancor (exchangeable with national currencies) and serve as unit of account to measure trade surpluses or deficits under the mathematical mandate of maintaining "equilibrium" of the system.

Harry Dexter White, on the other hand, fought relentlessly to keep the City of London out of the drivers' seat of global finance and instead defended the institution of national sovereignty and sovereign currencies based on long term scientific and technological growth.

Although White and FDR demanded that US dollars become the reserve currency in the new world system of fixed exchange rates, it was not done to create a "new American Empire" as most modern analysts have assumed, but rather was designed to use America's status as the strongest productive global power to ensure an anti-speculative stability among international currencies which entirely lacked stability in the wake of WWII.

Their fight for fixed exchange rates and principles of "parity pricing" were designed by FDR and White strictly around the need to abolish the forms of chaotic flux of the un-regulated markets which made speculation rampant under British Free Trade and destroyed the capacity to think and plan for the sort of long term development needed to modernize nation states. Theirs was not a drive for "mathematical equilibrium" but rather a drive to "end poverty" through REAL physical economic growth of colonies who would thereby win real economic independence.

As figures like Henry Wallace (FDR's loyal Vice President and 1948 3rd party candidate), Representative Wendell Wilkie (FDR's republican lieutenant and New Dealer), and Dexter White all advocated repeatedly, the mechanisms of the World Bank, IMF, and United Nations were meant to become drivers of an internationalization of the New Deal which transformed America from a backwater cesspool in 1932 to becoming a modern advanced manufacturing powerhouse 12 years later. All of these Interntional New Dealers were loud advocates of US-Russia –China leadership in the post war world which is a forgotten fact of paramount importance.

In his 1944 book Our Job in the Pacific , Wallace said:

It is vital to the United States, it is vital to China and it is vital to Russia that there be peaceful and friendly relations between China and Russia, China and America and Russia and America. China and Russia Complement and supplement each other on the continent of Asia and the two together complement and supplement America's position in the Pacific.

Contradicting the mythos that FDR was a Keynesian, FDR's assistant Francis Perkins recorded the 1934 interaction between the two men when Roosevelt told her:

"I saw your friend Keynes. He left a whole rigmarole of figures. He must be a mathematician rather than a political economist."

In response Keynes, who was then trying to coopt the intellectual narrative of the New Deal stated he had "supposed the President was more literate, economically speaking."

In his 1936 German edition of his General Theory of Employment, Interest and Money , Keynes wrote:

For I confess that much of the following book is illustrated and expounded mainly with reference to the conditions existing in the Anglo Saxon countries. Nevertheless, the theory of output as a whole, which is what the following book purports to provide, is much more easily adapted to the conditions of a totalitarian state.

While Keynes represented the "soft imperialism" for the "left" of Britain's intelligentsia, Churchill represented the hard unapologetic imperialism of the Old, less sophisticated empire that preferred the heavy fisted use of brute force to subdue the savages. Both however were unapologetic racists and fascists (Churchill even wrote admiringly of Mussolini's black shirts) and both represented the most vile practices of British Imperialism.

FDR's Forgotten Anti-Colonial Vision Revited

FDR's battle with Churchill on the matter of empire is better known than his differences with Keynes whom he only met on a few occasions. This well documented clash was best illustrated in his son/assistant Elliot Roosevelt's book As He Saw It (1946) who quoted his father:

I've tried to make it clear that while we're [Britain's] allies and in it to victory by their side, they must never get the idea that we're in it just to help them hang on to their archaic, medieval empire ideas I hope they realize they're not senior partner; that we are not going to sit by and watch their system stultify the growth of every country in Asia and half the countries in Europe to boot.

[ ]

The colonial system means war. Exploit the resources of an India, a Burma, a Java; take all the wealth out of these countries, but never put anything back into them, things like education, decent standards of living, minimum health requirements – all you're doing is storing up the kind of trouble that leads to war. All you're doing is negating the value of any kind of organizational structure for peace before it begins.

Writing from Washington in a hysteria to Churchill, Foreign Secretary Anthony Eden said that Roosevelt "contemplates the dismantling of the British and Dutch empires."

Unfortunately for the world, FDR died on April 12, 1945. A coup within the Democratic establishment, then replete with Fabians and Rhodes Scholars, had already ensured that Henry Wallace would lose the 1944 Vice Presidency in favor of Anglophile Wall Street Stooge Harry Truman.

Truman was quick to reverse all of FDR's intentions, cleansing American intelligence of all remaining patriots with the shutdown of the OSS and creation of the CIA, the launching of un-necessary nuclear bombs on Japan and establishment of the Anglo-American special relationship.

Truman's embrace of Churchill's New World Order destroyed the positive relationship with Russia and China which FDR, White and Wallace sought and soon America had become Britain's dumb giant.

The Post 1945 Takeover of the Modern Deep State

FDR warned his son before his death of his understanding of the British takeover of American foreign policy, but still could not reverse this agenda. His son recounted his father's ominous insight:

You know, any number of times the men in the State Department have tried to conceal messages to me, delay them, hold them up somehow, just because some of those career diplomats over there aren't in accord with what they know I think. They should be working for Winston.

As a matter of fact, a lot of the time, they are [working for Churchill]. Stop to think of 'em: any number of 'em are convinced that the way for America to conduct its foreign policy is to find out what the British are doing and then copy that!" I was told six years ago, to clean out that State Department. It's like the British Foreign Office

Before being fired from Truman's cabinet for his advocacy of US-Russia friendship during the Cold War, Wallace stated:

American fascism" which has come to be known in recent years as the Deep State [ ] Fascism in the postwar inevitably will push steadily for Anglo-Saxon imperialism and eventually for war with Russia. Already American fascists are talking and writing about this conflict and using it as an excuse for their internal hatreds and intolerances toward certain races, creeds and classes.

In his 1946 Soviet Asia Mission, Wallace said:

Before the blood of our boys is scarcely dry on the field of battle, these enemies of peace try to lay the foundation for World War III. These people must not succeed in their foul enterprise. We must offset their poison by following the policies of Roosevelt in cultivating the friendship of Russia in peace as well as in war.

Indeed this is exactly what occurred. Dexter White's three year run as head of the International Monetary Fund was clouded by his constant attacks as being a Soviet stooge which haunted him until the day he died in 1948 after a grueling inquisition session at the House of Un-American Activities.

White had previously been supporting the election of his friend Wallace for the presidency alongside fellow patriots Paul Robeson and Albert Einstein.

Today the world has captured a second chance to revive the FDR's dream of an anti-colonial world . In the 21st century, this great dream has taken the form of the New Silk Road, led by Russia and China (and joined by a growing chorus of nations yearning to exit the invisible cage of colonialism).

If western nations wish to survive the oncoming collapse, then they would do well to heed Putin's call for a New International system, join the BRI, and reject the Keynesian technocrats advocating a false "New Bretton Woods" and "Green New Deal" .

Originally published on The Saker

[1] You may be thinking "wait! Wasn't FDR and his New Deal premised on Keynes' theories??" How could Keynes have represented an opposing force to FDR's system if this is the case? This paradox only exists in the minds of many people today due to the success of the Fabian Society's and Round Table Movement's armada of revisionist historians who have consistently created a lying narrative of history to make it appear to future generations trying to learn from past mistakes that those figures like FDR who opposed empire were themselves following imperial principles.

Another example of this sleight of hand can be seen by the sheer number of people who sincerely think themselves informed and yet believe that America's 1776 revolution was driven by British Imperial philosophical thought stemming from Adam Smith, Bentham and John Locke.

Matthew Ehret is the Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Patriot Review , a BRI Expert on Tactical talk , regular author with Strategic Culture, the Duran and Fort Russ and has authored 3 volumes of 'Untold History of Canada' book series. In 2019 he co-founded the Montreal-based Rising Tide Foundation and can be reached at matt.ehret@tutamail.com

[May 16, 2020] No One Should Be Missing Kissinger

May 16, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com

Thomas Meaney debunks the myth of Henry Kissinger:

Since leaving office, too, Kissinger has rarely challenged consensus, let alone offered the kind of inconvenient assessments that characterized the later career of George Kennan, who warned President Clinton against NATO expansion after the Soviet Union's collapse. It is instructive to measure Kissinger's instincts against those of a true realist, such as the University of Chicago political scientist John Mearsheimer. As the Cold War ended, Mearsheimer was so committed to the "balance of power" principle that he made the striking suggestion of allowing nuclear proliferation in a unified Germany and throughout Eastern Europe. Kissinger, unable to see beyond the horizon of the Cold War, could not imagine any other purpose for American power than the pursuit of global supremacy.

Although he has criticized the interventionism of neoconservatives, there is scarcely a U.S. military adventure, from Panama to Iraq, that has not met with his approval. In all his meditations on world order, he has not thought about how contingent and unforeseen America's rise as global superpower actually was. Nothing in the country's republican tradition prior to the Second World War demanded it.

The contrast between the worldviews and careers of Kennan and Kissinger is instructive, and it helps to explain why the Washington foreign policy consensus has gotten so many things wrong over the decades. Meaney mentions that as early as 1965 Kissinger was privately admitting that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, but publicly he supported it and went on to preside over its continuation and escalation for many years. During the same period, Kennan spoke out against the war, and urged full withdrawal. Kennan famously said:

There is more respect to be won in the opinion of this world by a resolute and courageous liquidation of unsound positions than by the most stubborn pursuit of extravagant or unpromising objectives.

Kissinger insisted on just the opposite: that the cynical and stubborn pursuit of extravagant and unpromising objectives was necessary to prove American resolve. Kissinger couldn't have been more wrong, as subsequent events showed beyond any doubt, but his profound wrongness had little or no effect on his standing in the U.S. It is no accident that Kissinger has repeatedly endorsed pursuing such objectives up to and including the invasion of Iraq. The blunders that Kennan warned against and correctly foresaw would be costly and wasteful are the same ones that Kissinger approved and defended.

Our government usually listens to and employs the Kissingers to make our foreign policy, and it ignores and marginalizes the Kennans once they start saying inconvenient things. Kissinger had great success in advancing himself, and he has continued to be a fixture in the foreign policy establishment almost fifty years after he last served in government, because he knows how to provide arguments that lend legitimacy to dubious and aggressive policies. He made bogus claims about "credibility" in the '60s that helped to perpetuate one war, and later generations of hawks have used the same claims to justify involvement in new ones. Despite all the evidence that his "credibility" arguments were nonsense, Kissinger's reputation has bizarrely continued to improve over time.

Meaney also compares Kissinger with Hans Morgenthau:

Like Kissinger, Morgenthau had become well known with a popular book about foreign policy, "Politics Among Nations" (1948). And he shared Kissinger's belief that foreign policy could not be left to technocrats with flowcharts and statistics. But, unlike Kissinger, Morgenthau was unwilling to sacrifice his realist principles for political influence [bold mine-DL]. In the mid-sixties, working as a consultant for the Johnson Administration, he was publicly critical of the Vietnam War, which he believed jeopardized America's status as a great power, and Johnson had him fired.

The different responses to Vietnam are telling. Kennan and Morgenthau could see very clearly that U.S. intervention was unnecessary and senseless, and they said as much. Kissinger could see the same thing, but he pretended otherwise to gain influence. U.S. foreign policy then and later would have benefited greatly from having more honest assessments of irresponsible policies and fewer cynical endorsements of unnecessary wars. If we are to learn anything from Kissinger's example, it is that we should strive to be as unlike him as we can be.


kouroi 4 days ago

Yeah, right. It will only get worse.

See Orwell's 1984 in full swing: How US erases history of WWII and the Soviet Union's overwhelming contribution to defeating Hitler's Germany.
https://www.rt.com/news/488...
https://www.rt.com/news/488...
https://www.rt.com/op-ed/48...

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

While Mr. Larison has to / must continue his excellent work as a chronicler of US imperial madness, his and his peers' advice will continue to be ignored (ideally this advice would not even exist and no record of it would pass beyond government doors or "respectable" opinionators because TINA) regardless of public opinion pools and election promises and voting results.

Only a US societal quasi collapse, or the establishment of US as an endemic source of Covid-19 (or similar diseases), or Saudis selling their oil for other currencies beside US dollars, or a faster rising of ocean levels, or a full blown and rapid economic war and disengagement with China will potentially re-balance things. But it might be too late, and the US would have by then forgotten how to use certain intellectual tools the way Australian Aborigines and Tasmanians have forgotten to make and use bows and arrows.

Tim Chapman kouroi 4 days ago
It's amusingly daft to describe the US as having engaged in imperial madness, but ludicrous to assert that Australian Aborigines ever used bows and arrows.
Feral Finster Tim Chapman 4 days ago
The United States acts and talks like an empire, or need I trot out that quote fromt hat Bush-era apparatchik again?

And talk about not seeing the forest for the trees. If Kouroi used the term "boomerangs" instead of "bows and arrows", would that make you happy?

Tim 4 days ago
Thanks for that. I have always had a vague awareness that HK was a problematic factor, but, being preoccupied with the daily grind, never scrutinized the record much. This short comparative piece is good for clarity. Perhaps the saddest thing of all, though, is that after all these decades, the HK perspective has become accepted by the Neo- factions (cons? libs? does it matter?) as a default position. Makes US seem like we're in the thrall of a military-industrial complex or something.
Mark Pietrzyk 4 days ago • edited
In defense of Kissinger, he was skeptical of the expansion of NATO to the Baltic states and was much more open to diplomacy with Russia than most hawks in the GOP. But you're right that too often Kissinger was afraid to make waves by opposing military interventions. https://www.washingtonpost....
DUNK Mark Pietrzyk 4 days ago
Henry Kissinger called US soldiers "dumb, stupid animals to be used as pawns in foreign policy" and he's been advising Trump since 2016.
Bag Man 4 days ago
Kissinger is an example that this old adage is true. "Only the Good Die Young". The devil is waiting for him. Kissinger is responsible for murdering and torturing many.
TheSnark 4 days ago • edited
Kissinger was a brilliant historian and diplomat, with deep insights into how the world works. However he was also a careerist who was willing to bend his views to achieve and stay in power. For better or worse, he shaped US foreign policy for many years, and strongly influenced it for many more.

Kennan was also a brilliant historian and diplomat, who had a huge impact on US policy with his Long Telegram. But once the policy was accepted, he had little influence over its long-term implementation because he refused to compromise and work with (manipulate?) lesser beings.

And today, our foreign policy is run by people who know little of the world and none of its history, and could care less. But they are great at PR and political manipulation. I'll take either Kissinger or Kennan over any of them. Whatever their flaws, at least they knew what they were talking about

Connecticut Farmer TheSnark 2 days ago
You are correct in your description of Kissinger as a "careerist". Unfortunately, unlike Kissinger George Kennan never became SoS, so he never had the president's
"ear." Some would argue that Truman should have picked him over Dean Acheson to succeed George Marshall. One can only wonder how history would have panned out.
=marco01= 4 days ago • edited
....as early as 1965 Kissinger was privately admitting that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, but publicly he supported it and went on to preside over its continuation and escalation for many years.

How could he stubbornly persist knowing that every day Americans were losing their lives - for years. This guy must be a sociopath.

=marco01= 4 days ago • edited
....as early as 1965 Kissinger was privately admitting that the war in Vietnam was unwinnable, but publicly he supported it and went on to preside over its continuation and escalation for many years.

How could he stubbornly persist knowing that every day Americans were losing their lives - for years. This guy must be a sociopath.

[May 16, 2020] Tucker Susan Rice and the origins of the Russia investigation

May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Ed , 4 days ago (edited)

Farkas; "I'll come on the show any time and explain what you're missing."

Tucker: "You're invited on tonight."

Farkas: "Tonight? Oh, I can't make it tonight. Got a million other things to do. I'd come on any other time... But tonight?"

[May 16, 2020] A model democrat

Highly recommended!
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

Absaalookemensch , 1 week ago

Adam Schiff is a model Democrat. He has no integrity, decency, honesty. He's a model Democrat.

[May 16, 2020] Tucker Adam Schiff should resign

Highly recommended!
This act of sedition goes as high as (or as low as) Obama himself.
Notable quotes:
"... He should do more than resign. He should be prosecuted for his role in an attempted coup. Schiff for prisoner 2020. ..."
"... There's no willpower in the house to take action against him. ..."
May 16, 2020 | www.youtube.com

warchant59 , 1 week ago

He should do more than resign. He should be prosecuted for his role in an attempted coup. Schiff for prisoner 2020.

Shannon Moore , 2 days ago

Schiff probably practice his lies in his mirror every morning so he can convince himself of Russian interference. Biggest liar in America Adam Schifty schiff. Needs to be arrested immediately for treason and lying under oath. But as usual nothing will happen. These people are above the law. And are untouchable. Its enough to frustrate the hell out of normal sain Americans. 4 more years of Donald Trump

D LE , 3 days ago

Every person that went on television and knowingly lied should be tried for treason , sedition and attempted over throw of Trumps presidency.

TheFoolinthe rainn , 3 days ago

Folks need to take a much closer look at your own state legislature, district attorney, prosecutors, public defenders, social workers... especially your own town councils and school boards. They're stealing your lives and children at the Grassroots local level.

Norita Sanders , 5 days ago

Bill and Hillary Clinton sold the U.S. out years ago with the North American free trade agreement. And obama finished us off during g his last term.

CAPT. RICK ALLEN , 2 days ago

They should throw Schiff in jail and then give everything he owns to his victims who lost everything.

Joe Merkel , 1 day ago

Schiff absolutely SHOULD resign but he won't. Not only will he not but he'll cheat and win re-election along with his mom, Nancy Pelosi.

Tim Coleman , 3 days ago

Adam Schiff is not resigning. He's doubling down yet again! If you "want" him to resign, you need to understand he's staying in office until voted out. There's no willpower in the house to take action against him.

[May 16, 2020] The 'Cost-Effective' Coup and Other Myths by Daniel Larison

May 13, 2020 | www.theamericanconservative.com
Fresh off of his defense of the foreign policy "Blob," Hal Brands suggests that the U.S. might get back into the business of covertly overthrowing foreign governments:

Just as the U.S. sought to undermine or topple unfriendly regimes during the Cold War, it may look to such methods again in its increasingly heated rivalry with China. Caution will be necessary: History tells us that while covert intervention can sometimes be a cost-effective tool of competition, it is fraught with risks and profound moral trade-offs.

It is difficult to think of examples where sponsoring coups in other countries has ever really been "cost-effective," unless one is comparing those coups to full-blown invasions and occupations. The up-front costs to the U.S. may seem low, but the U.S. usually ends up losing much more than it bargained for. The cost to the people in the affected country is quite high, and that ought to be part of any calculation. Brands' own examples of what he counts as successes are telling for how horrible they were:

But is covert intervention a good idea? Some analysts argue that it rarely works and should be avoided, yet this is probably the wrong standard. Countries usually resort to covert action when other options have either failed or are deemed undesirable, so the likelihood of success is low to begin with. That built-in handicap notwithstanding, the U.S. did, in some cases, get serious strategic mileage out of its meddling.

In the late 1940s, covert support for democratic politicians in Italy played a modest but probably important role in shoring up that country against communist challenges at the polls. For the cost of a few hired mobs, the U.S. facilitated the toppling of Prime Minister Mohammed Mossadegh of Iran in 1953, securing its strategic flank in the Persian Gulf for 25 years. CIA support helped the Indonesian military consolidate power after it toppled an increasingly anti-American Sukarno in 1965, thus avoiding the prospect of Southeast Asia's most important country turning hostile.

Overthrowing Mossadegh ended up being one of the most short-sighted instances of U.S. interference of the entire Cold War. It may have bought the U.S. a semi-reliable client for a couple decades, but it came at the cost of alienating the Iranian people and fostering generations of hostility towards the U.S. For the sake of having an oppressive dictator on "our" side for a short time, the U.S. earned enmity that has lasted almost twice as long. The U.S. is still paying the price for that coup almost seventy years later as Washington's obsession with Iran distorts our policies in the region. Continued interest in pursuing regime change in Iran shows that many in Washington have still learned nothing from the last time. Backing Suharto was not driven by any real necessity. It was driven by the same bankrupt domino theory that poisoned our foreign policy thinking throughout that period. It did make the U.S. complicit in a horrific campaign of mass murder :

It was an anti-Communist blood bath of at least half a million Indonesians. And American officials watched it happen without raising any public objections, at times even applauding the forces behind the killing, according to newly declassified State Department files that show diplomats meticulously documenting the purge in 1965-66.

Brands acknowledges these things later in the column, so what is the point of this exercise in entertaining such a terrible option as potentially "useful"? Useful to whom? To do what? His argument gets even shakier when he says this:

The U.S. didn't do this gratuitously, or to protect American investments overseas.

Engineering the overthrow of a foreign government that poses absolutely no threat to the U.S. is the definition of gratuitous. Every Cold War-era coup that the U.S. sponsored was gratuitous. If U.S. officials claimed that they were compelled to take these actions, they were offering up strained rationalizations for what they already wanted to do.

Whatever apparent short-term gains the U.S. might think it is getting by acquiring a despotic client somewhere are usually quite limited and they are always fleeting. The U.S. is usually saddled with an increasingly unpopular ruler whose people come to resent the U.S. for our part in supporting that ruler. Like other kinds of regime change, covert regime change is never really necessary. Brands asserts that governments resort to these tactics when "other options have failed," but this misses the point completely. Believing that the U.S. has the right to remove another country's government is a profound error that has inspired many of our worst policies. Invoking rivalry with China is just another excuse to consider doing things that the U.S. should reject on principle. Brands writes:

A few years from now, Washington might find itself desperately seeking covert options to prevent some important country in sub-Saharan Africa, the Middle East or Southeast Asia from aligning with Beijing.

If we start hearing more arguments like this in a few years, we can be fairly sure that the importance of the country in question will be greatly exaggerated and the danger of "losing" it to China will be much smaller than the alarmists claim. A Cold War-like rivalry with China is undesirable for many other reasons, and the possibility of reviving the worst tactics of the Cold War to engage in that rivalry is one more reason to reject it.

Covert regime change is an intervention that the U.S. has chosen in the past out of excessive fear that a rival might gain a foothold in some far-off country, and in almost every case the alignment of that country didn't matter to the larger rivalry anyway. Going down that road again means fueling more civil wars, abetting more authoritarianism and atrocities, and ultimately "losing" the country forever when the people have finally had enough of the repression and corruption that are typical of these client governments.

Brands strives mightily to make these covert operations seem more valuable than they were. He even goes so far as to say this:

Without covert action, America might not have won the Cold War.

It is impossible to know for sure how things would have turned out if the U.S. had not done these things, but this doesn't make much sense. Toppling minor governments and stoking civil wars in far-flung countries had no appreciable effect on the USSR, and they are not why the Soviet Union collapsed. The tragedy of the Cold War is that the USSR was going to implode because of the failings of its own system, but U.S. policies were based on the false assumption that it was a juggernaut that had to be combated everywhere. The U.S. backed a lot of ugly armed groups over the decades in the belief that engaging in these proxy wars mattered greatly to the outcome of the rivalry with Moscow, but in the end they proved to be strategically irrelevant. Whatever form U.S.-China rivalry takes in the years to come, we should not repeat those mistakes.


David Naas 3 days ago

One is sometimes pressed to wonder just how little the rest of the world sees between Washington, Moscow, or Peking (pardon me, Beijing ) when it comes to leaving them the hell alone. Especially when we consider, the Brits were very good at playing the Great Game, and the US fumbles almost every time we sally forth. (Must have been the public school tradition, or something.)
David W 3 days ago
"The cost to the people in the affected country is quite high, and that ought to be part of any calculation." This is definitely out of the equation for those interventionists. From the perspective of an ordinary third-world citizen (me included), to think the US government and its hawks have my best (or for that matter better than my own, perhaps problematic, government) interest in mind is beyond naivety.
J Villain 3 days ago • edited
"Hal Brands that the U.S. might get back into the business of covertly overthrowing foreign governments"

Could some one please point to where the US ever stopped over throwing
governments. It is currently in the middle of over throwing the
governments of Iran, Syria, Iraq, North Korea, Venezuela etc, etc. The
US didn't stop trying. It just switched tactics to arming, training and
paying terrorist groups to do the heavy lifting.

nogatorfan 3 days ago
DL wrote: Overthrowing Mossadegh ended up being one of the most short-sighted instances of U.S. interference of the entire Cold War.

And it was wrong. It is WRONG to bring down a government just because you want to steal their natural resources. That used to be a US talking point. Then, whoosh, we are an Empire and are trying to imitate imperial Britain.

rayray nogatorfan 2 days ago
This is well said. Yes, coups are bad realpolitik in both the short term and the long term. Yes, despite fancy accounting, they are not at all cost effective.

But they are also morally wrong. And it is not the job of the clandestine services to determine the morality, they are simply tools that carry out the subconscious animus and power dynamics of the American politics.

It is the job of the politicians who do the work of staffing the upper echelons of the services and then manage the tone of the nation to make sure we don't do things that are both stupid and morally wrong. And on this front, we are failing so miserably that it's fair to despair. To point out Trump's failings as a leader, both in terms of his native abilities and his native moral center, is old news. But there ya go. Here we are.

AdmBenson rayray 2 days ago
The problem is that the neocons define morality as whatever benefits the U.S., other countries be damned. They completely reject the idea of a broader-based morality or foreign relations founded on mutual respect. This zero sum way of looking at the world ends up poisoning relations even when there is little or no benefit to the U.S.. It also means that they see the U.N. as an obstacle to be overcome rather than a tool of diplomacy.

They may have a point, and the U.S. sometimes needs to play hardball, but needlessly antagonizing other countries costs the U.S. influence. That's bad for business.

cka2nd AdmBenson 2 days ago
I don't think the foreign policy realists or America Firsters are really any more moral than the neo-cons, at least not when a country falls within what they feel is America's natural sphere of influence or threatens American Capital's interests in their country. The neo-cons just have a more grandiose vision of America's role in the world, and pretensions to a different morality.
cka2nd nogatorfan 2 days ago
That may have been a US talking point at one time, but decades of gunboat diplomacy and sending in the marines says it was a crock and that the US had no problem at all stealing the natural resources of other countries. The main difference before and after World War II was that the behavior we used to mostly limit to the Western Hemisphere - with occasional forays into the Pacific and the Pacific Rim - could now be exercised all over the world, including in previously British, French, Italian, Dutch, Belgian and Japanese colonies and spheres of influence, not to mention the broken remnants of Europe itself. Decades of practice in Latin America and the Caribbean, not to mention Hawaii and the Philippines, had prepared us all too well for "the American Century."
RBH 3 days ago
Was this guy AOC's college adviser? He sounds about as smart. "You like, don't have the right to like, do that..?" Play Hide
John Taylor 3 days ago
Some of these people have a disregard for human life that makes them worse than the most cold hearted serial killer. But they have the ear of the most powerful people in the US.
rayray John Taylor 2 days ago
But the most powerful people in the US don't have to listen to them.
Myron Hudson 2 days ago
Proverbs 26:11. This is not going to stop.
Collin Reid 2 days ago
My first reaction is why do want to go back to all these coups that might have worked 25% but just as often blew up in our face back in the Cold War.

1) One thing to remember was the Soviet'Union was not effective with similar methods and sap their nation resources even worse than the US did.

2) Even when the US 'lost' nations in the Cold War, it usually just made life worse for the people. The Vietnam set that nation back generation and Cuba is still driving 1950s US made cars.

3) These coups often ended in Mission Creep and along with the fears of another Cuba, was the main reason we ended up at war with Vietnam.

4) I know you made this point, WE ARE NOT IN COLD WAR with China. There is a lot wrong with China and my guess this virus spread to South America is going to very contentious with SA nations and China in 6 - 12 months. This point can not be repeated enough.

6) The Domino Theory only worked once...And for reasons where our military or coups did not play a role. Japan led the captialism in Asia and other Pacific Rim nations, including China, followed.

[May 15, 2020] The Complete Collusion Against Trump Timeline

Highly recommended!
May 15, 2020 | www.zerohedge.com

The Complete "Collusion Against Trump" Timeline by Tyler Durden Fri, 05/15/2020 - 22:50 Via SharylAttkisson.com,

It's easy to find timelines that detail Trump-Russia collusion developments. Here are links to two of them I recommend:

On the other side, evidence has emerged that makes it clear there were organized efforts to collude against candidate Donald Trump - and then President Trump. For example:

But it's not so easy to find a timeline pertinent to the investigations into these events.

Related: Obama Era Surveillance Timeline

Here's a work in progress...

(Please note that nobody cited has been charged with wrongdoing or crimes, unless the charge is specifically referenced. Temporal relationships are not necessarily evidence of a correlation.)

"Collusion against Trump" Timeline 2011

U.S. intel community vastly expands its surveillance authority, giving itself permission to spy on Americans who do nothing more than "mention a foreign target in a single, discrete communication." Intel officials also begin storing and entering into a searchable database sensitive intelligence on U.S. citizens whose communications are accidentally or "incidentally" captured during surveillance of foreign targets. Prior to this point, such intelligence was supposed to be destroyed to protect the constitutional privacy rights the U.S. citizens. However, it's required that names U.S. citizens be hidden or "masked" --even inside U.S. intel agencies --to prevent abuse.

Click here to read "Timeline of alleged sabotage of Trump in 2016 by Democrats and Ukraine."

2012

July 1, 2012: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton improperly uses unsecured, personal email domain to email President Obama from Russia.

2013

June 2013: FBI interviews U.S. businessman Carter Page, who's lived and worked in Russia, regarding his ongoing contacts with Russians. Page reportedly tells FBI agents their time would be better spent investigating Boston Marathon bombing (which the FBI's Andrew McCabe helped lead). Page later claims his remark prompts FBI retaliatory campaign against him. The FBI, under McCabe, will later wiretap Page after Page becomes a Donald Trump campaign adviser.

FBI secretly records suspected Russian industrial spy Evgeny Buryakov . It's later reported that Page helped FBI build the case.

Sept. 4, 2013: James Comey becomes FBI Director, succeeding Robert Mueller.

2014

Russia invades Ukraine. Ukraine steps up hiring of U.S. lobbyists to make its case against Russia and obtain U.S. aid. Russia also continues its practice of using U.S. lobbyists.

Ukraine forms National Anti-Corruption Bureau as a condition to receive U.S. aid. The National Anti-Corruption Bureau later signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI related to Trump-Russia probe.

Ukrainian-American Alexandra Chalupa, a paid consultant for the Democratic National Committee (DNC), begins researching lobbyist Paul Manafort's Russia ties.

FBI investigates, and then wiretaps, Paul Manafort for allegedly not properly disclosing Russia-related work. FBI fails to make a case, according to CNN, and discontinues wiretap.

August 2014: State Dept. turns over 15,000 pages of documents to Congressional Benghazi committee, revealing former secretary of state Hillary Clinton used private server for government email. Her mishandling of classified info on this private system becomes subject of FBI probe.

2015

FBI opens investigation into Virginia governor Terry McAuliffe, including for donations from a Chinese businessman and Clinton Foundation donor.

FBI official Andrew McCabe meets with Gov. McAuliffe, a close Clinton ally. Afterwards, "McAuliffe-aligned political groups donated about $700,000 to Mr. McCabe's wife for her campaign to become a Democrat state Senator in Virginia." The fact of the McAuliffe-related donations to wife of FBI's McCabe, while FBI was investigating McAuliffe and Clinton later becomes the subject of conflict of interest inquiry by Inspector General.

Feb. 9, 2015: U.S. Senate forms Ukrainian caucus to further Ukrainian interests. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) is a member.

March 4, 2015: New York Times breaks news about Clinton's improper handling of classified email as secretary of state.

In internal emails , Clinton campaign chairman (and former Obama adviser) John Podesta suggests Obama withhold Clinton's emails from Congressional Benghazi committee under executive privilege.

March 2015: Attorney General Loretta Lynch privately directs FBI Director James Comey to call FBI Clinton probe a "matter" rather than an "investigation." Comey follows the instruction, though he later testifies that it made him "queasy."

March 7, 2015: President Obama says he first learned of Clinton's improper email practices "through news reports." Clinton campaign staffers privately contradict that claim emailing: "it looks like [President Obama] just said he found out [Hillary Clinton] was using her personal email when he saw it on the news." Clinton aide Cheryl Mills responds, "We need to clean this up, [President Obama] has emails from" Clinton's personal account.

May 19, 2015: Justice Dept. Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs Peter Kadzik emails Clinton campaign chairman John Podesta from a private Gmail account to give him a "heads ups" involving Congressional questions about Clinton email.

Summer 2015: Democratic National Committee computers are hacked.

Sept. 2015: Glenn Simpson, co-founder of political opposition research firm Fusion GPS, is hired by conservative website Washington Free Beacon to compile negative research on presidential candidate Donald Trump and other Republicans.

Oct. 2015: President Obama uses a "confidentiality tradition" to keep his Benghazi emails with Hillary Clinton secret.

Oct. 12, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at New York Field Office with Louis Bladel.

Oct. 22, 2015: Rep. Adam Schiff (D-Calif.) publicly states that Clinton is "not under criminal investigation."

Clinton testifies to House Benghazi committee.

Oct. 23, 2015: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta meets for dinner with small group of friends including a top Justice Dept. official Peter Kadzik.

Late 2015: Democratic operative Chalupa expands her political opposition research about Paul Manafort to include Trump's ties to Russia. She "occasionally shares her findings with officials from the Democratic National Committee and the Clinton campaign."

Dec. 4, 2015: Donald Trump is beating his nearest Republican presidential competitor by 20 points in latest CNN poll .

Dec. 9, 2015: FBI Director Comey replaces head of FBI Counterintelligence Division at Washington Field Office with Charles Kable.

Dec. 23, 2015: FBI Director Comey names Bill Priestap as assistant director of Counterintelligence Division.

2016

Obama officials vastly expand their searches through NSA database for Americans and the content of their communications. In 2013, there were 9,600 searches involving 195 Americans. But in 2016, there are 30,355 searches of 5,288 Americans.

Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS' Christopher Steele, the Yemen-born ex-British spy leading anti-Trump political opposition research project.

January 2016: Democratic operative Ukrainian-American Chalupa tells a senior Democratic National Committee official that she feels there's a Russia connection with Trump.

Jan. 29, 2016: FBI Director Comey promotes Andrew McCabe to FBI Deputy Director.

McCabe takes lead on Clinton probe even though his wife received nearly $700,000 in campaign donations through Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe, who's also under FBI investigation.

March 2016: Clinton campaign chair John Podesta's email gets hacked.

FBI interviews Carter Page again.

Carter Page is named as one of the Trump campaign's foreign policy advisers.

March 2, 2016: FBI Director Comey replaces head of Intelligence Division of Washington Field Office with Gerald Roberts, Jr.

March 11, 2016: Russian Evgeny Buryakovwhich pleads guilty to spying in FBI case that Carter Page reportedly assisted with.

March 25, 2016: Ukrainian-American operative for Democratic National Committee (DNC) Chalupa meets with top Ukrainian officials at Ukrainian Embassy in Washington D.C. to "expose ties between Trump, top campaign aide Paul Manafort and Russia," according to Politico. Chalupa previously worked for the Clinton administration.

Ukrainian embassy proceeds to work "directly with reporters researching Trump, Manafort and Russia to point them in the right directions," according to an embassy official (though other officials later deny engaging in election-related activities.)

March 29, 2016: Trump campaign hires Paul Manafort as manager of July Republican convention.

March 30, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Alexandra Chalupa briefs Democratic National Committee (DNC) staff on Russia ties to Paul Manafort and Trump.

With "DNC's encouragement," Chalupa asks Ukrainian embassy to arrange meeting with Ukrainian President Petro Poroshenko to discuss Manafort's lobbying for Ukraine's former president Viktor Yanukovych. The embassy declines to arrange meeting but becomes "helpful" in trading info and leads.

Ukrainian embassy officials and Democratic operative Chalupa "coordinat[e] an investigation with the Hillary team" into Paul Manafort, according to a source in Politico. This effort reportedly includes working with U.S. media.

April 2016: There's a second breach of Democratic National Committee computers.

Washington Free Beacon breaks off deal with Glenn Simpson's Fusion GPS for political opposition research against Trump.

Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee lawyer Mark Elias and his law firm, Perkins Coie, hire Fusion GPS for anti-Trump political research project.

Ukrainian member of parliament Olga Bielkova reportedly seeks meetings with five dozen members of U.S. Congress and reporters including former New York Times reporter Judy Miller, David Sanger of New York Times, David Ignatius of Washington Post, and Washington Post editorial page editor Fred Hiatt.

April 5, 2016: Convicted spy Buryakov is turned over to Russia.

Week of April 6, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa and office of Rep. Mary Kaptur (D-Ohio), co-chair of Congressional Ukrainian Caucus, discuss possible congressional investigation or hearing on Paul Manafort-Russia "by September."

Chalupa begins working with investigative reporter Michael Isikoff, according to her later account.

April 10, 2016: In national TV interview, President Obama states that Clinton did not intend to harm national security when she mishandled classified emails. FBI Director James Comey later concludes that Clinton should not face charges because she did not intend to harm national security.

Around this time, the FBI begins drafting Comey's remarks closing Clinton email investigation, though Clinton had not yet been interviewed.

April 12, 2016:" Ukrainian parliament member Olga Bielkova and a colleague meet" with Sen. John McCain associate David Kramer with the McCain Institute. Bielkova also meets with Liz Zentos of Obama's National Security Council, and State Department official Michael Kimmage.

April 26, 2016: Investigative reporter Michael Isikoff publishes story on Yahoo News about Paul Manafort's business dealings with a Russian oligarch.

April 27, 2016 : The BBC publishes an article titled, "Why Russians Love Donald Trump."

April 28, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa is invited to discuss her research about Paul Manafort with 68 investigative journalists from Ukraine at Library of Congress for Open World Leadership Center, a U.S. congressional agency. Chalupa invites investigative reporter Michael Isikoff to "connect(s) him to the Ukrainians."

After the event, reporter Isikoff accompanies Chalupa to Ukrainian embassy reception.

May 3, 2016: Ukrainian-American Democratic operative Chalupa emails Democratic National Committee (DNC) that she'll share sensitive info about Paul Manafort "offline" including "a big Trump component that will hit in next few weeks."

May 4, 2016: Trump locks up Republican nomination.

May 19, 2016: Paul Manafort is named Trump campaign chair.

May 23, 2016: FBI probe into Virginia governor and Clinton ally Terry McAuliffe becomes public. (McAuliffe is ultimately not charged with a crime.)

Justice Department Inspector General confirms it's looking into FBI's Andrew McCabe for alleged conflicts of interest in handling of Clinton and Gov. McAuliffe probes in light of McAuliffe directing campaign donations to McCabe's wife.

FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok, who are reportedly having an illicit affair, text each other that Trump's ascension in the campaign will bring "pressure to finish" Clinton probe.

Nellie Ohr, wife of Justice Dept. associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr and former CIA worker, goes on the payroll of Fusion GPS and assists with anti-Trump political opposition research. Her husband, Bruce, reportedly fails to disclose her specific employer and work in his Justice Dept. conflict of interest disclosures.

Nellie Ohr applies for a ham radio license.

June 2016: Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson " hires Yemen-born ex-British spy Christopher Steele for anti-Trump political opposition research project."Steele uses info from Russian sources "close to Putin" to compile unverified "dossier" later provided to reporters and FBI, which the FBI uses to obtain secret wiretap.

The Guardian and Heat Street report that the FBI applied for a FISA warrant in June 2016 to "monitor four members of the Trump team suspected of irregular contacts with Russian officials" but that the "initial request was denied."

June 7, 2016: Hillary Clinton locks up the Democrat nomination.

June 9, 2016: Meeting in Trump Tower includes Donald Trump Jr., Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort and Trump son-in-law Jared Kushner with Russian lawyer who said he has political opposition research on Clinton. (No research was ultimately provided.) According to CNN , the FBI has not yet restarted a wiretap against Manafort but will soon do so.

June 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) tells employees that its computer system has been hacked. DNC blames Russia but refuses to let FBI examine its systems.

June 15, 2016: "Guccifer 2.0" publishes first hacked document from Clinton campaign chair John Podesta.

June 17, 2016: Washington Post publishes front page story linking Trump to Russia: "Inside Trump's Financial Ties to Russia and His Unusual Flattery of Vladimir Putin."

June 20, 2016: Christopher Steele proposes taking some of Fusion GPS' research about Trump to FBI.

June 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing embarrassing, hacked emails from Clinton campaign and Democratic National Committee.

June 27, 2016: Attorney General Loretta Lynch meets privately with former President Bill Clinton on an airport tarmac in Phoenix, Arizona.

Late June 2016: DCLeaks website begins publishing Democratic National Committee emails.

The National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine signs evidence-sharing agreement with FBI and will later publicly release a "ledger" implicating Paul Manafort in allegedly improper payments.

June 30, 2016: FBI circulates internal draft of public remarks for FBI Director Comey to announce closing of Clinton investigation. It refers to Mrs. Clinton's "extensive" use of her personal email, including "from the territory of sophisticated adversaries," and a July 1, 2012 email to President Obama from Russia. The draft concludes it's possible that hostile actors gained access to Clinton's email account.

Comey's remarks are revised to replace reference to "the President" with the phrase: "another senior government official." (That reference, too, is removed from the final draft.)

Attorney General Lynch tells FBI she plans to publicly announce that she'll accept whatever recommendation FBI Director Comey makes regarding charges against Clinton.

July 2016: Ukraine minister of internal affairs Arsen Avakov attacks Trump and Trump campaign adviser Paul Manafort on Twitter and Facebook, calling Trump "an even bigger danger to the US than terrorism."

Former Ukrainian Prime Minister Arseny Yatseniuk writes on Facebook that Trump has "challenged the very values of the free world."

Carter Page travels to Russia to give a university commencement address. (Fusion GPS political opposition research would later quote Russian sources as saying Page met with Russian officials, which Page denies under oath and is not proven.)

One-time CIA operative Stefan Halper reportedly begins meetings with Trump advisers Carter Page and George Papadopoulos, secretly gathering information for the FBI. These contacts begin "prior to the date FBI Director Comey later claimed the Russian investigation began."

July 1, 2016: Under fire for meeting with former President Clinton amid the probe into his wife, Attorney General Lynch publicly states she'll " accept whatever FBI Director Comey recommends" without interfering.

FBI official Lisa Page texts her boyfriend, FBI official Peter Strzok, sarcastically commenting that Lynch's proclamation is "a real profile in courage, since she knows no charges will be brought."

Ex-British spy Christopher Steele writes Justice Department official Bruce Ohr that he wants to discuss "our favourite business tycoon!" (apparently referencing Trump.)

July 2, 2016: FBI official Peter Strzok and other agents interview Clinton. They don't record the interview. Two potential subjects of the investigation, Cheryl Mills and Heather Samuelson, are allowed to attend as Clinton's lawyers.

July 5, 2016: FBI Director Comey recommends no charges against Clinton, though he concludes she's been extremely careless in mishandling of classified information. Comey claims he hasn't coordinated or reviewed his statement in any way with Attorney General Lynch's Justice Department or other government branches. "They do not know what I am about to say," says Comey.

Fusion GPS' Steele, an ex-British spy, approaches FBI at an office in Rome with allegations against Trump, according to Congressional investigators. Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr schedules a Skype conference call with Steele.

Days after closing Clinton case, FBI official Peter Strzok signs document opening FBI probe into Trump-Russia collusion.

July 10, 2016: Democratic National Committee (DNC) aide Seth Rich, reportedly a Bernie Sanders supporter, is shot twice in the back and killed. Police suspect a bungled robbery attempt, though nothing was apparently stolen. Conspiracy theorists speculate that Rich "not the Russians" had stolen DNC emails after he learned the DNC was unfairly favoring Clinton. The murder remains unsolved.

July 2016: Trump adviser Carter Page makes a business trip to Russia.

FISC (Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court) rejects FBI request to wiretap Page.

Obama national security adviser Susan Rice begins to show increased interest in National Security Agency (NSA) intelligence material including "unmasked Americans" identities, according to news reports referring to White House logs.

July 18-21, 2016: Republican National Convention

Late July 2016 : FBI agent Peter Strzok opens counterintelligence investigation based on Trump campaign adviser George Papadopoulos.

Democratic operative and Ukrainian-American Chalupa leaves the Democratic National Committee (DNC) to work full-time on her research into Manafort, Trump and Russia; and provides off-the-record guidance to "a lot of journalists."

July 22, 2016: WikiLeaks begins publishing hacked Democratic National Committee emails. WikiLeaks' Julian Assange denies the email source is Russian.

July 25-28, 2016 : Democratic National Convention

July 30, 2016 : Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr meets with ex-British spy Christopher Steele at the Mayflower Hotel in Washington. Ohr brings his wife, Nellie, who -- like Steele -- works at Fusion GPS on the Trump-Russia oppo research project. Ohr calls FBI Deputy Director McCabe.

July 31, 2016 : FBI's Peter Strzok formally begins counterintelligence investigation regarding Russia and Trump. It's dubbed "Crossfire Hurricane."

Aug. 3, 2016: Ohr reportedly meets with McCabe and FBI lawyer Lisa Page to discuss Russia-Trump collusion allegations relayed by ex-British spy Steele. Ohr will later testify to Congress that he considered Steele's information uncorroborated hearsay and that he told FBI agents Steele appeared motivated by a "desperate" desire to keep Trump from becoming president.

Aug. 4, 2016: Ukrainian ambassador to U.S. writes op-ed against Trump.

Aug. 8, 2016: FBI attorney Lisa Page texts her lover, FBI's head of Counterespionage Peter Strzok,"[Trump is] not ever going to become president, right? Right?!" Strzok replies,"No. No he won't. We'll stop it."

Aug. 14, 2016: New York Times breaks story about cash payments made a decade ago to Paul Manafort by pro-Russia interests in Ukraine. The ledger was released and publicized by the National Anti-Corruption Bureau of Ukraine.

Aug. 15, 2016: CNN reports the FBI is conducting an inquiry into Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort's payments from pro-Russia interests in Ukraine in 2007 and 2009.

After a meeting discussing the election in FBI Deputy Director Andrew McCabe's office, FBI's Counterespionage Chief Peter Strzok texts FBI attorney Lisa Page referring to the possibility of Trump getting elected. "We can't take that risk," he writes. And they speak of needing an "insurance policy."

Aug. 19, 2016: Paul Manafort resigns as Trump campaign chairman.

Ukrainian parliament member Sergii Leshchenko holds news conference to draw attention to Paul Manafort and Trump's "pro-Russia" ties.

Aug. 22, 2016 : Justice Dept. official Bruce Ohr meets with Fusion GPS' Glenn Simpson who identifies several "possible intermediaries" between the Trump campaign and Russia.

Late August 2016:

Reportedly working for the FBI, one-time CIA operative Professor Halper meets with Trump campaign co-chair Sam Clovis offering his services as a foreign-policy adviser, according to The Washington Post. Halper would later offer to hire Carter Page.

Approx. Aug. 2016: FBI initiates a new wiretap against ex-Trump campaign chair Paul Manafort, according to CNN, which extends at least through early 2017.

Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS's Steele becomes FBI source and uses associate deputy attorney general Bruce Ohr as point of contact. Steele tells Ohr that he's "desperate that Donald Trump not get elected."

President Obama warns Russia not to interfere in the U.S. election

Sept. 2, 2016: FBI officials Lisa Page and Peter Strzok text that "[President Obama] wants to know everything we're doing."

Sept. 13, 2016 : The nonprofit First Draft, funded by Google, whose parent company is run by major Hillary Clinton supporter and donor Eric Schmidt, announces initiative to tackle "fake news." It appears to be the first use of the phrase in its modern context.

Sept. 15, 2016: Clinton computer manager Paul Combetta appears before House Oversight Committee but refuses to answer questions, invoking his Fifth Amendment rights.

Sept. 19, 2016: At UN General Assembly meeting, Ukrainian President Poroshenko meets with Hillary Clinton.

Mid-to-late Sept. 2016: Fusion GPS's Christopher Steele's FBI contact tells him the agency wants to see his opposition research "right away" and offers to pay him $50,000, according to the New York Times, for solid corroboration of his salacious, unverified claims. Steele flies to Rome , Italy to meet with FBI and